The night of the attempted robbery, that resulted in me shooting a young man who died two days later in hospital. As a
result of the autopsy the question was raised. If the hospital staff had followed the path of the bullet, through the neck
would they have noticed it had, in fact severed the main artery to his brain. It may have been possible for a surgeon to repair
the damage, but it can not be denied that if the shot had not been fired he would still be alive today. Little did I think
it would turn into one of the most sensational murder trials in Australia, with huge coverage by TV, radio and newspapers
all over Australia….
I was 35 years old at that time. I am the third living child, My mother had several still born children before we
came along , One boy who died after some days had been named the same as myself, Kingsley. My Father was keen to name one
of his boys after a friend, Kingsley Perthrick who had served in the Royal Australian Air Force ( RAAF ) in England in world
war two, as part of the bombing crew over enemy lands.
When I was about two, the family was transferred to Alice Spring, in the middle of outback Australia. Alice Springs was
then a small town of about 3,000 people. My Father was a technician for Department of Civil Aviation (D.C.A.). We lived there
for five years but I was too young to remember that much,
although I do remember our house had a creek at the back which then went into the outback. Good fun for my brother and
me to play. After we left Alice Springs we were transferred to the city of Darwin.
Darwin is on the tropical coastline of Australia, it had about 40,000 people at that time . It is so different from the
dry outback in the heart of Australia, where you wait years for it to rain. Darwin had lots of trees and coconut palms, and
it rains for three months of the year. It has only two seasons the Wet and the Dry.
I did most of my schooling there, but I had a reading and writing disability which we now know as Dyslexia. Until I was
30 years old I had not read one book or a whole newspaper, but I had a high IQ they said. So as a result I didn’t do
any good at school. But they were the best years of my life, there was no TV up there at the time, so as kids we spent most
of out time having fun out in the clean fresh air. Darwin was a very safe place to let your kids play anywhere, we had a good
beach just a walk away, good fishing, never cold, a great place to live.
My Family was transferred back to Adelaide in the early seventies, where I started High School. Because of my learning
disability I was not doing well at school ,then to make matters worse my father died of a stroke .
At that time I had just turned 15 years old, which was the minimum age you were aloud to leave school. So my mother along
with my teacher, agreed that I would be better off stating a full time job.
My brother had a job working at Myers department store warehouse. I stated as a storeman loading and unloading trucks,
I taught myself how to drive the trucks around the depot. I could back the trucks with skill long before I was old enough
get a licence. I was working at the age most teenagers are out having fun and going to parties. I did not have much chance
of mixing with girls of my own age, so I never got around to finding a partner. When I was old enough I, got my licence and
I became a truck driver. I worked there for about six years, but I wanted to drive the big rig trucks .
After leaving Myers I started driving a car transporter for a friend I knew, I did that for two years until he sold his
truck. Then I started 24 hour towing for Cole Motors at Henley Beach. That lasted for a few years, then I went to work for
Richmond Towing Adelaide.
I worked 24 hours on call driving their tow-trucks of all types for over 10 years before buying my own tow-truck and running
as a Contractor for them. I did this for about six years.
That is what brought me to the Caltex gas station at Keswick, a suburb of Adelaide on that fatal night October 14 1995.
As Richmond Towing depot is just down the road it was like a second home to me. I called in to get fuel nightly, and they
let me use there staff room to make a free coffee or two, then I would sit behind the counter and have a talk to the person
who was on that shift.
On that Saturday night I knew that Margaret always did that shift, I parked my truck were I usually did alongside the Auto-car
wash and walked into the shop. I did not buy fuel that night. It had been that quite I had not done a tow yet, and it was
just after 9:00pm . On walking in I gave Margaret a wave to make sure she knew it was me, she was at her station behind the
counter. I went straight in to the staff room opposite the entrance, there was no door at the entrance of the shop, (keep
that in your mind for later, you will know what I mean later in my story). I made my cup of coffee and went and sat down on
the chair alongside Margaret, I had only been there for a short time when I notice Margaret who was serving a customer, I
thought her face turned to a look of shock. I stood up and walked out to see what was wrong. I saw a man with a large Chef’s
knife demanding money from Margaret by holding it to her face.
I said to the robber ‘What the Fuck are you doing?’, he moved the knife to my chest and said ‘Don’t
Fuck with me’, at this stage I went into shock myself. He turned towards Margaret then I remembered the little pistol
I had in my pocket to show Margaret, it was a gold plated .25 Cal Barretta. The media, TV and newspaper made a big thing about
me having a pistol there.
I have been a licence gun collector and club shooter for over ten years.
Firearms are not common in our city, and we have very tough licensing and each firearm has to be registered, even B.B.
guns. Being tow-truck drivers they think we are a bunch of thugs. So after I pushed the magazine into the pistol and pulling
back the slide to cock it, he had taken some money and started to run back to the exit. At this stage I had a large knife
thrust at my chest, I am still in shock. I have loaded my pistol, and I don’t know what he will do next as he is near
the exit, there was no need for him to stop, remember there is no door to be opened, but for some reason he started to turn
back to us, so I fired one shot.
He went outside I thought I had missed him. Then he walked back in slowly I didn’t know what he was doing at first,
so I held my pistol on him until he put the knife and his pistol on the ground. I could see the blood spouting out of a hole
in the side of his neck. We think his get away driver drove off when he heard the gun shot, he came up to me and said quietly
‘You did not have to shoot it was not real’, then I realised he had a replica 9 mm. pistol .We called for the
ambulance and the police and tried to stop the bleeding. Before the police arrived, I made my pistol safe and left it on the
counter near the cash register. Margaret was in shock so bad she did not turn off the pumps and customers where still coming
in to pay for fuel, there was blood all over the floor. The uniformed police were the first to arrive. They came guns at the
ready, they told me to sit down and only talk to the detectives .Then the TV news crew started to film, so they told me to
sit in a police car out of sight of the media.
Two detectives from Darlington CIB asked if I would go to Police Head Office at Angus Street in the City to be interviewed.
They drove me into Angus Street police station. When we went in they let me wash up first, I had blood over my hands from
trying to stop his bleeding, there was blood all over my shirt as well. When we got to the interview room they gave me a coffee,
I was shaken up and still in shock. They asked if I would mind doing a taped interview on video. They read me my rights, the
noise went off on the tape recorder and away we went. It took about half an hour they just asked what happened, I do not remember
most of what I said, I was still in shock but they were happy it was self defence, then we headed back to the Caltex station.
On the way back to the service station, one of the detectives said off the recorded that he would have done what I did, if
he was in my shoes, then he said that because I was a tow truck driver, and I had a pistol the media would make a big thing
of this, and he warned me not trust them. ‘They would say whatever they like to get the story’. I had no idea
at that time how true his words would turn out to be.
