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Inquest Series – Joseph Lowe Jones

January 25, 2020

Another in the series, examining inquests that have been held for members of my family, who lost their lives suddenly and/or not from natural causes.

Joseph Lowe Jones

Inquest held on 22 July 1966.

Deposition of a Witness

This deponent Noel Matthew Robinson on his oath saith: I am a Constable of Police residing at 2 Wireless Patrol Branch Brunswick, now stationed at Shepparton.

At about 8.15 on Thursday the 1st July 1965, as a result of a message received from D24, I went to the Preston and Northcote Community Hospital, in the company of Senior Constable Trewhitt, and Constable Shedden. On our arrival we were shown into a cubicle, where I saw an elderly man, who I now know to be Joseph Lowe Jones, lying on a bed, in this cubicle. Another man, who I now know to be Allan Joseph Jones, was standing in this cubicle, beside Joseph Lowe Jones, who I now know to be his father.

I noticed that the patient Jones snr was heavily bruised and swollen around the face. His eyes were closed and he had abrasions around the cheeks and nose. There was also heavy bruising around the throat, reaching to the rear right hand side of his neck, consistent with having been caused by some person, attempting to strangle him.

Senior Constable Trewitt, then had a lengthy conversation with the son, Allan Joseph Jones, after which he conveyed to the Preston Police Station, where he was taken to a room, and after being cautioned, a record of interview was made in my presence, and in the presence of Senior Constable Trewhitt.

Constable  Sheddon asked the question, and typed each question and also Jones’ reply. At the completion of this record of the conversation, Constable Shedden requested the defendant, Jones, to read through the record of interview, and as the record was being removed from the typewriter, Jones said “I can’t read much. You read it for me”.

Constable Shedden then read through slowly the record on interview, and at the completion, Jones agreed that it was a true record of the conversation. He was then asked if he wished to sign the record of interview. He agreed, and signed the record of interview, after which Senior Constable Trewitt said “you have already been told that you will be charged and that you don’t have to make any written statement”.

He said, “I want to, I want you to know what he is like”.

Trewitt then took down his statement on the typewriter. At the conclusion, he read it over to Jones, and said “is that correct?”
Jones said, “that’s right, that’s what I wanted to tell you”.

He then signed the statement in my presence. I then had a conversation with Senior Constable Trewhitt, after which I accompanied the Police Photographer to Preston and Northcote Community Hospital, where I witnessed the Police Photographer take photos of the face and neck of Joseph Lowe Jones. The photos produced depict the injuries of the face and neck of Joseph Lowe Jones.

I produced a record of interview between Constable Shedden and Allan Joseph Jones. I was present at the general session hearing, when Allan Jones was heard for the charges of attempted murder and grevious bodily harm.

Deposition of a Witness

This deponent ANDRAS BARTA, on oath saith: I am a potato digger, residing at Kinglake West.

I work with Allan Jones, digging potatoes for Mr. Venier. At about 6pm on Tuesday night, the 29th June, Allan Jones and his father came to my place. they had with them a flagon and a bottle of wine. I gave them tea and I had a couple of glasses of beer with them. I sent them home about 7 o’clock. They were a little bit drunk. About 8 o’clock on the Wednesday morning, I went down to Allan’s hut. and said to Allan, “Come on Allan, give me a hand digging”. He said, “No. I’m too tired. I’m not coming to work, my father’s sick”. I said “If he’s sick get a doctor for him”. Whilst I was talking to Allan, he never let me inside. He never even opened the door. I didn’t have time to worry. I went to work.

Deposition of a Witness

This deponent Enid Sarah Horne, on her oath saith: I am a pensioner, residing at King Lake West.

