The Chron­i­cle

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

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.

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