By Omar Bah
Justice Zainab Jawara Alami of the high court has sentenced one Malick Njie, a taxi driver to 3 years imprisonment with hard labor for raping a fourteen-year-old girl on four occasions.
According to court documents, Njie had asked for the girl’s hand in marriage but her parents asked him to wait for her to finish her education.
Delivering a ruling on the matter recently, Justice Jawara Alami challenged the convict:
“The complainant is a mere child who has through your insidious acts, delivered a child of her own. You have not only destroyed the life of a young girl who had the promise of an education, but have also given another child a bad start in life.You have also wasted the time of the court by going through a lengthy trial when you know the child in question was your child, you have clearly not done yourself any favours,” the judge told the convict.
Under laws of The Gambia, rape attracts minimum jail term of 10 years, however, the court has a discretion under section 4 (2) of the Act supra, to impose a lesser sentence than the applicable sentence where there are compelling and substantial circumstances.
Justice Alami said considering that the convict is a first-time offender, breadwinner, and already served 2 years and 3 months in custody and that the complainant has since married, leaving the child behind with her mother and his promise to take care of the child she will sentence him to just 3-years starting from the day he was taken in custody.
“The livelihood of the baby in question I find to be sufficient reasons to shorten the term of imprisonment, as this baby has to be fed, clothed, schooled and overall, the convict must take responsibility for his actions,” justice Jawara Alami concluded.