For over a decade Allan Gordon Norton, now known as David Israel Ben Jesse, has allegedly abused several women across four continents and has gotten away with it.
The first available record is about two women in the United States from which he was deported in 1992.
Back in Zimbabwe, he allegedly entered into a scheme to import women from the United Kingdom.
Using an introduction agency called English Rose Introduction Agency, he recruited professional women claiming that he was a multi-millionaire looking for a partner.
The women hardly lasted and later complained about being mistreated. He has done the same with Zimbabwean women and, reports say, with Australian women.
Available records show that Jesse’s trick was very simple. Get a woman, charm her, get engaged within 10 days, then the trouble started as he revealed his true character.
When the relationship turned sour, the harassment or blackmailing started.
Jesse has studied the legal system thoroughly. Though he did not complete his law degree, he studied law with the University of South Africa.
Over the past decade, he has been arrested on several occasions but has always managed to get an acquittal. In most cases he has defended himself, even at Supreme Court level.
Buoyed by his success at defending himself, Jesse decided to practice as a lawyer. He teamed up with a qualified lawyer Nhlanhla Mahlangu and they set up the Law Foundation in Bulawayo. It is not clear who was the brains behind the law firm.
Jesse could have ripped off several people by purporting to be a lawyer and charging them high, and at times exorbitant fees. At least one complained to the Law Society of Zimbabwe but it appears nothing was done.
Now the Law Foundation is closed. Mahlangu and Jesse are nowhere to be found.
While Jesse appears to have had an easy ride with the women he met, at least two have stood their ground.
One, a Briton who came to Zimbabwe after responding to an advert that Jesse’s company, Force Management, had placed in a UK publication, later told her story to the Sunday Times of London. This could have led to the closure of the English Rose Agency.
The other is a Zimbabwean woman who has managed to take him up to the Supreme Court. But the woman feels she has been the loser because she has so far spent more than $200 000 in legal fees.
Her five-week romance with Jesse turned into a nightmare. While she is living in fear of Jesse and has to continue to look for money to pay her legal fees, Jesse is scot-free.
But she believes that her story must be told so that other women who have been abused by Jesse might come forward, or at least so that he does not do the same thing to other women.
To Jesse, his escapades appear to be a battle of wits. His former lawyer wrote way back in 1994 that Jesse “was mentally disordered to the extent that he is a danger to himself and especially, and more importantly, to others” as he “had delusions of his own importance, of persecution of himself by others and fantasises about his medical research into an AIDS cure, about how successful a businessman he was (when he was in reality practically insolvent), what a good farmer he was (when his crop return barely covered operating costs leaving capital expenditure unpaid), and how his business was going to capture the world markets (yet he couldn’t pay small accounts)”.
A letter, Jesse wrote to one of the women he recruited from the UK, perhaps illustrates what Jesse thinks of himself:
- “I have a few moments of spare time and wanted to set out some of my life and the things I believe in for you to peruse; that may or may not fit into your attitude toward life and success.
- “THERE IS NO SIN BUT THAT OF IGNORANCE (Christopher Marlowe).People knock what they do not understand- it is called ignorance! Never forget that- it is your first lesson.
- “The Talmud says- The truth must be spoken in love. Truthfulness must be moral; it ceases to be truthfulness and becomes an abominable form of lying when used as a tool of revenge or malice in order to ruin another or for putting him to open shame.
- “A truth that’s told with bad intent, Beats all the lies you can invent ( Blake).
- “Einstein said- ‘Great spirits will always be violently opposed by mediocre minds.’
- “Genius is never readily accepted by the mediocre and so everybody talks. The world is full of talk. In life there are talkers and doers- the doers achieve, often with countless errors prior to success- but then it is not whether we succeed or fail that counts but that we have the courage to try.
- “For those who criticise- sticks and stones- remember? Mt grandfather always taught me- that the carrier of the tale is far worse than the tale itself.
- “I live a life other people only dream about; first have a dream- then make it come true.
- “Let me tell you what success is, it is believing in yourself. It is a reason to live, it is sacrificing all for what you believe is right. I believe in me and I could believe in you.
- “It is 20 hour days, 7 days a week. It is parallels.
- “Each moment of each hour of each day must bring change. Change frightens people but in essence change is a strategy. It is good to be frightened- it means you understand the full depth of the threat- you learnt o respect fear and not be afraid of it- terror is only a human emotion- so we learn to use it to our advantage.”
Jesse has really learnt to use fear and terror to his advantage. He has not only terrorised women but men as well forcing some to take the rap for him. He has also managed to dupe the media into believing that he is the one being persecuted.
He has made headlines in the UK and in South Africa. Throughout, he has managed to manipulate the law. He is highly litigious. At one time, he had 60 lawsuits pending with the courts.
He sued the government for $425 million, but was only awarded $10 000. He also said in 1992 he was suing the government for $2 billion. It is not clear what happened to the lawsuit.
And he can also be violent. He has been charged with assault on a number of occasions.
In a world exclusive, that will be available for syndication, The Insider, will be running a series on Jesse’s escapades from next month.
The Insider will expose how over a decade, Dr David Israel Ben Jesse, has wrecked havoc in other people’s lives.