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JURY OUT.

MURDER CHARGE.

CASE FOR DEFENCE.

NO EVIDENCE CALLED

u BOY GREATLY WORRIED."

By Telegraph.—Press Association.) XAPIKR, this day. When the trial of Colin Herbert HerciK'k (-1), grocerVs assistant, 011 a charge of murdering Mrs. l-*ohel Annie Aves at Westsliore on October 3, was resumed before Sir Michael Myers this morning, counsel for the defence. Mr. C. Weston, K.C., and Mr. <i. 15. J-.. Marker, intminted tlkit they would not be willing any evidence. -Mr. H. J?, Lusk, who conducted the case for the Crown yesterday, then began his address to the jury. He asserted that accusixl's action ill making a statement four hours after the event proved that his memory was good, and that tin: question of insanity did not enter into the case. It was admitted that Hercock was worried, which was natural.

His Honor interposed to say that no suggestion had been made of insanity and that he would have something to i-ay to the jury on the question.

For 1110 defence, Air. WVstun said ho did not claim that accused was insane, but asserted that the boy hud been greatly worried and had lost his balance, all because of liis concern for the safety of the girl.

The jiid«re said the accused went to r Mrs. Avow' house with a loaded ritle which he lired, thus committing an uiiI lawful act, antl a woman was killed. That was culpable homicide. If that I waei so, then accused was at least guilty of manslaughter. The question was: Did accused intend to kill Mrs. Aves. Jf the jury had a doubt it should not find a verdict of murder but of manslaughter. The jury retired at 12.10 p.m. Brother's Evidence. Tn giving evidence yesterday, accused's brother, T. J. Hercoek, told of his brother's coming home on the Sundav night while he was in bed and asking for his bullets. Witness said his brother had fossicked round behind the dressingtable but he had not seen him get anything. Accused's mother, Mrs. Beatrice Margaret Hercock, said she had always thought her son's name to be Colin Walter. Recently she had got his birth certificate ami found his name to be Colin Herbert. On the night Mrs. Aves was shot her son had been very white and he appeared hollow round the eyes. He did not seem to want any tea that night. In reply to a question from Mr. Weston, she said her son was very quiet and appeared to be worried. Airs. Hercock added that her family had always liked Miss Stafford.

"On the night of October 3, I was at Mrs. Aves' house at Westshore," said hobert Buddicomb, a water-side worker. Witness said he had gone to Mrs. Aves' house on Saturday and had remained there overnight. He gave evidence of someone coming to the house during Sunday night. At the time lie was standing in Mrs. Aves' bedroom. Mrs. Aves went to the front door and witness then heard a sharp sound and a scream from Mrs. Aves, who then said "I'm shot." Witness stepped out of the bedroom and she caught hold of him. He saw a figure at the bottom of the steps and saw a man go out the gateway and get into a car. The opening of the door, the noise and the scream all followed very closely on one another.

Similar evidence was given by Ida Scott, a married woman, who said she liad known Airs. Aves very well. A son of Mrs. Aves, George O. Craike, said that he was at Westshore on the night of the shooting and was awakened by screams. He rushed into the sitting room and found his mother there in a state of collapse. Dr. .1. Allan Berry said he thought it probable that the rifle had not been raised to the assailant's shoulder. There was an amazing amount of injury for so small a bullet. Mr. Harker: From your reading and experience would it be' possible for anyone to be abnormal so a* not to form any coherent intentions at midnight and be all right again at (t a.m.? Witness: Yes. Mr. Lusk: But you would want to know all the facts? Witness: Yes, of course. Mr. Lusk then asked witness whether a young man arming himself and gointr to another person's place and discharging a rifle was a sign of abnormality. Dr. Berry replied that in his opinion it was. In face of further questions along these lines. Dr. Berry said that he was not an alienist. Dr. D. A. Ballantyne, assistant superintendent at the X a pier Public Hospital, ga\e evidence along the lines of that given by Dr. Beyy. Evidence of Hereock's call at the Napier police station at 12.3 a.m. on the morning pf Monday, October 3, was given by Senior-Sergeant W. Pender. In answer to a question from Mr. Harker, the senior-sergeant said that when Hereock came into the station lie seemed either mentally affected or semi-intoxi-cated. Later lie found that there were no signs of intoxication about accused. 'He did not appear to know what he had come to the station for, jud"in" by his appearance and the way he was talking,' said witness.

1 senior-sergeant said he saw Hercock the following day and ho appeared ninoli brighter and his condition continned to improve during the day. "Fright of Her Life." Detective-Sergeant H. Nuttall told the Court that when he first saw the accused at the police station at 1° °0 a.m. on October :} he was worried and m a demented condition. At 11 a m ho seemed quite rational and lie made a statement m which he admitted goin- to Mrs. Aves' place and firing a rifle there to give her "the fright of her life." Mr. ITarker: From what you saw. if he had turned out to he a wandering ■ limit ic would you have been surprised y Witness: I would not. Witness said that in all his 32 Years' police experience he had met only two other people in a similar condition' after having committed a serious crime One was concerned in a murder and the other an attempted murder.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AS19381101.2.78

Bibliographic details

JURY OUT., Auckland Star, Volume LXIX, Issue 258, 1 November 1938

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1,025

JURY OUT. Auckland Star, Volume LXIX, Issue 258, 1 November 1938

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