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ON THIS DAY – June 21, 1887

MELBOURNE

VERDICT OF MANSLAUGHTER.

Before Dr. Youl and a jury, an inquest was held at the hospital concerning the death of James Joseph Reddan, aged 25 years, accountant, Fitzroy. Mr. Neave watched the inquiry on behalf of Henry Legg, bricklayer, who is in custody on the charge ot causing Reddan’s death. The deceased was the son of Derby Reddan, of the Oddlellows’ Hotel, Little Lonsdale street east. Shortly before midnight on June 21 he lett the hotel, worse for liquor, along with James Duffy, labourer, Fitzroy. The two stood talking in the street until half past 12, and then went in the direction of Spring street. It is alleged that near the latter street a number of young men, including Legg, came behind the deceased and commenced to laugh at his staggering gait. Fearing a disturbance, Duffy urged them to be quiet, and, with the exception of Legg, they agreed. Immediately afterwards, according to the statement of one of the witnesses, the deceased and Legg were seen in a “sparring” attitude. The latter had a knife in his hand, and having struck the deceased a blow on the head ran away. In his flight he aimed a blow at Duffy, who endeavoured to intercept him, and struck him with the knife behind the ear. He also struck a man named Hayes, and tore his coat. Reddan, on receiving the blow on his head, fell, and commenced to bleed, and assistance coming to hand he was removed to the hospital. There he was found to be suffering from a wound on the temple, about an inch and a half behind the left eye, half an inch in length, and extending down to the skull bone. Six days afterwards an operation waa advised, but the parents retused their consent, and death ensued on the 6th inst. A post mortem examination revealed a slit in the skull bone under the temple wound, which had evidently been caused by a narrow bladed weapon with a sharp edge The cause of death was compression of the brain from extravasation of the blood, the result of the wound upon the membranes of the brain Had the desired operation been performed, the medical testimony affirmed, it would probably have saved the man’s life. Legg, when apprehended, made a statement to P. C. Maxwell to the effect, that he had struck Reddan in self defence, as he and his companions had knocked him down and kicked him. Legg’s clothing at the time was very dirty, as though he had been in the mud. He had no knife upon him when searched, and none was found in the street. The jury found that the deceased was stabbed by Legg, and that Legg was guilty of manslaughter. Legg was accordingly committed for trial at the Criminal Sittings ot the Supreme Court, the coroner stating that he would accept bail in two sureties of £200 each.

 

ON THIS DAY – December 21, 1890

MELBOURNE

The adjourned inquest into the circumstances attending the death of William Hughes on December 21, last year was held at the Morgue by Dr Youl. The two men implicated were present in custody. Their names are Patrick M’Ginley and John Harmer, and they are at present undergoing sentences of imprisonment at Pentridge for an assault committed by them upon Hughes on the 27th September. The circumstances of the case, according to the evidence at the previous trial, are briefly these Harmer and M’Giniey attacked Hughes, whom they suspected of giving information to the police, at Swanston street. A man named John O’Neil interfered, and the assailants made off as the police appeared. O’Neil escorted Hughes to his home, in Little Lonsdale street, and afterwards went out with him again, when the same two men rushed at them, and Harmer struck Hughes a violent blow on the head with a slingshot, while O’Neil was also severely maltreated the assailants were afterwards arrested by Constable Lowry and Constable M’Leod, and were found guilty at the Criminal Sessions of an assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. M’Ginley was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment, and Harmer to two years Hughes never recovered from the injuries which he received, and died on the 21st ult. from an abscess on the brain brought about by fracture of the skull. The men who had inflicted the injuries upon him were therefore arraigned on the capital charge. Mr. Finlayson conducted the examination for the Crown, and the prisoners were not represented by counsel. John O’Neil, who was with Hughes on the evening of the 27th of September, described the circumstances of the assault, and identified the convicts Harmer and M’Ginley as the men who had committed it, evidence relating to the previous trial at the Criminal Court was tendered by Mr Daniel Berriman, of the Crown Law department Dr. Stirling, Dr Syme, and Dr Rudall supplied the medical evidence, which went to show that death was due to an abscess on the brain, produced by a fracture of the skull. Witnesses were also called to show that the deceased had not suffered any subsequent injuries to the head. The Coroner, in summing up to the jury, stated that if they believed the evidence which had been adduced it was their duty to find the prisoners guilty of the capital charge. After an absence of a few minutes a verdict was returned to the effect that both convicts were guilty of wilful murder. They were removed in custody, and will be brought up at the criminal sittings of the Supreme Court in February.

