THE body of 76-year-old cattle farmer Henry Lallman, called ‘Benimal’ was on Thursday afternoon discovered in a shallow grave at Lot 34 Kingstown in Skeldon, Berbice, in the backyard of a butcher. This was some two days after he had left his home to collect $220,000 from the butcher.The Guyana Chronicle was informed that Lallman, of # 55 Village, Corentyne, Berbice is the owner of several herd of cattle, and had credited a man beef as part of a business arrangement. That man has been identified as Asif Hamid of Skeldon, who is now in police custody after reportedly confessing to killing the man.
The information received was that Lallman is also a friend of the father of the suspect and went to the home of the suspect to collect monies for the meat which was credited to him. Upon Lallman’s arrival, however, the man did not have all of the cash to pay him.
The cattle farmer was expected to collect close to $220,000 from the suspect and when the suspect realised that he did not have that amount of cash, he reportedly strangled Lallman.
The butcher then proceeded to dig a grave at the back of his yard measuring six feet in length and three feet in depth, after which he tossed the man’s body inside and covered it with a zinc sheet.
After Lallman’s relatives realised that he was nowhere to be found, they launched a search for him while also filing a missing person’s report with the police. The cattle farmer was last seen on Monday, July 27 at the home of the butcher.
After the grace period had passed for the police to launch an investigation into the man who was reported missing, they also decided to question the butcher in whose presence the cattle farmer was seen on the day in question.
After intensive interrogation, the butcher who is also said to be an alcoholic, confessed to the police that he murdered the pensioner by strangling him and burying his body. He took investigators and showed them where he buried the man and also explained to them why he did it.
According to him, after he was unable to pay Lallman the money that he owed him, he became afraid and killed the man as he thought that he might have returned and informed his (the butcher’s father) that he was not managing the business properly.
Asif’s father had left him in charge of the butcher shop and was expecting him to run same and save the profits to be handed over at intervals. The man however, used the profits from the business to support his drinking habit.
When the police pulled the remains of the cattle farmer from the shallow grave, he was lying face down. Police sources also confirmed that when they checked the body they also found that he had marks of violence around his neck which were consistent with the story that was told them by the suspect.
A post mortem was conducted on the body by Dr Vivikanand Brijmohan, at the Skeldon Hospital Mortuary, and the cause of death was recorded as ‘manual strangulation’.
The suspect, a user of illicit drugs, along with his father is currently detained by police. Charges will be laid shortly. (Leroy Smith and Jeune Bailey Vankeric)