By Oumie Bojang
Amie Mbye has been convicted and sentenced to one-year imprisonment for assaulting her two-year-old niece by beating her with a charger cable, causing grievous bodily harm to the child.
These injuries led to the child being admitted at the Kanifing General Hospital for five days.
Ms. Mbye, who was arraigned before the Principal Magistrate of the Kanifng court Omar Jabang, pleaded guilty to the charge after it was read to her.
In continuation of the facts, police prosecutor sub-inspector Jammeh tendered the medical report of the child as evidence. He informed the court that the child and his parents were in court. At this juncture, the Principal Magistrate Jabang asked those not related to the child to step out before seeing the wounds on the child.
The wounds sustained from lashes on the child were also tendered as evidence.
Sub-inspector Jammeh further informed the court that the accused person is a first-time offender and pleaded for compensation to the victim.
In her plea of mitigation to the court, Mbye said: “I also have children who surely depend on me. For these children I have mentioned I am the one responsible for their schooling which included their books and school fees. They are about seven children all under my care including this victim that makes it eight. Their feeding is all on me, whenever any of these children gets sick, I will be the very person who will be taking them to the hospital and be responsible for the medical bill.
“I am begging you to forgive me for the sake of Allah; we are from very poor family background. This was a mistake from me and human beings are not perfect,” Amie pleaded.
Passing his judgment, Jabang said inasmuch as he felt the passionate plea of the accused person, he will not allow his emotions to be carried away. “I must confess, I am touched by her words, but I will not allow myself to be carried away to the extent that I will lose focus on the offense committed.
“The victim is a two-year-old girl she was entrusted to the convict as soon as she was weaned. It was out of complete trust that the convict was entrusted with the care of the victim. The action of the convict cannot go unpunished. The law aside, no religion will even sanction the act of the convict. The injuries on the victim are not a result of one lash but multiple lashes resulting in multiple injuries to the victim.
I don’t know how a human being would continue to beat a child with these injuries and even not tempted to stop.”
He added that the facts revealed and confirmed by the medical report that the victim was admitted to the hospital since the 19th to 25th of July 2022. “The victim still has bandages on her. Children are precious and must be pampered at this stage of their lives. The least they expect from people having custody of them is callousness.”
As pleaded by Amie Mbye that she has custody of the other seven children, Jabang urged that by this sentencing, the Department of Social Welfare must get to work in relation to those children. “The convict is not someone that should be allowed to continue the custody of those children,” he added.
He said Amie being a first-time offender, “I shall invoke my powers under section 29 sub 2 of the criminal code to impose less imprisonment. Instead of the whole seven years provided under section 214 on the criminal code, the convict is sentenced to one-year imprisonment with hard labor and also she is ordered to pay D40,000 compensation to the victim in default to serve two more years,” he concluded.