Stanley Hubert Melvin, 1908
Below also see: Stanley Hubert Melvin, 1922,
Stanley Hubert Melvin, 1949
The Wagga Wagga Advertiser, Thu 23 Apr 1908 1
MELVIN — WILLIAMS.
Mr Stanley Hubert Melvin, of Parramatta, was married to Miss Maud Elsie Williams, of Kincaid-st, Wagga, in the Church of England at 2.30 pm on Tuesday, the Rev GA Carver officiated. The bride’s dress was of white silk crepe de chine, trimmed with silk applique and she wore the customary wreath and veil of hand embroidered tulle. The bridesmaid (Miss Violet Williams), wore a dress of wine-shade red silk trimmed with net and straps of velvet and a grey hat trimmed with red and white and red wings. The bride was given away by her brother Mr AG Williams, and Mr V Heydon acted as groomsman. The bride’s going away dress was of biscuit-colored check taffeta voile, with silk and net trimmings and she wore a hat in tones of brown and blue and also fox-skin muff and furs. Breakfast was held at the residence of the bride’s mother. The presents were numerous. The couple left by the mail train for their future home—Parramatta.
Stanley Hubert Melvin, 1922
The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers’ Advocate, Wed 21 Jun 1922 2
AGAINST A SCHOOL TEACHER.
At the Parramatta Police Court last Thursday, before Mr WM Fincham, SM, Stanley Hubert Melvin, a teacher at the Parramatta High School, aged 40, was charged with having on June 9 wilfully and obscenely exposed himself, in view of the Western-road, Parramatta.
He pleaded not guilty, and was defended by Mr JW Abigail.
Sgt Walsh gave evidence of having gone to the Parramatta High School, in company with Const Vogele, on June 9. They arrived there about 6.15 am. Defendant’s residence was immediately opposite the school—on the other side of the Western-road. They were watching the residence through two windows, on of which was open. About six minutes past seven, witness saw defendant come to the front door. He picked up a newspaper from the garden, and then returned to the door. He then stood in the doorway, clad in a suit of white pyjamas, (Witness gave evidence of the alleged offence).
Afterwards, witness said, they went to defendant’s residence and told him what they had seen him do. Also told him that two women had complained that this conduct had been going on for some weeks. Defendant said: “If I did what you say I did, it must have been an accident.” Witness then said, “Where is your paper?” and defendant handed him the paper produced—“Daily Telegraph,” dated June 9. Defendant said, “My wife did not sleep too well last night, I stood a few feet in the door way, and was reading the paper.” Witness said, “Can you tell me of any subject you were reading in the paper?” Defendant replied, “No, I cannot remember.” Witness said, “Get dressed; I want you to come to the police station. Defendant said, “Do you know I occupy a good position in this town?” Witness said, “I cannot help that.” Defendant then got dressed, and was taken to the Parramatta police station. When charged, he made no reply.
In reply to Sgt Osborne, witness said that any person with ordinary eyesight, if standing in the Western-road opposite defendant’s residence, could have seen what transpired.
Mr Abigail: How far were you away from him at the time?—About fifty yards.
The Magistrate: What was the defendant wearing?—Just these pyjamas.
The doorway to which you refer —was that the ordinary front door of his house?—Yes.
After further questions by the magistrate the pyjamas were produced.
The Magistrate: How was this window situated?—Immediately across the road.
How far was the outer window from where you were sitting?—About thirty feet.
When you first took up your position in the school, was the defendant’s front door open or closed?—Closed.
Did you see it open?—Yes.
Was he, at any time, outside in the street?—No.
When you first saw him, did you see the newspaper?—I saw him pick up the newspaper.
He came out of the door and the paper was lying in the garden?—Yes.
And then he returned to the inside of the door?—Yes.
At this stage, Mr Abigail produced plans and photographs, and questioned the witness.
Mr Abigail: Who else besides you was in that room?—Const Vogele.
Where was he?—On the western side of me.
Mr Abigail: Which is the higher level, the residence of defendant or the school site?—The residence of defendant, I think.
That being so don’t you see it is increasing the handicap of your vision?—I saw what I have described.
Taking into consideration all the handicaps, can you still say there is no chance of you having made a mistake?—Absolutely no mistake whatever.
You went there to watch him and only him?—Yes.
Will you not admit that under those circumstances, seeing he was in pyjamas and holding a newspaper, any innocent movements on his part would seem suspicious to you?—No.
You say there was a perfectly natural light?—Yes.
How long do you say he was standing there?—From 7.7 until 7.16.
