ON THIS DAY – January 4, 1944
Ferdinand James Kennett, 35, of Central Avenue, Footscray, fibro-plaster worker, appeared before Mr Justice Martin in the Criminal Court on 2 charges of murder. In opening the case for the Crown, Mr M. L. Cussen said that it was alleged that early on the morning of January 4, Kennett wounded his 8 months-old son, John Thomas Kennedy, also known as Kennett, and his mother-in-law, Mrs Annie Amelia Luke, 63, with an axe. Both received injuries to the head, from which the infant died a few hours later, and Mrs Luke on January 11. Kennett and his wife lived at the home of Mrs Luke in Central ave, Footscray. The tragedy occurred there on the morning following a party at the home of Mr Patrick Bourke in Windsor st, Footscray. The Crown suggested that Kennett, if not with the intention of killing his wife, intended to harm her with the axe, Mrs Luke, in protecting her daughter got in the way of the axe and was struck with it. The infant probably received a blow intended for somebody else.