Janjanbureh High Court Sentences Man to Death for Murder

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By Lamin Fatty

A trial judge in Janjanbureh High Court has convicted and sentenced a man to death for murder.

The convict was one Bubacarr Bah. Justice Landing. M. Sanneh delivered his judgment on Thursday, 1 February 2024. The accused person BABOUCARR BAH was charged with one count of murder contrary to Section 187 of the Criminal Code. He pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The particulars of the offence alleged that the accused person on or about 3 May 2021 at Sarreh Mawdeh Village in the Central River Region fought with one Musa Bah, a 35-year-old man, and with premeditated malice stabbed him with a knife at his back which resulted in his death.

The prosecution called nine (9) witnesses and tendered 5 Exhibits A, B, C, D, and E respectively.

Exhibit ‘A’- the accused person’s Cautionary Statement, Exhibit ‘B’- the accused person’s Voluntary Statement, Exhibit ‘C’ – a knife (murder weapon), Exhibit ‘D’ – a Cattle Peg, and Exhibit ‘E’ – the Post Mortem Report.

The accused, on the other hand, testified alone and did not call a witness.

The prosecution alleged that Bubacar Bah had stabbed his elder brother, Musa Bah, 35, with a knife which ultimately caused his death.

The prosecution applied for several adjournments to call additional witnesses but to no avail and the court on 19 January 2023 foreclosed them from calling additional witnesses.

The defense counsel filed a no-case submission on behalf of the accused person but the court ruled against the accused person.

The Judge in his judgment said he did not doubt in his mind that the accused person caused the death of the victim and the evidence clearly showed that the accused intended to cause the death of or grievous bodily harm of the deceased.

The convict was found guilty after the court held that he violently hit the deceased on his armpit, which is close to the left chest wall of his body.

“In the view of the court, the accused already formed the necessary animosity, hate, spite, bitterness, mischievousness or vindictiveness which in that state enabled the intentional doing of a wrongful act (i.e by stabbing the deceased with a knife) without cause or excuse with an intent to inflict an injury. Unfortunately, the injury proved fatal and as a result the deceased died and the accused must answer for it,” the court held.

Justice Sanneh said the court is with the considered position that the prosecution has proved all the essential ingredients that need to be proved to secure a conviction against the accused person as charged.

“Therefore, I am of the firm belief that the prosecution has proved its case against the accused person BABOUCARR BAH beyond reasonable doubt. The court found the accused guilty of the offense of murder contrary to Section 187 of the Criminal Code and he was convicted accordingly,” Justice Sanneh gives his judgment.

He added: “It is unfortunate that the convict is the cause of this sadness to all the other members of their family as he untimely caused the death of his senior [elder] brother Musa Bah (35 years) young man without any just cause. The Bah Kunda family will never forget this sad incident for the rest of their life, and even the unborn generation of the family will be told of this sad and ugly incident. The offense of murder is common in this region and mostly it involves the same family or neighbors which is very worrisome in the society. The courts will undoubtedly play their statutory role bestowed on them by punishing those found to have committed this heinous crime.  The punishment for the offense of murder is very clear as per the provision of Section 188 of the Criminal Code. This court’s hands are tied for it to consider any discretion other than to follow the provision of Section 188 of said code. Under the circumstances, and acting under the provisions of Section 188 of the same, the convict Baboucarr Bah is hereby sentenced to DEATH.”