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ON THIS DAY – July 19, 1913

A young domestic servant named Ellen Muston, was charged in the Criminal Court yesterday before Mr Justice Cussen with the wilful murder of her female child at Brighton on July 19. The Crown prosecutor (Mr Womarski, KC) conducted the case against the accused, who pleaded not guilty, and was defended by Mr E J Corr (of Messrs Corr and Corr) The accused gave evidence on her own behalf and the jury returned a verdict of not guilty on the grounds of insanity, and Muston was ordered to be detained in strict custody at the Church of England Home, Cheltenham, until the Governor’s pleasure was known.

ON THIS DAY – June 17, 1913

A tragic affair at the Yarra Bend Lunatic Asylum on June 17 when a patient was killed with an axe handle as the result of a sudden attack by another inmate culminated in the presentment of Arthur Dowell at the Criminal Court charged with the murder. John Joseph Tissear, medical officer of the asylum, gave evidence that the accused was suffering from dementia and could not possibly realise his position. The jury found that prisoner was not fit to plead to the presentment, and the Chief Justice ordered that he should be detained in custody during the Governor’s pleasure. Dowell was taken back to the Asylum.

 

ON THIS DAY – June 16, 1908

At the Central Criminal Court on the 18 June 1908 a young woman named Elizabeth Anderson, 19 years of age, was presented on a charge of having wilfully murdered her illegitimate child at Carlton on 16th ult. The evidence showed that the accused was a domestic servant. Her employer found on the roof of the kitchen the body of a child. The accused had complained that she not feel very well and went to her room to lie down. About two hours later the wife of her employer went to her and from what she was told sent for a medical man. The medical evidence was to the effect that the accused had given birth to a child. The defence was that accused did not know what she was doing and that the child was dead when placed on the roof. The jury accepted the plea of insanity and returned a verdict of not guilty on the ground that accused was insane at the time the act was committed. She was ordered to be detailed during the Governor’s pleasure.

 

ON THIS DAY – June 2, 1921

PATRICK DUFF – MORDIALLOC

Arthur Ernest Dowling 17 years, who was convicted of the manslaughter of Patrick Duff by shooting him at Mordialloc on June 2, was sentenced to twelve months imprisonment with hard labour, until at the conclusion he is to be detained in a reformatory during the Governor’s pleasure.

ON THIS DAY – December 17, 1932

Accused Man’s Insanity.

William John Daly, 54, was charged at the Bendigo Court with the murder of Emily Louisa Cherry, 48, at Woodvale, on this day in 1932. Counsel for the accused said that Daly was mentally unfit to plead. A jury found Daly not guilty on the grounds of insanity. Daly was ordered to be detained during the Governor’s pleasure.

 

ON THIS DAY – November 18, 1967

A Criminal Court jury found Henry Sylvester Morhun, 17, labourer, of the suburb of Doveton, guilty tonight of the murder of Veronica Ann Underwood, 16, on November 18 last.  As Morhun is under 18, Mr Justice Adam did not pronounce the death sentence but told Morhun that the only sentence he could pass was that he be kept in strict custody in Pentridge Gaol until the Governor’s pleasure was known. Veronica’s nude body, with head injuries and a stab wound in the chest, was found lying in the grounds of the Doveton North State School, a short distance from her home.

 

 

 

ON THIS DAY – October 31, 1900

Valentine Curtis Robertson, an inmate of the Yarra Bend Lunatic Asylum, was placed in the dock of the Criminal Court to-day, and charged with the murder of Fitzroy Shanks, another inmate. It was alleged that on October 31, Shanks, who was an elderly man, was waiting near one of the cottages for his breakfast, when Robertson crept up behind him, and dealt him a blow on the head with a piece of wood, which felled him. He then battered him so savagely that death took place in two hours. The medical evidence showed that the prisoner was insane, and the jury found he was unfit to plead. Mr. Justice Hodges ordered him to be kept in strict custody until the Governor’s pleasure is known.

ON THIS DAY – July 19, 1913

A young domestic servant named Ellen Muston, was charged in the Criminal Court yesterday before Mr Justice Cussen with the wilful murder of her female child at Brighton on July 19. The Crown prosecutor (Mr Womarski, KC) conducted the case against the accused, who pleaded not guilty, and was defended by Mr E J Corr (of Messrs Corr and Corr) The accused gave evidence on her own behalf and the jury returned a verdict of not guilty on the grounds of insanity, and Muston was ordered to be detained in strict custody at the Church of England Home, Cheltenham, until the Governor’s pleasure was known.

ON THIS DAY – June 17, 1913

A tragic affair at the Yarra Bend Lunatic Asylum on June 17 when a patient was killed with an axe handle as the result of a sudden attack by another inmate culminated in the presentment of Arthur Dowell at the Criminal Court charged with the murder. John Joseph Tissear, medical officer of the asylum, gave evidence that the accused was suffering from dementia and could not possibly realise his position. The jury found that prisoner was not fit to plead to the presentment, and the Chief Justice ordered that he should be detained in custody during the Governor’s pleasure. Dowell was taken back to the Asylum.

 

ON THIS DAY – June 16, 1908

At the Central Criminal Court on the 18 June 1908 a young woman named Elizabeth Anderson, 19 years of age, was presented on a charge of having wilfully murdered her illegitimate child at Carlton on 16th ult. The evidence showed that the accused was a domestic servant. Her employer found on the roof of the kitchen the body of a child. The accused had complained that she not feel very well and went to her room to lie down. About two hours later the wife of her employer went to her and from what she was told sent for a medical man. The medical evidence was to the effect that the accused had given birth to a child. The defence was that accused did not know what she was doing and that the child was dead when placed on the roof. The jury accepted the plea of insanity and returned a verdict of not guilty on the ground that accused was insane at the time the act was committed. She was ordered to be detailed during the Governor’s pleasure.

 

ON THIS DAY – June 2, 1921

PATRICK DUFF – MORDIALLOC

Arthur Ernest Dowling 17 years, who was convicted of the manslaughter of Patrick Duff by shooting him at Mordialloc on June 2, was sentenced to twelve months imprisonment with hard labour, until at the conclusion he is to be detained in a reformatory during the Governor’s pleasure.

ON THIS DAY…….. 10th April 1899

MELBOURNE

The second trial of Emery Gordon Medor, who was charged with the murder of Stevens in the Eastern Market on this day in 1899, was concluded1. A verdict of not guilty was returned on the ground of insanity at the time of committing the deed. Medor was ordered to be kept in strict custody pending the Governor’s pleasure.