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On This Day – November 29, 1946

A young returned soldier who is alleged to have chased and threatened to kill his former fiancee with a Japanese Samurai sword, was committed for trial in the Fourth District Court yesterday.  Charles Francis Wright (22) docker and painter. Spencer St., West Melbourne, was charged with having entered a dwelling by night with intent to commit a felony. Mr Addison, P.M., committed him to the Supreme Court on December 9 with bail of £50 and surety for the same amount.  Greta Marie Watkins, porteress, Parliament Pl., East Melbourne, to whom Wright was once engaged to be married, broke down while giving evidence and wept bitterly. She said that at 11.15 p.m. on November 29, as she was walking in Parliament Pl. Wright grabbed her by the arm and said, “I want to take you to a beautiful spot to see the Crucifix.” She refused to go with him. Wright said. “I will come back with a couple of hand grenades and I will kill you.” Later as she was sitting outside the guest house she saw Wright coming down the stairs with something in his hand. As he chased her she ran into Gisborne St. He yelled. “I’ll get you.” She ran about 200 yards before she heard someone call “stop” and a shot was fired. Wright pleaded not guilty and reserved his defence.

ON THIS DAY…… 23rd November 1880

Curse of Ned Kelly

After a very short illness Judge Sir Redmond Barry died in East Melbourne on the 23rd November 1880, only twelve days after the execution of Ned Kelly. Once passing the death sentence of the notorious bush ranger Ned Kelly, Kelly stated
“We will both be judged in a higher court room than this, and I will go a little feather and say, I will see you where I go”.

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 – February 11, 1880

An inquiry into the circumstances attending the death of the child of Mrs. Mary Cordelia M’Mahon, at Emerald-hill, (South Melbourne) was held on February 11, by Dr. Youl, city coroner. William Theodore Tawton said that the mother of the deceased child was his step sister. She came to stay for a week with him. Tawton stated that he thought that she was a little out of her mind. She was very religious. On morning of the murder she came into witness’s room. She was in her night-dress. She said her lamb was in heaven. There were a few spots of blood upon her night-dress. He asked her what she had done. She said she had done it with a hatchet, adding, ‘Come and see.’ He went to the window looking out on the yard, and saw the deceased lying in the yard upon a board. The child was dead. He called his mother, and subsequently went for a constable. M’Mahon was not told that his wife had been in the lunatic asylum before he married her. On examining the body of the deceased, there was found a large oblique wound, nearly severing the head from the body. There was another wound also in the neck dividing the wind pipe, and another extensive wound under the right arm. Either of these wounds would have been sufficient to cause death, and they could all have been inflicted by the axe. John Bailey, sergeant of police saw on the table in the kitchen the deceased. The body was rolled in a sheet, and the head was nearly severed from it. It was recently killed, and blood was still flowing from the wounds. He then saw the mother. He had her get up and dressed, and went out into the yard. On a plank he saw a quantity of blood. He took possession of the axe (produced). It had been washed. He took the mother and child in a cab to the police station. On the way the mother said that God had commanded Abraham to offer up his son, and that he told her also to offer up her son, and that she had done it. She preferred having her child in heaven to putting him to anyone. The coroner, in summing up, said the evidence placed it beyond doubt that the woman had wilfully murdered the child, and the jury returned a verdict accordingly, and the woman was committed for trial. During the proceedings the woman showed signs of mental derangement, and at the close made a few remarks showing that she fully believed, as she stated to Sergeant Bailey, that she was relied upon to sacrifice her child.

 

 

