Manslaughter or murder

19720901-03ADELAIDE: George Duncan, a 42-year-old ex-Cambridge don was drowned in the city’s River Torrens early this year. London police are still in South Australia investigating this death, which was followed by the resignation of three members of the Adelaide vice squad.

George Duncan, an Australian, had returned to the country to take up a post at Adelaide University.

In May he and another man, 27-year-old Roger James were thrown into the river by four unknown attackers in Torrens River Park, the local trolling area.

Roger James broke an ankle in the fall and saw George Duncan was drowning. He shouted for help, he said at George’s inquest.

One of the attackers half-stripped and dived in to help George Duncan, but couldn’t find him. Then all four ran off.

That was Roger’s evidence at the inquest into George’s drowning.

Three vice squad officers didn’t deny they were in Torrens River Park on the night of May 10.

But, they said, they’d been drinking and had stopped off at a public lavatory near the Torrens for one of them to be sick.

A uniformed policeman in a patrol car drove up, but, he told the inquest, he was told to move off by one of the vice-busters Con Francis Crawley.

Crawley told the patrolman “You’re buggering up our poofters on the river.”

At a police enquiry into the killing. Senior Con Brian Hudson, Cawley and Con Michael denied they’d been anywhere near Torrens River Park. But when it came to the inquest they refused to answer any questions in case they incriminated themselves.

All three were promptly suspended from the police force as a result, and resigned almost immediately.

Even if the coroner returned an open verdict on George Duncan – adding there was no evidence to show any of the vice-men had been nearer than 300 yards from the death scene, Adelaide’s new police commissioner Harold Salisbury, who used to be in the Metropolitan Police, ordered another inquiry.

And to help him in this he invited his old buddies Chief Supt Bob McGowan and Det Sgt Charles O’Hanlon down under to dig a little dirt.

Scotland Yard told Gay News: “The officers haven’t come home yet, as far as I know. Any report they make will go directly to the local authority.”

A spokesman for Australia House said; “No result to this investigation has come over to us yet.”