6 April 1844 – John Gavin

The first European to be executed in Western Australia was put to death in 1844. Pretty apt as this area became the dumping ground for criminals a mere year later.

Western Australia became a British penal colony in 1849 and a settler in the run-up to that was hanged for murder. John Gavin was just 15 years old when he was found guilty of killing another boy.

Anger mismanagement

Gavin had taken an axe to a fellow 15-year-old by the name of George Pollard, who was his boss’ son. Apparently he’d hacked him to death in anger…as the boy lay sleeping.

Just three days after he was sentenced, Gavin was strung up at Freemantle Prison for his crime.

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