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EXECUTED THIS DAY – April 20, 1891

The execution of Cornelius Bourke, convicted of the murder of Peter Stewart at the Hamilton lock-up, took place in the Ballarat Gaol at 10 o’clock on Monday morning. It will be remembered that after sentence was pronounced, some doubts arose as to the sanity of the prisoner, and he was examined by medical men who failed to find any evidence of mental aberration beyond imbecility consequent on old age. The law was therefore allowed to take its course, and on being informed of the determination of the Executive, Bourke listened without emotion, and has since looked calmly upon his fate, his only solace being his pipe and tobacco. He has been most diligently attended by the Rev. Father Rogers, who at first appeared to make little impression upon the condemned man, but within the last few days he was more attentive to his ministrations. However, Bourke was quite resigned to his fate, and when spoken to on the subject on Saturday last said he might as well die now as at any future time, as life was only a few minutes strung out, and that he was now an old man and had nothing to live for. On Sunday he was visited by Bishop Moore, and he slept soundly on Sunday night. On Monday morning he was engaged in religious devotion with Father Rogers in the condemned cell, and punctually at 10 o’clock the Sherriff (Mr Anderson) demanded the body from the Governor of the Gaol (Mr Gardiner) in the usual manner. Shortly afterwards Bourke emerged from his cell with his hands securely bound behind him. He was given over to the custody of Jones, the hangman. The melancholy procession proceeded towards the scaffold, the clergyman, at the same time, pronouncing the service for the dead. There were very few spectators besides the officials and the representatives of the Press. On taking his place on the drop of the scaffold, and his legs being bound together, the Governor asked Bourke if he had anything to say, to which he replied, “No, I have nothing to say. What should I say ?” The white cap was then drawn over his face, and the rope adjusted by the hangman. This being done, Jones, the executioner, was proceeding to draw the fatal bar, when Bourke ejaculated, ” I am choking, I am choking” at the same time moving off the drop as well as he could with his legs pinioned together. A little excitement was caused by this incident, but Jones and some of the officials managed to place Bourke on the drop again, when the bar was drawn and he fell a distance of about 5ft. Death appeared to have been instantaneous, as there was not the slightest contraction of the body or other movement. Thus ended the career of Bourke, and at the formal inquest held it was decided that he had been hanged in a judicial manner. The body was buried within the precincts of the gaol, and destroyed as usual by quicklime.

 

ON THIS DAY – March 31, 2004

Masked gunmen entered the Brunswick Club on Sydney Road, Brunswick, at approximately 6.40pm on 31 March 2004, driving a Ford Falcon EF XR6 station wagon. Moran ran from his place at the bar, over a poker machine, through a glass window before the gunman caught up with him and shot him twice, the fatal bullet being fired into the back of his head from a few centimetres away. Associate Herbert “Bertie” Wrout was severely wounded but survived the attack. Keith Faure, his brother Noel Faure and associate Evangelos Goussis were charged with the murder. On 3 May 2006, Faure pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life imprisonment with a non-parole period of 19 years for the murders of Moran and Lewis Caine, who was killed two months after Moran. Former Kickboxing champ Goussis, 40, of Geelong was found guilty of Moran’s murder on 29 May 2008 in the Victorian Supreme Court. Goussis had stormed into the Brunswick Club and shot Moran as he cowered in a corner. Goussis and two others reportedly accepted a $150,000 contract from Tony Mokbel to kill Moran, the Victorian Supreme Court heard. After five days deliberation, the jury also found Goussis guilty of intentionally causing serious injury to Wrout, but not guilty of his attempted murder. Goussis was also convicted of murdering Caine. In February 2009, Goussis was sentenced to a minimum 30 years in prison for Moran’s murder. Lewis Moran was suspected in ordering the death of underworld Hitman Dino Dibra. On 7 May 2007, Carl Williams was convicted of commissioning Lewis Moran’s murder, and sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment. Williams died in Barwon prison, on 19 April 2010, as the result of an attack by a fellow inmate.

 

On This Day ……. 7th May 1900

Martin Carlin was charged with having no visible lawful means of support. Constables Anglin deposed that the accused had been loafing about for some days. He was in a deplorable condition, had no home, no friends and did not know how to make a living. Sergeant Liddell stated that Carlin had been many times previously convicted of vagrancy, and had just been released from the Geelong Gaol after serving 12 months. Accused was mentally weak but not bad enough to commit to the asylum. Accused, who was one-eyed, misshapen and presented an altogether pathetic spectacle, had nothing to say. The Bench had no alternative but to sentence accused to a further term of 12 months imprisonment.

