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Judicial CP - November 1957

Corpun file 5554 at

The Advertiser, Adelaide, 1 November 1957

Two Criminals To Be Whipped

MELBOURNE, Oct. 31. -- Two dangerous criminals were today ordered 12 lashes with the cat-o'-nine-tails for wounding a senior warder at Pentridge Gaol, when they shot their way to brief freedom on March 29.

They were William John O'Meally, 37, who is serving a life sentence for the murder of Constable George Howell at Caulfield, and John Henry Taylor, 28, who still has 10 years of a 14-year sentence for armed robbery to serve.

Mr. Justice Hudson ordered the whipping in the Central Criminal Court today, the first in Victoria since 1943.

The 12 strokes of the "cat" will be administered at one whipping.

O'Meally, in asking that no whipping be ordered, said: "The only thing that flogging does to a man is scar his mind."

In addition to the whipping. Mr. Justice Hudson sentenced O'Meally and Taylor to 10 years' gaol each for escaping from gaol and wounding the warder.

He made three years of Taylor's sentence concurrent with the 10 years he still has to serve.

The 10 years will not add anything to O'Meally's sentence, because his papers have been marked "never to be released."

Mr. Justice Hudson told O'Meally and Taylor; "You are both clearly beyond hope of reform.

"Simply to sentence you to a further term of imprisonment would be to impose a totally inadequate form of punishment, and would provide no real deterrent against further attacks of a like character."

Mr. Justice Hudson refused to read a sheaf of handwritten papers which O'Meally claimed would prove he was innocent of the murder of Constable Howell. He said it was not relevant to the case before the court.

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