Sunday 11 February 2018

The trial of Audrey Jacob

Supreme Court of Western Australia
Last month I set out the details of the trial of Audrey Jacob for the wilful murder of her former fiance, Cyril Gidley. In such a trial much turns on the way that the evidence is presented, the mannerisms of the witnesses, their response to the intense and often relentless questioning undertaken in cross examination.
The onus is on the prosecution to proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused intended to cause the death of the victim. In a murder trial the point of cross-examination is usually to discredit the witness; a person on trial for their life will not willingly confess to fabricating evidence, and so it is up to the prosecuting counsel to subtly show to the jury that their evidence given should be disregarded. Good cross-examination is really an art, and it comes with experience, skill and intense preparation.
The Crown Prosecutor in Audrey's trial, Mr Hubert Parker, must have thought that he had an easy conviction. Audrey Jacob had shot Cyril Gidley at point blank range in front of hundreds of witnesses at a ball. 

But he was faced with a young and pretty accused who played the role of victim with assurance and aplomb. She answered questions “in a refined voice” and was impressive under cross-examination. The victim was not a local lad; he was an Englishman who could not speak for himself and had no real friends to speak for him. Whatever his true character may have been, it was shamelessly blackened by her defence counsel, Arthur Haynes, and by Audrey. 
Why was Audrey acquitted in the face of what seemed to be a cut and dry case? 

So that you can decide for yourselves, I set out below Audrey's examination in Chief, Cross examination and re-examination, which includes exchanges between counsel, the trial judge and Audrey. This was reported by various newspapers

The jury in the case was all male (women jurors were only appointed in Western Australia from 1957 and only compulsory in a jury from 1984). It is likely that the majority of jurymen were Roman Catholic, as this was the main religion in Perth at that time.

Audrey's counsel managed to keep from the jury any evidence relating to Audrey’s morals. This was (quite rightly) disallowed by the judge as irrelevant to the case. Thus the jury did not hear about her visits to sailors on ships in Fremantle port and her free and easy life in Perth. Nor did the jury hear about the complaints made by Audrey’s parents to female Constable CE Chipper five months earlier that Audrey was “smoking and drinking wine, had presents from men on the ships.

Instead, Audrey was represented as a kind, loving young woman whose heart had been broken by Gidley, a womanising cad.
The Crown Prosecutor tried valiantly to elicit evidence from Mrs Jacobs that she had found a “French letter” (condom) in Audrey’s bag and that she had told Constable Chipper that Audrey was “no good”. Haynes cleverly turned this (disallowed) line of questioning to good account by having Audrey and her mother answer that the “forbidden” object found in her purse was actually a set of rosary beads. Audrey’s rosary, and her prayers at the Cathedral would have been a mark in her favour.
Try to imagine the scene: Audrey, pretty, pale and self-possessed in the dock, stylishly dressed and speaking in a “refined voice”. Her counsel, Mr Haynes, square-jawed and fierce in fighting for his client’s life and liberty. The Crown Prosecutor, Mr Hubert Parker sneering and dismissive of Audrey’s story. And always, the unseen presence of Cyril Gidley, the vile English seducer, without a friend to speak up for him.
In his opening address to the jury, Haynes described Gidley as a “Lothario of the sea”.
“One does not like to speak hard of the departed, but I will show you that he was a cold, calculating schemer from the outset, and, what was more, he was a smuggler all through.

