Principal Magistrate Mendy Sentences Man to 4 Years for Stealing

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By Louise Jobe

Principal Magistrate Anna O. Mendy of the Brikama Magistrate’s Court has on Monday convicted one Yaya Jallow for stealing and breaking into someone’s house.

Yaya Jallow accepted that he stole the money from his employer Mahmud Tibou Hydara.

The Magistrate asked him to pay Twenty-Five Thousand Dalasi (D25,000) for breaking into someone’s house and Twenty Thousand Dalasi (D20,000) for stealing. She ordered that if he cannot pay this amount, he should serve two years on each of the two offences. This means he should serve a jail term of four (4) years if he fails to pay the whole sum.

Assistant Superintendent Buteh Sawaneh appeared for the Inspector General of Police. Yaya Jallow appeared without a lawyer.

He was arraigned for ‘breaking into a building and committing felony’ on count one and ‘Stealing’ on count two contrary to sections 283 and 252 of the Criminal Code respectively. Yaya Jallow pleaded guilty to the two charges. 

The charge sheet stated that Yaya Jallow, on the 20th April 2024, at Brikama Town, Kombo Central, West Coast Region, broke and entered into the shop of one Mahmud Tibou Hydara and stole. On count two, the prosecution alleged that he stole a fiscal cash amount of Three Hundred and Thirty-Three Thousand Eight Hundred Dalasi (D333,800) from the shop of Mahmud Tibou Hydara on the 20th April 2024.

Principal Magistrate Anna O Mendy in her ruling cited Section 283 of the Criminal Code stating that: “Anyone who breaks, a school, house, shop, warehouse, store, office or counting-house or a building which is adjacent to a dwelling house and occupied with it, but is not part of it or any building use as a place of worship and commits a felony therein is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.”

And Section 252 of the Criminal Code provides that: “Anyone who steals anything capable of being stolen is guilty of the felony termed theft, and is liable, unless owing to the circumstances of the theft, or the nature of the thing stolen, some other punishment is provided, to imprisonment for five years.”

She said that according to the facts narrated by the prosecution, the investigation team found the cap of the accused person in the shop, a knife, and a broken cement block in the scene. The accused was later arrested, and he was escorted to his house, where he kept the money. The said amount of D333,800.00 was recovered by the investigating team. The accused confessed to the CID investigation team that he used a broken cement block, nail, and knife to break the shelf where money was contained in the complainant’s shop. The cautionary and voluntary statements of the accused person were obtained.”

The police tendered the money, cap, broken cement block, nail, knife, key, and the two statements into evidence. The court admitted all of them and marked the items as exhibits A1 to A7, respectively.

The court convicted the accused as charged based on his own plea of guilt. 

“I have considered factors into the case such as a first-time offender, however the court is mindful of the incidents of breaking and stealing amongst youth in our society. The convict, as an employee of the complainant, should protect his boss’ property instead of otherwise. I, therefore, sentenced the convict to a fine of D25,000.00 dalasis in default to serve 2 years imprisonment on count one, and D20,000.00 in default to serve 2 years imprisonment on consecutive terms.