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Evening News, Wed 7 Mar 1928 1


    HERBERT WILSON, 26, laborer; Frederick Gordon Payne, 27, salesman; Phillip Jeffs, 32, salesman; and Ernest Frederick Wilson, 22 salesman, were remanded at the Central Court to-day, until March 14, on a charge of having committed a serious offence on Mrs Ada Mavis Maddocks, at Darlinghurst, on March 5. Bail was refused.

    In reply to Mr Camphin, SM, the police prosecutor, Sergt Cummins, said that the police were satisfied regarding the respectability of the woman, who had identified the men as having dragged her into a flat and criminally assaulted her. Other charges would be preferred against the men.

    Mr Dovey, for accused, said his instructions were that the charge was nothing more than the hysterical outburst of a married woman who had apparently acted unwisely. If there were any relations between her and other persons it was with her consent.
Comment on Charge Against Husband

THERE was a big crowd in the public portion of the court. Many tried to get a glimpse of the men, but they were brought through a back door, and while in the dock, were screened from curious eyes by a wooden partition.

Mr WR Dovey. Image: Truth, (Syd, NSW), Sun 11 Mar 1928, p. 1. Reproduction: Peter de Waal
Mr WR Dovey. Image: Truth, (Syd, NSW), Sun 11
Mar 1928, p. 1. Reproduction: Peter de Waal

    When the charge was read, Mr Dovey announced that he appeared for the four accused.

    The police prosecutor, Sergeant Cummins, asked for a remand for fourteen days.

    In objecting to a remand, Mr Dovey said a great deal of publicity had been given to the case in the Press.

    Reference had been made to “Squizzy” Taylor and the Bondi outrage, without any foundation.

    “An attempt has been made to connect the accused with notorious people,” he declared. “Much has been said in the Press of the allegations of the women.”


    “My instructions are that, when the full facts are made known it will be seen that this charge is nothing more than the hysterical outburst of a married woman. As a married woman she apparently acted unwisely.

    “I am informed that, on the night of the alleged offence, she was at the police station, and has been about ever since.

    “As to her story, Generally, my instructions are that, when called upon to identify her assailants, she picked out jurors in waiting, and witnesses for the Crown.”

    Sgt Cummins: That is absolutely incorrect.

    “These man,” continued Mr Dovey, “were picked up by the police because they were known to them. They have been in trouble before, but not for any offence of violence. They are well known, and I ask for bail.


    “It was not confined to one criminal assault by each man. There will be other charges,” he said.

    Mr Camphin: Can the woman identify these men?

    Sergeant Cummins: Yes; she identified three of them out of a line of 13 men, and the other out of a line of 14 men.

    Mr Camphin: Is the woman respectable?

    Sergeant Cummins: Yes; we are satisfied about that.

    Mr Dovey: Only last week this woman charged her husband with trying to cut her troat with a razor. The husband is now detained under medical observation, and the woman is not living with him. My instructions are that the woman made certain suggestions, that she would have to earn her living as best she could.

    “If there were any relations between her and any other persons, it was with her consent. It was only when she realised that she had acted unwisely that she took this course. There has been no suggestion that the woman’s life is in danger.

    Mr Camphin: This is a capital offence, and I think it is too serious to allow the men out on bail. If the woman’s statements are true, it is a very serious crime.

    “However, if any development takes place that is in favor of these men, I hope it will be mentioned in Court, so that the question of bail can be reconsidered.

    Mr Camphin, to Sergeant Cummins: What is the allegation?

    Sergeant Cummins: It is alleged that about 9.45 pm on March 5 the woman named in the charge, who is married, and resides with her husband and two children, was on her way along Bayswater-road, Darlinghurst, when two men stopped her. She was pulled into the basement of a flat, and criminally assaulted by the four defendants, and others.

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The Sydney Morning Herald, Thu 8 Mar 1928 2


    Charged with having, at Darlinghurst, on March 5, committed a criminal offence on a married woman at Darlinghurst, four men appeared before Mr Camphin, SM, at the Central Police Court yesterday.

The four accused were:—
    Herbert Wilson, aged 26 years, a labourer.
    Frederick Gordon Payne, aged 27 years, a salesman.
    Phillip Jeffs, aged 22 years, a salesman.
    Ernest Frederick Wilson, aged 22 years, a salesman.

    Mr Dovey appeared for the accused, and agreed to a remand until March 14.

    Sensational stories, said Mr Dovey, had appeared in the Press with reference to the case, and the notorious “Squizzy” Taylor and the Bondi outrage had been mentioned. Much had been made of the gravity of the attempts made on this woman, but his instructions, which would be confirmed by the full facts, were that her story was nothing more than the hysterical outburst of a married woman who had acted unwisely on the night of the alleged offence.

    In the line-up of 13 men at the Darlinghurst police station, continued Mr Dovey, the woman had picked out not only the four accused but two jurors waiting to take their place at the adjacent court.

    Sergeant Cummins (police prosecutor): That is absolutely incorrect.

    Mr Dovey: She identified one man in a case that I have knowledge of.

    Resuming, Mr Dovey said the accused were known to the police, having been in trouble before, but not for offences of violence. They were well-known, and had no chance in the world of getting away from the State. In the circumstances he would ask for bail. With a capital charge hanging over them it was most necessary that they should keep in touch with their legal advisers.

    At this stage Mr Camphin asked for the allegations in the case. Sergeant Cummins said that, briefly, they were that at 9.45 pm on Monday the woman was on her way home along Bayswater-road when she was accosted by two men and dragged into a flat. There, she alleged, she was assaulted by the four defendants and others. It was not confined to one criminal offence by each individual. There was more than one charge against the accused, which would be set out when the case was proceeded with. The woman had picked the four men out from a line-up of 13 men.

    In answer to Mr Camphin, Sergeant Cummins said the police were satisfied with the woman’s respectability.

    Mr Dovey asserted that the police prosecutor had been misinstructed. He was informed that she had charged her husband with attempting to cut her throat. She was not living with her husband. If there were any relations between her and any one of the accused, he added, it was entirely with her consent. There was no suggestion that her life was endangered.

    Mr Camphin said he assumed the charge was not restricted to the four accused before the Court. It was a capital offence, and far too serious to allow them out on bail. If any developments took place in favour of the accused he hoped they would be brought before him immediately.

    Bail was refused.


    A fifth man was arrested in Darlinghurst at about 8 o’clock last night by Detective-sergeant Lynch. He was lined up for identification, and subsequently a serious charge was preferred against him.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Truth, Sun 11 Mar 1928 3


    A YOUNG wife, mother of two mere babies, staggered into Darlinghurst Police Station at midnight on Monday, and said she had been kidnapped and criminally assaulted by seven male sadists who had exhibited inconceivable animalistic barbarity.

    ACCOSTED in the street, surrounded, seized, hurried into a nearby flat, she was subjected, so she declared to bewildered police officials, to treatment so surpassingly revolting and appalling that the Brauner and Harris affair [see: Neville Maurice Harris and William Brauner, 1926] seems a mere sidelight in comparison, and the Mount Rennie crime, of ghastly memory, but a poor parallel of this hideous and horrible crime.

    ASTOUNDING and almost fantastic as her story seemed, police officials closely questioned her, and came to such conclusions that they arrested four men with dramatic speed and a fifth the next day.

Kings-Lynn flats, Bayswater Road. Image: Truth, (Syd, NSW), Sun 11 Mar 1928, p. 1. Reproduction: Peter de Waal
Kings-Lynn flats, Bayswater Road.
Image: Truth, (Syd, NSW), Sun 11 Mar 1928, p. 1.
Reproduction: Peter de Waal

    Then, before she realised what was going to happen, she was seized by the arm, and another man placed his hand across her mouth, effectively stifling any cry that she might have tried to make.

    She struggled, she declared, but was lifted off her feet, and whisked off down the laneway to a side entrance in the King-Lynn flat building.

    “Shut up, you fool!” was the crisp and menacing command she received when she endeavoured to protest.

    Then she was told that she was “On a fiver.”

    Whatever character her captors suspected her of having, her protests were of no avail, and she—a wife and mother, on the way home to her sleeping children—was bodily borne off to be dealt with in a manner which beggars description.

    Further down the lane, up a few steps, she was lifted into a room, and thrown on to a settee, where she was firmly held by strong musculine [sic–muscular or masculine] hands.

    One man had an arm around her knee, and seven all told assembled around her, threatening her with a bullet or a knife stab should she resist the revolting schemed their malicious minds had conceived, quite possibly under the stimulation of over-much liquor, and, what is just as likely, maddened by sniffs for deadly cocaine.

    The woman was helpless in a pack of snarling so-called humans, who spoke of guns and knives, and seemed inclined to use them. Terror-stricken in a big flat building, only a couple of hundred yards from well-lighted, busy King’s Cross, and not much further away from the house where her kiddies were sleeping, she was as effectively isolated as if abducted to the interior of an uninhabited desert.

    Her struggles, and protests brought, at first, repeated offers of “the fiver” if she would only undertake to make no noise, but that did not silence her. What closed her trembling lips more effectively, she explained, was the tersely-muttered threat that she would be brutally “booted” if she did cry out.

    And so, for two hours—until 11.45—she was kept in the flat, subjected to the will of her lecherous captors, and made the victim of an attack, or series of attacks, that, for debauched grossness, have no parallel in the history of Australia.

    Not only was she criminally assaulted in a manner that calls for the sentence of death on the conviction of a malefactor, but she was also dealt with by two men, she stated, on lines that admit of no description, a fact that goes a long way to show that she had fallen into the hands of monstrous, sensual animals, masquerading in human form.

    The arrival at the flat of two other men, with two girls, at 11.45, was the signal for her release. She was hustled out through the sitting-room, where she saw girls at a table drinking beer and smoking, paying no attention to her, and, if they had heard her struggles and protests, deeming the matter of no concern.

    Then, after her dreadful nerve-wracking and soul-sickening experience, she hurried along cheerless streets through the night to the police station, and in this early morning hours, after she had gasped out her almost incredible tale, as above set out, the night patrol raced to the flat and detained a man.

    In the flat were found seven bottles of beer, but no sign of drugs.

    With the coming of daylight police operations extended. Two men were arrested in the city; one was caught hiding in a house at Randwick, and another run to earth at Rushcutter’s Bay by Detective Quinn, who had chased the suspect a good distance.

    The husband of the woman raced around to King’s Lynn Flats when he learned what had happened, thirsting for vengeance, but the police already had the matter in hand.

    Inquiries at the flat revealed that the manageress and tenants had heard no unseemly noise during the night, and there had been nothing to excite attention to the doings in the flat into which Mrs Maddocks said she had been forcibly thrown. The flat itself had been let to two “gentlemen” the week before, one gentleman bearing the same name as one of the arrested men.

    It has been rather difficult to let flats in Darlinghurst recently, and Kings-Lynn, which is declared to have maintained a better than average reputation for respectability, admitted the gentlemen on “face value.

    Mrs J Wilson, proprietress of the establishment, had no cause to complain of their conduct as tenants until last Sunday morning, when, at the inconvenient hour of 2.30 am, the noise became unbearable, and, on protests being made by her, she was told that they were just winding up a party that had run most of its course at the Ambassadors in the earlier hours. How true this was is unknown.

    Mrs Wilson has since given up residence at her flats, but the manageress who was there wasn’t cognizant of the frightful things declared to have happened in the apartments of the “two gentlemen” on Monday night.

    Whether the five arrested men are guilty has yet to be decided.

    They are:—

    Herbert Wilson, aged 26, better known as “Budgee” Travers, who is as well-known in Melbourne as in Sydney.

    Phillip Jeffs, aged 32, described as a salesman, well-known in Darlinghurst district, where he enjoys the nickname of “Phil the Jew.”

    Ernest Frederick Wilson, aged 22, also called a salesman.

    Frederick Gordon Payne, aged 27, a salesman.

    Leslie James Heath, aged 35, a share broker.

    Extraordinary in the extreme have been the measures to have these men shielded from the publicity that usually falls to the lot of persons accused of a capital crime.

    Public interest was raised to fever pitch, and press photographers swarmed around the courtyard and police headquarters, where the men were taken to make voluntary statements, the contents of which have not been disclosed.

    But police shielded and shepherded them into motor cars within forbidden walls, probably better looked after than other accused persons.

    At the Central Police Court in the afternoon, when the hour for their transfer to Long Bay Gaol had come, the motor “Black Maria” was backed as closely as possible to the door of the passage that leads to the cells, only a few feet of space intervening. An army of photographers assembled and trained their cameras on that gap.

    A constable came to the grid and shouted, “Get away from there!” but there was no response. Then, after some delay, the grid was opened and the men came out—or, rather, flew out—into the vehicle, one at a time, with hats pulled over their eyes and handkerchiefs across their faces.

    Each made a wild, flying leap across the gap and one, Herbert Wilson, or Travers, who is a big, bulky man of six feet, stumbled and fell on to the floor of the police van with a resounding thud that at once electrified the dozens gathered around.

    Then the van drove away.

    In the statements made to the police, it is understood that no damaging admissions have been made. Some protested absence; others declared the woman to be a consenting party.

    In fact, when the first four men arrested appeared at the Central Court on Wednesday, Mr Dovey, their advocate, declared that if there had been any relations between any one of the defendants and the woman, it was entirely with her consent, and that she, as a married woman who realised she had acted unwisely, then made an hysterical outburst.

    The court proceedings were tense, and drew a crowded house of spectators, for few accused enjoy the widespread acquaintance of such men as Jeffs and Travers.

    Travers was like a sphinx throughout the rather brief proceedings, but the three smaller men—Jeffs, Payne and Ernest Wilson—took a keen interest in everything that was said and done.

    Prosecuting-Sergeant Cummins at once asked for a remand until next Wednesday, and though the defence did not oppose that, Mr Dovey, who with Mr JP MacMahon, had his instructions from Solicitor Hickey, put up a strong fight for bail, referring in a disparaging way to press sensationalism and deprecating references to the Bondi Junction outrage of Brauner and Harris, and the shooting of Squizzy Taylor, which had been mentioned in connection with the arrest of Travers.

    “Much has been made of the gravity of the case,” he declared, “but, according to my instructions, when the full facts are known it will be found it was no more than the outburst of an hysterical woman……”

    Then followed a wrangle between counsel and prosecuting-sergeant when the former made the allegation that the woman had picked jurors in waiting when asked to identify men in a line-up, and the sergeant declared that the statement was untrue.

    “I admit that the defendants are known to the police, but not for offences of violence,” said Mr Dovey to the magistrate, Mr Camphin, who asked the police if bail were opposed.

    It was—very much opposed.

    Sergeant Cummins began to speak of Travers, and the magistrate wanted to know who he was. He was told that Herbert Wilson was Travers, but Mr Dovey made strong objections to the use of the name Travers.

    When that particular little wrangle had subsided, the magistrate spoke.

    “This is a capital offence,” he said, “and I think it is too serious to let these men out on bail.”

     So they were doomed to be held in durance pending a magisterial hearing of the evidence.

    Asked for a definite undertaking that the charge would be proceeded with on Wednesday without any further delay, the prosecutor would not give it.

    On Thursday, Leslie James Heath, the fifth man, who was arrested without resistance in a flat at King’s Cross, was brought before the magistrate, and formally remanded until next Wednesday, along with the others.

    And so, until next Wednesday at the earliest, there will be few developments as far as they are concerned.

    Mrs Maddocks, a slight, sallow-faced little lady, the unhappy central figure in this grim drama, is being sheltered from unnecessary worry and interference pending the ordeal of giving evidence.

    It is understood that the medical evidence will be important.

    She has been unfortunate in other respects quite recently; for only a fortnight ago she appeared as a witness at the Central Court in proceedings against her young husband, Charles Maddocks, who, when charged with having threatened to slice her up with a razor, declared that he was “finished,” and didn’t care whether he was gaoled or not.

    His wife gave evidence that he accosted her in Bayswater-road on a Sunday night at 10.50, and savagely demanded where she had been, treating her explanation of a visit to her aunt’s as a fairy story, and openly sneering at her virtue—calling her, in fact, a fallen woman, and threatening her with the razor in such a manner that her little four-year-old child screamed: “Don’t, Daddy!”


    Back at their flat there were hectic minutes of threats and terror, during which the young husband declared that his little child, Dorothy, would never live with the mother because of her lack of an elementary virtue.

    In court, Maddocks made no defence beyond indicating a young woman named Grace Oliver, a friend of his wife’s, as the cause of the trouble.

    His bearing in court however, was such that the magistrate made a comment on the overwrought state of his nerves, and remanded him for medical observation. On his reappearance, he was bound over to keep the peace to his wife, and, from inquiries instituted by the authorities following on the charge of his wife, has been on amicable terms with her since.

    Should her story of Monday night’s outrage be substantiated when the gruelling test of evidence and cross-examination comes along, it will be a sensation that will shake Australia from end to end; for the statement that a young woman can be dragged from a wide, lighted busy street into a flat under such circumstances as Mrs Maddocks has described, has hitherto seemed incredible.

    That ghastly experience—her terrible trial—might come to any woman—any man’s sister, mother, or wife, if foul, prowling, perverted satyrs are allowed to hunt, like snarling wolves, by night through Sydney streets, seeking women who they may subject in brutal, animal fashion to their insane lusts.

    If Mrs Maddocks’ charge be true, sordid, sinful Darlinghurst has known no parallel horror. Sydney has never had such a stain on its cosmopolitan soul—the blot of an outrage so inherently and grossly barbaric and inhuman that it shrieks defiance of our boast of civilisation.


    HER story, if it be true, must shake the Australian continent from end to end, for it is a history of men behaving like ogres in the seizure of a defenceless woman, torturing her with terror, and subjecting her to treatment so degrading and nauseating as to be beyond description.

    IT means that no wife, mother, or daughter can walk Sydney streets at night safe from possible attack too shuddersome to let the mind dwell upon it. Sydney city now stands aghast at the thought that such a thing could happen in its heart. It is charged that it did.

    Whatever evidence is to be tendered for or against the men in custody, the question of their possible guilt or entire innocence is a matter to be gone into in a court of law at a later stage, and speculation, as far as they are concerned, is wrong and against recognised principles of justice.

    Police, however, have examined at length the woman who has complained of this grim and dreadful experience, and have made arrests.

    If her story be true—whoever may be the inhuman monsters responsible—the young wife and mother was outraged in circumstances of unequalled degradation, hustled from a lighted busy street into a flat, thrown on to a bed, and treated as though she were of less account than a dog.

    There were no screams or loud cries, for she was cowed with an awful and deadly fear, she told the police sergeant at Darlinghurst when, at that midnight hour, she came in—hatless, breathless, and in a state bordering on collapse.


    Mrs Ada Mavis Maddocks, wife of Charles Maddocks, who is himself only 23 years old, is already the mother of two children. She lives at Harford-place, Darlinghurst, a neat little side street that runs off the main artery of traffic, just past the spot where Bayswater-road joins old Woolcott-street, now more euphoniously called King’s Cross-road, but not otherwise visibly changed in character.

    For many years the word “Darlinghurst” has meant so much more than the mere title of a suburb of Sydney, it has spelt the tinsel and the braid of artificial life, flatland, lights, laughter, tragedy, comedy, bohemia and semi-starvation existing alongside spendthrift prodigality.

    It has attracted an artificial populace of artificial lives and looks and longings. The razor gangsters, the dope peddlers and victims of the accursed “snow,” the morally warped woman and the pervert man have all found haven in multi-colored, mosaic Darlinghurst.

    But that is not to say that hundreds of respectable and honorable folk do not live there.

    Mrs Ada Maddocks, wife and mother, who has presented her claims to respectability to the police, said she was returning home from a visit to her aunt’s just before ten o’clock on Monday night—when, as she went down Bayswater-road, she was insulted by the semi-sneering voice of a man, who, in a clearly insinuating tone, called: “Come here, love.”

    She did not come to him or take any notice of him.

    But the man, and a companion with him, stepped forward and barred her further progress.

    Calling her “Dearie,” one expressed surprise at her hurry. He turned and nodded his head as a signal to someone in the darkness of a nearby laneway, running down the side of Kings-Lynn Flats, which are on the north side of Bayswater-road.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Evening News, Wed 14 Mar 1928 4


    LESLIE James Heath, 35, broker; Herbert Wilson, 26, laborer; Frederick Gordon Payne, 27, salesman; Phillip Jeffs, 32, salesman; and Ernest Frederick Wilson, 22, salesman, were again remanded until March 22 at the Central Court to-day on a charge of having criminally assaulted Mrs Ada Mavis Maddocks, at Darlinghurst, on March 5. Bail was refused.

    The five men have been in custody since their arrest, the magistrate having refused bail.

    The court was crowded with interested spectators anxious to get a glimpse of the accused, but a wooden partition shielded them from the public gaze.

    Counsel for the accused men entered vigorous protests against the repeated remands, pointing out their clients were being kept in gaol, through the court’s refusal to grant bail. They did not have reasonable facilities to discuss the case with their legal advisers.


WHEN the Court opened, the police prosecutor, Sergt Napper, said that all persons who were not witnesses in cases should leave the body of the court. He repeated this remark twice, but nobody left. There was only one woman present, and she occupied a seat as a witness.

    Leslie James Heath and Herbert Wilson were also charged with having committed an abominable offence, [sodomy].

    After the charges had been read, the police prosecutor, Sergeant Napper, told Mr Gates, CSM, that articles had been submitted to the Government Microbiologist for analysis. No report had yet been received from that official, as the examination entailed considerable work on his part.

    He asked for an adjournment until March 22.

    Sergt Napper added that Mr Rogers, of the Crown Law Office, who would prosecute, would be able to attend on that day.


    Mr Dovey opposed the application, stating that the defendants were arrested on Tuesday week. They were brought before the Court a week ago and Mr McMahon, who appeared for some of the defendants, did not oppose the remand. An application for bail had been refused. The fact that the Government Microbiologist was not ready was no reason at all why a remand should be asked for. The charges preferred against the men were more notorious than murder.

    “The Press has been filled with all sorts of stories,” he declared, “and the minds of the public have been inflamed against them. To-day we find that people are being judged, not by a jury, but by the Press.

    “There is not the slightest reason,” he added, “why the case should not proceed to-day. Our clients have perfect answers to the charge.”


    “The position of my two clients,” said Mr McMahon, “is that they are in gaol, and therefore reasonable facilities are not afforded us to see them from time to time to discuss the case.

    “I submit that it is most unfair to them. Taking into consideration the time they have already been in gaol, and the fact that the police are now asking for a further remand of eight days, I strongly oppose the remand.”

