Constable 1st Class

Charles O'KEARNEY

YEAR OF DEATH

1904

JURISDICTION

Queensland

DETAILS OF DEATH

On the afternoon of the 15 September 1904 a local young grazier named James Peacock brought stock from a near by property to Laidley. After completing his business he and a friend visited the local hotels. Late in the evening they became very abusive to patrons and staff and police were called. Sergent Coyle arrested Peacock’s companion and as he and Constable O’Kearney returned to the hotel Peacock became agitated towards them over the arrest of his companion. Peacock openly stated that he was going to ride over the officers with his horse. Peacock subsequently mounted his horse and rode up and down the street stalking both Coyle and O’Kearney riding along the verandas of the local shops causing both police to take cover. Meanwhile Constable O’Kearney attempted to grab hold of the horse’s bridal and as he did Peacock turned his horse at O’Kearney knocking him to the ground. O’Kearney fell backwards hitting his head as he fell causing a fracture to the base of the skull that proved to be fatal. Constable O’Kearney died six hours later not regaining consciousness. Peacock was arrested for murder but was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to three years jail. Constable First Class O’Kearney is buried in the Ipswich cemetery.

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National Police Memorial Australia

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