28 December 2012

Gambia: Norwegian Convicted of Sexual Exploitation

Sevien Age Sandaker, a 45-year-old Norwegian, was recently convicted and sentenced by Magistrate Edward Singhateh of the Bundung Magistrates' Court, after being found guilty of three counts of criminal offences, ranging from sexual abuse, to child pornography and sexual exploitation of a child.

On count one the accused was charged with sexual abuse of a child, contrary to Section 6 (1) of the Tourism Offence Act 2003. The particulars of offence stated that between the year 2009 and 2010 in Brufut Village in the West Coast Region, the accused, being a tourist, sexually abused six children all under the age of 18, thereby committed an offence.

On count two, the accused is charged with child pornography, contrary to Section 8 (1) (a) of the Tourism Offence Act 2003. The particulars of offence stated that between the year 2009 and 2010 in Brufut Village in West Coast Region, the accused, being a tourist, took indecent photographs of six children all under the age of 18.

On count three, the accused is charged with sexual exploitation of a child, contrary to Section 9 (1) (a) (b) of the Tourism Offence Act 2003. The particulars of offence stated that between the year 2009 and 2010 in Brufut Village in West Coast Region, the accused, being a tourist, sexually exploited six children all under the age of 18, (names withheld) by touching their bodies.

In delivering judgement Magistrate Edward Signateh, said the prosecution has proven its case against the accused person beyond all the reasonable doubt on both counts. During the trial the prosecution called seven witnesses and tendered flash drives and seven video clips and the accused also testified on his own. "I have listened to the plea of mitigation of the counsel and noticed that the convict was remanded at the Mile II State Central Prison for two years," said the presiding Magistrate.

On count one, the accused was sentenced to serve three years in jail with hard labour, on count two, he was fined to pay an amount of D100, 000 in default to serve one year in prison, on count three, he was fined to pay an amount of D100, 000 in default to serve another one year and on count four, he was convicted to pay D150, 000 in default to serve one year and six months jail term.

The magistrate also ordered the convict to compensate the victims with the following amount of money; D100,000, D100,000 and 50,000 respectively, failure of which, he should pay spend another two years in prison.

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