    “While they are in gaol, further charges are being preferred against them, as instanced in the fresh charge against one of my clients and a client of Mr Dovey’s. we have a perfect answer to the case.”

    Mr Gates CSM: I won’t refuse the remand under the circumstances, but can any earlier day be suggested? Special arrangements will have to be made for hearing the case, if, as I am told, the woman’s evidence is likely to take a day.

    Mr Dovey remarked that the case night occupy two or even three days.

    Sergt Napper said that the police thought it would be a long case.

    “Personally I do not know anything of the case,” he added, “and we have no desire to make public anything that might be seized upon by the newspapers.”


    The Magistrate: Anything made public in the Press evidently comes from the Police Department, and, if you make representations to the Police Department, some action might be taken to prevent it.

    He added that the information supplied to the Press evidently came from members of the Criminal Investigation Branch.

    Addressing Mr Dovey and Mr MacMahon, Mr Gates again suggested that they should make representation to the proper authorities to prevent the publication of articles which might inflame the public mind.

    “In my opinion, it should be prevented,” he added. “I have not seen the articles. I do not read them because we get enough of it here.”

    Mr MacMahon: We take objection to a certain article giving the history of these men and the various names by which they were known.

    Mr Dovey then formally asked for bail.

    “On one of the occasions on which I made application for bail,” he said, “I said that our instructions were that no violence was done to this woman. I pointed out that there must be a competent report from the Government officer as to signs of violence. I challenged the police to say whether such a report disclosed any signs of violence. Their silence was significant.”


    Sgt Napper: Why should it be public before the case is heard? I am only supporting your arguments, Mr Dovey. There has been too much in the newspapers about the case already.

    “These men are well known,” continued Mr Dovey, “and they have as much chance of getting away from this State as paper money would have coming through hell. In view of the fact that the police are not ready to go on with the case to-day, owing to the absence of the microbiologist’s report, I ask for bail.”

    Mr MacMahon suggested that if substantial bail were allowed, the accused could report to Police Headquarters two or three times each day.


    “This morning,” said Mr MacMahon, “a further charge has been made against one of my clients, which I am certainly not prepared to meet yet. It will now be necessary to confer with these men. It takeshalf a day to go out to Long Bay and have a consultation with them.”

    In refusing bail, Mr Gates remarked that he could not see any exceptional circumstances to warrant the granting of bail.

    He remanded accused until March 22, and remarked that counsel could rest assured that the case would be taken on that and the following day.

    Mr TP MacMahon appeared for Jeffs and Herbert Wilson, and Mr MR Dovey for the other three accused.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Morning Herald, Thu 15 Mar 1928 5


    The five men who stand charged with a criminal assault on a young married woman, in a Darlinghurst flat, appeared on remand before Mr Gates, CSM, at the Central Police Court yesterday. They were Herbert Wilson, aged 26 years, a labourer; Frederick Gordon Payne, aged 27 years, a salesman; Ernest Frederick Wilson, aged 22 years, a salesman; Phillip Jeffs, aged 32 years, a salesman; Leslie James Heath, age 35 years, a broker.

    A further charge of having committed an abominable offence, was laid against Herbert Wilson and Heath.

    Making application for a remand to March 22, Sergeant Napper, senior police prosecutor, said the report of the Government biologist has not yet been received.

    Mr Dovey, who appeared for the accused Payne, Ernest Wilson, and Heath, opposed the application, maintaining that, even if the Government biologist was not present, the police should be prepared to go on. The evidence and cross-examination of the woman in the case would take at least a day.

    Mr T McMahon for Jeffs and Herbert Wilson, complained that the accused, who were in gaol, were not being afforded reasonable facilities for discussing their defence with counsel.

    Mr Gates granted the remand.

    Bail was again refused.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Truth, Sun 18 Mar 1928 6

Woman’s Dramatic Outburst in Outrage Case
Mistake May help Police to Make New Arrest

SENSATION piles upon sensation, as the “Darlinghurst outrage” case proceeds. A cold breath of horror swept through No. 1 Central Charge Court on March 14, when it was alleged that, their lusts not satiated by a criminal assault upon Ada Mavis Maddocks, the married woman whom they were said to have kidnapped in Bayswater-road, two of the men charged had committed another terrible act against her.

    The two against whom the allegations were made are Travers, who is charged as Herbert Wilson, and Leslie James Heath.

    A week previously, four men had stood in the dock; on March 14, five men; next time they appear, on March 22, will there be a sixth?

    It seems likely. Following a sensational denouncement by Mrs Maddocks in the foyer of the courts a man was detained. On closer scrutiny, the woman admitted that she had been mistaken, but detectives say that the man detained bore a striking resemblance to a well-known “crook.” They now want that “crook.”

Lilian May Armfield, NSW police officer. Image: Truth, (Syd, NSW), Sun 25 Mar 1928, p. 12. Reproduction: Peter de Waal
Lilian May Armfield, NSW police officer.
Image: Truth, (Syd, NSW), Sun 25 Mar
1928, p. 12. Reproduction: Peter de Waal

    Mrs Maddocks was sitting, with her husband and their baby girl in the foyer of the court, when somebody approached and told her that Policewoman [Lilian May] Armfield wanted to see her. Mrs Maddocks rose, and, giving the baby to her husband, moved away.

    Suddenly she turned round, her fact transfixed with horror. She was nervous and excited and seemed to have lost all control of herself. Then, dramatically, she raised her arm, and pointing her finger, exclaimed: “There’s one of the men.”

    The man at whom she pointed was standing against a pillar, nonchalantly smoking a cigarette under the warning—“No Smoking.”

    “Are you quite sure?” Mrs Maddocks was asked.

    “I’m almost certain,” she said, “but I want to see him with his hat off before I swear it.”

    Detective-Sergeants Miller and Quinn, and Detective Almond were informed. By the time they were brought, however, the suspect had gone into the public gallery and was leaning there, on the rail, a wine-colored hat pendant from his fingers, his eyes fixed on the oak-panelled door which leads to the cells.

    “I want to see you outside for a minute,” said Sergeant Miller.

    The crowd, already packed to suffocation as they waited to hear the pending proceedings, squeezed more tightly together to let the two pass out. Outside the court the man was subjected to five minutes’ questioning by the detectives. He was then taken into the court, and sat there throughout the proceedings. Subsequently, in Miss Armfield’s room, he was confronted with Mrs Maddocks.

    The woman was positive this time. “No,” she said, “he is not the man I believed him to be.” But she added that one of the men who had assaulted her on March 5 bore a marked resemblance to the man before her.

    “That man,” said a detective afterwards, “is the dead spit of —–.” And he mentioned the name of a well-known crook.

    “We know the man we’re looking for now,” he added cryptically.

    The man who was detained was a smart-loking [sic–looking] fellow, dressed in a well-cut grey suit. He was fair-complexioned and fair-haired, with his hair brushed straight back. On one little finger he wore a plain gold ring.

    Of the five men who stood in the dock that morning, four were on remand from the proceedings a week previously, while Heath had been arrested since.

    The names and particulars given on the charge sheets were:—Herbert Wilson, aged 26, laborer; Frederick Gordon Payne, 27, salesman; Phillip Jeffs, 32, salesman; Ernest Frederick Wilson, 22, salesman; and Leslie James Heath, 35, broker. The indictment was that these five had committed a capital offence against Ada Mavis Maddocks, at Darlinghurst, on March 5, and that two of them, Herbert Wilson—whose correct name is Travers—and Heath had also perpetrated further bestial assault.

    There was intense interest, and the public portion of the court was packed with all sorts, white, blacks, yellows and brindles. It was a significant fact that there was, however, only one woman in court, and she was a witness in another case.

    Chief Magistrate Gates sat throughout with chin on hand. A casual observer, unused to his methods, might had believed that he was taking no notice whatever of Mr WR Dovey’s scintillating appeal for bail. Mr Dovey appeared for Payne, Ernest Wilson and Heath, and Mr TP McMahon for Herbert Wilson and Jeffs. Dovey the rapier, McMahon the broadsword; Solicitor John Hickey sat behind them, quiet, self-contained, instructing both.

    Just behind Detectives Quinn and Almond sat the blond young man who watched with intense interest, the five men in the dock.

    The two Wilsons and Jeffs stood at the back of the dock, Heath and Payne in front. All were well-dressed, all very serious, and it was remarked that right throughout all five kept their gaze fixed upon the impassive face of the magistrate.

    There was a collective gasp in Court when the further charges were read out against Wilson and Heath.

    Sergeant Napper’s face was grim, and when he spoke, his usual drawl was missing, his words were clipped short, he barked.

    The Government Biologist had been sent certain articles for analysis, he said, and Mr Halse Rogers, who would conduct the Crown case, was not present. He was therefore instructed to ask for a remand until March 22.

    Mr Dovey maintained that the police should be in a position to proceed.

    “These men were arrested,” he said, “on Tuesday week, and were brought before the court a week ago. In the circumstances we did not oppose the remand; but we made an application for bail, which was refused without prejudice to our right to apply again to-day.

    “This is a serious case, particularly in regard to the charges laid this morning, which exceed in notoriety even the charge of murder.

    “The press has been filled with a series of statements concerning these charges, most of which are, according to our instructions, untrue; this is certainly most unfair.

    “While these men are in gaol awaiting trial under the judicial machinery of the State, they are being tried by the press and the public, on information which is, according to our instructions, unreliable.

    This is the result of the practice of giving the police these long remands. The principal figure in this case is the woman, and from what I know of the case her evidence and cross-examination will take at least a day. There is not the slightest reason why the police should not proceed to-day, leaving the matter in the capable hands of Sergeant Napper.”

    Mr MacMahon said that he was prepared to withdraw an objection to a remand provided bail was allowed.

    “We have not a proper opportunity of preparing the defence,” he explained. “The police are now asking for a remand of eight days, and are preparing the case for the prosecution, while holding these men in a position in which legal consultation is difficult. Only this morning we hear of two new charges against two of them.”

    “I won’t refuse the remand in the circumstances,” Mr Gates replied. “If I am assured that the case will last a day I will have special arrangements made for the hearing.”

    Mr Dovey: I think it would be necessary for your Worship to arrange even two days for the hearing.

    Mr MacMahon: I think it will take three days.

    “It will be a lengthy case,” said Sergeant Napper.

    Mr Gates continued: “Regarding the things that have been said in the press, and which counsel considers it likely might inflame the public mind, it is a question where this information is coming from. Possibly it is being given by officers of the heads of the Police Department. They might think that it is in the public interest to give this information.”

    “I don’t give it, your Worship,” Sergeant Napper interposed.

    “I know you did not give it,” said Mr Gates. “I think that steps should be taken to make representations to the Police Department regarding the publication of this information.”

    Mr MacMahon: We particularly object to one paper publishing an article giving what alleges to be a history of these men and different names under which they are alleged to have been known.

    Mr Gates: You can rest assured that I don’t read those articles. I merely glance at the heading but I don’t read them—you get enough of it here.

    The Mercurial Dovey took another line of argument. “Our instructions are,” he said, “that the police have received a report from a Government medical officer as to whether the woman has been subjected to violence. We say that no violence was used on this woman, and I challenge the police to produce the report. I previously made the challenge, and the silence of the police in regard to this aspect is most significant.”

    “It would be most unfair if I were to produce this report,” came back the Prosecuting sergeant,”—and allow it to get into the press and prejudice the trial of these men.”

    Mr Dovey: You are making us eat our own words.

    “I submit,” he went on, “that these men should be admitted to bail of a substantial amount. They are known, they live here, and are men who can always be easily apprehended. If the bail were granted the case for the defence would be rendered much easier to prepare than it is at present.”

    Mr MacMahon: At present it takes us half a day to go out to Long Bay and back, and the preparation for the defence is being carried on under most difficult conditions. If bail be granted, I would suggest that the men report to the police once or twice, or more often, daily.

    Mr Gates: As you know, in capital charges bail is granted in only exceptional circumstances.

    Mr Dovey: We submit that the circumstances in this case are exceptional.

    Mr Gates: I can’t see that they are. I will grant a remand until March 22.

    Meanwhile, in the precincts of the court there was being etched with the acid of life, a strange background to the sordid drama of the court-room. It was a study in contrasts.

    … In the sunny, cobbled court-yard, a little baby girl in a sky-blue coat laughed and gurgled at the sunshine and the clear summer sky. In and out of the motor cars she romped, getting lost, and then when they had found her, bobbing her head out from somewhere with a merry, “Peep-bo!” She was a most flirtatious little miss, and in one divine moment was seen, in an ecstasy of sheer trust in everything and everyone, toddling over to Miss Armfield, to throw her arm around that lady’s neck.

    Inside the court foyer! It is paved with big black and white tiles, a draughtboard. And across its face move the innumerable pawns—wait for the calling of the name and disappear, maybe for a day, maybe for life.

    There, where one pencilled ray struck across the drabness, sat a woman from whose life all blue sky and sunshine and trust have rudely been snatched.

    The child was Baby Maddocks; the woman, Ada Maddocks, her mother.

    The woman, mother of two children, is only twenty-six. She wore a white satin jumper and black skirt, with white stockings and black shoes. A small black hat framed a face out of which dark eyes stare unseeingly at the moving foyer.

    Beside her, clad in navy blue and wearing a grey tweed cap, was a diminutive, swarthy man. There is a birdlike suddenness of movement and brightness of eye that makes Maddocks, the husband, also a rather interesting personality.

    None of the Maddocks family was present in court during the brief but dramatic proceedings. They waited there till the case was over, and then were joined by a detective who explained what next was needed of them.

    Out in the sunshine again there was a vision of flying golden curls, a flurry of baby flounces, a chubby glimpse of golden-brown legs, the out-stretching of rose-petal fingers; innocent laughter gurgled like the outpouring of ambrosia, and Baby came pattering across the cobbles, to throw herself precipitously into the arms of a policeman to whom she had never been introduced.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Evening News, Fri 23 Mar 1928 7


HERBERT Wilson, 26, laborer; Frederick Gordon Payne, 27, salesman; Phillip Jeffs, 32, salesman; Ernest Frederick Wilson, 22, salesman; and Leslie James Heath, 35, broker, were committed for trial from the Central Court to-day on a charge of having criminally assaulted a young married woman in a Darlinghurst flat on March 5.

    Mr Gates, CSM, refused to allow bail, but Mr MacMahon, counsel for two of the accused men, said that application would be made to the Supreme Court on Monday.

    Practically the whole of the proceedings to-day were conducted in camera, as the cross-examination of the woman, who gave her evidence yesterday, was continued.


THE examination of the woman concluded at 3 o’clock after she had been in the witness-box about five and a half hours.

    Three doctors gave evidence.

    The trial will take place at the Central Court in June. Heath and Herbert Wilson were also committed on the second charge of having committed an abominable offence.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Morning Herald, Fri 23 Mar 1928 8

Evidence in Camera.

    The Chief Stipendiary Magistrate (Mr Gates) yesterday decided to exclude the public from the Central Court during the hearing of charges against five men of having criminally assaulted a woman at Darlinghurst. Mr Gates intimated that representatives of the Press would be allowed to remain only until the woman was called to give her evidence.

    Leslie James Heath, 35, broker; Herbert Wilson, 26, labourer; Frederick Gordon Payne, 27, salesman; Phillip Jeffs, 32, salesman; and Ernest Frederick Wilson, 22, salesman, were charged with having criminally assaulted Ada Mavis Maddocks at Darlinghurst on March 5. Heath and Herbert Wilson were further charged with having committed an abominable offence against the woman.

    About 50 men took up positions in the public portion of the court.

    In opening the case for the Crown, Mr Rogers (of the Crown Law Office) appeals to the magistrate to clear the court during the hearing of the case. He said that it was a filthy case, and there was no reason why gaping individuals, who were there to satisfy their lewd morbidity, should be allowed to remain in the court.

    Mr Dovey (who appeared for Ernest Wilson, Heath, and Payne) said that he had no objection to the court being cleared, provided members of the Press were allowed to remain.

    The magistrate intimated that if he excluded anyone he would exclude everyone.

    Mr Dovey said that in that case he must protest vigorously. The case, he added, had already been given undue publicity, and articles had been published setting out the case only from the point of view of the prosecution. The present occasion was the first time that the defendants, through counsel, had had an opportunity of eliciting facts that might be favourable to them. It was highly desirable that the upmost publicity should be given to those facts. He supported the application so far as clearing the public portion of the court was concerned.

    The magistrate said that he did not think any good purpose would be served by the publication of the filthy details of the case. If the whole of the Press would refrain from publishing the details he would not exclude the reporters. Most of the newspapers would refrain from publishing the objectionable details, but he was not at all sure that all would do so. He ordered the public portion of the court to be cleared, but intimated that representatives of the Press could remain in court until the woman was called to give evidence.

    Police evidence was then entered upon.

    Inspector R Robson said that, as officer in charge of the night patrol, he saw Mrs Maddocks in the right-of-way near King’s Lynn Flats at about midnight of March 5. She pointed out to him a bed in the back room, where she stated she had been assaulted. At about 2.15 am witness saw Payne there, and asked the latter to detail his movements on the previous evening. Payne denied any knowledge of the alleged assault on Mrs Maddocks. Payne informed him that he was not there, but was at the Watson’s Bay Hotel, where he had written his name in the book.

    Detective-sergeant Miller said that he was in charge of the inquiries into the case. He saw Payne at about 9 am on March 6 at the police station. Witness said that he took possession of certain clothing and other things at the flat. Detective-sergeant Miller detailed how he had lined up Herbert Wilson, Payne, and Jeffs with a number of other men, and Mrs Maddocks picked the three defendants mentioned as some of those who had assaulted her. Witness said that Mrs Maddocks also picked out a man named Thompson. He subsequently placed Herbert Wilson, Payne, and Jeffs in the dock. The witness said that Herbert Wilson had stated that he did not wish to answer any questions. He added that on the previous evening he was at a flat at Rock Lodge, where he slept that night. Jeffs had stated that what witness had said, or the questions he asked, did not interest him. Later, on March 6, witness went to a flat in Clovelly-road, Randwick, where he found Ernest Wilson. As soon as Ernest Wilson saw witness the former slammed the door, and witness heard Ernest Wilson running through the passage.

    He later heard a struggle between Ernest Wilson and Detective Quinn. Wilson was placed in the police car, and was taken to Darlinghurst Police Station. Subsequently Ernest Wilson was picked out by Mrs Maddocks from a row of men.

    The articles witness had taken from the flat at King’s Lynn had been submitted to the Government analyst (Dr Cookey) and the Government microbiologist (Dr Mackerras). Whose reports were submitted to the court.

    Witness, continuing, said that Ernest Wilson denied that he took any part in the alleged assault. On March 7 he saw Heath at No 3 Police Station, where he had been detained. He told Heath that he answered the description of one of the men described by Mrs Maddocks. Heath replied, “Not me,” and added that he had been at a picture theatre, but that he was too “shickered” to tell witness the name of any picture that was shown. Sergeant Miller added that he then placed Heath in a line with a number of other men, and Mrs Maddocks was brought in. Pointing to Heath, the woman said, “If he’s in the line, that’s him.” She asked whether she could hear the man speak, and witness told her to ask the man what she desired. Addressing the man, Mrs Maddocks said, “Say ‘My beautiful baby.’ ” The man repeated the phrase, and Mrs Maddocks then said that she was positive that he was the man. He had charged the five men, and subsequently charged Heath and Herbert Wilson with the second offence. They made no reply.

    In reply to Mr Dovey, witness said that no suggestion was made to Mrs Maddocks as to what she should say in her written statement made to the police. Witness had arrested the men on descriptions supplied by Mrs Maddocks, and his own knowledge of the men about Darlinghurst.

    Witness, in reply to further questions, said that he had lined up three other men, but they were not identified.


William Anthony Woolley. Image: Truth, (Syd, NSW), Sun 13 May 1928, p. 13. Reproduction: Peter de Waal
William Anthony Woolley. Image: Truth,
(Syd, NSW), Sun 13 May 1928, p. 13.
Reproduction: Peter de Waal

    William Woolley, tram driver, of Broughton-street, Homebush, said that Mrs Maddocks was his niece. On the night of March 5 he was with her from 8 to 9.30 o’clock, and left her at the corner of King and Elizabeth streets, where he put her on a tram. Witness said he was married and lived with his wife and family. He believed his niece had lived in Sydney for about 12 months, and understood she worked as a waitress at a Pitt-street café. When she had a balcony room at Woolloomooloo she was living apart from her husband. While with her on the night of March 5 she spoke to witness about her poverty, and said she had not had anything to eat for 24 hours. Mrs Maddocks also told him that she had a situation to go to on the following Wednesday, but had nothing to go in.


    Constable Nye produced the following statement, which, he said, had been made by Jeffs:—

    “I, Phillip Jeffs, am a commission agent. I live at Rocklodge Flats, King’s Cross-road. On the night of March 5 there was a party at a flat. Cunningham, Wilson, and Brown were there. Later two girls came in. They were named Bessie and Olive, and a girl named Mona was there too. The people I am living with, Mr and Mrs Connors, were there also, and four or five other peopler. I did not leave the flat till midnight.”


    Mr Rogers read a statement that had been made by Payne, who had said he went to Bondi Beach on the night of March 5, and later took two girls to the Watson’s Bay Hotel. He signed the travellers’ book and remained at the hotel till 10 o’clock. He bought four bottles of wine.


    A statement made by Herbert Wilson read:— “… on March 5, me, Jeffs, and several other people were all day drinking champagne. We went to Jeff’s place, arriving about 5.30 pm. We took eight bottles to Jeff’s flat. We drank till 12.30 or 1 am. I slept with Jeffs.


    Mrs Maddocks was called and gave her evidence in chief, which was heard in camera. Before she was brought into the courtroom, accompanied by a woman police officer, Mr Dovey made further protests against the Press being excluded. He contended that the Press should be free to publish the examination and cross-examination relating to matters apart from the actual allegations.

    Mr Gates declined to accede to the request. He said that his opinion was that nothing at all should be published of preliminary investigations.

    The further hearing was adjourned till 10 am to-day.

    Mr Rogers, of the Crown Law Office, prosecuted; Mr Dovey (instructed by Mr John Hickey) appeared for Ernest Wilson, Heath, and Payne; and Mr T McMahon (instructed by Mr John Hickey) appeared for Herbert Wilson and Jeffs.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Truth, Sun 25 Mar 1928 9

Dramatic Police Story of
Identification Scenes
in Outrage Case


BY excluding the general public from his court and taking the extraordinary and unprecedented step of barring the press form hearing the evidence of the woman who is the central figure in the “Darlinghurst outrage” case, Magistrate Gates created an immediate sensation when that eagerly expected hearing commenced last week.

