ON THIS DAY – January 31, 1906

Francis Vernon Lichfield, a carpenter, whose mind had been affected for sometime, suddenly became demented, and tried to shoot his wife and son with a revolver. Mrs. Lichfield rushed him and took the weapon away, but Lichfield produced another, and his wife and son ran away. The husband fired at them, and the police were sent for. When a constable entered the house Lichfield fired at him, then, putting the revolver to his own head, shot himself. Death was instantaneous.



ON THIS DAY…… 28th December 1903

Samuel Steere, charged on remand with the attempted murder of William Graham at Cobden, was on this day in 1903, released on bail from the Geelong Gaol, on an order issued by Mr. Justice Hood in chambers.

ON THIS DAY – December 23, 1924


Charged with having attempted to murder his wife, Beatrice Miller, on the 23rd of December, Walter Wells Miller (48), painter of Earl-street Windsor, was placed on remanded by Mr. F. Wilmot to appear at the Prahran Court on the 2nd of January. Bail was fixed at £200 with one surety of £200. Detective-Sergeant Piggot asked for the remand until the 2nd of January, when, he said he expected to be able to proceed. ‘There have been strained relations’ he stated, ‘between this man and his wife. She sued him for maintenance. He went away for a few weeks but returned to her and they have recently been getting on fairly well, though there is another woman in the case. Two other people— a man and a woman— occupy front rooms in the house. They were still in bed when Miller got up a few minutes before his wife on Tuesday morning. She prepared the morning meal, pouring some milk into her own cup. She says that her husband poured the tea into the cup. He says that he is not sure about this. It may have been that morning or the previous day, that he poured out the tea. Mrs. Miller left the room for a few minutes, and, on returning, took a sip of tea. Miller then went to work, and she drank the major portion of the tea. Almost immediately, she felt ill. As she grew worse, and showed symptoms of poisoning, she called out for assistance, and the man and woman in the front rooms gave her an emetic. In this way she got rid of most of the poison. A doctor was sent for and he took possession of the cup, which contained a white or greyish mixture. It was sent to the Government analyst, who has reported that it contained a poison. The woman was sent to the Alfred Hospital, where she is how out of danger. Mrs. Miller states that, on at least two previous occasions, she has experienced symptoms of poisoning. Asked by Mr. Wilmot if he had an objection to the remand, Miller replies ‘I am not guilty. That’s all I know.’


On This Day – November 19, 1938 

Richard Clarence Skinner, 21, of South Melbourne, was arrested on a charge with having at Bacchus Marsh on November 19, with intent to murder, Arthur Edwards, a farm hand, of Balwyn. He had a severe wound on the chin and was unable to speak. By writing answers to questions by the detectives Edwards stated he had been shot while entering a car on the Ballarat Road at Bacchus Marsh.

On This Day – October 16, 1947

Robert Woodbine Whinfield, 59, of Dorset-road, Croydon, retired auctioneer, was yesterday committed for trial on October 16 at the Supreme Court on a charge of having wounded William Roy Coles; 50, of Bayswater-road, Bayswater, poultry farmer, with intent to murder.

Dr. Ian Thomas Cameron, of Croydon, said he received a telephone call from Whinfield, and went with Constables Grieves and Belbin to Whinfield’s home.

Coles was found under the archway of a hedge. There was a wound on his head, which could have been caused by an axe produced. Whinfleld had said he and Coles had been attacked and robbed. Leslie Bennett, of Dorset-road, Croydon, laborer, said on the night of the wounding he had seen Colas asleep on the couch at Whinfleld’s house. Coles had been annoyed when awakened by Whinfleld. Both men had been drinking. Mr. M, M. Gorman appeared for Whinfield.

On This Day- September 2,1942


An extraordinary story was told to Essendon court yesterday, when a soldier, Robert Joseph Saxon was committed for trial on a charge of attempted murder.

Police evidence was given that at 2 p.m. on September 2, a man walked into a police station and said to First-Constable Mante, “I have come to give myself up, as I have just murdered my wife. I punched her in the stomach, and when she dropped I poured poison into her mouth.” Detective Sharkey said he took Saxon to a house in Maribyrnong, and through a window they saw Mrs. Saxon on a chair. Saxon said: “She is still alive. I left her for dead.” The witness said Saxon said to him, ‘She was on with another chap, and would have nothing to do with me.”

ON THIS DAY …….5th August 1947

Twin brothers were in the City Court on this day in 1947, one charged with attempted murder and the other with having conspired to murder. The charge followed the shooting of Keith Kitchener Hull, at St. Kilda on the 27th of July. The men are Charles Martin (26), of St. Kilda, who faced the charge of attempting to murder Hull, and Ernest Alfred James Martin, of South Yarra. who was charged with having conspired to murder Mrs. Thelma Hull, on the 30th of July.  George Barrett (34), of St. Kilda, was also charged with having attempted to murder Hull. Bail was refused on the attempted murder charge, but Ernest Martin was allowed bail. Detective H. R. Donnelly, in evidence, said that Hull would not tell the police who shot him. The accused were remanded to August 12.

