TWO BROTHERS POISONED
Bodies Found in Hut DEAD FOR WEEK STANTHORPE, October 12.
A little hut at Applethorpe, four miles from Stanthorpe, revealed a grim secret, which it must have retained for a week, when a neigh
bour discovered the bodies of George Fenton (33) and James Fenton (37) late last night. There were no marks of violence, and the indications were that each had committed suicide by strychnine poisoning. No sus picions circumstances were revealed at an inquest. The two men were last seen alive on October 3. George Fenton was well known in the Applethorpe and Summit district, where he had worked for several years, and was highly respected. His brother arrived from Brisbane re cently. The brothers lived on a small farm about three-quarters of a mile from the Applethorpe railway siding. It had been the custom of their butcher to leave their meat supplies at the gate of Mr. Vincent Fossey, who has a small farm a few hundred yards from that of the Fentons, and the brothers would call for the meat on Tuesday afternoons. When no one had called by Thursday Mr. Fossey visited the hut with the meat, and found the bodies. George lay on an improvised bunk outside, and James was on a stretcher inside the hut. POLICE SEARCH IN RAIN Mr. Fossey telephoned the Stan thorpe police, and Sergeant Bright, Constable Hammill. and the Coroner (Mr. E. J. Pearce) went out. A thorough search was made with the aid of a hurricane lamp in the pour ing rain. The party returned to town, and this morning made a further search and began an inquest. Dr, Goode, the Acting Government Medical Officer, made a post-mortem exam ination. On a table beside the bed, where George Fenton's body lay, Constable Hammill found a bottle of poison, and on a plate were crystals. The Fentons' farm consists of 1½ to 2 acres. The hut is of galvanised iron, and consists of one room, with a small veranda. It measures about 18ft by 20ft. The property was owned by George Fenton, and was purchased from Mr. J. Johnston, of Stan thorpe, 11 or 12 years ago. Recently James Fenton came to live with his brother. On October 3 the two men were in Stanthorpe and purchased a bottle of strychnine from a chemist, stating that they wanted to poison rabbits and parrots. It is presumed that they took the poison that night or early next morning. Both bodies were cov ered by blankets, and fully dressed, but George had removed his socks, shoes, tie, and collar. The interior of the hut was in order, and there was no evidence of any struggle. Neither body bore marks of violence, but both were in an advanced state of decomposition. On the floor were novels and other books, but no note could be found. INQUEST OUTSIDE HUT The inquest was commenced outside the hut, the Coroner being seated at a small table, while the witnesses and a reporter were accommodated on boxes. Sergeant Bright examined the witnesses. Vincent Mackay Fossey, railway employee, of Stanthorps, who owns the adjoining farm, said he had known George Fenton about 12 months, and last saw him alive on October 2. He was in good health then. The wit ness described the finding of the bodies. At no time during the last 12 months had George Fenton told him that he intended to take his life. He had no idea of George Fen ton's financial position. Wiliam Schmidt, farmer, of Apple thorpe, said he had known George Fenton for 12 years and James for about a month. He saw them together in Stanthorpe on October 3 having a cup of tea at a cafe. At no time did either of them say that they were going to take their lives or get poison. Schmidt identified both bodies. When he spoke to George on October 3 he appeared in good spirits. They had no enemies as far as he knew. James arrived about a fortnight ago. ' Dr. Arthur Goode, locum tenens for Dr. H. Masel, of Stanthorpe, gave de tails of the post-mortem examination, As far as could be seen there were no external signs of violence. The general condition of the bodies was consistent with strychnine poisoning, Police evidence was taken, and the Coroner intimated that his findings at that stage were: That each of the deceased died at the hut about Oc tober 3; that the cause of death was suicide by strychnine poisoning, and that there were no suspicious circum stances.