 

ON THIS DAY…… 23rd September 1863

An inquest upon the skeleton of a child, found concealed in the roof of the Rainbow Hotel, Swanston-street, Williamstown on the 23rd of September 1863, before Dr. Youl, the city coroner, at the police station, in Russell-street.  On the 8th of September 1863 during some repairs to the roof of the hotel a bundle containing the remains was found by a slater, concealed between the roof of the house and the ceiling of the room beneath; that this place had been used as a kind of lumber-room, and was accessible from the staircase of the house.  The bundle could not have been deposited from the outside except by cutting through the roof, and that there was nothing in the remains to indicate the sex of the deceased, or the cause of death. The inquest was then adjourned for further inquiries. The most indefatigable researches have been in the meantime made by the detective police into this mysterious affair, and from their minute, and at the same time extensive, investigations, the particulars detailed in the following evidence have been arrived at. Mr. J. M. Smith attended at the inquest to watch the proceedings on behalf of Mr. Cooper, the late landlord of the Rainbow Hotel.   It was not known who murdered the child or who hid the remains but it was believed to have happened in the 1850s.

 

 

ON THIS DAY – June 21, 1887

MELBOURNE

VERDICT OF MANSLAUGHTER.

Before Dr. Youl and a jury, an inquest was held at the hospital concerning the death of James Joseph Reddan, aged 25 years, accountant, Fitzroy. Mr. Neave watched the inquiry on behalf of Henry Legg, bricklayer, who is in custody on the charge ot causing Reddan’s death. The deceased was the son of Derby Reddan, of the Oddlellows’ Hotel, Little Lonsdale street east. Shortly before midnight on June 21 he lett the hotel, worse for liquor, along with James Duffy, labourer, Fitzroy. The two stood talking in the street until half past 12, and then went in the direction of Spring street. It is alleged that near the latter street a number of young men, including Legg, came behind the deceased and commenced to laugh at his staggering gait. Fearing a disturbance, Duffy urged them to be quiet, and, with the exception of Legg, they agreed. Immediately afterwards, according to the statement of one of the witnesses, the deceased and Legg were seen in a “sparring” attitude. The latter had a knife in his hand, and having struck the deceased a blow on the head ran away. In his flight he aimed a blow at Duffy, who endeavoured to intercept him, and struck him with the knife behind the ear. He also struck a man named Hayes, and tore his coat. Reddan, on receiving the blow on his head, fell, and commenced to bleed, and assistance coming to hand he was removed to the hospital. There he was found to be suffering from a wound on the temple, about an inch and a half behind the left eye, half an inch in length, and extending down to the skull bone. Six days afterwards an operation waa advised, but the parents retused their consent, and death ensued on the 6th inst. A post mortem examination revealed a slit in the skull bone under the temple wound, which had evidently been caused by a narrow bladed weapon with a sharp edge The cause of death was compression of the brain from extravasation of the blood, the result of the wound upon the membranes of the brain Had the desired operation been performed, the medical testimony affirmed, it would probably have saved the man’s life. Legg, when apprehended, made a statement to P. C. Maxwell to the effect, that he had struck Reddan in self defence, as he and his companions had knocked him down and kicked him. Legg’s clothing at the time was very dirty, as though he had been in the mud. He had no knife upon him when searched, and none was found in the street. The jury found that the deceased was stabbed by Legg, and that Legg was guilty of manslaughter. Legg was accordingly committed for trial at the Criminal Sittings ot the Supreme Court, the coroner stating that he would accept bail in two sureties of £200 each.

