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On This Day ……. 19th April 1930

In the Geelong Supreme Court on this day in 1930, Erie Harris Brockwell aged 24, was charged with having murdered Horace Thomas Walpole on the 28th of April 1929. Walpole’s body was found in his motor car on the Queenscliff-road. There were injuries to the head, and a post mortem examination disclosed a bullet in the brain. Walpole had been shot from behind. Senior Detective Siekerdick said that when he interviewed Brockwell on the 29th April, Brockwell admitted that he fired two shots at Walpole. Witness added that Brockwell asked to be “saved from the rope”. He did not mind doing 15 years. Walpole had called him a gaol bird, and he (Brockwell) had fired at him. Brockwell later signed a statement in which he admitted having killed Walpole. Brockwell, in a statement from the dock, said that he was too drunk to remember the incident. He had intended to kill himself, because he was depressed and in ill-health. He engaged Walpole to drive him to Queenscliff, and there had been a quarrel, but he had not fired to hit. The jury returned a verdict of manslaughter, and Brockwell was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment. “The jury took a very lenient view,” remarked the Chief Justice, in passing sentence. Brockwell was sent to Geelong Gaol and released in 1941.

 

On This Day ……. 7th May 1954

Sir Edmund Herring, Chief Justice, said in the Supreme Court on this day in 1954 that a jury had apparently been lenient with a man because a theft he had committed had been “hard work.” Edward Joseph Greagon, 22, laborer, Fyan st., Geelong, was charged with stealing 75 tons of steel link pilings from the Geelong Harbour Trust on August 16 last year. He was given a three-year good behaviour bond. Sir Edmund told Greagon: “The jury has found “you guilty, and has asked me to be lenient with you. “I don’t know why. Perhaps they took into account that stealing the pilings was a bit of hard work.” Sir Edmund added: “An examination of case histories shows that many people known as gaol birds today were treated too kindly by Courts when they started their criminal careers. “Give yourself a chance. Pull up your socks. Good luck to you.”

 

ON THIS DAY – April 28. 1930

GEELONG

MANSLAUGHTER – MAXIMUM SENTENCE IMPOSED.

Eric Harris Brockwell aged 24, at the Geelong Supreme Court was found guilty by a jury of the manslaughter of Horace Thomas Walpole, taxi-driver, on April 28. The Chief Justice, Sir William Irvine, said that the jury, by finding him guilty of manslaughter, had been very lenient. Therefore, he would impose the maximum sentence for manslaughter, 15 years.

THE FACT

With a bullet wound in his head. Walpole was found dead in his taxi on the Queenscliffe-road on April 28. In a statement which he read from the dock, Brockwell admitted that he had engaged Walpole to drive him, and that he had an argument with Walpole. He added that he pulled out a sawn-off rifle and tried to frighten Walpole.

THE “EXCUSE.”

“I had no intention of killing him.” said Brockwell “and I am not guiltv of murder. I was muddled with drink at the time.”

 

On This Day ……. 19th April 1930

In the Geelong Supreme Court on this day in 1930, Erie Harris Brockwell aged 24, was charged with having murdered Horace Thomas Walpole on the 28th of April 1929. Walpole’s body was found in his motor car on the Queenscliff-road. There were injuries to the head, and a post mortem examination disclosed a bullet in the brain. Walpole had been shot from behind. Senior Detective Siekerdick said that when he interviewed Brockwell on the 29th April, Brockwell admitted that he fired two shots at Walpole. Witness added that Brockwell asked to be “saved from the rope”. He did not mind doing 15 years. Walpole had called him a gaol bird, and he (Brockwell) had fired at him. Brockwell later signed a statement in which he admitted having killed Walpole. Brockwell, in a statement from the dock, said that he was too drunk to remember the incident. He had intended to kill himself, because he was depressed and in ill-health. He engaged Walpole to drive him to Queenscliff, and there had been a quarrel, but he had not fired to hit. The jury returned a verdict of manslaughter, and Brockwell was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment. “The jury took a very lenient view,” remarked the Chief Justice, in passing sentence. Brockwell was sent to Geelong Gaol and released in 1941.

 

ON THIS DAY – April 4, 1917

“GRAVE AND TERRIBLE DISORDER.”