Audrey's Examination in Chief by Mr Haynes
The engagement and Gidley's giving rings to other women
(Audrey said that in August of last year she had met Gidley, who was then 6th engineer on the Kangaroo. He proposed, and asked her to break off a prior engagement to Mr Arundel. He produced three sapphire rings, but did not say where he got them. The engagement was announced about the first week in October.
Shortly after the engagement he told her of Ethel Buckley, a country girl who had been  very good to him when he was convalescing from an injury the previous year. He gave her a ruby ring and she assumed that they were engaged. He got the ring back by a pretence and told Audrey that if Miss Buckley said that she was engaged to him he could say that she gave the ring back. He also told Audrey of a girl called Mabel Johnson, whom he at one time intended to marry, but changed his mind. She had written to him, but he never answered her letters.)
His Honour: You opened with a lot of irrelevant matter. There must be a limit, and I think you are exceeding it.
Mr Haynes: “I am appearing in a capital charge, and it would operate unfairly, if I were not allowed to develop my story to the jury. I beg that the Court give me some latitude.
His Honour: “No doubt you do, and always get it, but there must be a limit. People in this court always get a great deal of latitude.”
Haynes (sotto voce): “Sometimes they get servitude.”

Audrey's seduction/rape by Gidley
Audrey: We were out in the afternoon, and he said he would call for me in the evening. I was to go and spend the evening with the Murphys. Just as we were leaving home my mother gave me a letter which had come from Mr Claude Arundel, which crossed my letter breaking off the engagement. I asked Cyril whether he minded my reading it on the way. We were to spend the evening with Mrs. Murphy because her husband was away on duty. We went into the kitchen, and Cyril switched on the electric light. I asked where Mrs. Murphy was, and he said “She is spending the evening at Mrs. McGregor's.” I said, “Why did you tell me a lie?” and he said, “You wouldn't have come with me had you thought we would be alone.”
Then he said I should have burnt Arundel’s letter without reading it, and added, “I suppose you still think a lot of that fellow.” We had words, and he started throwing things up about my father, and one thing and another, and it ended up in his having me in tears. Then he started to speak in a kindly tone, and picking me up carried me into the bedroom.
Mr. Haynes: Were you still crying?
Audrey: Yes.
Haynes: And then he laid you down on the bed?
(Audrey nodded her head, rocked to and fro, took a drink of water, and it was some time before she continued her evidence.)
Haynes: Did you try to get away?
Audrey: Yes, I struggled to get away, and sometimes he would let me go as far as the door and then he would pull me back again.
Haynes: Was the room in darkness or was it lighted?
Audrey: It was in darkness.
Haynes: And did he start to love you?
Audrey: He seemed to be enjoying the joke. He was very cruel by nature and when I was thoroughly exhausted he sat down on the side of the bed and started to put his arms round me. I tried to get away, and he caught me by the throat and shoulder.
Haynes: And what did he say?
Audrey: He said, “Say yes” and I knew by his action what he meant.
His Honor (to Audrey): And did you say yes?
Audrey (defiantly): No.
(She then burst out sobbing, her face buried in her large blue handkerchief.)
Haynes: Did you do anything, Miss Jacob?
(No reply.)
Haynes: And did he overpower you and get the better of you?
Audrey: Yes.
Haynes: And did he ask you to refrain from doing anything?
Audrey: Yes, he said not to tell my mother, and I said I would have to.
Haynes: Did he make a promise?
Audrey: Yes, he promised if I didn’t tell mother he would never offend in that way again.
(Audrey then returned home.)
Audrey: Mother let me in and I went to my room. I always had a chat with mother when I return home before I went to bed, but that night I didn't feel like chatting. When she called me I couldn’t go, so she came in and asked me what was the matter. I said. “Nothing.” I was crying and she left the room.
Next morning she questioned me about the mark on my neck. It was two inches long and half an inch wide, and I tried to cover it with powder.
He came next afternoon and mother wouldn’t see him, and he asked me why. I said, “She has guessed everything.”

Return of the engagement ring
Haynes: Did Gidley say anything about your engagement ring?
Audrey: He wanted me to give it back. He explained that he was joining the Freemasons, and they objected to his being engaged to a girl who was away from, home, or whose father was away from home.
I considered it all a lot of rot, but one day towards the end of January he said, “You are standing in my way and spoiling my future.” It was at Cottesloe (a Perth beach), and at last I said, “All right,” and gave it to him, and he threw it in the ocean. But he said that the engagement between us was to continue, although people were to think it was all off between us.
Haynes: Did he ever say what he would do if you threw him over?
Audrey: On one occasion when we were at an evening he said, “This is what I will do to you if you throw me over,” and he pushed my head back. 
Haynes: And on the subject of his domineering, what was your feeling for him?
Audrey: I was very fond of him. 

