Policeman Testifies in British Lady’s Murder Trial

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By Kemeseng Sanneh (Kexx)

Modou Badjie on Monday testified as the first prosecution witness in the murder trial of Augustine Bangura, who is accused of killing Sakina Chinedu on the 14th of February 2024 at Sinchang Village, Kombo South District.

The deceased was a 60-year-old British lady. The case is before Justice Ebrima Jaiteh of the Banjul High Court.

Austine Bangura is facing charges of murder and theft contrary to Sections 187 and 252 of the Criminal Code. The prosecution alleged that he hit the deceased with a hammer at the back of her neck, which resulted in her death, and he stole a cash amount of D80, 000, two laptops, a tablet, flash drives, keys, a Canon camera, and bank and correspondence cards from the deceased bag and apartment. 

Sergeant Modou Badjie, who works at the Serious Crime Unit at the Tujereng Police Station, said the lady was found dead in a soak away in her compound. He testified that the daughter of the slain British lady complained to the police about her mother’s disappearance. He said the daughter was in the United Kingdom (UK) and was communicating with her. While searching the premises of the compound, the man said the daughter informed him to look in the vehicle to see whether the car tape was there.  

“She said if the car tape was inside the vehicle then her mother was probably not alive,” the policeman said.

He testified the daughter told him her mother would always remove the car tape before going inside the house.

The policeman testified that a man came to the Tujereng Station with the claim that they saw something in the compound and would want the police to go there.

The witness said they managed to enter the compound using a ladder and later found the vehicle parked beside a car park having all its doors locked. On that day, he said they could not see anything and on the following day, they returned to the property and searched the septic tank.

“Upon my entry into the compound behind the garage, we saw marks of dragging and we followed those marks up to the septic tank, I used the ladder to go down the septic tank and I tried to remove some sand down there and I saw the leg of the deceased. That was the time I came out and called the fire service and medical health. I also called the police Crime Record coordinator officer,” the witness said.

The witness said the deceased was putting on tights and sports shoes she was having Rasta on her head. He testified that she also sustained a wound on her forehead. From there the body was moved to the mortuary, he added.

Asked by State Counsel A. Gibba where the dragged mark came from, the witness testified that the dragged marks came from the back gate of the garage.

On whether there were visible dragged marks on the ground, the witness responded that part of the sand that was removed from the septic tank was used to bury the deceased.

“When we saw the marks on the sand, we concluded that something was buried inside,” he said.

He testified that the C.R.O officer who was at the scene was Sergeant Lamin Manneh and the body of Shakina Chinedu was identified by one Omar Colley. He added that apart from the wound on her forehead, she was biting her tongue. 

Under Cross-examination by Senior Counsel Omar Susso, the witness was asked when the complaint of the deceased was lodged at the police station. In response, the witness said on the 15th of February 2024.

The case was adjourned to the 21st of May 2024 at 11:30 for the continuation of cross-examination.