ON THIS DAY – June 7, 1910

An inquest was held to-day concerning the death of William Hulme, assistant master at the Mount Alexander road State school, who died suddenly after a quarrel with Major Peter Robin, head master, on June 7. Verne Begg assistant teacher at the school, said he heard some words between deceased and Major Robin. A few minutes after Hulme rushed into the class-room, where the teachers wore lunching, and exclaimed: ‘I want you girls to look what that man has done to me. I went to his office, and asked for an explanation. I put my back to the door, and said: ‘Lay a hand one me, and I will smash you to bits.’ Then he laid his hands on me, and threw me against the door.’ In a statement to the police Major Robin said he had not struck deceased, but pulled him by the coat, using only sufficient force to clear him from the doorway: Medical evidence was given that death was due to acute heart failure. The Coroner said there was no doubt in his mind that some violence was used. He considered that Peter Robin was accountable for the death of deceased, and committed him for trial on a charge of manslaughter.

ON THIS DAY – June 6, 1931


In the Criminal Court to-day George Arnold Turner, (33), labourer, was charged with having murdered Edward Vincent Sheehan on June 6 at Collingwood. The Crown alleged that during a struggle Sheehan fell to the footpath, and Turner went down on top of him. Turner held Sheehan down by the throat for about a quarter of an hour. The Crown alleged also that Sheehan’s death had been brought about by pressure on the nose and throat. Turner stated that he had acted In self-defence. He was found guilty of manslaughter, and remanded for sentence.

ON THIS DAY – June 5, 1916

On June 5 at Glenferrie, Norah Florence Rudge, aged 8 years, was knocked down and killed by a motor car driven by William Mackie Irving. An inquest was held today, and Irving was committed for trial on a charge of manslaughter

ON THIS DAY – June 4, 1909


At the Shepparton Supreme Court to-day Ernest Carmody, aged 17 years, was charged with the wilful murder, on June 4, of an elderly man named John Robinson. The accused pleaded not guilty. The deceased resided in a hut at Youanamite, near Katamatite, and was in receipt of an old-age pension. On June 4 his hut was discovered to be in flames, and later on a, few charred bones were found. Inquiries made by the police led to the arrest of the accused, who had been in the employ of a Katamatite storekeeper, and was accustomed to leave bread at the old man’s hut.  Mr. Gurner, in opening the case for the Crown, said that shortly after the old man had been burned to death accused suddenly became affluent, and the bank notes which he had in his possession gave forth a peculiar odour of a complaint from which the deceased had suffered. One of these bank notes bore a private mark of a farm labourer, who had paid it to Robinson.  The jury found, the prisoner guilty of manslaughter, with a recommendation to mercy on account of his youth.

ON THIS DAY ……. 3rd June 2007
Shannon McCormack, 22, was punched outside the QBH nightclub around 4am on May 27, 2007, as he attempted to break up a fight. His head hit the ground when he fell and he died in the Alfred Hospital a week later. An inquest was held into the death of Shannon McCormack in October 2011. Police released CCTV footage of a possible suspect in February 2012. Police want to speak to a man described as aged in his early 20s, thin and 165cm to 175cm tall. He was wearing jeans and a T-shirt.

ON THIS DAY ……. 3rd June 1849

Sarah Mullins, alias White, convicted of the manslaughter of Kelly, was next brought up for sentence. His Honor said she had had a very narrow escape from the sentence of death, as it was quite open to the jury upon the evidence to have returned a verdict of guilty on the capital charge of murder. He knew she was drunk, but that was no excuse at all, for he bad often laid it down, that a prisoner who committed an offence whilst drunk must bear the full responsibility. The jury had convicted her of manslaughter, but a recent act prevented him from passing a sentence of transportation, other-wise he should have felt it his duty to have done so. Various punishments had been provided in lieu of transportation, and his Honor thought he should be dealing leniently with the prisoner in sentencing her to the least period of imprisonment substituted for seven years transportation, which was two years. That sentence he accordingly passed.

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.

ON THIS DAY – June 2, 1921


Arthur Ernest Dowling 17 years, who was convicted of the manslaughter of Patrick Duff by shooting him at Mordialloc on June 2, was sentenced to twelve months imprisonment with hard labour, until at the conclusion he is to be detained in a reformatory during the Governor’s pleasure.

On This Day – April 12. 1914


Because he could not listen to aspersions being cast upon the green of old Ireland on the day of St. Patrick’s procession, Patrick William Brennan, 45 years of age, a shearer, formerly of Terang, broke into the conversation, at the Kilkenny Inn, Lonsdale street, of a group of youths, who were chaffing one another about the green they were all wearing. One of them pushed him away, and he walked to the doorway and fell dead. Yesterday the coroner (Dr. R. H. Cole) held an inquiry at the Morgue. Sub-inspector H. Harris appeared for the police, and Mr. W.S. Doria appeared for Harold McDougall, 21 years of age, of Lonsdale street, wharf labourer, who had been arrested on a charge of murder.

