This article contains references to violence and may be triggering for some readers.
On February 9th 1963, my 19th birthday, I had an argument with my girlfriend, Rosemary Anderson.
She started walking home and I followed her for a while begging her to forgive me and hop in the car. Each time she refused. Finally I stopped and let her walk out of sight.
I decided, however, to try once more and drove after her.
I found her body laying in the sand unconscious and bleeding profusely. I rushed her off to a doctor’s surgery from where she was taken to hospital.
The police had been called and I accompanied them back to Central Police Station where they questioned me for hours, finally reverting to punching me in the stomach. I asked how Rosemary was. They replied that she was dead. At that point, my world came to an end and I was devastated. I just had to get away and cry somewhere quiet. I knew that they would not let me go until I signed a confession so I told them to write out a confession and I would sign it. This was enough to get me charged with wilful murder and sent to gaol.
Fremantle Prison was daunting from the outside but much worse on the inside.
I was led to death row and placed in a cell. It only contained a mattress on the floor and a toilet bucket. I was locked up 23 hours a day and only let out to see my lawyer and parents. I spent three months there until my trial.
After a week long trial, the jury retired to consider their verdict. Having reached a decision they filed back into court. The Forman was asked if they found me guilty or not guilty.
Not guilty was the reply.
I looked at the door to the courtroom and wondered if I should jump out of the dock and run to the door, but decided to wait until the Judge told me I was free.
As the clerk of court was asking if that was the decision of them all, the Forman called out, "I’m sorry Your Honour we find him guilty". I looked at the back of the head of my Lawyer and almost screamed out "don’t just sit there say something!", but nothing was said and my heart just ached with such a heavy load. I was shocked and had to lean on the railings to stop me collapsing to the floor.