Stealing of her diary and obtaining of the revolver
(In July of the present year Audrey came to Perth with her parents’ consent to continue her painting studies, and took rooms in Surrey Chambers.
She had written to Gidley telling him her address, and when he did not write, or telephone her she went to the boat with Annie Humphreys and asked him why he had not written. He said he had not received her letter.
The following Sunday she went down again, as again he had not communicated with her. He said that he had been ill with gastric trouble. His boat was due to sail the following Thursday and he promised to telephone on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday.
She went to a party that evening with her friend Annie Humphreys in an apartment in her building. Audrey left her diary and Annie left her address book in her bag in her room.
After the party she found that her diary was missing, and on looking round she also found that a bundle of Gidley’s letters had disappeared. There was money in her bag, but this was not taken. When she told Annie about the loss of her book she was astonished to learn that her friend’s address book had also gone.
Prior to this she had been disturbed by the handle of her room being turned. This, with the loss of her belongings, convinced her to write to her mother for a revolver that had been given to her by Claude Arundel, her former fiancé. The weapon was fully loaded and cocked when Mr. Arundel gave it to her, and she had an extra clip of cartridges for it. )

Decision to attend the ball
(Annie Humphreys, asked her go to the ball, but as she was feeling ill and “her head was aching as though it would split,” she did not want to go. She spent a couple of hours lying down during the morning, but yielded to Annie’s persuasion and as Annie had brought two fancy costumes - Pierrot and Pierrette - she decided to go.)
Audrey: I was astonished when I saw him at the ball, because I thought he had gone to Singapore. He was talking to a young lady. I don’t know who she was. Cyril’s and my eyes met, but he did not show that he had met me; he did not attempt in any way to recognise me, and did not do so during the evening. Several times as he passed he gave a sneering toss of his chin in the air, and laughed.
Haynes: And do you remember anything happening on the stairs?
Audrey: Yes, he was talking to a young lady in a heliotrope dress. She said something, and ran up the stairs and he ran after her and pulled her down. He looked over to me and laughed, and I know he only did it to hurt me.
Haynes: He was a cruel man; can you explain his conduct?
Audrey: It is very hard to explain what kind of a person Cyril was. He was rather domineering. He was the living embodiment of the Sheik to put it shortly.
His Honour: I have heard that the pictures are responsible for a good deal.
Haynes: I have heard of a lady who went to see that picture 23 times. (to Audrey): And did any thoughts go through your mind?
Audrey: When Cyril, whom I supposed was at sea with his ship, ignored mc all the evening, I thought over things he had told me of other girls, and supposed that he had made up his mind to turn me down. I thought over all these different things, and thought that someone had said something or other, that for some, reason or other he had suddenly made, up his mind to turn me down and I was so sad and miserable that I decided to leave the ballroom.
I went home and lay on the bed and cried for half an hour. Then I started to get undressed, and on opening the drawer I saw the revolver. I decided to end it all and to go to the foreshore of the river, and for this purpose, changed into the blue evening dress as the Pierrot costume seemed to represent gaiety and laughter.
I wrapped the revolver in my handkerchief, went along St. George's Terrace and turned down Barrack Street towards the river, but before I got there I changed my mind and decided to go to the Roman Catholic Cathedral and say my rosary.
I knelt down in the grass and said my rosary, and then I decided I would not do what I was going to do, and I walked down the steep street, I don’t know its name. I intended to go home and go to bed. As I walked along St. George’s Terrace the motors and lights attracted my attention and I suddenly thought I would like to see Cyril and ask him what was the matter.
I still carried the revolver in my handkerchief, but when I went in I could not see Cyril anywhere. I went, up into the balcony and Miss Humphreys came up and said as it was getting late she must get her things from my room, and she asked me if I would go. I said no, I wanted to speak to Cyril, and just then I saw him pass with a young lady and go into the lounge, and I asked her to tell him, that I wanted to speak to him.
Haynes: How were you feeling?
Audrey: Upset, depressed, I could hardly talk I felt really terrible.