    Nor was this the only sensation of the day.

    It was sworn by the police witness that no less than three named persons, other than the five men accused of a capital crime, had been apprehended in connection with the charges. Mrs Ida Maddocks did not identify them in a line-up and release followed.

    On the other hand, it was testified that one obviously innocent man was wrongly selected by the woman as one of her attackers. 


    Giving sworn testimony that involves a possible death sentence, Mrs Ida Maddocks did not have to quail before the gaze of the public when she was in the witness-box.

   The court had been cleared in the morning by magisterial dictum, and a whole army of avid and aggravated spectators bundled out of the precincts of justice despite mumbled protests.

    Many had come to court for no other purpose than to treat­ them­selves to a gallery seat at the proceedings. But others had arrived in the ordinary course of court lounging—


CROWDING eagerly into the No. 1 courtroom at the Central came a variegated selection of human beings of all degrees and characteristics—but most of them of the semi-frowsy variety.

     They breasted the bar at the back of the courtroom and clustered around until the whole of the section was filled with shuffling and crushing humanity.

    Public interest, to some degree indicated by this gallery of derelicts and near-derelicts, was at a high pitch.

    But disappointment came quickly.

    The five accused men were brought into the court through the sliding panel that connects with an ante-chamber and then with the cells.


    —But disappointment crept in and banished their grins of expectation.

    Avoiding publicity in every possible way, the chief accuser of the five men in the dock had reason to be grateful for the absence of the “wolf pack” at the back of the court.

    But she was more than usually fortunate to be spared the publi­cation of her sworn testimony by the press, which was also bar­red during the examination, despite appeals from the defence for publicity as an elementary aid to justice and the final elucidation of the alleged crime.

    They stood behind the panel which frees them from the gaze of those at the back of the court.

    In the rear of the dock sat Ernest Wilson, Leslie Heath, and Frederick Payne, while in front were Herbert Wilson and Phillip Jeffs.


    Herbert Wilson, over whose second name of Travers another legal argument arose, was so commanding in physical bulk that he seemed to entirely dwarf the others when the charges were read out.

    The ominous green-colored sheets cited:—

    Herbert Wilson, 26, laborer.
    Frederick Gordon Payne, 27, a salesman.
    Phillip Jeffs, 32, salesman.
    Ernest Frederick Wilson, 22, salesman.
    Leslie James Heath, 35, broker.

    All five were charged with having attacked Ida Mavis Maddocks against her will, committing a capital crime.

    In addition there were two other charges—against Herbert Wilson and Leslie Heath—alleging an unmentionable assault on the same woman.

    At the legal table sat Solicitor John Hickey, who instructed both Mr W Dovey and Mr TP MacMahon on behalf of the accused.

    At the other end of the long board was Mr Halse Rogers, to conduct the prosecution.

    He it was who initiated the exclusion move.

    He asked that the public be excluded, “owing to the unsavory details” of the matter. “They should not be allowed to remain to satisfy their lewd and morbid tastes,” he submitted.

    At this Mr Dovey declared that he didn’t mind the public being excluded, as long as the press was not also debarred.

    Thereupon Magistrate Gates made it clear that he was thinking along unconventional lines, for he declared that if he excluded anyone he would exclude everyone.

    “I don’t think it is in the best interests of the community for disgusting charges of this nature to be made public,” interjected the magistrate.

    “If I could prevent the publication of these disgusting details I would have no hesitation in letting the press remain,” added the Bench. “When the woman gets into the box the press will be excluded!”

    The first official witness was Inspector TJ Lynch, who told the court that he had interviewed Mrs Maddocks at her flat at Harford-place, Darlinghurst, at half-past eight on the morning after her alleged enforced visit to Kings-Lynn flats.

    How the night patrol rushed to the flat at midnight, after a message from Darlinghurst police, was related by Acting-Inspector Stuart Robson, who said he found Mrs Maddocks, her husband and two constables in a lane near the flats when he arrived with the patrol.

    He took the lady into the flat and there she indicated a bed in the back room.

    Moving on to other events, this officer told of a visit at 2.15 am back to the same flats, where he found Frederick Payne, whom he invited to describe his movements of the evening.

To Bar Press

    “I was with Sid Brown in a motor car with two girls, and we went to Watson’s Bay Hotel. After that we went over to the park just opposite and stayed there for a while,” he declared, adding that he was with Brown from nine o’clock till about 11, as it was about the latter hour that they left the girls and came back to the flats.

    “I found nobody at home,” continued Payne, “so I went up to the Stage Door Café and had a feed of chicken and had a yarn with a couple of fellows, and then came back here.”

    Then the police officer spoke of the allegations of Mrs Maddocks, and flatly told Payne that he believed him to be one of the men implicated in her charges.

    “Well, I don’t know anything about it. I wasn’t here,” he replied. “You can go to Watson’s Bay Hotel and you’ll find my name in the book, and if anything took place here to-night I was not in it.”

    Most of the investigating of the whole matter was in the hands of Detective-Sergeant Jacob Miller, of Darlinghurst, who was called to the station by telephone on the morning after the alleged crime and told to go ahead with general inquiries.

    He told of asking Payne about his movements and being supplied with a similar statement to that given to Acting-Inspector Robson—that he had been to Watson’s Bay in a car with another man and two girls. “We had some wine,” was an additional fact mentioned by Payne to him.

    “I went to Rock Lodge Flats in King’s Cross-road, where I saw the defendant, Herbert Wilson or Travers,” said Miller, telling his story.

    Herbert Wilson and Phillip Jeffs were sitting at a table when he entered and asked them to accompany to No. 3 Police Station. They wanted to know what for, were told, and then said “All right.”

    Back at the police station they were lined up with ten other men, including Payne, and were asked if they were satisfied to be submitted for identification.

    “No, I want bigger men,” declared Herbert Wilson, who is himself on [sic–an] outsize man.

    Two small men were taken out of the line, and police hunted about until they got a couple more robust specimens.

    The other two, Jeffs and Payne, were also content.

    Mrs Maddocks was brought in and asked to look along the line and see if any of the men she said attacked her were there.

    She pointed at Herbert Wilson and said, “That is one of them.” Then she selected Payne, and after that asked that the line of men be turned around. She surveyed their backs, requested that their hats be taken off, and then indicated Jeffs.

    Then she indicated a fourth man named Thompson. The first three were taken into the police station to be charged, but this was not done in the case of Thompson for, as Detective Miller later indicated, police were quite satisfied he had no connection with the affair.

    When Jeffs was queried he remarked: “What you say and the questions you ask don’t interest me.”

    Detective Miller went on with the business of charging the three of them with a capital offence, and, after some conversation among them in the little dock in the station, they called out that they would make written statements.

    A further stage of Detective Miller’s inquiries involved a visit to Clovelly-road, Randwick, where, at 1.30 on the afternoon, he and Detective Quinn pulled up in a car.

    The front door of the house opened and Ernest Wilson appeared. Just as rapidly he disappeared, and the door closed.

    Miller rushed in and called out to Quinn to run around.

    There was a sound of scuffling in the hall, and the front door was opened on the inside by Quinn, who told Miller that one man had jumped over the back fence and run off down a lane. A search of the locality failed to unearth him.

    “I was at the party, but I didn’t assault her,” said Ernest Wilson, who had been apprehended, and who was told of Mrs Maddocks’ allegations.


    In the subsequent line-up Ernest Wilson, in his plum colored hat and grey suit, was a model of sartorial excellence as judged in certain circles.

    He wanted some men in grey suits.

    Police searched and put in two men of similar build and age, but the arrested man still expressed his dissatisfaction. He wanted men whose clothes were like his.

    “Well, we’ve done our best, and I don’t think we can match your suit,” Miller declared he said [sic].

    “Oh, all right,” said Wilson, taking his place in the line.

    “That is one of them,” said Mrs Maddocks when she scanned the line. Ernest Wilson was charged. He made no reply.

    Miller went on to describe the apprehension of Heath, who declared that he had spent the evening at King’s Cross pictures with men named McCourt and Kelly. Asked to give some description of the films he had seen, he pleaded that he had been too “shickered.” When he was lined up and Mrs Maddocks was called in, she said: “If he is in the line that is him, but I would like to see him with his hat off.”

    Hats were removed, but still the woman was not satisfied.

    “Can I hear him speak?” she inquired.

    “Yes, ask him what you want,” she was told.

    Addressing Heath she demanded: “Say ‘my beautiful baby!’”

    Heath complied by uttering the term of admiration.

    “I’m positive that is one of the men!” she affirmed.

    Then Heath was charged with a capital crime as the others had been.

    Miller said that, later, both Heath and Herbert Wilson were charged with a further offence, one of a nauseating and unprintable nature.

    Cross-examining Miller, Mr Dovey elicited that the woman had given the police a written statement on March 6, and another on March 12.

    “You arrested the defendants purely on the information given by the woman?” asked Mr Dovey blandly, pursuing another line of inquiry.

    “Yes, and from my own knowledge of the men frequenting Darlinghurst,” said Miller.

    Did Payne give you the names of the two girls at Watson’s Bay?—No. One was mentioned as Fifi and he said he believed she worked at Rose Bay but wasn’t sure as he hadn’t met either before.

    And you inspected the book at the Watson’s Bay Hotel?—Yes, I saw the name Payne and three other names. I can give you the four names as I have a note of them.

    A homely-looking walrus-moustached old gentleman entered the witness-box. He was Ida Maddocks’ uncle.

    William Woolley was his name, and he was an electric tram driver, living with his wife and children at 7 Broughton-road, Homebush.

    On March 8 last, he said, he saw Ida in King-street, just before 8 o’clock, and he was in her company till about 9.30, when he put her in a tram at the corner of King and Elizabeth-streets. There was no one else with her.

    The Press could be directed, held Mr Dovey to publish no account of the story of what occurred in the house, but to be allowed to publish questions and cross-examination by defending lawyers.

    Mr Gates said that in allowing the Press to take the evidence already given he had done sufficient, by Mr Dovey pointed out that in the questioning of Mrs Maddocks concerning her character and antecedents, a great deal depended on her answers as to which course the case would take.

    “If the public is not afforded information as to the questions asked by us,” said Mr Dovey, “the defence is prejudiced to a certain extent.”

    The lawyer also stated that probably a number of people would come forward to assist the defence, but they would be entirely in the dark as to what happened in the Lower Court.

    No decent newspaper would publish details of a disgusting nature anyway, said Mr Dovey, and he asked that the pressmen be allowed to be present to report the matters other than what happened on the night of March 5.

    “I ask,” concluded Mr Dovey, “that they be allowed to remain, in the interests of my clients and in the interests of justice.”

    Mr MacMahon referred to an ex parte statement which had already appeared in print about Mrs Maddocks being a decent married woman, living with her husband—“We’re not being given an opportunity to contradict that,” he said. “It would be unfair for the public not to know something of the character of the prosecutrix.

    Mr Rogers stated that such proceedings were not for the purpose of informing the public, but were merely a means of ascertaining whether there was sufficient evidence to send the men for trial. It was a new proposition to him that lower Court proceedings were to be utilised for the purpose of building up a defence.

    In Mr Rogers’ opinion nothing should have been published in connection with the matter at all.

    “I’m quite with you there,” said Mr Gates. “I shouldn’t have allowed anybody in from the inception of the case, and no one except those interested will be allowed in when the woman is giving her evidence.”

    Cross-examined by Mr Dovey, Woolley said Maddocks was his sister’s child, the sister, Elizabeth Tulk, living at Ballina, on the Richmond River.

In The City

    His niece had been in Sydney about 12 months, as far as he knew, and he had seen her at intervals of a months or six weeks. He was in the habit of seeing her sometimes at his place and sometimes in the city.

    Woolley said he knew Ida was working in a Pitt-street café. He had visited her about twice while she was residing at Palmer-street, Woolloomooloo.

    He did not know where her husband was then, but he knew she was living apart from him. He believed she had lived apart from her husband for the past six months.

    Mr Dovey: Did she tell you that?—How would I know if someone didn’t tell me?

    But that’s what she told you?—Yes.

    Is it a fact that some of the time she was in Palmer-street she was not in any employment?—Let me see now—She was out of employment through being injured.

    She was not in receipt of anything from her husband during that time?—Not as far as I’m aware.

    Woolley stated that he had assisted in his niece’s support in a small way. He had given her some money when he visited her, though not every time.

    Witness said he met his niece on the evening of March 5 by appointment at St James Station.

    Mr Dovey: What did you do from 8 o’clock till 9.30?—We talked about things generally.

    What things generally?—Well,. The position …… Here Woolley broke into a burst of confidence. She was in poverty. She hadn’t had a meal for 24 hours, and was very despondent. My intention was to help her. I found out ……

    Never mind what you found out …… but, well, go on.

    What do you want to interrupt me fore? Asked Woolley.

    Mr Dovey: I don’t want to argue with you. Go on.

    Woolley explained that his niece had a position to go to, but he had not sufficient money on him to buy the clothes she wanted, so he promised to get it for her the next morning.

To Help Niece

    Reverting to Woolley’s visits to his niece at Palmer-street, witness said he visited her in the daytime. He had been once or twice at night. “I went when it was convenient to myself,” he replied finally in exasperation to Mr Dovey.

    In reply to Mr MacMahon, Woolley stated that he had never visited his niece in the Pitt-street café. While there he was satisfied she was earning enough money to get along with, and he never bothered.

    Were you alone with her when you visited her at Palmer-street?—No; the lady of the house was there.

    Do you know if Mrs Maddocks’ child was at Palmer-street for a period while she lived there?—Well, wait till I think it out. No; I don’t think I did see the boy.

    You do know Mrs Maddocks had a Mrs Walsh minding that child?—I couldn’t tell you that. I’ve heard of a Mrs Walsh from her, but I don’t know what part she was playing.

    Do you know if Mrs Maddocks was paying Mrs Walsh 10/- a week for looking after the child?—I couldn’t swear.

    Mr Dovey: When you visited your niece at Palmer-street, was the landlady always in the room with you?—Well, not exactly. But she was in the vicinity. The door was open anyway, and I never stayed more than half-an-hour.

    Constable Nye next took the stand. He produced statements vouched by Herbert Wilson, Jeffs, and Payne at No. 3 Station, after their arrest.

    Payne’s statement was to the effect that he left his place at Kings Lynn Flat, Bayswater-road, at 7.15 pm on March 5. With Sydney Brown they went in a car to Bondi, where they called on Mrs Vockler and Mrs Peg at Wongy Flats, Curlewis-street, and made an appointment to meet them at the Baldwin Flats. They did not keep the appointment.

    “Me and Brown went to the Bondi Baths,” ran the statement. “We stayed there till 9 pm. We then came back towards the Bondi Hotel. We met two young ladies we knew outside the hotel. Brown and myself and these two young ladies went straight to the Watson’s Bay Hotel, Watson’s Bay, where I signed the travellers’ book, ‘FG Payne.’

    “We all stayed there until after 10 pm. I bought four bottles of George Goulet wine and then we left.”

    Herbert Wilson in his sworn statement said: “About 10.15 am on March 5, I met Phil Jeffs and several others. I was in their company all day drinking champagne.

    “We went to Jeffs’ flat about 5.30 pm. We took eight bottles of champagne there. We drank there till 12.30 or 1 am the next morning, when we broke up.

    Jeff’s statement was to the effect that there was a party at his flat on the evening of March 5. He was there till the party broke up after midnight.

    When Mr Rogers announced the name of the principal witness, Ida Mavis Maddocks, Mr Gates said:

In Camera

    “Now I must ask you gentlemen of the Press to leave the court,” and the pressmen filed out of the room before Mrs Maddocks was allowed to appear.

    For a couple of hours she told her story behind closed doors, and then the court arose, postponing the cross-examination to a new day.

    Like Lazarus on the doorstep pressmen, next morning, without the closed doors of No. 1 Court, waiting till Ida Maddocks left the box, when it was expected the court would again be opened.

    The woman’s cross-examination lasted several hours, and then four doctors and Mrs Maddocks’ husband were heard.

    When the portals were finally opened late in the afternoon, it was not to let the Press in, but the lawyers and witnesses—the case was over.

    The five defendants had been sent to stand trial at the Central Criminal Court on June 5, bail being refused.

    It is understood an application for bail will be made at the Supreme Court.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Evening News, Tue 27 Mar 1928 10


“I THINK it is a great pity the case was not heard in open court,” said Mr Justice James in Chambers to-day when he dealt with an application for bail for the five men charged with having assaulted Ida Mavis Maddocks, at Darlinghurst on the night of March 4.

    Mr Dovey, who made the application, said that while he did not contend that the magistrate who committed the men for trial was wrong in hearing the woman’s evidence in camera, he thought the accused were entitled to be given an opportunity of preparing their case in defence.

    Mr Justice James added that he would refuse bail without prejudice to a renewal of the application when it had been ascertained on what date the trial would be held.


The men accused of having assaulted Mrs Maddocks are:—
    Herbert Wilson, 26, laborer.
    Frederick Gordon Payne, 27, salesman.
    Phillip Jeffs, 32, salesman.
    Ernest Frederick Wilson, 32, salesman.
    Leslie James Heath, 35, broker.

    Mr Dovey was proceeding to read the evidence given by Mrs Maddocks when Mr Justice James interrupted, “I will read the depositions.”

    It was contended by Mr Dovey that, in her evidence in chief, Mrs Maddocks said nothing about struggling with the men, but in cross-examination declared she had struggled for two hours.


    Jacob Henry Miller, detective, gave evidence that he knew every one of the accused well. They worked from State to State as criminals. It was only recently that Herbert Wilson was in Victoria. Payne and Heath were well-known in three States. Witness had known Heath for 16 years.

    Mr Justice James: I think it is a great pity the case was not heard in open court.

    Mr Dovey: I thank your Honor for that expression of opinion.


    Mr Justice James: These men appear to be birds of passage. I don’t know what their record is. Why I have to consider is whether they will try to get away. They are up on a very serious charge indeed, and it does seem to me that there would be a danger of them trying to get away.

    “I don’t think they will be prejudiced by staying in gaol, because on your own showing you have statements from them and from 14 other witnesses.


    “I won’t grant bail until I know when the case is likely to be heard. For the present, I simply refuse bail, without prejudice to a renewal of the application when it has been ascertained when the trial is to come on.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Morning Herald, Tue 27 Mar 1928 11


    An application is to be made at an early opportunity to a Judge in Chambers for bail on behalf of the men accused of having participated in the alleged outrage on a woman in a Darlinghurst flat some days ago, and it is stated that the question will then be raised regarding the legality of the magistrate’s action in taking the evidence of the prosecutrix in camera.

    This aspect of the proceedings has been freely discussed; but, according to Crown authorities, the magistrate acted quite in accordance with a common practice in deciding to hear the depositions with closed doors. It is explained that, when acting judicially, a magistrate has no power to order the Court to be cleared; the proceedings are in the nature of a preliminary inquiry with the object of determining whether there is a prima facie case to commit to a higher jurisdiction.

    The practice is commonly resorted to at the present time in conspiracy cases, and in cases where the premature disclosure of evidence would be calculated to defeat the ends of justice, or in cases where evidence given implicates others not included in the charge.

    The power is clearly defined by legislative enactment in the Justices’ Act of 1902. Section 32 confers the discretion in committal cases as follows:—“The room or building in which a justice or justices takes or take the examination and statements in any case where a person in charged with an indictable offence shall not be deemed a open Court for that purpose; and the justice or justices may, if it appears to him or them, that the ends of justice will be best answered by so doing, order that no person shall have access to, or be, or remain in such room or building without his or their permission.”

    Hearing in open Court is compulsory in matters in which justices act judicially. Section 67 reads as follows:—“The room or place in which a justice or justices sits or sit to hear and determine any information or a complaint, shall be deemed an open or public Court, to which all persons may have access so far as the same can conveniently contain them.”


    The State Government does not propose to interfere with the powers held by a magistrate to clear the court while evidence is being taken in certain classes of cases.

    Referring to the action of Mr Gates, SM, the Premier (Mr Bavin) said yesterday that the present law expressly provided that the court might not be opened for preliminary inquiries.

    “The Act gave an emphatic discretion to the magistrate,” said the Premier, “and we do not propose to interfere with that privilege. Mr Gates has exercised his own discretion that the law has given to him.”

    The Minister for Justice (Mr Lee) said that the magistrate had acted in accordance with the law. The 1902 Act left such matters within the discretion of the justices, and he would be the last person to dictate to the Judges or magistrates as to how the courts were controlled.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Evening News, Thu 5 Apr 1928 12


MR Justice James, in chambers to-day, granted bail in the case of the five men who were committed for trial on a charge of having been concerned in the alleged outrage in a Darlinghurst flat.

HIS Honor fixed bail in each case at self in £500, and one surety of £500 or two in £250.

    Bail was granted conditionally on the accused reporting themselves each day at No. 3 Police Station.

    The names of the accused men are:—Herbert Wilson, 28, laborer; Frederick Gordon Payne, 27, salesman; Phillip Jeffs, 32, salesman; Ernest Frederick Wilson. 32, salesman; and Leslie James Heath, 35, broker.

    Mr Rogers, of the Crown Law Department, informed the Judge that the Chief Justice had appointed a court to try the accused at the Central Criminal Court on May 7, instead of at the June sittings.


    Mr Justice James: Well, I don’t see why I should not grant bail in this case, seeing that I have granted bail in murder cases. However, I would not have granted bail in this case except for the view I have taken of the evidence.

    Mr Dovey and Mr TP MacMahon, instructed by Mr J Hickey, appeared for the accused; and Mr Rogers for the Crown to oppose bail.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Morning Herald, Fri 6 Apr 1928 13


    A renewed application was made to Mr Justice James in Chambers yesterday by Mr Dovey and Mr TP MacMahon (instructed by Mr John Hickey) for bail on behalf of Herbert Wilson, Frederick Gordon Payne, Phillip Jeffs, Ernest Frederick Wilson, and Leslie James Heath, who have been committed for trial on charges of having committed criminal offences upon Ida Mavis Maddocks at a flat off Bayswater-road, Darlinghurst.

    Mr WA Rogers, who appeared for the Crown, stated that the Chief Justice had appointed a Court to try the case at the Central Criminal Court on May 7 instead of the trial being deferred until the regular June sittings.

    His Honor, without calling upon counsel for the applicants, said that inasmuch as he had granted bail in murder cases, he did not see why he should not grant it in this case. He would not have granted it, however, but for the view he took of the evidence.

