7.5.2 Ritchie, Kenneth Nelson

Kenneth Nelson Ritchie, husband of Agnes Ritchie (as he was described in The Press) gave the following testimony at the July 16 Hearing:

Kenneth Nelson Ritchie was identified as the Caretaker of Victoria Park and husband of Agnes Ritchie.

After being summoned by his wife, he asked the girls where the accident had happened, but they seemed confused and could not tell him. He also asked them what had happened, and they said the mother had slipped and hit her head on a rock. The clothing of Juliet Hulme was covered in blood. One hand of Pauline Parker was smothered in blood and her face was spattered with blood.

He took Pauline Parker through the gap in the stone wall at the plantation and asked her again where accident had happened. She pointed vaguely down the plantation. Mr Ritchie went about 1/4 mile down the track with his assistant Eric McIlroy and found the body of the woman. She was dead and was on her back, her feet pointing up the hill.

"Her head was pretty well knocked about. There was blood all over the place and there was blood on the path. I saw the brick and the stocking which are shown in one of the photographs. I went back to the tearooms and telephoned the police. The ambulance arrived as I got to the top of the path.

The two accused seemed still agitated. I asked them to come into the sitting room and they did. The girl Hulme said: 'I wish daddy would come.' The ambulance driver and the police went down the track. Dr Hulme arrived, left his address with an ambulance driver, and took the accused away in his car."

The path where the body found was just clay, and there were no outcrops of rock anywhere nearby. At week-ends the paths were used a lot by the public, but not during the week; on a week day the spot where the body was found was a secluded one.

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