Shot Stepfather to Protect Mother

ON THIS DAY ……… 30th March 1948 The jury in the Criminal Court took only eight minutes to decide that John K. Donnelly, 19, apprentice carpenter, of Ferntree Gully, was not guilty of a charge of the murder or manslaughter of his stepfather, John Palmer. Donnelly told the court that he shot his stepfather on […]

Chinese Acquitted Of Murder

ON THIS DAY …… 29th March 1947 MELBOURNE Pleading that he acted in self-defence, Chang Gooh Kong aged 34, Chinese seaman, was acquitted in the Criminal Court of the murder of Douglas Vivian Alcock aged 21, labourer, of Brunswick St., Fitzroy, on this day in 1947.  

Execution of William Jones

EXECUTED ON THIS DAY ………. 26th of March 1900 William Robert Jones, aged under 40 was executed at Old Melbourne gaol The charred and mutilated body of eight-year-old Olive Rita Lillian Jones was discovered at Broadford on the 28th of December 1899. She had been raped, strangled, and her skull was smashed to pulp. Rita […]

Trial of May McNeal

ON THIS DAY ……….. 26th of March 1930 Before Mr. Justice Lowe, in the Criminal Court of Melbourne the trial of May McNeal, a married woman, of Bennett Street, Richmond, began on a charge of murder. The charge against Mrs McNeal was that at Richmond on the 26th of March 1930 she murdered Margaret Jean […]

Murder of Teacher Alleged

ON THIS DAY – March 20, 1931 FOUR YOUTHS ON TRIAL At the conclusion of the evidence for the defence at the resumed trial of Allen Esdale Davis Ward (18), Ralph William Fuller (19), Richard Hanford Jackson (19), and Leslie Charles Lewis (17) on charges of murder, the Chief Justice Sir William Irvine, said he […]

Miner Found Guilty of Manslaughter

ON THIS DAY – March 20, 1945 Death of Wife After a retirement of two and a half hours a jury in the Criminal Court yesterday found Harry Ernest Mills, 31, coalminer, of Wonthaggi, not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter of his wife, Linda Marion Mills, 26, at Wonthaggi on March 20. Mills […]

Woman Acquitted on Murder Charge

ON THIS DAY ……. 19th March 1938 CARRUM Isabella Johansen aged 53, of Wells parade, Carrum, was acquitted by a Criminal Court jury of a charge of having murdered Henry Richard King aged 35, of Carrum on this day in 1938. She was also acquitted of a charge of manslaughter. The Crown alleged that King […]

Death Sentence Imposed

ON THIS DAY …… 18th March 1943 Norman Morris Searle aged 25, of Burnley, was found guilty in the Criminal Court of the murder of Senior Constable Frederick Jones on this day in 1943. The jury made a strong recommendation for mercy. The Chief Justice, Sir Frederick Mann, pronounced the death sentence, and told the […]

Asked to be Hanged

ON THIS DAY ……… 17th March 1953 After being sentenced to death for murder in the Criminal Court on this day in 1953, James Robert Walker age 43, told Justice Duffy that he wished to be hanged. However, with a Labour Government in office the sentence will be commuted. Walker was found guilty of having […]

Melbourne Shooting Case

ON THIS DAY ……… 16th March 1897 John Wilson was charged at the Criminal Court with having shot at Kate Spiers with intent to murder her. The parties lived together as man and wife till he told her to leave owing to her drunken habits. On March 16 she called at Wilson’s restaurant, struck him […]

Mrs. Hillard Sentenced to Ten Years Imprisonment

ON THIS DAY – March 12, 1929 ERICA Anna Elizabeth Hillard, convicted of the manslaughter of David Wilson, at Erica, Gippsland nearly collapsed when, at the Criminal Court, Justice MacFarlane sentenced her to 10 years’ hard labour. She clutched at the rail of the dock, swayed, and then steadied herself again. Anna Hillard (36) and […]

Alleged Murder

ON THIS DAY – March 10, 1900 KYNETON The trial has been commenced in the Criminal Court of Ronald Kennedy, who is charged with the wilful murder of Sarah McLennan, at Kyneton, on the 10th of March 1900. The accused was a brother of the deceased.