    Bail was fixed, each accused in personal security for £500 and one surety for a similar amount, or two of £250. The order was made conditionally upon the men reporting daily att No. 3 police station.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Evening News, Mon 7 May 1928 14

OUTRAGE — See Page 9


Section of a long queue waiting to attend Darlinghurst court. Image: Evening News, (Sydney, NSW), Mon 7 May 1928, p. 1. Reproduction: Peter de Waal
Section of a long queue waiting to attend Darlinghurst court.
Image: Evening News, (Sydney, NSW), Mon 7 May 1928, p. 1.
Reproduction: Peter de Waal

Story Told in Calm Tones

SPEAKING in a clear voice, and with every sign of composure, Mrs Ida Mavis Maddocks, the complainant, gave her evidence to-day at the Central Criminal Court in what is known as the Darlinghurst Flat case.

    It was an amazing story of a series of alleged assaults, said to have been committed on her by a number of men, four of whom stood charged with having assaulted her.

    Telling her story for the first time in public, she testified to having been dragged down a laneway into a flat, thrown on a bed, then brutally assaulted.

    “For God’s sake let me go home to my husband and children,” was a plea that Mrs Maddocks declared she had made to her assailants. The reply, she said, was, “You’ll go home when we’ve finished with you!


Charged with having capitally assaulted Mrs Ida Mairs [sic] Maddocks, in a flat at Darlinghurst, on March 5, were:—
    Herbert Wilson, 26, laborer.
    Frederick Goran [sic] Payne, 27 salesman.
    Phillip Jeffs, 32, salesman.
    Ernest Frederick Wilson, 32 salesman.

Charged with being an accessory after the fact was:—
    Leslie James Heath. 38, broker.

    The trial was marked by the fact that not since the famous Mount Rennie case in 1886 have there been so many accused together in the dock on a capital charge.

    It was a special sitting of the Criminal Court, the next ordinary sitting having been set down for July.

    Clad in his ermine and white robes, Mr Justice Campbell took his seat on the Bench a 10:7 am in a deep silence. His first duty was to excuse a number of jurors from attendance.

    The bar table was packed, while many uniformed and plain clothed police were also in court.


    Long before 9 am there was a long queue, composed almost entirely of men, waiting outside the Central Criminal Court in the hope of gaining admittance to hear the opening stages of the Darlinghurst Flat case.

    A crowd had gathered outside the court more than an hour earlier, but only about 50 were able to obtain seats in the top gallery. There was not a woman in court when Mr Justice Campbell took his seat.

    The huge jury muster of 144 took up all available space inside the court. It was the biggest number called for many years.


    It was at 10.25 that the Crown Prosecutor told a constable to call “Jeffs and others.” The five men filed into the dock from a side door. The accused presented a contrast in types, and Herbert Wilson, who sat in the centre, towered above the other four. He is of powerful build. All were neatly dressed.

    When the Judges Associate read the charge all answered not guilty in firm voices.

    Before the jurors were called, Mr Dovey made an application to his Honor that the usual order be made to witnesses before the jurors’ names were called.

    “There are many police witnesses in court,” he said, “and I ask that they be not in court while the jury is being sworn.” In support of his application, Mr Dovey mentioned the ruling of the Chief Justice in the case of Higgs and others,” when the order was made.

    Mr McKean opposed the application asking that his Honor follow the ordinary practice.

    Mr Justice Campbell said that he saw no reason to depart from the usual procedure, and he refused to make the order.


    All five accused presented a composed appearance as they stood in the dock while the jury was being sworn in.

    From the time the first jury name was called, there was a monotonous succession of “challenges” from the accused Jeffs, who sat on one end of the dock, started the challenges, and it was not until ten names had been called that the first juror was sworn in. Jeffs had challenged eight, and the Crown stood one aside.

    The eleventh, fourteenth, sixteenth, and eighteenth were sworn. Then Jeffs continued, and exhausted his right of challenge, after which Ernest Wilson commenced to challenge.

    Five jurors had been sworn when Ernest Wilson started to challenge, and he put aside 17 in succession before another was allowed to pass. The following juror was also sworn, and Wilson then went on to exhaust his right.

    Up to this stage 47 jurors had been called, only seven of whom were sworn in.


Charles Maddocks and daughter. Image: Truth, (Syd, NSW), Sun 18 Mar 1928, p. 24. Reproduction: Peter de Waal
Charles Maddocks and daughter. Image:
Truth, (Syd, NSW), Sun 18 Mar 1928, p. 24.
Reproduction: Peter de Waal

    All accused exercised their right of challenge. E Wilson, H Wilson, Payne and Jeffs each challenged 20—the number allowed in a capital charge. Heath challenged eight—the full number allowed in his case. The Crown stood two aside. In all, 102 names were called, and the swearing in of the jury occupied 55 minutes.

    The Crown Prosecutor began to outline the case to the jury shortly before 11.30 am.

    Mrs Maddocks, he said, was living with her husband, a cook, on March 5, in premises within the vicinity of Bayswater-road, in which thoroughfare King’s Lynn flats were situated. It would appear that she was not in affluent circumstances at that particular time.

    “On the evening in question,” he went on, “Mrs Maddocks met her uncle, Anthony Woolley, at St James Station, Queen’s Square, and they went to a restaurant in King-street, City. Later they sat on a seat behind Sydney Hospital, and at 9.20 pm Mrs Maddocks boarded a tram and alighted at top of William-street. She walked down Bayswater-road towards King’s Lynn Flats. This was about 9.30.


    “According to Mrs Maddocks’ story, she was within a couple of steps of King’s Lynn Flats when two men called ‘Hello , Dearie!’

    “They made another remark, which may be applied to a certain class of woman, but which the Crown says, did not apply to Mrs Maddocks. There is nothing to associate Mrs Maddocks with the class of woman who walks about the streets of Darlinghurst at nights.

    Mrs Maddocks made no reply to these salutations, and quickened her step. She says that she was then forcibly seized by Ernest Wilson, hurried down a side passage, taken in a back door, and thrown on a bed. A man, who has not since been heard of, held her while E Wilson committed an assault.

    According to the woman’s story, continued Mr McKean, she then went through the dining-room into a passageway, where she was seized by Herbert Wilson and Payne. During the time that she was there—about 1½ hour—Mrs Maddocks alleged that she was assaulted by Payne, Jeffs, and E Wilson. It was also alleged that Herbert Wilson actually ravished Mrs Maddocks, but, if he assisted the others, as was alleged, he was equally guilty as the others.


    According to Mrs Maddocks, Heath was the last on the scene, and, said the Crown Prosecutor, “judging from the association between him and the other accused, you may draw the inference that he knew all about the assault. He therefore stands charged with being an accessory after the fact.”

    There were some peculiar circumstances associated with the case. “Mrs Maddocks says,” added Mr McKean, “that he went into the drawing-room after the assaults, she saw two girls smoking and drinking in the room. She said to one of them: ‘Mind love! They’ll do the same to you as they did to me, and then kick you out.’

    “You may think that this was a peculiar thing for Mrs Maddocks to say to a girl whom she had not seen before.”


    A second peculiar factor was that, with one slight exception, there were no marks of violence on any part of Mrs Maddocks’ body although she alleged she had been subjected to abominable offences.

    In cases of this nature, juries were always warned to look for corroboration before convicting. In this case, however, there was no corroboration, and the Crown case stood or fell by the evidence of Mrs Maddocks. If the jury was satisfied by the woman’s story, they could convict.

    The woman said that she then went home, and returned with her husband, pointing out the building in which she said that she had been assaulted.

    “Since then,” said Mr McKean, “the woman has identified the five accused as having been guilty of the atrocities.”

    The Crown Prosecutor then read out the statement alleged to have been made by the accused, in which they gave accounts of their movements on the night of March 5, 1928. Jeffs and Herbert Wilson, according to their written statements, had been at a party, while Payne had been at Watson’s Bay and Bondi.

    The other accused had denied that they were at the flat on that night. Ernest Wilson had denied having assaulted the woman.


    William Woolley, a relative of Mrs Maddocks, said that he was her mother’s first cousin, and she called him “uncle.” On the night of March 5 he met her near St James station about 8 o’clock, and they went to a tearoom, afterwards walking round the block. He put her into a tram in King-street about 9.30.

    In answer to further questions by Mr MacMahon, he said that he met Mrs Maddocks on March 5 because she had written to him, at the police court, he had said that Mrs Maddocks was his sister’s child. “But that’s easily explained,” he added.

    In answer to further questions by Mr MacMahon, he said that he met Mrs Maddocks on March 5 because she had written to him, saying that she was in destitute circumstances.

    Mr MacMahon: Did you ever take Mrs Maddocks to your own place?—No; but she’s been there.

    Was her husband in the house when you visited her in Palmer-street?—No.

    Did you say at the lower court that you wouldn’t know Mr Maddocks if you saw him?—I wouldn’t know him.

Mrs Maddocks. Image: Truth, (Syd, NSW), Sun 18 Mar 1928, p. 24. Reproduction: Peter de Waal
Mrs Maddocks. Image: Truth, (Syd,
NSW), Sun 18 Mar 1928, p. 24.
Reproduction: Peter de Waal

    She told you that she was living apart from her husband?—Yes.

    Woolley also told Mr MacMahon that Mrs Maddocks did not tell him, when he visited her in Palmer-street, that her husband was out of work.


    When Mr MacMahon asked Woolley if he and Mrs Maddocks had discussed the question of getting a maintenance order against her husband, Mr McKean objected, and Mr Justice Campbell upheld the objection.

    Mr MacMahon: How many children has Mrs Maddocks?

    Mr Justice Campbell said that he could not see that that had anything to do with the case.

    In answer to Mr Dovey, the witness said that he did not enter the Domain with Mrs Maddocks. The reason he had spoken of her mother as his sister, he said, was that he always spoke of his close relatives as brothers and sisters. He did not sit with Mrs Maddocks on a seat at the back of Sydney Hospital. When Mr Meagher asked Woolley whether he had been introduced to Mrs Maddocks’ husband, Mr Justice Campbell said he could not see where the application lay.

    Mr Meagher: The character and statements of the woman are the points on which the whole case revolves, according to the Crown opening.

    The line of examination was not followed.


    When the name of Mrs Ida Mavis Maddocks was called, a slight woman, rather good looking, and neatly clad in brown frock and hat, walked calmly to the witness box. She gave her evidence in a clear voice, which could be heard in all parts of the court.

    She said she was married, and lived with her husband in Darlinghurst. She went to the city on the night of March 5 and met her uncle. They had a cup of tea, and afterwards sat on a seat at the back of Sydney Hospital for some time.

    On her way home she was walking past King’s Lynn Flats, she said, when someone said: “Come here, love,” and “Come here, dear.” She quickened her pace, but three men came out of a passage, grabbed her, and pulled her down a passageway at the side of the flats to a door, through which she was taken. She was then thrown on a bed, by three men, one of whom was Ernest Wilson.

    One man, she said, who was short and dark, left her with Ernest Wilson and another man, and she was assaulted by Wilson.


    As she was dragged down the passageway, said witness, she said: “Oh for God’s sake, let me go home to my husband and children.” Ernest Wilson said: “You’ll go home when we’ve done with you.”

    Mrs Maddocks said she was assaulted by the other man, and was then taken to another room, where there were three men, including Herbert Wilson and Payne. All of them, she said, assaulted her.

The Appearances

    The Senior Crown Prosecutor, Mr LJ McKean, instructed by the State Crown Solicitor. Mr JV Tillett, appeared for the Crown; Mr WR Dovey, instructed by Mr John Hickey, for Ernest Wilson; Mr TP MacMahon, instructed by John Hickey, for Jeffs, Herbert Wilson and Payne; and Mr RD Meagher, of Messrs RD Meagher, Sproule and Co, for Heath. 

    The witness then related revolting details of the alleged assault.

    She met some other men in the hall, and Ernest Wilson said: “Phil, this is our little sport. I’ve given her two pounds for the night. Will you make it a fiver?” Jeffs said, “Certainly.”

    After declaring that Jeffs, in spite of her entreaties assaulted her in a room, the door of which was locked. Mrs Maddocks told of disgusting offences which she alleged had been committed. Another man, called Pete, spoke to her in a disgusting manner. Ernest Wilson, she said, offered her lager and a cigarette, which she refused, and Pete made improper remarks.

    Ernest Wilson, she said, remarked to her: “If you won’t smoke and won’t drink, you must take this,” whereupon he held her while Ernest Wilson poured something from a bottle into a spoon and poured it into her mouth. She held it in her mouth for a few moments, and then spat it out.


    Witness told Mr McKean that she did not know what the liquid was but it tasted bitter.

    Ernest Wilson then left the room, and Heath assaulted her in an abominable manner, she said. Afterwards she got into the passageway outside, but three men, one of whom was Herbert Wilson, barred her way. She went back, and saw a girl sitting with Ernest Wilson. She asked Ernest Wilson to clear the passage way, and when he went out, she said to the girl: “Look out, love, for they’ll do the same to you as to me.” The girl said “Oh!”

    She said that she was finally allowed to leave about 11.40, when she went home and returned with her husband after which she telephoned for the police.

    Mr MacMahon: Did you ever tell Mr Woolley that you were living apart from your husband?—No.

    You swear that positively?—Yes.

    Mr MacMahon: Mrs Maddocks, what relation is Mr Woolley to you?

    Mrs Maddocks: He is my uncle.

    How long have you been friendly with him?—Ever since I was born, I suppose.

    Did you ever tell him your husband was not supporting you?—I did.

    Witness also told Mr MacMahon that her married life had been happy. She did not know any of the accused by sight prior to March 5.

    She said that before March 5 she went to the Children’s Court and got an order against her husband.

    She had been living apart from her husband some time before March 5.

    Before living in Arthur Place, she had lived in Palmer-street, Bourke-street, and with her parents at Ballina.

    Mr MacMahon: Was your husband with you in Ballina?—Yes.


    It was not correct, she declared, that her husband did not work between November 1927, and the date of the hearing of the case at the police court.

    In answer to further questions she said her husband had done one week’s work between November, 1927, and March, 1928. He was a sea cook, but was at present working ashore in Sydney.

    Mr MacMahon: And during the time you lived in Arthur Place, did your husband do any work?—He may have done a half-day now and then or perhaps a day.

    Mr MacMahon asked whether that work was done as a ship’s cook and explained to His Honor that the question had an important bearing on the case.

    Mr Justice Campbell: Well, I can’t see it at present. You’ll have to come nearer to the point, I think.


    Mr McMahon: You do say your married life has been a happy one?—Yes.

    In the week prior to March 5 you had your husband arrested?—I did.

    For threatening you with a razor?—It was.

    Your husband complained that you had been out with men?—He did say that to me.

    Did he call you a prostitute?—Yes.

    In answer to further questions by Mr MacMahon, Mrs Maddocks said she had two children, a boy and a girl aged 4 and 3 respectively.

    Mr MacMahon: Did your husband ever say to you: “Dorothy (the daughter) will never live with a prostitute?—He said that under the influence of drink.

    You told the magistrate that you feared your husband and apprehended violence?—I did.

    Did you complain that your husband had previously threatened you?—I did.

    What did you do on those occasions?

    The Crown Prosecutor objected, but, after argument, the question was allowed.

    Answering the question, Mrs Maddocks said her husband had once threatened her with a razor, and on two other occasions had “knocked her out” with his fist.

    Mr MacMahon: Within three weeks of March 5 your married life was not too happy?—It wasn’t three weeks, it all happened in two days.

    So you have been living in Sydney more than six months?—Not this time.

    As the result of a case in court, your husband was bound over to keep the peace?—He was, for six months.

    That was three days before March 5?—Yes.

    And on the same day you got an order against him for maintenance?—Yes.

    You say that you have always lived with your husband?—Yes.

    Do you remember your husband leaving Sydney on March 8, 1927?—Yes.


    And on April 9 you got an order against him for wife desertion?—Yes. I had to charge wife desertion because the Child Welfare Department said that I must.

    After further questions by Mr MacMahon, Mr Justice Campbell said that Mr MacMahon was not entitled to elicit immaterial facts.

    “If you are looking for answers on which to address the jury, you have achieved your purpose,” he said, “and further questions regarding proceedings in the court would be a waste of time.”

    Replying to Mr MacMahon, witness said that she carried her purse and wore her hat all the time she was in the flat.

    Mr MacMahon: You wore your hat all the time?—Yes. The same one I am wearing now.

    And it’s still in good repair?—I have to make the best of it.

    After the first series of assaults, you went from the back room to the front. On the way there, did you see any other man in the flat?—Not while I was being taken through.


    Mr MacMahon: How many women did you see in the flat altogether?—Three.

    A woman named Bessie Crawford and two other women were called into court, but Mrs Maddocks said she did not remember having seen any of them in the flat.

    Mr MacMahon: You say that Jeffs took you into the front room?—I do say that.

    You say that Jeffs locked the door?—Yes.

    She said she was in the room seven minutes with Jeffs, during which time she was assaulted.

    Mr MacMahon: What happened then?—Jeffs left the bedroom.

    After that Jeffs re-entered the room with Ernest Wilson and a fair man. Jeffs, she said, held her, while Ernest Wilson assaulted her.


    Mr MacMahon: Were you in the dining-room after the assaults were over?—I went through the dining-room.

    You say you were in the room for five minutes before you asked Ernest Watson [sic] to clear the passage way. Why were you there for five minutes?—I had to speak several times. I was trying to get a word in.

    When you went home to Arthur-place, do you remember your husband saying: “Mind, love, I’m not growling at you?”—Yes, he did say that.

    How many men assaulted you altogether?—I say seven.

    And Herbert Wilson interfered with you twice?—Yes.

    Do you remember when you identified Jeffs, Herbert Wilson, and Payne. Who did you identify first?—Herbert Wilson, then Jeffs, and then Payne. I identified another man, named Thompson.

    You remember the police telling you afterwards that you had made a mistake regarding the man Thompson?—Yes.

    Do you remember telling people near King’s Lynn that they’d better get away, as there was going to be a proper party?—I didn’t say that. I said I was going to send for the D’s.

    Did you hear the girl in the flat being promised anything?—Yes, I heard her being promised a motor car.

    And it was after that that you made the remark you spoke of?—Yes.

    Mr Dovey read out a statement, and asked: “Do you know that’s word for word with what you’ve said today? And do you say you haven’t learnt it by heart?”

    Mrs Maddocks: The truth can’t be forgotten.

    Was money mentioned by anybody before you went inside the flat?—Yes. Ernest Wilson said, “Keep quiet, I’ll give you a couple of quid for the night.”

    You never made any suggestion about money?—No.

    You never told your uncle that you were living apart from your husband?—No, and I never have either.

    Did your landlady, Mrs Woods, ever take exception to you being visited by young men during the absence of your husband?—Yes.

    There was a brush between Mr Justice Campbell and counsel shortly afterwards, when Mrs Maddocks was interrupted while answering a question concerning the visit of a man at her home.

    His Honor said that witness was entitled to defend herself against any suggestion, and she then explained about the visit of the man. She said that he was going to Fremantle, and had called to see her husband and herself before going. She was out at the time, but the landlady showed the man to her room to wait for witness. “I was surprised,” she added, “when I saw him sitting in the room, and it was the first occasion that any man had entered my room without my consent.”

    When the Court adjourned until 10 am to-morrow soon after Mr Meagher opened his cross-examination, the foreman of the jury suggested that the jurors visit the flats, and Mr Justice Campbell said that the visit would be arranged.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Evening News, Tue 8 May 1928 15


CHIEF features in the Darlinghurst flat case at the Central Criminal Court to-day were a vain effort to have Heath discharged, and the opening of the defence.

Darlinghurst court scene. Image: Evening News, (Sydney, NSW), Mon 7 May 1928, p. 14. Reproduction: Peter de Waal
Darlinghurst court scene. Image: Evening News, (Sydney, NSW),
Mon 7 May 1928, p. 14. Reproduction: Peter de Waal

    Mrs Maddocks, victim of the alleged outrage, had been in the box for nearly three and half hours.

    In statements from the dock, accused explained to the jury their actions on the fateful night, particular reference being made to a trip to the hotel at Watson’s Bay.


CHARGED with having capitally assaulted Mrs Ida Mavis Maddocks in a flat at Darlinghurst on March 5 were:—
    Herbert Wilson, 26, laborer.
    Frederick Geran [sic] Payne, 27, salesman.
    Phillip Jeffs, 32, salesman.
    Ernest Frederick Wilson, 32, salesman.

Charged with being an accessory after the fact was:—
    Leslie James Heath, 38, broker.

    The court was not so crowded as yesterday, and it was again noticeable that no women were in the public portion of the court. The only woman present was Miss Armfield, a police officer.

    In accordance with a request made to Mr Justice Campbell yesterday afternoon, the jury last night inspected King’s Lynn Flats, Bayswater-road, Darlinghurst, in one of which the alleged atrocities on Mrs Ivy Mavis Maddocks were said to have been committed. The jurymen were accompanied by Sheriff’s officers only.


    Mr Meagher asked Mrs Maddocks if she had undressed at home before she returned to the flats. Mrs Maddocks said that she had not.

    Mr Meagher: Did you show your husband where the men had gripped you by the arm?—I did not.

    You knew where Darlinghurst police station was?—Yes.

    It would not have been far to walk from your home to the police station?—It would be over a mile.

    You walked first to the place where the events took place?—We walked past it.

    When Mr Meagher asked witness if her reason for going to the flats before going to the police was connected with the possibility of compensation, she replied, “Such a thing never entered my head.”

    Mr Meagher: It would have been difficult to mention compensation if the police had been present?—Such a thing never entered my head. I intended all along to go to the police.

    But you said that when you were taken into the house you were offered five pounds?—I was offered five pounds if I consented.

    Bayswater-road is a pretty thickly populated place?—It might be.

    There would be people in the street?—I did not see a soul except the two men who spoke to me.

    But the flats along the street were lighted?—I did not notice.

    When the men caught hold of you, were you carried?—I was being pulled along.


    Why did you not sing out “police” or “help”?—I was too frightened. I lost my voice.

    Where did your voice return, when you called “For God’s sake, let me go back to my husband and children?”—I was at the back door.

    And no one had put a hand over your mouth? Why did you not call police?—I didn’t think of it. I didn’t know what to do.

    You knew these men had hold of you for no good purpose?—Of course, I did.

    Doesn’t it seem strange that you didn’t call for help?—It might seem strange to you. It doesn’t seem strange to me. I was too frightened to know what to do.


    When you got inside the flat you were thrown on the bed, and you allege that someone committed an offence?—Yes.

    Why didn’t you sing out?—I felt that something was choking me and I couldn’t.

