28["Divorce Court. Davis v Davis", The Argus (Melbourne), Friday 01 December 1911, page 5]

Divorce Court.

Davis v Davis.

Abraham Davis, 48 years of age, of Drummond-street, Carlton, Melbourne, business manager, sought a dissolution of his marriage with Sarah Davis, 40 years of age, on the ground of misconduct with J. M. Hattrick, of Sydney, commercial traveller, otherwise known as "Sandy," "Peter," or "Jack," and also on the ground of desertion. The parties were married on November 19, 1890, in the Synagogue, at East Melbourne, be the Rev. J. [?Lenzer].

Mr. L. S. Woolf (instructed by Mr. J. Woolf) appeared for the petitioner. The respondent and co-respondent entered appearances, but did not file any answer in the petition. Mr. J. R. McFarlan (instructed by Messrs. Blake and Riggall) watched the case for the co-respondent upon the questions of costs.

There were two children, 17 and 14 years of age.

Mr. Woolf said that in 1901, after prior disagreements, the husband and wife became reconciled. The petitioner went to England on business, and returned in 1903. There were further disagreements and reconciliations. In 1905 or 1906, the parties went to live in lodgings in Western Australia, where petitioner found certain letters secreted, and taxed his wife with the question, "Do you swear before our child's grave and your living parents that you are innocent?" Respondent said she was innocent, and petitioner gave her the benefit of the doubt. Marital relations were resumed. Petitioner submitted the letters to a lawyer and was informed that, while they showed indiscretion, they did not establish proof of misconduct. In 1908, petitioner brought his wife to Melbourne for medical advice, and afterwards himself returned to Western Australia. A little later respondent wrote and told petitioner that she was advised to take a trip to South Africa for her health's sake. Respondent, in spite of her husband's protests, left for South Africa with her brother, who was on a trip to Australia. On March 3 petitioner wrote to his wife to Africa, remonstrating with her for her disobedience. Respondent remained away for two years, until 1910, and, except for two letters, never communicated with her husband or children. In the meantime petitioner took other advice, and was told that references in the letters to "torrid kisses," double beds, the communication of the respondent's bedroom number to the co-respondent could only mean one thing.

Petitioner allowed his wife 6 a week, with an extra allowance for the children. When respondent arrived in Melbourne in 1910, a letter was handed her from her husband, asking who "Sandy" was and other pertinent questions relating to the man, the author of the compromising letters to the respondent. The daughter had gone away to her mother, but the boy had remained with his father. Respondent went to live with her daughter at Pott's Point, Sydney, and passed herself off as a widow and her daughter as her niece, and also accounted for Hattrick's presence by saying he was her business manager. On finding out about the real state of affairs, Mrs. Fuller, who kept the boarding house at Pott's Point, asked them to leave. From there they went to the Wentworth Hotel, and afterwards to North Sydney, where the pair were now living under the same roof. In 1911 it had been ascertained that Hattrick paid a number of cheques into Cecilie E. Davis's banking account. In 1905 the respondent, against her husband's wishes, went travelling with corsets for Sargood's, and the co-respondent first saw respondent in a train, and fell in love with her at first sight "in spite of the powder on her face," and not long after there was a question in a letter from co-respondent, asking respondent if she got the note he left for her in the toe of her shoe the morning she left Ararat.

Alice Fuller, who kept the boarding-house at Macleay street, Pott's Point, Sydney, gave evidence as to the co-respondent having engaged rooms for Mrs. Davis, Miss Davis and himself in March of this year, and identified the respondent and co-respondent from snapshot photographs produced.

After further evidence had been taken, the case was adjourned sine die.