We arrived back at the service station, the last of the police crew were just leaving. Margaret had been interview at the
scene by two detectives, they said it was OK to talk to Margaret so I went over to her and asked if she was OK she said ‘yes’,
detective Brennan ask me if I would like to be counselled by the Victims of Crime councillor, I said ‘No I’ll
be OK’, and I would buy some beers on my way home. I stayed there for about an hour talking to Paul, the owner of the
gas station, as they started to clean the shop up. There was more blood there than I realised, I remember looking at the Thins
chip stand with blood over most of the chips, my brother was the Northern Territory Manager of the chip company at that time.
I said to myself, ‘He won’t like his chip stand looking like this’. I could not believe that so much blood
would come from one person, Paul said I was not looking too good and I should go home. When I got home my supper was on the
table for me and Mum was asleep, I left a note for her, "Not Hungry Tonight Mum". I had a shower and went to bed .
The next day Sunday, I received a phone call from the owner of Richmond Towing Bob, who said the newspaper kept on ringing
trying to find out what happened at the service station last nigh, They got the company name off my truck, but they did not
know who I was. Bob told them he would tell them nothing about it, the newspaper said if we say nothing they make up a story
I received a number of phone calls that day from my sister here in Adelaide and my sister in-law from Darwin, plus other
family and friends. I also received a call from one of my friends at my Pistol Club at Golden Grove, he had seen me on the
TV news and could not believe it. Bill asked what I was doing about a lawyer, I had not even thought of a lawyer, silly me
I did not think I would need one. Bill said I should go and see Keith Tidswell from the Sporting Shooters Ass. I told Bill
I would see them the next day which was Monday.
The next day Monday the phone went crazy again, they asked if I had seen the font page of the newspaper, it was over the
whole of the font Page!
The font page of the newspaper had colour photos of the scene of the robbery at the service station, photos of my truck
at the station and the story they made up said he was shot in the back of the head.
I could not believe it, people reading the paper will believe he was shot in the back of the head. I had seen the blood
spurting out of the side, there was NO way he was shot in the back of the head, it makes it sound like I executed him.
That Monday I went to see Keith at the Sporting Shooters Association, at their Adelaide office at Park Side. Keith knew
I was coming to see him, he told me when he was told a tow-truck driver was coming he was looking for a man that looked rough
with tattoos all over, dirty looking like a bum off the streets.
Keith was surprised when he saw me, he said I did not look like he thought I would look being a tow truck driver. Keith
ask if I would mind telling him what really happened, he said ‘You don’t have to if you don’t want to’.
I said ‘I have nothing to hide, the newspaper got it wrong. He was NOT shot in the back of the head as he was running
away, I am not that sort of person’. Keith told me the association use a lawyer named Gary Coppolla, he is also a pistol
Keith told me to bring all my other firearms in, just in the event they charge me for taking my pistol to show Margaret.
Later the same day I went into Gary Coppolla’s legal office on the 17 floor of the State Bank Building in Currie
I meet Gary and talked about what happened at the service station, I said I did not remember all that happened, I was in
shock after having the knife held up to my chest. I told Gary that when the robber got back near the exit he did something
that made me shoot. Gary said there was nothing we could do until the police made there move, then he would get back to me.
At this time the robber Milsom was still in Royal Adelaide Hospital, I thought I might only be charged for taking my pistol
in to show Margaret. Under our tough firearms laws you cannot take your own pistol to another place unless it is a pistol
range to shoot it, you cannot take it to show your friends, so I thought I might be charged with this only.
I could not go back to the depot to work, the media were still trying to find me, there were TV news crews and newspaper
reporters all over the Richmond Towing depot trying to find out my name. They offered $500.00 to the drivers for my name,
none of the drivers gave them my name. I went home to wait to find out what was going happen next.
Tuesday afternoon I decided I would go to work and see what was happening, I drove my Mum’s Honda Civic to the depot.
I knew the media would be looking for me so I didn’t ware my blue uniform or my blue cap, I went the South Road way
and drove Mum’s car straight into the truck workshop at Richmond Towing, past all the cameras and newspaper reporters.
I went up to the despatch room where Bob Sincock, the boss was doing the phones, it worked out well, he was in one place and
not moving for a change and I was able to talk to him. Is I entered the room Bob said ‘G’Day, you don’t
muck around when you do something, do you’. I said ‘I bet the R.A.A. (Royal Automobile Association) are not too
happy with me’. Bob then told me the R.A.A were the first of many to call and ask about what had happened, he said ‘But
even the Towing Inspector said the robber had a knife and a pistol and what where you expected to do. Rob Thorpe from the
R.A.A. is cool about it, although out of all the trucks I run yours is the only one with the R.A.A. sticker on the door that
glows in the dark!’
Bob went on to tell me he had a visit from a couple of his old police mates, who were now "High ranking officers". They
had told him they thought it was bad luck the robber was so young, they believed if he was older there would be less pressure
on the Department of Public Prosecutions to charge me. They went on to tell Bob that I was responsible for bringing down the
crime rate, there had not been another hold up anywhere in the state since I shot the robber. Bob told me both officers agreed
that I had done the right thing, but it was now up to the D.P.P to decide if charges would be laid.
Paul Rofe QC. was head of the D.P.P. at the time, he would be the one who makes the decision on my future, but I believe
he would have a lot of pressure on him from the government, I know the detectives told me that on the night of the shooting.
Later Michael David QC. told me that Paul Rofe had said to him, ‘I charged your client with murder, but everyone says
he should get a medal’. Later it turned out that Paul Rolf was unable to lead for the Crown, he had been charged with
drink driving and had to step down until he appeared in court to answer the charge. The bit I found ironic was that he had
retained the services of Mr Michael David to defend him on the drink driving charge, the same person his department were fighting
with in my case.
At Richmond Towing, in the phone room talking to Bob, he asked me if I knew much about the robber. I said I didn’t,
only what I had read in the papers. Bob then pointed out the window and told me the robber was staying in the house just down
the street, I almost fell over and asked, ‘ That house four houses down?’ Bob said ‘Yes". Ellis one of Bob’s
drivers had come into the phone room with us, Ellis told me he went to school with Andrew who lived in the house, the robber
was his latest boyfriend, and he had seen them walking around during the past week. I said ‘That’s all I need
to know, the papers said he was living in Richmond, but I had no idea he lived so close to the depot’. "What if the
detectives think I knew him and think maybe we had an argument of fight, and when he robbed the service station I took the
opportunity to shoot him. I will admit that every time I drove past that house in Albert Street I would sink down in the cab,
just in case they took a shot at me. Later when I was taken off the road to man the phones at night I spent most of the time
thinking what I would do if the robbers family, or his boyfriend came in after me with a shot gun.
