Banjul High Court

Another alleged paedophile accused of abducting and raping an eight-year-old girl has regained his freedom after bungling police officers failed to collect crucial evidence.

Pa Omar Keita of Brikama was arrested in March 2016 for allegedly kidnapping and raping the eight-year-old in Brikama Madina Pipeline, West Coast Region.

However, after his arrest, bungling police investigators failed to collect his bedding to confirm the presence of any semen traceable to the accused and, or the blood stains traceable to the victim.

During the trial, the court heard that a doctor who examined the girl had failed to reveal in his medical report to the police whether the she suffered any bleeding or had traces of semen inside her.

Deciding the case at the Hight Court in Banjul, Justice Ebrima Jaiteh said the failure of the police to examine Keita’s bedding and the inconclusive medical report has cast a shadow of doubt in his mind whether it was the accused person who raped the victim.

“Where there are doubts in the mind of the court as to whether or not it was the accused that committed the offence; such doubts should be resolved in favour of the accused,” he said.

“The prosecution failed to prove the charge of rape beyond reasonable doubt against the accused. It is a settled law that where the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond any reasonable doubt, the accused was entitled to an acquittal.”

Justice Jaiteh added that the prosecution has failed to provide any evidence or witnesses that Keita had kidnapped the eight-year-old.

Keita is the second man accused of canal knowledge of a child to be freed by the courts this year.  Last month, Momodou Lamin Jammeh of Tallinding who was accused of raping a one-year old toddler was acquitted by the court after police failed to take his DNA sample to link it to the traces of semen found inside the girl.