1 February 2016

Lingering Doubts - 69 years ago - 1 February 1947

1 February 1947
Only one day remained for the preparation of our grandfather's defence against the charge of wilful murder before the  commencement of the committal hearing in the Police Court. Unbelievably, on this day 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. Following his barrister's protest in the presence of the magistrate, incredibly, the only official response on record is from Police Prosecutor, Detective Sub-inspector Frank Bischof. An extract from Bischof's report:
....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. 
 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 privy to a prisoner's notes written in a vain attempt to defend him or herself?
It defies belief that this extraordinarily corrupt and cruel practice, incorporating the justice, penal and legal systems, was very obviously common place in Brisbane -  only 69 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.