20[Coroner's Inquest (Thomas Darlington), Whim Creek, December 1911. State Records Office of Western Australia, Consignment 3631, Bundle 12: "Case 1 Rex v Seleno", Testimony of James Lachlan Oborn]


About 10 pm that night I was awakened by Seleno. Do not know exact timebut think it was before ten. I had been asleep & am not sure of time. Seleno said "Are you awake" I answered "Yes" I then struck a match and saw Seleno standing at head of my bead with no shirt on. Had trousers on. Not sure of color. No hat on. He had something which looked like a Singlet in his both hands. This was bloodstained. I noticed this by light of match. The blood was dripping from it. He did not try to conceal it. I noticed blood stains on his both hands as far elbows but did not notice any on body. Seleno said nothing with exception of asking Are you awake, Seleno stood there.


Had seen Cappelli with Knife in Camp on several occasions. Knife light colored handle with copper shackle through it. Saw Cappelli sharpening pocket knives on two or three occasions on an oil stone. Last time I saw Cappelli sharpen knife was about a week before Christmas. I asked him once what he was sharpening knife for and he replied "I sharpen it to look out for myself." Prisoners had an oil stone in camp which they used for sharpening their knives on. Do not remember seeing Seleno with a knife. Do not remember having seen knife produce in the Camp. Had never seen Cappelli wearing a coat similar the one produced. Remember seeing Seleno wearing grey felt hat similar to one produced.

Prisoners were camped on mine lease to keep out of the way of the unionists. Have never heard any of unionists threaten prisoners. Prisoners had told me they had been called Scabs & Blacklegs but never complained of assault. Only complained having been insulted.

Prisoners did not appear to be intoxicated when returned to camp on night of 23rd Inst. Did not notice any sign of drink with Seleno.


Have known these men Couple months. Been Camping with them about 2 months. They smoke. Seleno cigarettes. Cappelli smoked pipe. Cannot say what tobacco he smoked. Const Growden explained Cappelli smoked Capstan cut tobacco. Witness stated it was customary to cut tobacco with a blunt knife. There was therefore no apparent reason for prisoner to have been constantly sharpening knife.

Knew prisoners week or two prior to camping on mine lease. They were camped down by union hall prior to going to mine lease. Was not camped with them. Dont know if deceased was camped with them.

Jury./ Have never heard either of prisoners make any threats towards anyone who would call them Scabs or Blacklegs.

[signed] James Lachlan Oborn

[signed] Jos Caton Shelmerdine JP. DMO. Acting Coroner

knew Capelli as "Frank"

shared camp with prisoners

"Camp is very open structure situated on Whim Well Copper Mines about 70 yards from loco sheds."

significant comments about Seleno after event. photoed