 

EXECUTION ON THIS DAY………….30th April 1847

EXECUTION TWO ABORIGINALS

The sad penalty of the law was carried into effect upon Ptolemy and Bobby, the two unfortunate Murray blacks, convicted as the principals in the lamentable murder of the late Mr. Andrew Beveridge, jun. As we stated in our last, ever since the announcement of their doom to them, the culprits evinced a keen sense of their situation—Ptolemy bore it with much strength of mind, but it was too much for Bobby. Day after day he pined away in his cell, and grew more nervous to the last moment. The attentions of Mr. Protector Thomas worked a considerable improvement in the minds of the ill-fated beings. They fully felt their fate, and began to entertain a dim idea of an all-seeing Providence. On the morning of their execution, both appeared to be extremely ill at ease, and the workings of their muscles evidently betrayed the inward operations of their feelings: Bobby especially seemed unmanned. At the usual hour, the fatal procession left the “condemned cells,” and advanced on its fatal journey to the tread-mill yard, where the gallows was erected. The prisoners were attended by Messrs. Thomas, French, and Lacey, the latter having acted as one of the interpreters on their trial, and when they arrived at the foot of the scaffold, they appeared to be much distressed. Both burst out crying, and could scarcely be restrained. Previous to the pinioning, Mr. Thomas read prayers, and as well as he could endeavoured to impress them with the nature of the awful proceedings. On ascending the ladder, Bobby was scarcely able to stand, and required the assistance of Mr. French. Ptolemy, though completely exhausted, possessed much more presence of mind than his companion. On mounting the platform, Bobby could not face the crowd congregated outside, and turned round, but Ptolemy stood, as if in the calmness of death awaiting the moment when he was to plunge into the abyss of eternity. The executioner was, however, busy at his work, the ropes were adjusted, the caps were drawn down, the bolt was pushed, and the drop fell. Ptolemy expired instanter, without a struggle, his neck being broken in the shock. Not so with Bobby, as when the drop fell, he endeavoured, as a last effort for life, to get his foot on a portion of the platform. This broke his fall, and almost turned him head over heels, in consequence of which his struggles were protracted and severe. After hanging the usual length of time, the bodies were cut down, coffined, and interred. A number of persons were present, including many aboriginals, and a majority of women. This is highly disgraceful, but there is no use in remonstrating, the female sex must have its way, despite public opinion, the press, or even the dictates of every principle consonant with humanity.

 

On This Day ……. 22nd April 1870

Mary Ann Pinch, convicted of concealment of birth, but acquitted of murder, had nothing to say for herself. Bearing in mind the recommendation of the jury. His Honour sent her to four months in the Geelong Gaol.

 

On This Day ……. 22nd April 1870

William Henry Ailsop, convicted of robbery with violence on an old man at Sandridge, was sent to Geelong Gaol for five years with hard labour.

 

EXECUTED THIS DAY – April 20, 1891

The execution of Cornelius Bourke, convicted of the murder of Peter Stewart at the Hamilton lock-up, took place in the Ballarat Gaol at 10 o’clock on Monday morning. It will be remembered that after sentence was pronounced, some doubts arose as to the sanity of the prisoner, and he was examined by medical men who failed to find any evidence of mental aberration beyond imbecility consequent on old age. The law was therefore allowed to take its course, and on being informed of the determination of the Executive, Bourke listened without emotion, and has since looked calmly upon his fate, his only solace being his pipe and tobacco. He has been most diligently attended by the Rev. Father Rogers, who at first appeared to make little impression upon the condemned man, but within the last few days he was more attentive to his ministrations. However, Bourke was quite resigned to his fate, and when spoken to on the subject on Saturday last said he might as well die now as at any future time, as life was only a few minutes strung out, and that he was now an old man and had nothing to live for. On Sunday he was visited by Bishop Moore, and he slept soundly on Sunday night. On Monday morning he was engaged in religious devotion with Father Rogers in the condemned cell, and punctually at 10 o’clock the Sherriff (Mr Anderson) demanded the body from the Governor of the Gaol (Mr Gardiner) in the usual manner. Shortly afterwards Bourke emerged from his cell with his hands securely bound behind him. He was given over to the custody of Jones, the hangman. The melancholy procession proceeded towards the scaffold, the clergyman, at the same time, pronouncing the service for the dead. There were very few spectators besides the officials and the representatives of the Press. On taking his place on the drop of the scaffold, and his legs being bound together, the Governor asked Bourke if he had anything to say, to which he replied, “No, I have nothing to say. What should I say ?” The white cap was then drawn over his face, and the rope adjusted by the hangman. This being done, Jones, the executioner, was proceeding to draw the fatal bar, when Bourke ejaculated, ” I am choking, I am choking” at the same time moving off the drop as well as he could with his legs pinioned together. A little excitement was caused by this incident, but Jones and some of the officials managed to place Bourke on the drop again, when the bar was drawn and he fell a distance of about 5ft. Death appeared to have been instantaneous, as there was not the slightest contraction of the body or other movement. Thus ended the career of Bourke, and at the formal inquest held it was decided that he had been hanged in a judicial manner. The body was buried within the precincts of the gaol, and destroyed as usual by quicklime.

