Posted 30 March 2012 - 09:57 pm
Is this our boy?
The West Australian - Tuesday 26 January 1932
EX-R.F.C. OFFICER'S DEATH.
The Acting-Coroner (Mr. T. 'Y. A. Lang, PJtf.), conducted an inquest in the City Courthouse yesterday into the death of John Edward Arnott (35), a commission agent, who was formerly an officer of the Royal Flying Corps. Evidence disclosed that death was due to arsenical poison ing, but the Acting-Coroner was unable to find how or when it was administered. Sergeant Lynes examined the witnesses. Mr. C. E. Stacey (Government Toxi cologist) said thnt the contents of de ceased's stomach, which were sent to him from the Perth Hospital, were found to contain 11.2 grains of arsenic. Two grains were sufficient to cause death. Dr. John William Horan said that he first met deceased about two years ago, when he was coming to the State from Melbourne aboard the Karoola. He had frequently received friendly calls from him since then, and, about nine months ago, he asked witness to guarantee the pay ment of interest contributions on a loan of £175. On the night of December 4 last, witness was called to a house in Ord street, West Perth, to prescribe treatment for deceased, who was suffering from vomiting attacks. - Deceased refused to go to hospital, so witness ordered him doses of chlorodyne. Witness was again called to see deceased the next morning. He then summoned two other doctors for a consultation, after which deceased was removed to the Perth' Hospital. Late in the afternoon, witness advised deceased to have his affairs fixed up, and deceased said something like, 'Am I as bad as all that?' Witness replied: — 'You are very ill.' Mr. Mervyn McKnight, from whose home de ceased had been removed, was called to the hospital, and a will was drawn up. Later, witness heard that deceased had died. Witness had not the slightest idea that deceased was suffering from arsenical poisoning. The symptoms of this and pto maine poisoning were very much alike. Edward Clive Vickers, an indeit agent and business broker, said that he nad known deceased for about two years. Seven or eight months previously to his death, witness negotiated a loan of £175 for de ceased, which was to be repaid within two years, with interest at 20 per cent. Deceased said that he would be travelling about a good deal, so he appointed witness as his agent, with authority to receive war pension payments at the rate of about £42 a year. This money was sufficient to meet interest payments. No security was secured for the. loan, but deceased said that he had taken out an insurance policy for £250 owing to the fact that he was doing some flying. 'A Very Moody Man.' Miss Marjory McKnight, a school tea cher, residing in Ord-street, West Perth, said that deceased came to the State about two years ago, having been transferred from the Melbourne to the Perth office of T. M. Burke and Co., land agents. Owing to the depression, he lost his employment with the firm in April, 1930, and since then had only secured a few weeks work selling forestry bonds. He had visited the home of her people on many occasions. He was a very moody man. When his wife was on her way from the Eastern States to England, she called at deceased's request to see witness's people. His wife, de ceased had said, did not like living in Aus tralia. About 5.40 r-jn. on December 4. deceased called at the house and com plained of having been ill from vomiting attacks. He was asked to stay for tea, during which curried ejjgs were served, but he ate only a portion of bis meal. He mentioned . something about having had tinned salmon for lunch. During the even ing witness got a bottle of soda water for deceased to try to stop his vomiting, but the attacks continued. Deceased was very unwilling that a doctor should be called in, but this was done without his con currence. Dr. Horan prescribed treatment by chlorodyne. In the morning deceased could eat no breakfast and was eventually taken away to the Perth Hospital. Mervyn McKnight. solicitor, said that on two occasions after Dr. Horan's first visit, he endeavoured to administer chlo rodyne to deceased, according to the doc tor's directions, but deceased could not keep it down. On the following after noon, witness was called by Dr. Horan to the Perth Hospital, where he again saw deceased. Deceased said that he wan ted to draw up his will. He mentioned that he bad an equity in an insurance policy, and said that he wanted all his estate left to witness's sister. Doreen. Wit ness then drew up the will, which wassigned and witnessed by Dr. Horan. . 'I find,' said the Acting Coroner, in recording his finding, 'that deceased died on December 5 from arsenical poisoning, there being no evidence to show how the poison was administered.'