Did you and Vogele have any conversation during that time?—Yes, we spoke to one another about it.
Was Vogele in as good a position to see everything as you were?—I should say so.
Two boys came along, and you say defendant looked in an easterly direction before lifting the paper?—Yes.
How could he look down the road in an easterly direction if he was eighteen inches inside the doorway?—He put his head round the door and looked.
You say this is a physical possibility?—Yes.
Mr Abigail asked witness whether he noticed a certain incident before or after a man drove past in a cart.
“I could not say that, replied the witness. “To the best of my belief it was after.”
Mr Abigail: It was before the boys came along?—Yes.
Now was it before or after the man came along in a cart?—I cannot say. I believe it was after.
You gave your evidence in chief without any interruption, did you not?—Yes.
Mr Abigail showed witness his depositions.
Mr Abigail: Why have you reversed the order of that incident?—I say now I am not sure whether it was before or after.
In chief you say one thing, and in cross-examination you say another?—I am note sure whether it was before or after.
Did you see the paper dropped there by anyone?—No.
You say that after the boys went by he did the same thing again?—Yes.
You admit he denied the accusation?—He said, “If anything happened, it was an accident.
Do you know he has been employed by the Education Department, as a teacher, for over ten years?—I have learned it since his arrest.
Const [John George] Vogele corroborated, in the main, the evidence of the previous witness. He stated that at the house, defendant said: “If anything happened it was an accident.” He (witness) replied, “We came up here specially to watch for ourselves, and what we saw was no accident. The women cleaners say it was worse on previous occasions than it was this morning.”
The case was adjourned until to-morrow (Thursday). Defendant was admitted to bail in £40.
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The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers’ Advocate, Sat 24 Jun 1922 3
A SERIOUS CHARGE
SCHOOL TEACHER'S DEFENCE.
CASE AGAIN ADJOURNED.
The hearing of the charge against Stanley Hubert Melvin, a local school teacher, was continued before Mr WM Fincham, SM, at the Parramatta Police Court, on Thursday.
Melvin is forty years of age, and a teacher at the Parramatta Intermediate High School.
Jessie May Guerin, a widow, residing at Grose-street, North Parramatta, said she was a cleaner at the Parramatta High School, with Mrs Barter. She had known the defendant for two years. She knew he was a school teacher, and resided opposite the High School. On June 9, she went to the school at 6.30 am. About 7.5 am she raised a window on the top floor, and saw defendant, clad in pyjamas, standing at his front door.
(Witness then described the alleged offence, and said that similar acts had occurred on five previous occasions, spread over a period of about three weeks.)
Mr Abigail: You have just been on a nodding acquaintance with the defendant?—Yes.
Do you remember meeting him one Friday night, in the town?—Yes.
Wasn’t that early in June?—It might have been a month ago.
It was certainly after you were a witness of what you have alleged?—Yes.
When you saw him on this occasion, he was with his wife, wasn’t he?—Yes.
It was a good opportunity to tell his wife what you had seen him doing, wasn’t it?—
The Magistrate: This was in the street, wasn’t it?
“Yes,” replied Mr Abigail.
The Magistrate: Well I wouldn’t expect her to approach his wife about it I the street.
Mr Abigail: I would, if she was a decent woman.
Mr Abigail (to witness): All right, I’ll give you that bit in. Did you go to his house and tell his wife about it?—No.
Why didn’t you, if you’re a decent woman?—I thought he might take action against me.
Mr Abigail proceeded to attack the character of the witness, and Sergeant Osborne objected.
“Why shouldn’t I?” asked Mr Abigail. “She’s attacking the character of the accused. Why be so solicitous about the witnesses for the prosecution. Why not have a little sympathy of the accused man —he’s the one who needs it.”
“Have not you and this other woman,” he asked, “been known as the ‘Sticky-beaks’ by the neighbours near the school?”—No.
Do you know the Anderson and the Phillips families, living near the school?—No.
Have you not, for months past, been in the habit of standing at this window, and watching the neighbours coming out in the early hours of the morning?—No.
You could see into their windows, could you not?—I haven’t noticed.
Did you always see what you have alleged through the top window?—Yes.
Did you report it?—No, Mrs Barter did.
On any of these occasions, did you call out to him?—No.
Jane Barter, a married woman, residing with her husband in Pitt-street, Parramatta, said she was also a cleaner at the Parramatta High School. She gave evidence of what she alleged she had seen on June 1 and June 7. After the second occasion, she informed Mr Atkins, the Headmaster at Parramatta High School.
