Posts

ON THIS DAY – July 11, 1915

William Tucker, a corporal in the expeditionary forces, was charged at the Seymour sessions to-day with having on July 11 at Seymour feloniously killed Thomas Darcy. The evidence was that Tucker and Darcy had been drinking together. and that Tucker pushed Darcy away from him. Darcy fell on the foot path, and was taken to the lock-up and charged with drunkenness. A few hours later he was found dead in his cell. It was shown that Darcy had at some time sustained a severe fracture of the skull. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty, and Tucker was discharged.

ON THIS DAY – July 5, 1894 

A short account was given last week of the supposed murder of a young woman named Minnie Hicks, aged 23, by Frederick Jordan, negro wharf labourer. She kept house for Jordan and Albert Johnson, at Sydney-place, and was last seen alive at the house occupied by a glassblower named Charles Turnbull and his mistress. This was at midnight on July 5. Next morning Jordan reported to the police that he had found her dead at 7 a.m. in the room he himself slept in, and he had no knowledge how she arrived there. Turnbull, however, put a different complexion on the case, stating that Jordan came to his place after the woman, found her tipsy, began beating her, and when remonstrated with dragged her off home. An examination of the body showed that she had died from the effects of severe beating about the head and body. It has since transpired that Minnie Hicks was married in 1888, at the age of 17, to a man now living at St. Kilda. They parted about 1890, through the wife taking to drink, and she left their one child with the father. About two years ago she took up with Jordan, who was often cruel to her. On the night preceding the fatality Jordan was hunting round the hotels for her, in the company of Charles Champ, wharf labourer, until nearly midnight. They then separated at Champ’s house, and Jordon went off to Turnbulls where he found the woman. The police in examining the premises discovered in the same room as the body a pair of trousers which were blood stained and torn. At the inquest on Tuesday Johnson gave evidence. All he knew was that on Thursday, July 5, Jordan told him not to give the woman money, as she would be sure to spend it on drink. In the afternoon she got 6s. from him to buy provisions for tea and came back with them, after which she left. Other witnesses showed that Jordan went to several public houses looking for the girl, who had got her friends to promise not to tell-of her whereabouts. Jordan ultimately found her at midnight and dragged her home. The man she married six years ago, Henry Crabtree, labourer, St. Kilda, said that she left him in November, 1891, having become a confirmed drunkard. He was a teetotaller. It appears that after being some time with Jordan, Minnie Hicks had shown a liking for another negro named Adam, and stayed with him. The society of the locality was proved to be anything but nice, and one or two of the women called owned to having been drinking with Minnie. The jury found that Jordan had committed wilful murder.

On This Day – June 25, 1886

The inquest on the body of Mary Taylor, found dead in her house in Kenny street, Richmond, early on Saturday morning, was held yesterday at the Vine Hotel, Richmond.

Thomas Taylor, the husband of the deceased, being present in custody. Denis Hogan,a lodger with the Taylors, stated that the deceased had been drinking on Friday, and that he and Taylor, on going home late on Friday night, found her lying on the floor of the kitchen.  During the night he heard no noises, but Taylor called him in the morning at about 4 o’clock, and told him that his wife was dead, and that he (Taylor) must have killed her.

Taylor made a statement to Senior constable Couche, in which he stated that he struck his wife and kicked her down. The evidence of Professor Allen, who made the post mortem examination of the body, showed that the injuries must have been the results of continued violence On one side 10 ribs were fractured ,on the other side two ribs were
similarly damaged The chest bone was crushed in, and the hyoid bone was fractured in two places The head, trunk, and limbs were covered with cuts and bruises, the back especially being a mass of bruises from the neck downward.

The injuries, in the opinion of the medical experts, were the results of continued blows and kicks, while the more
serious were caused by someone having violently knelt or jumped upon the deceased. There was also compression or the larynx as though throttling had been attempted.

This injury, in the opinion of Professor Allen,was inflicted at a time when the woman was almost dead from other injuries, several of which taken separately were sufficient to have caused death either as the result of shock or from hemorrhage of blood into the chest. The coroner pointed out that in the face of this evidence, there was no room for
the supposition that the wounds were inflicted as mere chastisement, or with any other intent than that of killing.

