The Singleton Argus and Upper Hunter General Advocate, Wed 27 Jun 1877 1
(From our Reporter.)
THE Murrurundi Court of Quarter Sessions was held on Monday last before his Honor Judge [Frederick William] Meymott.
His Honor took his seat at ten o’clock, am, and the Court was opened forthwith.
The members of the legal profession present were Mr Docker (Crown Prosecutor); Mr Wisdom, barrister; Mr JP Abbott, attorney; and Mr Norris (representing Mr RW Thompson, of Maitland).
Mr A Brodie, JP, occupied a seat upon the bench.
Three sets of jurymen had been summoned, and nearly all answered to their names when called by Mr GG Brodie, Clerk of Petty Sessions.
The only case before the Court was the following.
John William Hall, on bail, was charged with having committed an offence [bestiality] of that nature which the quaint legal formulary says ought not to be named amongst Christians.
Mr Wisdom, instructed by Mr Abbott, appeared for the defence.
The prisoner, a lad of about seventeen years of age, pleaded not guilty.
The following jurymen were empanelled:—W Hannaford, J Holecombe, J Hardcastle, H Eipper, T Guest, T Haine, J Hatson, sen, B Jason, B Haydon, W Brown, T Curley, A Macdonald, and R Ferguson.
The Crown Prosecutor opened the case briefly stating the circumstances, commenting upon the extreme youth of the prisoner.
Two witnesses were then called, whose evidence agreed as to the grounds for presuming that the prisoner had committed the offence, but the details are not fit for publication.
At the conclusion of these depositions, his Honor summed up the case and expressed his opinion that the charge had not been sustained, though if the jury though otherwise they should hear Mr Wisdom in defence, and proceed to consider their verdict.
The jury, without leaving the box, returned a verdict of not guilty.
His Honor concurred in that decision, but admonished the prisoner, and commented upon the conduct of the of the witnesses in looking on instead of preventing what they deemed the commission of a disgusting crime.
Prisoner was then allowed to leave the Court.
There being no other cases, his Honor dismissed the jury, thanking them for their attendance.
1 The Singleton Argus and Upper Hunter General Advocate, (NSW), Wed 27 Jun 1877,p. . Supplement p. 1.