Sharon Elizabeth FULTON

  Sharon Fulton inquest: Missing Duncraig mother feared husband Robert Fulton  would kill her | The West Australian

Sharon Fulton inquest: Missing Duncraig mother feared husband Robert Fulton  would kill her | The West Australian

  Sharon Fulton inquest: Missing Duncraig mother feared husband Robert Fulton  would kill her | The West Australian

Age: 39 Years when missing Height: 165 cm Hair: Light Brown Eyes: Green

Sharon FULTON was taken to the East Perth railway station at 12pm on the 18th of March, 1986 where she was to meet a friend. She has not been seen or heard from since that date. Despite extensive inquiries by Police and family and comprehensive media coverage, there has been no information regarding her whereabouts since then. Concern is held for her welfare.
Last seen: Pink/Mauve dress

If anyone has seen Sharon Elizabeth FULTON , or has information regarding this persons whereabouts, please contact 1800 333 000

DESCRIPTION: (at time of disappearance):
AGE:  39 years
HEIGHT:  165cm
BUILD:  Medium
EYES:  Green
HAIR:  Brown shoulder length wavy hair 
To this day a mystery still surrounds the disappearance of mother of four – Sharon Elizabeth FULTON.
FULTON was born Sharon Elizabeth HULME on the 31st of May 1946 in Dubbo, New South Wales, the only child of Robert and Betty HULME. 
When Sharon was 21 years of age she married Maxwell Robert FULTON on the 8th of July at St Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Brisbane. Together, Robert (which he preferred to be called) and Sharon had four children.
Robert was employed by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and was often posted to RAAF bases both with in Australia and overseas. In February 1983 Robert was transferred to Western Australia where the family took up residence on Readshaw Road in Duncraig while Robert worked at Pearce Air Base in Bullsbrook.
It was from this address that Sharon FULTON, aged 39, was reported missing to police on the 21st of March 1986, by her husband who last saw his wife four days earlier on March 18th 1986. 
Robert reported that he had arrived home from work around Midday on March the 18th to find his wife missing after having had a conversation with her the previous day where she informed him that she needed time to herself. He later told police that he had taken his wife to the East Perth Train Station on this date.
Sharon has not been seen or heard of since. At the time of Sharon’s death her children aged 15 yrs, 10 yrs, 7 yrs and 3 yrs, were left to fend for themselves without a mother, never knowing what happened to her. She was described as an enthusiastic person by all that knew her, centering her life on motherhood, and occasionally enjoying times with her friends while following her hobby of ten pin bowling. In 2010, the circumstances surrounding her disappearance still remain a mystery and the tragedy continues to haunt her children – now all grown up – and her friends who are still searching for answers.  

Detectives are eager to speak with anyone who knew Sharon Fulton – friend or acquaintance - prior to the time that she vanished. If you have any information about Sharon’s disappearance, make a report online or call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, where all calls are strictly confidential, and rewards are offered. Please quote Reference Number 5306. 


Crimestoppers WA - Sharon Elizabeth Fulton was born in Dubbo New South Wales in May 1946. She was an only child and got married when she was 21, in Brisbane Queensland. Her husband was employed by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and he was posted to RAAF bases both within Australia and overseas.

The Fulton family moved to Western Australia in February 1983 when Mr Fulton was transferred to Perth through his work and they lived in Duncraig.

Sharon Fulton was the mother of four children under the age of 15 years at the time of her disappearance. She was a caring mother who also enjoyed catching up with friends and was a keen ten pin bowler, competing in local competitions.


Around 9.30am on Tuesday 18 March 1986, Mrs Fulton left her home address in Readshaw Road, Duncraig, and dropped her three year-old son off in Wangara.

Mrs Fulton had earlier rung a friend who was having a party at 11am that morning to inform her that she may be a little late as she had an appointment in Perth. Police are unaware of what appointment this was.

Mr Fulton picked up his three year old son from Wangara around 11.30am and returned home in Duncraig to find his wife wasn’t home.

Mrs Fulton’s husband arrived home from work around 12 noon that day, expecting his wife to be there. Mrs Fulton was not at home. Mr Fulton attended the Warwick Police Station on Friday 21 March 1986 and reported his wife missing.

The person or persons responsible for Mrs Fulton’s disappearance have not yet been identified.

If you have any information in relation to the disappearance of Sharon Elizabeth Fulton, her movements around Tuesday 18 March 1986, please contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make a report online below. All reports to Crime Stoppers can be made anonymously if you wish and rewards are available.


