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CASE PROFILE – Dr George Duncan

Posted on 10/05/2021

University of Adelaide law lecturer, Dr George Duncan drowned on 10 May 1972 after being thrown into the River Torrens, along with another man – Roger James – by a group of men adjacent to the University foot bridge.

At that point in South Australia’s history, homosexuality was illegal. It was common for gay men to meet along the banks of the Torrens River, or “Number 1 beat” as it was then known.

On 5 February 1986 three former Vice Squad officers, Brian Hudson, Francis Cawley and Michael Clayton were charged with the manslaughter of Dr Duncan.

Cawley and Clayton eventually went to trial in 1988 but were both acquitted of the charges on 30 September after refusing to testify. Roger James also declined to identify his attackers.

A $200,000 reward remains on offer for information that leads to a conviction in this case.

 




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