ON THIS DAY – July 27, 1932

Walter Henderson. (48), farmer, was charged late today with having on July 27, at Albert Park murdered his mother Mrs Sarah Henderson.


The third trial of Walter William Henderson 47, farmer, on a charge of having murdered his mother at their home at Albert Park on July 27, was concluded in the Criminal Court to-night. The Jury found Henderson not guilty and he was discharged. Soon after his acquittal Henderson was arrested on a charge of bigamy.

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 – July 12, 1950

A Criminal Court  jury found Winifred Therese Walford, 42, of Gordon Street, Deepdene, not guilty of the murder of her husband on July 12, on the ground of insanity. The Crown alleged, that she struck Keith Hartley Walford, 51, company secretary, on the head with an axe while he was reading a paper in the dining-room. The jury took less than half an hour to arrive at a verdict. Mr. Justice O’Bryan sentenced Mrs. Walford to custody at Pentridge Jail during the Governor’s pleasure.  A quiet plea of “not guilty” was all that Mrs. Walford said, throughout the trial. She was not called to give evidence. Three medical witnesses called by the Crown and the defence save evidence that she suffered from’ depressive psychosis following the birth of a child 12 years ago. In their opinion she would not have known that she was doing wrong when she struck her husband with the axe eight times, but she would have known the nature of the act. Detective J. Oakes said that soon after the husband’s death Mrs. Walford told him she must have been crazy. She said they had always been happy together and he was a loving man, who had been extremely considerate of her. Her doctors had told her that she must have more hospital treatment and this was worrying her.

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….. 10th July 1910

The trial of Peter Long on a charge of murder, arising out of the death, at Ballarat, on July 10, of Florence Jelbart, was continued in the Melbourne Criminal Court, October 28. Dr. Crawford Henry Mollison, Government pathologist, said:-I heard Dr. Champion’s evidence on the previous day, and from that and from my examination of the parts I am of opinion that death was not due to air embolism, but to shock. Professor H. B. Allen (dean of the faculty of medicine in the University of Melbourne) and Dr. Frank Reginald Longden (of Buninyong) expressed a similar view. This concluded the case for the Crown. Peter Long, the accused, said his Chinese name was Lee Yee. He had been practising in and around Ballarat for 13 years. On the night of July 10, he left the deceased in his consulting-room while he went into the shop. A few minutes afterwards he heard a scream, and rushed into the consulting room. He then found her lying on the floor of the room, and she died soon after. He did nothing to the girl to cause her death. Dr. William Edward Davis, who attended the post-mortem examination conducted by Dr. Champion, said he thought the condition of the heart was inconsistent with death by shock. The wounds could have been self-inflicted. Drs. R. A. Stirling (of Melbourne) and G. E. Cussen (of Ballarat) gave evidence to a similar effect. The hearing of the case was concluded when the jury, after a retirement of two hours, found Long not guilty, and he was acquitted.

ON THIS DAY – July 5, 1910


Peter Long, a Chinese herbalist, of Ballarat, was placed on trial in the Supreme Court to-day on a charge of murder. The charge arose out of the death of the young woman, Florence Hill Jelbart, in Long’s house on July 5. Long was tried in Ballarat in August, when the jury disagreed. A change of the venue of the trial to Melbourne was afterwards obtained at the instance of the Crown. Accused pleaded not guilty. The case was not concluded when the court adjourned.

On This Day – June 28, 1938

A jury in the Criminal Court today found Thomas William Loe (40), of Mooroopna, not guilty of the murder of his wife, Amelia Jane Loe (32) on the ground that he was temporarily insane at the time of the commission of the offence on May 4.
The evidence showed that Loe throttled his wife and hit her twice on the head with a hammer at a time when two or
their seven children were sleeping in the room.
Relatives of deceased said that until the tragedy Loe and hid wife had been devoted to each other.

