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Empire, Wed 11 Mar 1868 1


    This Court was opened, before Mr Justice Dowling. Mr Foster, barrister, Crown prosecutor. Mr Rogers, barrister, was present along with the local attorneys, Messrs Coley and Walker.
    John Brewer, of Freeman's Reach, was charged with committing an indecent assault upon the person of Isabella Nichols, of the same place. Mr Foster, assisted by Mr W Walker, prosecuted on behalf of the Crown. Mr Bennett, of Sydney, assisted by Mr Coly, [sic] were retained for the defence. Great difficulty was experienced by counsel in getting the evidence of prosecutrix (who is only fourteen years old), she being deaf and almost-dumb, so that all questions and cross-questions had to be put in writing, which made it a very lengthy case. The evidence of the girl, which seemed very straightforward, went to show that prisoner called at her residence, and, knowing the family well, inquired if her father and mother were at home, and upon ascertaining that they were absent, went in and began to pull the girl about in a very improper was, which she resisted. He then pushed her towards the back door, and took liberties with her. He then blew the candle out, when she commenced crying, when he desisted, and went away. The prisoner admitted, in fact made a statement before the magistrate at his committal, that the girl=s statement was true, but it had taken place with her consent, although, before this, when brought by the father and brother of the girl into her presence, he denied all knowledge of the affair. However, the jury believed the girl=s straightforward story, and found the prisoner guilty, and he was sentenced to twelve months= hard labour in Parramatta gaol.

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The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 11 Mar 1868 2

(From our Correspondent.)

BEFORE Mr District Judge Dowling; Mr Forster prosecuting for the Crown.
    John Brewer, of Wilberforce, was indicted for having committed an indecent assault upon one Isabella Nicholls [aka Nichols], a girl of the age of fifteen years, on the night of Monday, the 24th February last. The particulars of this case appeared after the investigation at the police-office. The jury found a verdict of guilty, whereupon the prisoner was sentenced to twelve months' imprisonment, with hard labour, in Parramatta gaol.


1  Empire, Wed 11 Mar 1868, p. 3.

2  The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 11 Mar 1868, p. 2.