By Mariama Marong
Magistrate Isatou Dabo of the Brikama Magistrate Court on Friday, 14 January, 2022, found 25-year-old Wagan Senghore guilty on two Counts of stealing and causing malicious injuries, however, was discharged and acquitted on Count One which is ‘break-in and entry’. According to Magistrate Dabo, ‘break-in’ which happened to be the first charge, did not take place because the accused person did not use force to enter the building, but instead used the keys.
However, the Court found the accused person guilty on Count Two which is stealing, contrary to Section 252 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC). According to the particulars of offence on this Count, the accused person stole a cash amount of five hundred and ninety nine thousand, seven hundred dalasi (D599,700.00), which belongs to Trust Bank, and thereby committed an offence.
On Count Three, the accused person was charged with malicious injury contrary to Section 312 (1) of the CPC. According to the particulars of offence for this Count, the accused person willfully and unlawfully damaged a safe valued fifty thousand dalasi (D50,000.00), which belongs to Trust Bank.
After going through all the arguments before her on this case, Magistrate Dabo decided to convict Wagan Senghore on Counts 2 and 3, for stealing and for willful and unlawful damage to property.
On Count 2, Magistrate Dabo ordered the accused person to pay a fine of D30,000.00 or in default, to spend two years in prison, and on Count 3, to pay another fine of D20,000.00 or in default, to spend another two years in prison.
The accused person, Wagan Senghore who pleaded guilty for the crimes committed, begged for the Court to have mercy on him, saying this is his first time to be apprehended by the Police and to appear in court, and he did this just to help his mother build a house for her.
In giving her ruling, Magistrate Isatou Dabo said since the accused was a first time offender, and since the crime he committed was premeditated, she will not send him to prison because he has accepted guilt and has not wasted the time of the Court. She therefore decided to impose a fine on him rather than a jail term.
ASP Buteh Sawaneh, the prosecuting officer, made an application on Section 148 for compensation to be awarded to Trust Bank for the damage caused.
At this juncture, Magistrate Dabo accepted the application made by ASP Buteh Sawaneh and ordered Wagan Senghore to pay a compensation amount of D50,000.00 to Trust Bank, adding failure to do so, the bank can file a law suit against the accused person. She ordered that all fines be paid with immediate effect.