Shark Arm Case - Coronial Inquest

Coronial Inquest

The coronial inquest into Smith's death began on 12 June 1935 at the City Coroner's Court led by Mr. E.T. Oram, the same day Holmes was found dead in his car with gunshot wounds to his chest. Although Holmes was the inquest's star witness, he was never offered police protection before his testimony could be heard.

The lawyer serving Brady, Clive Evatt KC (1900–1984), claimed to the coroner that there was not enough substance to begin the inquest. Evatt argued that an arm "did not constitute a body", and that Jim Smith, minus his arm, could still be alive. The case has remained unsolved to this day.

The inquest's most important witness, Reginald Holmes, was then dead; the case against Patrick Brady fell apart due to lack of evidence. The Shark Arm Murders suggests that Jim Smith was killed by Patrick Brady on the orders of gangland figure Edward Frederick (Eddie) Weyman, who was arrested while attempting to defraud a bank with a forged cheque in 1934 and later during a bank robbery, apparently due to information Jim Smith had given to the police. Smith had been exposed as a police informant, and therefore would have been a target for assassination.

The police charged Patrick Brady with the murder of Jim Smith, although he was later found not guilty and acquitted. For the next 30 years, Patrick Brady steadfastly maintained that he was in no way connected to the murder of Jim Smith. He died at Concord Repatriation Hospital in Sydney on 11 August 1965.

The investigation into the murder of Jim Smith and his severed arm became legendary in Australia's legal history.

Read more about this topic:  Shark Arm Case

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