Before Mr. Justice [Re: Sharon Elizabeth Fulton] No. 458 of 1993 IN THE Succession amended)

MATTER Act - and - of 1981 the (as IN THE MATTER of the Estate of SHARON ELIZABETH FULTON, presumed deceased, late of 1 6 Reads haw Road, Duncraig in the State of Western Australia - and - IN THE MATTER Application by ROBERT FULTON for swear to her death of an MAXWELL leave to

REASONS FOR JUDGMENT- RYAN J. ( Judgment delivered 21/10/1993 "--j Counsel: Mr D G Mullins for the Applicant Mr B Clarke for the Respondent Solicitors: Barry & Nilsson for the Applicant Drake Walker & Leahy for the Respondent Hearing Date: 23 September 1993

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF QUEENSLAND Brisbane Before Mr. Justice Ryan [Re: Sharon Elizabeth Fulton] No. 458 of 1993 IN THE Succession amended) MATTER Act - and of 1981 the (as IN THE MATTER of the Estate of SHARON ELIZABETH FULTON, presumed deceased, late of 1 6 Readshaw Road, Duncraig in the State of Western Australia - and - IN THE MATTER Application by ROBERT FULTON for swear to her death of an MAXWELL leave to

REASONS FOR JUDGMENT - RYAN J. Judgment delivered 21/10/1993 Application has been made on behalf of Maxwell Robert Fulton for an order that he be at liberty to swear to the death of Sharon Elizabeth Fulton as having occurred on or since 18 March 1986. The applicant has deposed that on 18 March 1986 his wife of 19 years, Sharon Elizabeth Fulton, went missing and he has not seen her since that date. They had four children aged from 22 to 11 years. He last saw her waiting for a train at a Perth Railway Station on that day. It was her intention to return home that afternoon. He reported her missing to the police on 21 March 1986. He has made extensive enquiries which have proved fruitless. At the time of her disappearance, Mrs. Fulton did not have a will. The applicant deposes that her only asset is the proceeds of a life insurance policy with Prudential Assurance Co. Ltd. for $120,000. The applicant is the beneficiary of that policy. She and her husband owned a property in Western Australia as· joint tenants. The property was sold by the mortgagee, and the balance of proceeds were paid into Court.

On 23 May 1991, an order was made that one half of the moneys paid into court be released to the applicant. I was referred to some remarks in the judgment of Latham CJ in Axon v Axon (1937) 59 CLR 395 at p.401. After referring to the rule that, if a person who has not been heard of for seven years by persons who in the ordinary course would have been expected to hear of him if he were still alive, it may be presumed that he is dead, Latham CJ said: "The application of the rule does not establish death at any particular time ... It only produces the result· that, if a person has not been heard of by persons who might have been expected to hear of him for a period of not less than seven years he may be presumed to be dead at the time when the question arises in legal proceedings. The rule does not bring about the result that the person is deemed to be dead at the end of a seven years' period." See also Chad v Chad (1956) 259 at p.272.

Counsel for the Prudential Assurance Co Ltd opposed the application on two grounds. The first was that the court had no jurisdiction to make an order in the terms sought, independently of other proceedings, such as an application for probate or letters of administration. The second was that if the court does have jurisdiction it should in the circumstances of the case in its discretion decline to exercise it in a summary way on affidavit. The application is for leave to swear to the death of Mrs. Fulton. Barnes J explained, in In the Goods of Jackson (1903) LT 747 that:- "the court never presumed death, but gave an applicant for a grant leave to swear the death, and the applicant then had to swear to the fact. Parties had to prove their right to a grant, and they did not establish their right unless they made the necessary oath. The true principle in such cases was for the applicant to obtain the leave of the court to swear in his or her belief that a person is dead." In the instant case, no application has been made for probate or letters of administration. I am unable to see any justification for granting leave to swear to the death in the absence of such an application. An applicant for a grant of ( ) \ _ _/ probate or letters of administration must swear to the death of the deceased, and he may be given leave to swear to the death where he can rely only on evidence which leads to a presumption that death has taken place. Leave to swear to the death is an incident to an application for the grant, and has no purpose where such an application is not in question.

The main objective in making the application appears to be to enable the applicant to obtain the proceeds of the insurance policy.