On This Day – May 9th, 1889

On May 9th, 1889, a man named Walter Brooks, an insurance agent, attempted to murder a woman with whom he had been living, named Matilda Thompson, at Earl-street, North Carlton.  Brooks was charged with wilful trespass at the house of Mrs Thompson’s son the week before. He went to gaol, and was liberated on the 8th of May.

On the morning of the 9th of May, he again went to the house of Mrs Thompson’s son, in Earl street, and knocked at the door.  He was refused admittance, and immediately placed a small six chambered revolver at the keyhole and fired two shots. A young woman, named Emily Spooner who was in the house with Mrs Thompson, and on hearing the shot she rushed out the back door. Brooks met her at the door as she was going out, and rushed into the house. Mrs Thompson was in the front room, and Brooks went to where she was and caught her by the neck and threw her across his knees and threatened to blow her brains out, at the same time placing the revolver at her head. At this moment Mrs Liddy, who is the landlady of the house, and Constables Reidy and Lowry, who had been attracted by the sound of the gunshot, arrived on the scene, and Brooks, who was struggling with Mrs Thompson, released her and let her go to answer the door. As soon as the door was opened Mrs Thompson rushed out. Brooks followed her to the door, and on seeing the constables drew back and closed the door.

Almost immediately, another shot was heard, and on the police entering the property, they found the man lying on a bed in the bedroom, with the revolver clutched in his hand, whilst the blood was flowing profusely from his mouth and nose.

In the deceased’s hand was found a portrait of Mrs Thompson, and also a letter in which he stated that he and Mrs Thompson had been living together as man and wife for some time. All was alright until about three weeks ago when she had neglected his children, which were by his late wife, and had then left him. He stated that he loved her better than his soul and intended to murder her and then commit suicide, and prayed that God would assist him to complete it.

On this Day – April 11, 1914


By the train which arrived at Ballarat at 3 o’clock on Tuesday from Linton, James Williams came under escort as a prisoner, charged with the attempted murder at Linton on Monday afternoon of Sarah Bass. He had been brought before Mr. F. Kennedy, J.P., and remanded to appear at Ballarat next Tuesday. Williams was lodged in the Ballarat gaol. Sergeant Rogerson states that Williams told him he came from Bite Bite station, in the Ararat district, some days ago, and, beyond giving his name, refused to say anything further.

It appears that Mr. C. McCook, manager of the Mount Bute estate, near Linton, engaged Williams as a general hand, to start work on Tuesday, but on Monday Williams was required to relieve another member of the staff, who had gone to the races. By direction he drove to Linton and brought the mail in. About a quarter past four, after inquiring of Archibald McCook, 12, and Clarice McCook, 13, son and daughter of the manager, if their parents were at home, and receiving a negative reply, Williams learned from the children that the housekeeper, Sarah Bass, was in the kitchen, and he walked in that direction. Soon after this Williams was seen approaching the men’s hut, from the direction of the homestead. He was holding his head with his hands, saying, “My poor head is splitting.” It was then discovered that Miss Bass was badly cut on the head, and was lying unconscious in the kitchen. Williams was secured and handed over to the police.

To-day (Tuesday) Miss Bass is cheerful, and appears to be out of danger. One wound at the back of her neck is four inches long, and required six stitches to be inserted by Dr. Donaldton. There are four other wounds in the back of the head, three exposing the bone, which was also cut. Miss Bass states that Williams asked her for a drink of hot milk and water as he had heartburn. She supplied him, and he called for a second drink. While he was getting this she saw Williams take down a butcher’s meat chopper from the wall, but she did not guess his purpose. Immediately afterwards she received a blow on the back of the neck, and remembered no more until some time afterwards.


Charged with the attempted murder of Constable Hutchison at Whitfield, North East Victoria, on the 22nd February, Joseph McFarlane, 38, a rabbit trapper was remanded by the City Court, Wangaratta. The prosecuting officer alleged that Constable Hutchison tried to arrest McFarlane, the latter grabbed a gun and shot him in the leg. McFarlane was handcuffed by two men, but managed to escape into the bush and was not seen again until April 28 when he was arrested at Trafalgar. The wounded was still in Wangaratta Base Hospital.

ON THIS DAY – February 12, 1891

Mr Aveson, was charged with the attempted murder of Mr Haware, the the jeweller, at the Davy diggings, on this day in 1891. Aveson after finding his wife in bed with Haware attacked him with a tomahawked. Haware, whoever failed to appear in court, it was believed he has left the colony.. The case against Aveson were withdrawn.



ON THIS DAY ………….. 3rd of February 1913


Henry Dorrington aged 30, was arrested on the 3rd of February 1911, on a charge of having shot with intent to murder his mother, aged 70 years, in Clifton Hill. When the police arrived at the house they found Mrs. Dorrington bleeding from a wound in the fore head, caused by a bullet from a pea-rifle. Dorrington said to his mother, “You asked me to shoot a cat, and the gun went off and shot you” Mrs. Dorrington said “No you asked me for five shillings, and when I would not give it to you, you shot me.” The wound was not serious, and after being treated at the hospital Mrs. Dorrington was allowed to go home.