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Murder by arsenic

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Saturday 20 September 1930, The Sydney Morning Herald

Farm Worker's Death.


At the conclusion of evidence at the inquest concerning the death of Otto Ernest Thomas Mowle, farm worker, to-day, the Coroner (Mr. W. L. Elliott) found that Mowle died in the Armidale and New England Hospital on July 28 from the effects of arsenic which was feloniously administered to him on or about July 16, at “The Laurels,” Ebor, by Dorothy Lena May McCoy, formerly Layton, and that McCoy had feloniously and maliciously murdered Mowle.

McCoy was committed for trial at the circuit court, Tamworth, on October 14.

Two nurses, Norma McCarthy and Clara McCarthy stated in evidence to-day that Mowle complained to them of being poisoned.

Edward James Doak, farmer, residing near Armidale, said that he occupied the bed next to Mowle in hospital, and heard him tell Mrs. Donoghue, his sister, that he had had some tea, and that it had a nasty taste. He also heard Mowle say: “The stuff she was giving me was trying to kill me quicker.”

Detective Geldart detailed an interview he had with Dorothy Lena May McCoy, at Hillgrove. He took a statement from her, and then said that it did not agree with statements he had taken from relative at Ebor. He said to her: “We have been told that your uncle (Mowle) made a statement in hospital, in which he said that you, Dorrie Layton, poisoned him.” Mrs. McCoy remained silent for from three to five minutes, said witness, and then Detective-Sergeant Allmond, who was present, read her extract from a statement. Mrs. McCoy admitted that she had attended Mowle from the time he took ill until his removal to hospital. She declined to believe that Mowle had said that she had poisoned him. Witness said that in reply to further questions, Mrs. McCoy said that she now knew that if Mowle had died a natural death she would have benefited by ¬£1500 under an insurance policy. Witness said that he had since been told by insurance companies that the policy was valueless.

Alice Elizabeth Sarah Donoghue, sister of Mowle, said that when she visited her brother in hospital, he said: “I have got poisoned.” She said: “By the love of God, Mick (meaning deceased) how?” He said: “In a drink of tea.” She said: “Who gave it to you?” and he replied: “Dorrie Layton.” She said: “What for?” and he replied: “I know.” Witness said that Mowle’s eyes filled with tears, and he could not speak any more. She told the doctor, but he said that he could not find poison.

Witness was cross-examined by Mr. C. L. Mackenzie, who watched the proceedings for Mrs. McCoy. Witness emphatically denied that she had given arsenic to deceased.

Mrs. McCoy did not give evidence. Application for bail was refused.

Written by macalba

May 15, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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