ON THIS DAY – January 16, 1912

EAST MELBOURNE

Two shots rang out in Wellington Parade, East Melbourne, about 10 o’clock last night and as a result Frederick Leopold Tullidge, aged 24 years is dead, and Rowland William Holt, 23 years, grocer was charge of wilful murder. Jealousy is alleged to have been the cause of the conflict. About seven years ago Tullidge married Miss Anne Elizabeth Gordon Meyer, but three years ago their domestic happiness was disturbed, and in August last, Tullidge obtained a divorce from his wife, and Holt was then mentioned as co-respondent. Though Tullidge divorced the woman he was not unmindful of her welfare, and resented the continued attentions of Holt. About a fortnight ago he told Holt to desist his attentions to Mrs Tullidge; the threat, however, went unheeded. Last evening Holt called upon the woman at the residence of Dr. Harper Bell, where she was employed as a nurse. They decided to go out, but had hardly shut the gate behind them when Tullidge appeared on the scene. There were some words and then a scuffle between the two men. It ended In a revolver being drawn and two shots were fired. The police were communicated with, and when they arrived on the scene they found Tullidge lying dead on the kerbstone In Wellington Parade. Holt and Mrs Tullidge were then standing In the middle of the roadway. Constable Loughran approached and said, ‘What do you know about this ‘I know all about It,’ was the calm reply, ‘but I will not tell you here.’ The constable then reminded Holt that a statement was necessary. Holt then declared he shot Tullidge In self-defence. Holt was arrested and taken to the lock-up. The woman informed the police that as soon as she left Dr. Bell’s residence In Wellington Parade with Holt, she saw Tullidge approach them. He caught Holt by the arm and asked ‘Will you stand up to your punishment’, Holt replied ‘I want to speak, and I will do anything you like.’ Tullidge suddenly seized Holt by the throat and the men began to struggle on the roadway. She ran inside the gate of the house, from which she emerged, and as she passed through it heard shots fired. The terrified woman retraced her steps and observed Tullidge lying prone on the Parade with a wound in his breast. She then asked some strangers to obtain medical and police assistance.

 

 

On This Day – November 29, 1946

A young returned soldier who is alleged to have chased and threatened to kill his former fiancee with a Japanese Samurai sword, was committed for trial in the Fourth District Court yesterday.  Charles Francis Wright (22) docker and painter. Spencer St., West Melbourne, was charged with having entered a dwelling by night with intent to commit a felony. Mr Addison, P.M., committed him to the Supreme Court on December 9 with bail of £50 and surety for the same amount.  Greta Marie Watkins, porteress, Parliament Pl., East Melbourne, to whom Wright was once engaged to be married, broke down while giving evidence and wept bitterly. She said that at 11.15 p.m. on November 29, as she was walking in Parliament Pl. Wright grabbed her by the arm and said, “I want to take you to a beautiful spot to see the Crucifix.” She refused to go with him. Wright said. “I will come back with a couple of hand grenades and I will kill you.” Later as she was sitting outside the guest house she saw Wright coming down the stairs with something in his hand. As he chased her she ran into Gisborne St. He yelled. “I’ll get you.” She ran about 200 yards before she heard someone call “stop” and a shot was fired. Wright pleaded not guilty and reserved his defence.

ON THIS DAY…… 23rd November 1880

Curse of Ned Kelly

After a very short illness Judge Sir Redmond Barry died in East Melbourne on the 23rd November 1880, only twelve days after the execution of Ned Kelly. Once passing the death sentence of the notorious bush ranger Ned Kelly, Kelly stated
“We will both be judged in a higher court room than this, and I will go a little feather and say, I will see you where I go”.

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 – February 11, 1880

An inquiry into the circumstances attending the death of the child of Mrs. Mary Cordelia M’Mahon, at Emerald-hill, (South Melbourne) was held on February 11, by Dr. Youl, city coroner. William Theodore Tawton said that the mother of the deceased child was his step sister. She came to stay for a week with him. Tawton stated that he thought that she was a little out of her mind. She was very religious. On morning of the murder she came into witness’s room. She was in her night-dress. She said her lamb was in heaven. There were a few spots of blood upon her night-dress. He asked her what she had done. She said she had done it with a hatchet, adding, ‘Come and see.’ He went to the window looking out on the yard, and saw the deceased lying in the yard upon a board. The child was dead. He called his mother, and subsequently went for a constable. M’Mahon was not told that his wife had been in the lunatic asylum before he married her. On examining the body of the deceased, there was found a large oblique wound, nearly severing the head from the body. There was another wound also in the neck dividing the wind pipe, and another extensive wound under the right arm. Either of these wounds would have been sufficient to cause death, and they could all have been inflicted by the axe. John Bailey, sergeant of police saw on the table in the kitchen the deceased. The body was rolled in a sheet, and the head was nearly severed from it. It was recently killed, and blood was still flowing from the wounds. He then saw the mother. He had her get up and dressed, and went out into the yard. On a plank he saw a quantity of blood. He took possession of the axe (produced). It had been washed. He took the mother and child in a cab to the police station. On the way the mother said that God had commanded Abraham to offer up his son, and that he told her also to offer up her son, and that she had done it. She preferred having her child in heaven to putting him to anyone. The coroner, in summing up, said the evidence placed it beyond doubt that the woman had wilfully murdered the child, and the jury returned a verdict accordingly, and the woman was committed for trial. During the proceedings the woman showed signs of mental derangement, and at the close made a few remarks showing that she fully believed, as she stated to Sergeant Bailey, that she was relied upon to sacrifice her child.

