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1 correction by jhempenstall - Show corrections

BROTHER SHOOTS BROTHER.

TONGALA TRAGEDY.

VERDICT OF MANSLAUGHTER.

BENDIGO, Tuesday.-As a sequel to a   shooting affray at Tongala on December 1,   1915, in which John Young, a farmer, re-   ceived gunshot wounds from which he sub-  

sequently died in the Echuca Hospital, Alexander Young, brother of John Young, was to-day charged in the Bendigo Supreme Court, before Mr. Justice Cussen, with wil- ful murder. Mr. J. A. Gurner acted as Crown prosecutor, and Mr. G. A. Maxwell defended Young.

The evidence for the Crown was to the effect that, as the result of a series of quar- rels between the brothers, Alexander Young shot John Young on the morning of Decem- ber 1 with a double-barrelled,breech-loading

eye-

ing, but in a statement before he died John Young said:-"I was milking a cow, when Alexander came up and said, 'I am going to shoot you.' I replied, 'Put the gun away. You are only trying to frighten me.' Alex- ander, however, took no notice, and fired at me." Alexander Young, who heard John Young make, this statement, agreed at the time that his story of the shooting was correct, and in a statement before a justice of the peace he said:-"I went to the shed to shoot my brother. When I told him 1 was going to shoot him he said, 'Go on,' and of course I fired."

Alexander Young gave evidence on oath on his own behalf. He said that before coming to Australia he was a professional footballer in Scotland. He lent his brother £150 to come to Australia, and later he advanced him sums of £100 and £75  

without any security except his word. He   did not get on well with his brother, who  

threatened him on several occasions. His brother had hit him on the head with a bucket on two occasions, and on the body with a stick. On another occasion he  

chased witness with a fork, and threatened to shoot him. Witness desired to get away from the land to avoid his brother, and told John not to bother about the money he owed him, but his brother would not let him go. On the night before the tragedy his brother attacked him without provoca- tion, striking him on the head and arm with a stick. John said, "You or me will have to enter heaven to-night." Next morning witness heard a noise in the house, and thought it was his brother. He got up, and securing a gun loaded it. Carrying the gun he went to the cow-shed where his   brother was milking, and asked him if he had been in the house. He replied, "No." Witness said, "What about my money?" whereupon his brother picked up a shovel and threatened to hit him. Witness ran away and his brother chased him. After going about 40 yards, witness stopped, and, facing his brother, said, "Stand or I will fire." His brother, however, attempted to hit him with the shovel, and he fired. His brother fell, and witness, picking up the shovel, carried it to the house, where he placed the gun against his face and shot him- self. He did not remember anything sub- sequently until he found himself in the Echuca Hospital a week later. He did not remember hearing his brother make a state- ment in the hospital, or of making one him-

self.

To Mr. Gurner.-He was afraid of his brother, who was always attacking him. He did not think his brother was afraid of him. He had never attacked his brother with a shovel, but he had chased John with it. He had never threatened to shoot Mrs.   John Young or the pair of them.

Mr. Justice Cussen-Why did you try to blow your brains out when you considered you had only shot your brother in self

defence?

Young.-I cannot say.

Mr. Maxwell, in, addressing the jury, claimed that the evidence showed that Alexander Young had justifiably shot his brother in self-defence, and that therefore he should be acquitted.

The jury, after an hour's retirement, re- turned a verdict of manslaughter. Young

was remanded for sentence.

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