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ON This Day – October 4, 1937

Found guilty of murdering Thomas Bowler, 58, a farmer, of Seacombe, at Dutson on October 4, Michael James Joseph O’Brien, 18, a labourer, was to-day sentenced to death.

The Crown Prosecutor read a statement alleged to have been made by the accused, which set out that the trouble arose between Bowler and O’Brien when O’Brien kicked the dead man’s dog. The statement said that Bowler had said to O’Brien after the incident, “You dirty lout. What right have you got kicking a dog like that? If I catch you doing it again I will give you a thrashing you will never forget.”

O’Brien was then alleged to have said that he had made up his mind that he would shoot Bowler, and to disable him in some way, but that he did not intend to kill him.

It continued that later when Bowler and William Cann were entering a car, O’Brien shot Bowler and he fell to the ground groaning. Cann bent down to aid him and he was also shot.

“While Cann was kneeling there, I shot him because he made me wild when he came down and spoke to Bowler,” continued the alleged statement. O’Brien was also alleged to have admitted to the police that he fired another shot at Bowler while Cann was attempting to crawl back to the house.

Judge Gavan Duffy, in passing sentence, said that he concurred with the verdict, which was reached after a retirement of 35 minutes.

After sentence was passed, O’Brien did not show any sign of concern, and walked firmly from the dock.

ON THIS DAY…… 2nd September 1890

The inquest touching the death of Donald M’Donald was resumed, Mr.W.W.Greene, P.M. Dr. Quick appeared for the Crown, the prisoner Rowe being unrepresented. Although a mass of evidence was elicited during the enquiry, no point of importance transpired. The man John M’Donald, a former partner of the deceased, was re-examined, but his evidence was chiefly corroborative. He swore positively that the last time he saw the deceased was on the occasion when he went to his camp to arrange about the settlement of accounts in connection with some fish they had jointly sent to Melbourne. He was afraid to approach too close to the deceased, as he considered him a “shingle short,” and had, moreover, often heard him threaten to shoot persons on whom he had a down. Senior-constable Egglestone and Detective-sergeant Mahony corroborated the prisoner Rowe’s statement as to his route from Tyntyndyer to Terang. Although some of the camp sites are now submerged by the flood waters, they had been able to follow up his track. They produced the barrel of the prisoner’s gun, and also some burnt cartridges, which were found in the place described by Rowe. The police having exhausted all the available evidence, the enquiry was adjourned till Saturday, October 4th. The prisoner stated that he hoped to see the right man brought to task and that he would say nothing until all witnesses were excluded from the court during the hearing of evidence.

On This Day – August 29, 1880

An attempted double murder and suicide occurred at Echuca East on August 29 amongst the residents of the Chinese quarter, which created some sensation. The cause of the affair was a woman. A Chinaman named Georgo Cooey Foo, a well-known dangerous character, who has already served a sentence in Delinquin gaol for stabbing a man, fired at a woman named Sarah Newell and a countryman named William Ah Loon. Cooey Foo has been employed as cook on board the Lady of the Lake steamer. Ah Loon filled a like position on the South Australian steamer Cadell, and when recently at Echuca he was robbed of a £5-note by another Chinaman named James Ah Poo. Ah Loon came to Echuca to be present at the trial of Ah Poo, who, however, had absconded from his bail. Ah Loon then, in the absence of Cooey Foo, took up with the woman Newell. This enraged Cooey Foo, who purchased a revolver — six chambered pin-tire— and he went to Echuca East on August 29, and saw the woman Newell in bed. He fired two shots at her, neither of which took effect. Ah Loon then came to the rescue, and was fired at, but missed. He rushed Cooey Foo, and was shot in the head. The bullet glanced off the cheek-bone and emerged at the neck. Dr. Croker was called in, but unless erysipelas sets in danger is not apprehended. Senior-constable Nedwell arrested Cooey Foo on the capital charge of shooting with intent to murder. Cooey Foo admitted the shooting, and said he was sorry he had been baulked in his design of shooting both. He swallowed a piece of opium, but an emetic caused him to vomit, and he is now out of danger. Cooey Foo had written a letter to a countryman, in Chinese characters, saying he would be dead when the letter reached his friend, and telling the latter to get his watch, clothes, and money.

