Late of ?
NSW Police Training Centre – Redfern / Police Training College – Penrith Class # ? ? ?
New South Wales Police Force
Regd. # 4508
Service: From ? ? pre June 1940? to 6 March 1977 = 36? years Service
World War II
Enlisted: in Sydney, NSW on 25 March 1944
Service # 444844
Rank: Leading Aircraftman
Next of kin: James BRUCE
Single / Married:
Returned to Australia: N/A
Date of Discharge: 7 June 1945
Posting at Discharge: 4 ( Maintenance ) GRP HQ
WWII Honours & Gallantry: None for display
Occupation upon joining:
War Service In Au: Yes
Active Service outside Au: No
Active Service in Au: Yes
Police Awards: No Find on Australian Honours system
Rank: Commenced Training at ? Police Academy on ? ? ?
Probationary Constable- appointed Monday 3 June 1940 ( aged 23 years, 2 months, 27 days )
Constable – appointed ? ? ?
Left NSWPF for Duty with R.A.A.F. During WWII
Returned to NSWPF on 7 June 1945
Constable 1st Class – appointed ? ? ?
Detective – appointed ? ? ? ( YES )
Senior Constable – appointed ? ? ?
Leading Senior Constable – appointed ? ? ? ( N/A )
Sergeant 3rd Class – appointed ? ? ?
Sergeant 2nd Class – appointed ? ? ?
Sergeant 1st Class – appointed 1 January 1968
Inspector 3rd Class – appointed 20 August 1973 ( Seniority Date = 1 June 1973 )
Inspector 2nd Class – appointed 10 October 1974
Inspector 1st Class – appointed 3 February 1976
Final Rank = Inspector 1st Class
Stations: ?, The Depot, Newtown ( 5 Division ), Kogarah ( 12 Division ), Broken Hill, Girilambone, 5 Division, 12 Division , Maroubra ( 15 Division ), Sutherland Detectives ( 24 Division ), ?
Retirement / Leaving age: = 59 years, 11 months, 27 days
Time in Retirement from Police: 36 years, 10 months, 27 days
Awards: No Find on Australian Honours system
Born: Wednesday 7 March 1917, Sydney, NSW
Died on: Sunday 2 February 2014
Age: 96 years, 10 months, 26 days
His wife, Edna Doreen BRUCE nee CROSBIE, Died just over a month after Mervyn, on 10 March 2014, aged 91.
Event location: ? , Sutherland, NSW
Event date: ?
Funeral date: ? ? ?
Funeral location: Woronora Memorial Park, 121 Linden St, Sutherland, NSW
Funeral Parlour: ?
Buried at: Cremated – Ashes Taken
Memorial / Plaque / Monument located at:
Dedication date of Memorial / Plaque / Monument: Nil – at this time ( January 2021 )
MERVYN is NOT mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance *NEED MORE INFO
FURTHER INFORMATION IS NEEDED ABOUT THIS PERSON, THEIR LIFE, THEIR CAREER AND THEIR DEATH.
PLEASE SEND PHOTOS AND INFORMATION TO Cal
May they forever Rest In Peace
Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957),
Wednesday 4 May 1955, page 6
Parents for trial ‘Boy, 4, was starved, knifed, burnt’
SYDNEY, Tuesday: The parents of a four-year-old boy who, the Court was told, had been starved, stabbed, and burnt, were today committed for trial on a charge of manslaughter.
The boy’s grandmother told the City Coroner: “He was so hungry he jumped up on the table, grabbed food and stuffed it into his mouth like a dog.”
Committed for trial were David McHarg and Shirley Florence McHarg, parents of the boy, Raymond, who died at George’s River Rd., Jannali, on March 5.
Dr. R. W. Fisher told the coroner he had refused to issue a death certificate for the boy at an earlier hearing.
He said the child was underweight, and was obviously in need of medical attention before his death.
Constable Mervyn Bruce said that after the boy’s death Mrs. McHarg told him she was afraid of her husband.
She told Detective Bruce that her husband had cut Raymond with a penknife.
McHarg later admitted that while he was “in a temper” he had cut Raymond’s hand, Detective Bruce said.
McHarg had said he had not called a doctor to attend to burns on Raymond’s body because he was afraid the doctor would call the police.
The boy’s grandmother, Mrs. Ethel Beatrice Anderson, said her son-in-law, David McHarg, had threatened to kill the child.
