Constable

James CLARE

YEAR OF DEATH

1925

JURISDICTION

Victoria

DETAILS OF DEATH

Just before 9 p.m. Thursday 24 December 1925 Constable Clare who was off duty at the time was walking along Victoria Street North Melbourne. He was with Constable Henry Schenke and William Whitehead who had been detailed for a special plain clothes patrol of the area. As the three men approached Chetwynd Street Clare became involved in an altercation with some young Italian men walking in the opposite direction. In the resulting fracas Clare was fatally stabbed by Domenico Condello who then ran from the scene with Schenke and Whitehead in pursuit. Condello was finally apprehended in Roslyn Street North Melbourne after two warning shots were fired by the policemen. At a later interview he denied stabbing Clare and claimed that the policeman had attacked him after which he had fought in self defence. Later tried for murder he and his friends repeated their allegation that Constable Clare had been the aggressor in the incident. Condello still denied the stabbing but volunteered the theory that during the fight the policeman may have impaled himself on a knife Condello had previously been using to clean his pipe. After deliberating for a little over an hour the jury returned a verdict of ‘Not Guilty’.

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