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Queanbeyan Age, Thu 26 Oct 1865 1

LOCAL INTELLIGENCE.
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    POLICE PROCEEDINGS.—On Friday last, Archibald Robinson, who had recently been carrying on the trade of baker and confectioner in Queanbeyan, was brought up in custody, charged with having, on the previous night, attempted a rape upon the person of Susan Jackson, aged sixteen years, a domestic servant in the employ of Mrs JJ Wright. It appears that the young woman was sent on a message when she was assaulted by prisoner near her mistress’ residence, where a violent attempt to perpetrate the capital offence was made upon her by prisoner, who however failed in his purpose and the girl escaped. She was prevented partly by prisoner’s threats, and partly by her mantle being thrown over her face as she lay on the ground, from screaming or raising other alarm. On giving information immediately afterwards steps were taken for prisoner’s apprehension, and in the course of the evening he was arrested by sergeant Latimer and senior-constable Walmsley. The case being fully gone into, prisoner was duly committed to Goulburn for trial at the assizes now sitting in that city, and was escorted thither in custody.—On Saturday, Thomas Donohoe, was fined five shillings for drunkenness.—On Monday Richard Moran, convicted of vagrancy, was sent to Queanbeyan gaol for three days.

    THE DROUGHT.—The hopeful signs of rain alluded to in our last issue have all dispersed without conferring the smallest benefit; the new moon has brought no change, and nightly goes down with a bloodied hue indicative of increasing heat and drought; and at the present moment there is not the slightest sign of atmospheric chance. Meanwhile crops of all kinds, with few exceptions, are fast withering up, and plains and forests are tinged with an ominous and sickening arid brown. We are undoubtedly in one of those cycles of drought which in something less than a quarter of a century visits the Australian continent; and under the affliction we can only continue to bow with meekness and submission, and patiently and unmurmuringly await a change for the better; for which prayers are being every Sabbath offered in all congregations throughout this district as elsewhere.

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The Goulburn Herald, Wed 25 Oct 1865 2

LOCAL AND PROVINCIAL.
———o———
GOULBURN ASSIZES.

Monday—October 23.

THE Goulburn assizes commenced on Monday last before his Honor Sir Alfred Stephen, chief-justice. Mr Windeyer conducted the prosecutions for the crown. The members of the legal profession present were Mr Blake, barrister, and Messrs Stephen, Walsh and Gannon attorneys. Mr [William] Conolly 3 [JP] represented the sheriff.

    His Honor took his seat on the bench precisely at ten o’clock. The Lord Bishop of Goulburn occupied a chair to the right of the judge.

    The usual proclamation against vice and immorality was then read and a jury empanelled.
...

Tuesday—October 24.

    His Honor took his seat on the bench a few minutes after nine o’clock.

    The chief-justice stated that he desired publicly to express his approval of the conduct of Mrs Duffy, a witness in the case of rape tried yesterday, and he was sure his approval would be endorsed by every right- thinking person of the community. Mrs Duffy acted the part of a motherly and kind woman, and no doubt saved the girl from further contamination, and he took much pleasure in publicly acknowledging her conduct throughout.
...

ASSAULT WITH INTENT.

    Archibald Robinson pleaded not guilty to a charge of having attempted to commit a rape upon Susan Jackson, a girl fifteen years of age, at Queanbeyan, on the nineteenth of the present month.

    The Crown-prosecutor briefly recapitulated the facts, and called evidence in support of the charge, which was not sustained, a verdict of not guilty being recorded.

    The prisoner was remanded upon the request of the crown-prosecutor, with a view to further proceedings being instituted against him.

    The court rose at six pm, and adjourned until ten this morning.

    CIRCUIT-COURT AT GUNDAGAI.—A well attended meeting was held in the court-house, Gundagai, on Monday last to memorialise the government on the necessity of establishing a circuit-court in that town. A petition was unanimously adopted, and it was resolved that it should be forwarded to Mr [James] Martin [QC, Attorney General] for presentation to his Excellency. A subscription list was opened and most of those present contributed; after which the meeting separated.

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The Goulburn Herald, Sat 28 Oct 1865 4

LOCAL AND PROVINCIAL.
———o———
GOULBURN ASSIZES.

Wednesday—October 25.

BEFORE his Honor the chief-justice.

    His Honor took his seat on the bench at a quarter past ten. 

INDECENT ASSAULT AT QUEANBEYAN.

    Archibald Robinson was placed upon his trial for that he did, at Queanbeyan, commit an indecent assault upon Susan Jackson on the 19th October.

    Prisoner pleaded not guilty, and was undefended.

