Alfred Bennett Church of England Section 8 Row 20 Plot 1
18 August 1953
TRAGIC DEATH OF ORCHARDIST
Late last Saturday afternoon, Alfred Hilton Bennett, 51 years, a well known Mangrove Mountain orchardist, was found dead, with a gunshot wound in the region of his heart.
The tragedy occurred on his property, about half a mile from his home. There are no suspicious circumstances, state Gosford police.
Detective Cox, who carried out an investigation, was told that at about 2.30 pm Mr Bennett informed his wife and elder son that he was going to take a walk down to the cauliflower patch and would take his dog and gun with him as he might get a rabbit on the way.
The son left half an hour later to play tennis and when he returned about 5.30, he found that his father was still away from home. The son went in search of his father and eventually found his body on a bush track with a double barrelled shotgun lying beside him.
From an investigation on the spot. Detective Cox believes that Mr Bennett tripped over a fallen tree across the track and in his fall one barrel of the gun was accidentally discharged.
The subsequent Inquest found,
11 September 1953
ORCHARPIST SHOT NEAR HOME TRAGIC DISCOVERY OF BODY BY HIS SON
A son who went looking for his orchardist father at Mangrove Mt on August 15 found him dead, victim of the accidental discharge of a 12-gauge shotgun.
The District Coroner (Mr. C. J. Staples) returned this finding at a Magisterial inquiry at Gosford on Wednesday into the death of Alfred Hilton Bennett, 51, of Wiseman’s Ferry Road, Mangrove Mt. evidence at the inquiry disclosed that on August 15, Bennett left his home at 2.30 pm, accompanied by his dog.
He took the shot-gun with him, telling his wife he intended shooting a rabbit for the dog. When he did not return by 5 pm, his son, William, went to look for him.
TRIPPED ON LOG
The son found his father’s body about 300 yards from the house with a gunshot wound in the chest. Const. K. A. Rhodes, of Gosford police, said Bennett I had apparently tripped on a log, discharging the gun when he fell.
Bennett’s widow. Iris Melba Bennett, told the Coroner that Bennett had had no financial or domestic worries. ‘The home was as happy as could be wished for,’ she added.