ON THIS DAY – November 5, 1946


In General Sessions yesterday, after a four-day trial, Kevin James Fogarty, 19, soldier, of Broadmeadows military camp, was acquitted on a charge of the manslaughter of Jean Albyn Cheeseman, 22, of Queen’s rd, Melbourne, in St Kilda rd on November 5, 1945. Accused was discharged by Acting Judge Sproule. For the Crown it was alleged that Fogarty had taken a military truck without permission from camp, and while under the influence of liquor had gone for a trip to St Kilda. Travelling at more than 60 miles an hour, the truck had crashed into and killed the girl. Expert evidence was given on behalf of the accused that the truck was out of repair and was not capable of travelling more than 35 miles an hour. Accused gave evidence on oath denying that he was drunk. He had done everything possible to avoid the accident. Other witnesses confirmed Fogàrty’s statement that he was not drunk.  Mr J. A. Nimmo prosecuted for the Crown, and Mr J. M. Culllty (instructed by Messrs Jones and Kennedy), appeared for accused.


ON THIS DAY – November 5, 1901

The story told at the trial of Catherine Kelly for the manslaughter of her infant, five months old, which tool place at the Criminal Court yesterday, before Mr Justice Holroyd, was of a very painful character. The woman was found on November 5 in a drunken state, with the dead body in her arms. The infant was in a terribly dirty condition and its body was shockingly emaciated. The evidence of the various witnesses yesterday did not point to the accused being an habitual drunkard. The testimony of two women was to the effect that she had at different times, called at their house and appealed for shelter, and had been accommodated for two nights in each case. She had no appearance of drinking while staying with these women. Dr. Neild said that the child died through blood poisoning, induced by the state of dirtiness into which it had been allowed to drift.  The women had brought the infant to the Childrens Hospital on two occasions prior to its death and was warned both times that the child was in need of constant attendance, and she promised to bring it even day for treatment, a promise which she never fulfilled. The condition of the child as regards cleanliness was variously described by the medical and nursing staff at the hospital as being dirty, but not particularly so, “not too clean,” and in “a filthy state”. One of the medical officers said that it was necessary for the child’s recovery “that the part near the wound” (the child was suffering from a burn) should be scrupulously clean, but it was admitted that the body generally had not been examined.  Mr Justice Holroyd said the evidence pointed to the fact that the child had died of neglect and that the attention necessary might have been given by the mother, no matter what her circumstances were. It was however, quite possible that the accused did not appreciate the necessity for the child’s regular treatment at the hospital. There were some things that had occured at the Children’s Hospital in connection with the case at which he could not help expressing surprise. It was hard to understand how the condition of the child was not detected at the hospital, considering the high reputation for cleanliness which the institution had, It seemed almost impossible that the state of the child should not have been discovered if any careful examination had been made

The jury returned a verdict of guilty and the prisoner was remanded for sentence.




Two murders have happened in the small town of Beech Forest, in the Colac Otway Shire, of Victoria. The first was between to Russian immigrants. John Friedman, was arrested on a charge of having wilfully murdering Charles Nunn, at leaver’s Hill, Beech Forest, on the 9th May 1912. Friedman and Nunn were both new immigrants and had only recently arrived in Australia. During a fight Friedman with a butcher’s knife stabbed Nunn under the ribs on the left side. Death occurred from the wound some hours later. Friedman claimed that Nunn and he had a quarrel, and Nunn caught him by the throat. He had a knife in his hand at the time and did not know that Nunn had been stabbed until told so afterwards. The second was happened on the 14th of Match 1916. A 4 year old girl named Foley, daughter of a waitress at the Ditchley Park Hotel went missing and was found the following day behind the hotel. Foley had her throat cut from ear to ear. A man by the man of George Henry Leake was found guilty of her murder. Both men where housed in the old Beech Forest police lockup which today stands in the town park.