On 7 September 1993, the solicitor for the applicant caused copies of the notice of motion and affidavit of the applicant filed on 6 September to be served upon Prudential Assurance Co. Ltd. On 9 September the application was adjourned by consent for a period of two weeks at the request of the legal representatives of Prudential Assurance Co. Ltd. on the basis that their client wished to conduct certain enquiries. Costs were reserved. It appears from material filed in these proceedings that the policy was taken out by the applicant on the life of his wife. The proceeds would therefore not form part of her estate, and a grant of probate or letters of administration would not be required to enable the applicant to make a claim for the proceeds of the policy.

In my opinion, the present proceedings are misconceived. • .. ~. \1 If the applicant seeks a grant of probate or letters of ~ administration, he may be granted leave to swear to the death if the Court is satisfied that such leave should be given. According to MacGillivray and Portington on Insurance Law, 8th ed., para 1230, an insurance company is not bound by the order of the court giving leave to swear the death, and it is still open to the company to defend proceedings against it on the ground that there is no evidence of death. It is not necessary for me to consider the accuracy of this statement, since no proceedings have been instituted against the company. It was however given notice of the present application, and it has appeared and made submissions in respect to it. I consider that it is entitled to an order for costs.

I dismiss the application, and order the applicant to pay the costs of the Prudential Assurance Co. Ltd., including reserved costs, to be taxed.

Sharon Fulton inquest hears she feared her husband would kill her and their children

By Joanna Menagh ABC

A woman who vanished without a trace in Western Australia 36 years ago voiced concerns in the weeks before her disappearance that her husband would try to murder her and that she would end up "six feet under", the Perth Coroner's Court has been told.

An inquest is examining the disappearance of Sharon Fulton who was last seen when she was 39 years old on March 18, 1986.

The last person who claimed to have seen her was her husband Robert who, after reporting her missing three days later, told police he had dropped her with an overnight bag at the East Perth train station.

In an opening address to the inquest, counsel assisting the inquiry Sarah Tyler described the couple's marriage as volatile, saying there was evidence from the Family Court Mrs Fulton had seriously contemplated separating from her husband and seeking sole custody of their four young children.

Ms Tyler said the couple received counselling from a psychiatrist, now deceased, who had told police Mrs Fulton had said she was afraid of her husband, believed he would try to murder her and their children and that she would end up "six feet under".

Life insurance policy taken out

The court heard Mrs Fulton's stepmother, who had also since died, had provided a statement to police in which she claimed her daughter had suggested her husband was considering paying someone to harm her.


The inquest was told that in the weeks before his wife vanished, Mr Fulton took out a $120,000 life insurance policy covering both of them and naming him as the sole beneficiary.

He was paid the money in 1995 after court proceedings in which he swore an affidavit saying he believed Mrs Fulton was deceased.

Friend suspected Robert Fulton

One of the first witnesses at the inquest was Narelle Harrison who was a close friend of Mrs Fulton and said she would confide in her about her problems.

She testified that when she was told Mrs Fulton had disappeared, she suspected Robert Fulton may have harmed her.

Ms Harrison said she particularly remembered one occasion when the Fultons were going on a family holiday and Sharon told her "I think Robert is going to kill us all on the road."

"She had all her documents with her … and said could you please hang on to them in case anything happens?" Ms Harrison told the inquest.

"I was scared, she was petrified, she didn't want to go." 

Ms Harrison said at one point she helped Mrs Fulton get advice from a lawyer about leaving her husband, but she never carried it through.

"She was probably sort of being mentally abused. That's my opinion," Ms Harrison said.

Sharon Fulton 'was terrified'

The inquest heard that the day before her disappearance, Mrs Fulton telephoned Ms Harrison.

"She was so upset. I begged her not to go home … to stay at our place."

"She was terrified … she just thought her life was in danger, her children were in danger."

However, Ms Harrison said she could not convince her friend to leave her husband.

"She just didn't have enough confidence. In the end she just sort of wanted to stay," she said.

Ms Harrison said after Mrs Fulton disappeared, she went around to the family home and Mr Fulton said to her: "she's gone away, she's having time out."

She also testified she noticed that the garden had been "redone".

"I suggested to police that they dig that up just in case Sharon may be buried there," Ms Harrison said.

"Which they did … and of course Sharon wasn't there."

Police initially dismissed homicide theory

Ms Harrison and another friend Norma King gave evidence that Mrs Fulton would never leave her children, whom she idolised.

Ms King said the youngest child was Mrs Fulton's "pride and joy" and she believed she "would never have left him behind."

