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Incident in Bishop Avenue



From - The Adelaide Advertiser
Saturday 20th December 1969 - Page Three

Girl Dies In Knife Fray
by police reporter Brett Bayly

A 19-year-old girl was stabbed to death and a woman and her son were injured when a man went berserk in a house in Bishop Avenue, Somerton Park, yesterday
The man, 24, then turned a knife he was wielding on himself and inflicted serious wounds

Late last night police were guarding a man at the Royal Adelaide Hospital
He was in a critical condition after extensive surgery

The dead girl, a Victorian, had not been named by detectives, who took possession of a house knife with a five inch blade

Mrs J.A. Roneberg, 51, of Bishop Avenue, Somerton Park, was admitted to the Royal Adelaide Hospital in a serious condition with head injuries
Her son, John Roneberg, 20, was discharged from the hospital after treatment for minor injuries

The dead girl and a man had been living at the Roneberg's house in Bishop Avenue for about eight days since arriving from Victoria
When the Ronebergs discovered the two were not married, they arranged for the girl to return to Victoria

It is understood that Mrs Roneberg was helping the girl to pack yesterday afternoon when the man went berserk
John Roneberg was attacked with a large leather bound bottle, and then Mrs Roneberg when she went to her son's assistance
They escaped from the house, leaving the man and girl inside

When police arrived about 3.00pm they found the girl's body in a pool of blood just inside the front door

Five police cars and three St John ambulances were sent to the house and the man, Mrs Roneberg and John Roneberg were taken to hospital

Mr Roneberg and another son, Terry, were working at Mr Roneberg's service station on Brighton Road

Mr and Mrs Roneberg were allowing the couple to stay at their house while Mr Roneberg was repairing the couple's car which had broken down
They had told Mr Roneberg they were on their honeymoon and were travelling to the West Coast

From - The Adelaide Advertiser
Tuesday 6th January 1970 - Page Four

On Murder Charge

A 25-year-old Victorian appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court yesterday charged with the murder of a 19-year-old girl at Somerton on December 19

David Walter Joyce, driver, of Huxtable Road, Upper Packenham, is charged with having killed Cynthia Ann Burrows, of Victoria

Mr D.F. Wilson, CSM, remanded Joyce without bail until January 19
Joyce was not represented, and did not seek bail

From - The Adelaide News
Saturday 31st January 1970

Murder Case Opened

Allegations that a 25-year-old driver stabbed to death a girl he brought with him from Victoria were made by the Crown in the Adelaide Magistrates Court yesterday

David Walter Joyce of Huxtable Road, Upper Pakenham, Victoria, was charged with having at Somerton on December 19, murdered Cynthia Ann Burrows, 19, of Victoria

The preliminary hearing is before Messrs T. Turner and W. White

Mr B.J. Jennings, of the Crown Law Department, prosecuting, said police alleged that the girl had been stabbed to death in a house in Bishop Avenue, Somerton

He said that she and the defendant had arrived from Melbourne early in December and had stayed at a Glenelg motel
They had been having car trouble and when, on December 7, they had seen two men working at an Anzac Highway service station, they had taken their car there
One of the men, the proprietor, Mr John Roneberg, had later given a quote for repairs and Joyce, introducing the girl as his wife, had said that they were on their honeymoon

The car needed costly repairs and the couple had been invited by the Ronebergs to stay at their Somerton home to help them
On December 9 the couple had moved in and occupied a bedroom

Later Joyce had admitted that he and the girl were not married and it had been decided she should go back to Melbourne

The Crown alleged that while alone with the girl the defendant had stabbed her to death and inflicted injuries on himself
It was further alleged that certain of the girl's injuries were received while she was defending herself

Mr K.V. Borick, who appeared with Mr J.L. Abbott for Joyce, told the justices before the hearing that there had been publicity about justices and not magistrates hearing serious committal cases
In his opinion magistrates should hear such cases but, in view of the qualifications of the justices sitting, he was satisfied for the case to go before them
Mr Jennings said he concurred

The hearing was adjourned until Monday

From - The Adelaide Advertiser
Friday 13th March 1970 - Page Three

Sentenced To Death

After a retirement of nearly two hours, a Surpreme Court jury yesterday found David Walter Joyce, 25, of Huxtable Road, Upper Pakenham, Victoria, guilty of having murdered his girl friend Cynthia Ann Burrows, 19, formerly of Melbourne, by stabbing her at Somerton Park on December 19