ON THIS DAY – October 21, 1929


At the city court on Tuesday Basil Alfred Harrison, aged 27, was charged with having murdered Charles Harrison at Alphington on October 21. Senior-detective William Percival Jones ,said:–Early this morning I arrested Harrison on this charge. Charles Harrison was his father. It is alleged that late last night, after an altercation had taken place, the father having knocked the mother and daughter about, they called on the son to protect them. The son took a single-barrelled gun and shot the father in the neck and chest. I ask for a remand for eight days pending further inquiries. Harrison was remanded to appear at the City Court on October 30. Bail was fixed at £500, with one surety of a similar amount,



On this day …….. 18th of October 1928

The Coniston Massacre was the last known massacre of Australian Aborigines. Occurring at Coniston cattle station, Northern Territory, Australia, it was a revenge killing for the death of dingo hunter Frederick Brooks, who was believed to have been killed by Aborigines in August 1928. Constable William Murray, officer in charge at Barrow Creek, investigated and came to the conclusion that the killing had been done by members of the Warlpiri, Anmatyerre and Kaytetye people. There were no witnesses, and apparent inconsistencies in Murray’s report were never questioned. Murray took matters into his own hand. Over the next few days, up until 30 August, he shot 17 members of the Aboriginal tribes he believed were responsible, and claimed his actions were made in self-defence and that each tribal member he had killed was in possession of some item belonging to Brooks. In the ensuing weeks, Murray again encountered several groups of Aborigines while investigating another non-fatal attack on a settler named Nugget Morton at Broadmeadows Station. Together with Morton, one other white man and an aboriginal boy, Murray embarked on a campaign of revenge, during which another 14 Aborigines were killed. He returned to Alice Springs with his report on 18 October 1928. Murray was never punished for his actions. On the contrary, the Board of Enquiry members were selected to maximise damage-control. It was believed at the time that Murray’s actions were appropriate for the circumstances. The Central Land Council organised the seventy-fifth anniversary of the massacre, commemorated near Yuendumu on 24 September 2003.


Murdered on this day ……….. 11th October 1924

A love affair at Maryborough between a man (38) and a girl (16) ended on the 11th October 1924 in a double tragedy, when Charles W. Bayldon shot Myrtle Moore dead and then committed suicide. The couple had been engaged to be married, but the girl had decided to break the engagement. The tragedy occurred on a road a few miles from the town. Bayldon was a fisherman and also ran a motor-bus.

On this day …….. 19th September 1944

Queenie was an elephant who was used to give rides for children at Melbourne Zoo for 40 years. Queenie was a very popular exhibit, with large crowds of children often gathering around her enclosure even when she was not giving rides. She was often teased by children and her keeper, Andrew Wilkie, said she would retaliate by using her trunk to “tumble such trespassers over in the dust”. “On one occasion, a group of about fifteen schoolboys were teasing Queenie by offering her nuts and fruit in turn and then withdrawing the food just as she reached for it. This game continued for a while until the elephant retreated to the pool behind her house. She returned some minutes later and, imitating their behaviour, held out her trunk to each boy in turn, withdrawing it before they would touch it. The boys were delighted with this variation of the game until, as if carrying out a pre-planned attack, she soaked them all thoroughly with a well-aimed spray of dirty water from her pool.” Source: Melbourne Zoo. Queenie killed her keeper Wilfred Lawson on the 19th of September 1944, in front of zoo visitors. After Lawson’s death, a coroner’s inquest found her guilty of killing her keeper. Following public support, the zoo board decided to keep her as an exhibit. But nine months later, officially due to a war-time shortage of fodder, Queenie was destroyed.


ON THIS DAY…… 29th August 1869

Mr. Zincke, a solicitor practising at Beechworth, defended a man named Dunstan in an affiliation case brought before the local police court. The plaintiff, Caroline Bruce who is described as a fat, bloated woman of easy virtue, was subjected to a severe cross examination by the learned gentleman as to her personal history, and particularly with regard to the various babies whom she had previously fathered on different friends at Yackandandah. The lady, who appears to be a married woman, admitted the various soft impeachments, and the case was dismissed with costs.

