Death investigated

19720914-03ADELAIDE: South Australia’s Legislative Assembly is embarrassed by two Scotland Yard detectives who are in the state capital investigating the death of ex-Cambridge don George Duncan.

42-year-old George drowned in Adelaide’s River Torrens after he and another man (aged 27) were thrown into the river by four unknown attackers in the city’s major trolling area, Torrens River Park.

That was the story told at George’s inquest by Roger James – the 27-year-old – who got away with just a broken ankle.

Shortly after the inquest opened (as reported in GN 6) three members of the Adelaide vice-squad resigned.

These policemen did not deny they had been in Torrens River Park. In fact they were seen near the place where George Duncan drowned by a uniformed policeman who was told by one of the vice-men to go.

Ex-Constable Francis Crawley told the patrolman: “You’re buggering up our poofters on the river.”

Despite this the coroner mentioned in his verdict that there was no reason to believe that the vice-squad men had been at all involved in George Duncan’s drowning.

There the matter would have rested had Adelaide not just imported a new police chiei from Scotland Yard, Yorkshire-man Commissioner Salisbury. He called in two of his former colleagues to look into the drowning.

Mr Eric Millhouse asked state premier Don Dunstan when the Scotland Yard men would be going home.

Mr Dunstan said there was no limit set on the investigation, and that Commissioner Salisbury was unlikely to set a limit on the job.

Mr Millhouse said: “I understand they (the Scotland Yard men) are here at the Government’s expense.

“No doubt the Government is anxious not to increase the expenses, because they refuse to meet the costs of the witnesses at the coroner’s inquest.”

Premier Dunstan said the Yard men weren’t going home until Mr Salisbuty was satisfied that everything was finished.


19720914-04ADELAIDE: South Australia’s Legislative Council has just put off any chance of reforming the law about gays in the state.

According to the Adelaide Advertiser, the leader of the opposition in the council, Mr De Garis said the Bill proposed “leant too heavily” on the British Sexual Offences Act.

Mr Russack, of the Country and Labour Party said that while he sympathised with homosexuals, he believed they could only be helped by voluntarily seeking treatment.

Any debate on the subject was adjourned.

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.”