I was not aloud to have any of the firearms that I owned, I also made the mistake of telling some of the drivers of my
fears. They took great delight is sneaking up the stairs at night and trying to scare me. They did not know how sick I was,
my doctor told me to give away working but I had been working for so long and had no other interests except my club shooting,
(and the law had stopped me from that). I kept going as long as I could, I also didn’t want the "Tax payers" to look
Bob had also told me that the TV news coverage was the top news story all around Australia, and that he had calls of support
from towing companies from all states. I had a call from a friend who at the time was working in a service station in England,
he had see the story on the BBC and sent a postcard of support. Richmond Towing also received calls from my fellow sporting
shooters, who wanted to donate money to help with my legal costs. At that stage I thought the worst thing I would be charged
with was firearm offences, so the phone operators at the depot did not take their details. At least one of the talk back radio
stations told their callers who offered to give money to send it to the local Sporting Shooters Association.
On the Tuesday or Wednesday evening about 8:30pm the two detectives from Darlington CIB who did the interview with me on
the night of the shooting knocked on my door at home, they asked if they could come in for a chat.
I led them to the kitchen table and we all sat down, one of them said ‘This is just a chat to see how you are coping
with all the stress’.
They did not read me my right this time, then they told me the reason for the visit, it was a surprises why they were there,
they said ‘Milson has taken a turn for the worse and we think he might die’.
‘I will recommend that only firearms charges are laid, but it is not up to us, it will be up to the D.P.P. and if
he dies there will be more pressure on them to charge you’.
The next day I heard on the TV news that Milsom had died, and that it had become a major crime, that meant the major crime
squad took over the case.
It was some days later that I got a phone call from Gary Coppolla my lawyer, he said ‘I have some news but it is
‘First they are looking at serious charges being laid, second the tapes of your interview did not turn out’.
‘I said what do you mean Gary?’ he said ‘They went to play them and nothing had been recorded on them’.
I ask if that good or bad for me, he said ‘Can’t do you any harm’.
Now I was really getting worried, did the tape not work on purpose so they could fit me up. They could say I said anything
on the night of the shooting and I have no chance of disproving it. There was that much media attention, TV and radio plus
newspapers about this tow-truck driver having a pistol at a service station. It would HAVE to make it more likely that I would
I could still not go to work, the media had people around Richmond Towing depot 24 hours a day trying to get to me. I got
sick of seeing my truck on TV, and hearing about the "unnamed tow-truck driver who shot and killed the young armed robber
at the Caltex Keswick". The next day, I think it was I got a phone call from my lawyer again, Gary said he would like me to
met him at a office in Angus St. in the city. He had arrange for me to met a leading Adelaide Q.C. (Queen’s Council),
that means he or she is as high up as a lawyer can get (top of their profession), Mr Michael David QC.
Gary said if I was lucky he will take my case, and there was a chance he would ‘It was the hottest thing in town
and he likes all the media attention’. I met him in his chambers, he seemed like a down to earth sort of person, I new
straight away he was the one I needed. The only thing is he would cost me my life savings in the end.
They say that justice is blind but let me tell you the Magistrates look up quick when you have a QC alongside you. Sometime
passed, I think a week or more before I heard from Gary again.
No news is good news, then one day (I am no good at remembering dates)
Gary rang. He asked me to come straight into his office in the State Bank Building and bring my firearms licence with me.
On my way in to the city in mum’s car I had a horrible feeling in my stomach, I knew it was not going to be good. When
I meet Gary he was on the phone and I heard him say ‘He’s here now’, then he hung up. Gary said to me ‘Well
we know now, I just been talking to Michael David, their going to charge you with murder’. I said ‘WHAT MURDER’,
Gary said ‘Yep, murder’. I said to Gary I thought I worst would be Manslaughter, Gary said "No murder". I said
again ‘murder’, I would have liked to have seen the look on my face at that time.
Gary said ‘We don’t have much time we have to get maybe three people who can put up your bail’. I Rang
my sister or it might have her husband Daryl, I can not remember, I asked them to go straight into the court.
I also rang Bob at Richmond Towing and asked him if he could help me as well, he jump in to the first tow-truck and raced
into the city.
Gary said ‘We will walk down to Angus Street police station, major crime detectives will be waiting to interview
you, let’s go’.
That was the hardest walk of my life, knowing I was going to be charged with murder and go straight into a cell. On the
way down King William St Gary did his consulting ,‘When we get into the room watch my head, just answer yes or no, just
watch my head I will let you know’.
As we enter the door of the Angus St. police station I could see the TV news crew rolling up to the court building already,
someone must have tipped then off about me being charged.
There was two detectives from the major crime squad were waiting for us, they shook my hand ‘Good day Mr Foreman,
would you mind coming this way’. We then went into the interview room, they read me my rights. ‘You can watch
this video tape of the shooting for us’. Gary leant over and had a real good look at it, then one of the detectives
said, ‘would you like to comment Mr Foreman’.
Gary shook his head and I said ‘No’ then the detective asked ‘Do you have a mobile phone Mr Foreman ?’.
Gary was about to move his head and my phone rang, it was my sister, I said ‘I can not speak now I will talk to you
later’. Gary said ‘You can say yes to that one’.
They asked some other question, I can not remember them now but I said no to them all. Then one of them said "Mr Foreman
I am charging you with the murder of Dallas Milsom, at the Caltex Keswick on October 14 1995. After they had finished the
interview one said to Gary ‘You can have five minutes with Mr Foreman’, after they left the room I said to Gary
‘I don’t like the look of the Video’. Gary said to me ‘I had a good look, it looks OK to me. Milsom
is way out of the camera view when he is shot, he could have been doing anything, the reason you don’t like it is you
can see yourself shoot someone’.
The two detectives took me down to the cells in the basement so I could be booked in before I went before a bail hearing.
It was quite strange to be charged with murder, and yet I was treated like I was one of boys, I would have been the best treated
murder suspect they ever had. The officer who was taking my finger prints said, ‘Don’t worry you will be OK, this
charge won’t stick’. Then the custody officer said, ‘It’s too late in the day to go over to the court.
Looks like you have to spend the night in the cells’. So he ask one of his men to put me in a cell. He said ‘This
one will do, they are only holding cells, but it’s better than going to the Remand Centre for the night. So we will
leave you here, if you want us just give me a yell’. I said to myself a night here is not too bad it’s heated,
and better than a night in a truck.. It was the about half an hour later when the police officer came back and said ‘Your
in luck, their taking you across to the court now’
He lead me out to a police van and told the driver take me across to the court, the van driver replied ‘This late?’,
‘Yes I know, but one of the Magistrates is staying back, this is the man who shot the armed robber’, the driver
said ‘Good’ and called his female partner .The young female officer said ‘I’m sorry I have to put
handcuffs on you to go across the road to the court’.
