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DEATH OF FARMER

MURDER ALLEGED

CHARGE AGAINST SON

(By Telegraph—Press Association.) AUCKLAND, April 13.

Evidence was heard in the Magistrate's Court today, in the case in which Francis Borgia Spensley, farm labourer, was charged with the murder of his father, Robert Fitzroy Spensley, aged 60/ on or about February 7. The body was found under a covering of hay near Spensley's three-roomed shack on a farm at Swanson on Sunday, March 13.. It was partly decomposed and had a bullet-wound in the head.

Mr. V. R. Meredith, Crown Prosecutor, conducted the case for the police, and Mr. G. Bloomfield appeared for Spensley. The charge was heard before Mr. F. K. Hunt, S.M.

Selina' Winslow, widow, Swanson, gave evidence that the accused was.a friend of some of her boys.. He came to stay at her house early in February last. He did not tell witness at first where his father was, but when asked said that his father had gone away for a holiday for a fortnight. He did not bring any guns at first, but she noticed later that there were two firearms in the tent. The accused used to go to his father's farm to milk the cows. When a cheque arrived by mail he signed it. Witness asked: "Is it right that you sign that cheque?" He replied that his father had told him to sign the cheques as he was away in the backblocks and they, might not reach him. The accused seemed to be spending money fairly freely on chocolates, soft drinks, gramophone records, and groceries. After he had been there a few days he stopped going to milk his father's cows. In reply to her, he said that the cows were dry. He said that he had a letter from his lather telling him to sell the dry stock.

Sydney Arthur Henry • Hammond, farmer, described finding, the body after his son had told him of its discovery. He reported the matter to the police. Later a truck arrived- containing two married daughters of Spensley, also a son-in-law, and the accused. Witness heard a constable say to the accused: "You have been a foolish fellpw. You have been selling stock and •■ have wasted money." Witness heard Frank Spcnsley say: "I shot him with a pea-rifle."

Mr. Meredith: Did you hear Constable Norton warn him.

Witness said he heard the constable say something to the effect that anything the accused said might be taken down and used against him.

Then the accused's brother-in-law came up and told him not to say anything until he had seen a lawyer.

Dr» Walter Gilmour, pathologist at Auckland Hospital, said he examined the body of the deceased. In witness's opinion death was due to bullet-wounds in the brain. The presence of two bullet-wounds indicated that they could not both have been self-inflicted. Death had taken place four or five weeks previously.

Mrs. Sarah Agnes IJma Pender, Parnell, married, said the deceased was her father. The accused was hec stepbrother, the only child of the deceased's second marriage. She visited Swanson in February, and the accused said that the deceased had gone to Te Aroha. Witness collapsed when nearing the conclusion oil her evidence, and was carried from the witness box,

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DEATH OF FARMER Evening Post, Volume CXXV, Issue 88, 14 April 1938

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