The jury after being locked up for four hours, found Thomas Taylor guilty of the wilful murder of his wife.

ON THIS DAY – November 5, 1901

The story told at the trial of Catherine Kelly for the manslaughter of her infant, five months old, which tool place at the Criminal Court yesterday, before Mr Justice Holroyd, was of a very painful character. The woman was found on November 5 in a drunken state, with the dead body in her arms. The infant was in a terribly dirty condition and its body was shockingly emaciated. The evidence of the various witnesses yesterday did not point to the accused being an habitual drunkard. The testimony of two women was to the effect that she had at different times, called at their house and appealed for shelter, and had been accommodated for two nights in each case. She had no appearance of drinking while staying with these women. Dr. Neild said that the child died through blood poisoning, induced by the state of dirtiness into which it had been allowed to drift.  The women had brought the infant to the Childrens Hospital on two occasions prior to its death and was warned both times that the child was in need of constant attendance, and she promised to bring it even day for treatment, a promise which she never fulfilled. The condition of the child as regards cleanliness was variously described by the medical and nursing staff at the hospital as being dirty, but not particularly so, “not too clean,” and in “a filthy state”. One of the medical officers said that it was necessary for the child’s recovery “that the part near the wound” (the child was suffering from a burn) should be scrupulously clean, but it was admitted that the body generally had not been examined.  Mr Justice Holroyd said the evidence pointed to the fact that the child had died of neglect and that the attention necessary might have been given by the mother, no matter what her circumstances were. It was however, quite possible that the accused did not appreciate the necessity for the child’s regular treatment at the hospital. There were some things that had occured at the Children’s Hospital in connection with the case at which he could not help expressing surprise. It was hard to understand how the condition of the child was not detected at the hospital, considering the high reputation for cleanliness which the institution had, It seemed almost impossible that the state of the child should not have been discovered if any careful examination had been made

The jury returned a verdict of guilty and the prisoner was remanded for sentence.

 

 

 

, On This Day – October 23, 1897

The inquest concerning the death of Mrs, Lyfield, whose body was found in the Merri River on October 23, was concluded at Warrnambool on Tuesday. Henry Lyfield, husband of the deceased, was present in custody. Mrs. Snell, daughter of Lyfield, re-examined, gave important evidence. She said that on one occasion during last harvest Lyfield came home drunk. He first struck deceased with a horse-collar, after which she ran into her room and locked the door. He followed and struck the door with an axe, sending it through. She then opened the door, and he first struck her with his fist and then on the head with an axe, inflicting a wound from which blood flowed freely. At the same time he threatened to kill her. On the following day deceased went away, and did not return home for about a month, witness further said. It was on Tuesday, 13th October, she heard the screams and struggling in the room occupied by deceased and her husband. On the Friday following she saw the body in the straw-shed. Before leaving the house that night her father said to her and her daughter, ‘Don’t speak to anyone about your mother. If anyone asks about her say she went away on the Tuesday. If you do not I will serve you as I served her.’ The coroner then summed up the evidence at length, and the jury, after retiring for 10 minutes, brought in the following verdict :— ‘That on the night of Tuesday, 13th October, at Rosebrook, the deceased, Catherine Lyfield, came by her death by violence at the hands of Henry Lyfield; also, that Henry Lyfield, feloniously, wilfully, and with malice aforethought, did murder the said Catherine Lyfield.’ The accused was then committed for trial at the Supreme Court at Port Fairy on November 17.

On This Day – September 21, 1912

TEN MEN WHO COULD NOT SWIM.

Ten men, including Senior-constable Carmody, stood on the pontoon at Mosman Bay, Sydney, about midnight on September 21, and saw James MacInroe, 27 years of age, a labourer, who was drunk, drown six or seven feet from them, without it was stated at the inquest last week, diving in to make an attempt to save him.

Evidence was given that Maclnroe boarded the last boat from Sydney to Mosman at Circular Quay in a drunken condition, and when he arrived at his destination he was lifted on to the pontoon “helplessly drunk” by George Setterfield, the night watchman on the ferry steamer. The pontoon had a list, and soon after Setterfield had left him Maclnroe rolled into the water, where Senior-constable Carmody found him struggling.  Carmody could not swim, and he called for assistance. Nine men ran on to the jetty, and they all averred they could not “swim a stroke.” A ladder and a lifebuoy were thrown to the drowning man, but to no purpose, and he disappeared. His body was recovered two hours later by the Water Police.

