Elizabeth Margaret BROMFIELD

Elizabeth, aged 27 years has been missing since September 26th, 1984 from the NSW Central Coast.

Acquitted pair sue for compensation, claiming murdered woman alive

By Malcolm Brown - SMH
December 28 2002
 

Two men who were acquitted in 1990 of murdering a woman whose body was never found will jointly apply for compensation for wrongful arrest, prosecution and imprisonment.

Thomas William Hudson, of North Wyong, and Bradley Scott Morgan, of Melbourne, will claim in February that the prosecution came about as a result of police coercion and that the alleged victim, Elizabeth Margaret Bromfield, is not dead.

Instead, they say, Ms Bromfield, who was 31 at the time of her disappearance in late 1984, and an informant to the now disgraced former Gosford drug unit detective Wayne Eade, is in a location known to police.

Mr Hudson and Mr Morgan are applying for leave to make the application because it falls outside the time limit for an application of that type.

Mr Morgan told the Herald he was only now putting in his statement of claim. But he had been approached by the NSW Crown Solicitor's Office about what he was going to say. "I told them to shove it," he said. "I believe I was being harassed."

Mr Hudson has claimed he and Mr Morgan were framed by police for murder. According to the prosecution brief at the time, Mr Hudson ordered Mr Morgan to give Ms Bromfield a "hot shot" of heroin. The two were alleged to have dismembered her body with a chainsaw and buried it under the F3 freeway, where Mr Hudson was then working.

According to Mr Hudson, that allowed police to achieve two objectives: to give Ms Bromfield a perfect cover for disappearing, and to "get" Mr Hudson.

Last month the Crown Solicitor's Office inquired into the whereabouts of 17 people involved in the case.

Two of the people the office's investigator contacted were former police officers. In his affidavit, the investigator said he had spoken to the men on October 23 and both had declined to make a statement. One had said he was retired and would prefer not to make a comment. The other had said the matter was "so old" and he would "prefer not to be involved".

Mr Hudson told the Herald that in 1989 a group of police had coerced Mr Morgan into making a statement confessing to murdering Ms Bromfield and implicating Mr Hudson. At his trial, Mr Morgan rejected his statement and gave an alibi that he had been at Moree at the time of Ms Bromfield's disappearance.

Mr Morgan was acquitted, but according to Mr Hudson, police "got to" Mr Morgan and told him to give evidence against Mr Hudson or he would be charged with other offences. Mr Morgan agreed to give the evidence implicating Mr Hudson.

Mr Hudson spent nine months in custody awaiting trial, but at his trial in the NSW Supreme Court on May 15 and 16, 1990, his counsel, Winston Terracini, pointed out that the evidence Mr Morgan was giving was totally at odds with the evidence Mr Morgan had given in his own trial.

Mr Hudson said there were other contradictions. One was that a female witness had identified the two men from police mug shots five years after she purported to have seen them just once at the Lakes Hotel, The Entrance.

That occasion, September 26, 1984, is when Ms Bromfield is said to have disappeared. It placed Mr Morgan in the area at the time but was highly questionable given the feat of memory that was required. Apart from that, Mr Hudson said, he did not meet Mr Morgan till 1985.

Mr Hudson said he only found out later, in a chat with a former policeman, that Ms Bromfield was alive and at a location known to police.

"I made contact with police internal affairs but I was told that if I went ahead with my complaint I would be charged with creating a public mischief."

Ms Bromfield was officially listed as a missing person in 1987. Mr Hudson started looking for her. But he found himself blocked all along the way and believes her name was removed from the missing persons list in 2000 because the media was showing an interest.

Greg Walsh, a solicitor who is acting for Mr Hudson, said his office had been in contact with some witnesses in preparation for the application by his client and Mr Morgan.

 

Body of evidence

By Kate McClymont - SMH
July 12, 2003

Central Coast rouseabout Thomas William Hudson, 56, who has long claimed the woman he is meant to have murdered nearly 20 years ago is alive and kicking and probably in the Witness Protection Program, is to have his day in court on Tuesday. Giving evidence on his behalf will be his former co-accused Bradley Scott Morgan.

Hudson is applying in the NSW Supreme Court for compensation for malicious prosecution and false imprisonment.

He and Morgan were alleged to have killed Elizabeth Margaret Bromfield, 31, on September 26, 1984. The pair supposedly chopped her up with a chainsaw and buried her under the F3 Freeway where Hudson was then working. Hudson and Morgan languished in jail for nine months in 1989 until acquitted.

Now, the Crown is trying to get Hudson's claim for compensation thrown out on the grounds that it is outside the six-year period prescribed by the statute of limitations. Not so, replies Hudson. There is a clause about concealed evidence. And what is concealed, he says, is the whereabouts of Bromfield. He does not know where she is, he says, but others do.

Meanwhile media-savvy Hudson is always on alert-mode for possible appearances of his alleged victim and a month ago provoked a media alert when a female body turned up at Mooney Mooney on the Central Coast. Although the body remains unidentified, police have ruled out Bromfield.

Jewellery, boots only clue to skeleton

By Les Kennedy - SMH
September 22, 2003
 

   
   

For almost four months, police investigating cases of women who have disappeared in suspicious circumstances have been calling Gosford police station.

In each case, they want to know if the skeletal remains of a woman found on June 1 in bush several kilometres north of the small Hawkesbury River community of Mooney Mooney are those of their missing woman.

Distinctive jewellery found with the body has ruled out Brent MacKay's wife, Kylie, 36, who went missing on July 25, 2002, after she failed to pick up their two young sons from school.

Police have also spoken to Margaret Bromfield, whose daughter, Elizabeth, 27, vanished in 1984. Two men were charged with Elizabeth's murder, but were subsequently acquitted. The pair were alleged to have disposed of her body in bush at Mooney Mooney.

Other cases include those of Rose Rain Howell, 19, who disappeared on April 11 while hitchhiking on the Pacific Highway near Coffs Harbour; Niamh Maye, 18, who went missing on the outskirts of Tumut on March 30, 2002, while on the way from Batlow to her sister's home in Sydney; Carmel Giannasca, 32, who disappeared from Gladesville on January 14, 2002; and Maria Scott, 28, a prostitute and heroin addict who disappeared from Port Kembla in March.

All these woman have been ruled out, and now the small team of Gosford detectives investigating the remains is looking at expanding its missing persons inquiries interstate.

The case officer, Detective Sergeant Darren Deamer, said the search to identify the remains was the flip side of a missing persons investigation: having a body, but with no name to put to it.

Until that can be established, police cannot begin working on establishing how the well-dressed woman came to be in such an isolated spot.

Sergeant Deamer said there was nothing to indicate how the woman died, although the location suggests her body was hastily dumped. Fire trail access roads half a kilometre either side of the Pacific Highway near where the body was found are littered with burned-out cars and household rubbish.

Forensic tests have placed the woman's age between 30 and 55, and her body may have been at the site for between three months and more than two years.

Police believe the woman is Caucasian, with light brown hair and a slight build, and is between 160 and 170 centimetres tall.

They hope someone may recognise her clothes, especially the distinctive jewellery she was wearing - a gold bracelet, a silver ring and a gold chain with a single pearl -

- which alsosuggests robbery was not a motive for her killer or killers.

The high heels on her shin-high EasyStep boots also indicate she was not a bush walker. The boots were made in 2001, and police have asked for a list of distribution outlets. The woman was also wearing a light colored top and green pants.

"We are conducting inquiries of missing women in NSW and interstate," Sergeant Deamer said. "We are also trying to identify her through dental records and DNA."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Gosford police on 4323 5599 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.