The shooting
Audrey: I came downstairs, and when the dance stopped there was an encore. I felt I must speak to him at once; I wanted to find out what was the matter, what had happened.
Haynes: And what did you do?
Audrey: I walked across the ballroom, and as I came up to him the music struck up again and they were going to start the dance. He had his back turned to me, and I touched him on the shoulder with my left hand.
Haynes: And what did he do?
Audrey: I touched him on the shoulder, and he turned round, and before I had time to say anything, he said, “Excuse me, I am dancing,” in a very cool and off-handed manner, without any sign of recognition.
Haynes: How were you feeling?
Audrey: Very dazed, the room seemed to go round and something snapped in my head and as I put my right hand up to my head, I heard a report of the revolver; I must have gripped it convulsively.
Haynes: And did you see him stagger or fall?
Audrey: I was facing him. I don’t remember seeing him stagger or fall. I remember him lying on the floor with his hand over his forehead.
Haynes: How long did you stay there?
Audrey: I don’t know. It seemed hours and hours. The room seemed to go round, people were all about, and the next thing I remember was finding myself in the lock-up. The lockup keeper seemed to be saying things to me: I don’t remember what he said. I was in a semi-dazed condition all night. Early in the morning a detective came and wanted a statement. I felt too upset to say anything to anyone; I did not feel myself at all.
Haynes: Did you contemplate shooting Gidley?
Audrey (with emphasis): No, never. I would give anything to undo what has been done.