The Coroner (Mr Hawkins), in returning a verdict of accidental drowning, remarked that in the first place Maclnroe should not have been allowed on the ferry steamer. Then again, the constable should have been informed that the man was on the pontoon. It seemed remarkable to the Coroner that not one of the men on the pontoon dived in to save the man. If a man could not swim, he was wise not to jump in, but it was indeed strange that not one of those men could swim.

ON THIS DAY – July 11, 1915

William Tucker, a corporal in the expeditionary forces, was charged at the Seymour sessions to-day with having on July 11 at Seymour feloniously killed Thomas Darcy. The evidence was that Tucker and Darcy had been drinking together. and that Tucker pushed Darcy away from him. Darcy fell on the foot path, and was taken to the lock-up and charged with drunkenness. A few hours later he was found dead in his cell. It was shown that Darcy had at some time sustained a severe fracture of the skull. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty, and Tucker was discharged.

ON THIS DAY – July 5, 1894 

A short account was given last week of the supposed murder of a young woman named Minnie Hicks, aged 23, by Frederick Jordan, negro wharf labourer. She kept house for Jordan and Albert Johnson, at Sydney-place, and was last seen alive at the house occupied by a glassblower named Charles Turnbull and his mistress. This was at midnight on July 5. Next morning Jordan reported to the police that he had found her dead at 7 a.m. in the room he himself slept in, and he had no knowledge how she arrived there. Turnbull, however, put a different complexion on the case, stating that Jordan came to his place after the woman, found her tipsy, began beating her, and when remonstrated with dragged her off home. An examination of the body showed that she had died from the effects of severe beating about the head and body. It has since transpired that Minnie Hicks was married in 1888, at the age of 17, to a man now living at St. Kilda. They parted about 1890, through the wife taking to drink, and she left their one child with the father. About two years ago she took up with Jordan, who was often cruel to her. On the night preceding the fatality Jordan was hunting round the hotels for her, in the company of Charles Champ, wharf labourer, until nearly midnight. They then separated at Champ’s house, and Jordon went off to Turnbulls where he found the woman. The police in examining the premises discovered in the same room as the body a pair of trousers which were blood stained and torn. At the inquest on Tuesday Johnson gave evidence. All he knew was that on Thursday, July 5, Jordan told him not to give the woman money, as she would be sure to spend it on drink. In the afternoon she got 6s. from him to buy provisions for tea and came back with them, after which she left. Other witnesses showed that Jordan went to several public houses looking for the girl, who had got her friends to promise not to tell-of her whereabouts. Jordan ultimately found her at midnight and dragged her home. The man she married six years ago, Henry Crabtree, labourer, St. Kilda, said that she left him in November, 1891, having become a confirmed drunkard. He was a teetotaller. It appears that after being some time with Jordan, Minnie Hicks had shown a liking for another negro named Adam, and stayed with him. The society of the locality was proved to be anything but nice, and one or two of the women called owned to having been drinking with Minnie. The jury found that Jordan had committed wilful murder.

On This Day – June 25, 1886

The inquest on the body of Mary Taylor, found dead in her house in Kenny street, Richmond, early on Saturday morning, was held yesterday at the Vine Hotel, Richmond.

Thomas Taylor, the husband of the deceased, being present in custody. Denis Hogan,a lodger with the Taylors, stated that the deceased had been drinking on Friday, and that he and Taylor, on going home late on Friday night, found her lying on the floor of the kitchen.  During the night he heard no noises, but Taylor called him in the morning at about 4 o’clock, and told him that his wife was dead, and that he (Taylor) must have killed her.

Taylor made a statement to Senior constable Couche, in which he stated that he struck his wife and kicked her down. The evidence of Professor Allen, who made the post mortem examination of the body, showed that the injuries must have been the results of continued violence On one side 10 ribs were fractured ,on the other side two ribs were
similarly damaged The chest bone was crushed in, and the hyoid bone was fractured in two places The head, trunk, and limbs were covered with cuts and bruises, the back especially being a mass of bruises from the neck downward.