    The crown prosecutor stated the particulars of the case to the jury, observing that the facts disclosed in the depositions were very plain. Susan Jackson, the girl upon whom this assault had been committed, was a nursemaid in the family of JJ Wright, of Queanbeyan, who resides a short distance from the town at a place called the Mill House. In the evening of the day upon which the prisoner was charged with the commission of the offence she was sent by her mistress to the store, which is about a quarter of a mile away from the house, when she met the prisoner. They walked in company together to a Mrs Ball’s; but before they got there the prisoner asked prosecutrix to give him a kiss, when she said “I’ll give you one;” this she stated was to get rid of him. When she came out from Mrs Ball’s the prisoner said “is that you?” he then added “you are too flash,” and threw her down. She struggled and resisted him. He threw her down again, when she a second time succeeded in preventing him effecting his purpose. The girl made a complaint immediately, which would do away with any supposition that her story was a concocted one. After she had made the complaint to her mistress she went to her father, who resides near the Mill House, and the consequence was the prisoner was apprehended. Upon his being apprehended he denied the charge but said that he had been skylarking with the girl on the hill. It appeared that since the committal the girl had been advised by some old woman, the wife of a Chinaman, to write a letter, in order that she (the prosecutrix) might avoid coming to the court. In this letter she expressed her regret at getting the prisoner into trouble, and said that her father would not hear anything, but rushed out for the police. “If you (meaning the prisoner) will marry me, there will be an answer to the matter. Let me have an answer. I shall be in Goulburn on Monday.” This letter was addressed to the prisoner at the gaol, and was intercepted by the authorities. The prosecutrix would however state that she had no intention of marrying the prisoner, but that she was persuaded to write thus to avoid giving evidence. He, the crown- prosecutor, submitted that it was a very aggravated case, and if the evidence were made out, a most indecent assault had been committed by the prisoner at the bar.

    The facts as mentioned by the crown-prosecutor were fully approved in evidence and, his Honor having summed up, the jury, without leaving the box, returned a verdict of guilty.

    His Honor sentenced the prisoner to twelve months’ hard labour in Parramatta gaol.

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The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 28 Oct 1865 5

LAW.
———o———
GOULBURN CIRCUIT COURT.
(From the Goulburn Herald.)

Wednesday, October 25.

BEFORE SIR ALFRED STEPHEN.

INDECENT ASSAULT.

    Archibald Robinson was on his trial for that he did, at Queanbeyan, commit an indecent assault upon Susan Jackson, on the 19th October, and pleaded not guilty.

    The prisoner was undefended.

    The learned Crown Prosecutor stated the particulars of the case to the jury, observing that the facts disclosed on the depositions were very plain. Susan Jackson, the girl upon whom this assault had been committed, was a nursemaid in the family of JJ Wright, of Queanbeyan, which resides a short distance from the town, at a place known as the Mill House; in the evening, of the day upon which the prisoner is charged with the commission of the offence she was sent by her mistress to the store, which is about a quarter of a mile away from the house, when she met the prisoner; they walked in company to a Mrs Balls’, but before they got there the prisoner asked her to give him a kiss, when she said “I’ll give you one;” this, she stated, was to get rid of him; when she came out from Mrs Balls’ the prisoner said “Is that you?” he then added, “You are too flash,” and threw her down; she struggled and resisted him; he threw her down again, when she a second time succeeded in preventing him effecting his purpose, the girl made a complaint immediately which would do away with any supposition that her story was a concocted one; after she had made the complaint to her mistress she went to her father, who resides near the Mill House, and the consequence was that prisoner was apprehended. Upon his being apprehended he denied the charge, but said that he had been skylarking with the girl on the hill. It appears that since these circumstances transpired the girl had been advised by some old woman, the wife of a Chinaman, to write a letter in order that she (the prosecutrix) might avoid coming to the Court. In this letter she expressed her regret at getting the prisoner into trouble; her father would not hear anything, but rushed out for the police. “If you (meaning the prisoner) will marry me there will be an end to the matter. Let me have an answer, I shall be in Goulburn on Monday.” This letter was addressed to the prisoner, at the gaol, and was intercepted by the authorities. The prosecutrix would, however, state, that she had no intention of marrying the prisoner, but that she was persuaded to write this to avoid giving her evidence to-day. Supposing she did repent making this charge, she did not withdraw it, and this story did not affect her credibility. He (the learned Crown Prosecutor) submitted that it was a very aggravated case, and if the evidence was made out a most indecent assault had been committed by the prisoner at the bar.

    The facts, as mentioned by the Crown Prosecutor, were fully proved in evidence, and his Honor having summed up, the jury, without leaving the box, returned a verdict of guilty.

    His Honor sentenced the prisoner to twelve months’ hard labour in Parramatta gaol.

 


1     Queanbeyan Age, Thu 26 Oct 1865, p. 2. Emphasis added.

2     The Goulburn Herald, Wed 25 Oct 1865, p. 2. Emphasis added.

3     Mr William Conolly, JP, is the great-great-grandfather of David John Conolly who transcribed all the Judge’s notebooks for the 1st edition of this publication.

4     The Goulburn Herald, Sat 28 Oct 1865, p. 4.

5     The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 28 Oct 1865, p. 5.