Stanley Hubert Melvin, the defendant, said he lived at Western-road, with his wife and four children. He was a teacher at the Parramatta Intermediate High School (Primary Department), and had been there fourteen years. He had been in the employ of the Education Department for twenty-three years. He had been a healthy-minded man all his life, and put himself before the Court as a man of stainless reputation.
“On June 9,” he proceeded, “I got up at 7.15. It was an ordinary winter’s morning—not very bright. The sun rose that morning at six minutes to seven, and would take sixteen minutes to show itself in Western-road. This, I have confirmed at the Observatory. I picked up the paper; it was on the mat—not in the garden, as stated by Sergeant Walsh and Constable Vogele. After picking up the paper I went back into the hall a distance of four feet six inches, and was in my wife’s view. I looked through the paper in a casual way, after which I went into the bedroom and put it on the bed. Then I went and had a bath. I was just about in the act of turning on the shower, when I heard my little girl call out ‘Daddy, there’s a man wants you.’ I went on with my shower. Then I heard a knock, and I called out, ‘Hello, I won’t keep you long.’ When I saw Sergeant Walsh and Constable Vogele, I said, ‘What’s the trouble?’ Sergeant Walsh said, ‘Where’s that paper?’ I again said ‘What’s the trouble?’ sergeant Walsh said, ‘What did you do with that paper?’ I still said, ‘What’s the trouble?’ I got the paper off the bed, and brought it in. The Sergeant said, ‘I’m Sergeant Walsh, and this is Constable Vogele. We’ve been watching you from the building over the road. We are going to take you to the police station, and charge you with wilfully exposing yourself.’ I said, ‘Nonsense.’ They said the women cleaners had complained. I said, ‘I could not be seen from over the road,’ and I pointed to the spot where I stood. Sergeant Walsh said, ‘It’s no use making any excuses; we have seen you, and we’re going to take you to the lock-up. Go and get your clothes, and get dressed.’ I told Sgt Walsh that if anything had happened, it was unintentional on my part. But he would listen to no explanation, and said, ‘Come on.’ I have no recollection of Sergeant Walsh asking me what was in the paper. While reading the paper, I did not notice if anyone passed. I did not know of any complaints having been made about my conduct. I have never done what has been described by the witnesses for the prosecution.”
Sergeant Osborne: Will you be prepared to admit that, standing at your door, you would be able to see these persons at the western windows of the High School?—Standing on my doorstep.
You say you were four feet six inches in the hall?—Yes.
Then it was darker for reading the paper in the hall that it would have been on the doorstep?—Most certainly.
You say you have no recollection of Sergeant Walsh asking you what you had been reading in the paper?—Absolutely none.
You knew what you were charged with —why didn’t you tell Sergeant Walsh of something you had been reading?—I did not think there was any necessity.
Did you not think it rested with you to explain your actions with the paper, to prove your bona fides?—No, I told Sergeant Walsh I could not be seen by anyone over the road.
Do you honestly tell the Court these people have been making a mistake?—They must have been.
You heard what Mrs Barter said. Is she making a mistake?—Yes —or something worse.
Do you say Sergeant Walsh gave you no chance to explain your actions that morning?—He did not.
No chance at all?—None at all.
You did not think it worth while, then, to tell Sergeant Walsh that your wife had been talking to you all the time you were reading paper?—I did not wish to wake my wife.
When you were charged with this offence by Sergeant Walsh, at your residence, did you not know it would be essential to bring your wife to the Court?—Yes.
Why did you not mention to the Sergeant that you had been standing in view of your wife?—I was not going to disturb my wife.
Is it not a fact that you slipped into the bedroom on your tiptoes to get your paper, because your wife was asleep?—No.
You wish the Court to believe that on all these occasions, these people have been making mistakes.—Yes.
Can you give any idea why these people should give this emphatic evidence in detail about your conduct on these occasions?—I cannot.
And you deny all they allege?—I do.
The Magistrate: Why did you elect to stand in the hall to read the paper, on a cold winter’s morning?—The blind in the bedroom wasn’t drawn.
But there are other rooms in the house where you could read the paper, are there not?—Yes.
The Magistrate then questioned the defendant about his pyjamas.
Evidence of defendant’s good character was given by Clara Hemsley (cleaner at Parramatta Intermediate High School), William Henry Anderson (defendant’s neighbour), Mrs Ashenden (who lives at the rear of defendant’s residence), Mr WM Kennedy (inspector of schools), Margaret Swann (teacher at Parramatta School), Ethel Abbott (school teacher), and James Moyes McKay (Headmaster at Parramatta Intermediate High School).