Mr Justice Chamberlain passed the death sentence on Joyce

The Senior Assistant Crown Prosecutor, Mr K.P. Duggan, prosecuted
Mr K.V. Borick, with Mr J.R.D. Martin, for Joyce

The crown alleged that Joyce stabbed the girl ten times with a knife and then tried to take his own life

From - The Adelaide Advertiser
Monday 18th May 1970 - Page Seven

Stay Of Execution Sought

A stay of execution of convicted murderer David Walter Joyce, 25, will be sought in the SA Supreme Court this week

Joyce, driver, of Huxtable Road, Pakenham, Victoria, is due to be hanged at Adelaide Gaol at 8.00am on Friday for the murder of Cynthia Ann Burrows, 19, at Somerton Park on December 19 last year

Mr K.V. Borick, counsel for joyce, said last night the plea for a stay of ececution would be lodged as soon as the papers could be prepared, possibly today

Mr Borick said that leave to appeal to the High Court of Australia against Joyce's conviction for murder would also be lodged this week
A similar appeal to the SA Court of Criminal Appeal was dismissed on Friday

Joyce was sentenced to death by Mr Justice Chamberlain on March 12 after a jury had found him guilty of having stabbed Miss Burroes to death

Mr A.K. Sangster, QC, with Mr Borick and Mr J.R.D, Martin, appeared for Joyce in the appeal

The last person hanged in Sa was Glen Sabre Valance, 21, who was ececuted at the Adelaide Gaol on November 24, 1964, for the murder of Richard Strang

From - The Adelaide Advertiser
Wednesday 20th May 1970 - Page Twenty

Joyce Not To Hang

A special meeting of the Executive Council yeaterday commuted the death sentence imposed on convicted murderer David Walter Joyce

Joyce was to be hanged at the Adelaide Gaol on Friday
The Executive Council commuted the sentence to life imprisonment with hard labor

Joyce, driver, of Huxtable Road, Pakenham, Victoria, was sentenced to death in March by Mr Justice Chamberlain

A jury of six men and six women had found him guilty of having murdered his girl friend Cynthia Ann Burrows, 19, at Somerton Park on December 19
The jury found Joyce guilty of stabbing the girl to death

The SA Court of Criminal Appeal on Friday dismissed an appeal by Joyce

The commutation of the sentence was announced by the Attorney General (Mr Millhouse) who said this action and others which had preceded it did not mean that the death sentence was to be abolished
His personal view was that some crimes were so obnoxious, so atrocious, that the only appropriate penalty was death

Close Study

The Government had considered very carefully the facts of the case, the views of the court in giving judgment on appeal and also the advice of the trial judge

Asked how long Joyce would stay in gaol, Mr Millhouse said that would depend on the prisoner's attitude and how the Parole Board viewed his behaviour
A life sentence might involve from twelve to fifteen years gaol, and in some cases a life sentence meant literally that

Mr Millhouse said he felt each case should be considered in its own setting even though this was a heavy responsibilty for the Executive Council
While he would rather that the final decision was taken by the courts, the law provided that this was a matter for the Executive Council

Nowhere in the world had there been a successful formulation of an alternative which would preserve the death penalty only for certain cases

The last person hanged in SA was Glen Sabre Valance in 1964

The last prisoner hanged in Australia was gaol escapee Ronald Ryan at Pentridge Gaol. Melbourne, on February 3, 1967, for the murder of a prison guard


A note from Geoff

This incident happened almost fourty years ago

Memories have a habit of playing tricks !! ...... but I am 'almost positive' that there was another article in which Dad and Mum were interviewed

I sort of remember a headline along the lines of ... "Christian Act Results in Tragedy" ... but maybe not !!

Special Thanks to Sharon Polkinhorne of the Adelaide Advertiser

Sharon researched these articles and sent me photocopies of the original newspaper pages
The layout of some of them were not suitable for scanning and uploading to a web page,
plus a few were dark and a little difficult to read
This is why I typed each one out ... word for word as they appeared in The Advertiser and The News