On this day …….. 29th of January 1864

On this day in 1864 a lad was out on Lake Connewarre shooting ducks. He noticed something ahead of his boat, which he took to be swans, and he accordingly fired at the object. This turned out to be Mr. Butler, a farmer near the lakes, who, perceiving a flock of ducks ahead of him. had laid down in the boat, and was quietly paddling himself along, using his arms as paddles. He had on a white shirt, and it seems the lad had fancied that the regular movement of his arms was caused by the opening and closing of a swan’s wings. The greater portion of the charge took effect in the man’s head, but it is not serious.

 

 

On This Day – January 14, 1935

Floating face downwards in 4ft. of water, the body of James Albert Ross, aged 23 years, carpenter, of Tallarook, who disappeared in mysterious circumstances on the 11th of January, was found in Sugarloaf Creek on this day in 1935. There were two bullet wounds in the head, one behind his right ear, and the other nearer the forehead, and both his arms and legs were tied. His arms were weighted with a pfece of stone. After police had questioned several residents about the case they arrested at the Seymour police station Jeffrey Jones, aged 23 years, of Tallarook, and laid a charge of murder against him. Jones is a relative by marriage of the dead man.

 

 

ON THIS DAY – January 13, 1939

Anyone who receives a £5 note bearing the numbers R17-952140 is asked by officials of the Criminal Investigation Branch to communicate with them. That note, they said was part of the sum of £70 which was believed to have been stolen from Leslie McAllister, aged 38 years, of Monbulk, butcher, when he was murdered on January 12. McAllister’s body was found in his motor-van on the side of Burwood Road, Wantirna near the Dandenong Creek bridge with a bullet in the head. Members of the Criminal Investigation Branch said that the holder of the £5 note would be reimbursed by the Police Department if he handed it in. They are also trying to trace a number of cheques which they think were stolen.

 

 

ON This Day – October 4, 1937

Found guilty of murdering Thomas Bowler, 58, a farmer, of Seacombe, at Dutson on October 4, Michael James Joseph O’Brien, 18, a labourer, was to-day sentenced to death.

The Crown Prosecutor read a statement alleged to have been made by the accused, which set out that the trouble arose between Bowler and O’Brien when O’Brien kicked the dead man’s dog. The statement said that Bowler had said to O’Brien after the incident, “You dirty lout. What right have you got kicking a dog like that? If I catch you doing it again I will give you a thrashing you will never forget.”

O’Brien was then alleged to have said that he had made up his mind that he would shoot Bowler, and to disable him in some way, but that he did not intend to kill him.

It continued that later when Bowler and William Cann were entering a car, O’Brien shot Bowler and he fell to the ground groaning. Cann bent down to aid him and he was also shot.

“While Cann was kneeling there, I shot him because he made me wild when he came down and spoke to Bowler,” continued the alleged statement. O’Brien was also alleged to have admitted to the police that he fired another shot at Bowler while Cann was attempting to crawl back to the house.

Judge Gavan Duffy, in passing sentence, said that he concurred with the verdict, which was reached after a retirement of 35 minutes.

After sentence was passed, O’Brien did not show any sign of concern, and walked firmly from the dock.

ON THIS DAY…… 2nd September 1890

The inquest touching the death of Donald M’Donald was resumed, Mr.W.W.Greene, P.M. Dr. Quick appeared for the Crown, the prisoner Rowe being unrepresented. Although a mass of evidence was elicited during the enquiry, no point of importance transpired. The man John M’Donald, a former partner of the deceased, was re-examined, but his evidence was chiefly corroborative. He swore positively that the last time he saw the deceased was on the occasion when he went to his camp to arrange about the settlement of accounts in connection with some fish they had jointly sent to Melbourne. He was afraid to approach too close to the deceased, as he considered him a “shingle short,” and had, moreover, often heard him threaten to shoot persons on whom he had a down. Senior-constable Egglestone and Detective-sergeant Mahony corroborated the prisoner Rowe’s statement as to his route from Tyntyndyer to Terang. Although some of the camp sites are now submerged by the flood waters, they had been able to follow up his track. They produced the barrel of the prisoner’s gun, and also some burnt cartridges, which were found in the place described by Rowe. The police having exhausted all the available evidence, the enquiry was adjourned till Saturday, October 4th. The prisoner stated that he hoped to see the right man brought to task and that he would say nothing until all witnesses were excluded from the court during the hearing of evidence.

