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On This Day – January 30, 1947

Melbourne’s ‘Chinatown’ has been subjected to an Intense search by many detectives and police since the murder last night of Yung Shlng, 53 year old bosun of the freighter Fort Abltiba.

Shlng was shot dead In a taxi at point blank range. The owner-driver of the taxi, Robert Sydney Pack, was shot in the abdomen and the leg and was admitted to hospital in a critical condition. Pack told detectives that both he and Shlng were shot when they refused an order by two other men to hand over their money, but detectives are puzzled by the fact that the killers did not touch £156 in Shing’s pocket, and also left behind £10, which police found in the seat of the taxi.

The killing was discovered when detectives Investigated a taxi parked in the middle of the road with the motor still running. They found Shlng dead in the front seat and Pack lying wounded in the back seat. Pack told the police that while driving the four men to the docks one pressed a revolver against his’ ribs and ordered him to get into the back seat. He said one of the others joined the gunman and shots were fired. Police believe that the shooting is a prelude to gang warfare, involving customers of a Chinese gambling den.

Inquiries have disclosed that Yung Shlng had won between £5000 and £8000 In gambling over the past two months.

ON THIS DAY – April 28. 1930

GEELONG

MANSLAUGHTER – MAXIMUM SENTENCE IMPOSED.

Eric Harris Brockwell aged 24, at the Geelong Supreme Court was found guilty by a jury of the manslaughter of Horace Thomas Walpole, taxi-driver, on April 28. The Chief Justice, Sir William Irvine, said that the jury, by finding him guilty of manslaughter, had been very lenient. Therefore, he would impose the maximum sentence for manslaughter, 15 years.

THE FACT

With a bullet wound in his head. Walpole was found dead in his taxi on the Queenscliffe-road on April 28. In a statement which he read from the dock, Brockwell admitted that he had engaged Walpole to drive him, and that he had an argument with Walpole. He added that he pulled out a sawn-off rifle and tried to frighten Walpole.

THE “EXCUSE.”

“I had no intention of killing him.” said Brockwell “and I am not guiltv of murder. I was muddled with drink at the time.”

 

ON THIS DAY – March 2, 1950

COLLINGWOOD

After having deliberated for 5 1/2 hours, a Criminal Court jury found two of four men charged with the murder of Mervyn Lance Batten, 27, of Gold street, Collingwood, on the 2nd of March, guilty of manslaughter. They were Reginald Pascoe Connors, 28, plasterer’s laborer, of Best street, North Fitzroy and Allan Frederick Ashman, 25, laborer, of Watsonia Housing Settlement, Melbourne. Connors was sentenced to 10 years’ gaol, Ashman was remanded. Mr. Justice Barry said that Connors was a most dangerous criminal. He had killed a man and from his observations, was likely to kill again if left at large. According to evidence Ashman gave Connors a sawn-off military rifle with which Batten was shot at the door of his home from a taxi occupied by five men.

 

 

ON THIS DAY – March 1, 1943

Norman Searle, 27-year-old turner and fitter, was charged in the City Court with having at Richmond on the 1st of March, murdered 42 year old senior Constable Frederick Jones, of Northcote. Searle was also charged with having at Balwyn also on the 1st of March, unlawfully and maliciously shot at taxi driver George Costello with intent to murder him. In applying for a remand on a murder charge to the City Court on the 9th of March. Police Prosecutor Inspector Ainsworth said it was alleged that at 8.20pm Constable Jones was on duty at Richmond. Searle, who was in a passing taxi, fired at him with a rifle and Senior Constable Jones died shortly afterwards.

 

 

ON THIS DAY – February 5, 1943

PRAHRAN

Homicide squad detectives, who investigate the murder of Francis John Phelan, aged 32, taxi-driver, North Carlton, how few clues to go by. Phelan had been shot three times while in his taxi on the night of the 5th of February. His body was dumped in a gutter in Izett Street, Prahran. The taxi was found, abandoned, half a mile away. A young American serviceman was taken to the Detective Office on the 9h of April for questioning by detectives investigating the murder of Phelan. He was escorted to the police station by a squad of American military police. He was later charged with murder.

 

 

ON THIS DAY – April 28. 1930

GEELONG

MANSLAUGHTER – MAXIMUM SENTENCE IMPOSED.

Eric Harris Brockwell aged 24, at the Geelong Supreme Court was found guilty by a jury of the manslaughter of Horace Thomas Walpole, taxi-driver, on April 28. The Chief Justice, Sir William Irvine, said that the jury, by finding him guilty of manslaughter, had been very lenient. Therefore, he would impose the maximum sentence for manslaughter, 15 years.

THE FACT

With a bullet wound in his head. Walpole was found dead in his taxi on the Queenscliffe-road on April 28. In a statement which he read from the dock, Brockwell admitted that he had engaged Walpole to drive him, and that he had an argument with Walpole. He added that he pulled out a sawn-off rifle and tried to frighten Walpole.

THE “EXCUSE.”

“I had no intention of killing him.” said Brockwell “and I am not guiltv of murder. I was muddled with drink at the time.”

 

ON THIS DAY – March 2, 1950

COLLINGWOOD

After having deliberated for 5 1/2 hours, a Criminal Court jury found two of four men charged with the murder of Mervyn Lance Batten, 27, of Gold street, Collingwood, on the 2nd of March, guilty of manslaughter. They were Reginald Pascoe Connors, 28, plasterer’s laborer, of Best street, North Fitzroy and Allan Frederick Ashman, 25, laborer, of Watsonia Housing Settlement, Melbourne. Connors was sentenced to 10 years’ gaol, Ashman was remanded. Mr. Justice Barry said that Connors was a most dangerous criminal. He had killed a man and from his observations, was likely to kill again if left at large. According to evidence Ashman gave Connors a sawn-off military rifle with which Batten was shot at the door of his home from a taxi occupied by five men.

 

 

ON THIS DAY – March 1, 1943

Norman Searle, 27-year-old turner and fitter, was charged in the City Court with having at Richmond on the 1st of March, murdered 42 year old senior Constable Frederick Jones, of Northcote. Searle was also charged with having at Balwyn also on the 1st of March, unlawfully and maliciously shot at taxi driver George Costello with intent to murder him. In applying for a remand on a murder charge to the City Court on the 9th of March. Police Prosecutor Inspector Ainsworth said it was alleged that at 8.20pm Constable Jones was on duty at Richmond. Searle, who was in a passing taxi, fired at him with a rifle and Senior Constable Jones died shortly afterwards.

 

 

ON THIS DAY – February 5, 1943

PRAHRAN

Homicide squad detectives, who investigate the murder of Francis John Phelan, aged 32, taxi-driver, North Carlton, how few clues to go by. Phelan had been shot three times while in his taxi on the night of the 5th of February. His body was dumped in a gutter in Izett Street, Prahran. The taxi was found, abandoned, half a mile away. A young American serviceman was taken to the Detective Office on the 9h of April for questioning by detectives investigating the murder of Phelan. He was escorted to the police station by a squad of American military police. He was later charged with murder.