Thomas O’Dea and John Sicily, 1897
Below also see: Morris Dunn and John Sicily, 1898 – Indecent assault,
Thomas Hair, et al, 1898
The Daily News, Tue 14 Sep 1897 1
BEFORE THE COURT TO-DAY
At Fremantle last evening Thomas O’Dea and John Sicily, two well-known footballers, were arrested on a charge of having assaulted a man named Webb, and robbed him of £1010s. The alleged assault and robbery were stated by Webb to have occurred between 8 and 9 o’clock on Saturday night.
The two accused were brought up at the Fremantle Police Court this morning, and formally remanded for eight days.
Mr Moss, who appeared for Sicily and O’Dea, applied for bail. This was opposed by Sergeant Houlahan.
Mr Moss (protestingly): but they are well known in the town.
Sergeant Houlahan: Yes, a little too well known.
The Bench refused to grant bail.
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The West Australian, Tue 14 Sep 1897 2
ALLEGED GAROTTING AT
TWO WELL-KNOWN FOOTBALLERS
Great surprise was manifested in Fremantle last evening when it became known that Thomas O’Dea and John Sicily, two prominent footballers at the Port, had been arrested on a most serious charge. The men were taken into custody on a warrant issued by a young man named Offspring Webb, a carter by occupation, who alleged that on Saturday night, between 8 and 9 o’clock, when walking along High-street, near the Hibernian Hall, he was set upon by O’Dea and Sicily and knocked down and robbed of £1-10s.
[Offspring] Webb stated to the police that he was partly under the influence of liquor at the time, and after being robbed he was left in a senseless condition on the road-way. Two friends who came along picked him up and took him to his home at Canvas-town.
The accused assert that they are totally innocent of the charge laid against them. Both men are playing members of the Imperial Football Club.
The case will be brought on for hearing at the Fremantle Police Court this morning.
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The West Australian, Wed 15 Sep 1897 3
NEW AND NOTES.
CHARGE AGAINST TWO FOOTBALLERS.—
Thomas O’Dea and John Sicily, two well-known footballers at Fremantle, who were arrested on Monday evening, on a charge of robbery with violence, appeared before the Acting-RM, Mr J Lilly, and Mr GC Knight and Captain TW Smith, J’sP, at the local court yesterday. The accused were charged with robbing Offspring Webb of 30s on Saturday night last, and using violence in the act.
Sergeant Houlahan applied for a remand for 8 days, and objected to an application for bail by Mr Moss, who appeared for the accused. The Sergeant remarked that Webb had been knocked down by several men, and O’Dea and Sicily were identified by the prosecutor and other witnesses as being two of the assailants. The accused were remanded for eight days, bail being refused.
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The Inquirer and Commercial News, Fri 17 Sep 1897 4
(Before Messrs J Lilly, TW Smith,
and GC Knight,)
FOOTBALLERS IN TROUBLE.—
The two well-known footballers, John Sicily and Thomas O’Dea, who were arrested on Monday last on a charge of having feloniously assaulted and robbed Offspring Webb, were placed in the dock and formally remanded for eight days.
Mr Moss, who appeared for the accused, applied for bail, but this was refused on an objection being raised by Sergeant Houlahan.
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The Inquirer and Commercial News, Fri 1 Oct 1897 5
On Sep 23 the adjourned case against John Sicily and Thomas O’Dea, who were charged with having assaulted and robbed a laborer named Offspring Webb of about 30s was concluded. Mr Mess appeared for the two accused, and Sergeant Houlahan conducted the cross-examination of witnesses on behalf of the police.
The casa for the prosecution having ended on the previous day, counsel for the defence stated that he would prove an alibi in the case of the accused O’Dea, and, although he admitted that the accused Sicily had been present when the alleged assault had been perpetrated upon Webb he would prove conclusively that his client (Sicily) had not taken any part in it. Further, Webb on the night in question was intoxicated, and fought with a man, whom the police had not got hold of, opposite the Hibernian-hall in High-street.
Robert Burns, a bottler in the employment of the Port Brewery Company, and Arthur McDonald, an iron worker stated that on the night the robbery was said to have been committed they were in the company of O’Dea from 8 o’clock to about 20 minutes past 9. During these times they walked leisurely up and down High-street; spent about 25 minutes in a boot shop in Henry-street, and finished up by bidding O’Dea good night. When O’Dea parted from them he said that he was going home, and he walked down Market- street. The witnesses saw nothing of the assault and robbery that Webb stated had been committed upon him, and they were not in the vicinity of where it was supposed to have taken place.
Alexander Stewart, who is employed in the locomotive workshops, and is a fellow lodger of O’Dea, and Mary and Jane Ore, step-daughters of the proprietor of the boarding-house where O’Dea resides, deposed to having seen the latter at his lodgings at about half-past 9 o’clock on the night in question. He had just come to his lodgings apparently from a walk about the town, and, after joining in the conversation with the other inmates of the house, retired to his room, from which he did not emerge while they remained out of bed—about two hours.
