Ah Toy and Cheongah Cheeut lived and worked in a furniture factory in Little Bourke Street, Melbourne. On the night of 31 March 1885 the two men were seen talking in the passage outside their rooms. At around 8.40 pm, others living in the building heard someone call out ‘Murder!’ in Chinese. Wing Rane saw Cheongah Cheeut fleeing from Ah Toy, who was chasing and striking him with a tomahawk. Cheongah Cheeut was found lying on the ground moaning. He was rushed to hospital but died 45 minutes later from horrific tomahawk wounds to his head, arms, back and face. His skull had been shattered and his right thumb had been severed. Ah Toy was found not guilty on the grounds of insanity and was held ‘at the Governor’s pleasure’ between 1885 and 1921. He was granted ‘freedom’ in 1921 by special authority ‘for the purpose of being admitted to the Victorian Home for the Aged and Infirmed’.


  • Title: Ah Toy Prisoner Number 10828
  • Date Created: 1873-04-01
  • Provenance: VPRS 515/P1, Central Register of Male Prisoners, unit17, folio 187
  • External Link: Digital Archive File

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