At this stage, the hearing was adjourned until Monday July 3.
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The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers’ Advocate, Wed 5 Jul 1922 4
A SERIOUS CHARGE
SCHOOL TEACHER CONVICTED.
The hearing of the charge against Stanley Hubert Melvin, a local school teacher, was resumed at the Parramatta Police Court on Monday, before Mr AM Fincham, DSM.
Mr JW Abigail appeared for the defendant, who had pleaded not guilty.
James George Munro, newsagent, residing at Western-road, Parramatta, stated that he supplied the defendant with newspapers. On June 9 he delivered the morning paper at defendant’s residence, about 5.30 am. He threw it, from the cart, on to the verandah.
In reply to Sgt Osborne, witness said he could not land the paper in the same place every morning. On the morning of June 9, however, the paper landed on the verandah, and stayed there.
Further evidence of defendant’s good character was given by Harold John Saunders, (estate agent, and president of the Parramatta Chamber of Commerce), Oliver Steward (boot importer), James Gillis (ex-sergeant of police), Arthur Phillips, and Robert Moxham.
Maude Elsie Melvin, wife of defendant, said she remembered her husband getting up about 7.15 on the morning of June 9. She was in bed when he got up. He walked out to the mat where he stooped and picked up a paper.
At this stage, witness gave a demonstration of how defendant opened the paper—fully open. Her husband was 4 feet 6 inches from the door. He stayed there, looking at his paper, for about four minutes, and was in her view all the time. She asked him twice if he would get breakfast for the children, as she did not feel well. Her husband then came in and put the paper on the bed, after which he went to his bath. She knew her husband’s pyjamas were torn—they were torn the morning before. He did not do what he was charged with. She had been married 14 years and there were four children. The defendant had been faithful to her since he was a boy.
Sgt Osborne: On this particular morning, this bed of yours was immediately facing the door?—It was corner-ways.
Were the blinds up or down?—They were down—at my request.
And the room was dark?—Yes.
Then it would be correct to say that the hall was also fairly dark?—No; quite light.
The conversation did not go on all the time?—No I only said the one thing to him.
In reply to further questions, witness said it was her custom to sit up in bed before getting up. After the conversation with her husband she did not go to sleep. She was not aware, however, that he tiptoed into the bedroom to get his clothes. She did not particularly remember the morning of June 1 or June 7. It was her husband’s custom to bring the paper into the bedroom and read it.
Mr Abigail addressed the Court at considerable length.
“There is at least the satisfaction,” said the magistrate, “the defendant has had the advantage of a very competent advocate in his defence. The outstanding facts are that the cleaners at the school nearly opposite the defendant’s residence, had seen certain things happening—they say that on different occasions they saw him expose himself. The question is: Did defendant wilfully and obscenely expose himself on June 9? The evidence of the cleaners is most important. I have given full weight to the evidence of character. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to find men of the best character committing offences of this sort.”
The magistrate proceeded to review the evidence. Referring to that given by the police, he said, “My own opinion is that if they had any doubt about the matter, they would have given the defendant the benefit of it. I don’t think either of those officers would be so wicked as to say that such a thing happened, unless they were quite sure about it. I am forced to the conclusion without having any doubt in my mind, that the defendant did wilfully and obscenely expose himself.”
Defendant was sentenced to two months’ hard labor. This was subsequently suspended under the first offenders’ provisions of the Crimes Act and defendant was bound over, in the sum of £40, to be of good behaviour for twelve months.
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The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers’ Advocate, Sat 22 Jul 1922 5
PARRAMATTA QUARTER SESSIONS.
(Before Judge Armstrong).
Tuesday, July 18, 1922.
The Quarter Sessions which opened on Monday, were continued on Tuesday. Mr TS Crawford was Crown Prosecutor; Mr E Smythe, Clerk of the Peace; and Mr JH Murray, Deputy Sheriff.
Stanley Hubert Melvin appealed against a recent conviction.
Appellant was a local school teacher, and was sentenced, at the Parramatta Police Court, to two months’ imprisonment, on a charge of wilfully and obscenely exposing himself at Parramatta on June 9.
Mr JW Abigail appeared for the appellant, and Mr TS Crawford for the Crown (respondent).
During the reading of the depositions, Mr Abigail contended that evidence of alleged offences prior to the date of the offence charged, was inadmissible. He submitted, too, that it was very unfair to the accused person.