Evidence was tendered by five witnesses named respectively John Glasson, John Lewis, Frederick Law, Michael Grace, and Joseph O’Halloran, to the effect that they saw the complainant Webb at about 9 o’clock on the night referred to in the centre of a number of people above the Town-hall, in High-street. Among the crowd were two women—witnesses for the prosecution—and two men, and this quartet interested themselves to a considerable extent about Webb, who was very drunk. After squabbling among themselves for a few minutes the quartet in question continued on their way towards Canvas Town. Near the Hibernian-hall another dispute arose, and (vide Grace, Law, and O’Halloran) a tall, clean-shaved man (who they would swear was not O’Dea) struck Webb a heavy blow in the face. Sicily was present at the time, but the witnesses did not see him take an active part in the fracas. One witness (Lewis) swore that after the assault the two female witnesses for the prosecution accompanied Webb in the direction of the Park Hotel.
With a view to having more light thrown on this point, the complainant, Webb, was recalled, and he denied that he went anywhere with two women immediately after the assault, although on the previous day he said that he remembered no more on receiving the blow till the following morning.
After counsel had addressed the bench their worships dismissed the case. Mr Lilly remarking that the evidence, on the whole, was of a very conflicting nature.
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Western Mail, Fri 1 Oct 1897 6
ALLEGED ASSAULT AND
The hearing of the charge preferred against John Sicily and Thomas O’Dea, of having robbed and assaulted a man named Offspring Webb on the night of the 11th inst., was concluded at the Fremantle Police Court on Sept. 23 before Mr J Lilly, Acting-R.M., and Captain Smith, JP.
Sergeant Houlahan conducted the case for the prosecution, the accused being defended by Mr Moss.
Mr Moss, in opening the case for the defence, said that he would undertake to prove an alibi in the case of O’Dea, and as regards Sicily, he would call a number of witnesses to prove that although he was present when the disturbance described by the witnesses for the prosecution took place, he was merely an onlooker, and had nothing whatever to do With the assault or robbery.
The Bench, after hearing evidence, decided to dismiss the charge, the Chairman remarking that the evidence was very conflicting.
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The Age, Mon 4 Oct 1897 7
The hearing at the Fremantle, West Australian, police court, of a charge preferred against John Sicily and Thomas O’Dea, both former residents of West Melbourne, of having robbed and assaulted a man named West, on the night of 11th September, was concluded on 23rd September. The evidence tendered showed that O’Dea was not present at the occurrence, and in the case of Sicily it was proved that he was merely an onlooker, and had nothing to do with the assault or robbery. After a brief retirement the bench dismissed the charge.
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North Melbourne Courier and West Melbourne Advertiser, Fri 8 Oct 1897 8
NOT GUILTY.—The hearing at Fremantle Police Court, Western Australia of a charge preferred against John Sicily and Thomas O’Dea, both well known in football circles, of having assaulted and robbed a man named West, on the night of the 11th September, was concluded on the 23rd September. The evidence tendered for the prosecution was of the flimsiest character, and both men were discharged, without tile slightest stain on their character.
“SISSO” AND “O’DEA.”
(To the Editor of the Courier.)
Sir—Dame Rumor has often proved herself a lying jade, and the “little bird” a lyre (liar) bird, but this fact has never been demonstrated better than in the case of our one time football champions, Sicily and O’Dea, who were arrested in Fremantle (W.A.) on a charge of assault and robbery, which proved to be groundless, the two being discharged without a stain on their character. Now, the above “dame” or “little bird” circulated the story that the accused were sentenced to a term of imprisonment, and to set this at rest, I respectfully ask you to publish the enclosed letter which appeared in the Herald of the 5th inst. Thanking you in anticipation, I remain,—yours, etc.
ALF. J. WOODHAM,
Sec. Nth. Melb. F[ootball] C[lub]
AN UNSUSTAINED CHARGE.
To the Editor of the “Herald.”
Sir-Some little time back there appeared in one of the morning papers a paragraph stating that “two well known footballers, Thos. O’Dea and John Sicily, were brought before the court at Fremantle (W.A.) charged with garrotting and robbing an old man, and were remanded, bail being refused.” Now, sir, nothing further has been published in connection with the case, although it came on and was dismissed, as there was not one iota of evidence against the accused, and according to the account in the Perth Morning Herald, it was palpably a case of mistaken identity. Prior to leaving for the West, these young fellows were two of the best known and most popular footballers in Victoria, and I respectfully ask you to publish this letter, which will materially assist in removing the stigma from the names of “two victims of unfortunate circumstances,” who, I am quite sure, would not stoop to so base a crime. By so doing you will earn the gratitude of their family connections and their numerous friends in this colony.—I am, etc.,
ALF. .J. WOODHAM,
Hon. Sec. Nth. Melb. F.C.
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North Melbourne Gazette, Fri 8 Oct 1897 9
AN UNSUSTAINED CHARGE.
To the Editor of the Herald.