She said the boy “was absolutely starving.”
Once when he came to her from his parents he had bruises on his face and an injured collarbone.
There were 15 welts on his thighs which a doctor had said were caused by a rope.
The boy was taken from her by his father six weeks before his death.
The coroner allowed the father £100 bail and Mrs. McHarg £20 bail.
Truth (Sydney, NSW : 1894 – 1954),
Sunday 4 July 1954, page 45
SHE ‘MARRIED’ TWICE IN 15 MONTHS
Life has not been kind to Kathleen Mary Taylor (23), hospital domestic, late of Balmain, said Det. Mervyn Bruce, of Sutherland, on Wednesday at Judge Holden‘s Darlinghurst Sessions Court.
Mrs. Taylor, twice ” married ” in 15 months between 1952-1953, had pleaded guilty to bigamy. Det. Bruce said Mrs. Taylor was working as a nurse at Balmain Hospital when she married Peter Thomas Taylor on, April 21, 1952. Taylor turned out to be a criminal.
He stayed with Mrs. Taylor only a few days, then left her. She had borne a daughter, now aged two years, of the marriage.
Det. Bruce said Mrs. Taylor placed the child with friends and went to work to provide for it.
She later met a man named Michael McNamara, whom she told she was single.
On July 31, 1953, they were ” married,” Mrs. Taylor being afraid to tell McNamara of the earlier ceremony. A son was born four months ago of the bigamous marriage.
Det. Bruce said Mrs. Taylor was now working as a domestic at a suburban hospital to keep both babies.
Judge Holden stood the matter over, suggesting that the Public Defender ( Mr. F. W. Vizzard ), be asked to appear for Mrs. Taylor who was appearing in person.
His Honor also asked that an Adult Probation Service report be prepared.
” I have some pretty strong ideas on some things,” he said ” but I would be the last person in the world to send to gaol a young girl like you with two young children to look after.
” All the same, I am not a free agent in this matter. Bigamy is a very serious crime. You are not in a position to help yourself or to help me.
” I don’t see why you shouldn’t have the same legal assistance as is given to many criminals in these courts.”
Judge Holden released Mrs. Taylor on £25 verbal bail to come up for sentence when called on.
Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW : 1888 – 1954),
Saturday 5 January 1946, page 5
BRUCE— CROSBY MARRIAGE.
A CLASSICAL gown with old world touches was worn by Miss Edna Crosbie for her wedding to Constable Mervyn Bruce, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Bruce, of Arncliffe, N.S.W., for her wedding, which took place at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church on Wednesday at 4 o’clock. The popular bride is the fourth daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Crosbie, of 93 Morgan Street.
A dainty embossed flower and leaf design was figured on her pure white satin gown, which was offset with an old world double bustle and full flared skirt. A tiny flight of covered buttons trimmed the fitted centre back bodice. Slight shirring finished the front bodice, adding fulness. She had a high rounded neckline. Pleats at intervals finished the three-quarter sleeves which were met by white gloves. She wore an exquisite Honiton veil mounted with a curvette of orange blossom and underlined with white hyacinths. This was loaned by the bride’s sister, Mrs. W. Holland. She carried a lovely sheaf of white Christmas lilies, gypsophilia, and maidenhair fern with trailers.
The bride’s two sisters, Misses Pearl and Una Crosbie, attended as bridesmaids. They wore gowns of heavy palma violet cloque, made with shirred short sleeves, buttoned down the centre back to the low waistline, which was finished with an inch flat tuck. They had uplift waistlines and high rounded necklines, and a tie of the same material finished the back. They wore dainty moonlight gold picture hats trimmed with fuchsia hyacinths matching their palma violet gowns. The carried sheaves of violet gladioli, hydrangeas and maidenhair fern.
Best man was Constable Fred Scholes, and Staff-Sgt. Lenin Carragher was groomsman.
The bride was given away by her father.
About 100 guests attended at the Masonic Hall for the reception. Mrs. Crosbie wore a blue frock of satin backed crepe, finished with pale blue embroidery, and wore navy accessories.
Mrs. Bruce, who with her husband arrived from Sydney, chose navy accessories with her delphinium blue frock which was pintucked and finished with rouleau work.
Constable and Mrs. Bruce left on Thursday morning, for Berri ( Berry ), on the South Coast of N.S.W., where they will spend their honeymoon, Mrs. Bruce travelled in a frock of sky blue, worn with white accessories.