ON THIS DAY – June 6, 2003

A career criminal has admitted to shooting dead self-described vampire gigolo Shane Chartres-Abbott in Melbourne in 2003 as a favour to an acquaintance. The man is the crown’s key witness and cannot be identified because of a number of suppression orders from Victoria’s Supreme Court. Mr Chartres-Abbott, a 28-year-old male prostitute who claimed he was a vampire, died after being shot outside his home in Reservoir on June 4, 2003. Warren Shea, Mark Perry and Evangelos Goussis are the three men on trial for his murder. Via videolink, the unnamed witness told the jury he was responsible for the death of Mr Chartres-Abbott. In testimony on Wednesday, the court heard that just a few weeks before the killing, Shea told the unnamed key witness that Mr Chartres-Abbott had raped and maimed Perry’s ex-girlfriend. “I was told that he [Chartres-Abbott] made a shocking mess of her, bit hunks out of her,'” the witness told the court. “I was told quite a fair bit about that, and [Chartres-Abbott] raped her and left her for dead.” The witness also told the court he was asked by Shea if he knew anyone who “would be interested in… harming Chartres-Abbott”. “I definitely said I’d take care of it personally,” the witness added. The witness testified that he accepted no payment for the killing, calling it a “favour for a favour”. Initially he had the wrong address for Mr Chartres-Abbott, but was eventually given the correct address by a policeman he knew. He wrote the details down on a TAB ticket. The witness gave evidence that the third defendant, Goussis, drove him to Mr Chartres-Abbott’s house on the day of the killing. The prosecution alleged the three defendants engaged in joint criminal enterprise because they all intended that the murder be committed. The three defendants have all pleaded not guilty.

ON THIS DAY – April 19, 1914



The trial of Betro Callil, warehouse man, on the charge of manslaughter of Rose Despard, telegraphist, was concluded in the Criminal Court to-day. On April 19, deceased was knocked down and fatally injured by a motor car driven by Callil at the intersection of Swanston and Flinders streets. The defence was that the car was travelling at about 10 to 12 miles per hour, and that defendant could not avoid the collision. After the evidence for the prosecution was given, Mr. Justice Hodges said he was unable to see any evidence of negligence, and the jury, by direction, returned a verdict of ”Not guilty.



ON THIS DAY – November 9, 1924


At the Melbourne Criminal Court on March 26 the jury returned a verdict of not guilty in the case of Albert James Barter (41), carter, who was charged with the murder of his mother-in-law, Mrs. Catherine Dawson, widow, at Yallourn, on November 9. On that date the woman was found mutilated and dead in her hut, and near her was a tomahawk, with which it was believed she had been done to death.


On This Day – September 24, 1954


A fight in a Bacchus Marsh cafe on September 24 last, and the subsequent running down of a 23-year-old man, had its sequel in the Criminal Court today when two brothers from Thornbury and a Northcote youth were charged with murder.

The three charged are Frederick Charles Clark, 22, labourer, Herbert Ernest Clark, 21, labourer, both of Gooch Street, Thornbury, and Thomas Allan Rowe, 20, labourer, of Northcote.

They pleaded not guilty to the murder at Bacchus Marsh of Eric John Trotter, 23, tool-maker, of Sunshine.

Opening the Crown case, Mr H. A. Winneke, KC, said that Trotter had been knocked by a motor car driven by Frederick Clark, with Herbert Clark and Rowe as passengers.

Mr Winneke said that Trotter and two friends named, Allan and Showell had set out in a small Morris car for a Sunday in the country.

Trotter died soon after he and one of his two companions were knocked down by a Ford sedan car, allegedly containing the three accused, following a cafe brawl with the three accused.

They had arrived in Bacchus Marsh at 8 p.m. and had had three drinks at the Border Inn Hotel, before going to a cafe where they met the three accused “who had been drinking freely.”

A fight had started and Trotter and his companions had left and had then gone up the street. As Allan was turning the car round Herbert Clark and Rowe came along-side and smashed in the side curtains.

Mr Winneke said that one of the accused men had been heard to call out: “Wait on . . I’ll get the car and chase them.” Near a turn out of the town Allan had stopped the Morris because he was having difficulty with the cut on the side of his face.

Allan got out on the driving side under the light and the other two came round to inspect his face.  Meanwhile Frederick Clark had turned the Ford and the other two accused got in to chase the Morris.

A witness had heard one of the accused say: “Hurry on. We’ll run the . . off the road.” Mr Winneke said that Trotter was inspecting Allan’s eye when the Ford came along at a high speed and swerved in close. It had hit both men, crashed into the right hand side of the Morris and then swerved across to the other side of the road and hit a post. The three men had got out of the car and escaped.

Trotter, who had received a brain injury, two broken legs and a broken arm, had died 15 minutes after being admitted to the Bacchus Marsh Hospital.

The next morning Frederick Clark had been captured on the Western Highway and the other two had been caught later at Melton Station.

ON THIS DAY – July 27, 1932

Walter Henderson. (48), farmer, was charged late today with having on July 27, at Albert Park murdered his mother Mrs Sarah Henderson.


The third trial of Walter William Henderson 47, farmer, on a charge of having murdered his mother at their home at Albert Park on July 27, was concluded in the Criminal Court to-night. The Jury found Henderson not guilty and he was discharged. Soon after his acquittal Henderson was arrested on a charge of bigamy.