Parker: You were engaged to Gidley before breaking off the engagement with Arundel?
Audrey: No.
Haynes rose with an objection: I was going to –
His Honour (cutting in): I don’t mind what you were going to do, but don't do it.
Parker: So that when you became engaged to Gidley, so far as Arundel knew, he was still engaged to you?
Audrey: I don't know what he knew and what he did not know. I think I had every right to break of the engagement because the courtship was very short, and I thought it, might be a passing fancy, and he was to be away three years. If you read his letters you will see that he seems to regret it, so I thought he should be released.
(Finally, in reply to the judge, Audrey admitted that she was actually engaged to Arundel and Gidley at the same time.)
Parker: And you say that Mr Gidley had a collection of engagement rings. And when did you find that out?
Audrey: He showed me the three the night we became engaged. He carried them about because I saw the others three or four months later.
Parker: Were you annoyed or otherwise?
Audrey: I thought he was rather a queer kind of person to have rings, but I never bothered about it, or asked any questions.
Parker: Did it ever annoy you?
Audrey: Not in the least.
Parker: Then why should you worry about it the night of the ball?
Audrey: I thought afterwards that no doubt these were rings he got back from other girls. It was not until the night of the ball, that it occurred to me that he must have got the rings back from other girls, possibly in the way he had retrieved the ring from the Bunbury girl.
(Several questions were put to Audrey as to her visiting ships and going about with officers, and she said that one man referred to in a letter was a friend of her mother's people.)
Parker: And are you aware that your parents complained of your going to that man’s ship?
Audrey: No, I am not, and you will see in one letter where he says he is coming to see my mother.
Parker: You used to go to the ships a good deal?
Audrey: No, only to friends of my cousin.
Parker: And no one ever objected to your going there?
Audrey: Not to my knowledge.
Parker: You never knew of any objection?
Audrey: My people never said anything to me.
Parker (handing up a letter): Read that. 
(It was from an officer on the S.S. Cathay, and contained the passage, “I heard from one of the fellows at the office of the P. and O. that your people had asked them not to give you a pass to come on these ships.”)
Audrey: I heard that, but my mother never made any objection.
Parker: Don’t you know, that your parents went to the women police, in May of this year, asking that you should not go on board the ships?
Audrey: No, I do not. It is the first I have heard of it.
Haynes: My friend cannot refute the story, and so he is throwing stones.
Parker: I did not say I could not refute the story, and at all events I’m not throwing stones at someone who is dead. (To Audrey): Are you surprised to know that no rings were found among Gidley's belongings after his death?
Audrey: He may have given them away to other women.
Parker: What earthly use would your diary – which you say was stolen – be to Gidley?  
Audrey: I don’t know.  
Parker: Did it have anything in it that you would not have liked Gidley to see?
Audrey: No. Anybody would have been at liberty, to read it. It contained the names of friends, and I used to put down my doings every day.
Parker: You have told us that he seduced you. Did he seduce you on any other occasion?
Audrey: No.
Parker: Are you aware of any complaints made by your people to the police?
Audrey: What about?
Parker: Apropos of something found in your bag?
Audrey: No.
Haynes: I object to the question. It is just like the prosecution to throw stones.
Parker: Anyhow, I don’t throw stones at someone who is dead. I've no intention of making any suggestion against the girl's character.
His Honour: Well, don’t make any suggestion. Besides it is quite irrelevant.  
Parker: When your mother suggested to you that you had been seduced, didn’t you tell her that she had a filthy mind?
Audrey: No, I did not say that at all. I put her off. I said, “Don’t be bad-minded,” because I had promised that I would not tell.
Parker: And did your feelings towards him change when you found out what he was like?
Audrey: No.
Parker: You knew that he was the cause of separating your parents, that he seduced you, wrote lies to your parents, and all within a month of your engagement, and yet you still desired to be engaged to him?
Audrey: Yes.
Parker: Your mother had a pretty fair idea that he had seduced you, and yet she still made arrangements for him to meet you
Audrey: Yes, for my sake.
Parker: Unbeknown to your father?
Audrey: Yes.
Parker: You used to go about with men from time to time?
Audrey: I went out with friends, but Cyril knew all about them.
Parker: Did he give his consent to your going to the Savoy to dinner with a gentleman?
Audrey: He wasn't in port, so I could not go and ask him.
Parker: You know the gentleman I am referring to; you went about with him a good deal?
Audrey: I went to several theatres with him.
