ON THIS DAY – June 1, 1941
Charged with the murder of his wife, Beatrice May Stroud, aged 16 years and 10 months, Albert Edward Stroud, 20, of Wellington st. Collingwood, appeared before Sir Frederick Mann, Chief Justice, and a Jury in the Criminal Court yesterday.
In opening the Crown case, Mr. C. H. Book, KC, said that the accused had married his wife on December 21 last year. At that time he was In camp, but obtained leave for some days. After the marriage, they lived for a time with Mrs. Humphrey, mother of Mrs. Stroud, at St. Andrews, near Hurstbridge. Then they went to Mr. Whittick’s house in Wellington st., Collingwood. Stroud had told Mrs. Humphrey that if he ever saw his wife talking to another man except himself he would shoot her. On June 1 the Stroud’s were the only people In the house, as the Whitticks had gone away for the weekend. That morning accused stopped a motorist and asked him to take his wife to the hospital, as she had been accidentally shot. She died from severe internal hemorrhage due to a bullet wound.
After witnesses for the Crown had given evidence, accused gave evidence on oath. He said that up to June 1 he had never threatened to shoot his wife. On the morning of June 1 he got out of bed and went to the front room and got the rifle. His wife came into the room. He went to the dressing table and got a bullet, and she saw him put It in the rifle. He had hold of the stock and she took hold of the barrel, He went to drag the gun away from her. He told her it was loaded, and might go off.
He dragged it away from her and it swung her down on the bed. He had a finger on the trigger and one on the barrel. As he took the finger off the hammer it went off. He did not intend to shoot her, or shoot at her.
Stroud would be acquitted of all charges.