    What was the reason that you could not shout out “police” or “help”? Because you were frightened or a hand was over your mouth?—Because I was frightened.

    A knock came at the back door?—Yes.

    Did you say that a fair man carried you into the room?—You are mistaken. I did not say a man carried me into the room.

    He took you through?—Yes.

    Asked why she did not struggle, witness answered that the man was holding one of her arms, and his other hand was across her mouth. She was not free.

    Mr Meagher: Next day you were taken to Dr Palmer?—I was.

    Did you complain about the flesh being off your back?—I complained about nothing. Dr Palmer examined me, and he could have seen with his own eyes.

    Mr Meagher questioned Mrs Maddocks concerning the description which she had given to the police of the man who entered the room last.


    “You described Heath as a man wearing a light suit—an old man, inclined to go bald. Do you still say that is a correct description?” asked Mr Meagher, who then requested Heath to stand up.

    “He has much longer hair now,” was Mrs Maddocks’ reply.

    And you were satisfied that the hair had grown over the place that had looked bald?—Yes.

    You identified a man named Thompson as one of the men?—I did.

    And the police told you afterwards that you were wrong?—Yes, and I said that I was mistaken. His face is not pimply enough.

    At the first, did you say, “If the man is in the line, that’s him?”—I don’t remember.

    And why did you ask that Heath’s hat be taken off?—I didn’t ask that. The police did.

    And you asked him to say, “Oh, my beautiful baby?”—Yes.

    Why did you ask him to speak?—He has a peculiar way of speaking.

    Mrs Maddocks then pronounced the words in the way in which she said they were uttered by Heath.

    Mr Meagher: Did you say at the police court that you knew the men by sight?—I knew them since the night of the occurrence.

    And do you say that you never saw Heath before March 5?—I do.

    Mr MacMahon was granted leave to put further questions, and asked Mrs Maddocks if she saw Payne when she first went to the flats.

    Witness said that she saw Payne when she was taken to the second bedroom.

    Did you say, “I say that Herbert Wilson and Payne were in the room when I went in”?—They were in the second room when I went in.

    Mrs Maddocks left the witness box at 10.37 am, after an ordeal of examination and cross-examination extending over nearly three and a half hours.


    Mr Meagher contended that there was no evidence to sustain the charge against Heath. He said that outside the evidence of Mrs Maddocks, there was nothing, as the Crown had admitted, to bear out the words, “Maintain, harbor, assist.”

    At the Police Court, said Mr Meagher, the evidence referred to an old man who was in the room.

    The evidence, said Mr Meagher, did not show that Heath was present when any assault took place. If he had committed some indecent act, he and the woman were alone together at the time.

    Mr Justice Campbell: It is not only “maintain and harbor.” “Assist” is included in the indictment.

    Mr Meagher: But in what way did he assist? According to the Crown witness, the offence had been committed before Heath assisted in giving a white powder to the woman.

    Mr Justice Campbell: He might have assisted after the commission of the offence.

    Mr Meagher submitted that to justify the indictment, Heath would have had to assist in preventing the apprehension of the men or the administration of justice.

    “If he committed an act of indecency,” said Mr Meagher, “he would be amenable to the law for his own act, but that would not be assisting the others. He did not assist them in evading the law.”

    Mr Justice Campbell: All that is required to establish a prima facie case is evidence which would lead to the assumption that he knew what had already taken place.


    Mr Justice Campbell said it did not seem that a strong case had been made out against Heath, but he did not think he would be justified in taking it away from the jury.

The Appearances

    The Senior Crown Prosecutor, Mr LJ McKean, instructed by the State Crown Solicitor. Mr JV Tillett, appeared for the Crown; Mr WR Dovey, instructed by Mr John Hickey, for Ernest Wilson; Mr TP MacMahon, instructed by John Hickey, for Jeffs, Herbert Wilson and Payne; and Mr RD Meagher, of Messrs RD Meagher, Sproule and Co, for Heath.

    “I can’t take a case away from the jury because there is no corroboration. That is the province of the jury to decide,” he said. “If Heath assisted to administer a powder to the woman, it might be that this powder was intended to alter the woman’s frame of mind.

    Mr Meagher: There is no evidence that this powder was harmful.

    Mr Justice Campbell: It would hardly be flour or sugar.

    Inspector Stewart said that he visited King’s Lynn Flats about midnight on March 5, and saw Mrs Maddocks in a passageway. Witness entered a flat, where he saw a bed which was ruffled and had the pillows out of place. In the front room, also, there was a bed in a state of disorder.


    Later Payne told him he had been out in a car with a man named Syd Brown and “two tarts” during the evening, and that they visited the hotel at Watson’s Bay. Payne said that when he came back he found the flat empty, so he went out and had a meal, after which he returned and went to bed. He also said that a man named Fletcher, whom he had not seen for several days, shared the flat with him. Payne denied all knowledge of any offence against Mrs Maddocks.

    Mr MacMahon: Did Payne tell you that he was prepared to confront Mrs Maddocks?—Positively No.

    Detective-Sergeant Miller said that he took handkerchiefs and articles of clothing to the Government micro-biologist. Later he saw Payne, and told him that Mrs Maddocks had complained that she had been criminally assaulted in the flat.


    Witness next went to “Rock Lodge,” where he saw Jeffs and Herbert Wilson together, and he took them to Darlinghurst police station for identification.

    At 12.30 am they were lined up with eleven other men at the station. Asked if he was satisfied, Herbert Wilson replied, “I want bigger men.”

    Men, said witness, of similar build and height were obtained and then Herbert Wilson was again asked if he was satisfied. He answered, “No, I’m running this show.”

    “He had a look at the line,” went on the detective, “and took his place and said, ‘All right.’ ”

    Mrs Maddocks was then called in, and she picked Herbert Wilson and Payne out of the line-up.

    Mrs Maddocks then asked could she have a look at the men in the line with their hats off. The hats were taken off, the men were turned around, and Mrs Maddocks singled out Jeffs and a man named Thompson, remarking, “That’s another.”

    Herbert Wilson declared that he had been at Forest Lodge, where he stayed all night, and Jeffs said, “What you say doesn’t interest me.”


    Miller went to a house in Randwick and knocked at the door. It was not opened, and he heard someone running through the hall. Detective Quinn went to the back, and a few moments later the door was opened, and witness saw Quinn struggling with Ernest Wilson. Quinn told witness that another man had climbed over the back fence, and Wilson said that the man was not named Fletcher.

    Ernest Wilson, said witness, told him that he had been at a party the night before with Herbert Wilson, Jeffs, and a number of others.

    To Mr MacMahon, witness said he saw the signature “FG Payne,” in the visitors’ book at the Watson Bay Hotel. He was satisfied that the man Thompson had nothing to do with it.


    After Detective-Sergeant Miller had produced statements said to have been made by Mrs Maddocks, the Crown Prosecutor asked that it be noted that he had offered the defence access to them.

    Mr Dovey: I object strongly to that going on the notes. It is grossly irregular. The offer should not have been made.

    After argument, Mr Justice Campbell said that nobody was compelled to avail himself of the offer, but he ruled that it should be deleted from the notes.

    Dr [Arthur AubreyPalmer, Government medical officer, said he examined Mrs Maddocks on March 6 and found three small abrasions. “That is all I found,” added witness.


    After Mr McKean had announced that the case in chief had been presented, Mr Dovey asked that Mrs Maddocks’ husband be called by the Crown.

    Mr McKean: I have no intention of calling him.

    After argument, Mr Justice Campbell said that all counsel could do was ask the Crown to call the witness. Mr McKean repeated that he had no intention of calling the witness, adding that he was present, and the defence could have him.


Phillip Jeffs–‘Phil the Jew’. Image: Truth, (Syd, NSW), Sun 11 Mar 1928, p. 1. Reproduction: Peter de Waal
Phillip Jeffs–‘Phil the Jew’. Image: Truth,
(Syd, NSW), Sun 11 Mar 1928, p. 1.
Reproduction: Peter de Waal

    [Phillip] Jeffs, in a statement from the dock, said that, on March 5 he went with several others to the Temple Bar Hotel, and later asked a young woman, named Olive Reynolds, to come to a party at his flat. Later, with Herbert Wilson and others, he went to his flat, and saw a Mr and Mrs Connors and also a young woman named Mona.

    “We played the gramophone and danced,” he said. “Olive Reynolds left about 11.30. Afterwards I came down with Herbert Wilson and others, and saw Payne and Syd Brown in a car with two young ladies. I spoke to them and said to Payne, “Is there anything to drink at your place? I could do with a drink.

    “Payne replied, ‘Go round to my flat. You might find a bottle.’ ”

    Jeffs said he went with his companions to Payne’s flat, and a girl who was with them went too. As they went in they saw Mrs Maddocks standing there powdering her face. There were some people there, he said, and he asked one of the chaps if there were anything to drink. He replied that the party had broken up.

    “I told Bessie Crawford that I would get her a cab,” said Jeffs, “and as I went out I heard someone remark, “Mind love. They’ll promise you the world.” Bessie Crawford laughed, and said, “Oh! will they!”

    “Mrs Maddocks left, and a little later we went outside. On the footpath I saw Mrs Maddocks, and a man, who I suppose was her husband. As I was walking away I heard some remark Mrs Maddocks said, ‘You boys had better get away before the police come.’ ”


    “Herbert Wilson said, ‘We have done nothing.’ I did not see Ernest Wilson or Heath at King’s Lynn Flats.”

    Jeffs said he walked to the corner, and put Bessie Crawford in a car. He went with Herbert Wilson to his place. Wilson stopped there for the night. Next morning the police came and asked them to go to the station, where they were lined up for identification. Someone suggested that the men in the line should turn sideways, which they did. Then they were asked to turn their backs. He was then taken to the charge room and asked where he had been the previous night.

    “I made a statement in the charge room,” he said, “I told just what I have told here, and I signed it. I can tell you nothing more than what I told Det-Sergt Miller.”

    “I can assure you,” he concluded, “that I never laid a hand on Mrs Maddocks. I only saw her for about two minutes at the flat.”


    The first witness called by the defence was Olive Reynolds, a big, well-dressed woman, who said that she was single, and worked as a barmaid. She told Mr MacMahon that she saw Jeffs in the Temple Bar Hotel early in the afternoon of March 5, and he invited her to a party. Subsequently she called at Rock Lodge Flats, King’s Cross, with a girl friend, Bessie Armstrong. They arrived about 7 pm, and saw Jeffs, Herbert Wilson, and others. There was a party and witness left about 11.30 pm.

    Mr MacMahon: During the time that you were there did either Jeffs or Herbert Wilson go out?

    Witness: Not for more than a minute at any time.

    Mr McKean: Is Olive Reynolds the only name you’ve got?—Yes.

    Where were you last night?—At home.


    Did you go out the previous night?—Yes, with Jeffs.

    What time did you leave home?—About 10 o’clock.

    What time did you get back?—Early next morning.

    So you spent the night away from home?—I spent the night with the gentleman I keep company with.

    Are you true to him?—I am. He is the only one.

    Does he keep you?—I work for my living.

    Where did you meet Jeffs this night?—I met him at the hotel.

    And went with him?—We arranged to meet later.

    Have you ever spent the night at Jeffs’ place?—I’ve spent the night wherever Mr Jeffs was.

    Jeffs is the man you have been referring to—the man to whom you are engaged?—Yes.

    Bessie Crawford, a barmaid, said that she went to Rock Lodge Flats on the night of March 5, getting there about seven o’clock. There was a party there and Syd Brown left soon after she arrived. Olive Reynolds left before witness—somewhere about 11.30.


    Witness, with Jeffs, Herbert Wilson and two other men, left later, and saw Syd Brown, Payne, and two women in a car. She was introduced to the two girls, after which the car drove away, and witness, Jeffs and Herbert Wilson went to King’s Lynn Flats, where she saw Mrs Maddocks and two men. Mrs Maddocks was standing at a table powdering her face. She heard Jeffs ask if there were any drink. The men said, “No.”

    When Jeffs left the room Mrs Maddocks said to witness, “Mind, love, they’ll do the same to you as they’ve done to me. They’ll promise you the world, and then kick you out.”

    Mrs Maddocks walked out, said witness, and she and the others left soon afterwards. When they got outside Mrs Maddocks and a man were there.

    Mr McKean: What is your name?—Bessie Crawford.

    Not Bessie Armstrong?—Armstrong was my maiden name.

    Where are you working now?—I’m not working anywhere. I’m living at home with my husband.

    When you returned from King’s Lynn Flats on March 5, who paid for the taxi?—I did.

    How long were you employed at the Temple Bar?—I left when I got married. I’ve worked there for three weeks since then.

    What was your object in going to King’s Lynn Flats?—I just walked round with the boys.

    Did you have anything to drink that night?—Yes.

    A  good deal?—No, only one drink.


    William Clark said that on March 5 he was at Rock Lodge Flats, where he arrived at 6 pm. He saw Jeffs, Herbert Wilson, Mr and Mrs Connors, girls named Olive and Bessie, and others. He left at 11.45 pm, with Jeffs, Wilson, “Bessie” and others. He saw Syd Brown in a car outside in company with Payne and two girls. Witness got in the back seat, and they drove to King’s Lynn Flats. He was asked to remain for a while, but got a taxi and went home. He left Jeffs, Herbert Wilson, and “Bessie” in front of Rock Lodge Flats.

    Mr MacMahon: From the time you were at Rock Lodge Flats, from 6 till 11.45 pm, Jeffs and Herbert Wilson were constantly in your company?—Yes.

    Mr McKean: When did you see Jeffs last?—On Friday.

    Were you not at the flat on Saturday night?—No.

    Have you discussed the evidence in this case?—No. I have discussed the case, but never mentioned the evidence.

    Have you ever been inside King’s Lynn Flats?—No.

    Mr MacMahon then announced that this would be the case for Jeffs.


    In a statement from the dock, [Frederick Gordon] Payne said that on the night of March 5 he left King’s Lynn Flats in company with a man named Syd Brown. They went to Bondi Baths for a swim, and stayed there until 9 o’clock, after which they drove in the direction of the Bondi Hotel, where they met two girls. A drive was suggested, and they went to the homes of the girls at Rose Bay to get their coats, and then drove to the Watson’s Bay Hotel.

    “I signed the travellers’ book as FG Payne, Penrith,” went on accused. “We stayed there for about 1½ hours.”

    Payne added that the manager of the hotel told him the time at 10.15 and they did not stay long after that. “The four of us got in the car,” he continued, “and according to the time told to me by the manager, it was then about 10.30.”

Frederick Gordon Payne. Image: Truth, (Syd, NSW), Sun 13 May 1928, p. 14. Reproduction: Peter de Waal
Frederick Gordon Payne. Image: Truth,
(Syd, NSW), Sun 13 May 1928, p. 14.
Reproduction: Peter de Waal

    Payne then told of driving back to King’s Lynn Flats, where he entered with Brown and stayed in the dining room most of the time. “I went into the kitchen to get a bottle of lager,” he went on, “and noticed a woman standing in the passage entrance talking to a man. I now know that woman as Mrs Maddocks.”

    Payne said that there were other men in the flat at the time, but he did not see Jeffs, Herbert Wilson, or Heath.

    They stayed in the flat for about ten minutes and went out. As they were passing Rock Lodge Flats Payne said that he first saw Jeffs, Herbert Wilson and others. “They hailed us and we pulled up and talked for a few minutes,” went on Payne. “Jeffs said that he would like a drink, and I told him that they might get one at my flat.”

    Another man got in the back seat of the car and they drove round to King’s Lynn. Payne said he did not get out, but drove towards Watson’s Bay. The two girls they were there with earlier in the evening were taken home, and they then drove back to King’s Lynn Flats, arriving there about 1 am.

    Payne said he was then told by a son of the manageress that there had been some trouble. They drove away again and had supper.

    “Brown then drove me home,” Payne continued, “and I was in bed when the police came. I told them I had been to Watson’s Bay. I am innocent. I never spoke to Mrs Maddocks or laid a hand on her that night.”


Herbert Wilson–‘Budgee’ Travers. Image: Truth, (Syd, NSW), Sun 13 May 1928, p. 14. Reproduction: Peter de Waal
Herbert Wilson–‘Budgee’ Travers. Image:
Truth, (Syd, NSW), Sun 13 May 1928, p.14.
Reproduction: Peter de Waal

    Herbert Wilson, in a statement from the dock, said that he was in the Temple Bar Hotel, when Jeffs asked Olive Reynolds to come to a party that night. They had dinner, and listened to music afterwards.

    Leaving the party, he said, they saw Payne, Syd d Brown, and two girls in a car. Payne said to Jeffs, “There is a drink at my place.” He went to King’s Lynn Flats with Jeffs and Olive Reynolds. Jeffs asked for a drink, but someone told him that there was none left.

    Mrs Maddocks was there, he said, and he heard her say something about, “Look out, love, or they’ll treat you like me.”

    “We went outside later,” said Wilson, “and Mr and Mrs Maddocks were there. Mrs Maddocks said something about a coppers’ party, and added, “You boys had better get away from here. We’ve sent for the police.” I said. “I don’t care. We’ve done nothing.”

    “Next day police came, and I made a statement. I cannot add anything to that statement.”

    “I never put a hand on Mrs Maddocks, and never spoke a word to her. Mrs Maddocks seemed quite normal. I can only say that I am absolutely innocent of this crime.”


Ernest Frederick Wilson. Image: Truth, (Syd, NSW), Sun 18 Mar 1928, p. 24. Reproduction: Peter de Waal
Ernest Frederick Wilson. Image: Truth,
(Syd, NSW), Sun 18 Mar 1928, p. 24.
Reproduction: Peter de Waal

    In a statement from the dock Ernest [Frederick] Wilson said: “On the night in question I called at Payne’s flat, but found he was out. I was on my way back to town, and was walking up Bayswater-road, when a woman, who I now know as Mrs Maddocks, spoke to me. She said, ‘Good-night. Where are you going?’

    “I told her that I was going to town, and she then said, ‘To meet a girl?’ She said, ‘Why not come with me? It will only cost you £1 and 10/- for the room.’ ”

    Accused said that he eventually agreed and asked her to come home to the “boy friend’s” flat, as he knew where to get the key. They went to Payne’s flat, and were in one of the bedrooms for some time.

    “She told me,” went on Wilson, “that her husband had ill-treated her, and that she had a maintenance order against him, and she was forced to resort to this sort of thing.

    “She asked me if I had read in Beckett’s where her husband had threatened to cut her from ear to ear.”


    Wilson said that later four or five men came into the flat, and they had a party in which Mrs Maddocks joined. She made herself quite agreeable. At 11.30 pm some persons left, and then Payne came in with Brown and two girls.

    “I was on the point of leaving,” continued Wilson, “when Mrs Maddocks reminded me about the promise about the money. I told her I was a bit short, and that I would see her to-morrow. She then became abusive.”

    He stated that he did not see Heath, Jeffs or Herbert Wilson at the flat that night, and anything he did was with Mrs Maddocks’ consent.

    “I’m absolutely innocent of this charge,” he concluded.

    Peter Welch, son of the landlady of King’s Lynn Flats, said that the door of the front bedroom of Payne’s flat would not lock.


    [Leslie James] Heath also made a statement from the dock. He said he was a commission agent. On March 5 he met a man at King’s Cross and had tea with him. They then went to the King’s Cross Pictures, and stayed there till the picture show closed, after which he walked up Bayswater-road. He was talking with some other men for some time, and then walked away with a man named Speers.

    On March 7 Sergeant Lynch told him that Detective Sergeant Miller wished to see him, so he went to Darlinghurst police station. Miller told him that he was going to line him up over the Darlinghurst flat case. He said that he knew nothing about it.

    On March 5, Heath said, he had a discolored eye, and was wearing dark glasses. He denied that he told Miller that he had been drunk.

    “Till March 7,” said Heath, “I had never seen Mrs Maddocks. I never laid a hand on her, and I have never been in King’s Lynn Flats in my life.”

    John McCourt said that he was at the pictures with Heath on the night of March 5.

    The Court adjourned until 10 am to-morrow.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Evening News, Wed 9 May 1928 16

But Now Faces Vile Charge

    The jury, having acquitted Heath of being an accessory, subsequently found the other fournot guilty in the Darlinghurst Flat case.

    Herbert Wilson was charged with having committed an abominable offence—a similar charge of that preferred against Heath—but the Crown Prosecutor intimated that there was no further charge against the other three men.

    Heath was charge with having committed an abominable offence, but was released on £100 bail, Mr Justice Campbell intimating that he would be tried at a Court appointed by the Attorney-General.

    A feature of counsel’s addresses on behalf of the other four men left in the dock was a slashing attack on the story told by Mrs Maddocks.


Those charged with having capitally assaulted Ida Mavis Maddocks in No 2 King’s Lynn Flats, Bayswater-road, Darlinghurst, on the night of March 5 are:—
    Herbert Wilson, 26, laborer.
    Frederick Goran [sic] Payne, 27, salesman.
    Phillip Jeffs, 32, salesman.
    Ernest Frederick Wilson, 32, salesman.

Charged with being an accessory after the fact was:—
    Leslie James Heath, 38, broker.

    To-day was the third of the trial, and it was noticeable that there were fewer persons outside the court waiting to gain admission. There was again only one woman in court—Miss Armfield, 17 woman police officer.

    The five accused, who filed into the dock from a trapdoor in the floor, looked as composed and well groomed as they have done since the trial commenced on Monday.


    Two witnesses, Albert Speers, wharf laborer, of Darlinghurst, and Ernest Hoare, licenced hawker, gave evidence in support of Leslie James Heath’s alibi. They stated that they had met Heath at Darlinghurst at 9.20 pm on March 5 and Speers saw him enter a picture show with other men. Speers said that later he walked with Heath to the latter’s home and they parted at 11.30 pm.

    Mr Meagher informed his Honor that two witnesses who had promised to be present were not available. He would, therefore, close his case.

    Mrs Maddocks, recalled, told Mr Dovey that she did not know how long she had been in the flat when a knocking was heard.

    Mr Dovey: Did you say at the police court that the knocking was heard a quarter of an hour after you entered the flat?—I may have said so. I did not think it was that long.


    Mr MacMahon, addressing the jury, said that the case had been referred to as the “Darlinghurst outrage case,” jurors had no doubt heard a host of rumors. The time had now come to consider only the hard facts.

    The onus to prove the charge, he said, was on the Crown. In all sexual cases it was a rule of practice, almost amounting to a rule of law, for the Judge to warn the jury of the danger of convicting on uncorroborated evidence.

    “You must ask yourself,” went on Mr MacMahon, “if you are satisfied to convict on Mrs Maddocks’ evidence, or whether there is a reasonable doubt. Will you say that these men, on the uncorroborated testimony of Mrs Maddocks, are guilty?