Ann Kennedy, who worked in the office of the psychiatrist who was counselling the couple, described Mr Fulton as a "cold person" who was "distant" and "not very communicative".

She also recounted an occasion when her boss came out of her office and appeared concerned about security in the building.

Ms Kennedy said the psychiatrist then told her "Robert had said he knew how to get rid of a person and no one would ever find the body".

The inquest heard that the initial police investigation failed to identify any evidence to support a suspected homicide despite those concerns being raised by Mrs Fulton's mother and stepmother.

That changed in 2006 when officers from the Special Crime Squad concluded there were suspicious circumstances in the case.

It was not until 2017 that the matter was reviewed again, and police interviewed Mr Fulton.

Husband denied murder

Ms Tyler said he told them he had Alzheimer's disease and suffered confusion and memory lapses meaning he could not remember events from 1986.

However, he denied killing his wife.

Police provided a report to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, but it was decided there was insufficient evidence to support any charges being laid against anyone, including Mr Fulton.

He is listed as a witness at the inquest, but Ms Tyler said his appearance is "still to be finally determined."


Sharon Fulton's husband blamed notorious serial killers David and Catherine Birnie for wife's 1986 disappearance, inquest told

By Joanna Menagh ABC May 4th 2022

A man suspected of involvement in the disappearance of his wife in Perth once told his new partner she had been murdered by serial killers David and Catherine Birnie.

Sharon Fulton was 39 years old when she vanished more than three decades ago on March 18, 1986.

The last person who claimed to see her alive was her husband Robert who, after reporting her missing three days later, told police he had dropped her off with an overnight bag, at the East Perth train station.

Now an inquest into her disappearance has heard police suspected she was the victim of "an unlawful killing" and that Robert Fulton was involved.

Ms Burnett said Mr Fulton later told her that he had dropped Sharon off at the train station because she just wanted to get away and was fed up with him being in the Air Force.

The inquest has heard in 1988 Mr Fulton was convicted of fraud over the forging of Sharon Fulton's signature for a loan.

On Wednesday, Ms Burnett said she was the one who signed Mrs Fulton's name after being requested to do so by Robert.

"I was very very reluctant, but he got angry and said it would be all my fault if the children couldn't get a home."

"I said I can't do it, but he was screaming at me.

"I said, 'well it's for the children I'm doing this'."

Lies and violent outbursts alleged

When asked if Mr Fulton was ever violent to her, Ms Burnett replied "not as in hitting or physical but extremely violent in anger."

She said he would go for days not speaking to her and would say things in front of the children that were untrue.

"[He was] putting you down all the time to weaken you, Fortunately, I was strong enough to fight back and say 'that's not true'," she testified.

Ms Burnett described Mr Fulton as "extremely dishonest" and "very deceitful".

"It's just the whole situation … how he swindled me, persecuted me, sold my property off.

"I believe he is evil and so concentrated on money."

Ms Burnett said the last time she saw him was at a funeral in 2017 but she did not speak to him.

"I was scared of him, I was scared he would find out where I live and get me."

Birnie murder theory ruled out

Deputy state coroner Sarah Linton asked Ms Burnett if she believed Mr Fulton was capable of harming someone. She replied: "Absolutely".

The police officers involved in a cold case review of in 2017 also testified, telling the inquest that Ms Fulton had been ruled out as a possible victim of the Birnies because she did not fit their "victimology".

Detective Sergeant Matthew Atkinson said the Birnies' victims were aged between 17 and 31, and their five-week murderous crime spree did not start until seven months after Mrs Fulton vanished.

In 2017 Sergeant Atkinson travelled to Queensland to interview Mr Fulton, but he said as soon as he was approached, he started to suggest he had Alzheimer's disease and couldn't remember his own name.

However, Sergeant Atkinson said officers had been observing Fulton beforehand when he had been out gambling, and he had appeared "totally aware".

"It was quite deceitful and dishonest," Sergeant Atkinson said.

The inquest was also told telephone intercepts of his conversations had recorded him discussing with his partner what she needed to say to support his claim of having health issues.

In his evidence, Senior Constable Jason Filgate said it was his view that Mrs Fulton was deceased, and that Mr Fulton was involved.

He said it was out of character for Mrs Fulton not to have contacted her children and there was no indication she was alive.

Mother's Day chocolates left in fridge

Matthew Griffin was 10 years old when his mother vanished.

