1 February 2015

Lingering Doubts - Boggo Road Gaol - 68 years ago - Part 3

1 February 1947

In readiness for the committal hearing in the Police Court, or today, Magistrate's Court, only one day remained for the preparation of our grandfather's defence against the charge of wilful murder.  However, on this date in 1947, our grandfather's defence was 'seriously hampered' by Boggo Road Gaol authorities when notes he had written for his solicitor were confiscated by a prison guard. Upon his barrister's protest in the presence of the magistrate, incredibly, the only official respondent on record is Detective Sub-inspector Frank Bischof. In part, his report read:
....There is no desire by any member of this [Police] Department to ascertain the contents of any notes BROWN may wish to hand his Solicitor.
The privilege existing between solicitor and client was, and is, sacred. But this was not upheld when Reg Brown was on trial. The incident was simply glossed over.
 We ask the question in our book: Does Bischof's response imply that when a person was denied bail and subsequently detained on remand, police officers  investigating the crime, had the ability to curtail the prisoner's defence? Worse still be privvy to the prisoner's notes written in a vain attempt to defend themself? Back then, successful convictions equaled plum promotions for police.
It defies belief that this corrupt and cruel practice, incorporating the justice, penal and legal systems, was very obviously common place here in Brisbane -  scarier still to think it was only 68 years ago. 

Deb and Jan

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We look forward to your comments and feedback or any information you may wish to share about our grandfather's case.