    “Supposing one of you took a woman to a party, saw her home, and later she complained that you had committed a capital assault on her. What more could you say than ‘I didn’t do it?’

    “It is easy for a woman to say, ‘He assaulted me’; but it would be difficult for you to say, ‘I want to establish my innocence, but all I can say is that I didn’t do it.’

    “Ernest Wilson admits going to the flat with Mrs Maddocks, but he says, ‘I didn’t rape her. Everything I did was with her consent.’


    “At the identification of Jeffs, Herbert Wilson, and Payne Mrs Maddocks asked for the line to be turned sideways and in the back, and that those who were in it should take off their hats. She then picked Jeffs and a man named Thompson, with the remark: ‘That’s another.’ She expressed herself as equally certain that Thompson committed an offence. Thompson, however, was in the fortunate position of being able to satisfy the police that he was not at the flat that night.”

    “Supposing that, by some complication of events, Thompson had been at the flat that night? If he had, he would be the sixth man in the dock to-day. I wonder whether he would have been charged with criminal assault, or with an abominable offence?

    “Mrs Maddocks said she was assaulted by seven men; that she struggled the whole time, and that, to use her own words, the harder she struggled the harder they held her.


    “A woman, struggling against seven human beasts, would have had her clothing seriously damaged; but the articles in court, though of flimsy material, were not damaged.

    “One would expect that, if her story were true, she would have had many marks of violence, yet Dr Palmer, who was competent to know, made a thorough examination, and could find only one small mark, which might have been caused otherwise than by criminal means.”

    When she saw two of her own sex in the flat, she did not appeal for help, Mr MacMahon declared. She was only two paces away from two women and a dozen men when according to her story, Jeffs came and took her away to another room.

    Mrs Maddocks had said that her hat was never off her head while she was at the flat, and she had also said, under cross-examination, that, when she left, she was carrying her hat in her hand. It did not matter which story was true. The two stories indicated that she was an unreliable witness.


    “We find,” went on Mr MacMahon, “that after the alleged assaults, Mrs Maddocks went to her home in Harford-place, where she met her husband. And then the story of the Darlinghurst outrage was unfolded for the first time.

    “I can well imagine this woman—this woman, who only two days before had been threatened by her husband, called a prostitute, told that her own daughter would never grow up to live with a prostitute, and who complained that she had twice been knocked out by her husband—going home.

    “When she got home, Mrs Maddocks got in first. I put it to you that she had been indiscreet with Ernest Wilson, but she appeared in the role of a martyr.

    “That is the keynote of this story, and in it Mrs Maddocks was eminently successful because when she got home, Charles Maddocks never called her a prostitute, but said, ‘My love, I’m not growling at you.’

    “This story of rape is a monstrous fabrication, concocted in the mind of Mrs Maddocks.”

    Referring to the witness Woolley, Mr MacMahon said the [sic] he had first claimed to be Mrs Maddocks’ uncle, and later that he was her mother’s first cousin. Why did he meet her in the street when he might have gone to her home?

    “Why,” added Mr MacMahon, “did Woolley say that he did not sit with Mrs Maddocks on a seat at the rear of Sydney Hospital, though Mrs Maddocks said that they did?”


    Mr MacMahon referred to the fact that Maddocks had not been called at this trial, though he gave evidence at the lower court. If Maddocks had been called, said counsel, he could have been asked questions concerning what Mrs Maddocks said when she returned to her home.

    Dealing with Payne’s defence, Mr MacMahon said that an alibi, for some unknown reason, was always looked upon with a certain amount of suspicion, but there was no reason why this should be so. If a man was not present, why should he not say so?

    Mr MacMahon next dealt with the evidence of Moore, son of the licensee of the Watson’s Bay Hotel, who, he said, recollected Payne and the rest of his party visiting the hotel.

    “He can tell you,” went on counsel, “that Payne signed the hotel book as FG Payne, and there is no doubt that it is his signature. We have put all our cards on the table, as, when one of you gentlemen intimated that you would like to see the signature, we made it available.

    “We now know beyond reasonable doubt that the time he arrived back at the flat was 11.30 or 11.45 pm. This is a test of Payne’s veracity, as he had the opportunity deliberately to misrepresent the facts, but, sticking to the truth, he made a statement which was against his own interest. I put it to you that there is not the slightest doubt that Payne was at the hotel between the times he says.

    “If ever an innocent man stood in the dock, that man is Frederick Payne. Knowing the doubt that he has thrown on her story, are you prepared to say the other four are guilty?”

    “Payne raised an alibi at the first opportunity. The same applies to Jeffs and Herbert Wilson. As soon as they were charged they made written statements. They placed their cards on the table.

    “One man has proved his innocence before you,” concluded counsel, “and bearing in mind Mrs Maddocks’ evidence with regard to these other men, you have only one possible conclusion—that these men are not guilty.”

    Mr MacMahon, who had commenced his address at 10.40, concluded at 12.30.


    Mr Dovey, counsel for Ernest Wilson, commenced his address at 12.30 pm.

    “Your responsibility is an awful one,” he told the jury. “If you can square your conscience to accept the uncorroborated story of Mrs Maddocks, without a reasonable doubt, then you can convict.”

    He said it was admitted that there had been relations between Ernest Wilson and Mrs Maddocks, and the question was whether it had been with the woman’s consent, or against her will.

    “On the story told by Ernest Wilson one must feel a certain amount of sympathy for Mrs Maddocks, but don’t let that sway you. A man would not be human if he did not feel horror and disgust at the story, and, naturally, sympathy at once goes to the woman. But horror and disgust are apt to sway us.”

    Mr Dovey said that Mrs Maddocks was undoubtedly tied to a man who was a worthless husband. He was of so little value that the Crown had thrown him overboard, and not called him as a witness. It was obvious that he was not supporting her, because she had no food for 24 hours. She met Woolley on March 5, and he gave her 4/-.

Leslie James Heath. Image: Evening News, (Sydney, NSW), Wed 9 May 1928, p. 13. Reproduction: Peter de Waal
Leslie James Heath. Image: Evening News,
(Sydney, NSW), Wed 9 May 1928, p. 13.
Reproduction: Peter de Waal


    Leslie James Heath, whom the jury acquitted of being an accessory, was promptly charged with an abominable offence, but was released on £100 bail.


    “Is she to be blamed if, in desperation, she sold her body? I put it to you that she went to the flat voluntarily, in the hope of receiving a reward. It is admitted that she had relations with Ernest Wilson, and, when she asked for her money, he said, ‘I’ll see you to-morrow.’

    “I ask you to use your commonsense. If she had been dealt with as she says would she not have showed some marks of violence? She says that she was held by the arms, the legs, and the shoulders, but she has not a bruise on her.

    “A verdict for the accused would not brand the woman as a woman of low character. It would simply mean that the jury was not satisfied the men were guilty.


    “The woman was perfectly composed in the box. She showed no sign of shame. I suggest that her story was well rehearsed, and that she had learnt it off by heart, even to the order of the words.”

    Mr Dovey said that all the accused, according to Mrs Maddocks, had addressed her as “love,” “dearie,” and “kid.” Her husband had also addressed her as “kid.” In repeating her own remarks she had also used these words frequently.

    “Does that assist you to come to the conclusion that she has made up this story?” asked Mr Dovey. “Gentlemen, don’t you think that if a woman had been treated as she says she was, she would have been a bit hazy in her remembrance of what had happened? Yet she has used almost identical words on two occasions in describing her experiences.”


    There was a sensation when the jury returned to Court after the luncheon adjournment, as the foreman unexpectedly announced that they had come to the decision that Leslie James Heath was not guilty of the charge of being an accessory after the fact.

    After he had been formally acquitted, Heath was charged with having committed an abominable offence on Mrs Maddocks on March 5. The Crown Prosecutor, Mr McKean, asked that Heath be remanded for trial on bail, which Mr Justice Campbell agreed to.

    His Honor intimated that the trial of Heath would be held at a court appointed by the Attorney-General.

    After bail had been fixed at £100, Heath left the dock without showing the slightest sign of emotion. Heath had been the only one of the five accused who had not been charged with having capitally assaulted Mrs Maddocks. The trial proceeded with Jeffs, Ernest Wilson, Herbert Wilson and Payne still in the dock.

    Heath’s acquittal will shorten the case, as his counsel, Mr RD Meagher, will not now address the jury.

    Yesterday Mr Meagher contended that there was no case against Heath. Mr Justice Campbell, while conceding that the case against him was not strong, preferred to let it go to the jury.

    After Heath had left the dock, Mr Dovey was granted permission to address the jury further. He said that, if Mrs Maddocks had made an abominable charge against a man who was not there, there was need for the jury to exercise the greatest care in considering her evidence. She had made a charge against a number of men, and he submitted that she was so irresponsible that she was prepared to make charges against any man she saw that night. He would not say that nothing had happened to Mrs Maddocks that night, but it might be assumed that anything which had happened had happened with her own consent. There was no evidence of violation.


    He referred to Herbert Wilson as a giant, and said that, if Mrs Maddocks had struggled with him there would have been some sign of violence afterwards. Mrs Maddocks’ husband had not been called, continued Mr Dovey, though he was at the police court.

    “That man could have been put into the box,” said counsel, “and could have told what was his wife’s condition when she came home.

    “I say deliberately that my friend, by not calling that man, has shut out an element which, I say, would have materially assisted the defence in this case.”

    Mr Dovey asked the jury not to be prejudiced against a man simply because he lived in a locality which had earned notoriety or because he spent his nights at drinking parties. 


    The Crown Prosecutor, Mr LJ McKean, commenced his address at 2.35 pm.

    “My friend, Mr Dovey, has said that this case has been tried over and over again by the newspapers,” he said. “I fail to see it. They had no evidence of facts at all. We all read the newspapers, but Mrs Maddocks’ evidence was heard behind closed doors at the Central Court, and the newspapers knew nothing. If my friend makes statements like that, it will perhaps be some guide to you as to his other arguments.

    “The defence has complained about my not calling Maddocks. Why should I? My friends asked Mrs Maddocks over and over again as to what she said to him and what he said to her when she got home. Why should I have further delayed the case by putting him up as a target for those gentlemen?”

    Mr McKean then dealt with Mrs Maddocks’ statements produced in court by Detective-Sergeant Miller.

    “My friend,” he went on, “would not let Miller say that he could not produce the statements, acting on instructions. The point came out later. If an appeal were made to me the defence could have seen those statements long ago, but they waited until the last moment to make a row to impress you.”

    The Crown Prosecutor said the jury could convict one or all the accused, even though there was no corroboration of Mrs Maddocks’ evidence. If they came to the conclusion that it would be dangerous to act on the uncorroborated evidence of Mrs Maddocks, then the Crown case must fail.

    “Do you think imagination would carry any woman to the length of putting together a tissue of lies?” he asked.

    As for the absence of marks of violence, it was possible that Mrs Maddocks, knowing the locality in which she was, might have been afraid to struggle.

    Ernest Wilson, said the Crown Prosecutor, was, on his own statement, the only one who had anything to do with Mrs Maddocks, and had told the police that Jeffs, Herbert Wilson, and Payne were there, though they had all said that they were not there.

    At first Ernest Wilson had said that he was there, but did not assault Mrs Maddocks. In court he had said there were relations between him and Mrs Maddocks, but with her consent.

    “He gives the game away with regard to their alibis,” said counsel.


    Mr McKean concluded his address at 3.10 pm, and Mr Justice Campbell began to sum up.

    “If the Crown fails to establish guilt in your minds beyond a reasonable doubt you must acquit,” said his Honor.

    Counsel for the defence were entitled to a certain amount of latitude, but the case had to be decided on the evidence alone, and jurors must not allow themselves to be swayed by sentiment.

    “They must not be influenced by anything they have read,” he said, “not that I am saying that the case has been pre-judged by the Press. The defence has raised that question, but I do not think it is a matter to which much weight should be given.”

    He reminded the jurors that even if they felt a certain amount of disgust, as a result of what had been revealed, they should not allow that to influence them in any way.

    “Your sole concern will be to determine what is the conclusion to be derived from the evidence which has been placed before you,” he proceeded.

    He reminded the jury that “reasonable doubt” meant such doubt as any reasonable man might feel, and it must not be some fantastic ground for doubt—employed as an excuse for taking a certain course. It was dangerous to convict in cases of this nature without corroboration. This was of special importance where the issue of consent or non-consent was concerned, and he wished to remind jurors that there was no corroboration of Mrs Maddocks’ accusation, and that there was no evidence to corroborate her identification of the accused.

    His Honor commented on the fact that flats were numerous in the locality, which was somewhat congested. “There must be, at any hour of the day or night, a great number of persons who would have heard Mrs Maddocks if she had called out,” he proceeded. “She admits that she did not make any outcry designed to reach the ears of anyone else. She says that she was too frightened, and choked by fear. That is her explanation, and it is your duty to find out on what side of the two contrasting accounts the truth lies.”

    Mr Justice Campbell finished his summing-up at 4 o’clock and the jury retired to consider its verdict.

    The jury would have to consider whether fear was a sufficient reason for the woman having kept silent in the flat.


    After the jury had retired, Mr MacMahon, addressing his Honor on the question of an alibi, said that in his summing-up he had not reminded the jury that Herbert Wilson and Jeffs had offered to make statements as soon as they were charged.

    Mr Justice Campbell: I had forgotten that.

    The jury was then recalled, and this aspect of the evidence was pointed out by his Honor, who said that the written statements of Jeffs and Herbert Wilson were in conformity with their alibi.

    He also reminded the jury that the witness [Peter] Welch had said that the door of the front room at the flat could not be locked.

    The jury again retired at 4.6.

    Ernest Wilson left the dock with a broad smile.


    The jury returned to court at 4.40 pm after deliberating for a little more than half an hour. They returned a verdict of not guilty against all four accused.

    The only man to make any sign as the verdict was passed was Ernest Wilson, who smiled broadly.

    Jeffs, Ernest Wilson and Payne then left the dock free men, but Herbert Wilson was charged with having committed an abominable offence on Mrs Maddocks on March 5. This was the same charge as had been preferred against Heath, and Herbert Wilson was released on similar conditions, bail of £100 being allowed.


    The Crown Prosecutor stated that there was no other charge against the other three men.

    The foreman of the jury thanked his Honor and the Sheriff’s officers for the kind treatment they had received.

    The trial commenced on Monday, and the jury had been locked up for two nights.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Truth, Sun 13 May 1928 18


Woman’s story of horror told cool­ly, calmly—A statement sensational in its frankness from the dock—Swi­ft acquittals—Two acquitted men faced with new charge­s, since dropp­ed

Stirring Speeches by Defence Counsel Brand
Ida Maddocks as Concoction

    OUT of the turmoil that is Darlinghurst there rose, on March 5, a hand—distorted, twitching; ape-like, menacing, horrible, like a hand in a nightmare. Its shadow moved over little Paris, and where it hovered clean and evil alike shrunk from its touch as from a cancer. The moving hand of King’s Cross. They called it the “Darlinghurst Horror,” and the forces of the law were mustered to grapple with this intangible thing.

    The Hand, said Mrs Ida Mavis Maddocks, had reached out, through its creatures, and seized her and wrought horrible things upon her.

    There was panic. Five were arrested.

    So all eyes were centred on the Central Criminal Court at Sydney last Monday, when a specially-appointed assize tried the five—four on capital charges.

    The ablest counsel of the land contended that there was no Hand, that it was a chimera, a woman’s lie.

    They staked the lives of the four, the liberty of the fifth, against the reputation of the woman. Their arguments prevailed.

    Phillip Jeffs, Ernest Frederick Wilson, Herbert Wilson (known as “Travers”), Frederick Gordon Payne, and Leslie James Heath, after three chaotic days, have been sent away, free.

    Herbert Wilson and Heath, after acquittal, were re-indicted on a second count, which the Crown has since dropped.



THE “Darlinghurst Outrage” case was awaited, in the public mind, as the ultimate clash between the forces of lawlessness and the law.

    Respectable citizenry spoke of razor-gangs, swift, vaguely-horrible deeds; sought to define in their minds a stygian Other-world and Other-life that writhed in some lower strata, with its vortex about King’s Cross, a juryman rose and asked for a direction. Then: “Another matter!” he said, half-apologetically, and blurted out, “The suppression of names!”

    “It is not to publish the names of the jury?” asked his Honor, Mr Justice Campbell.

    Mr Dovey pointed out that it was not customary to do so, nor, for that matter, did even counsel know the names of the jurymen.

    “I would like the press to consider the request,” his Honor directed, gravely.



“WOULD your Honor allow the witness, Mrs Mad-do­cks, to leave the court?” Mr McKean asked during the second afternoon. “Her baby is crying outside.”

    His Honor assented, and, on flying feet the slim, little woman about whom all these proceedings centred, sped from the court.

    For the first time, since the case opened, her face quickened into the expression of concern that is called forth in every mother at the call of her child.

    “This woman,” Mr MacMahon was declaiming, on the third and last day of the trial, “—–, that he threate­ned her with a razor, and that he told her he would not allow her little daughter, Dorothy, to live with a —–.”

    Suddenly, the slim, quiet little woman had lost her old composure. She was on her feet, hurrying from the court, her head averted, her cheeks flushed.

“CALL—er—‘Jeffs and others,’!” Mr LJ McKean, Senior Crown Prosecutor, formerly opened the proceedings.

    Dominating the scene, Mr Justice Campbell, scarlet and ermine—face, pale and like a mask; eyes, dark, inscrutable magnets. Behind his Honor, to his right, the unobtrusive Sheriff Murphy.

    Mr McKean is not temperamental, not, at any rate, visibly temperamental—this might have been any small sessions case. Next to him is Mr Lacey, the light under a bushel; then Mr WR Dovey, keen blade; next again, Mr TP MacMahon, the logical, persistent, matter-of-fact bludgeon. Mr RD Meagher, though not gowned, not bewigged, attracts more attention as he sits there, between Mr MacMahon and Solicitor John Hickey, than any of the others. “RDM” conjures up resonant echoes in that high auditorium.

    Mr MacMahon represents Phillip Jeffs (32, salesman), Herbert Wilson (26, labourer), and Frederick Gordon Payne, (27, salesman); Mr Dovey, Ernest Frederick Wilson (32, salesman). Both barristers are instructed by Mr Hickey, Mr Meagher of Messrs RD Meagher, Sproule and Co, is for Leslie James Heath (35, Broker).

    Payne comes up through the trap from below. He has not been on bail. The four other accused file in through the door. The five line up in the dock.

    All are well-dressed, smartly tailored. Ernest Wilson has decorated himself with a pearl tie-pin for the occasion. The other Wilson, stands 6ft 2in and is a little on the stout side. As he stands in the middle, he towers over the others. Nevertheless, he is the most boyish-looking of the whole five, very serious, with a continual wrinkling of the forehead—looks as if he has always been trying to catch up to something and cannot make life out at all.

    Four of them are charged with the capital offence against Mrs Maddocks, and Heath, the short, very red-faced man at the end of the row, with being an accessory.

    That, in brief, is the personnel of the “Darlinghurst Outrage” Case, heard in the Central Criminal Court, last week.

    Jeffs challenged eight and the Crown stood aside one, before a single juror was sworn in—he was the tenth called. “The Jew” exhausted his challenges; Ernest Wilson took up the call and challenged seventeen in succession; Herbert Wilson allowed only one addition to the jury and Payne two.

    In all 102 names were called, the accused exhausting their total of 88 challenges, while the Crown set down two. The process took 58 minutes—which may be a record. The resultant jury was mild-looking and middle-aged.

    The Crown Prosecutor’s address, which opened at 11.25, briefly summarised the probabilities.

    “It is your misfortune to be compelled to listen to the case known as the ‘Darlinghurst Flat Case.’ the details of which, if they are true, are as filthy as they are atrocious.”

    Mr McKean said that he preferred to let the woman in the case tell her story in her own way. Such a charge was easily made, but very difficult to refute.

    Still the Prosecutor outlined Mrs Maddocks’ movements on March 5.

    William Anthony Woolley, a stocky, heavily-moustached, rather weather-beaten man, was the first witness called by the Crown. He said he was Ida Maddocks’ mother’s first cousin—Mrs Maddocks called him “uncle.”

    On March 5 he met her, about 8 pm, in Queen’s-square, near St James’ Station. They had some tea in a tea-room in King-street, and then walked round the block, talking. At the corner of King and Elizabeth-street about 9.30 pm, he put her in the tram for the top of William-street.

    His meeting with Mrs Maddocks, the witness explained, followed a letter he had received from her that morning, saying that she was in destitute circumstances.

    Woolley also stated that he had twice visited Mrs Maddocks, when, formerly she lived in Palmer-street, and stayed there about fifteen minutes each time. He had never met Mr Maddocks.

    Mr MacMahon: Did she tell you that she was living apart from her husband?

    Woolley: Yes.

    Did you contribute to the support of Mrs Maddocks at all?—Well, in a small way.

    Mr Dovey took a hand.

    “This night, when you saw Mrs Maddocks,” said Mr Dovey, “she told you she had had nothing to eat for twenty-four hours?”


    Mr Dovey: And you gave her all the available money you had—four shillings and some odd coppers?—Yes.

    You did not go into the Domain with her, you’re sure of that?—Yes; I just saw her into the tram.

    Mr Meagher: How long have you been helping to support her<—About twelve months.

    Now the five men in the dock found themselves face to face with Ida Mavis Maddocks. When she came in, all five stirred. Then, as if an awaited moment had come, they settled down and concentrated their gaze on her.

    Poker faces? A woman has sat into the game. The limit is their lives and liberty against her reputation. One player, perhaps more than one, has been dealt a raw deal.


    And of all the six the woman is the most impenetratable, most sphinx-like. She could hardly be more plainly-dressed—a long brown coat with a rolled collar, and a small, cheap straw hat. Her face is colorless, and would be described as expressionless if it were not for that indefinable attribute called personality. Her stature is small, her features finely drawn, and she looks her age, 26.

    She is what is known legally as a “good witness,” assured, clear in her expression, quick to see a point and exhibiting not the least degree of nervousness.

    On the evening of March 5, she said, she left home about a quarter to seven, and met her “uncle” at Queen’s-square. They talked and had a cup of tea.

    “Then,” she said, “we went round to the back of Sydney Hospital and sat on a seat till about 9 o’clock.”

    “We went back to King-street,” Mrs Maddocks continued, “at 9.20, and I caught a Victoria-street tram at the corner of Elizabeth and King streets. I got off at Victoria-street. I walked down the left-side of Bayswater-road. I got as far as King’s Lynn Flats.”

