Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Ghosts of Kapunda - Duan Foik and the House of Ill-repute

Duan Foik and the House of Ill-repute

Kapunda 1882, a convicted thief, Mr Duan Foik, upon release from Adelaide Gaol, made his way to Kapunda on the last train from Adelaide.
The year before in November he had been sentenced to a prison term for assault and had served his time of two months, it would seem the entire time, plotting his revenge.
Upon his arrival in Kapunda, Mr Foik sought out the a local house in “Pug-town”, a house known locally as one of “ill-repute” run by a Mrs Floyd.
The local constable, Mr McNamara, upon hearing of Mr Foik's return also went to Mrs Floyds, to arrest Mr Foik on a charge of theft, for stealing a watch on his way back from Adelaide. He arrested Mr Foik and shackled him in “twitches”, and began the walk back to the local police station, but somehow, My Foik, slipped free of the restraints, and ran off into the night.
Constable McNamara pursued him, but another serious case in the main street of Kapunda, detained the constable for some time, as he was obliged to return to the police station, where he asked Lance-corporal Grant to accompany him to Pug town, as they neared the crossing, The two police officers heard scream of “Murder!” ring through the night air
When they got to Mrs Floyds, they saw the lady of the house lying on the ground, and Mr Foik lying on top of her. One of the girls of the house ran out and pulled Mr Foik from Mrs Floyd. The two officers quickly descended upon the man, only to find his throat cut, they called for someone to get a Doctor immediately.
Mrs Floyd, who was writhing in pain and nearing unconsciousness was found to have approximately 20 stab wounds all over her body, and she bleeding profusely.
Doctors Hamilton and Pentland arrived on the scene at 3am, they sent Foik, who's throat wound had partially severed his windpipe to the local hospital, but felt Mrs Floyd could not at this stage be moved due to the seriousness of her wounds. The two doctors worked on her into the night, and when they felt she could be moved, she too was taken to the local hospital.
The police began their investigation immediately and soon put together a picture of what they thought had happened.
Mr Foik was already known to Mrs Floyd, it was in fact her son-in-law Mr Cocking, that Duan Foik had assaulted the year before, and been sentenced and gaoled for.
It was presumed that at some time between 1am and 2am, Mr Foik made his way into the house, and into Mrs Floyds bedroom, where, with a simple pocket knife he kept upon his person, he began to stab her. The sheets were torn and there were pools of blood upon them and the bed.
It is thought, Mrs Floyd, fearing for her life, ran from the bedroom into the front yard screaming “Murder”, which in turn alerted the police officers to the situation. Before the police arrived, Mr Foik had come running out of the house, and began stabbing Mary Anne Floyd again, numerous times, falling upon her, and thinking he had killed, cut his own throat hopping to die and not have to face court for his crime
Foik remained at hospital under police guard, and on at least one occasion tried again to kill himself, eventually he was remanded in Adelaide, and returned to Kapunda only for court hearings.
Mrs Mary Ann Floyd eventually recovered from her wounds, although for a long while it was touch and go.

Mr Duan Foik, a coloured man, aged 23 years old was sentenced to life imprisonment in Adelaide Gaol on Friday 4th of August 1882

More about Kapunda coming soon!

© 2013 Allen Tiller

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