Constable

Laurence DONOVAN

YEAR OF DEATH

1852

JURISDICTION

Tasmania

DETAILS OF DEATH

Unskilled, poorly equipped and working alone Constable Donovan was sent to deal with a drunken disturbance in Goulburn Street on the 26th November 1852. According to the owner of the Peacock Inn, William Butcher who was a witness at the Inquest, Constable Donovan was fighting with two women, Margaret Brodie and Mary Ann Smith. Mr Butcher relating the incident to the jury said “….each of them (women) hit him twice about the face and neck, they hit him with their hands: I did not abserve anything in their hands. I saw Margaret Brodie give the deceased the last blow on the right side of his head. From the force of which he reeled round and fell on the ground….” Joseph Appleton, another witness at the Inquest, pointed out to the jury the intoxicated state of the female offenders presented. He supported the comments made by the first witness but provided details on a third female who “…..rushed out of the (Inn) with a pint pot in her hand, and inflicted a number of blows in the left side of the deceased’s head… Brodie ran behind him and gave him some heavy blows under the right ear: the deceased turned and fell on his back.” Dr Stokell arrived ten minutes later but was unable to provide medical assistance to Constable Donovan. They jury deemed the first post-mortem unsatisfactory and a second post-mortem was carried out concluding that ‘death was produced by that rupture of a vital artery’.

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National Police Memorial Australia

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