 

ON THIS DAY – December 21, 1890

MELBOURNE

The adjourned inquest into the circumstances attending the death of William Hughes on December 21, last year was held at the Morgue by Dr Youl. The two men implicated were present in custody. Their names are Patrick M’Ginley and John Harmer, and they are at present undergoing sentences of imprisonment at Pentridge for an assault committed by them upon Hughes on the 27th September. The circumstances of the case, according to the evidence at the previous trial, are briefly these Harmer and M’Giniey attacked Hughes, whom they suspected of giving information to the police, at Swanston street. A man named John O’Neil interfered, and the assailants made off as the police appeared. O’Neil escorted Hughes to his home, in Little Lonsdale street, and afterwards went out with him again, when the same two men rushed at them, and Harmer struck Hughes a violent blow on the head with a slingshot, while O’Neil was also severely maltreated the assailants were afterwards arrested by Constable Lowry and Constable M’Leod, and were found guilty at the Criminal Sessions of an assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. M’Ginley was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment, and Harmer to two years Hughes never recovered from the injuries which he received, and died on the 21st ult. from an abscess on the brain brought about by fracture of the skull. The men who had inflicted the injuries upon him were therefore arraigned on the capital charge. Mr. Finlayson conducted the examination for the Crown, and the prisoners were not represented by counsel. John O’Neil, who was with Hughes on the evening of the 27th of September, described the circumstances of the assault, and identified the convicts Harmer and M’Ginley as the men who had committed it, evidence relating to the previous trial at the Criminal Court was tendered by Mr Daniel Berriman, of the Crown Law department Dr. Stirling, Dr Syme, and Dr Rudall supplied the medical evidence, which went to show that death was due to an abscess on the brain, produced by a fracture of the skull. Witnesses were also called to show that the deceased had not suffered any subsequent injuries to the head. The Coroner, in summing up to the jury, stated that if they believed the evidence which had been adduced it was their duty to find the prisoners guilty of the capital charge. After an absence of a few minutes a verdict was returned to the effect that both convicts were guilty of wilful murder. They were removed in custody, and will be brought up at the criminal sittings of the Supreme Court in February.

 

ON THIS DAY…… 23rd September 1863

An inquest upon the skeleton of a child, found concealed in the roof of the Rainbow Hotel, Swanston-street, Williamstown on the 23rd of September 1863, before Dr. Youl, the city coroner, at the police station, in Russell-street.  On the 8th of September 1863 during some repairs to the roof of the hotel a bundle containing the remains was found by a slater, concealed between the roof of the house and the ceiling of the room beneath; that this place had been used as a kind of lumber-room, and was accessible from the staircase of the house.  The bundle could not have been deposited from the outside except by cutting through the roof, and that there was nothing in the remains to indicate the sex of the deceased, or the cause of death. The inquest was then adjourned for further inquiries. The most indefatigable researches have been in the meantime made by the detective police into this mysterious affair, and from their minute, and at the same time extensive, investigations, the particulars detailed in the following evidence have been arrived at. Mr. J. M. Smith attended at the inquest to watch the proceedings on behalf of Mr. Cooper, the late landlord of the Rainbow Hotel.   It was not known who murdered the child or who hid the remains but it was believed to have happened in the 1850s.

 

 

ON THIS DAY – June 21, 1887

MELBOURNE

VERDICT OF MANSLAUGHTER.

