Home » Judicial » Gold Dealer Charged With Colleague’s Murder Murdermurdering Associate

The trial of George Francis Lovell, who allegedly killed businessman Allan Lawrence Banks before stashing his body in the boot of his car opened at the High Court yesterday. Lovell (31) of 88 Glenara Avenue, Hillside, and also owner of Invollata Mining Group, was on the run since July 2012 after allegedly committing the murder. He is alleged to have also made off with US$20 000.

He was arrested in April last year.

Lovell was formally charged with the murder of Banks before Justice Joseph Musakwa sitting with assessors Mr Tennyson Gweme and Mr Gilbert Chakuvinga yesterday.

He entered a plea of not guilty to murder with actual intent.

According to the indictment read in court, Banks and Lovell were acquaintances and both gold dealers.

On July 1 2012, and at around 11am, Banks left his shop Goodlife Appliances situated in Rhodesville, Greendale, intending to meet his brother Gordon at an unspecified venue, the court heard.

It is alleged that Banks had a satchel containing US$20 000 and was driving a Toyota Corolla, registration number ABV3685.

At around 12pm, Lovell sent his maid, Letwin Ganzwa, to buy cigarettes at Clyde Shopping Centre, about four kilometres away, thereby leaving him alone at the house.

On her return, the maid found a car similar to Banks’ parked adjacent to the study and facing the main gate, it is alleged.

The maid handed over cigarettes to Lovell who got into Banks’ car and headed to an unknown destination.

On July 15, the car was found parked at the corner of Herbert Chitepo Avenue and Mazowe Street, with Banks’ body which was in the early stages of decomposition stashed in the boot.

0n April 8 last year, Lovell was arrested in connection with killing Banks by striking him with a crow- bar on the head.

Lovell allegedly led police officers to the recovery of the crowbar which will be produced in court as an exhibit. Through his lawyer ,Aocate Thabani Mpofu, instructed by Mr David Ngwerume of HNN Law Chambers, Lovell is denying the murder charge.

The defence, said A Mpofu, sought to prove that Banks was murdered by unidentified criminals acting on the instructions of unnamed senior members of the society.

“The accused person will demonstrate his belief that the deceased met his unhappy fate as a result of a certain deal which went bad,” he said.

A Mpofu said his client was also challenging the indications made at the alleged crime scene and would point to various contrived sensational allegations that the State made in the case.

Ms Ganzwa, a key witness, said she did not suspect that Lovell committed the crime while she was away at the shops.

Another witness, Mr Svinurai Gapu, a personal assistant to Banks, had to apologise to the court for “lying” after A Mpofu grilled him on his testimony.

He had told the court that when Banks left his office he had told him that he was going to see his brother and thereafter to have lunch with his friend.

The defence disputed the version, arguing that Gapu was tailoring his testimony in an attempt to link Lovell with Banks’ murder.

The trial continues today.

Source : The Herald