    “Two men approached me,” Mrs Maddocks said. “One said, ‘Hello, love!’ and the other said, ‘Come here dear.’”

    “I quickened my steps and walked on a few yard,” she went on. “Three men grabbed me, two by the shoulder and one by the skirt.”

    Mr McKean: See where they came from?

    Mrs Maddocks: They came out of the passageway at the side of King’s Lynn Flats. I was pulled down the passageway to where a door was open at the side of the flats, and I was taken and thrown on a bed.

    Mr McKean: Do you see any of those three men in court to-day?—Yes, I do.

    Will you point him out?—I will. The man with the grey coat!

    Mr McKean: Ernest Wilson?

    Mrs Maddocks said she did not see the other two in court. One, a short, very dark man, had walked into the dining-room of the flat leaving her with Ernest Wilson and a fair man.

    Ernest Wilson then threw her on the bed and committed an offence.

    She was speaking in matter-of-fact tones.

    “The other man held me,” she said. “It was without my consent.”

    She went on. “I said, ‘For God’s sake, let me go home to my husband and children!’

    “Ernest Wilson said, ‘You’ll go home when we’re finished with you. Keep quiet—you’re on a fiver for the night.’

    “Then, the second, the fair man, had relations with me.

    “At this point,” Mrs Maddocks continued, “there came a knock at the back door, and Ernest Wilson said, ‘For God’s sake, here’s the land-lady. Don’t let her know.’ The fair man put his arm round my shoulders, and dragged me through the dining-room into the front bedroom. We met three more men there. Two of them, Herbert Wilson and Payne, are in court.

    “I said, ‘For God’s sake let me go, please,’ and Herbert Wilson said, ‘We’ll let you out when we’re finished with you.’ I struggled with them and Herbert Wilson threw me on the bed.”

    Mrs Maddocks then described an unspeakable offence committed on her by Herbert Wilson, with Payne and the other, dark man, as onlookers. Then Payne and then the dark stranger, she said, committed offences, whilst Herbert Wilson held her legs.

    “The men left the room,” she continued, “and I walked down the hallway and met a number of men.”

    Mr McKean: Do you see any in court to-day?

    Mrs Maddocks: Yes, all of them. And more—more that we never got.

    Mr Dovey: WE never got?

    “The police never got!” Mrs Maddocks corrected, and proceeded, “I saw Jeffs for the first time in the hallway when I came out of the bedroom. In the hallway Ernest Wilson came up and said, ‘Phil, this is our little sport. I’ve given her two pounds for the night; will you make it three?’ He said, ‘Certainly!’”

    “With that,” she went on, “I was taken back to the room again, Phil Jeffs locking the door. I asked him to let me out and he said he would when he had finished with me. He said, ‘You’re a sport,’ and threw me on the bed and assaulted me. Then the door was unlocked and Ernest Wilson and the fair man entered.”

    Mrs Maddocks had been speaking of the most awful things in level tones, with never a falter, never a tremor. Now she came to a recital of something so hideous, that even the other charges she had made paled into pettiness in comparison. It was Ernest Wilson that she charged with this enormity, while Jeffs and the fair man held her down.

    When they left her, Heath, she said, came in.

    He said, “Keep quiet and you’re on the level for a fiver for the night; if not, you’ll get kicked out when we are finished with you, with nothing.”

    Heath, she said, made a certain suggestion to her. She refused, and then Ernest Wilson came in and asked her to have a glass of lager that he had in his hand.

    She said, “I do not drink.”

    He then asked her to have a cigarette.

    She said, “I do not smoke.”

    Heath then pulled £10 out of his pocket and asker Ernest Wilson to bring back two £5 notes change. Wilson went out and Heath made more disgusting suggestions. Ernest Wilson entered again and said, “If you do not drink and you do not smoke, you can take this.”

    “He had a tablespoon in one hand,” Mrs Maddocks continued, “and a white tissue paper in the other. He put a white powder from the tissue paper into the spoon, which contained some liquid, and Heath held my mouth while Wilson put it in. I kept it there for a moment, and then they let me go and I spat it out.”

    When Ernest Wilson went out again, Mrs Maddocks went on, Heath said, “Come on kid; be a sport!” and threw her on the bed. He then committed an abominable offence.

    Mr McKean tendered a pot of cream and a spoon, which she said resembled articles she saw in the bedroom at the flat.

    “I went out,” Mrs Maddocks resumed, “But when I got to the laneway I was barred by three men, one of them Herbert Wilson. I said, ‘Let me out of this.’ They refused to do so. I went back into the dining-room again, where I saw Ernest Wilson sitting on a settee with the girl they had just brought in. There were a number of men there.

    “I said, ‘Will you let me out of this?’ He said, ‘Go out!’ I said, ‘Three men blocked me in the passageway. Would you mind clearing it for me?’ He said, ‘Certainly!’ He got up and went outside.

    “I turned and said to the girl just brought in, ‘Mind love! They will do the same to you as they’ve done to me.’”

    Mrs Maddocks said that Ernest Wilson having told the men in the passageway to let her through, they stood aside and she went home. Her home, at 15 Harford-place, was about five minutes’ walk from King’s Lynn. It was about midnight when she reached there, and her husband was in bed. She must have left King’s Lynn about 11.40.

    When she got home she told her husband of the outrage, she said. He said, “Are you sure of this place, kid?” She said she was sure, and then went together to King’s Lynn. There were three men in the lane.

Rang Police


    One of them, she thought it was Herbert Wilson, seized her husband by the throat and demanded, “What do you want here?” She said, “Tell my husband what you did to-night.” There was some argument, and she cut it short by saying, “Never mind arguing—come and get the D’s.” She and her husband went to King’s Cross, where they rang the police and waited for the PD car.

    At 2 o’clock Mr MacMahon rose to cross-examine.

    Mrs Maddocks said that Mr Woolley was her uncle.

    Mr MacMahon: Did you know any of these defendants by sight before the night of March 5?—No.

    Did you say you knew some by sight in the lower court?—Yes.

    You have had some domestic trouble?—Yes.

    She had got a maintenance order for £2 from the Children’s Court on the Monday before March 5, and she had never received any payments on that order.

    From November 1927, when she began to live at Palmer-street, until the case came on in the Lower court, her husband had done one week’s work. He was a ship’s cook, and was employed at a place in George-street. While he was at Harford Place, he used to do, say, half a day’s work one week and half a day next week.

His Voice

    “Is it correct to say,” counsel asked unexpectedly, “that about one week prior to March 5, you had your husband arrested?”

    “I did!” The woman replied firmly.

    “And that was for threatening you with a razor?”

    “It was!”

    Mr MacMahon: You complained to the magistrate that your husband said: (Reading the deposition) “Cover your head up. You will see a sight. I will cut it from ear to ear.”

    He said that to my friend Grace Oliver.

    And he complained that you had been out with men?—He did say that to me.

    Mrs Maddocks said she had two children, a boy of four and a girl of three.

    Mr MacMahon: Did your husband ever say to you, “You and your child will not live. Dorothy will never live to live with a — ?”—He said that under the influence of drink.

    In the lower court, said Mrs Maddocks, further replying to Mr MacMahon, her husband was bound over to keep the peace for six months. On the same day, March 2, she also secured the maintenance order from the Children’s Court.

    Asked as to her means during the month preceding March 5, she said:”I got some money from my taxi-accident from the Yellow Taxis and my mother gave me some money and my uncle gave me some money, and I kept myself on that.”

    “When you went to the flat on March 5, did you see the whole five defendants there?” Mr MacMahon resumed.

    Mrs Maddocks: When I was taken to the flat, you mean? Yes. I saw them, at different intervals.

    Were you carrying a purse that night? Yes;—Yes; I was; the one I am carrying now (demonstrating a brown bag with a gold buckle).

    “I did not let my bag go,” she declared.

    Mr MacMahon: How many women did you see that night?—Three.

     There was a dramatic interlude.

     Mr MacMahon: “Call Miss Bessie Crawford.”

     An attractive girl, in green, came into court.

     Counsel (to witness): Do you know her?

     Mrs Maddocks: No.

     Counsel: Call Miss Johnson and Miss Elgee.

     A brunette and a blonde entered.

    “I’ve never seen these persons before in my life,” said Mrs Maddocks.”

    She volunteered: “I could remember the girl that I said, ‘My love, they will do the same to you as they done to me,’ to.”

    Mr MacMahon: When did you first see any other girls at the flat?

    Mrs Maddocks: When I first saw Phil Jeffs.

    Did you speak to those two girls at all?—I just asked if they would help me—but I didn’t speak to any girls at that time.

    How many men assaulted you, altogether?—I say seven.

    Ernest Wilson, you say, twice?—Yes.

    Mr Dovey (to Mrs Maddocks): You’ve now told us everything that was done and said, to the best of your recollection?—Yes.

    Mrs Maddocks denied that she had learnt her story off by heart, whereupon Mr Dovey quoted a passage from the police court depositions, which coincided, word for word, with the evidence she had given before the judge.

    She still maintained that she had not learnt the story by heart. “The truth can never be forgotten,” she said fervidly.

    By the way, was money mentioned by any person before you entered the flat?—Yes.

    Who by?—Ernest Wilson!

    What did he say?—“Keep quiet. I’ll give you a couple of quid for the night.”

    Did you make any reference to money at all?—No.

    At that time you were in needy circumstances?—Yes.

    Had had nothing to eat?—No.

    Your uncle had given you some money?—Yes.

    Does he know your husband?—Yes.

    The five accused had noticeably lost some of their “starch” when the second day began, big Wilson’s frown had deepened, Jeffs, “The Jew,” seemed to have shrunk into his overcoat, and Heath’s red face had gone mottled.

    Mrs Maddocks took the box, pale and self-possessed as ever. She had already been under examination and cross-examination for well over two hours. Nevertheless she came up as alert—even snappy as ever to face Mr Meagher’s thunderbolts.

    “When I’m walking along a street,” she said, “I do not look to see who is about. But I know that I did not pass anybody in Bayswater-road this particular night, before I came to King’s Lynn.”

    Mr Meagher: Why didn’t you sing out “Police”?—Because I was so frightened my voice was choked—it had left me.

    In the line-up, Mrs Maddocks admitted, she had picked a man named Thompson. But she herself realised, before even the police told her, that she had been mistaken in him “He was not pimply enough,” she explained.

    In the line-up she had also said she would like to hear Heath say, “My beautiful baby!”

    “Why?” asked Mr Meagher. “Has he any peculiarity in his speech?”

    “Yes,” Mrs Maddocks asserted.

    “Give us a demonstration,” the advocate asked. “Let’s hear how he says it.”

    “All right,” came the reply, and puckering up her face as she gave a spirited staccato representation of the way Heath spoke.

    It was a pathetic pantomime—perhaps a weak one. But it is doubtful if there ever lived any famed actress, who in such circumstances, with such an audience, could so valiantly have mastered stage-fright, and gone so bravely through a difficult piece.

    After three and a-half hours in the box Mrs Maddocks stepped down.

    Mr Meagher indignantly challenged the case against Heath.

    “Heath was not present,” he said, “when an indecent act was committed by any of the others, and if, as alleged, he himself committed an indecent act, there was no witness—and there is no corroboration.

    His Honor refused the application. “I admit that the evidence is very slender,” he said; “it was very slight indeed, but I do not think that it should be taken away from the jury.”

    Detective-sergeant JH Miller was handed the same articles of clothing, and took them to the Government Microbiologist.

    Miller visited King’s Lynn and took possession of bed clothing and pyjamas.

    He then went to a flat at Rock Lodge, occupied by a Patrick Connors. Jeffs and Herbert Wilson were there. When asked to come to No. 3 Station for identification, they asked, “What for?” The two were placed in a line-up.

    Mrs Maddocks pointed to Herbert Wilson and said, “That’s one of the men.” Sergeant Miller said: “She pointed to Travers.” Then corrected himself [sic–herself] and said “Wilson,” and then said “Travers-Wilson.”

    Then, said Miller, Mrs Maddocks picked another; made the line turn about, take their hats off. She put her hand on another man and said, “That’s one of them,” and a fourth, named Thompson.

    Miller said that Ernest Wilson was arrested at Clovelly-road, Randwick, on March 6. He and Sergeant Quinn pulled up outside in a car, and Wilson poked his head out the front door.

    Then Wilson promptly slammed the door to again, and was heard running down the hall. Quinn went round to the rear and caught Wilson, but another man, who had been in the house, got away over the back fence and made good his escape.

    When Miller explained the purport of his visit, and Ernest Wilson replied: “Yes, I was at the party, but I didn’t assault her.”

    Who were the men?—Jeffs and others.

    Travers (Wilson) there?—Yes.

    Was Payne there?—Yes.

    When put in the line-up, Miller went on, Wilson asked for men of about the same age, build, and dress as himself.

    Mrs Maddocks identified him without hesitation.

    Relating the arrest of Heath, Sergeant Miller said that he saw him at 7 pm on March 7 at Darlinghurst Police Station.

    Heath said that he was at King’s Cross Pictures on March 5.

    Mrs Maddocks indicated Heath in the line-up, and said she would like to see him with his hat off.

    Hats were taken off, and she said: “I’d like to see them turned round.”

    They all turned about.

    She wanted to hear Heath speak. Say, “My beautiful baby,” she said.

    And when Heath repeated the words, said, “That’s the man!”

    Sydney Brown, a friend of Payne’s, came to the police on March 6 and proffered a voluntary statement as to Payne’s movements in his company the evening before.

    Thomas Cooksey, Government Analyst, said that he had received a spoon from Detective-sergeant Miller. An examination of a white powder adhering to it revealed that it was a quinine hydrochloride.

    It was at 12.20 pm on Tuesday that Mr McKean closed the Crown case.

    Without preliminary, Jeffs rose in the dock, and at a nod from counsel, addressed the court. He was very pale, but kept a good grip on himself, speaking quickly and clearly.

    “Your Honor, and gentlemen of the jury,” he said,” on Monday March 5, in company with Herbert Wilson, I went to the Temple Bar Hotel. I saw a young lady there, of the name of Olive Reynolds, and asked her would she come to my flat to a party, and also bring a friend named Bessie Crawford. Later, myself, Herbert Wilson, Cunningham, and Bill Clark, all went to my flat. When we got there dinner was ready, and we sat down and it was served.

    “After dinner, Olive Reynolds and Bessie Crawford came. I may say that there were also Mr and Mrs Connors, the people whom I live with, and a young lady by the name of Mona.

    “There was a gramophone there and a wireless set, and we danced. Olive Reynolds left about half-past eleven. It was getting on to 12 o’clock when I decided to close the gramophone and break the party up, as we were in a flat and it was getting late.

(Continued on Page 14.)

Declares Mrs Maddocks Went to Flat
With Him of Her Own Accord

(Continued from Page 13.)

    “When we came downstairs into King’s Cross-road, we saw a single-seater motor car. Fred Payne and Syd Brown were in the car, and they had a couple of girls with them.

    “I said to Payne, ‘Is there anyone at your flat?’,” He said, “If you’re going round there, you might find a bottle. I don’t know whether there’s any left.” We went round the corner, and up to King’s Lynn Flats. There were myself, Herbert Wilson and Bessie Crawford.

    “As we walked into the sitting-room, I saw a young lady, whom I know now as Mrs Maddocks. She was powdering her face. I did not take any notice of her.

    “I can tell you more now, gentlemen,” Jeffs concluded, “than I said then.” His voice had gradually grown thicker, and he spoke with a very marked Hebraic intonation. “I know nothing about the crime; I never laid a hand on Mrs Maddocks; I never spoke to Mrs Maddocks. The only time I ever saw her was for a few moments in the flat.”

    Olive Reynolds was called. She came in, wearing a vast, white fur, and said she was a barmaid, by profession, at the Temple Bar Hotel. She had seen Jeffs on the afternoon of March 5, she said, and he had invited her to a party. She went up that evening, with Bessie Crawford.

    Jeffs, the Connors, Clark and others were just finishing dinner when they arrived.

    Mr MacMahon: During the time you were there—? till 11.30—did either Jeffs or Herbert Wilson leave the flat?—Not for more than five minutes.

    Mr McKean: Do you visit King’s Lynn at all?—No, never.

    Did you go out last night?—No.

    The previous night?—Yes; in company with Mr Jeffs.

    Have you any idea what time you left home?—(hesitating) It was a Sunday.

    Mr McKean: Yes, I know.

    Olive said that she spent the night with the gentleman she was keeping company with for the past five months.

    “He is the first one,” she said. “I’m true to him.”

    Jeffs had taken out his handkerchief and was desperately wiping the palms of his hands. His face was deathly white, and his eyes were red. Leaning forward, he jabbed Mr Hickey.


    The cause of the discomfiture was apparent to most of those in court except Mr McKean. She had been going out with Jeffs, and yet, declared she had been true to one man for five months.

    Mr McKean looked round, seemed to hear the suspense, and: “Jeffs is the man that you are referring to?” he asked.

    “Yes.” she said, “he is.”

    Bessie Crawford, a pretty barmaid from the Temple Bar Hotel, said she was at Rock Lodge on March 5.

    There were the Connors, Mr Jeffs, Mr Herbert Wilson, Mr Syd Brown, Mr Harold Brown, a man named Cunningham, and others, she said, at the party.

    Somewhere about 11.30 Olive Reynolds said she was going and left.

    She herself left the flat with Mr Jeffs, Mr Wilson, Mr Clark and another gentleman.

    In King’s Cross-road they met Mr Syd Brown and Mr Payne, with two ladies. Mr Cunningham drove away in his car. Later Mr Jeffs, Mr Herbert Wilson and herself went to King’s Lynn Flats.

    “Did you see anybody there at all?” Mr MacMahon asked.

    “Yes,” Mrs Crawford said, two men and a woman.”

    Mrs Maddocks, in the back of the court, was asked to stand up, and for a still moment the two women eyed each other—both, outwardly, indifferent.

    Mr MacMahon: Do you recognise her?

    Mrs Crawford: Yes.

    The girl in the box said that she had only stayed at King’s Lynn a few minutes, and during that time Mrs Maddocks was standing at a dressing table powdering her face.

    Mr Jeffs, she continued, said, “Come along, Bessie, it’s getting late; we’ll put you in a car and go home.” He asked two men in the flat for some drink, and they said there was not any drink there.

    “Then,” said Mrs Crawford, “Mrs Maddocks said, ‘Mind love! They’ll do as they’ve done to me—promise you the world and then kick you out.’” She laughed at me and walked out.

    “That will be the case for Jeffs and Herbert Wilson, if your Honor pleases,” announced Mr MacMahon, and motioned Herbert Wilson to speak.

    The bulky, boyish Wilson, towering in the dock, put his case in a husky though clear enough voice, just as concisely as Jeffs had put his. For the most part, it was a repetition of the facts previously recited by Jeffs.

    First, the party at Rock Lodge, with the names of the guests. “We played the Rexonola,” he said, “and the wireless set, and danced till about a quarter to twelve.”

    Then down into King’s Cross-road—“We walked across to the car; Syd Brown introduced us to two girls—I forget their names now. He also said: “If you want a drink, you can get it round at my flat—you can go round if you like.”

    “Bessie Crawford, myself, and Jeffs walked down the side passage. The door was open. There were a number of people there that I did not know. Jeffs asked a few people if they had a drink, and they said there was nothing left.

    Mrs Maddocks appeared to me to be perfectly normal, and quite at home with the other people in the flat. I am absolutely innocent of this crime.”

    Payne then made his statement. He spoke in a firm, clear, unhesitating manner. His alibi was a globe-trotting variety, taking the hearers all over the Eastern Suburbs.

    That evening, March 5, he and a friend, Syd Brown, were out driving in Brown’s car, a Chrysler single-seater.

    They called early in the piece, at Wangee Flats, in Curlewis-street, Bondi, and then drove round to Bondi Baths, and were swimming until 9 o’clock.

    Driving back towards the Hotel Bondi they met two young ladies, the Misses Elvey and Johnston, who joined the single-seater party. Faraday-avenue, Rose Bay, where the ladies lived, was next stop, and the four proceeded to the Watson’s Bay Hotel.

    “I signed the book, ‘FE Payne, Penrith,’” said Payne. “We stayed there about an hour and a half, and while there ordered four small bottles of Georges Goulet and some lager.

    “We drove over to King’s Lynn Flats, Brown, the two ladies and myself stopped in the dining-room most of the time—except when I went to get a bottle of lager.

    “I saw a woman there, talking to a man, but I did not take any notice of her. I did not see Phillip Jeffs or Wilson or Heath in the flat at any time that night.

    “I have no relations in New South Wales,” Payne concluded. “I have been in gaol for two months awaiting my trial. I have never spoken to Mrs Maddocks and did not speak to her or lay my hand on her that night.”

    Sydney Brown, Payne’s friend, was called. Brown was a short, rather stout fellow, very gaudy as to collar, shirt and tie.

    He corroborated Payne’s story as to the earlier events of the evening of March 5.

    Neil Johnson, of Faraday-avenue. Rose Bay, proved to be a be-spectacled miss, with a gloomy manner, dressed in a smart black costume and a blue hat all covered with silver dots.

    She and her friend were coming from the Casino, at Bondi, about 9 o’clock on March 5, when they met Payne and Brown in a car.

    They all went to the Watson’s Bay Hotel, arriving there about 9.45, and staying till 11.15. Then they repaired to King’s Lynn Flats, where they stayed about a quarter of an hour. In a living room there they sat down. Payne was under her observation all the time, except for one brief interval.

    Dark and statuesque was Miss Daphne Elgee, whose straight, black tailored costume was relieved by a single white camelie on the shoulder.

    She also travelled over the space, in retrospect, from Bondi to Rose Bay, to Watson’s Bay, to King’s Lynn Flats, King’s Cross-road, Watson’s Bay again, and back home to Rose Bay—with her girlfriend, Miss Johnson, Payne and Brown.

    Her times tallied with Miss Johnson’s, also her experiences.

    Daniel William Moore, son of the licensee of the Watson’s Bay Hotel, said that on the evening of March 5 he saw Payne and the other three at the hotel. The four arrived between 9.30 and 10.0, and left at ten past eleven.

    Ernest Wilson’s statement constituted one of the most candid ever heard in a criminal court. It was given in a conversational, explanatory manner.

    “Your honor, gentlemen of the jury,” he said, “on Monday, March 5, I called at King’s Lynn Flats to see Payne and found that he was not there. I then decided to go back to town, and was walking up Bayswater-road to catch the tram at King’s Cross when Mrs Maddocks approached me and said goodnight to me.

