ON THIS DAY – June 2, 1928


Mrs Mary Elizabeth Brace, aged 55 years, of Dennis street, Northcote, was knocked down by a cyclist in High street, Northcote on June 2, and died as a result of her injuries. After an inquest yesterday the city coroner (Mr D. Berriman, P.M.), committed Keith Edward Robson, packer, of Elm street, Northcote, for trial on a charge of manslaughter.  Esther Ann Eddy Lees, married, of Stanbridge street, Daylesford, said:- About half-past 7 o’clock on the evening of June 2, Mrs Brace and I, accompanied by our daughters, were on our way to a picture theatre. Before crossing High street, Northcote, we stopped and looked to see whether there was any traffic, but all we could see was a motor-car about a block away. Mrs Brace and I were a short distance ahead of our daughters, and as we started forward again we were knocked down by a man on a bicycle. I did not see the cyclist until he struck us. Evidence was given that when Robson was traced some time after the accident by police, he made the following statement:- About half-past 7 o’clock on the evening of June 2 I was riding a racing bicycle in a southerly direction along High street, Northcote. I was on the correct side of the road, and was travelling at a speed of about six or seven miles an hour. I had an electric light on my handle-bar. When I was a few yards from the south-east corner of High and Dennis streets I saw two women crossing the road from east to west, and they were near the east tram-track. I intended to pass behind them but one of the women hesitated while the other went forward. When I saw them do this I stood up on the pedals to stop the cycle. Before I could stop I collided with one of the women causing her to fall against the other woman, and the first one fell on her back. After I picked myself up I assisted the women to a car. When I was near this car some person said to me “Get for your life, she is all right”. I then mounted my cycle and rode to my home. If the woman had not hesitated I would have been able to pass behind them, but when they did so I was too close to them to stop. Later I left my cycle at a shop to be repaired. The coroner found Robson guilty of manslaughter, and committed him for trial at the Court of General Sessions on July 2. Bail was fixed at £200, with a surety of a similar amount.