ON THIS DAY – July 12, 1950
A Criminal Court jury found Winifred Therese Walford, 42, of Gordon Street, Deepdene, not guilty of the murder of her husband on July 12, on the ground of insanity. The Crown alleged, that she struck Keith Hartley Walford, 51, company secretary, on the head with an axe while he was reading a paper in the dining-room. The jury took less than half an hour to arrive at a verdict. Mr. Justice O’Bryan sentenced Mrs. Walford to custody at Pentridge Jail during the Governor’s pleasure. A quiet plea of “not guilty” was all that Mrs. Walford said, throughout the trial. She was not called to give evidence. Three medical witnesses called by the Crown and the defence save evidence that she suffered from’ depressive psychosis following the birth of a child 12 years ago. In their opinion she would not have known that she was doing wrong when she struck her husband with the axe eight times, but she would have known the nature of the act. Detective J. Oakes said that soon after the husband’s death Mrs. Walford told him she must have been crazy. She said they had always been happy together and he was a loving man, who had been extremely considerate of her. Her doctors had told her that she must have more hospital treatment and this was worrying her.