AT the Frankston police court on Monday last, before Mr. Knight, P.M., and Messrs. C. W.,Grant, Chas. Gray and W. Armstrong, J.’sP., a young man named Wm. Berry was charged with a serious offence against Eva Florence Parker, who resides with her parents at Langwarrin.
Inspector McCormack appeared to prosecute, and Mr. McFarlane defended.
Evidence was given that the girl, at the time of the alleged offence, was under the age of 16 years.
She swore that accused visited her home on the 30th November, during the absence of her parents, and took advantage of her.
After that date he came to the house every Wednesday, when her parents were away at the Frankston market, and repeated the offence.
She gave birth to a child on 8th October, 1921. It was a girl, and lived only three days.
She told no one about Berry until after the child was born.
No one else had interfered with her.
Mary Parker, mother of the girl, said that Eva was 16 years old on 29th July, 1921, and was not of strong intellect.
Cross-examined by Mr. McFarlane, she knew she was away from home on certain days in November, 1920.
Accused professed to be a friend of her son’s, but she objected to their friendship, because accused was half his time drunk.
She did not know that anything was wrong with her daughter till after the birth of the child.
She then suggested to her daughter that Berry was the father, and the girl admitted that he was.
She thought of Berry because the infant had red hair and ruddy complexion.
Her son Reg, 21 years of age, left home last week, and went to Horsham.
The girl said Berry wanted her to blame Reg.
Witness had asked Reg about it, and he had denied the charge.
Mr. McFarlane: I am informed that accused is practically a teetotaller.
Witness (laughing scornfully): When did that happen?
Another witness, Miss Overton, deposed that she had frequently seen accused go to Parker’s place on Wednesdays.
She had never seen him enter the house.
When she saw him, he was talking at the gate.
Plainclothes Constable Gorman said he saw accused at Footscray, where he was now living.
Accused said he had nothing to do with the girl.
He regarded her as being a bit silly, and always kept out of her way.
This closed the evidence for the prosecution.
Accused, 19 years of age, in defence, said he often went to Parker’s house to borrow a bike pump.
He had never been alone with the girl.
She handed the bike pump to him over the gate.
He might take a glass of liquor occasionally, but had never been the worse of it in his life.
Cross-examined: His father had not turned him away from home on account of his drinking habits.
While at Langwarrin he had lived for some time at Whittingham’s, because they were friends of his.
P.M.: Do you say the girl has concocted this story?
Edward Berry, father of accused, said he was not aware that his son ever touched liquor.
Accused had lived away from home for a time because it was not convenient for him to look after his son.
Accused persisted in going in for hard manual labor, while witness wanted him to be a salesman.
Mr. McFarlane submitted that the case was not one for committal.
Berry’s name had been suggested to the girl by the mother.
The P.M. said that while not disbelieving the evidence of the prosecution, the bench could not overlook the fact that the girl’s story was uncorroborated.
Evidence as to opportunity to commit the offence was not corroboration.
Accused would be discharged.
The P.M. added that if the prosecution thought fit, the depositions could be submitted to the Crown Law authorities.
THE Frankston Fire Brigade held another successful dance in the Mechanics’ Institute on Friday evening last.
There was a large attendance, and an enjoyable time was spent.
The music was supplied by Miss Prosser and Mr Tom Deane, whilst Mr Mark Brody acted as Master of Ceremonies.
BOLTING horses do not now attract so much attention as they once did they have become common occurrences.
But, last Friday afternoon, we had a sensational bolt.
A delivery horse owned by Mr J. L. Pratt, and driven by Mr. M. Prosser, took fright outside Mr W. J. Witheridge’s residence in Gweno Avenue, and turning into the ti tree near Mr John E. Jones’ residence, galloped furiously down the winding bush track into the Esplanade.
Successfully negotiating the very difficult “’Duntroon” corner, the animal turned into Bay Street at a pace that would have made our old hero, Eurythmic, sit up and take notice.
But, as Peter Dooley says he kept to the “strate an narrer parth,” and when caught at Seaford, the only damaged article was a glass sugar basin!
WHEN some of our municipal councillors fell out, they created a certain amount of friction.
Now the great body of fairly sensible people in the country realise that places like Frankston, Somerville, Hastings, Seaford and Mornington lose much through not pulling together.
Railway Commissioners, Country Roads Board people, and so on, all yield to united communities – all snap their fingers in the faces of divided ones.
So even if the programme were not the splendid one it is, Frankston should roll up in a body.
LAST Sunday very successful services were held in the Frankston Methodist Church in connection with the Sunday school anniversary.
The preacher was the Rev. A. V. Ballard, Assistant Director of the Young People’s Department.
The addresses were of a high order and greatly appreciated.
A special feature was the singing by the scholars, ranged on a platform erected for the occasion.
The singing, which was much enjoyed by the congregation, and highly commended by the special preacher, reflected great credit on the conductor, Mr Prosser and Miss Wilmot Croskell, who very efficiently presided at the organ.
The collections for the day, in aid of the school funds, were a record.
The celebration was continued on Monday night, when the young people rendered a capital programme before a large audience.
Rev. C Angwin, who presided, expressed sympathy with the young people who had been prevented from attending on account of the prevailing sickness, and thanked all who had so willingly helped.
The singing of the National Anthem brought to a close a happy and most successful celebration.
From the pages of the Frankston and Somerville Standard, 18 November 1921