His Honor said he did not think, in this case, it was at all unfair.
At one stage of the proceedings there was considerable tittering in court.
All females and persons under 21 years were ordered to leave the court.
“It is simply disgusting,” exclaimed the judge, “to hear this dirty sniggering when this filthy evidence is being read. If I hear any more of it I’ll clear the court.”
“Why did you go to the windows four or five times?” asked Mr Abigail of the witness, Mrs Barter.
“It was my duty,” she replied, “to go and put the windows up.”
What do you put the windows up for?—They are my orders from the headmaster.
Do you dust the windows every morning?—Yes.
And you did so about this time?—Yes.
There was nothing to stop you from going over to Melvin’s wife and telling her about this after he had gone to school, was there?—I don’t know his wife.
And you didn’t think it worth while going over and telling her, as one decent woman to another, what you had seen?—No.
Later, Mr Abigail raised the point that the offence, as alleged, was not seen by anyone in the Western-road.
Mr Crawford: We have evidence that the Western-road is a public place, and could have been seen from there.
Mr Abigail stressed the point that it was “not” seen from the Western-road.
His Honor did not uphold Mr Abigail’s argument.
Numerous witnesses were again called, to testify to the good character of the appellant.
James Moyes McKay, schoolmaster, stated that after Melvin was convicted, a meeting of the teachers was held, and a resolution passed, expressing renewed confidence in him, despite the conviction. At a meeting of “the Federation,” shortly after, a similar resolution was passed.
George B Davey, journalist, stated that the first time he met Melvin—whom he had known for a long time— was when he had to write, for the Press, the story of an incident that resulted in Melvin securing an award for bravery.
His Honor said he did not intend to give his decision that day; the matter was too important.
Counsel addressed the court at considerable length.
The Judge gave his decision on Thursday afternoon.
“In this case,” his Honor stated, “I dismiss the appeal, and confirm the conviction. Owing to the importance of it, I wish shortly to state the grounds upon which my decision is based. The main convincing evidence is that of Sgt Walsh. I have really striven to hold that there was a case here for reasonable doubt, owing to the very strong evidence of a large number of respected people, who have spoken so highly of the appellant.”
“Reviewing the evidence, I am unable to see any serious reason why these two middle-aged women should make an entirely false statement. Then there is the evidence of two experienced police officers, one in particular a man of very great caution. I see Sgt Walsh continually in action here, and have formed an opinion as to his capacities for observation, which makes me not come fresh to the case.”
“I cannot escape from the conclusion that seems well established—that this did take place on that day. The surrounding circumstances, as far as I can see, are quite devoid of suspicion. This is an exceedingly painful case, in every respect, but I cannot do otherwise than give the decision I have already announced. A conviction itself, to a man in this situation is a frightful thing, and I will reduce the sentence to one month.”
Mr Abigail: Perhaps your Honor would make it “Till the rising of the Court?”
His Honor: I could not do that.
The sentence was reduced from two months to one month, and was allowed to remain suspended, as before.
Stanley Hubert Melvin, 1949
The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 25 May 1949 6
MELVIN, STANLEY HUBERT.—May 23, 1949, at his residence, 16 Cranbrook Road, Rose Bay, beloved husband of Maud Elsie and dear father of Reginald, Hazel, Lel (deceased), and Kit (Mrs JW Barnes), and beloved brother of Alice and Kit Melvin. By request, no flowers.
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Kiama Independent, Sat 28 May 1949 7
The death occurred at his residence, 16 Cranbrook Road, Rose Bay, on Monday last of Mr Stanley Hubert Melvin. Gerringong residents will remember him as being a pupil teacher many years ago at the Gerringong Public School. After leaving Gerringong he resigned from the Education Department and went into private business.
He is survived by his wife and three children.
The funeral took place at the Northern Suburbs Crematorium following a service at St Mark’s Church, Darling Point.
1 The Wagga Wagga Advertiser, Thu 23 Apr 1908, p. 3.
2 The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers’ Advocate (Parramatta), Wed 21 Jun 1922, p. 1. Emphasis added.
3 The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers’ Advocate (Parramatta), Sat 24 Jun 1922, p. 6.
4 The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers’ Advocate (Parramatta), Wed 5 Jul 1922, p. 1.
5 The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers’ Advocate (Parramatta), Sat 22 Jul 1922, p. 1. Emphasis added.
6 The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 25 May 1949, p. 26.
7 Kiama Independent, (NSW), Sat 28 May 1949, p. 3.