Old news from Armidale and New England

Local news from newspaper archives

Impersonation at Exam

with one comment

Thursday 27 May 1943, The Sydney Morning Herald

Man Imprisoned; Woman Freed

ARMIDALE, Wednesday. – Ngaire Patricia Payne and Raymond Campbell Miller, 40, were convicted at the Armidale Quarter Sessions to-day on charges arising from Miller’s impersonation of Payne in matriculation examinations at the New England University College on February 22 and 23.

Miller was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment. Payne was released on a bond of £50 to be of good behaviour for three years.

Evidence was given that Miller, dressed as a woman, impersonated Miss Payne for the matriculation examinations in Latin and Higher English. Payne had told the University authorities that Miller was unable to speak because of an operation for tonsillitis. The impersonation, was discovered when Miss Jean Dyce, secretary to the warden, became suspicious of Miller and reported the matter to the warden. Dr. Edgar Harold Booth.


Miller, in a statement from the dock, said that when he first met Payne he was impressed by her acumen, knowledge, and ability and thought it would be a shame if these could not be used. He asked her to study for her matriculation and take her degree in medicine. In April last year, her employer, Mr. Ray of the Ray Vaccine Institute, Randwick, became ill, and because the girl had to assume additional responsibilities she gave up her studies. Anything he had done subsequently was entirely his responsibility.

Payne, speaking from the dock, said that she had worked for her present employer for nine years. She had studied at the Technical College, and also in anatomy and physiology at Sydney University. She told Miller she had given up the idea of a medical course a few days before the examination was due. Miller brought papers to her home and filled them in. She did not know whether she or Miller signed them. Later she saw him, and he suggested the plan which she thought was ridiculous and not even humorous. However, finally she agreed to go to Armidale.

Francis Ray of Randwick, the proprietor of the Ray Vaccine Institute, said that he had worked with Louis Pasteur. He was a Frenchman, and was experimenting in regard to gangrene. Payne was his assistant. He had allotted her certain work, and could not replace her.


Addressing the Jury, Judge Storkey said that, although the Crown admitted that the accused were of good character, this did not justify acquittal. If Miller intended to impersonate the female accused, it would tend to create public mischief.

After a retirement of 15 minutes, the jury returned a verdict of guilty.

When questioned on his right to wear clerical clothes. Miller said he had been associated with the Presbyterian and Congregational Churches. Asked by the Crown Prosecutor, Mr. F. C. Bruin, whether he was prepared to go into the witness box and be examined on this point. Miller said he did not consider it necessary to do so.

Clifton Penny (Sydney) appeared for Payne. Miller was undefended.

Written by macalba

April 15, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I don’t think you could make this up. Great find.


    April 17, 2011 at 10:27 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: