Man Sentenced for Stealing Bitter Tomato (Jakato)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Basse Magistrates Court, presided over by Magistrate Anthony Baldeh, convicted and sentenced a man to 3 months imprisonment on Tuesday 11th December, 2007 for stealing a bag of Jakato.

According to the court prosecutor lst class constable 1781 December, 2007 the accused stole a bag of Jakato from a woman (name withheld) at Basseding village in URR Republic of Gambia. While he was attempting to sell the jakato at the market, some youths from the village reprimanded him and took him to Basse police station where he was interrogated by the CIDS and confessed that he stole the Jakato because of having a problem worth D200.00 to settle.

The said prosecutor told the court that since the jakato are perishable they were given back to the owner whilst the accused was detained in custody having being cautioned and charged to attend court for judgment.
When the charge sheet was read to him he pleaded guilty and asked the court to have mercy on him as he is a foreigner from Senegal and has been in The Gambia for just 2 weeks. He claimed he has never before been in court.

In his judgment over Baboucarr the Magistrate said his plea of guilty had been noted and the court would hereby convict him accordingly. And said the act is a diabolical one and is uncalled for in any society. He said any person who steals is capable or liable to commit a felony which is a very serious offence. Looking at the gravity of the offence he said, the punishment is usually 5 years imprisonment. But due to his status as an ECOWAS citizen the Magistrate said he was concerned to protect the man. He said that since he had shown much remorse in confessing to the court and is a young man the court would show mercy, but he will not let him go free. As the Jakato has been returned to the owner he will be sentenced to 3 months imprisonment at Janjanburay without any option of a fine.

Author: By Abdul Rahman Simtay Beah
Source: The Point