© Michael Shelford 2019
The French sailor, Pierre Desire, didn’t have a very good time of it in Melbourne. In 1902 he was released from Pentridge Prison, after serving a 12 month sentence for burglary, and decided that he’d best get his finances sorted by breaking into another place. In fact, he thought he may as well start in the suburb in which he’d just been released: Coburg.
He was rummaging through some drawers in the front bedroom of a house, when he was surprised by the occupant, who promptly smacked him over the head with a baton. The occupant was Desire’s former warder from Pentridge Prison. Of all the rotten luck. The judge must have thought that Desire missed his former overseer and sent him back to Pentridge for another 3 years.
Michael Shelford is a writer who specialises in Australian true crime. He is currently completing a book on Melbourne's crime scene c1890's to 1920's. He is also the creator and guide for the walking tour company Melbourne Historical Crime Tours.