Barrier Daily Truth (Broken Hill, NSW : 1908; 1941 – 1954), Friday 15 March 1946, page 4
In another case Albert Clifford Cumberland was charged with having in Argent Street on March 8 used indecent language. He pleaded guilty.
Constable Mervyn Bruce said that about 3.50 p.m. on March 8 whilst on duty he heard the defendant use the language complained of. He was under the influence of liquor. Defendant had two previous convictions for drunkenness and was fined £3. in default four days.
Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 – 2001),
Friday 24 May 1946 (No.57), page 1197
Department of the Attorney-General and of Justice.
THE undermentioned members of the Police Force to be Inspectors under the Liquor Act, 1912, for the Licensing Districts preceding their names, from the dates specified, viz.:—
Nyngan. — Constable Mervyn Bruce, stationed at Girilambone, vice Constable W. T. P. Holmes,— from 7th April, 1940.
Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 – 1954),
Monday 17 September 1945, page 5
EXTRADITION ON STEALING CHARGE
When Leo Patrick Crimmins, of Fitzroy Street, St. Kilda, accountant, appeared in the City Court today on a charge of having stolen £137/8/7, the property of Yancannia Pastoral Co. Pty. Ltd. at Broken Hill on June 12, Mr McLean, P.M., ordered his extradition to N.S.W.
Constable Mervyn Bruce, of Broken Hill, applied for Crimmins to be remanded into his custody to be taken to Broken Hill.
Barrier Daily Truth (Broken Hill, NSW : 1908; 1941 – 1954), Wednesday 9 February 1944, page 3
Theft Conviction For Shearer
A fine of £10 was imposed on William O’Meley In the Police Court yesterday when he pleaded not guilty to a charge of having stolen an overcoat from out side the Ozone Theatre on January 31. Mr. William C. Beerworth appeared for defendant, who is a shearer, aged 33. The police asked for a remand on the grounds that Stanley Bruce Sinclair, the owner of the coat, could not get into town from his outback home because of the rain.
Mr. Beerworth opposed the remand, saying that his client was a shearer and had already been obliged to lose some days work. The case was proceeded.
Mr. M. J. D. Austin was deputy magistrate. Constable Mervyn Bruce gave evidence that he saw defendant walking along Oxide Street at about 11.50 pm. on January 31. A little later he met defendant in Oxide Street and noticed that he was carrying a Rent’s grey over coat. He said he was staying at the Commercial Hotel and was just going home. Later that night witness went to the hotel where he saw the coat in a bed room. Defendant later told Constable Lane, who accompanied witness, that the coat was one he had had for years, but he could not say where he bought it nor what was the tailor’s name on the tag. Later witness heard defendant tell Constable Booth that it was a strange coat which had been left in his room: he knew nothing about it. To Mr. Beerworth : Defendant was carrying the coat in more or less of a bundle when I saw him carrying it down the stairs. He was wearing a woollen singlet and a pair of trousers, and his shoes and socks were off. “When I saw defendant in Oxide Street earlier I told him to straighten himself up: he had been drinking. I told him he ought to get home.” Further to Mr. Beerworth : Yes, he was carrying the coat quite openly. Defendant did not appear to be muddled when questioned by Constable Booth. Constable J. M. Lane described how he went to the Commercial Hotel at about 12.30 a.m. on February 1 and saw a grey overcoat in a wardrobe. Later defendant told him he had had the coat for years, but he did not know where he had bought it. Witness said he took the coat to the Freemasons Hotel and had a conversation with him as a result of which defendant was brought to the Police Station and charged. He made no reply.
William O’Meley stated that he was a shearer and had been living at the Commercial Hotel for a few weeks waiting for a shearing contract. He admitted that he had the coat, but said he had no intention of stealing it. Witness said he had been at the Theatre Royal Hotel from 9.30 a.m. to noon, and again in the afternoon till about 7 on January 31, as far as he could remember. He said he was drinking all the time, and would have had 15 to 30 gins up to lunch time. He had no idea how many gins he had in the afternoon and could not remember having any dinner.
Witness said he remembered meeting a chap called McGuinness in the hotel, about 7 p.m. and did not remember any more till he met a constable he knew in the street. He had a coat with him then.