Parker: And Gidley may have heard of it?
Audrey: He didn’t need to hear, I told him.
Haynes:And did this gentleman lend you £10 to start a studio?
Audrey: No, certainly not. He said not to be afraid to ask him, and he would help me if I wished to start a studio.
Parker: And did you tell Miss Humphreys that he was going to give you, or lend you £10, and your mother wanted half of it?
Audrey: No.
Parker: Why didn’t you go home from the ball when Miss Humphreys wanted you to?
Audrey: I told her I wished to speak to Cyril first
Parker: Why didn’t you go and speak to him in the lounge when you sent Miss Humphreys with the message. It would have been easier than wending your way through the dancers to the middle of the ballroom.
Audrey: I was so upset
Parker: What about?
Audrey: Well I didn’t feel myself at all. I can’t explain myself exactly. I didn’t seem to care who was about or who wasn’t.
Parker: When was this?
Audrey: When I came down out of the balcony.
Parker: It was when up in the balcony that this feeling came over you?
Audrey: I felt I must speak to him and see what was the matter.
Parker: So the feeling came over you before he spoke to you?
Audrey: He never spoke to me.
Parker: He said, “Pardon me, I am dancing”.
Audrey: It had come over me a few seconds before.
Parker: Wasn’t the middle of the ballroom a peculiar time and place to chose?
Audrey: I was so upset, I didn’t seem to care whether there were any people about, or anything.
Parker: How could he tell you what was wrong, or make it up under these circumstances?
Audrey: I didn’t think of it in that way. I acted merely on the impulse of the moment.
(Parker queried the reason for Audrey’s change of costume. He suggested that with the evening dress she wore a long scarf, and that this was an excellent method of concealing a revolver)
Audrey: Certainly not.
(The revolver and handkerchief were handed up to accused and she was asked to explain how she had it.)
Audrey (who wrapped up the weapon several times and held it up): I don’t know how it was wrapped up exactly, but it was rolled up.
Parker: It is rather difficult to conceal
Audrey (with spirit): No, it isn’t
Parker: Where were you going to shoot yourself?
Audrey: I didn’t know.
(She said that somewhere near the kiosk in Barrack Street she decided to turn back. She had her rosary rolled in a handkerchief inside her dress.
Parker: I see. Two handkerchiefs. A rosary rolled in one, and a revolver rolled in the other. Why didn’t you throw the revolver away when this spirit of peace came over you?
Audrey: I had forgotten about it.
Parker: Then with this peace over you and your decision, not to end your life, what was the use of the revolver?
Audrey: I forgot all about it.
Parker: And when did you remember you had it?
Audrey: Not until it went off.
(Once more, the revolver was handed to her, and she was asked to show how she carried it across the ballroom.)
Audrey (after rolling it up in the handkerchief): I think it was like this.
Parker: And how did you manage to pull the trigger?
Audrey: I don’t know.
Parker: Can you show us?
Audrey (with considerable agitation and holding up the revolver as she believed she held it on the fatal night): Yes, easily. With my thumb, or fingers, or anything.
Parker: And if you had it wrapped up and pulled the trigger with your thumb, how would the empty cartridge case come out?
Audrey: I don’t know.
Parker: But you know that it did come out?
Audrey: Yes.
Parker: Can you show me any mark where the cartridge case came out?
Audrey: I don’t know. It is torn in several places, and has one hole through it.
(Parker asked her how she “counted her beads” with one hand and held the revolver with the other. Producing a small blue rosary from her handkerchief, Audrey held it up in one hand and illustrated how she passed the beads through her fingers. She put her hand to her head and leaned forward on the table in the witness stand.
Parker: Why did you not make any statement to the police?
Audrey: Because I did not feel in a fit state. I did not feel myself, I felt very unsettled.
Parker: You are not left-handed?
Audrey: No
Parker:  But you touched Gildley on the shoulder with the left hand. What happened when you touched him?
Audrey: He turned round, and in a very cold manner said, “Excuse me, I am dancing.”
Parker: And up to then you had forgiven him all his snubs, or whatever you call them; you had forgiven him everything?
Audrey: Yes.
Parker: You had nothing at all against him?
Audrey: No.
Parker: And because he said, “Pardon me, I am dancing,” something snapped in your head?
Audrey: It was the shock of it all; one thing after another.
Parker: Immediately after you fired you said to a policeman, “I did it?”
Audrey: I don’t remember it.
Parker: And immediately after you walked out of the room?
Audrey: All I can remember is it seemed hours and hours, the room went around, and there seemed to be a lot of people.
Parker: But you distinctly remember Gidley lying on the floor with his hand over his forehead?
Audrey: Like in a dream.
Parker: Were you insane at the time?
Audrey (emphatically): No, not at all.

