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ON THIS DAY…… 31st May 1943

After having deliberated for 2 hours a jury in Ballarat Supreme Court found Kenneth Geoffrey White, of Ballarat, not guilty of having murdered his wife and having maliciously wounded a soldier, with intent to do him grievous bodily harm. A verdict of not guilty was also returned on an alternative charge of manslaughter and unlawful wounding. White collapsed on hearing the verdict, and had to be assisted from the dock. The jury considered that White had attacked in self defence. In an unsworn statement from the dock White said that after hearing certain things about his wife’s conduct he came from Geelong, where he worked, to Ballarat on May 29. Instead of returning to Geelong on this day, he stayed behind to hide in his backyard. He watched his wife and a soldier enter the bedroom after his four young daughters went to bed. Finding the bedroom door locked, White realised that the soldier had not left the house. As the door was opened he was seized by someone and, fearing that he was about to be attacked, he took a razor from his pocket and struck out with it. He had not intended to kill either his wife or the soldier.

 

On this day ……… 30th of May 1911

At the Ballarat Supreme Court, Louisa Rooke was charged with the murder on May 30 of Ellen Maud Wilson. The evidence was, practically a repetition of that given at the inquest. lt was alleged that accused performed an illegal operation. The defence was that the injuries were self inflicted. The jury found accused guilty and she was sentenced to death.

 

ON THIS DAY – October 25, 1938

 

Committed for trial at Dunolly on October 25, Thomas William Johnson, aged 40 years, labourer, will appear at the Ballarat Supreme Court to-morrow on a charge of having murdered Robert McCourt Gray and Charles Adam Bunney at Dunolly on or about October 2. Mr. Justice Lowe will preside.

 

 

ON THIS DAY…… 27th September 1986

At approximately 2.15 am on Saturday, 27th September, 1986 Senior Constable Maurice Moore, was alone in a police vehicle in Brougham Street, Maryborough, when he intercepted a vehicle being pushed along the street, by two men. One man decamped prior to Senior Constable Moore’s arrival. Moore detained the other man, and commenced to make inquiries over the police radio as to the ownership of the intercepted vehicle. Prior to a reply being received, the detained man overpowered Moore, and took possession of his .38 police issue revolver. He then shot Moore in the face and four times in the back. The man who killed Senior Constable Moore was later convicted at the Ballarat Supreme Court of his murder, and sentenced to a lengthy prison term.

 

ON THIS DAY – June 15, 1911

Louisa Rooke, aged 32 years, a married woman, appeared before the Ballarat Supreme Court, on a charge of having murdered Ella Maud Wilson, aged 29 years, a single woman, at Ballarat. It was alleged that the accused had performed an illegal operation. The jury brought in a verdict of guilty. Mr. Justice Hood said the jury had returned the only verdict that they, as honest men, could have brought in. He then sentenced Mrs. Rooke to death. The woman was helped out of the dock by a warden, being on the point of collapsing. Rooke sentenced was commuted to 5 years in Gaol.

 

ON THIS DAY…… 31st May 1943

After having deliberated for 2 hours a jury in Ballarat Supreme Court found Kenneth Geoffrey White, of Ballarat, not guilty of having murdered his wife and having maliciously wounded a soldier, with intent to do him grievous bodily harm. A verdict of not guilty was also returned on an alternative charge of manslaughter and unlawful wounding. White collapsed on hearing the verdict, and had to be assisted from the dock. The jury considered that White had attacked in self defence. In an unsworn statement from the dock White said that after hearing certain things about his wife’s conduct he came from Geelong, where he worked, to Ballarat on May 29. Instead of returning to Geelong on this day, he stayed behind to hide in his backyard. He watched his wife and a soldier enter the bedroom after his four young daughters went to bed. Finding the bedroom door locked, White realised that the soldier had not left the house. As the door was opened he was seized by someone and, fearing that he was about to be attacked, he took a razor from his pocket and struck out with it. He had not intended to kill either his wife or the soldier.

 

On this day ……… 30th of May 1911

At the Ballarat Supreme Court, Louisa Rooke was charged with the murder on May 30 of Ellen Maud Wilson. The evidence was, practically a repetition of that given at the inquest. lt was alleged that accused performed an illegal operation. The defence was that the injuries were self inflicted. The jury found accused guilty and she was sentenced to death.

 

ON THIS DAY – May 18, 1912

DEVONDALE

A FOREST TRAGEDY

At the Ballarat Supreme Court John Friedman, aged 20, was charged with the murder of Charles Nunn on May 18 at Devondale, near Beech Forest. According to the Crown case, the men were employed by a settler named Bowker. On May 18, after Bowker and the two men had had tea, a quarrel arose. Friedman had previously given notice of his intention to leave because he could not get on with Nunn. Friedman and Nunn began jostling, and they fell, Friedman being, underneath. Nunn said: “If I let you up, will you be quiet.” Friedman said: “Yes.” He got up, picked up a knife off the table, and stabbed Nunn. Friedman had told another man that Nunn was always wanting to fight, and that Friedman had said that if he fought it would be in the Russian way each man with a knife. Nunn died the day after he was stabbed. Accused, in his evidence, said he did not remember using a knife or anything else until Bowker asked him for a knife, which he handed over. The Jury returned a verdict of manslaughter, and Friedman was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, with hard labour.

ON THIS DAY – March 12, 1916

ILLABAROOK

William Coles Halstead, a cook, was charged in the Ballarat Supreme Court today with having attempted to murder Patrick William Monaghan by shooting, at Illabarook, on March 12. There was a second count of having attempted to inflict grievous bodily harm on Monaghan. The defence was that accused had shot at Monaghan to frighten and not to maim him. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty on both counts, and Halstead was discharged.

 

 

ON THIS DAY – October 25, 1938

 

Committed for trial at Dunolly on October 25, Thomas William Johnson, aged 40 years, labourer, will appear at the Ballarat Supreme Court to-morrow on a charge of having murdered Robert McCourt Gray and Charles Adam Bunney at Dunolly on or about October 2. Mr. Justice Lowe will preside.

 

 

ON THIS DAY…… 27th September 1986

At approximately 2.15 am on Saturday, 27th September, 1986 Senior Constable Maurice Moore, was alone in a police vehicle in Brougham Street, Maryborough, when he intercepted a vehicle being pushed along the street, by two men. One man decamped prior to Senior Constable Moore’s arrival. Moore detained the other man, and commenced to make inquiries over the police radio as to the ownership of the intercepted vehicle. Prior to a reply being received, the detained man overpowered Moore, and took possession of his .38 police issue revolver. He then shot Moore in the face and four times in the back. The man who killed Senior Constable Moore was later convicted at the Ballarat Supreme Court of his murder, and sentenced to a lengthy prison term.

 

ON THIS DAY – June 15, 1911

Louisa Rooke, aged 32 years, a married woman, appeared before the Ballarat Supreme Court, on a charge of having murdered Ella Maud Wilson, aged 29 years, a single woman, at Ballarat. It was alleged that the accused had performed an illegal operation. The jury brought in a verdict of guilty. Mr. Justice Hood said the jury had returned the only verdict that they, as honest men, could have brought in. He then sentenced Mrs. Rooke to death. The woman was helped out of the dock by a warden, being on the point of collapsing. Rooke sentenced was commuted to 5 years in Gaol.