After being back at the hotel for a while witness went out again on another drinking tour, then he came back to the hotel. He said that up in his room he noticed a coat that did not belong to him and, knowing that there was still some one in the bar, he thought he would take the coat down there. The proprietor of the hotel was still up. He thought that if he took the coat downstairs he might find out who owned it. Witness said he could not remember anything clearly, but he thought he told Constable Bruce, who was in the lounge of the hotel, that the coat was his. He said when he met the constable as he was taking the coat downstairs, he became afraid. That is why he said it was his.
To Constable Dennett: There is a lot of that night that I don’t know where I was. I have no idea whether I was in the vicinity of the Ozone Theatre that night. He said he did not know why he became afraid of the police. No one told him the police were looking for him. Witness said as far as he could remember. It was not a good night. He did not remember looking in other cars at the Theatre. He denied that it was an ‘old game’ of his — stealing coats — and said that he was definitely drunk that night.
Westbury Heryet Morris, licensee of the Theatre Royal Hotel, said that he knew defendant as a client. He remembered him being at the hotel practically all day on January 31.
Just before closing time Mrs. Morris refused to serve him as he was absolutely drunk. He staggered when he stood up and was put on a lounge to have a sleep. Witness did not know what time he left the hotel.
To Constable Dennett : I do not know who was with defendant, but I do know he was there all day. There were three or four with him. Including some women, at the closing up time. Witness said defendant was drinking gin and must have had about 33 during the day. He said he did not know how he was dressed, or whether he had an overcoat.
The magistrate then convicted the defendant and imposed a fine of £10.
Barrier Daily Truth (Broken Hill, NSW : 1908; 1941 – 1954), Friday 30 July 1943, page 4
On Premises To Steal Alleged
YOUNG MAN DISCHARGED
Charged with having been found on premises at No. l proprietary Square for an unlawful purpose, to wit, steal, on July 24, Antonio Mazocco (18), a laborer, of 31 Wolfram Street, was acquitted in the Police Court yesterday. He was also charged with trespass and was fined £2. He was discharged on a charge of drunkenness Mr. W. C. Beerworth appeared for defendant. A plea of not guilty was entered to the first charge.
Constable Mervyn Bruce said that at about 9.45 on Sunday last he saw defendant at the Police Station and asked him where he was at 8.30 on the previous night. He said he was at home. Later he said be got lost down the North.
Witness told him that a man answering his description was found in a bedroom at the rear of the North Social Club in Proprietary Square.
Defendant said, ‘Yes, that’s right, I was there. I was looking for a telephone, to ring up for a taxi to take me back to Argent Street.’
Defendant said he got under the bed when he heard someone coming.
Two men came into the room and asked him what he was doing, so he jumped over the fence and ran away. He found his way back to Argent Street.
Defendant told witness he did not know anyone at the house, and had not gone there to see any particular person. He had gone there to use the phone because an old man, who had a dog, told him to go there.
Defendant said he had about six drinks of beer after he ran away from the house.
On July 25 witness and Arthur John Rowe saw defendant’ at the Police Station with Detective-Sergeant Truman. Mr. Rowe identified Masocco as the man he had seen in the bedroom at the North Mine Social Club. Defendant admitted that he was there.
Answering Mr. Beerworth, witness said that he had arrested defendant on the previous night. He was drunk.
Arthur John Rowe, laborer, of 631 Blende Street, said that he was at Mr. McIntyre‘s place, No. 1 Proprietary Square, on the night of July 24. He and his host heard footsteps on the back enclosed verandah, so witness went into the room, where he saw a man under the bed. He identified defendant as the man.
When McIntyre asked defendant what he was doing there he ( defendant ) said, ‘What are you doing here? Defendant said that he did not believe that McIntyre was the caretaker, as he knew the caretaker. Defendant said, ‘Blondie lives here.’
Witness said that defendant was muttering a lot.
He went into the back yard and jumped over the six-foot fence while McIntyre was ringing the police.
Next night at the Police Station defendant admitted that he was the man under the bed.
To Mr. Beerworth: The club house and yard were brightly lit at the time; There were only two men in the club room.
Henry Herbert McIntyre, caretaker of the North Social Club, and resident there, described the events of the night of June 24, when a man was found under a bed in his daughters room. His daughter and her girl friend had gone out about a quarter of an hour before.
Witness told Mr. Beerworth that the mans speech was a bit thick. He would say the man had had a few drinks. As far as he knew there was nothing missing from the room.
To Constable Dennett: The man had a foreign accent.