I was in the back of the police van handcuffed, as we crossed the road into the court I could see TV news crews and newspaper
reporters everywhere. One took still photos of me in the police van as we drove into the Court. They led me out of the back
of the van into the cells of the court, this is where I meet my lawyer Gary and Michael David QC. Michael said ‘That
was close I had to grab the Magistrate as he was getting into his car, we don’t want you to spend the night here’.
I like Michael’s sense of humour, he said ‘That bloody Rofe (the public prosecutor) did this late so you have
to spend at least one night in goal, the gutless bastard should not have charged you at all’. He then said to me ‘Don’t
panic if he refuses bail, I will get a hearing in the Supreme Court in a few days’.
When they were ready for me in the court the older sergeant said, ‘You have to put those cuff on him’. They
led me out into the dock, the public gallery was full of reporters, Paul Rolf read out the charge. ‘Mr Foreman you are
charged that on the 14 day of……….’ you know the rest, ‘How do you plead ?’, every eye
in the court was on me, ‘NOT GUILTY’ I said in a load voice. Then Michael David got up and said ‘Your Honour,
my client will be pleading strongly against these ridicules charges. My client has no criminal record, and as several people
to go guarantor, including a well respected company director, he has stable family ties here in Adelaide, and knowing he may
face charges he refused to go to Darwin on a planed trip’. Paul Rolf took one look at me, and I think he realised I
did not look the way he thought I would, he didn’t oppose bail.
I was granted bail on three conditions, of $10,000-00, that I not to leave the state and not go to the Caltex Keswick service
station. The newspaper said it was $80,000-00 bail, but why let the facts spoil a good story.
Back in the cells of the magistrates court, Michael David said ‘Rolf took one look at you and nearly choked, you
don’t look like a tow truck driver’. Then he said ‘They will take you back across to the station to release
you, Gary and I will be waiting for you outside the door’. I was put back in to the police van and driven through the
media crush into the basement of Angas Street police headquarters. A police officer did the paper work for my release on bail,
he lead me to a stairway leading up to street level, he said ‘They will all be out there waiting for you’. I thought
he meant Gary and Michael, as I got about halfway up he wished me good luck. As I opened the door and walked free I could
see Gary and Michael waiting along with about four TV news crews, newspaper reporters and radio reporters as well.
Michael David said to me, ‘You didn’t think you were coming out of there did you ?’ We will walked down
Angas street to my chambers ’. I think he did that so he could be on TV with his client, so off we went with Gary on
one side of me and Michael on the other, and my brother in law Daryl behind. As we were walking down to Michael’s chambers
the TV news crews were walking backwards so they could film us, there were so many of them pushing each other that one poor
bugger fell flat on the ground. I had to stop myself from smiling because it would not look too good on TV, me just released
after being charger with murder, smiling leaving the police station.
We were in Michael’s chambers, it was just like you think a QCs chambers would be like in England, a very old building
with 10 foot high ceilings and big wooden skirting boards, walls of books and leather sofas and a lovely antique desk. Michael
said jokingly ‘You will be OK now till the trial starts, so long as you don’t shoot anyone else, and don’t
do a runner’. I said to Michael ‘Don’t worry about me doing a runner, it’s not that I’m worried
about the police finding me. It’s that Bob Sincock the boss of Richmond Towing put up the ten grand for my bail, and
you can bet he would find me. Now I was out on bail I must admit I was glad to be out of the cells, I was not keen on the
idea of maybe having to do a mandatary 25 years sentence for murder.
My next hassle was, now that I had been charged the media knew my name and address, I was not surprised that the newspapers
had my home staked out when I got there. I figured that there’s no point in trying to cover my face, that just makes
you look like a crook and I’m to big to run from them.
It was about a month before my next court hearing, that where you have to stand up in the court and formerly answer the
charge of murder. That is just the first court appearance before the full trial begins, it could be between six and twelve
months before the main trial starts .
So what do I do till then ? I suppose I go back to work driving my old tow-truck.
There was huge media attention, lead story on the nightly news on all channels,
it was lead story on the ABC TV news ,I thought a story had to be about politics to lead the news on ABC. I received a
phone call from my sister in law from Darwin, it was on the TV news up there too, I got a call from an old work mate from
Melbourne as well. It has been nearly four years and I have not seen a dollar yet....
I went back to work driving my tow-truck towing on contract with Richmond Towing ,it was bit embarrassing. I had been seen
that many times on TV that when I rolled up to tow some persons car, most of them recognised me from the TV news. I could
no believe that people were still recognising me weeks after I had been on TV. I was a bit worried that I may come across
someone who thought I was guilty, out of all the cars I towed (about six a day ) no one said anything negative about what
I did, in fact I was surprised by the number of people who thought I had been treated unfairly by being charged and hoped
that it worked out OK. I would say ‘You don’t mind being in a tow-truck with someone who is on bail for Murder?’
The range of people was surprising, from little old ladies to young people and from working class Elizabeth to leafy Wattle
The next court appearance was the committal hearing, that is were a Magistrate has to decide if the D.P.P. has a enough
evidence to go for trial. On the day of the committal hearing I meet Gary Coppolla in the lobby of his office on the 17 floor
of the State bank building, as usual we did all our talking while we walked from his office to the court in Victoria Square.
I asked him if he thought they would have enough evidence to get through the committal, Gary said ‘Yes it is just
a formality, the fact that someone is dead and you fired a gun is enough’. When we arrived at the court Michael David
was already there, and also my brother and sister in law from Darwin, they had come down for business reasons.
Michael David said it would give him the chance to ask in public coroner, Doctor James who had done the autopsy on the
robber, the question ‘Could the robber have been turning back towards the direction of the shot?’
As I was sitting there with my legal team waiting for our case to come up, a woman in the public gallery yelled at the
top of her voice ‘HANG THE BASTARD’. I almost had a heart attack, I thought she was talking about me, but it was
a video link from the remand centre about another murder case. They called out ‘The Crown verses Foreman, the charge
is murder’, then Michael David called Doctor James to the stand, Michael David ask, ‘From the autopsy you did
on the deceased ,were you able to work out from the path of the bullet through the body, the position of the deceased when
the bullet was fired ?’ Doctor James said ‘Yes’ Then Michael David asked, ‘You know the path of the
bullet, and you know from were the bullet was fired. Could what my client told the police the night of the shooting be consistent’?
Doctor James said ‘Yes’.
It was no surprise to Michael and Gary that the Magistrate committed me to the Supreme court for trial ,I said to Michael
‘What happens now’?. Michael said ‘Now we go to the real court with the wigs and gowns’ ....`
Now I had been committed to trial for murder in the Supreme court we started all over again and I had to attend a court
appearance to plead to the charges .
So all those hearings in the Magistrate court were just a formality, so all the fees I had paid Gary and Michael David,
thousands of dollars was really for a "formality". It would have been nice to skip the Magistrate court and come straight
to the Supreme court, but you can not do it that way.
