LOST £150 IN A BET, SAYS HUSBAND: WIFE’S CLAIM FOR SUPPORT
MENTION of a losing £150 bet on a horse he couldn’t remember with a bookmaker whose whereabouts he doesn’t know, was made in Brisbane Summons Court last week when Roy Ernest Hardy, electrician, of Newmarket-road, Windsor; was asked to explain why his bank balance had shrunk from about £230 down to £20 in the space of 12 months. Hardy was giving evidence in opposition to a claim by his wife, Mrs. Dulcie Olive Hardy, of Ipswich-road, Moorooka, that, as reported in ‘Truth’ last week, he had left her and their four-year-old daughter without sufficient means of support.
Hardy was subjected to gruelling cross-examination by Mr. D. P. Hempenstall (for the wife) before the case finally ended.
THE house to which he took his wife in Windsor was what some people might consider lonely, Hardy said. Personally, he did not think it was. It was situated in Brett s timber yard, where he worked. There were plywood drying racks on one side, an American store on the other, and timber stacks at the rear. On the other side of the road, in front, was the main mill.
Hardy said that a watchman passed within 22 yards of the front of the house at intervals during the night.
He admitted that he had heard that his little girl had had two narrow escapes from being run over by timber lorries. “She should not have been out on the street, he added.
It was a deliberate lie for his wife to say that it was he who chose to leave the front bedroom and sleep on his own in a back room. It was against his wishes that he did so. His wife made up a bed in the back room and told him that it was for him.
When she stopped cooking for him, continued Hardy, his wife told him he was lucky, because if she did cook for him she might poison him. He denied that his child said to him, “Why don’t you eat at home, daddy?” and that he had replied, “If I did mummy might poison me.”
Hardy denied that during the three months he and his wife lived together at Windsor she had never been in his car.
Claiming that he had only about £20 in the bank, Hardy, admitted to Mr. Hempenstall that his balance had been over £200, maybe, £250, or a little more, a year ago. He had just spent it.
Pressed for details, he said that it had gone in a lot of small amounts, and two big amounts.
Mr Hempenstall: What were the big amounts?— I refuse to answer.
Mr A. H. O-Kelly, S.M.: You will have to answer, or you win be locked up until you do.
Hardy protested that the question involved very personal and private business, but his protest was of no avail and with much reluctance he finally said that he invested £75 in War Savings Certificates.
Mr. Hempenstall: And the other big amount?— I had a bet of £150 on a horse.
What was its name?— I can’t remember. I am not a racing man.
Have you any way of checking it? —No.
I am putting it to you that you did not put £150 on a horse? — I did.
In reply to further questions, Hardy said he had the bet with an S.P. bookmaker, whose whereabouts he did not now know.
The magistrate made an order directing Hardy to pay £2/10/- per week for his wife’s maintenance, and a further 10/- weekly for his child. He also was ordered to pay £4/5/ costs.
Mr. D. P. Hempenstall appeared for the wife, Mr. L. Brown for the husband.
From Truth, Sunday 3 February 1946, page 25.
Image: Daniel Patrick Hempenstall, c.1946, SLQ 99183513358202061, State Library of Queensland.