 

ON THIS DAY ……. 14th April 1918

MELBOURNE

Doris Bland, a young woman, was tried for the murder of her infant by cutting its throat at the Victoria Coffee Palace on this day in 1918. The jury acquitted her of murder but convicted her of concealment of birth. She was ordered to be imprisoned until the rising of the court.

 

ON THIS DAY – March 31, 2004

Masked gunmen entered the Brunswick Club on Sydney Road, Brunswick, at approximately 6.40pm on 31 March 2004, driving a Ford Falcon EF XR6 station wagon. Moran ran from his place at the bar, over a poker machine, through a glass window before the gunman caught up with him and shot him twice, the fatal bullet being fired into the back of his head from a few centimetres away. Associate Herbert “Bertie” Wrout was severely wounded but survived the attack. Keith Faure, his brother Noel Faure and associate Evangelos Goussis were charged with the murder. On 3 May 2006, Faure pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life imprisonment with a non-parole period of 19 years for the murders of Moran and Lewis Caine, who was killed two months after Moran. Former Kickboxing champ Goussis, 40, of Geelong was found guilty of Moran’s murder on 29 May 2008 in the Victorian Supreme Court. Goussis had stormed into the Brunswick Club and shot Moran as he cowered in a corner. Goussis and two others reportedly accepted a $150,000 contract from Tony Mokbel to kill Moran, the Victorian Supreme Court heard. After five days deliberation, the jury also found Goussis guilty of intentionally causing serious injury to Wrout, but not guilty of his attempted murder. Goussis was also convicted of murdering Caine. In February 2009, Goussis was sentenced to a minimum 30 years in prison for Moran’s murder. Lewis Moran was suspected in ordering the death of underworld Hitman Dino Dibra. On 7 May 2007, Carl Williams was convicted of commissioning Lewis Moran’s murder, and sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment. Williams died in Barwon prison, on 19 April 2010, as the result of an attack by a fellow inmate.

 

ON THIS DAY ……….. 11th of March 1948

CAULFIELD

BARMAN GETS SEVEN YEARS

Reginald Gilford Mann aged 52, barman, of Caulfield was sentenced to seven, years gaol by Justice Martin, for the manslaughter of his de facto wife. Mann was acquitted on a capital charge of having murdered Mrs. Isobel Davis aged 40, also known as Nurse Duff, of Caulfield who was found strangled by a cord at her home on this day in 1948. In two earlier trials the juries had failed to agree, but in the third hearing the jury convicted Mann after a retirement of about an hour. Justice Martin said that it seemed that the jury had concluded that Mann was so drunk on the night of Mrs. Davis’s death that it was impossible for him to have formed any intention that would make him guilty of murder.

 

 

ON THIS DAY…… 23rd December 1908

No fewer than 160 convictions were against the name of a man who was sent to Geelong gaol for three months by the City Court Bench, in Melbourne, on this day for being an habitual drunkard.

 

On This Day ……. 7th May 1900

Martin Carlin was charged with having no visible lawful means of support. Constables Anglin deposed that the accused had been loafing about for some days. He was in a deplorable condition, had no home, no friends and did not know how to make a living. Sergeant Liddell stated that Carlin had been many times previously convicted of vagrancy, and had just been released from the Geelong Gaol after serving 12 months. Accused was mentally weak but not bad enough to commit to the asylum. Accused, who was one-eyed, misshapen and presented an altogether pathetic spectacle, had nothing to say. The Bench had no alternative but to sentence accused to a further term of 12 months imprisonment.