Well it’s back to work driving my 1978 Inter tow truck, I’ve been working since I was 14 years old, most of
that time I have been working as a contractor. I had no employer to pay into a super fund, so I had been putting money into
high interest accounts for my old age, but I’ve used all of that now. To get the money I needed for my trial in the
Supreme court I had to turn to my 70 year old Mother. Mum had to take out a loan on here house, the house she has owned since
1946 . I have been paying her back on time, I would not do her wrong.
There were a number of pre trial hearings I had to attend, I still have not worked out what they where all about, there
was the lawyer for the D.P.P. and my legal team in front of a judge. At one of these "hearings" all they talked about was
how Australia was going in the West Indies, that’s all right, I did not mind paying for my legal team to talk about
Well a month or so later it was time to plead again, this time in the supreme court .So it was up to the 17 floor of the
State bank Building to Gary’s office again. I have forgotten to say that my brother in law Daryl came and pick me up
from home and drove me into town then came into court with me ,THANK YOU Daryl. I wish Gary and Daryl did not walk so fast
, but we did our usual walk down to the court. We meet Michael in front of the Sir Samuel Way Building, the Supreme Court
. This time we were a bit early so Michael said ‘Lets go and have a coffee’, so we went to a cafe next to the
We are in the cafe and Michael orders coffee for us all, the girl brings the coffee and she says to Michael ‘That
will be $10.00’, or whatever it was. Michael slaps his pockets and says to Gary ‘Sorry mate I’ve got no
cash on me you have to pay for this one’. Then Gary does the same he slaps his pockets and says ‘I have no money
on me, you have to pay Kingsley’.
As I said to Daryl ‘If I have to have Lawyers, these are the ones for me’. That hearing took less than half
an hour, cost me $3300.00, and I paid for the coffee. It’s strange, if a young person wears a strange hair style we
say how mad is he, but it’s OK for a QC ( Queen’s Counsels) to wear one of those curly wigs, and the higher there
status the longer the wig, and the more rows of curls .
The period before the main trial, when I was on bail for murder was worse than the robbery and shooting. In some ways it
may have been better to go to goal, I had to try and live my life the same way, but had no idea what was going to happen to
me. I just could not get my mind around the fact that, here I am on bail for murder.
How could the Department of Public Prosecution come up with the idea that I would murder someone without a justifiable
reason. It was only a few months earlier that I was punched around the head by a boyfriend of an unhappy customer. One night
about 6:30 p.m. in the middle of our peak hour traffic period, a young lady (this mans girlfriend) had broken down in the
middle of Light Square in the middle of the city. She was a member of the R.A.A. our auto club in South Australia, they had
sent out a patrol van but were unable to fix her car so a tow truck was called for. We were flat out at the time so we were
a while before we got to her and her boyfriend had rung the R.A.A. to complain about the delay, the R.A.A. in their wisdom
had given him our phone number so he rang to see what was going on. The boss was doing the phones himself, we were so flat
out, the boyfriend told Bob he was coming down to ‘Punch your head in, because you have left my girlfriend waiting for
so long’. Bob told me later he thought the guy was ‘Just mouthing off’. Meanwhile I had picked the car up
and was taking it to the address the girl had asked to be taken to, not knowing Bob had just had a run in with the boyfriend.
In the truck the girl was as quiet as a mouse, and I did not know she had been waiting for us for so long. When we got to
the house I started to unhook the car, still not knowing what had happened, I was down on one knee when the boyfriend came
out of the house and started punching me in the head. I grabbed a steel bar off the back of my truck and said to him ‘What’s
that all about?’ he said ‘ The man on the phone told me it’s your fault it’s taken so long to get
the car picked up’. I asked him if he had finished impressing his girlfriend, and if he had I would put down the steel
bar and ‘Leave it at that’, all this time I had blood coming from my nose and running over my clothes. The next
day he made a complaint to the R.A.A. that I had broken his wrist with the bar, but I think he must have broken it on my head.
During this time on bail waiting for my trial the time days seemed to last twice as long as they were, I remember every
time I had to drive past the goal I said to myself, ‘This will be my new home’. It was a quiet time in the towing
business, I would sit in my truck waiting for the next job, and sometimes I would wonder how bad goal could be. It couldn’t
be much worse than sitting around for hours in the city waiting for the next job. Some nights I would sit there for three
hours or more, that’s the reason I was at the service station the night of the robbery, just to fill in time and wait
for my next job. Now that I am too sick to work Richmond Towing have found it hard to find someone who will sit around waiting
for jobs, they now keep the depot open at night so the drivers. Yes that’s right there are two drivers now to do what
I used to do, and the depot is left open so they don’t have to sit in their trucks. They now have colour TV and the
office is heated in the winter and cooled in the summer, and they still find it hard to get drivers to put in the hours that
us old drivers took for granted.
Well here I am, at last sitting in the dock of the South Australia Supreme Court charged with murder, not even manslaughter
but, murder ONE as they would say in the U.S. All I did was stop off for a coffee with a friend, and show off with my gold
plated pistol. Michael David QC and Garry Coppolla are for the defence, on the other side there is Ms Ann Vanstone QC and
Ms C.Mealor for the Crown. I hope Ms Mealor does not mind but we gave her the nickname sexy legs, when she was dressed for
court in the black silk rob and seated all you could see was her legs.
Michael started his legal fight with Ms Vanstone, and he was right, I had no idea what they were talking about, they were
speaking in English but I could not understand it. They went at it for about half an hour then Justice Lander call an adjournment,
or was it a cease fire. In the break I went up to Michael and said ‘How did it go?’ Michael seemed happy with
what happened, he said ‘We already have enough for an appeal if we needed one’. ‘So what happens now ?’
I ask Michael, he replied ‘They will call up, and pick a jury’.
It is a lot different than I was used of seeing on the TV shows, were it takes two weeks to pick a jury, and your lawyers
get to ask them lot of questions. Here in my trial they called in 30 people from the pool and give them a number, then my
lawyers had a list with their names and occupations on it, the crown has the same information. One of the court staff brings
out their bingo machine and starts turning the handle, another staff member pulls out one of the little balls with a number
on it, I’m not joking, they do it that way. Then the person who has that number walks from the public gallery to the
jury box, both lots of lawyers can object to only three members of the jury, and they only have until that person is seated
in the jury box, that’s it! After the jury is picked they read the charge again, by now I know I have to say "not guilty"
off by heart. Then to my surprised the judge says that the bail is revoked. So for a time I thought I would be in gaol until
the end of the trial, to my relief Michael David ask the judge for a continuance and the crown did not object.
Now it was time for Ms Vanstone’s (QC) opening address to the Jury, Ms Vanstone is a very good and experience Queen’s
Council, you only have to look at what happened to the former leader of the government in the state of Western Australia.
Ms Vanstone pushed the firearms angle very hard of course, she had summoned to appear one of my pistol club committee members.
