Manslaughter: nightclub incident mid 1980s

just316 18 September 2007 25

Hi there

If I have over-stepped the mark by posting here, then please feel free to tell me.

I am researching an incident which occured at either the Private Bin nightclub or JD’s nightclub in the mid 1980s – possibly 1985 – but I cannot be sure.

According to my recollection, a man was seriously assaulted by another man. The injured man was in a coma for about 3 months, and subsequently died as a result of his injuries. A man was arrested and he went to trial for manslaughter – I believe he had an ethnic name – possibly Eastern European. (There is reference to a manslaughter in a nightclub in the 1989 ACT Legislative Assembly Hansard, but I believe it occured several years earlier – I think).

Any ideas on how I can get further information would be greatly appreciated.

Does anyone have any further information about this incident?

Searching through Canberra Times microfilm at the National Library will prove to be a long tedious task, so I thought I’d try here first.

Your assistance would solve a mystery.

Thank you

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25 Responses to Manslaughter: nightclub incident mid 1980s
Chalky1970 Chalky1970 9:19 pm 05 Aug 15

Absolutely it was JD’s. It wasnt a nightclub, just a bar. Its where you went if you wanted sex, to get drunk and have a blue, or to obtain drugs. I remember Bente, I was there, underage but still allowed in. It was known for that as well. Hope you find what you are looking for. All the best, Chalky. ( Resident of the Civic area for the eighties/nineties )

Mr Evil Mr Evil 9:09 am 21 Sep 07

“Mr Evil – to create a brand new username for this site just so you can tell me I chucked a ‘tantie’, shows a cowardly nature – but I’m sure you know that already.”

Er – this is the same username I’ve used since about 2003. This is not some sort of conspiracy or whatever against you!

I was trying to make the point that I thought you were being a bit pathetic having a go at people on this thread because they’d wandered off topic and haven’t bent over backwards to serve your agenda – whatever that may be. Threads constantly wander off topic here – that’s just a part of the joy of this site.

If anyone here knew anything about the case you are refering to, I’m sure they would have come forward to assist by now, but obviously nobody does.

Good luck with your research.

just316 just316 7:37 am 21 Sep 07

Mr Evil – to create a brand new username for this site just so you can tell me I chucked a ‘tantie’, shows a cowardly nature – but I’m sure you know that already.

I have many avenues that I am pursuing – including the courts. Would you like to tell EVERYONE on this site that they can get information from the courts or other places? If that is the case, why do we have RiotAct??? This site is just one avenue of many that I am pursuing, and I don’t need YOU chucking a tantie when i question why people have gone off topic. Grow up.

So then, if you have no information in relation to the incident I refer to, then I suggest you take a chill pill and stay out of this thread. No correspondence will be entered into.

FC FC 12:23 pm 20 Sep 07

Wasn’t the guy pushed down the stairs bowncing at the time?

Mr Evil Mr Evil 8:40 am 20 Sep 07

If you want to know about a particular case – go to the bloody courts and pay someone to search some records for you – instead of chucking a tantie because people here because they aren’t able to assist you, and just happened to wander off topic, as happens sometimes!

Demanding one topic bloody posters!!!!!

TAD TAD 8:26 am 20 Sep 07

We are all so sorry Overlord of the thread.

We all promise to never go off topic again.

Thumper Thumper 8:05 am 20 Sep 07

Tongan es army mate of mine was pushed down a set of stairs then was kicked to death in civic in 88.

No-one was charged.

F*cking bastards.

just316 just316 7:29 am 20 Sep 07

For all those people trying to tell me that the incident I’m talking about is JDs and it was Bente Mossessen – well, NO, I am not talking about that particular case – that was a bikie gang member who committed the murder and the victim was a woman, not a man as I clearly stated in my initial request above. I am talking about an incident at the Private Bin nightclub (quite certain of that – I should never have mentioned JDs because it’s put everybody’s memory into the wrong place). A guy was kick-boxed or something and he spent three months in a coma. He then died after three months. The Bente Mossessen case was a murder involving a knife and there was no coma, as she was thrown out the back of Bungendore area – big difference. Anyway, with regards to the incident I’m talking about, a guy was caught and he went to trial for m-a-n-s-l-a-u-g-h-t-e-r. Now, if anyone knows anything further about the manslaughter at the Private Bin c 1985 then I would be grateful, otherwise, I really am not interested in anything else. Thanks anyway – I’ll look at other avenues.

bronson bronson 12:32 am 20 Sep 07

call me a troll or whatever, but if you guys DO find those old photos, any chance you could post them / start a whole thread for them? Street level photos from Canberra in the 70s/80s are super interesting.

ant ant 8:47 pm 19 Sep 07

The jolimont seige was a beaut. I worked in the Melbourne Building, just across the road. Roads in were blocked, but I got into the alley somehow (had my own parking spot behind what is now Mezzelira), and then got down to the CES which faced the Jolimont from across the road.