I am a friend of Allan Jones, and his father, old Pop Jones. I live in a hut nearby their hut. It would be about dinner time on Thursday, the 1st of July this year, when I went down to Allan and Pop Jones hut. I saw old Pop Jones lying on a mattress in the hut with his face all knocked about. Allan told me that his father had a fall after they had left Bardots or Barta after drinking wine there. He didn’t tell me when it happened. He told me he left him on the side of the road. I washed old Pop’s face, and gave him a drink of tea out of a billy, and he just fell back and I left him. At this time old pop was semi conscious and he couldn’t see out of his two eyes. After I left the hut, I went up and told the Post Office that old Pop was in a bad way. After that I had nothing more to do with it.
*(handwritten addition) I washed his face because of blood and dirt on his face. He was also unconscious.

 Deposition of a Witness

This deponent James Henry McNamara, on his oath saith: I am a legally qualified Medical Practitioner. It is my opinion that any injuries the dead received some months previously, as a means of being associated, would not have contributed to his death.

Deposition of a Witness

This deponent Roderick McKenzie Shedden, on oath saith: I am a Constable of Police residing at Wireless Patrol, Brunswick.

At about 8.15 on 1/7/65, as a result of a message from D24, I went with Sen. Const. Trewhitt and Const. Robinson to the casualty section of PANCH Hospital, where I saw a patient named Joe Lowe Jones, and another man, the accused Allan Joseph Jones, his son, was present in the cubicle with him.

I noticed that the patient, Jones Snr had heavy bruising to the face, and was swollen in the face, and his eyes were swollen and closed. He had abrasions to the right side of his face. He also had heavy bruising around the throat extending to the back of his neck, consistent with having been caused by some person applying a stranglehold to him. The photos produced depict the injuries I saw on this man.

Sen. Const Trewhitt had a lengthy conversation with the accused. I took notes of this conversation.
Trewhitt said to Jones “Have you anything to do with this man?
“He said “Yes I brought him in the ambulance from King Lake West. He’s my father”.
Trewhitt said “What can you tell us about how he received these injuries?’
He said “We dig spuds there and old Joe was drunk and staggered off into the bush and fell on his face”.
Trewhitt said “When was that?”.
He said “Tuesday”.
Trewhit said “Do you mean to say you’ve left it since Tuesday until today without treatment?”
He said “Mrs. Horne washed his face today”.
Trewitt said “These injuries are too extensive to be caused by a fall. He looks as if he has been beaten up and strangled. I think you can tell us more about this”.
He said, “No he fell over”.
Trewhitt said “Show me your hands. The accused held his hands up and I noticed small abrasions on the back of his left hand. They appeared to be a couple of days old.
Trewhitt said “I think he’s been assaulted, and by the look of your hands, I think you’ve been in the fight too. Are you sure you didn’t have an argument with your father and caused these injuries yourself?”
The accused started to cry and said “Yes. You don’t know what I have to put up with. I couldn’t help it, he was drunk and I just went mad”.
Trewhitt said “You are likely to be charged with assault or grievous bodily harm. You don’t have to answer any questions or make any statement unless you wish to. Do you understand?”
He said “Yes, but I will tell you, I’ve had a lot to put up with”.
Trewehitt said “Where were you drinking?”
He said “Tuesday at our place”.
The accused was still crying at this stage “Andy came over, we had half a gallon of dry wine, ten we went to Andy’s place”.
Trewhitt said, “When did you leave Andy’s place?”
He replied “Midnight. An argument started when I was trying to carry my father, but he kept lying and pulling me”.
Trewhitt said “Where did the argument start?”
He said “We were in the main King Lake Road when the argument started.
Trewhitt said “Could he walk?”
He replied “He was able to talk but not walk”.
Trewhitt said “What then?”
He said ” I hit him and he dropped to the ground” The accused was composed at this stage.
“I picked him up and hit him again”. At this stage the accused appeared to get excited.
“I hit him a number of times about the head. I tried to choke him as he was lying on the road. I done me block. He seemed to go out of it”.
Trewhitt said, “What happened then?”
He replied, “I left him lying on the side of the road and walked home”.
Trewhitt said, “When did he become unconscious?”
He replied, “I think he went out to it when I was choking him. I went home and went to bed”.
Trewhitt said, “What then?”
He replied, “Dad came home about two hours later. He found his own way into bed. I didn’t speak to him and he apparently went to sleep”.
Trewhitt said, “When did you next see him?”
He said, “Next morning when I got up and Dad was still in bed and appeared to be asleep. He stayed in bed all day, Wednesday, until today when I contacted Const. Cove who got an ambulance”.
Trewhitt said, “Was he able to talk?”
He replied, “All the time he appeared to be unconscious”.
Trewhitt said, “Why didn’t you get a doctor for some help?”
He replied, “I washed his face a number of times. I was in a shitty at the time, as I resented him, for the times when he belted my mother. I feel that was the start of her sickness before she died. I still recall it though it was 17 or 18 years ago”.
Trewhitt said, “Surely your father’s appearance indicated he should see a doctor, particularly since he had been unconscious so long”.
He said, “The marks on his face didn’t seem too bad Wednesday, but the injuries I inflicted grew worse today and I became worried”.
During the interview with the accused his behaviour ranged from being upset, and excited, to crying and composed. Later on, he was taken to the Preston Police Station, where a record of interview was taken, in the presence of Robinson and myself. At the conclusion of this, it was read to him aloud, and I produce that record.
Trewhitt then said to the accused, “You have already been told you are to be charged and you don’t have to make a statement
He replied, “I want to. I want you to know what he is like”.
Trewhitt then took down his statement on the typewriter. At the conclusion he read it over slowly to the accused and said, “Is that correct?”
He replied, “That’s right, that’s what I wanted to tell you”.
He then signed the statement. I produce that statement.