On This Day – August 29, 1880

An attempted double murder and suicide occurred at Echuca East on August 29 amongst the residents of the Chinese quarter, which created some sensation. The cause of the affair was a woman. A Chinaman named Georgo Cooey Foo, a well-known dangerous character, who has already served a sentence in Delinquin gaol for stabbing a man, fired at a woman named Sarah Newell and a countryman named William Ah Loon. Cooey Foo has been employed as cook on board the Lady of the Lake steamer. Ah Loon filled a like position on the South Australian steamer Cadell, and when recently at Echuca he was robbed of a £5-note by another Chinaman named James Ah Poo. Ah Loon came to Echuca to be present at the trial of Ah Poo, who, however, had absconded from his bail. Ah Loon then, in the absence of Cooey Foo, took up with the woman Newell. This enraged Cooey Foo, who purchased a revolver — six chambered pin-tire— and he went to Echuca East on August 29, and saw the woman Newell in bed. He fired two shots at her, neither of which took effect. Ah Loon then came to the rescue, and was fired at, but missed. He rushed Cooey Foo, and was shot in the head. The bullet glanced off the cheek-bone and emerged at the neck. Dr. Croker was called in, but unless erysipelas sets in danger is not apprehended. Senior-constable Nedwell arrested Cooey Foo on the capital charge of shooting with intent to murder. Cooey Foo admitted the shooting, and said he was sorry he had been baulked in his design of shooting both. He swallowed a piece of opium, but an emetic caused him to vomit, and he is now out of danger. Cooey Foo had written a letter to a countryman, in Chinese characters, saying he would be dead when the letter reached his friend, and telling the latter to get his watch, clothes, and money.

On this day …….. 29th of January 1864

On this day in 1864 a lad was out on Lake Connewarre shooting ducks. He noticed something ahead of his boat, which he took to be swans, and he accordingly fired at the object. This turned out to be Mr. Butler, a farmer near the lakes, who, perceiving a flock of ducks ahead of him. had laid down in the boat, and was quietly paddling himself along, using his arms as paddles. He had on a white shirt, and it seems the lad had fancied that the regular movement of his arms was caused by the opening and closing of a swan’s wings. The greater portion of the charge took effect in the man’s head, but it is not serious.

 

 

On This Day – January 14, 1935

Floating face downwards in 4ft. of water, the body of James Albert Ross, aged 23 years, carpenter, of Tallarook, who disappeared in mysterious circumstances on the 11th of January, was found in Sugarloaf Creek on this day in 1935. There were two bullet wounds in the head, one behind his right ear, and the other nearer the forehead, and both his arms and legs were tied. His arms were weighted with a pfece of stone. After police had questioned several residents about the case they arrested at the Seymour police station Jeffrey Jones, aged 23 years, of Tallarook, and laid a charge of murder against him. Jones is a relative by marriage of the dead man.

 

 

ON THIS DAY – January 13, 1939

Anyone who receives a £5 note bearing the numbers R17-952140 is asked by officials of the Criminal Investigation Branch to communicate with them. That note, they said was part of the sum of £70 which was believed to have been stolen from Leslie McAllister, aged 38 years, of Monbulk, butcher, when he was murdered on January 12. McAllister’s body was found in his motor-van on the side of Burwood Road, Wantirna near the Dandenong Creek bridge with a bullet in the head. Members of the Criminal Investigation Branch said that the holder of the £5 note would be reimbursed by the Police Department if he handed it in. They are also trying to trace a number of cheques which they think were stolen.