Homicide Squad detectives are continuing to appeal for information in relation to the 1990 death of Kilsyth man Douglas Phillpott.
Douglas and his wife Irene were at their Balmoral Street home on Saturday, 10 March 1990 when Douglas went out on to the back verandah about 10.15pm to feed their cat and dog.
Irene was inside in the lounge room watching television when she felt something behind her and a hand was placed over her mouth.
A man dressed in black and wearing a balaclava demanded money from Irene before striking her in the head and face with his fists and then an ornament he picked off a nearby shelf.
During the attack the man continued to demand money, then pulled Irene from her chair and forced her into the master bedroom.
She repeatedly told the man there was no money in the house, however he pushed her on to the bed and bound her hands and legs with tape.
He then ransacked the room and located a small quantity of cash in a jewellery box and passport folder.
The man placed a cloth gag into Irene’s mouth and while doing so, a second man also wearing a balaclava entered the room.
The second man asked Irene if her husband was sick before threatening to shoot her if she didn’t tell them where the money was hidden.
Both men then left the room and this gave Irene the opportunity to remove her bindings and escape through the bedroom window.
When police attended her house, they located Douglas lying on the kitchen floor. He had visible bruising and abrasions on his face and arms.
Sadly, Douglas passed away at the scene.
Douglas also had a history of heart disease and his cause of death was recorded as being heart-related due to the trauma of the incident.
Douglas was 64-years-old at the time of the incident and Irene was 64-years-old – the pair had been living independently at home after both their children moved out and were married.
The family had immigrated to Australia from England in 1970 and lived in their Kilsyth home for 20 years.
Douglas had taken a job at a fibre-making company in Bayswater and he remained there until his retirement.
Irene worked part-time as a cleaner for a local technical college and retired in the mid 1980s after suffering a debilitating injury and receiving a compensation payout.
The couple kept busy after retirement and volunteered at a local Salvation Army hall.
Douglas was a hard-working man whose priority was to provide for his family.
He and Irene were both vulnerable and defenceless and would have been no threat to any intruders. They had a right to feel safe in their own home and unfortunately this was not the case and resulted in Douglas’ death.
Homicide Squad investigators are keen to speak to anyone who may have information about the incident and those involved.
While over 30 years have passed, investigators believe there are still people out there with information that could help solve this case and give Douglas’ family some answers.
Reviewed 08 September 2022