Walter Leach sent to reformatory prison


AT the Court of General Sessions on Monday, before Judge Dethridge, a young man named Walter Edward Leach, 18 years of age, pleaded guilty to charges of indecent assault upon girls.

There were four counts relating to Hampton, Black Rock, Middle Brighton, and Frankston on different dates between October, 1919, and March, 1920.

Accused also admitted a prior conviction at the Children’s Court at Brighton on July 4, 1918, for an aggravated assault upon a female child, when he was released upon probation for a year.

Mr E. C. Kelly, on behalf of Leach, said that the case presented some extraordinary circumstances.

In nearly every instance accused followed the same plan.

He would linger around a State School, and pick out a girl about 10 years of age, whom he would induce to go away with him.

At another time he would speak to some girl he met in the street. He would take the girl to some isolated place, on the beach or among the ti-tree, and behave indecently towards her; but in one case only did he attempt to interfere with a girl’s clothing.

The accused, counsel submitted, ought not to be dealt with as being an ordinary criminal; but as being a man suffering from some obscure form of lunacy,

The evidence of Dr W. J. Denehy, who had examined him, was that his physical condition was such as would be likely to predispose him to commit offences of this character but certain remedial methods had been suggested, and accused was willing to undergo treatment.

In the circumstances, counsel asked the Court to deal with the case in some special manner with a view to the young man’s reform, contending that no good purpose would be served by simply sending him to gaol for any length of time.

His honor said that he thought the better course to adopt in regard to accused would be to commit him to a reformatory prison. He would not impose any stated term upon him; but ordered that he be detained during the Governor’s pleasure.

The case would of course come under the review of the prison officials from time to time.


REV. Angwin was entertained at a welcome social at the Methodist schoolroom last Tuesday evening.


AN important conference between shire councillors and the committee of the Frankston Soldiers Memorial Committee took place yesterday, when an understanding was arrived at on the question of site.

Full details will appear in next issue.


AN Anzac Memorial Service will be held in the Frankston Park next Sunday, at 3 o’clock. The Rev. Geo. Cox will deliver the address.

There will be special singing, and the Frankston Brass Band will play a selected programme.


EXTRA seating accommodation is being provided to meet the requirements of the record attendance expected at the Frankston Hall next Monday night, 26th inst.

The presentation of 1914 Military stars will naturally prove a great draw, and in addition, provision has been made for a high-class concert programme, contributed entirely by the pick of Melbourne’s professional artists.

The box plan may be seen at Messrs Brody and Mason’s.


Frankston Movies.

Last Wednesday night the Frankston Pictures again attracted a large audience.

Next Wednesday the attraction will be Mary Pickford in “How Could You Jean”, and Wallace Reid in “The Man from Funeral Range”.


MESSERS G. E. Rogers and Son’s grocery department is now under the management of a first class grocer, with a lengthy city experience.


Heard in the Train

Orange blossoms at Somerville attracted a notable gathering of the clans last Wednesday.

Visiting soldiers will be entertained at Frankston by the Wattle Club on Sunday, 2nd May, when the Frankston Brass Band will supply the musical programme.

Councillors have agreed to support the site chosen by the committee for the Frankston Soldiers’ Memorial.

A deputation from Seaford intend waiting on the Frankston Progress Association next Tuesday night, to discuss the Kananook Creek improvement scheme.

Major Conder will take his place in the football field tomorrow with the Frankston boys in the match, Frankston v Somerville.

Next Sunday, Anzac Memorial Services will be held in the Frankston park at 8 o’clock.


FERRETS. (2) for sale. Champion Workers, complete with nets, carrying boxes and hutches.

Kananook Pines, Melbourne Road,



The Electric Light

To the Editor.

At last we have the truth. I have received the following letter from Mr. Ditchburn, the managing director of the Electric Light Co:

“Your letter of 14th inst. to hand. My objection was that this office was not made acquainted with the complaints, and if it had, explanations would have been forthcoming, which should have rendered unnecessary a letter to the press.

The difficulty of maintaining a service at all during the past few months has been no easy matter.

Coal was only made available a short time before the Easter holidays, and it did not give us a chance of preparing a stock of gas for gas supply and running the electric plant; and to meet the big demands for the Easter consumption.

To pull through we had to exercise caution in the use of gas for the running of the electric plant.

Coal then, and still, is controlled by the Navy Department, and we have to take what is apportioned to us or leave it.

Some of the coal we had was low in gas value, which added to the trouble.

We are now building up our gas stock in holder.

A matter we have also in hand is to add another electric generator which would enable us to give a larger and better supply, but so far we have not been able to find one.

It is impossible in a small works with limited staff to approach a city service.

Our staff have had a good deal of hard work and difficult conditions to meet of late, and if complaints have not received consideration it is because they could do nothing to remedy same.

Take, for example, the water supply reticulation now being proceeded with; our staff have to constantly be on the tracks of this work to prevent, as far as possible, damage to our gas mains and services.

We have over 10 miles of mains to look after, and only as many consumers on the lines as a city or suburban service would have in a street half a mile long, which can easily be patrolled.

Branches of trees and scrub swaying by the wind often affect the service.

I have written you very fully so that you and others may to some extent realise our position.”


FROM the pages of the Mornington Standard, 23 April 1920

First published in the Mornington News – 28 April 2020


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