Mr Loomes is inquiring into the deaths of Mrs Margaret Chandler, 29, and Dr Gilbert Bogle, 38, a C.S.I.R.O. physicist, who were found dead near Fullers Bridge on January 1.
End Of Inquest Next Week
They were guests at a New Year’s Eve party at the home of Mr and Mrs Kenneth Nash at Chatswood, and left about 4.20 a.m
The inquest is expected to end early next week.
Chandler said he was a C.S.I.R.O. experimental officer engaged in the field of solar radiometry (the science of measuring the total visible radiation from the sun).
He said police came to his home at 1 p.m. on January 1 and questioned him about the whereabouts of his wife.
[Earlier, Sergeant A. S. Andrews, of Chatswood, told the inquest he discovered Mrs Chandler’s body about 10.55 a.m. on January 1, and leading detectives were immediately consulted.]
Chandler said the policeman who came to his home at 1 p.m. had gone with him to Burwood police station for 15 or 30 minutes and subsequently to Chatswood police station.
It was in the Chatswood police station, between 3.30 and 4 p.m., that he was first told his wife had been found dead.
Chandler said he had known Dr Bogle professionally for about five or six years, and socially for 10 days.
Asked by the coroner if he regarded Dr Bogle as a friend of his, Chandler said: “No. I had a very high regard for him as a professional man, and I also knew him as a charming and pleasant fellow.”
Mrs Chandler had first met Dr Bogle at a party on December 21.
The coroner: Yet you were quite satisfied to allow your wife to go home, from the party at the Nashs’ residence with Dr Bogle?
Left Party Alone
Chandler said he left the Nashs’ party alone about 4.10 a.m. and sat in his car smoking a cigarette before driving away.
“I felt I might have inadvertently left Margaret in the lurch and that she might have decided after all to accompany me home,” he said.
After waiting for two to five minutes he was convinced she was going with Dr Bogle.
Chandler recalled his movements up to 10.30 a.m., when he returned to his home and found his wife absent.
He said he thought Mrs Chandler had returned home earlier and “probably gone for a drive” with Dr Bogle.
Two things he noticed in the house made him think his wife had been home and gone out—a blind which was up and a small flower in a vase.
Chandler said he had no reason to be alarmed at her absence and he made no inquiries.
Asked if he believed his wife could have taken her own life, Chandler said: “Not really.”
Rear Windows Blacked Out
After completing his evidence, Chandler agreed to be photographed “quarterface on” outside Central Court of Petty Sessions.
His barrister, Mr K. Murray, stood at the side entrance to the court and told a large group of photographers: “Will you please not photograph him from the front.
“On that basis, it’s a deal.”
While camera shutters clicked and movie cameras whirred, Chandler came down a flight of steps, and walked briskly through the courtyard to Central Lane.
He made no attempt to cover his face as he had done on previous occasions.
Suddenly, one photographer appeared from behind a concrete post and confronted him front-on.
Chandler climbed into the back seat of a vintage car, driven by a heavily bearded friend, Mr Victor Smith.
The rear windows of the car were blacked out with cloth.
During the luncheon adjournment yesterday, more than 100 people formed one of the longest queues ever seen at the courthouse.
Several women sipped cartons of steaming soup and tea, and ate sandwiches and chips.
Senior Constable G. Mitchell was nearly knocked off his feet when he unlocked the doors of the public gallery, which has seating for only 50 people.
Among the spectators in the gallery were women wearing sunglasses and three girls holding hockey sticks.