The injuries, in the opinion of the medical experts, were the results of continued blows and kicks, while the more
serious were caused by someone having violently knelt or jumped upon the deceased. There was also compression or the larynx as though throttling had been attempted.

This injury, in the opinion of Professor Allen,was inflicted at a time when the woman was almost dead from other injuries, several of which taken separately were sufficient to have caused death either as the result of shock or from hemorrhage of blood into the chest. The coroner pointed out that in the face of this evidence, there was no room for
the supposition that the wounds were inflicted as mere chastisement, or with any other intent than that of killing.

The jury after being locked up for four hours, found Thomas Taylor guilty of the wilful murder of his wife.

ON THIS DAY ……. 28th March 1853

For a wage, a man named Wright drunk two pints of rum at a Hobart public house on this day in 1853. He won the bet, but died shortly afterwards.

 

 

ON THIS DAY – November 5, 1901

The story told at the trial of Catherine Kelly for the manslaughter of her infant, five months old, which tool place at the Criminal Court yesterday, before Mr Justice Holroyd, was of a very painful character. The woman was found on November 5 in a drunken state, with the dead body in her arms. The infant was in a terribly dirty condition and its body was shockingly emaciated. The evidence of the various witnesses yesterday did not point to the accused being an habitual drunkard. The testimony of two women was to the effect that she had at different times, called at their house and appealed for shelter, and had been accommodated for two nights in each case. She had no appearance of drinking while staying with these women. Dr. Neild said that the child died through blood poisoning, induced by the state of dirtiness into which it had been allowed to drift.  The women had brought the infant to the Childrens Hospital on two occasions prior to its death and was warned both times that the child was in need of constant attendance, and she promised to bring it even day for treatment, a promise which she never fulfilled. The condition of the child as regards cleanliness was variously described by the medical and nursing staff at the hospital as being dirty, but not particularly so, “not too clean,” and in “a filthy state”. One of the medical officers said that it was necessary for the child’s recovery “that the part near the wound” (the child was suffering from a burn) should be scrupulously clean, but it was admitted that the body generally had not been examined.  Mr Justice Holroyd said the evidence pointed to the fact that the child had died of neglect and that the attention necessary might have been given by the mother, no matter what her circumstances were. It was however, quite possible that the accused did not appreciate the necessity for the child’s regular treatment at the hospital. There were some things that had occured at the Children’s Hospital in connection with the case at which he could not help expressing surprise. It was hard to understand how the condition of the child was not detected at the hospital, considering the high reputation for cleanliness which the institution had, It seemed almost impossible that the state of the child should not have been discovered if any careful examination had been made

The jury returned a verdict of guilty and the prisoner was remanded for sentence.

 

 

 

, On This Day – October 23, 1897

The inquest concerning the death of Mrs, Lyfield, whose body was found in the Merri River on October 23, was concluded at Warrnambool on Tuesday. Henry Lyfield, husband of the deceased, was present in custody. Mrs. Snell, daughter of Lyfield, re-examined, gave important evidence. She said that on one occasion during last harvest Lyfield came home drunk. He first struck deceased with a horse-collar, after which she ran into her room and locked the door. He followed and struck the door with an axe, sending it through. She then opened the door, and he first struck her with his fist and then on the head with an axe, inflicting a wound from which blood flowed freely. At the same time he threatened to kill her. On the following day deceased went away, and did not return home for about a month, witness further said. It was on Tuesday, 13th October, she heard the screams and struggling in the room occupied by deceased and her husband. On the Friday following she saw the body in the straw-shed. Before leaving the house that night her father said to her and her daughter, ‘Don’t speak to anyone about your mother. If anyone asks about her say she went away on the Tuesday. If you do not I will serve you as I served her.’ The coroner then summed up the evidence at length, and the jury, after retiring for 10 minutes, brought in the following verdict :— ‘That on the night of Tuesday, 13th October, at Rosebrook, the deceased, Catherine Lyfield, came by her death by violence at the hands of Henry Lyfield; also, that Henry Lyfield, feloniously, wilfully, and with malice aforethought, did murder the said Catherine Lyfield.’ The accused was then committed for trial at the Supreme Court at Port Fairy on November 17.