He told me later that after talking to him they decided I did not fit the stereotype of a crazy gun owner, so he was never
I was told that she was going to open with a recording from a radio talk back show were I was talking to Mr Christopher
Cordeaux about my views on firearms. I was a caller on many subjects, but the media went through all the recording to find
something sensational they could use on the news. Michael David said ‘That is not a problem, I will just summon Mr C.
Cordeaux to appear, I know that Mr Foreman has been, in the past invited personally by Mr Cordeaux to go into the radio station
and appear on his show’. They changed there mind and did not play the tape.
Ms Vanstone did a very good job I thought, I almost voted myself guilty after hearing her opening address, but I don’t
think my old Mum liked her opening much.
Ms Vanstone called her first witness, a police draftsman from the technical section, who had made detailed plans of the
service station and the inside of the shop. Then she called the officer who had taken photos of the shooting scene, he had
also taken the photos of the robbers autopsy. He had taken photos of a reenactment, where police cadets were used to take
the place of us. I was told later by the man who was working at the Caltex service station where they did there acting that
day, he said that it worked out just like I said on the night of the shooting. That’s why Ms Vanstone did not use it.
I may be wrong but the defence should have been shown the photos and the video they made of the reenactment.
Ms Vanstone then called Mrs Margaret Rowe, the lady who was working the night of the robbery. All the attention is on what
happened to the robber, what about poor Margaret. Who was working on Saturday night just doing her job to make a bit of money,
to raise her kids single handed (not by choice). When some young man comes in to get money the easy way, not by working on
a Saturday night like Margaret.
So here she is now just days after her mother had died, having to testify in the Supreme Court, because this young man
decided to rob her for some quick cash.
The basis of her testimony was that she was working and talking to me when this man sticks a large knife to her chest,
demanded money and started to leave. She turns to ring for the police as she has been taught to do, so she did not see what
the robber did near the door. Margaret had rang me long before, only days after the shooting, she did not know what to do.
The police wanted her to give another statement, she said she did not know what had happened that night. Margaret said ‘Tell
me what to tell them’, I said ‘If I tell you what to say, they will be able to work out that it’s the same
story as mine, and they will know you are not tell the truth’. ‘But they say on the radio you may be charged with
something, I don’t want you to get in to trouble’.
I said ‘Don’t lie if you can not remember just say that, I will be OK just don’t lie’. With hindsight,
I should have told her what to say and then she could have been my witness and I would not have been charged. I think Margaret
was the last witness that day they arranged for the jury to visit the Caltex service station the next day, to view the scene
of the robbery and shooting. Michael David did not want me to go to the viewing, I don’t know why, so I did not have
to go to the court until after lunch.
The next day my brother in law and my sister pick up Mum and me and into town went. Through the media crush again, into
the supreme court, we were a bit early so we just sat down in the lobby . It was not long before the lift opened and Michael
and Gary stepped out, Michael spotted me and headed over to us, he looked like he just won the lottery. I said ‘How
did it go?’ Michael said ‘We have got them thinking our way’. Michael said ‘I was able to show them
that if the little bastard had turned like Dr James said he would have run into the wall so why did he turn that way?’
Michael went on to say that this afternoon would be make or break time for us. Dr James testimony would be crucial to their
‘My "friend" is trying to get Milsom as close to the door as she can, so I want to get Dr James just to stick to
the facts on the angle of the bullet and keep off the word door, with what I pointed out at the shop today we should be OK’.
I went back in the dock, it was reasonably comfy, it had a padded seat and back. I notice just under the shelf was long
strong metal rail, that would be for handcuffing the bad boys to, I think. Ms Vanstone next witness was a police officer from
the Ballistic Section, who had test fired and checked the safety of my Berretta pistol I had that night. I think he did more
for my defence than he did for Ms Vanstone’s case, by the time he described my little pistol as a ‘last century
design, small calibre, no sights on it. With a barrel too short for target work, and being gold plated it was clearly a collectors
piece’. Then he went on to describe what type of pistol the replica would have been. It was a 9 mm. Smith & Wesson,
auto pistol with a capacity of 14 rounds at the high end of the calibre scale and was the preferred weapon of our Star Force,
the police response squad. Well so far all the witness that Ms Vanston QC had called for the Crown have only conferred what
we are not disputing. It is agreed that I was there, I had the pistol, and that I fired that pistol. The fact is, most of
the event is caught on security video for all to see. The police had used the video to take still photos off for the jury
to study at there leisure, some one hundred single shots. Out of thirty four seconds, that is what they said the whole robbery
and shooting took, what both the Crown and the defence are arguing over is about two or three seconds.
The time had come for Dr James to take the stand, as soon as he was sworn Michael David asked for the jury to retire, as
there was a legal point he had to discuss. That is different to what you see on the TV shows, were the lawyers say something,
then the judge asked the jury to disregard what they have just heard.
Michael David wanted the judge to restrict Ms Vanstone from referring to the door, but Ms Vanstone argued that she can
not be restricted from using one word. The defence argued that, by the Crown using the word door, it would put the idea in
the jury’s mind that someone was leaving the building, when they could have been doing something else. The judge asked
Michael David ‘What do you mean?’ Michael said, ‘If my learned friend tells the jury, the deceased turned
near the door, the jury would automatically infer from that, he was leaving the shop. But if my friend says the deceased turned
after he leaves the cameras view, this does not automatically mean he is going out of the shop, he could be doing anything’.
Michael did not win that one, so they recalled the jury and Ms Vanstone questioned Dr James as to were the bullet hit the
deceased, he answered ‘The projectile hit the top of shoulder an inch toward the back’. This is how Vanstone used
the word BACK like she used the word DOOR.
Michael got a win when he got to cross-examined Dr James. Michael pointed out that from the autopsy, he knew the angle
from were the shot was fired, and the position of the deceased, and asked. ‘Could he have not have been turning back
to face Mrs Rowe and my client, with the replica pistol in his hand? And if you look at the video, can you see the deceased
lifting his hand with the pistol in it just before he goes out of view? ‘Dr James said ‘Yes’.
Dr James was the last witness for the Crown. So now it was time for
Ms Vanstone to close for Crown, she was very good and delivered the government message very well, I thought. She said ‘We
do not arm the bank tellers, we do not arm our shop workers. We rely on the police to capture offenders, we don’t want
people taking the law in to there own hands. Mr Foreman said to himself here’s my chance to shoot somebody, as the deceased
ran out of the DOOR’. Ms Vanstone then went on to say ‘Nothing can change the fact that the deceased was shot
in the BACK’.