    “She said; ‘Where are you going?’

    “I said, ‘Into town.’

    “She then asked: ‘Are you going into town to meet a girl?’

    “I said: ‘Yes.’

    “She said: ‘Why bother going into town? Why not come with me?’

    “I said: ‘I don’t know.’

    “She said: ‘Why not?’

    “I said: ‘We might as well come to my friend’s flat.’

    “She said: ‘All right.’ We then walked to King’s Lynn Flats. I was alone when she spoke to me first and there was no one else in the flat when we arrived.

    “I was familiar with her shortly after we arrived. We stayed at the flat, lying on the bed together. She told me all about how she was a married woman, unhappily married, and that her husband had ill-treated her and threatened to cut her throat with a razor last week.

    “Later in the evening a number of people came to the flat and made inquiries for Mr Payne. They had some girls with them and I told them that Mr Payne was not in, but would probably be back shortly. They brought some drink with them.

    “Mrs Maddocks remained at the flat, as I told her to make herself at home. She was talking to some of the people and walked in and out of the various rooms.

    “Later most of the people left—about 11.30. Payne and Brown, in company with two girls, arrived at the flat. The four of them walked into the dining-room and remained there about a quarter of an hour.

    “Before I left, Mrs Maddocks came over and reminded me of a promise I had made earlier in the evening.

    “I said: ‘To tell you the truth I’m a little bit short. I’ll see you to-morrow.’

    “She got very annoyed with me and became very abusive, so I walked away and left her.

    “I might add that up to the time I left the flat I never saw Jeffs, Herbert Wilson, or Heath there at all that night. I say, gentlemen, that I was at the flat on March 5, and I told Sergeant Miller this as soon as he arrested me.

    “I never applied any force to Mrs Maddocks, and any familiarity was entirely with her consent.

    “I am entirely innocent of this charge.”

    Heath, the short, red-faced man charged as accessory, made his statement in a rather “can’t-you-see-I’ve-been-dragged-into-this” voice.

    “I’m a commission agent residing at Kellett-street, Darlinghurst,” he said. “I met a man named McCourt at half-past six on March 5, and had tea at a place in William-street.

    “We strolled over afterwards to near the King’s Cross Pictures, and stayed there till nearly 8. We met a man named Kelly, and Kelly and McCourt and I went to the pictures.

    “After the pictures, we met a man named Spears and a drink-waiter from the Mansions.

    “The four of them stopped talking till about 11.30 and then,” said Heath, “he and Spears went down Kellett-street, Spears leaving at his door.

    “On Wednesday he went into town as usual, and consulted his solicitor about a business matter. Tea that night at the usual place.

    “Afterwards a car came along, and a man in it called out, ‘Mr Miller wants to see you two fellows.’ (He was with McCourt).

    “He then went up to the station,” Heath continued, “and waited a quarter of an hour for him. When Miller came, he said, ‘I don’t want to see you, McCourt. Get out!’ and pushed him out.

    “Gentlemen,” Heath protested, “on this night of March 5, I had a discolored eye, and was wearing glasses.

    “I have never, before that night, that night, or since, been in King’s Lynn Flats in my life. Mr Miller did not ask me the name of the pictures, and I never told him. I was drunk. I never put my hands on that woman, and am absolutely innocent of this charge.”

    James McCourt, a railway perway worker was called to corroborate Heath’s statements, and did so in unspectacular fashion.

    Mr McKean asked a question which at last dissipated one of the, till then, unpenetrable mysteries of the case.

    “Can you tell me what picture was showing that night?” he asked.

    “Yes,” said McCourt, without hesitation. “‘THE UNDERWORLD,’ in the first half, and ‘Tell it to Sweeney.’”

    The third day found the four men charged with the major crime, showing signs of strain. Jeffs was deeply thoughtful; Ernest Wilson’s face was shadowed; Heath’s had faded to a shell-pink; Herbert Wilson looked like a bear at bay.

    And Payne! The nervous tension was showing on him, too.

    Christopher Sheehy, solicitor, said that Heath was a client of his in March. On March 5 Heath who consulted him, had a black eye, which remained visible for some days.

    That closed the case.

    Mr McMahon opened the addresses to the jury. Fact upon fact he had builded his castle on the rock of logic. Little comment, now, few pyrotechnics. No ammunition wasted! Good, plain round shot it was. He chose his target with deliberation, aimed carefully, demolished it, then chose the next—until the prosecution lay round in a mass of ruins.

    “You have now heard all the facts,” he told the jury—“all the facts of the case known in the press as the ‘Darlinghurst Flat case,’ and in some cases as the ‘Darlinghurst Outrage’ case. You have heard all and rumours in connection with this case; you have heard the whisperings of those who claim they have some ‘inside knowledge’ of the case. It is now time to get down to the evidence in the case.

    “Right throughout, there have been inconsistencies. Mrs Maddocks has proved herself a person in whom a great deal of reliance cannot be placed.

    “A woman, struggling against seven human beasts, and”—producing a frail garment—“you won’t find one tear here!

    “Asked what became of her purse, she says: ‘It was never out of my hand; I hung on to it all the time.’

    “She went home to her husband, and there was evolved, for the first time, the story of the Darlinghurst Outrage Case.

    “The story is a monstrous fabrication,” Mr MacMahon asserted, “concocted in the mind of Mrs Maddocks; and two factors operated in her mind—the first that Ernie Wilson did not give her the money he promised, and the second factor, the craven fear of her own husband.

    Payne himself, against his own interests, rigidly adhered to his statement that he arrived back at the flat between 10.30 and 10.45 pm. All the others of the four in his party all definitely swore that it was after eleven. It is a human test of his veracity. His alibi rings true.

    “If ever an innocent man has stood in that dock, and has proved a demonstration of his innocence, it is Frederick Payne—a man, who, by the irony of fate, has been unable to obtain bail, and has been incarcerated since March 6.

    “Jeffs and Wilson are in the same position as Payne, in that they immediately brought forward the defence of an alibi. They placed their cards on the table. They mentioned ‘Bessie’ and ‘Ollie’ and a man named Brown, and it was open to the police to go and interview them. And to-day Jeffs and Wilson call those same girls to tell their story.

    “The witnesses called by Payne gave evidence that is also corroboration of Jeffs’ and Wilson’s alibis.

    “You’ve heard the girl, Olive, being cross-examined as to her relationship with Jeffs. My friend brought out a certain relationship between them that I never dared bring out—that is, in fairness to the girl herself, I did not bring it out.

    “Could one possibly conceive,” he asked, “that Jeffs, after being with his sweetheart all the earlier part of the evening, could then go straight over to King’s Lynn Flats and violently assault a girl there.

    “The whole story is concocted.”

    Mr Dovey began his address to the jury at 12.26 pm.

    “One would have no human feelings if he did not express horror at such a crime as this woman described—assuming it did occur—and detestation of the persons who committed this crime. But let not horror sway your judgement.

    “Mrs Maddocks was unhappily married. She was tied to a man who, I venture to say, was worthless. The Crown Prosecutor wouldn’t have him. You saw him. No wonder the Crown did not want him.

    “He was not supporting her, he was drinking, calling her vile names and threatening her; she had no food for twenty-four hours, and had to send for Woolley.

    “That 4/6 was all she had between her and starvation, and she decided to sell and soul together—that is a reasonable growing more and more marked until, at the end, it was very apparent. [sic]

    “She went into that flat voluntarily and willingly,” Mr Dovey continued, “with the hope of receiving some reward. Ernest Wilson admits that he was familiar with her—it is suggested, and there may have been other men in the flat who made her a promise, as Wilson did.

    “Then the old story: I’ll see you to-morrow.” She realised it was late––her husband would be expecting her return. She had given her body in expectation of a reward; she was, no doubt, extremely angry, almost to tears; it was impossible to tell a true story to her husband. What was left for her to say but, ‘I was molested.’”

    Mr Dovey, having referred to the absence of bruises on Mrs Maddocks’ body, went on: “It was a horribly nauseating story she told to you and to us. But she told it with perfect composure, as if she were reciting the details of a Sunday-school picnic!”

    “She said she was promised a ‘fiver,’” continued Counsel. “She might have. But if she had got it, we would not be here to-day, that’s certain.”

    The luncheon adjournment cut in upon Mr Dovey’s address.

    At two o’clock there came an unexpected interlude. When the jury filed in the foreman suddenly announced, “Your Honor, we have come to a decision with regard to the prisoner Heath.”

    His Honor: What is the decision?

    The Foreman: Not guilty, your Honor.

    Heath’s red face glowed—all the other accused looked happier.

    Then, like a cloud obscuring the sun, Mr McKean rose. There was a second indictment, he announced.

    Heath, still standing, in his stupendous moment of liberty. Was without preamble, charged with the committal of another offence—an abominable offence—against Ida Mavis Maddocks.

    His Honor fixed bail at £100, and promptly remanded him to appear for trial on a date to be fixed by the Attorney-General.

    As the reprieved Heath moved along the file of his fellow-accused on his way out, Herbert Wilson thrust out a huge paw and warmly pressed his hand.

    So did Jeffs. Heath’s send-off was most cordial. Payne alone seemed pre-occupied.

    As Mr Dovey then resumed his discourse, the four now left in the dock appeared less concerned—their foreheads relaxed and their attitude to the proceedings for a time became almost casual and disinterested.

    Resuming his address, Mr Dovey discounted the alleged assaults upon Mrs Maddocks in a review of Dr Palmer’s evidence.

    He went on to charge the Crown with having deliberately shut out a witness (Maddocks) who would have helped materially the defence.

    “We’ve heard a lot in the papers,” continued counsel, “about razor-gangs, face slashings and such at King’s Cross. I am not defending the mode of life of the accused, but you are not going to be prejudiced against a man because he lives in Darlinghurst. You are not going to be convinced, because he lives there, that he was guilty of this crime.

    “This Darlinghurst has been described as a sort of Bohemia,” Mr Dovey went on, “where men and women spend the night in promiscuous love-making far from the eyes and knowledge of their more respectable friends and relations.

    “My friend says this case has been tried by the press,” said Mr McKean, when he rose at 2.40 pm. “I fail to see it. We all know that the women’s evidence has been heard behind closed doors, and the newspapers knew nothing of it.

    “My friend has also commented on the ‘indelicacy’ of Mrs Maddocks. He cannot afford to throw stones, If she was indelicate, what type of people are these?”—pointing to the dock.

    “Mrs Maddocks does not live at Darling Point—she lives in a flat, in wretched surrounding, in a place which Mr Dovey calls ‘Razorhurst,’ instead of Darlinghurst.”.

    “You are misusing my word,” protested Mr Dovey.


     “The case for the Crown,” Mr McKean went on, “depends entirely upon the evidence of Mrs Maddocks—upon her the case stands or fails. And you may convict, I put it to you, without corroboration—and there is no corroboration implicating the accused in any material fact whatever.

    “Ask yourselves, ‘Is Mrs Maddocks imagining all this?’ Why should she? She has had any amount of time. And if her evidence isn‘t true, it is rank and wilful perjury.

    “The only accusation that she was a street walker,” he said, “comes from there (he pointed dramatically at the dock) and from there only—from Ernest Wilson, who is charged with this hideous offence.”

    Mr Justice Campbell, in his summing up, warned the jury not to be unduly swayed by the rhetoric of counsel, nor swayed by prejudice or any other influence.

    The jury should not attach any weight to the assertion that the press had prejudiced the case.

    Your sole concern should be to determine what are the conclusions to be drawn from the facts put before you.

    “It is for you to say how much or how little of the evidence to accept. If you do not believe the evidence of the principal witness for the Crown, if you consider what was done was done with her consent, if you entertain a reasonable doubt of guilt, it is your duty to return a verdict of not guilty.”

    His Honor, having discussed at length the probabilities, the jury retired at 4.5 pm.

    At 4.35 the knock came.

    The four accused were brought up. They were very, very serious.

    The jury filed in. One man, who had smiled a good deal throughout the hearing, caught the attention—he was smiling now.

    “Not guilty.” Obviously!

    But the four men in the dock could not “bank” on that. Dreading the worst, they dared not expect the best—in the shadow of the noose the Fates must be sardonic.

    “Is Phillip Jeffs—– ?”

    “Not guilty!”

    A smile flickered over the little man’s countenance, and passed. None of the others moved a muscle.

    “Is Ernest Frederick Wilson—– ?”

    The wan smile! It passed along the line— Jeffs, now Ernest Wilson, then Herbert Wilson. Payne did not smile.

    Outside a motley crowd awaited the freed men. There were cheers, tears, hand shakings, and warm embraces from the women-folk.

    But, before they let him go on bail Herbert Wilson was charged on a similar indictment to that which had been preferred that afternoon against Heath.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Theodore Pressfield, Gaol photo sheet 19

SRNSW: NRS2467, [3/6102], State Penitentiary photographic description book, 16 Oct 1919-2 Mar 1920, No. 16995, p. 190.

Gaol Photo Sheet - 
Transcribed Details

No. 16995

Date when Portrait was taken: 18-2-1920

Name: Theodore Pressfield

Native place: Sydney

Year of birth: 22-11-1900

Arrived       Ship:
in Colony }   Year: BS

Trade or occupation
previous to conviction  } Caster

Religion: R. C.

Education, degree of: R & W

Height: 5' 5⅝"

Weight     On committal: 147
in lbs     } On discharge:

Colour of hair: Dark brown

Colour of eyes: Blue

Marks or special features: Five Brown scars on abdomen. Several moles on both cheeks

(No. of previous Portrait ... ) 


Convicted with Herbert Wilson

Where and When



Central PC

Sydney Q.S








Break & enter a warehouse
& steal therein

£2 or 7 days H.L.
Paid fine at Court

Bound over in recognisance self in £10-0 each to appear and receive sentence at any time within 12 months if called upon to do so. Recognisance entered into and prisoner released from Court 20-2-1920


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Herbert Wilson, Gaol photo sheet 20 

SRNSW: NRS2467, [3/6102], State Penitentiary photographic description book, 16 Oct 1919-2 Mar 1920, No. 16996, p. 191.

Gaol Photo Sheet - 
Transcribed Details

No. 16996

Date when Portrait was taken: 18-2-1920

Name: Herbert Wilson

Native place: Sydney

Year of birth: 14-8-1899

Arrived       Ship:
in Colony }   Year: BS

Trade or occupation
previous to conviction  } Caster

Religion: C of E

Education, degree of: R & W

Height: 5' 1"

Weight     On committal: 198
in lbs     } On discharge:

Colour of hair: Brown

Colour of eyes: Brown

Marks or special features: Scar on chest under right nipple. Two scars on left shin

(No. of previous Portrait ... ) 


Convicted with Theodore Pressfield

Where and When



Sydney Q.S

Sydney Q.S










Break & enter a warehouse
and steal therein

Break and enter a warehouse
and steal therein

Break & enter a warehouse &
steal therein

12 months HL Goulburn Gaol.
Sentence suspended on entering into
recognisance self and one surety in
£10-0 each to be of good behaviour for
12 months and conform to the sections
of the Crimes Act relating to First
Offenders for that period. Recognisance
entered into and prisoner released from
Court 20-2-1920

18 months HL
                      | Concurrent
12 months HL

Convicted with Edward Jackson

Central PC.




Malicious damage property

£3-3-6 or 14 days HL
£5-3-6 or 1 month HL  |  Con


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Phillip Jeffs, Gaol photo sheet 21 

SRNSW: NRS2467, [3/6108], State Penitentiary photographic description book, 5 Sep 1922-24 Mar 1923, No. 18946, p. 129.

Gaol Photo Sheet - 
Transcribed Details

No. 18946

Date when Portrait was taken: 28-10-1922

Name: Phillip Jeffs

Native place: South Africa

Year of birth: 31-1-1896

Arrived       Ship: Neski
in Colony }   Year: 1907

Trade or occupation
previous to conviction  } Pastry cook

Religion: Hebrew

Education, degree of: R & W

Height: 5' 5¾"

Weight     On committal: 133
in lbs     } On discharge:

Colour of hair: Dark brown

Colour of eyes: Hazel 

Marks or special features: Two horses heads three cards, horseshoe with inscription Curse of Man above ankle, glass & dice outside left forearm

(No. of previous Portrait ... ) 


Where and When



Central PC


Brisbane PC




Central PC


Sydney Q.S

Central PC

Central PC
Sydney Q.S





































Stealing from the person

Robbery in company



1) Found drinking on unlicenced
2) Found in house frequented by

Appeal dismissed conviction affirmed. Sentence to date
from 3-11-1922
Not pay costs of appeal


Appeal dismissed conviction confirmed

20/- or 7 days HL. Paid fine


£5 or 1 month HL. Paid fine

£10 or 2 months HL. Paid fine

12 months H.L.


20/- or 7 days HL. Paid fine

1) 15/- or 3 days H.L.

2) 3 months HL. Concurrent.
To bail on appeal 23-8-1922
18 months H.L.

£3-6-6 or 21 days HL

6 months HL. To bail on appeal

£3-3-0 costs.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Leslie Heath, Gaol photo sheet 22

SRNSW: NRS2467, [3/6109], State Penitentiary photographic description book, 17 Mar 1923-11 Aug 1923, No. 19448, p. –.

Gaol Photo Sheet - 
Transcribed Details

No. 19448

Date when Portrait was taken: 13-6-1923

Name: Leslie Heath

Native place: Sydney

Year of birth: 28-9-1890

Arrived       Ship:
in Colony }   Year: BS

Trade or occupation
previous to conviction  } Dealer

Religion: R. C.

Education, degree of: R & W

Height: 5' 4½"

Weight     On committal: 169
in lbs     } On discharge:

Colour of hair: Fair

Colour of eyes: Blue

Marks or special features: Scars on inside bend of left arm & in corner of right eye. Large nose tattoo spots on junction of right thumb

(No. of previous Portrait .. 14186)


Convicted with Walter Paul Rose

Where and When



Water PC

Central CC







Not pay costs of appeal


£3-3-0 or 1 month HL.

12 months H.L.

And 4 previous convictions for which See Photo No. as above


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Walter Paul Rose, Gaol photo sheet 23

SRNSW: NRS2467, [3/6109], State Penitentiary photographic description book, 17 Mar 1923-11 Aug 1923, No. 19449, p. –.

Gaol Photo Sheet - 
Transcribed Details

No. 19449

Date when Portrait was taken: 13-6-1923

Name: Walter Paul Rose

Native place: Wisemans’ Ferry

Year of birth: 5-6-1887

Arrived       Ship:
in Colony }   Year: BS

Trade or occupation
previous to conviction  } Estate Agent

Religion: C of E

Education, degree of: R & W

Height: 5' 6"

Weight     On committal: 119
in lbs     } On discharge:

Colour of hair: Dark brown

Colour of eyes: Blue

Marks or special features: Scar in centre of forehead. Two white marks alongside right ear

(No. of previous Portrait … )


Convicted With Leslie Heath

Where and When



Central CC










12 months HL.

12months HL.
Sentence to commence upon expiration
of 6 months of sentence now serving


1     Evening News, (Sydney, NSW), Wed 7 Mar 1928, p. 1. Emphasis in original and added.

2     The Sydney Morning Herald, Thu 8 Mar 1928, p. 12. Emphasis added.

3     Truth, (Syd, NSW), Sun 11 Mar 1928, p. 1. Emphasis in original and added.

4     Evening News, (Sydney, NSW), Wed 14 Mar 1928, p. 9. Emphasis in original and added.

5     The Sydney Morning Herald, Thu 15 Mar 1928, p. 12. Emphasis added.

6     Truth, (Syd, NSW), Sun 18 Mar 1928, p. 24. Emphasis in original and added.

7     Evening News, (Sydney, NSW), Fri 23 Mar 1928, p. 9. Emphasis in original and added.

8     The Sydney Morning Herald, Fri 23 Mar 1928, p. 14. Emphasis added.

9     Truth, (Syd, NSW), Sun 25 Mar 1928, p. 14. Emphasis added and in original text.

10   Evening News, (Sydney, NSW), Tue 27 Mar 1928, p. 1. Emphasis added and in original text.

11   The Sydney Morning Herald, Tue 27 Mar 1928, p. 12.

12   Evening News, (Sydney, NSW), Thu 5 Apr 1928, p. 9. Emphasis added.

13   The Sydney Morning Herald, Fri 6 Apr 1928, p. 9.

14   Evening News, (Sydney, NSW), Mon 7 May 1928, pp. 1, 9. Emphasis in original and added. The Sydney Morning Herald, Tue 8 May1928, p. 8 has coverage of Monday’s trial.

15   Evening News, (Sydney, NSW), Tue 8 May 1928, p. 13. Emphasis added and in original text. The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 9 May1928, p. 21 has coverage of Tuesday’s trial.

16   Evening News, (Sydney, NSW), Wed 9 May 1928, p. 13. Emphasis in original and added. The Sydney Morning Herald, Thu 10 May1928, p. 6 has coverage of Wednesday’s trial.

17   Truth, (Syd, NSW), Sun 25 Mar 1928, p. 12.

    “Even the police force, like Parliament, has opened its doors to publicly acknowledge the equality of women with men. It was a good day for NSW when Lilian May Armfield was enrolled as a special first-class constable.

    That was about thirteen years ago, and now Mrs Armfield is the only appointed special police-sergeant in the force. A trained nurse, a woman of infinite tact and re, the Department could not have made a happier choice.

    Drug traffic and clever burglaries, the wiles of the underworld’s women, have all suffered by her attention, and her part in crimes where women have been involved has won her both respect and admiration from police and public.”

    According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Fri 25 Jun 1915, p. 4: The NSW Police Inspector-General, Mr James Mitchell, appointed the Misses Lilian May Armfield and Maude Marion Rhodes as policewomen to the force.

18   Truth, (Syd, NSW), Sun 13 May 1928, pp. 13, 14. Emphasis in original and added.

19   SRNSW: NRS2467, [3/6102], State Penitentiary photographic description book, 16 Oct 1919-2 Mar 1920, No. 16995, p. 190.

20   SRNSW: NRS2467, [3/6102], State Penitentiary photographic description book, 16 Oct 1919-2 Mar 1920, No. 16996, p. 191.

21   SRNSW: NRS2467, [3/6108], State Penitentiary photographic description book, 5 Sep 1922-24 Mar 1923, No. 18946, p. 129.

22   SRNSW: NRS2467, [3/6109], State Penitentiary photographic description book, 17 Mar 1923-11 Aug 1923, No. 19448, p. –.

23   SRNSW: NRS2467, [3/6109], State Penitentiary photographic description book, 17 Mar 1923-11 Aug 1923, No. 19449, p. –.