He said on the day of her disappearance, he remembered being told that "mum's just gone away for a bit."

He told the inquest he believed she would not be coming back until about May, when at school as a project, his class had chocolates for a Mother's Day present.

Mr Griffin said he put them in the fridge for his mother, but one of his siblings ate them a couple of weeks later.

He was upset but said when he went to complain to his father, he told him to "stop crying."

"That's when I knew, with his tone, his demeanour, she was gone. That's when I accepted it," Mr Griffin said.

Mr Griffin described his father as very intimidating, saying he used to "interrogate" the children if he suspected they had done something.

"There were times he was good father … sometimes he just stepped up and did things for us kids," he said.

"He was just a parent I couldn't rely on when I needed emotional support. He was very distant, very unapproachable."

Mr Fulton is listed to give evidence as the last witness on Thursday.

However, Ms Linton said while a summons had been issued, the court was not expecting to hear from him.


Robert Fulton was "evil", "deceitful"

The woman who started a relationship with Mr Fulton six months later, Pamela Burnett, gave evidence via video link from Queensland on Wednesday, describing him as "evil", "extremely dishonest" and "very deceitful".

She said one of the many lies he told her was at the beginning of their relationship when he said Sharon "had been murdered by the Birnies" but that WA police had "stopped" them from talking about it.


Sharon Fulton's husband will not be compelled to testify at inquest for medical reasons

By Joanna Menagh ABC
May 5th 2022

A Queensland man named by WA police as a suspect in the disappearance of his wife in Perth more than three decades ago will not be compelled to testify at an inquest into the case.

Robert Fulton was listed as the final witness in the hearing into the suspected death of his wife, Sharon, who vanished without a trace on March 18, 1986.

Mr Fulton reported her missing three days after her disappearance and told police he had last seen her when, after a heated discussion, he dropped her off at the East Perth train station with an overnight bag.

The inquest heard evidence that Ms Fulton voiced concerns in the weeks before her disappearance that her husband would try to murder her. 

Today, counsel assisting the coroner Sarah Tyler said she had spoken to Mr Fulton earlier in the week and he said he was in a hospital in Queensland.

However, Ms Tyler said inquiries had found that he had been discharged from that hospital on April 21.

Ms Tyler told the inquest there was footage of Mr Fulton going into his Queensland home today, but there was no response when representatives of the court attended the residence and repeatedly knocked on the door.

Police sceptical of Alzheimer's diagnosis

The deputy state coroner, Sarah Linton, said the court had received information from Mr Fulton indicating he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, which might affect his ability to give evidence.

Police officers who interviewed Mr Fulton after a cold case review in 2017 testified they were sceptical of that diagnosis because intercepted telephone calls had recorded him talking to his partner about what she should say to back up his claim.

An officer also told the inquest they had observed Mr Fulton before they interviewed him, and he seemed "aware".

Ms Linton said while she did have the power to issue a warrant for Mr Fulton's arrest, it was a "difficult situation" because there was evidence before her that he had been diagnosed with a health condition.

Ms Linton said even if Mr Fulton was arrested and compelled to answer questions, it would be problematic because of that diagnosis, and therefore she was not going to issue a warrant.

However, the deputy coroner said a letter had been sent to Mr Fulton encouraging him to provide an account of what happened to his wife, although she noted she was able to make her own conclusions based on the evidence she had heard.

She also said if further evidence came to light or if Mr Fulton did wish to testify, the inquest could be reopened.

Wife voiced concerns she would end up 'six feet under'

The three-day hearing heard evidence that before she disappeared, Ms Fulton had voiced concerns that she believed her husband was going to murder her and she would end up "six feet under".

On Wednesday an ex-partner of Mr Fulton told the inquest he had told her Ms Fulton had been murdered by notorious serial killers David and Catherine Birnie. 

She also described Mr Fulton as "evil", "extremely dishonest" and "very deceitful".

Friends also told the inquest Ms Fulton idolised her four children and she never would have left without them.

Her daughter and three sons provided emotional statements to the inquest about the impact their mother's disappearance had on their lives.

Her daughter said she could not remember her life when her mother existed, while her youngest son, who was only three when she vanished, said while growing up he blamed himself for what happened.

At the conclusion of the inquest, Ms Linton said she was "satisfied beyond reasonable doubt" that Sharon Fulton died on or about March 18, 1986. However, she said at this stage it would not be possible to determine her cause of death.

Ms Linton said she would hand down more comprehensive written findings later this year.