After hearing evidence yesterday at the inquest on the body of Eugene Patrick Walsh, who died in the Melbourne Hospital on May 27, 1922, the coroner (Dr. Cole) committed Percy Draper for trial on a charge of manslaughter.
The death of Walsh followed a dispute with Draper in Swanston street on the night of May 20 when both men were intoxicated. When Draper was arrested he was charged with having unlawfully assaulted Walsh, who was in the Melbourne Hospital. Walsh died next morning of a fractured skull, and Draper was then charged with murder.
Evidence presented stated that on the night of May 26, both men were drunk. Draper put one hand on the other’s shoulder to hold him up, and then hit him with the other hand. The blow knocked the man’s head back sharply, and he fell against the wall of the Orient Hotel. Witness said to Draper, “You are a coward to strike a like that,” and he replied, “lt’s all right; he’s not hurt.” Draper then tried to make the other man stand up, but he could not.
Next morning when Draper was informed that Walsh died from injuries received as a result of the blow, Draper put his hands to his face and swooned. He began to sob, and said, “He was my best pal.”
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