Age: 39 Years when missing Height:
165 cm Hair: Light Brown Eyes:
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
DESCRIPTION: (at time of
AGE: 39 years
HAIR: Brown shoulder length wavy hair
day a mystery still surrounds the disappearance of mother of four – Sharon
was born Sharon Elizabeth HULME on the 31st of May 1946 in Dubbo,
New South Wales, the only child of Robert and Betty HULME.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF QUEENSLAND Brisbane
Before Mr. Justice [Re: Sharon Elizabeth Fulton] No. 458 of 1993 IN THE
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
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
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
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
Sharon Fulton 'was terrified'
The inquest heard that the day before her disappearance, Mrs Fulton telephoned
"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
However, Ms Harrison said she could not convince her friend to leave her
"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
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
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
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
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
"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
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
"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
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
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