Magistrate cautions student instead of sending her to jail for assault

By Sainabou Sambou February 4, 2022

Principal Magistrate Isatou Janneh Njie of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court found one Amie Sambou, a student, guilty of assault, causing actual bodily harm. “I have also considered that the accused is a first- time offender and I have also considered her age and the fact that she is a student. The fact that which has been established was proved and that there was no level of planning in committing the act she did, I have considered that the level of harm matters, “she said.

She stated further that there were factors which the court considered in passing the sentence. She added that the court exercised its discretion, under Section 26 of the (CPC) criminal procedure code, instead of sentencing the convict to a fine or imprisonment. She said that the accused was cautioned to keep the peace and be of good behavior.

She asserted that given that the accused is a student, she make no order for compensation. She further stated that by the charged sheet dated on the 24th of February 2021, the accused person herein is charged with the offense of assault causing actual bodily harm contrary to section 228 of the criminal code cap 10 vol III, revised laws of the Gambia 2009.

She said the particulars of offense alleged that the accused person on or about the 3rd day of February 2021, at Serrekunda and devised places in the Kanifing Municipality, the accused unlawfully assaulted one Aja Jallow by beating her neck and the stomach occasioning her actual bodily harm and thereby committed an offense.

Adding that the accused person pleaded not guilty to the charges. The prosecutor proceeded to prove its case by calling on witness and tender exhibit A. She said a medical certificate and exhibit B and B1, a voluntary and cautionary statement obtained from the accused person, the accused person gave sworn testimony band didn’t call any witness.

Moreover, she said the brief fact of the case is that the accused and the complaint (police witness one) were quarrelling wherein the accused alleged the complaint stated that the accused’s mother is a prostitute, the complainant denied. She said when the complaint uttered such words, the accused slapped her, and they started fighting and the complaint reported the matter to Serrekunda police station.

According to the complainant, the accused came and held her neck and beat her all over her body as a result, she felt pain all over her body. She said the evidence before the court establishes that the accused person willfully attacked, slapped, and fought the complaint and she didn’t have or show any legal justification for doing such an act.

She added she found and held that the act of the accused in slapping and fighting the complaint was not justified or caused by law and “I therefore find the offense of assault causing actual bodily harm to prove the accused person beyond reasonable doubt, on that premise the accused is hereby found guilty with the charge.

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