Evidence was given by a number of persons in the hotel that MeDougall and some companions were joking among themselves. They all had green in their coats, and McDougall said that the green was no good. Brennan came up and told him not to say that again, and McDougall told him to go away. Brennan then called him a name, and McDougall gave him what was described as something between a push or blow on the front of the body. Brennan walked through the parlour to the door, where he appeared to trip on the mat and fall with his head on the step. He was dead when the ambu lance arrived.

Dr. .lohn Brett, of Collins street, who made the post-mortem examination, said that there were superficial bruises on Brennan’s forehead. The heart was greatly dilated, and there was a quantity of vomited matter in the throat, air passages, and lungs. Death was due to suffocation and shock. The matter in the bronchial tubes was not sufficient to cause suffocation without the dilation of the heart. A blow or push on the distended stomach might cause the conditions, or a fall on the stomach against the step.

Harold McDougall said that when Brennan interfered he told him to go away. Brennan then called him a name, and he pushed him away, placing his hand on his chest. It was three or four minutes before Brennan walked out. There was no quarrel between them.

The Coroner.-There is no doubt that an assault took place, whether a blow or a push, and that that blow would account for the vomiting and heart failure.

Mr. Doria.-I submit that the conditions were brought about by his fall.

The Coroner.-When a man assaults another he must take the consequences. I find McDougall guilty of manslaughter, and he will be committed for trial at the general sessions on April 12.

The coroner found that Brennan died from the effects of an unlawful assault committed upon him by McDougall. McDougall was committed for trial, bail being fixed at £50.

ON THIS DAY ……. 12th April 1942


Leslie Edward Mansfield, aged 15, said to his mother after he had shot his father twice in the dining room of their home in Mordialloc on this day in 1942, “Now go to sleep, mum, you will have some peace.”

Mansfield was charged with murder to which he pleaded not guilty, but the trial came to an abrupt end when Mansfield’s counsel announced that the boy was willing to plead guilty to manslaughter if the murder charge was withdrawn. The Crown concurred. Mr Sproule said that Mansfield’s father had not been in the best of health, frequently came home drunk and was abusive and violent to his wife. Dr Clarence Godfrey, psychiatrist, said that the boy had a great attachment for his mother to the exclusion of all others. Mr Justice Gavan Duffy said it was a horrible case. “One cannot help feeling deep sympathy with the boy,” he said. “There was no possibility of his being treated in the ordinary manner.” The jury found Mansfield guilty of manslaughter and added a strong recommendation to mercy.

On This Day – April 9, 1910

At the Morgue on April 9, the Coroner (Dr. Cole) opened on inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of William George Trott, a caretaker, 50 years of age.

The deceased, was discovered in Menzies’ Alley at the back of the Empire Hotel on April 3 suffering a fractured skull, having apparently fallen 16ft from his bedroom window, which was immediately above the spot where he was discovered.

Henry Halliwell, a clerk in the employ of the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Co., stated that Trott had been in the company’s employ for a number of years. To the Coroner He was a widower, and was always considered by the firm a sober man. He never had fits.

Jane Jensen, a married woman, residing at the Empire Hotel, stated that Trott had been residing at the hotel for the past three years. Witness, continuing, stated that she last saw the deceased alive at closing time on Saturday night. He was then standing at the foot of the stairs preparatory to going to bed.

Dr. Thomas Hurley, of the Melbourne Hospital, stated that he admitted Trott to the institution on April 3 suffering from a fractured thigh and skull and internal Injuries. He smelt very strongly of stale beer when admitted, and died two days later from the effects of his injuries.

The inquiry was adjourned for further evidence to be obtained.

Photo courtesy of State Library Victoria

Shortly after 3 p.m. on Sunday, 9th January 1921, the motor launch “Nestor” sank in the Hopkins River, near Warrnambool

The boat had set out with 80 passengers aboard heading 5 kilometers upstream to Jubilee Park.  The Nestor had only gone about 1700 feet (518 meters) when the first alarm was raised that she was taking on water.  The owner of the boat, Edward Geary made attempts to beach the boat and had sent two boys ashore to fasten it off but it unfortunately did not hold. Ten people would ultimately drown.  Geary would be charged with manslaughter but the charges would later be dropped.

Constable William Sharrock was on duty on board the Nestor to keep order.  However he died a hero saving three people, including his sister in law Eleanor and her child, before succumbing to the water.  He was later found to have died by strangulation caused by the neck on his coat being too tight.  His body was recovered the next day.

Constable William Sharrock had joined the police force in 1901, having been a labourer before he joined.  He had spent his 20 years in the force mostly in South Melbourne and then Warrnambool.  Sharrock was a well respected and liked officer.  In 1921, William was a widower, with his wife having passed away two years before leaving behind 5 children.  The youngest child was just two years old at the time of his fathers death.  The children were taken in and raised by William’s brother Joseph.

Sharrock was awarded a posthumous Valour Badge for his actions on the day of his death.  He lay in an unmarked grave in Warrnambool cemetery until 1998 when a headstone was erected and unveiled by former Chief Commissioner Neil Comrie.

In 2017,  Sharrock was one of the policemen recognised in Warrnambool for losing their lives while on duty with a new memorial behind the Old Courthouse.