Haynes: Now a suggestion has been thrown out by Mr Parker that your mother found something in your bag to which she objected; what was the only thing she objected to?
Audrey: My rosary beads.
Haynes: Is your mother a Roman Catholic?
Audrey: No, a Protestant.
Haynes: And you father?
Audrey: He is an atheist, and has no time for Roman Catholics. There would have been trouble if my people had known that she was following the Roman Catholic faith.

Mr. Haynes gave several points which he said showed that the tragedy was an accident, and not intentional.

  • Firstly there was the time which elapsed between the time accused left the ballroom and returned. Would a person wishing to commit the crime alleged here let an hour and a half elapse, with the chance of finding the man gone on her return.
  • Secondly, the fact that she changed her dress. Would a person in a state of jealous frenzy think to herself, “I will change my dress?”
  • Thirdly there was the fact that her thoughts naturally turned to making peace with her Creator. That indicated that, as she had said, she intended to end her own life.
  • Fourthly, the time, and the spot were the most inopportune that she could have chosen for such a purpose as was alleged.
  • Fifthly, had her intention been to shoot Gidley when she walked up to him. it would have been obviously her best plan to shoot him as he was turned away from her. A woman bent on shooting a man would not care whether she shot him in the back or the front. But she would scarcely touch his arm and turn him round in such a position that there was every chance of him spoiling her plan and preventing her from carrying it out. 
  • Sixthly, there was the handkerchief. Had her intention been murder, would she not have worn a coat in order that she might reach Gidley without chance of detection, carrying the gun in her pocket, instead of in a handkerchief. Which in a lighted ballroom may have been seen at any time.
  • Seventhly, there was the course of the bullet. It did not go through Gidley from the front as it would have done had the person whom he was facing been intent on shooting him, but from the side exactly as it would have done had the girl been raising her hand to her head, as the evidence said she was.

Mr. Haynes thought it might be that some in the jury might find it difficult to believe the story of an accident. To these he pointed out the character of Gidley and his treatment of Audrey, and he said that it was one of the few occasions on which he had wished that he had a jury of women to deal with the case. He had no doubt what the verdict of a jury of women - of their wives and sisters - would be. To any on the jury who could not accept that it was an accident he referred then to was known as the unwritten law.”

Haynes: "If there was ever a case that shrieks for the unwritten law it is this one." 
His Honour: "There is no unwritten law. I will ask the jury to observe their oaths."
Haynes: "I presume juries of other countries uphold their oaths, and, notwithstanding the unwritten law, there have been cases similar to this one where the accused have been acquitted." 

Mr. Haynes continued to tell the jury about the unwritten law as it was applied in other countries, even in Britain, calling their attention to the fact that there was no reason why they should not consider that aspect.

His Honour indicated the difference between wilful murder, murder and manslaughter, but said that in the circumstances of the present case the jury need not worry about the alternative of manslaughter. Their verdict would be either one of wilful murder or murder, or alternatively of Not Guilty.
On the subject of the "unwritten law" he said: 
“l was anxious to allow reasonable latitude to the defence in this case, as in all cases of such charges, although I must say that I suspected all along that the introduction of so much about the treatment of the accused by Gidley was in order to base upon that an appeal to what has been called the “Unwritten Law.” I want to say to you that the English law, which is very tender to criminals, knows nothing of the Unwritten Law, and your oath requires you to give your verdict according to the evidence.
His Honour then gave a resume of the evidence. With regard to the defence, he said: “This may appear to you to be a very weird story.”
At six o’clock His Honour concluded. The jury had dinner, then retired to consider their verdict.
At a quarter to nine, sounds of applause were heard through the door of the jury room, and this was construed as an indication that the verdict would be favourable to the accused, and that one juryman who had been holding out had been persuaded to change his mind.

When the foreman spoke the words, “Not Guilty”, Audrey half started from her seat as if she could not believe it. Her mother rushed into the dock and held her sobbing daughter.
Dead silence momentarily followed the deliverance of the verdict, but was shattered by a crash of applause. Men cheered and women wept hysterically, leaned over the gallery and extended sympathetic arms to Audrey and no attempt to stay the clamour was made. As Audrey left the court later in the company of Mr Haynes and her parents, a cheering throng formed an avenue of triumph.
The news of the verdict was flashed up on cinema screens across Perth.

In conclusion I quote the Truth, which ran the headline: SUNSHINE RETURNS AFTER DAYS OF SEARING SORROW.
The article concluded:

“And so ended the ballroom tragedy, as it began—the night, the stars, the bright lights, and a host of happy laughing faces around. But it was a deeper and more heartfelt cheerfulness which moved the crowd last Friday night.”

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