The Chron­i­cle

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

BU­L­AWAYO, Wed­nes­day, Au­gust 17, 1966 — Ref­er­ence to “the highly anoma­lous po­si­tion’’ in which the courts find them­selves whereby cuts can be or­dered where an ac­cused per­son is con­victed of as­sault caus­ing griev­ous bod­ily harm but can­not be imposed for a con­vic­tion for at­tempted mur­der, was made at Gwelo Re­gional Court to­day by the mag­is­trate, Mr St John Bur­ton.

This anom­aly in the law had come about by the Re­gional Court be­ing imposed on the struc­ture of the Mag­is­trate’s Courts, he said.

In the case be­fore him — in which an African, Roy Samp­son, was con­victed of house­break­ing with in­tent to steal and theft and at­tempted mur­der — was one in which the ac­cused richly de­served cuts which he was pre­cluded from giv­ing, said the mag­is­trate.

The al­le­ga­tions were that Samp­son, hooded, masked and gloved, broke into the Farm­ers’ Co-op­er­a­tive premises in Gwelo in day­light and stole from the safe money and cheques to­tal­ing £204 6s. 3d. He was dis­turbed by the co-op man­ager Mr Alexan­der Ma­cLeod.

Samp­son at­tacked Mr Ma­cLeod with bolt cut­ters, crash­ing them down on his head and caus­ing a wound 4in. in length, and then at­tempted to throt­tle him. Samp­son de­clined in court to give ev­i­dence or to make an unsworn state­ment but de­nied, both in cross-ex­am­i­na­tion and in mit­i­ga­tion, that he had at­tacked Mr Ma­cLeod with the bolt cut­ters.

All but £2 of the money which was stolen was recovered by the po­lice — the day af­ter the in­ci­dent.

This, and the fact that he was a first of­fender, was taken into con­sid­er­a­tion by the mag­is­trate, who on the first charge sent Samp­son to prison for three years.

On the sec­ond count, that of at­tempted mur­der — to which Samp­son had pleaded not guilty — he was sent to prison for four years.

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