Cops were flat-out sprinting around the place, trying to get a better spot. They were not happy.

Turned out some angry man had rammed his car in there and was roaming around with a gun. The radio station people upstairs had to get out of their studio by climbing out of a window. Everyone skulked around (with us watching through the windows!), until it emerged he’d set fire to the place and shot himself.

asp asp 7:25 pm 19 Sep 07

Image is different to the one first viewed. Looks cropped. The one I viewed some months ago had officer in the photo, hence my comments about the uniforms and weapons looking older.

asp asp 7:23 pm 19 Sep 07

Okay, the photo info has been updated since I last viewed it. It was in January 1985, a siege at East Row.

Link to image:$File/000855.JPG

asp asp 7:18 pm 19 Sep 07

Thanks TAD. Didn’t know about one in 93.
The incident in the photo I viewed was much earlier than 93. The vehicles and dinky uniforms were give aways. Also, the photo was very grainy and B&W. And they were using shot guns from WWII. The photo on the website you provide depicted a much more modern looking officer.
So that’s two sieges around Civic in Canberra’s short history. Can’t believe I’m only finding out now.

TAD TAD 12:47 pm 19 Sep 07

There was a very memorable seige at the Jolimont Centre in 93 which may be getting mixed up with the 85 one (which I know nothing about).A little piece on it is at

Bente Mosessen’s death was no manslaughter. She was brutally murdered and her body dumped in the bush at Pierces Creek. The (alleged) murder Peter Richard Dowling was acquitted in the ACT Supreme Court. A story told to me by old timer detectives was that Dowling was immediately arrested outside the court for a similar interstate murder where he was convicted. (I’m sure this would be mostly correct).

The only online docs I can find are a criminal compensaion application for Bente’s daughter and a tiny bit in an AFP Association article about police search and rescue.

scumdorg scumdorg 9:29 am 19 Sep 07

The Civic gunshop seige took place on Australia Day 1985, I know because my mother and Aunt were caught up in it while taking the bus to the Australia Day celebrations. As for the murder involving JD’s nightclub it took place in early 1988 and the woman murdered was Bente Mossessen. She was involved with bikies who used JD’s as a meeting place.

asp asp 12:16 am 19 Sep 07

“Back when we had gunshops”
Still do, there in Fyshwick. Which is a good thing.

When I was in Launceston, stayed at the top hotel in town near the Town park. It was about 500m from a school and nursing home and there was a really pro gun shop. I swear, judging by the guns and ammo in the barred windows, thank christ Martin Bryant didn’t shop there.

ant ant 10:29 pm 18 Sep 07

ah ha! it was a men’s barber/gunshop (memory banks are releasing information back to the mainframe). Back when we had gunshops. I can’t recall what his problem was, but he shot up a few things from his spot up there and was seiged for quite a while. It’s such a long time ago, but I think they got him out.

as for the nightclub thing, if it was in the early 80s, I’m pretty sure it was JDs, which was rougher. The Bin wasn’t too bad in those days. I first began going in 1980? or 81, and it was only upstairs, and was VERY civilised. No bogans or cordies got in. You had to be dressed and stylin. it was a cocktail bar adn disco, with a small dance floor with gold bars. by the mid 80s, it had got a lot bigger, and I dunno when they opened the downstairs bit but that was when the rot set in.

asp asp 10:24 pm 18 Sep 07

Thanks Ant. Finally someone knows. Talked to people who have lived here for decades and they didn’t know.

ant ant 9:57 pm 18 Sep 07

The seige in Civic was when a guy went upstairs in the bus interchange… above what is Macchiato now, and held the cops at bay for quite a while. Early 80s, from memory. I think there was a men’s barber up there then.

boomacat boomacat 9:10 pm 18 Sep 07

Talk it up asp; next you’ll be telling us that Osama Bin Laden’s camped out on Black Mountain.

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