Sentence of death was passed this afternoon in the Criminal Court by the Chief Justice (Sir John Madden) upon Clarence Victor Sefton, who had been found guilty on a charge of child murder. The victim, an infant, one month old, was the illegitimate child of Sefton, and was born on February 17, in a nursing home at East Melbourne. On the night of March 22, Sefton got it from another, saying that he had arranged to hand it to a woman who wished to adopt it. On the 4th of April the child’s body was found in the Yarra near the Punt Road Bridge. The jury, after a retirement of an hour, returned to the Court with a verdict of guilty. Sefton, in reply to the usual question whether he had anything to say why sentence of death should not be passed upon him; said—”You are making a big mistake; that is all. I am not guilty, not that much” (snapping his finger). The Chief Justice, in passing sentence of death, said cases of the kind required the greatest possible attention, as being of the gravest character, and because hardly a week passed in which some innocent child was not found similarly dealt with. It showed a disorder in the community which was grave and terrible, and one which the law should control. Sentence of death was then passed, and the prisoner, who was visibly affected, was removed to the cells.

 

ON THIS DAY …… 18th March 1943

Norman Morris Searle aged 25, of Burnley, was found guilty in the Criminal Court of the murder of Senior Constable Frederick Jones on this day in 1943. The jury made a strong recommendation for mercy. The Chief Justice, Sir Frederick Mann, pronounced the death sentence, and told the jury that the rider would be sent to the Executive Council. The Crown alleged that Searle shot Jones in mistake for another constable, against whom he had a grudge for two years. The shot was fired from a rifle in taxi in which Searle was a passenger. In an unsworn statement from the dock. Searle said he had no intention of killing Jones or anyone else. He was sorry that Jones was dead. Two years ago he took to drink, and had been twice convicted for drunkenness. On the night of the 18th of March he was very drunk. He had a hazy recollection of collecting a rifle from a friend’s place and driving off in a taxi. He fired a shot out of the taxi, but with no idea of killing the policeman. His intention was merely to frighten him.

 

 

ON THIS DAY – March 1, 1927

Arthur John Kotsiakos, aged 39, a Greek fishmonger, was found guilty of the murder of his wife, Josephine Elizabeth Mary Kotsiakos, on the 1st of March, in their home in North Melbourne at the conclusion of his trial at the Criminal Court. In passing sentence of death the Chief Justice, Sir William Irvine said that the jury had returned the only reasonable verdict on the evidence. Evidence was given that Kotsiakos, although divorced from his wife, had been living with her on account of the children. Two of the children, a boy, aged 10 1/2, and a younger girl, gave evidence that their parents had quarrelled on the night of the tragedy and they had heard the accused ask their mother “to make friends again.” When their mother replied in the negative the accused, they said, drew a revolver from his hip pocket and fired five shots at their mother. The children ran for the police, and when they returned their mother had the revolver clutched in her left hand as she lay on the stair way. Accused gave evidence that his wife attempted to shoot him and he closed with her. During the struggle which ensued, he said the revolver exploded and his wife fell dead. He said that his wife was keeping company with another man, and shortly before the tragedy he had accused her of that. She then intimated that she intended committing suicide. The jury returned to court shortly after retiring and announced the verdict of murder with a strong recommendation of mercy on the ground that Kotsiakos acted under an impulse.

 

 

On This Day ……. 7th May 1954

Sir Edmund Herring, Chief Justice, said in the Supreme Court on this day in 1954 that a jury had apparently been lenient with a man because a theft he had committed had been “hard work.” Edward Joseph Greagon, 22, laborer, Fyan st., Geelong, was charged with stealing 75 tons of steel link pilings from the Geelong Harbour Trust on August 16 last year. He was given a three-year good behaviour bond. Sir Edmund told Greagon: “The jury has found “you guilty, and has asked me to be lenient with you. “I don’t know why. Perhaps they took into account that stealing the pilings was a bit of hard work.” Sir Edmund added: “An examination of case histories shows that many people known as gaol birds today were treated too kindly by Courts when they started their criminal careers. “Give yourself a chance. Pull up your socks. Good luck to you.”

