Justice Landing M. Sanneh, the presiding judge of the Basse High Court in the Upper River Region (URR), has sentenced one Sailou Jallow, a native of the Central River Region (CRR) to life imprisonment for reportedly raping minor.
In proving his case, the prosecution called 5 witness and tendered exhibits (A) and (B), i.e PW3’s witness statement and medical certificate of the prosecutrix.
Meanwhile, the accused on the other hand, gave evidence in his defence and tendered defence exhibit (1) i.e the accused voluntary statement which he made at the Bansang Police Station. He further called no witness.
In delivering his judgment, Justice Sanneh said: “I therefore, resolved that sexual intercourse has taken place and it was between the accused person and PW4 the prosecutrix herein. On the issue of consent of the prosecutrix, the laws as settled, is that a minor can’t give consent to have sexual intercourse with a male more so in this particular case where the prosecutrix is a minor as a dumb,” he said.
The law, he went on, does not allow consent obtained by force, intimidation or exhaustion after persistent struggle.
“Therefore, the issue of consent goes to no issue as the prosecutrix can’t give consent herein. I therefore, find and hold that there is a strong circumstantial evidence to connect the accused to the offence charged herein which circumstantial evidence corroborated the evidence of PW4 the prosecutrix.”
“In this circumstance, I am of the firm view that the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt. In the result, I find the accused Saliou Jallow guilty of the offence of rape as charged and I convict him accordingly.”
“As the offence of rape carries a mandatory punishment of life imprisonment once convicted, especially under Section 3 with exceptional punishment as provided under Section 4 of the said Act. This court found the convict to be in violation of Section 3 (2) (f) of the Sexual Offences Act 2013. Therefore, there is no need for the convict to mitigate and be considered. The court’s hands are tied under the circumstances,” he posited.
“Having said above, this court is of the view that the offence of rape in rampant in this jurisdiction and in most cases the prosecutrix/victims are minors of tender age and the accused persons are adults. This court frowns at such acts by all standards as it is an ugly thing to be done to our future wives, sisters and mothers.”
“I found this particular case to be very unique and a sad one, as the prosecutrix is a minor and dumb, whom the society should always protect since she is very vulnerable. I will therefore, undoubtedly punish the convict Sailou Jallow so that it can serve as a deterrent to the “would be offenders” of such a heinous crime to be inflicted on our future leaders.”
“Consequently, I hereby impose a mandatory punishment for the offence of rape as per the section of the law, thus he is convicted to life imprisonment.”