(Please note: I haven’t included the statement, as it is many pages long and contains the same information as above).


On the 15th day of September 1965, at the Coroner’s Court, Melbourne, I performed an autopsy on the body of a man, whom I believed to be Joseph Lowe Jones, aged 75 years. He died at the Kew Mental Hospital.

The body was that of a thin elderly male. The right wrist was swollen, similar to that seen in arthritis. The thyroid was of normal weight but there was a brownish, cystic material filling the lobes. The pulmonary system showed a normal larynx and pharynx, but mucopus was present in the trachea and bronchi, and pus could be expressed from cut surfaces of the lungs. There was well marked bronchopneumonia. There was generalised arteriosclerosis of the vessels, particularly well marked in the cerebral vessels, and in the coronary vessels of the heart. The kidneys were small in appearance, and there were small cortical cysts present in a thin cortex. There appeared to be no evidence of brain damage. There were no other significant findings.

Coroner’s Finding

An inquisition for our Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth II, taken at the Coroner’s Court, Melbourne, in the state of Victoria, the 22nd day of July A.D. 1966, in the fifteenth year of the reign of our said Lady the Queen, by me, Robert Kevin Hudspeth, gentleman, a Coroner of our Lady the Queen, for the State upon the body of JOSEPH LOWE JONES, then and there lying dead.

Having enquired upon the part of our Lady the Queen, when, where and how the said Joseph Lowe Jones came by his death, I say that on the 13th day of September 1965, at Kew Mental Hospital, Kew, in the said State, the said Joseph Lowe Jones died from Coronary Sclerosis and Bronchopheumonia.

(Punctuation and paragraphs  have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading)


Public Records Office of Victoria VPRS:24/P2 UNIT:176 FILE: 1966/

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From → family history

  1. Fascinating Jennifer, I had no idea these records might be available. I’ve several relatives who met an untimely end, in Victoria, in the late 19th century. I’m off to see what else I can find out about their deaths. I’ve also added her blog to my Feedly list. Thanks.

  2. A sad sad family story. So much detail in the records, Jennifer. Happy digging!

  3. Wow, that was fascinating, Jennifer! I could spend hours reading through files like this. Although a sad ending, thanks for sharing this gentleman’s story.

  4. Jane O’Brien permalink

    Joseph Lowe Jones married Margaret Mary Ward, who is in my husband family tree. Thank you Jennifer for an amazing but sad story.

    • Jennifer Jones permalink

      It’s so good to hear from you Jane. I agree with you that this is a very sad story. I’d love to hear if you have further info about Margaret or family. Thanks for popping in

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