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ON THIS DAY – October 30, 1955

John Kevin Seach, 26, quarry worker, was sentenced to death in the Central Criminal Court today after a jury convicted him of murder. Seach, who showed no emotion when the verdict was announced, had pleaded not guilty, on grounds of insanity, of murdering John Frederick Ward, 7, at Portland on October 30 last year. The Chief Justice (Mr. Justice Street) described Seach’s crime as an abhorrent and detestable one. The Crown Prosecutor (Mr. C. V. Rooney, KC) said that Ward and another boy, Albert Colin Spiers, 7, disappeared while they were attending a sports meeting at Portland on October 30. Their bodies were found in a cave four days later. It was alleged that Seach had lured them to a cave in a local quarry, claiming that he would show them some pigeons’ nests.

 

 

On This Day – September 20, 1916

At the Sale Supreme Court, Victoria, on Tuesday, last, Leslie Thompson, aged 14 years, pleaded guilty to a charge of having administered poison in a manner likely to endanger life at Combimbar on September 20. The facts were that Thompson was living with a family at Combimbar, with whom John Patrick Ward, the schoolmaster, a single man, was boarding, Ward was also postmaster.  A sum of money, about £1, belonging to the State School Patriotic Fund, was missed, and Thompson was suspected of the theft. Knowing that Ward suspected him, Thompson set about trying to remove Ward. He obtained a tin of strychnine, and put some in the milk and some in the teapot which was used by the family with whom Ward was boarding. Thompson, instead of drinking his tea, went outside and threw it away. The milk was thought to be bitter, and was thrown out. Ward was in the habit of taking breakfast later than the family, and porridge was set aside for him on the stove. Into this Thompson stirred some strychnine. Ward gave a spoonful to one of the children, who said that it tasted nasty,” and spat it out. Ward then tasted it an also noticed that it was unpleasant. The porridge was thrown out to some animals, and a dog and a pig , which ate some of it, died. Ward had a habit of sucking the end of his pen, and on this Thompson smeared strychnine, Ward put the pen into his mouth; and only saved his life by causing himself to vomit. His Honor Mr. Justice Hodges said it was a most diabolical attempt to take life. The schoolmaster was the one Thompson wished to hit, but he did not care how many suffered, or now many lives were endangered. If Thompson were a bit older there was not the slightest doubt that he would have been hanged. Thompson was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment with hard labor

ON THIS DAY – October 30, 1955

John Kevin Seach, 26, quarry worker, was sentenced to death in the Central Criminal Court today after a jury convicted him of murder. Seach, who showed no emotion when the verdict was announced, had pleaded not guilty, on grounds of insanity, of murdering John Frederick Ward, 7, at Portland on October 30 last year. The Chief Justice (Mr. Justice Street) described Seach’s crime as an abhorrent and detestable one. The Crown Prosecutor (Mr. C. V. Rooney, KC) said that Ward and another boy, Albert Colin Spiers, 7, disappeared while they were attending a sports meeting at Portland on October 30. Their bodies were found in a cave four days later. It was alleged that Seach had lured them to a cave in a local quarry, claiming that he would show them some pigeons’ nests.

 

 

On This Day – September 20, 1916

At the Sale Supreme Court, Victoria, on Tuesday, last, Leslie Thompson, aged 14 years, pleaded guilty to a charge of having administered poison in a manner likely to endanger life at Combimbar on September 20. The facts were that Thompson was living with a family at Combimbar, with whom John Patrick Ward, the schoolmaster, a single man, was boarding, Ward was also postmaster.  A sum of money, about £1, belonging to the State School Patriotic Fund, was missed, and Thompson was suspected of the theft. Knowing that Ward suspected him, Thompson set about trying to remove Ward. He obtained a tin of strychnine, and put some in the milk and some in the teapot which was used by the family with whom Ward was boarding. Thompson, instead of drinking his tea, went outside and threw it away. The milk was thought to be bitter, and was thrown out. Ward was in the habit of taking breakfast later than the family, and porridge was set aside for him on the stove. Into this Thompson stirred some strychnine. Ward gave a spoonful to one of the children, who said that it tasted nasty,” and spat it out. Ward then tasted it an also noticed that it was unpleasant. The porridge was thrown out to some animals, and a dog and a pig , which ate some of it, died. Ward had a habit of sucking the end of his pen, and on this Thompson smeared strychnine, Ward put the pen into his mouth; and only saved his life by causing himself to vomit. His Honor Mr. Justice Hodges said it was a most diabolical attempt to take life. The schoolmaster was the one Thompson wished to hit, but he did not care how many suffered, or now many lives were endangered. If Thompson were a bit older there was not the slightest doubt that he would have been hanged. Thompson was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment with hard labor