Det.-Sgt. D. D. Truman said that the fence was a galvanised iron one with an angle wooden capping on it and about 5ft. 6ins. high. It was of regular height all along, and was in good condition.
Antonio Mazocco ( 18), a laborer, residing at 31 Wolfram Street, told the Court that be was at the North Mine Club House last Saturday night. He said he had been drinking, first at a wine saloon at 4 o’clock, then later at a hotel, three or four beers. He thought he had four or five wines at the wine saloon.
Leaving the wine saloon, witness and his friend had two drinks of wine at a hotel, then they went to a shop to get some cigarettes.
They returned to the hotel then, and drank beer.
On leaving this hotel they went to another, where he had eight or nine drinks.
From this hotel he went to the Greek Club, but was refused a drink because he was too drunk. This would be about 8 o’clock he thought.
He went out of the Club the back way, and found himself down the North somewhere. He tried to get a taxi to find his way back.
A man told him to go further up, and he’d find a house with a phone. ‘ If you follow up this way you’ll get to Broken Hill,’ he said.
A boy on a bike told him that he’d end up at Menindee if he went backwards; If he went forward he would get to Argent Street.
Going forward, be eventually came to a big house, went in the front gate, and walked round the side. There was a light in a room, and he heard some girls talking. He went up the steps on to the verandah, and hopped in the room.’ Hearing someone talking, he got behind the door. They opened the door, so he got under the bed. Two men came in, and the conversation given by other witnesses was repeated.
Witness said that he couldn’t see any gates when he went out in the yard, so he jumped the fence.
After going home and changing his shoes he went to the Palais. This was, at about 10.30 p.m. At the end of the dance there he was arrested for drunkenness.
Defendant said he had never been to the place before, and didn’t know what place it was. He did not go there to steal. He had remembered most of what had happened since Saturday night, as his head was bad at the time Maurice Coorey, of 104 Bromide Street, a dry cleaner, gave evidence that he was at the Greek Club at 7.30 o’clock on last Saturday night.
Defendant, who was there, was pretty drunk.
Witness saw him again about 10.30 o’clock at the Palais de Danse. He was still drunk. He could not recognise witness. He saw him several times later and he was still drunk.
The magistrate said he did not want to hear any further evidence. He said there was a doubt in his mind and he would give defendant the benefit of that doubt. Defendant was further charged with trespass and also with being drunk.
A plea of guilty was entered in each case.
Mr. Beerworth told the magistrate that defendant was sorry for his actions. He was now anxious to leave Broken Hill to join his father in work in South Australia. He had been on his own here and had been getting into bad Company.
Mr. Solling fined defendant £2 or four days’ hard labor for trespass and discharged him on the drunkenness charge.
The magistrate said: ‘Take my advice and give up this liquor. You go crawling into people’s places, no matter what your intentions, you will strike trouble.
Take my advice and give it up.’ Defendant: ‘Yes, your Honor.
Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW : 1888 – 1954),
Monday 26 October 1942, page 3
3 MONTHS’ GAOL FOR ASSAULT
Young Soldier Who “Bashed” Constable; S.M. Talks Of Perjury
A POLICEMAN who gave evidence against a soldier in the Police Court today had a black eye. The eye was closed, very bruised, and the flesh was stitched in one place. The constable alleged the soldier had given him the black eye.
At the conclusion of the evidence the magistrate ( Mr. R. Solling ) said “Deliberate perjury has been committed by the witnesses for the defence., I have no doubt whatever.” He sentenced Jack Ephraim Denton (20), member of the A.I.F., to Imprisonment for three months on a charge of having assaulted Constable Rivers.
CONSTABLE JOSEPH RIVERS said that at 8.40 p.m. on Saturday he was arresting a soldier named Borrowdale in Argent Street for offensive behavior. Borrowdale resisted arrest, and defendant, who was with him, grabbed hold of Borrowdale and tried to prevent the arrest.
“I was struck a “heavy blow on the right eye. I turned immediately and saw defendant lowering his hand and backing away at the same time. I had a good view of him,” said the constable.
After he had taken Borrowdale to the station witness returned, found Denton, and said he was the man who assaulted him and he would arrest him.
Defendant denied having struck him and said he had just come from a dance.
To Constable Dennett, who was prosecuting, Constable Rivers said the incident took place in Argent Street, a well-lighted area.
The constable said he had to have two stitches put in the wound over the eye, and the doctor ordered him off duty for a week.
