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George Alexander Smyth, Deputy Public Trustee for Christchurch and Official Assignee for Canterbury, was found dead in his room at the Clarendon Hotel yesterday afternoon. Two bottles, which had contained an irritant poison, were found in the room when the discovery was made by ono of the hotel porters, who had gone to Smyth’s room to inquire how he was. Smyth was lying on the bed quite dead.

At the inquest evidence was given that during the past week Smyth had not been in his usual good health, but had appeared to be worrying a good deal over office matters, and more particularly over the estate of a solicitor who had disappeared, and who was adjudged bankrupt. From the evidence of witnesses connected with the office it appeared that Smyth had spoken to them of having consulted a doctor, who had told him that he was suffering from a serious illness, and had not long to live. The coroner believed this story to be purely imaginary, as no trace of illness was found by the doctor who conducted .a post mortem examination. Dr Fitchett (Public Trustee) was in Christchurch yesterday, and in the morning he telegraphed to Wellington for a man to be sent there, so that Smyth could go on holiday. No other reasons but those are known for Smyth taking his life. Smyth was at his office as usual yesterday morning, but complained of not sleeping the previous night. Other witnesses slated that Smyth’s appearance during the past week suggested that he was unwell, but not that ne would take his life. Shortly before 11 a.m. he made his will in the presence of a clerk and a typist in the office, and got them to witness his signature and to vouch for his testamentary capacity. The coroner returned a verdict of death by poisoning whilst of unsound mind.

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Bibliographic details

DEATH BY POISONING, Issue 15644, 7 November 1914

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DEATH BY POISONING Issue 15644, 7 November 1914

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