Sir,—Some little time back there appeared in one of the morning papers a paragraph stating that “two well-known footballers, Thos. O’Dea and John Sicily, were brought before the Court at Freemantle, [sic] WA., charged with garrotting and robbing an old man, and were remanded, bail being refused.” Now, sir, nothing further has been published in connection with the case, although it came on, and was dismissed, as there was not one iota of evidence against the accused, and, according to the account in the Perth Morning Herald, it was palpably a case of mistaken identity. Prior to leaving for the West, these young fellows were two of the best known and most popular footballers in Victoria, and I respectfully ask you to publish this letter, which will materially assist in removing the stigma from the names of “two victims of unfortunate circumstances,” who, I am quite sure, would not stoop to so base a crime. By so doing you will earn the gratitude of their family connections and their numerous friends in this colony.—I am, etc,
Alf. J. Woodham,
Hon. Sec. North Melbourne F. C.
Morris Dunn and John Sicily, 1898
Record, Sat 19 Feb 1898 10
A young man named John Sicily was prosecuted at the local court before Messrs Jones, Thislethwaite and Christmas, J’sP, on Thursday on the charge of attempting to commit an unnatural offence, [on Thomas Hair].
Detective Hawkins stated that he had arrested the prisoner on warrant that morning, and he asked for a remand for a week. The application was granted.
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The Age, Fri 4 Mar 1898 11
At the South Melbourne court yesterday, a young man named John Sicily was committed for trial on the charge of perpetrating an unnatural offence on 14th ult.
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Record, Sat 5 Mar 1898 12
At the local court on Wednesday a young man named John Sicily was charged with perpetrating an unnatural offence at Montague on the 14th ult.
The particulars were of a disgusting character. Prisoner was committed for trial.
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The Age, Mon 30 May 1898 13
The Supreme Court criminal sittings for May were continued before Mr Justice Hood in the Criminal Court on Friday. Mr Finlayson prosecuted for the Crown.
Two youths named John Sicily and Morris Dunn were presented on a charge of attempting to commit an abominable offence at South Melbourne on 14th February last. At the close of the case for the, Crown Mr Justice Hood directed the jury to acquit both the accused, and they were discharged. Mr AE Jones appeared for the defence.
Thomas Hair, et al, 1898
Standard, Sat 12 Feb 1898 14
A PITIFUL STORY.
The justices on Saturday morning, Messrs Quinn and Armstrong, had a rather lengthy sitting, during which a case was heard which would have delighted general court frequenters.
According to the evidence of Constable Brown he was in the vicinity of Beach-street on the previous night and saw things which caused him to visit a house in a right-of-way at the rear of the Bay View Hotel. Here he heard things which caused him to make some arrests. First of all he found Thomas Hair, Edward W Weston and Louis Hall in the yard, and they were using obscene language, for which he arrested them. Henry Greenwood was also arrested for being drunk. The quartette was quite a youthful one, none of the lads apparently being over 19 or 20 years of age. Inside the house (a one-roomed one) , he found an old man, a woman named Florence Montrose partly undressed, and a girl aged 12½ years fully undressed. The woman and the girl were both arrested. The justices fined [Thomas] Hair and Hall 10/- each for using obscene language; and Greenwood 2/6 for being drunk. Weston was discharged. The woman was charged with being an idle and disorderly person.
Constable Brown stated in his evidence that he visited this place owing to the number of complaints that had been made about it. He had known the woman for about three years, and she bore a bad character. She was hunted from Footscray by the police.
Constable Kennedy knew the woman in Gippsland, where she led a bad life, and through her misconduct brought man with whom she was living to ruin. She was not fit to have charge of children.
John Matthews, a laundry-man, stated that the girl was in his employ for about three months, but he had to get rid of her owing to her familiarity with boys.
The woman stated that she was doing nothing wrong. She would work if she could get it to do. When Constable Brown came to the house she was going to a make a bed under the old man’s bed for herself and daughter.
The woman was discharged with a caution, the girl being sent to the Industrial Schools.
1 The Daily News (Perth, WA), Tue 14 Sep 1897, p. 3. Emphasis added.
2 The West Australian, (Perth, WA), Tue 14 Sep 1897, p. 2. Emphasis added.
3 The West Australian, (Perth, WA), Wed 15 Sep 1897, p. 4.
4 The Inquirer and Commercial News, (Perth, WA), Fri 17 Sep 1897, p. 13.
5 The Inquirer and Commercial News, (Perth, WA), Fri 1 Oct 1897, p. 2. Emphasis added.
6 Western Mail (Perth, WA), Fri 1 Oct 1897, p. 10.
7 The Age, (Melbourne, Vic), Mon 4 Oct 1897, p. 3. Emphasis added.
8 North Melbourne Courier and West Melbourne Advertiser, (Vic), Fri 8 Oct 1897, pp. 2, 3.
9 North Melbourne Gazette, (Vic), Fri 8 Oct 1897, p. 3. Emphasis added.
10 Record, (Emerald Hill, Vic), Sat 19 Feb 1898, p. 3. Emphasis added.
11 The Age, (Melbourne, Vic), Fri 4 Mar 1898, p. 6.
12 Record, (Emerald Hill, Vic), Sat 5 Mar 1898, p. 3.
13 The Age, (Melbourne, Vic), Mon 30 May 1898, p. 6.
14 Standard, (Port Melbourne, Vic), Sat 12 Feb 1898, p. 2. Emphasis added.