Sandy Young and his brother – Dramatic evidence in court


February 19, 1916
The first detailed account of the shooting tragedy in which Sandy Young, a former famous Scottish footballer, stands accused of the of his brother, reached Liverpool to-day.

It will be remembered that Sandy Young, the Scottish internationalist player, of Everton, ‘Spurs, and Manchester City, is charged with murdering his brother John in Tongala, Australia.

Alexander Young, in the course of a statement to the police, said: –
“I went with the gun shoot him. He said, ‘Go on,” and I shot him. I tried to blow my brains out. I have heard my brother’s statement. It is true about the shooting.”

Both brothers were treated for gun-shot wounds in the same hospital. John died, but Alexander lived, and was finally committed, the trial being due on April 29.

Mr. Sawyers appeared for Alexander, and Mr. A.J. Mitchell for the relatives of the deceased. Superintendent Dungey, of Bendigo, conducted the prosecution.

Widow’s narrative
Mrs. Young, widow of John Young, said she came to Australia with her husband in 1911 from Scotland. Her husband’s brother later came to Australia, and afterwards the brothers nominated their sister and her husband, Geo. And Mrs. Buchanan, to come out. There had always been friction between the two brothers.

On the week before the tragedy there was a dispute between John and Alexander regarding the latter’s green food for cattle. About that time Alexander appeared to have been drinking,

When she arrived at the milking shed John said his brother was not there. Shortly afterwards she heard a gunshot. In the paddock she saw her husband lying on the ground, and in reply to a question he said that Alexander had come out after she left.

Witness remarked – “I wish I had not gone now.”
He husband replied – “Thank goodness you did, or you would have been lying here too.”

Brothers and threats
Thomas Lyons, bailiff, said that on November 13 he met John Young at Tongala, and went with him to Alexander’s place. Alexander said he had spend £400 on John’s block, and had not as much as a stroke of a pen to show for it.

After John had gone, Alexander said to witness, “I cannot stop, I am afraid John will murder me.”

Witness spoke to John in the cowshed, and was going away, when John said, “Don’t go. I am afraid Alexander will come out and shoot me.”

Both men were quite sober, but were heated.

“Get help and save him”
Mary Hudson, residing with her husband at Togala, opposite Alexander Young’s block, said that on December 1 she went to Alexander Young’s house for water.

Alexander’s face was bleeding, and she thought the men had been shooting at each other. Alexander asked her to save John’s life, and not to bother about him.

Witness suggested getting help, and he agreed, saying, “Yes, get help as quickly as you can, and save him.”

George Chenshalls said Alexander said he was provoked, and showed a lump on his head, and complained of his arm being skinned. He added that he would give himself up to the police, and that it would be a case for the gallows.

Brother-in-Law’s evidence
George Buchanan, brother-in-law of the deceased, said there were disputes between the brothers about business. In August John lifted a stick which to strike Alexander, and witness intervened.

Constable Dainty gave evidence that John told him that on the morning of the affair he was sitting milking a cow, when his brother said, “I am going to shoot you.”

He jumped up and faced him, and said, “Put the gun away. You are only trying to frighten me.”
Alexander fired at him, and said, “That’s you now, and I am going to do for myself.”

Mr. Sawyers said there was evidence which he could produce, but he did not intend doing so at present.

Alexander Young wished to give evidence, but he advised him not to.

The Coroner found John Young had died from shock and hemorrhage, the result of gunshot wounds inflicted by Alexander Young, who was committed to trial at Chepperton.
(Source: Sunday Post: February 20, 1916)

Sandy Young in 1916 (Photograph: Public Record Office Victoria).
Sandy Young's mugshot

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