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On This Day – April 9, 1910

At the Morgue on April 9, the Coroner (Dr. Cole) opened on inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of William George Trott, a caretaker, 50 years of age.

The deceased, was discovered in Menzies’ Alley at the back of the Empire Hotel on April 3 suffering a fractured skull, having apparently fallen 16ft from his bedroom window, which was immediately above the spot where he was discovered.

Henry Halliwell, a clerk in the employ of the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Co., stated that Trott had been in the company’s employ for a number of years. To the Coroner He was a widower, and was always considered by the firm a sober man. He never had fits.

Jane Jensen, a married woman, residing at the Empire Hotel, stated that Trott had been residing at the hotel for the past three years. Witness, continuing, stated that she last saw the deceased alive at closing time on Saturday night. He was then standing at the foot of the stairs preparatory to going to bed.

Dr. Thomas Hurley, of the Melbourne Hospital, stated that he admitted Trott to the institution on April 3 suffering from a fractured thigh and skull and internal Injuries. He smelt very strongly of stale beer when admitted, and died two days later from the effects of his injuries.

The inquiry was adjourned for further evidence to be obtained.

Photo courtesy of State Library Victoria

ON THIS DAY – May 10, 1915

MELBOURNE

“Misadventure” was the finding of Dr. R. H. Cole, the Coroner, after holding an inquiry into the death of Samuel Duband, 79, tailor, of Longmore street, St. Kilda. who fell down a lift well at Newman’s Buildings, 25 Swanston street, on May 10.

The evidence showed that four employees of Joseph Newan Duband, by whom Samuel Duband was also employed, had made use of the goods lift at the building, and had failed to close the door of the lift well, although it was set forth in notices that the door should be closed, and that not more than two persons should ride in tho lift at once. Duband had evidentily stepped through the open door of the well on the fourth floor, and his body was found on the roof of the lift at the ground floor.

The Coroner said that the young men employed by Duband had used the lift illegally. The case came very close to manslaughter, but not quite close enough. if they had been in charge of the lift there might have been a committal.

ON THIS DAY – May 10, 1915

MELBOURNE

“Misadventure” was the finding of Dr. R. H. Cole, the Coroner, after holding an inquiry into the death of Samuel Duband, 79, tailor, of Longmore street, St. Kilda. who fell down a lift well at Newman’s Buildings, 25 Swanston street, on May 10.

The evidence showed that four employees of Joseph Newan Duband, by whom Samuel Duband was also employed, had made use of the goods lift at the building, and had failed to close the door of the lift well, although it was set forth in notices that the door should be closed, and that not more than two persons should ride in tho lift at once. Duband had evidentily stepped through the open door of the well on the fourth floor, and his body was found on the roof of the lift at the ground floor.

The Coroner said that the young men employed by Duband had used the lift illegally. The case came very close to manslaughter, but not quite close enough. if they had been in charge of the lift there might have been a committal.

Henry Cutmore had been imprisoned for 12 months in May 1901 on a charge of begging and disorderly conduct. Cutmore said at his trial that he would be better off in gaol. Cutmore was born in1821 and was known as the “Fire King” because he had a habit of setting fire to the grass stacks of anyone who he had a grudge against! On the 2nd November 1901, Cutmore had been lined up outside of the infirmary waiting his turn for treatment at around 1.30pm. Warder Edwin Coy deposed that Cutmore must have slipped up the stairs unobserved to the third floor landing. He also observed that Cutmore was behaving normally. Coy witnessed Cutmore hanging by his hands from the balcony of the third floor. Cutmore suddenly let go and “fell onto the rail of the bottom balcony on his descent to the floor”. This was a distance of about 22 feet (about 6.7m). Dr Croker deposed that Cutmore when he was admitted to gaol in May was suffering from Old Age, Debility, Rheumatism, Umbilical Hernia and Enlargement and disease of the collar bone! Dr Coker saw Cutmore again about 5 minutes after his fall. He reported that he was suffering from a collapsed state, that both eyelids were contused, a contusion on his right temple which was very swollen and broken right elbow. He was removed to the Gaol hospital where Cutmore complained of abdominal pain and paralysis of the bladder. Cutmore appeared to improve slightly but then passed away at 6.20am on the 5th November 1901. The official cause of death was shock of injuries after a fall.