By Amadou Jadama
Magistrate Pater Adoh Che of the Brikama court yesterday sentenced one Modou Touray, a former PIU officer and a volunteer nurse at the Brikama Health Centre, to a mandatory jail term of 20 years.
The trial magistrate also ordered that the convict should pay D50, 000 for compensation to the victim.
Mr Touray’s conviction and sentencing came after the court found him guilty on a single count charge of raping an 18-year-old girl in Brikama Gidda.
He was found guilty since last week Tuesday but due to his lawyer’s absence in court, the sentencing could not take place until yesterday.
Before the sentence was passed, the convict’s lawyer Saikou Fatty begged the court to temper justice with mercy arguing that the convict is a first-time offender who had never been reported to a police station much more to a court. He further told the court that the convict is married and he is father of three children and his wife is currently pregnant in addition to other dependents.
He added that his client is very young and very useful to the community he is living, and he is remorseful and regretted what has happened. Lawyer Fatty urged the court to invoke section 29 sub 3 of the CPC to impose a fine rather than a custodial sentence.
Counsel Fatty informed the court that Mr Touray is an asthmatic patient and he tendered asthmatic treatment paper which were tendered in court and marked as exhibits without any objection from the police prosecution Officer 4906 Bangura.
In passing his sentencing, presiding magistrate Che said the manner in which the rape took place is very callous as the convict with over a decade as a volunteer nurse at Brikama Health Centre used his pseudo profession to exploit the poor lady.
“The offence happened in the comfort of his matrimonial home that he illegally used as a treatment centre. There is a need to send a very strong message to especially those in the medical profession not to take for granted the confidence bestowed on them by the vulnerable public,” he said.
“I shall therefore not resort to section 29 sub 3 of criminal code or section 4 sub 2 of Sexual Offences Act 2013. I shall impose a custodial jail term that may look harsh but looking at the trauma associated with rape, the sentence is rather luxurious. The victim lost her virginity and her pride as a lady was taken from her in an undignified manner. Money cannot repair the damage caused to her. I am reminded of the prosecution’s application for compensation to consider the application. I accordingly sentence you Modou Touray to a mandatory jail term of 20 years, and you are to pay the victim D50,000 for compensation.”
The trial magistrate also reminded Mr Touray of his right to appeal.