First published: November 30, 2011
A COUSIN of a man supposedly present when Bronwynne Richardson was murdered broke his silence after 37 years and revealed vital information to investigating police, an inquest in Albury was told yesterday.
Terrence James Hulm said he had remained silent after a threat by Ross Eames, who has been named as a person of interest in the 1973 murder.
Mr Eames told Mr Hulm he was present when Ms Richardson, 17, was murdered on October 12 with her body found two days later at Horseshoe Lagoon west of Albury.
The conversation took place in the backyard of his aunt's premises with Mr Eames saying: "If you open your mouth, you will end up like her," deputy state coroner Carmel Forbes heard yesterday.
Ms Forbes was told Mr Hulm became aware in May last year that police involved with the cold case unit were re-investigating Ms Richardson's murder and there was a reward.
He left a message with police at Albury and made a statement in August last year. He gave Det-Sgt Steven Morgan more information last week.
Mr Hulm said yesterday he has never forgotten the threat made to him.
"It still has a big effect on me," he said.
Mr Eames nominated someone named "Brownie" as being involved in the murder, saying he had picked up a rock and hit Ms Richardson on the head.
Mr Hulm said he was told "they raped her", but he could not remember Mr Eames stipulating names.
"Brownie choked her after that and then she died," Mr Hulm said he was told.
"They tied her up and chucked her in the water."
Counsel assisting the coroner Warwick Hunt said to Mr Hulm: "That is material that you have
effectively kept to yourself for years."
"Yes," Mr Hulm replied.
He said he was aged about 14 when the threat was made to him by Mr Eames, who was the same age.
Mr Hulm told solicitor Mark Cronin, who is representing Geoffrey Charles Brown, that he had kept the information to himself for all these years for fear of repercussions.
Mr Cronin said to Mr Hulm that in his statement made last year he had implicated Mr Eames and Mr Hulm and replied: "Yes."
Mr Cronin also suggested there was no reason for failing to give complete details at that time to police.
But Mr Hulm said he had feared Mr Eames for 37 years.
"You heard about the reward. That's why you are here today," Mr Cronin said to Mr Hulm.
"Not all of it," he replied.
Mr Hunt told Ms Forbes Mr Eames had received a subpoena to attend, was present on Monday and had apparently returned to South Australia.
- Ross Eames allegedly said "they tied her up and chucked her in the river".
'You'll end up like her'
PAST COVERAGE OF BRONWYNNE RICHARDSON MURDER:
2011 Year in Review: Looking back on the 2011 inquest
2011 inquest:Family lives in hope that justice will be done
2011 inquest: Max Martin released from jail the same day
2011 inquest:The years haven't healed mother's broken heart
2011 inquest: Cousin Peter Newy was probed by police over death
2011 inquest:"Bronnie, you're going to die"