Before Dr. Youl and a jury, an inquest was held at the hospital concerning the death of James Joseph Reddan, aged 25 years, accountant, Fitzroy. Mr. Neave watched the inquiry on behalf of Henry Legg, bricklayer, who is in custody on the charge ot causing Reddan’s death. The deceased was the son of Derby Reddan, of the Oddlellows’ Hotel, Little Lonsdale street east. Shortly before midnight on June 21 he lett the hotel, worse for liquor, along with James Duffy, labourer, Fitzroy. The two stood talking in the street until half past 12, and then went in the direction of Spring street. It is alleged that near the latter street a number of young men, including Legg, came behind the deceased and commenced to laugh at his staggering gait. Fearing a disturbance, Duffy urged them to be quiet, and, with the exception of Legg, they agreed. Immediately afterwards, according to the statement of one of the witnesses, the deceased and Legg were seen in a “sparring” attitude. The latter had a knife in his hand, and having struck the deceased a blow on the head ran away. In his flight he aimed a blow at Duffy, who endeavoured to intercept him, and struck him with the knife behind the ear. He also struck a man named Hayes, and tore his coat. Reddan, on receiving the blow on his head, fell, and commenced to bleed, and assistance coming to hand he was removed to the hospital. There he was found to be suffering from a wound on the temple, about an inch and a half behind the left eye, half an inch in length, and extending down to the skull bone. Six days afterwards an operation waa advised, but the parents retused their consent, and death ensued on the 6th inst. A post mortem examination revealed a slit in the skull bone under the temple wound, which had evidently been caused by a narrow bladed weapon with a sharp edge The cause of death was compression of the brain from extravasation of the blood, the result of the wound upon the membranes of the brain Had the desired operation been performed, the medical testimony affirmed, it would probably have saved the man’s life. Legg, when apprehended, made a statement to P. C. Maxwell to the effect, that he had struck Reddan in self defence, as he and his companions had knocked him down and kicked him. Legg’s clothing at the time was very dirty, as though he had been in the mud. He had no knife upon him when searched, and none was found in the street. The jury found that the deceased was stabbed by Legg, and that Legg was guilty of manslaughter. Legg was accordingly committed for trial at the Criminal Sittings ot the Supreme Court, the coroner stating that he would accept bail in two sureties of £200 each.

 

ON THIS DAY – December 21, 1890

MELBOURNE

The adjourned inquest into the circumstances attending the death of William Hughes on December 21, last year was held at the Morgue by Dr Youl. The two men implicated were present in custody. Their names are Patrick M’Ginley and John Harmer, and they are at present undergoing sentences of imprisonment at Pentridge for an assault committed by them upon Hughes on the 27th September. The circumstances of the case, according to the evidence at the previous trial, are briefly these Harmer and M’Giniey attacked Hughes, whom they suspected of giving information to the police, at Swanston street. A man named John O’Neil interfered, and the assailants made off as the police appeared. O’Neil escorted Hughes to his home, in Little Lonsdale street, and afterwards went out with him again, when the same two men rushed at them, and Harmer struck Hughes a violent blow on the head with a slingshot, while O’Neil was also severely maltreated the assailants were afterwards arrested by Constable Lowry and Constable M’Leod, and were found guilty at the Criminal Sessions of an assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. M’Ginley was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment, and Harmer to two years Hughes never recovered from the injuries which he received, and died on the 21st ult. from an abscess on the brain brought about by fracture of the skull. The men who had inflicted the injuries upon him were therefore arraigned on the capital charge. Mr. Finlayson conducted the examination for the Crown, and the prisoners were not represented by counsel. John O’Neil, who was with Hughes on the evening of the 27th of September, described the circumstances of the assault, and identified the convicts Harmer and M’Ginley as the men who had committed it, evidence relating to the previous trial at the Criminal Court was tendered by Mr Daniel Berriman, of the Crown Law department Dr. Stirling, Dr Syme, and Dr Rudall supplied the medical evidence, which went to show that death was due to an abscess on the brain, produced by a fracture of the skull. Witnesses were also called to show that the deceased had not suffered any subsequent injuries to the head. The Coroner, in summing up to the jury, stated that if they believed the evidence which had been adduced it was their duty to find the prisoners guilty of the capital charge. After an absence of a few minutes a verdict was returned to the effect that both convicts were guilty of wilful murder. They were removed in custody, and will be brought up at the criminal sittings of the Supreme Court in February.