27 May 2016

Lingering Doubts - 69 years ago - 27 May, 1947

27 May, 1947
Our grandfather's body was found in a Boggo Road Gaol cell just 9 days into his life sentence. Five weeks later -  69 years ago today - an inquest was held in Brisbane. City Coroner, Thomas Elite, heard evidence from Dr John Tonge - State Pathologist, one police constable, four prison officers and Reg Brown's 20 year-old son, Ian.

Ian told the inquiry that only four days before his father's death, he had visited him in Boggo Road Gaol. Although Reg warned his son not to 'get off side with the police, you will never win' and described the prison as 'worse than you could ever imagine', Ian said there were no good-byes, nothing to indicate his father was considering suicide. In the courtroom environment Ian was shown, for the first time, his father's last words; a final and concise statement of innocence written and signed in pencil on a piece of gaol issued toilet paper.

Although our grandfather was unwell and had been prescribed Phenobarbital by the prison doctor, the doctor did not appear at the inquest. At the end of one hour and forty minutes the coroner ruled no suspicious circumstances. But as we show in Lingering Doubts, there are  some reasons for suspicion. Unanswered questions remain e.g. was our grandfather in an observation cell? We were told there was some contention over this matter amongst prison staff. Also was Reg assessed by the medical officer after receiving a life sentence? He was distressed, still professing his innocence and subsequently suffered a severe asthma attack during his first night in the lifers' block.

Bronia Armstrong, the young woman Reg Brown was accused of murdering should have turned 20 years old on 26 May, the day before the inquest. If things had been different, yesterday in 2016 Bronia might have celebrated her 89th birthday, perhaps surrounded by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

In a strange twist of fate my (Deb's) only granddaughter was born on 26 May. Yesterday she turned 2 years old.
Deb and Jan

13 May 2016

Bob Bottom - The Saturday Paper

follow link and scroll down to the following:

Extract from The Saturday Paper, 7 May 2016 (Richard Ackland)

Rocked Bottom
Back to journalism. Bob Bottom, an old investigative sleuth, was incensed by a recent column in The Sun-Herald by barrister Charles Waterstreet
The columnist claimed in his April 10 piece, to the puzzlement of many, that lawyers like him get paid the same whether working on a matter involving a parking ticket or a million dollars’ worth of coke. 
He also complained about another professional burden: “people accuse us of lying for a living, but my real job is to stop truth from ever coming out.” 
Bottom whipped off a note to the editor-in-chief, Darren Goodsir: “As a subscriber to The Sun-Herald, and a one-time correspondent, may I advise that I am appalled by a proclamation in a column by Charles Waterstreet ...” 
He wasn’t appalled by the pay scale for cases of drug importations and parking tickets, rather the claim that the brief says his job is to stop the truth ever coming out. 
Unlike the lawyers’ code of conduct, newspaper writers are bound by an ethical regime that says they should “report and interpret honestly, striving for accuracy, fairness”, etc.
“Thus,” according to Bob Bottom, “Charles Waterstreet should no longer be accepted by Fairfax as a weekly columnist.”
Goodsir wrote back: “I am forwarding this to some of my senior editors for discussion. It is a serious matter and I will talk to them next week upon my return to work.” 
They must still be discussing it because Waterstreet continues to appear in the paper.

....'my real job is to stop truth from ever coming out'  - we too are appalled!!
Thank you Bob, we remain honoured to have your name attached to Lingering Doubts.
Deb and Jan

7 May 2016

Recently published book - Code of Silence (Colin Dillon)

Our sincere congratulations to Col on the launch of his book Code of Silence - How One Honest Police Officer took on Australia's Most Corrupt Police Force. The name Dr Colin Dillon APM, AM appears more than once in the acknowledgement section of Lingering Doubts. Not only was Col wonderfully supportive throughout our research into our grandfather's murder conviction, Col also very generously read through some draft chapters for us. 

Colin Dillon, a former Police Inspector, is best known for his courageous stand against corruption, voluntarily giving first-hand evidence to the Fitzgerald Inquiry of 1987.

With much admiration Col and heart-felt thanks from us and our family,
Deb and Jan