George Burnett was born in England in 1847. At the age of 19 he travelled to Melbourne aboard the Garonne arriving in 1886. Burnett work as an accountant in Geelong. On the 3rd of January 1894, Burnett shot and killed a youth named Walter John in Wellington street, West Geelong with a rifle, when he was in an intoxicated condition. The jury returned a verdict of guilty with a strong recommendation of mercy. The judge said he concurred with the jury, considering the great provocation given. Burnett was sentence to be executed but it was committed to 15 years hard labour. On arrived at the Geelong Gaol he was described as having a bullet wound to left breast, scare above eyes and a long scare on the front of head. Burnett was released on the 21st of September 1903.