After this statement, Justice Lander adjourned for the day, the trial would resume at 10:00am the next day. Michael wanted
all of us to meet at his chambers in Angas Street in an hour. We all went around to the cafe in the market next to the courts
for a coffee and something to eat. About an hour later we all walked down Angas Street to Michael’s chambers. Inside
his chambers he said ‘We have to decide what we will do tomorrow with the defence’. Michael said ‘I think
our best defence is no defence, I have decided not to call any witness. The only question is will Kingsley take the stand,
but only Kingsley can make that decision’. I said ‘If I’m going to go down, I not going to make it easy
for them by going on the stand and have a highly paid QC like Vanstone make me look like a gibbering idiot, and make me look
bad in font of the jury. Michael and Gary said ‘We think you have made the right decision, but you have to sign a paper
to say it was your choice in case it all goes wrong at the end’. The lawyers know how to cover themselves.
‘So the next day is do or die, my sister said, Michael called it ‘The nasty day’.
It’s the last day of the trial, I got dressed had my usual can of Coke for breakfast. My sister and brother in law
were down early sitting around the table in the kitchen, as we were getting ready to leave I left my wallet and house key
on the kitchen table because I did not know if I would be home again. So it was off to town, same old thing the media was
there again so we pushed through the crush into the court. We meet up with Michael and Gary in the lobby, they had moved us
to a another room today, it was on the other side of the building. Gary asked ‘Have you changed your mind about testifying?’
‘No when I say I will do some thing I stick to it" I said. Gary said ‘I think you have done the right thing, look
what Vanstone did to Carmen Lawrence’.
The court resumed and Michael David started his address to the jury, he must be know for this as the public gallery filled
up with wigs and black gowns. I must admit it cost me a fortune but it was worth every cent, there were some great lines like.
‘He was dammed if he did, and dammed if didn’t, and ‘What was Mr Foreman supposed to do? skulk in the corner
and wait until she was stabbed to death’. I loved the fact Ms Vanstone in her closing to the jury said, ‘Nothing
can change the fact that the deceased was shot in the BACK’. As she was saying that she took her right hand and for
all her worth she reached as far as she could over her shoulder and down her back. I thought she would do herself an injury.
The bullet hit him on top of the shoulder an inch towards his back, that how she get the word BACK. The bullet hit on top
of the shoulder and ran along his shoulder into the side of his neck, severing the main artery in his neck.
It was getting darker and darker, still no news on the jury, we were on one side of the lobby and all the media were on
the other. From the level we were on I could just see through the top window, I could see the tops of the trees in Victoria
Square, it was the start of winter but there were still some leave on the trees. My sister in law was standing next to my
sister and looking over the rail into the centre of the court building, I never thought I would ever see Chris (my sister
in law), so quiet, for so long.
Mum was sitting next to me and I could see her smouldering away slowly, poor mum did not understand that Ms Vanstone was
just doing her job, I don’t think she was going to be on mum’s Christmas list.
There was one good thing, I saw "Sexy Legs" walk up the stairs, I saw Michael walk outside then he came back in, then Vanstone
did the same. I thought maybe they were smokers, then Gary went outside and then he came back in. Michael went outside again,
I though what ! not another smoke. I know why now, the TV news crews were outside waiting to do a live broadcast of the verdict.
I am not sure now, but it was three or four hours after the jury went out that we heard that they had reached a verdict.
So everyone piled back in to the court room, I can honestly say I was not nervous, I was way beyond that, I was in shock.
When I got back into the dock I noticed a few more security staff in the room, there had been one at my side all the time
I was in dock, but most of them were dozing off. They were good, they kept getting me drinks of water, one of them, a lady
about my age said to me ‘It’s nice to sit next to someone nice for a change’.
Well this is it, the judge came in, he ask for the jury to file in then he ask me to ‘Please stand up’. As
I was standing there, one of the court staff (Tipstaff) walked from were the judge comes in, he walked down to "Sexy Leg".
I am sure I heard him say to her ‘We think it’s a guilty’. The Foreman of the jury stood up to give there
verdict, with a murder charge the jury can give a manslaughter verdict, so the judge ask for a verdict on the charge of murder,
the Foreman said ‘Not Guilty’. This did not make me feel good, I knew murder was out but manslaughter, that was
the one that had me worried. I waited for the Foreman to read the verdict on manslaughter, (and after what I thought I heard
the Tipstaff say), I bit my lip and waited, then the Foreman said ‘Not Guilty’
I was still numb at that stage, but the judge looking happier, and said ‘Mr Foreman you are free to go’. That
was the first time I was referred to as Mr Foreman, rather than "The Accused" or "The Prisoner", after the Judge said ‘Mr
Foreman you are free to go’, I turned to leave the dock. The security officer next to me said ‘Good luck mate’,
I was going out the way I walked in. All week I had been wondering were the door behind me led to. The security staff used
it to come and go, so I imagine in goes down to the cells, it must be a bit like a ant’s tunnel. Before I could get
out of the dock my sister had somehow, (I still don’t now how), she was sitting in the public gallery on one of the
wooden benches, on the far side of Michael and Gary and her husband Daryl). Somehow she flew over all of them and run over
to me, she hugged me so tight I thought I would stop breathing. Gary had to take us outside so the court could continue, the
judge still had to thank and dismiss the jury.
Out in the lobby of the supreme court reports were all go, they were onto there news room ringing the verdict through.
To say my family was happy is an understatement, it was only minuets after the jury’s decision, Daryl said ‘Your
mobile phone is here, and there’s a call for you. It was Margaret from the Caltex service station, she was happy, and
glad that it was over, and happy it had turned out the right way. I asked ‘How did you find out so fast ? she said ‘The
TV station had broken into their normal program to do a live cross to the court for the verdict’. Then Gary said ‘The
TV and other media out the front, and they want you to say something to them’. He said ‘I will do most of the
talking for you, don’t worry about it’. I had got used to the TV cameras in my face during the day. They really
do get close to you with the cameras and microphones, but I had not been in front of the cameras at night with their bright
lights. Gary had the right idea, he had sun glasses on, I feel like a moth, stunned by the lights. There were TV reporters
and radio reporters plus the newspapers as well, all shouting different question at me at she same time.
I had just waited four hours for twelve men and women to decide my future, I was in no state to even know what day of the
week it was. So with my family I left the supreme court for the last time, with all the media behind me with their lights
I had played the legal game, the jury had given me a unanimous ‘Not Guilty’ of anything, but here it is eight
years later and I still have nightmares every night, and my post traumatic shock is so bad, that bad that my doctors have
me on a disability pension.
We all went down to Mum’s house, and sat around the big kitchen table, we were all there except my brother who could
not get time off from his job and was also looking after their kids while Chris was in Adelaide. Chris said ‘I need
a drink’, she went to the fridge and got out the bottle of Ben Ene wine she had bought earlier. I said ‘I need
one too’, so we all ended up with a glass. Daryl said’ I think we need some more wine’, I was starting to
shake all over now, I only drink beer as a rule, but I said ‘ You better get a couple of those’. Daryl went off,
up to the local hotel, the Ramsgate in Henley Square. While he was away Mum and the girls were making some light snacks for
us all, when he got back we all topped up our glasses. Including my seventy two year old Mum, then my sister said, ‘We
should toast the jury, they have done their job correctly, so we toasted the jury. Then someone suggested we should toast
judge Lander, so we did, then we toasted Michael David QC. By now the wine was getting low so good old Daryl went off with
Chris back to the Ramsgate Hotel. When Darly and Chris got back they were giggling, they told us the barman at the hotel had
asked it they had won the Lotto or something.