 

ON THIS DAY – April 28. 1930

GEELONG

MANSLAUGHTER – MAXIMUM SENTENCE IMPOSED.

Eric Harris Brockwell aged 24, at the Geelong Supreme Court was found guilty by a jury of the manslaughter of Horace Thomas Walpole, taxi-driver, on April 28. The Chief Justice, Sir William Irvine, said that the jury, by finding him guilty of manslaughter, had been very lenient. Therefore, he would impose the maximum sentence for manslaughter, 15 years.

THE FACT

With a bullet wound in his head. Walpole was found dead in his taxi on the Queenscliffe-road on April 28. In a statement which he read from the dock, Brockwell admitted that he had engaged Walpole to drive him, and that he had an argument with Walpole. He added that he pulled out a sawn-off rifle and tried to frighten Walpole.

THE “EXCUSE.”

“I had no intention of killing him.” said Brockwell “and I am not guiltv of murder. I was muddled with drink at the time.”

 

On This Day ……. 19th April 1930

In the Geelong Supreme Court on this day in 1930, Erie Harris Brockwell aged 24, was charged with having murdered Horace Thomas Walpole on the 28th of April 1929. Walpole’s body was found in his motor car on the Queenscliff-road. There were injuries to the head, and a post mortem examination disclosed a bullet in the brain. Walpole had been shot from behind. Senior Detective Siekerdick said that when he interviewed Brockwell on the 29th April, Brockwell admitted that he fired two shots at Walpole. Witness added that Brockwell asked to be “saved from the rope”. He did not mind doing 15 years. Walpole had called him a gaol bird, and he (Brockwell) had fired at him. Brockwell later signed a statement in which he admitted having killed Walpole. Brockwell, in a statement from the dock, said that he was too drunk to remember the incident. He had intended to kill himself, because he was depressed and in ill-health. He engaged Walpole to drive him to Queenscliff, and there had been a quarrel, but he had not fired to hit. The jury returned a verdict of manslaughter, and Brockwell was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment. “The jury took a very lenient view,” remarked the Chief Justice, in passing sentence. Brockwell was sent to Geelong Gaol and released in 1941.

 

ON THIS DAY – April 4, 1917

“GRAVE AND TERRIBLE DISORDER.”

Sentence of death was passed this afternoon in the Criminal Court by the Chief Justice (Sir John Madden) upon Clarence Victor Sefton, who had been found guilty on a charge of child murder. The victim, an infant, one month old, was the illegitimate child of Sefton, and was born on February 17, in a nursing home at East Melbourne. On the night of March 22, Sefton got it from another, saying that he had arranged to hand it to a woman who wished to adopt it. On the 4th of April the child’s body was found in the Yarra near the Punt Road Bridge. The jury, after a retirement of an hour, returned to the Court with a verdict of guilty. Sefton, in reply to the usual question whether he had anything to say why sentence of death should not be passed upon him; said—”You are making a big mistake; that is all. I am not guilty, not that much” (snapping his finger). The Chief Justice, in passing sentence of death, said cases of the kind required the greatest possible attention, as being of the gravest character, and because hardly a week passed in which some innocent child was not found similarly dealt with. It showed a disorder in the community which was grave and terrible, and one which the law should control. Sentence of death was then passed, and the prisoner, who was visibly affected, was removed to the cells.

 

ON THIS DAY …… 18th March 1943

Norman Morris Searle aged 25, of Burnley, was found guilty in the Criminal Court of the murder of Senior Constable Frederick Jones on this day in 1943. The jury made a strong recommendation for mercy. The Chief Justice, Sir Frederick Mann, pronounced the death sentence, and told the jury that the rider would be sent to the Executive Council. The Crown alleged that Searle shot Jones in mistake for another constable, against whom he had a grudge for two years. The shot was fired from a rifle in taxi in which Searle was a passenger. In an unsworn statement from the dock. Searle said he had no intention of killing Jones or anyone else. He was sorry that Jones was dead. Two years ago he took to drink, and had been twice convicted for drunkenness. On the night of the 18th of March he was very drunk. He had a hazy recollection of collecting a rifle from a friend’s place and driving off in a taxi. He fired a shot out of the taxi, but with no idea of killing the policeman. His intention was merely to frighten him.