ON THIS DAY…… 31st May 1943

After having deliberated for 2 hours a jury in Ballarat Supreme Court found Kenneth Geoffrey White, of Ballarat, not guilty of having murdered his wife and having maliciously wounded a soldier, with intent to do him grievous bodily harm. A verdict of not guilty was also returned on an alternative charge of manslaughter and unlawful wounding. White collapsed on hearing the verdict, and had to be assisted from the dock. The jury considered that White had attacked in self defence. In an unsworn statement from the dock White said that after hearing certain things about his wife’s conduct he came from Geelong, where he worked, to Ballarat on May 29. Instead of returning to Geelong on this day, he stayed behind to hide in his backyard. He watched his wife and a soldier enter the bedroom after his four young daughters went to bed. Finding the bedroom door locked, White realised that the soldier had not left the house. As the door was opened he was seized by someone and, fearing that he was about to be attacked, he took a razor from his pocket and struck out with it. He had not intended to kill either his wife or the soldier.