When Constable Rivers offered to produce a medical certificate, Mr. William C. Beerworth, who appeared for Denton, laughingly said, “There is no doubt you have a black eye.”
Constable Rivers told Mr. Beerworth that he arrested Borrowdale near Pellew and Moore’s. He pushed him towards the corner. There were three soldiers near. The uniforms were not all the same although they were in khaki. There was no brownout. There was a good street lamp at the centre of the intersection. He was facing towards Chloride Street when the blow was struck. He would be just beyond Efron’s shop.
Witness said he saw the fist immediately after he was struck. Although the blow was “heavy he had not released his hold. Defendant was about a yard behind him. Immediately the blow was struck he turned and saw defendant. His right fist was closed. It was stretched out when he saw it first and was then lowered.
Other people were no nearer than five feet. Defendant backed away and then walked off. He did not run.
Witness did not arrest Denton immediately because he already had one man under arrest and did not wish to let him go.
Constable Rivers said that later when he was near Kitchen’s he saw a soldier near the Commercial Hotel. He walked to him and then half ran to overtake him. He approached this soldier because he had previously been told something.
Defendant was walking to the pie cart when he approached and called him back. Later he spoke to persons near by.
A lengthy cross-examination followed. Constable Rivers denied having punched defendant when he was put in the charge box. Defendant had “crouched”‘ down on the seat. He denied that defendant was accused in his presence of being “yellow.” He did not notice anyone examine defendant’s hands for signs of injury.
A civilian witness said that about 8.40 p.m. on Saturday he was at the Exchange corner. He saw about four soldiers in uniform and a constable who was trying to arrest a man. Another soldier grabbed the soldier who was being arrested by the coat. He saw defendant raise a hand and strike the constable. Defendant walked off. It was a well-lighted area. He had a good view of the defendant.
Later in the evening he saw the constable again. He was talking to defendant. Witness said he was not a foreigner.
“Only Bashed A Copper”
Constable Blake said that he was in the Police Station about 11.15 p.m. He saw Mrs. Denton in the passage and told her something. Mrs. Denton spoke to defendant and said. “O. my boy. This is my baby.” Defendant said: “It’s all right mum. I only bashed a copper. They couldn’t get anything else on me. They’ve got this against me this time.”
Constable Bruce asked him how he came to lose portion of one of his fingers. Defendant said: “I lost it fighting for the likes of you.” He spoke to his mother and said: “Two grills put me away.” He then said: “Two coppers are going to take me out and bash me.” Constable Bruce told the mother to observe that her son was fit and was not hurt.
Mr. Beerworth said defendant told his mother he had been knocked about after he had gone to the Police Station.
The matter of defendant’s three stripes given for three years’ service overseas was mentioned at the station.
Constable Blake denied having told defendant in the presence of his mother that he had no guts and that he was “yellow.”
DR. W. E. GEORGE gave evidence of examining Constable Rivers. He noticed a swollen and black eye with an encised cut over it. It could have been caused by a severe blow. The blow would be heavy because the skin was split.
CONSTABLE MERVYN BRUCE said he saw defendant about 9.40 p.m. on Saturday. He inspected defendant when he was being brought to the cells. About 11.50 p.m. defendant was taken to the charge-room where his fingerprints were taken. His mother came in and asked what was the matter. Defendant said: “I just knocked a copper down – that’s all.” Later he asked defendant how he had come to lose a finger. Defendant replied: “I lost it fighting for the likes of you.” He had examined defendant’s hands, arms, and chest. There were no injuries on his hands. There were no marks of violence on him.
Denton, a member of the 2nd A.I.F., then went into the witness stand.
Mr. Beerworth. Did you assault Constable Rivers.
Denton: I definitely never saw him. Defendant told Mr. Beerworth that he caught the 7.30 Murton bus. He had an appointment to meet a young lady at 7.45 o’clock. They were going to the Town Hall dance. He met her about 7.50 o’clock. They talked for a while and then went into the dance.
That was just after 8 o’clock. He stayed there until about 9.30, when he went out to get some pasties from the pie-cart. When he got near the Commercial corner someone called to him. He turned round and saw two constables. One of them said: “Have you got a brother called —— ?” “I might have and I might not.”‘ I replied that way because I didn’t know what was on. He went across towards the pie-cart. The policeman called to him and said to two men near by, “Is this the man?” One said: “Yes that looks like him.”