Now it was Gary Cappola’s turn for the toast, by the end we were toasting every man and his dog, that was the best
night in eight months.
I had to face the firearms charges after the murder trial, the thing that gets me is that while I was charged with a breech
of my firearms licence, for having my registered Berretta pistol (unloaded) with me on the night of the robbery. (I later
pleaded guilty to this charge in the Magistrates court and was fined fifteen hundred dollars and had a life ban imposed on
me, I am now not able to own or use a firearm). However Ms Vanstone QC. for the Crown had in her possession the pistol and
the bullets, as evidence. My sister told me she had seen the pistol in Ms Vanstone’s bag, as she sat in court. That
means when she walked outside into Victoria Square in the middle of the city of Adelaide to have a smoke, in her handbag was
a Berretta semi-auto with live rounds. If her handbag was snatched by some criminal they would have had themselves a new and
better weapon to use in their next crime.
If you think that is bad, is it true that Ms Vanstone would walk down one of the main streets of Adelaide with my little
Berretta in her bag.
After the murder verdict Chris went back to Darwin, about a month later I talked my sister into going up to Darwin to have
a holiday with Chris, Garry and the kids. On the plane to Darwin I told Jen I was not going back to Adelaide, I told her I
had worked all my life since I was fourteen and the trial had cleaned out all my bank books, I decided there was no reason
to go back, I would stay in Darwin. Jen said ‘Are you sure ? ’ I said ‘Yes, I have thought about it a lot’.
When we got to Darwin I told Chris I would like to stay with them for a year or so, this way I could find a job, somewhere
to live and I would just be able to take my time doing it.
My sister Jen stayed for just one week, I had never seen her look so relaxed, away from the stress of a growing family.
I enjoyed driving her around Darwin in a car Chris had that she wasn’t using at the time, I made a good tour guide.
After my sister went back to Adelaide I just took it easy, lazing around the house and taking the odd swim in their pool.
I got a part time job as a filler in a supermarket, I worked a few nights a week, it was good for me at the supermarket. They
had air-conditioning and I got to have a paid break half way through the shift, I was the oldest one there, most were uni
students, not a bad bunch of people but. as well as working in the supermarket my sister in law, Chris gave me some work with
her company. She has a merchandising business covering Darwin and the other areas in the "TOP End", most of the time she had
me filling Pepsi, who are one of her clients.
Just before midnight one night I received a phone call from my sister back in Adelaide. She told me Mum had been taken
to hospital with a suspected heart attack, she hold me they had taken mum to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. I said to her firmly
‘ That’s the hospital where Dad died, Mum can not stand the place, she has private health cover, get her out of
there’. Jen rang again about 2 am to tell me she had been told the doctors had worked out Mum WAS having a heart attack,
and they would be moving her to Ashford Private Hospital, there was some problem with some piece of equipment they needed
that was not working at Q.E.H. but they would have the gear they needed at Ashford. After I hung up the phone I sat down in
Garry’s lounge room in Darwin and said to myself, ‘If mum dies I will stay in Darwin, if she lives she will need
someone to look after her, so I will go back to Adelaide’. I had lived with her for so long it would not be right to
stay in Darwin, now she is not well.
I had bought a cheap airline ticket so I would have to wait a week to get a flight back to Adelaide, I just had to wait
to see what would happen with mum. My sister phoned the following night to tell us the doctors had operated on Mum, and ‘It
had gone well", the doctors had said it would be a week or so before we knew if she would be OK. So I said goodbye to Darwin,
my brother and his family, and walked onto the aeroplane to head back to Adelaide.
Daryl picked me up at the airport in Adelaide and took me home, to my surprise Mum was up and about like nothing had happened.
Of cause I was happy that she was OK, but unhappy to be back in Adelaide again. I went back to my old tow truck again, after
a month or so I thought I had picked up Ross River virus from the Tropical city of Darwin. I started to become physically
weaker, I was finding it harder to push the cars onto my truck. I even replaced the steering box on the truck because I was
finding it harder and harder to turn the wheel, when I looked at the old box it was OK , nothing wrong with it. I went to
my local doctor and told him my symptoms, he said it sounded like post traumatic shock. I said ‘What a lot of rubbish!,
I’m sick it’s not shock’. So the doctor said he would take some blood and have it ‘Checked for the
lot’, ‘Come back and see me next week, I will have the results by then’. A week later I went back expecting
him to tell me I had Ross River or some such thing, to my surprise he told me the test results showed no virus, all my cholesterol
was good , no diabetes and no sign of cancer. He told me he still believed it was post traumatic shock, he said that with
the shooting and then eight months of waiting to see if I would get life in goal was too much for my system. He then told
me I should give up work to let my body heal itself, I told him I did not believe him. ‘It’s not post traumatic
shock, I am sick!’ then I left his office in a huff.
I went back to work but it was no good, I remember one day in the middle of winter I had a flat tyre on the truck, it was
one of the back inside duel tyres so I drove back to the depot to change it. I was half way through changing it when the boss,
seeing how bad I looked got one of his drivers to do it for me. I was sweating like a horse, and it was a very cold day. After
that Bob asked me to work in the phone room instead of driving, I was stuck in to the phones for about fourteen months, but
in the end I could not handle the stress. I have not had a good nights sleep in four years, although I did what I had to do
that night I can not change the fact the little bastard is dead. I am a hard man, but I am not a mean man. Despite the hell
I am still going through, if I was there again I would do the same thing, I guess. It seams to me the only ones to loose are
Margaret and myself, my lawyers got all the money.
Michael David QC. is now Justice David of the supreme court, my barrister, Gary Capolla has better chambers, the Channel
9 news crew who took the footage at the service station that night received an award for the coverage. The woman reporter
from the Advertiser received an award for her coverage of my trial and the newspaper received an award as well, and the government
got the message through to the people of South Australia, that you don’t arm yourself to defend yourself. Going back
after the shooting but before I was charged with murder I had a meeting with Keith Tidswell and Gary Coppolla in Keith’s
office were Gary said that my QC. Mr David told him at that time before I was charged that he did not won’t me to be
seen to have the public backing of the Sporting Shooters. Mr David said that it might have a influence on the D.P.P to charge
me. But the day after my trial on the nightly news there was footage of Sporting Shooters staff on the phones taking donations
for my defence cost, I have never received any money from the Sporting shooters.