Mr. Zincke went on his way to the Commercial Hotel to lunch, but had not been seated long before the immaculate Mrs. Caroline Bruce bounced into the room and deposited one of the very babies sworn to in court as being Dunstan’s and her own upon the dinner-table, and after telling Mr. Zineke that the baby was his, made a rapid retreat. Here was a fix for a respectable bachelor attorney. Mr. Zineke was, however, equal to the occasion, and, amidst a severe cannonade of chaff from friends present, rang the bell and handed the helpless infant to the prim feminine Ganymede in attendance. ” But what on earth shall I do with the child?” said the dismayed waitress. “Call a policeman, and make him find the mother, if the child is really not your own,” was the stony-hearted reply.

This was not the first time Caroline appeared in court trying to get some support for her children. But she was to die at the hands of her partner, Dunstan, 2 years after this court case. Caroline Bruce, who had for some years been living with Samuel Dunstan, a miner, at the Lower Indigo, died in Beechworth Gaol on the 29th August 1869 from being violently kicked in the stomach by her lover. The fight began over the health of their two year old daughter. With help from her neighbours Caroline left her partner, but was charged by police for deserting and being a vagrant, and sentenced to three months in the Beechworth Gaol. During the trial Dr Rohner examined Caroline and claimed that she was in a dangerous state but agreed with the Judge that she should be sent to prison with her daughter. Her child was suffering malignant scarlatina and also died in the Gaol.

Dunstan was charged with manslaughter.

ON THIS DAY…… 22nd August 1942

When two men became involved in an argument at the Glaxo laboratory, Port Fairy, on this day in 1942, William Moutray, 50, canmaker, of Port Fairy, was struck. As he fell he hit his head on some machinery. He died later at Port Fairy Hospital. Police arrested his fellow employee, George Archibald Gibb, 44, motor driver, on a charge of murder.

On This Day – August 17, 1943

Manslaughter Charge

After hearing evidence yesterday, the Coroner, Mr. Tingate, found that Keith Henry Dodd, 37 years, Dalgety-street, St. Kilda, died from injuries received when the bicycle he was riding was struck by a military truck driven by Sydney William Ross Narramore, of 140th A.G.T. Company.

Evidence disclosed that Dodd was riding a bicycle along Lake-road, South Melbourne, at 6.30 p.m. on August 17, when he was struck by a fast-moving military truck, which failed to stop after the accident. The police traced the truck to a nearby military camp, and found that the tool box, which projects from the side of the vehicle, had been damaged. The driver of the truck was taken to South Melbourne Detective Office, and, it is alleged, he admitted he was the driver.

Narramore was committed for trial on a charge of manslaughter at the Supreme Court on September 15. Bail was fixed at £200.

On This Day – August 10, 1952

Robert Kevin Vernon, 27, builders’ labourer, of South Melbourne, was found guilty to-day of manslaughter, but
not guilty of murder.
He was charged with having murdered Keith Charles Marshall, 25, an outstanding amateur footballer, in a South
Melbourne street on August 10.  Vernon, who admitted 14 convictions, was remanded for sentence to allow his counsel to prepare a plea for leniency

On This Day – August 7, 1946

A man who is alleged to have driven a car through a tram safety zone in Fitzroy st, St Kilda, on August 7, knocking down four persons and killing an army officer, was yesterday committed for trial by Mr Marwick, coroner, who recorded a finding of manslaughter.

He is Harold James Hewitt Parker, 26, rubber worker, of Melville rd, West Brunswick. The army officer who received fatal injuries was Captain Sydney Gordon Reid, 29, of Queen’s rd, Albert Park.

Barbara Schooley, of Queen’s rd, Albert Park, a lieutenant in the AWAS, said she was standing in a safety zone near St Kilda station with Reid. She saw a car approach the zone, shouted a warning to Reid, and jumped clear.

Norman Alfred Bunney, taxi-driver, of Aspen st, Moonee Ponds, said he pursued the car along Fitzroy st. His speedometer had registered 57 mph. Before he reached the motorcar in front it crashed into the back of another taxi and came to rest in a rockery on the footpath.

First-constable George Ignatius Eccles alleged that Parker had called at West Brunswick police station at 1.30am on August 8. Parker, he said, claimed that he had been informed that he had killed a man. He had no recollection of the collision.

Mr Marwick granted bail of £300, with a surety of £300.

Mr M. Goldberg appeared for Parker.