 

 

ON THIS DAY – January 16, 1912

EAST MELBOURNE

Two shots rang out in Wellington Parade, East Melbourne, about 10 o’clock last night and as a result Frederick Leopold Tullidge, aged 24 years is dead, and Rowland William Holt, 23 years, grocer was charge of wilful murder. Jealousy is alleged to have been the cause of the conflict. About seven years ago Tullidge married Miss Anne Elizabeth Gordon Meyer, but three years ago their domestic happiness was disturbed, and in August last, Tullidge obtained a divorce from his wife, and Holt was then mentioned as co-respondent. Though Tullidge divorced the woman he was not unmindful of her welfare, and resented the continued attentions of Holt. About a fortnight ago he told Holt to desist his attentions to Mrs Tullidge; the threat, however, went unheeded. Last evening Holt called upon the woman at the residence of Dr. Harper Bell, where she was employed as a nurse. They decided to go out, but had hardly shut the gate behind them when Tullidge appeared on the scene. There were some words and then a scuffle between the two men. It ended In a revolver being drawn and two shots were fired. The police were communicated with, and when they arrived on the scene they found Tullidge lying dead on the kerbstone In Wellington Parade. Holt and Mrs Tullidge were then standing In the middle of the roadway. Constable Loughran approached and said, ‘What do you know about this ‘I know all about It,’ was the calm reply, ‘but I will not tell you here.’ The constable then reminded Holt that a statement was necessary. Holt then declared he shot Tullidge In self-defence. Holt was arrested and taken to the lock-up. The woman informed the police that as soon as she left Dr. Bell’s residence In Wellington Parade with Holt, she saw Tullidge approach them. He caught Holt by the arm and asked ‘Will you stand up to your punishment’, Holt replied ‘I want to speak, and I will do anything you like.’ Tullidge suddenly seized Holt by the throat and the men began to struggle on the roadway. She ran inside the gate of the house, from which she emerged, and as she passed through it heard shots fired. The terrified woman retraced her steps and observed Tullidge lying prone on the Parade with a wound in his breast. She then asked some strangers to obtain medical and police assistance.

 

 

EAST MELBOURNE

MURDER THREAT ALLEGED

A young returned soldier who is alleged to have chased and threatened to kill his former fiancee with a Japanese Samurai sword, was committed for trial in the Fourth District Court yesterday.  Charles Francis Wright (22) docker and painter. Spencer St., West Melbourne, was charged with having entered a dwelling by night with intent to commit a felony. Mr Addison, P.M., committed him to the Supreme Court on December 9 with bail of £50 and surety for the same amount.  Greta Marie Watkins, porteress, Parliament Pl., East Melbourne, to whom Wright was once engaged to be married, broke down while giving evidence and wept bitterly. She said that at 11.15 p.m. on November 29, as she was walking in Parliament Pl. Wright grabbed her by the arm and said, “I want to take you to a beautiful spot to see the Crucifix.” She refused to go with him. Wright said. “I will come back with a couple of hand grenades and I will kill you.” Later as she was sitting outside the guest house she saw Wright coming down the stairs with something in his hand. As he chased her she ran into Gisborne St. He yelled. “I’ll get you.” She ran about 200 yards before she heard someone call “stop” and a shot was fired. Wright pleaded not guilty and reserved his defence.