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On This Day – September 27, 1941

Alfred Bye, 24, soldier, was to-day found guilty of murdering Thomas Edward Walker, a soldier, in the Treasury
Gardens, on September 27, and sentenced to death.
Bye. in his defence said that he had hit Walker in self-defence, and Walker had been fatally stabbed when he rolled on a 9 inch sheath knife.
There were 16 stab wounds in Walker’s body.

On This Day – September 14, 1914

Accused Sentenced to Death

The Italian, Antonio Soro, was found guilty in the Criminal Court to-day of the murder at Royal-park, on September 14, of Miss Patricia Angela Bickett, school-teacher, aged 28, and was sentenced to death. Expert evidence was given of the accused’s sanity.

When the jury brought in a verdict of guilty Soro trembled and sobbed violent-ly and when asked if he had anything to say why sentence of death should not be passed on him made no reply. Mr. Justice Hood then pronounced sentence of death.

ON THIS DAY…… 6th September 1887

In the case of Mrs. Mepham, charged with the murder of her sister (Mrs. Pike), at Wangaratta, the Judge summed up, in a speech, lasting two hours, entirely against the prisoner. The jury brought in a verdict of guilty with a recommendation to mercy. His Honour, in passing sentence of death, said the recommendation of the jury would be sent to the proper quarter.

On This Day ……. 18th May 1908

The prisoner John Purdy, against whom the sentence of death was recorded for a grave offence at Warrnambool, was detained at the Geelong gaol. As is customary in such cases, the accused was allowed a more liberal dietary and other privileges. His case went before the Executive Council and the sentence of death was commuted.

 

On This Day ……. 23rd April 1870

Quong Song, was found guilty of an unnatural offence, and had a sentence of death recorded against him. Mr Struehan, agent for the executors of the late Mr Calvert’s will, wished to give evidence, and, having been sworn, stated that he had known the prisoner for upwards of 15 years, and he had always borne an excellent Character on Mr Calvert’s station, where be had been employed for 20 years. His Honour pointed out that a judge hud no option but to record sentence of death for such an offence, and recommended the witness to send his testimony to the Executive Council, who would no doubt consider it in fixing the term of imprisonment. Quong Song sentence was changed to 10 years at Geelong Gaol.

 

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 – March 1, 1927

Arthur John Kotsiakos, aged 39, a Greek fishmonger, was found guilty of the murder of his wife, Josephine Elizabeth Mary Kotsiakos, on the 1st of March, in their home in North Melbourne at the conclusion of his trial at the Criminal Court. In passing sentence of death the Chief Justice, Sir William Irvine said that the jury had returned the only reasonable verdict on the evidence. Evidence was given that Kotsiakos, although divorced from his wife, had been living with her on account of the children. Two of the children, a boy, aged 10 1/2, and a younger girl, gave evidence that their parents had quarrelled on the night of the tragedy and they had heard the accused ask their mother “to make friends again.” When their mother replied in the negative the accused, they said, drew a revolver from his hip pocket and fired five shots at their mother. The children ran for the police, and when they returned their mother had the revolver clutched in her left hand as she lay on the stair way. Accused gave evidence that his wife attempted to shoot him and he closed with her. During the struggle which ensued, he said the revolver exploded and his wife fell dead. He said that his wife was keeping company with another man, and shortly before the tragedy he had accused her of that. She then intimated that she intended committing suicide. The jury returned to court shortly after retiring and announced the verdict of murder with a strong recommendation of mercy on the ground that Kotsiakos acted under an impulse.

 

 

On This Day – 22nd February 1902

William Hope, who is under sentence of death for the criminal offence upon a girl at Warrnambool, was brought to the Geelong gaol on this day in 1902. He does not appear to realise his grave position. He was detained pending consideration or his case by the Executive Council.

 

 

ON THIS DAY – February 9, 1908

At the Supreme Court John Charles Manning was charge with having murdered his wife, Mary Ada Manning, at Golden Square, Bendigo. On the February 9, Manning sliced his wife’s throat. Manning, who is of small stature, presented a haggard and aged appearance, and appeared to have aged in looks since the inquest. He still wore a bandage round his throat, thus covering the wounds which, after he was found alongside the dead body, of his wife, he acknowledged had been self-inflicted. George Rowley Manning, son of the prisoner and deceased, said his mother was a good, religious woman. He denied the truth of the accusations that had been made by the prisoner against, his mother in his diaries. The jury retired at 12 minutes past 4 o’clock, and returned with a verdict of guilty of murder at seven minutes to 6 o’clock. Prisoner staggered when asked if he had anything to say. He shook his head, and said in a weak voice, “I don’t plead guilty in my own conscience.” Mr. Justice Cussen, without changing his wig for the black cap, and still wearing his scarlet and ermine robes, then passed the sentence of death. The prisoner for a moment was motionless. Then he buried his face in his hands. When removed to the cells, however, he walked with a steady step.

Manning’s sentence of death was commuted to life imprisonment

 

On This Day – September 27, 1941

Alfred Bye, 24, soldier, was to-day found guilty of murdering Thomas Edward Walker, a soldier, in the Treasury
Gardens, on September 27, and sentenced to death.
Bye. in his defence said that he had hit Walker in self-defence, and Walker had been fatally stabbed when he rolled on a 9 inch sheath knife.
There were 16 stab wounds in Walker’s body.

On This Day – September 14, 1914

Accused Sentenced to Death

The Italian, Antonio Soro, was found guilty in the Criminal Court to-day of the murder at Royal-park, on September 14, of Miss Patricia Angela Bickett, school-teacher, aged 28, and was sentenced to death. Expert evidence was given of the accused’s sanity.

When the jury brought in a verdict of guilty Soro trembled and sobbed violent-ly and when asked if he had anything to say why sentence of death should not be passed on him made no reply. Mr. Justice Hood then pronounced sentence of death.

ON THIS DAY…… 6th September 1887

In the case of Mrs. Mepham, charged with the murder of her sister (Mrs. Pike), at Wangaratta, the Judge summed up, in a speech, lasting two hours, entirely against the prisoner. The jury brought in a verdict of guilty with a recommendation to mercy. His Honour, in passing sentence of death, said the recommendation of the jury would be sent to the proper quarter.