30 January 2013

Gambia: Appeal Court Orders Release of Rape Convict

The Gambia Court of Appeal, presided over by Justice M.M Agyemang, yesterday, January 29th 2913 ordered the immediate release of one Davidson Jones, an inmate serving a 14-year jail term for the offence of rape.

The appellant, Davidson Jones was convicted and sentenced by the Special Criminal Court in Banjul, presided over by Justice J.E Ikpala to serve 14 years imprisonment on the 1st June 2010.

The prosecution had alleged that the appellant on the 4th March 2009 at No. 8 MacDonald Street in Banjul had unlawful carnal knowledge of a 14-year-old girl without her consent.

In proving its case against the appellant, the prosecution called five witnesses.

Delivering the lead judgment, Justice M.M Agyemang disclosed that the said Court of Appeal, having examined the facts of the case, observed that there were a lot of irregularities in the procedure at the lower court.

The Court of Appeal Judge further disclosed that the trial judge ignored the fact that the appellant's plea was not taken after he inherited the case from his predecessor and proceeded to hear the matter.

The court noted with great concern that the procedure of the lower court was fundamentally erroneous.

The Court of Appeal judge cited plethoral authorities and also cited case laws similar to the instant case and therefore upheld the conviction meted on the appellant by the lower court.

Finally, the Court of Appeal however reduced the term of imprisonment of the appellant and noted that the appellant having served some time in prison be released immediately.

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