BULAWAYO, Tuesday, August 16, 1966 — Mr Alexander Macleod (38), manager of the Gwelo branch of the Matabeleland Farmers’ Co-op, today told the Regional Court here of the day a masked and hooded African struck him “a vicious blow’’ on the head with a pair of bolt-cutters 10lb and 2½ ft in length. He told of fighting with the African, slipping in his own blood, and of how his assailant tried to throttle him.
The case first came before the Magistrate’s Court in Gwelo on July 28. On that occasion the accused, Roy Sampson, was then charged with housebreaking with intent to steal, theft and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. The Attorney-General later authorised today’s proceedings in the Regional Court, when the second charge was abandoned and replaced with an allegation of attempted murder.
Sampson pleaded guilty to the housebreaking charge and not guilty to attempted murder.
In evidence Mr MacLeod said he knew the accused man, who had been employed as a security guard on the premises up to March 31 this year, when he was dismissed. On the morning of Sunday, July 24, he went to the store premises to check security and to attend to other smaller jobs.
He was well into the shop when he saw an African wearing a mask. “He came through a door holding the bolt cutters with both hands above his head in an alarming manner,’’ he said. “I thought I would try and defend myself as it was useless to try to run away.
“By this time he was near me and from a point above his head he brought the cutters down in a vicious blow on top of my head. I leant to one side and the cutters caught me on the side of the head. The blow was a heavy one.”
Sampson refused to give evidence or to make an unsworn statement. In cross examination he suggested Mr MacLeod fell against a desk and he never used bolt cutters to hit him in the head. The magistrate, Mr St John Burton indicated he would give judgment tomorrow.