The constable said, “That’s near enough,” and told me he was going to arrest me for something done near the Exchange Hotel.
Later a policeman said: “That’s the yellow —— who knocked me.” He was knocked down and was later kicked about in the cell.
To Constable Dennett defendant said he knew his girl friend for many years. He denied knowing the soldier Borrowdale or even seeing him in the cells. As far as he was concerned it was a case of mistaken identity. There were plenty of soldiers about. Some were A.W.L. He denied saying to his mother, “I knocked a copper down.”
After the luncheon adjournment. Constable Dennett continued to cross examine Denton.
Defendant said he was practically unconscious when he was carried into the cells. He did not complain about the behavior of the police to Sergt. Phillipson when he bailed him out because his mother had told him to “keep quiet.”
MRS. EDITH DENTON, of 729 Lane Street, mother of defendant, gave evidence.
The girl who accompanied Denton to the dance at the Town Hall was then called. She said: Just before the interval defendant left to buy some pies. He was away for three dances.
John Patrick Bugeja, of 331 Lane Street, was the last witness for the defendant.
Denton was convicted.
Constable Dennett said the defendant had several previous convictions for other offences.
Mr. Beerworth addressing the magistrate on the penalty said that Denton had gone overseas at the age of 17 and had lost a finger and besides had shrapnel wounds. He said the defendant was now due to return to the army.
“Yes, I will give you half of what you would have got,” said the magistrate in imposing a sentence of three months’ imprisonment.
A charge of insulting words against Denton was withdrawn.
Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW : 1888 – 1954), Tuesday 4 August 1942, page 4
WOODCUTTER IS CONVICTED ON THREE CHARGES; CONSTABLE’S STORY ABOUT DISTURBANCE
THE story of an alleged unlawful assault upon a constable in which the constable had his left hand bitten by the man he was arresting, was told this morning before Mr. R. Solling, S.M., in the Police Court.
John Pearce (47), woodcutter, was fined £3, in default six days’ hard labor, on a charge of unlawfully assaulting Constable Mervyn Bruce on August 1, whilst in the execution of his duty.
He was fined £2, in default, four days’ hard labor on a second charge of resisting the officer, and £5, in default four days’ hard labor, on a third charge of using indecent language. Defendant pleaded not guilty.
Constable Bruce, in evidence, said that about 6.40 p.m. on August 1. he first noticed defendant outside the Commercial Hotel, where he was creating a disturbance. He followed him and then heard the abusive words complained of. When he attempted to arrest him, defendant made several punches and kicks at him. Defendant fell to the ground, and as he was attempting to lift the man, defendant bit him on the back of the left hand. Sergeant Flanagan then came to his assistance.
“Defendant had been drinking, but in my opinion he was not drunk,” said Constable Bruce.
Sergeant Flanagan said that about 6.50 p.m. on the day, in response to a telephone call, he went to Argent Lane, near Oxide Street, where he saw the defendant lying on the ground struggling.
“I went to the constable’s assistance. Afterwards Constable Bruce showed me his hand, which was bleeding. Defendant had been drinking, but in my opinion he was not drunk,” said the sergeant.
Pearce, who had no witnesses, then went into the box to give his account of the incident.
“Somewhere after 6 o’clock. I was standing near Johnson’s Theatre. Someone touched me on the back, and when I looked round it was the constable. He said to me ‘You are swearing.’ I said I was not,” said defendant.
“When the constable told me to come with him I said I was willing to go to the station, but the constable took my arm and twisted it up my back. I said:. ‘Ease the pressure, and I’ll be all right,’ but he only put it on harder.”
Defendant also alleged that the constable had used a baton on him.
In response to questions by Constable Dennett, prosecutor, as to whether defendant had struggled and fought. Pearce said several times that, drunk or softer, he would never fight a policeman. He “had more sense.”
Asked whether he had bitten the constable. Pearce said, “I pinched him on the arm with my fingers to break the stranglehold.”
In answer to Constable Dennett‘s further question. ”Did you not bite him?” Pearce replied, “No; I made to bite him and would have if I had got the chance.”
Asked whether he had ever been to the Police Station before. Pearce said, ”Yes, I have been to the station before, but, I’ve never been treated so rough in my life.” Pearce further reiterated that he never fought polite.
“Sensible man !” commented Mr. Solling.
Following Constable Dennett‘s further questioning, the defendant eventually admitted using indecent language on the occasion.
Pearce was given 14 days to pay.