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1868, Charles O'Brien - Unfit For Publication
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The Newcastle Chronicle, Wed 11 Mar 1868 1

POLICE INTELLIGENCE.
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NEWCASTLE POLICE COURT.
MONDAY, FEB 9, 1868.

Before H Scott, Esq, PM; and J Hannell, Esq, JP.

Being of Unsound Mind.

    Robert Brock was brought before the court on a charge of being of unsound mind.

    Constable Smith said, between ten and eleven o'clock on Sunday morning, from information he received, he proceeded to the beach, near the pottery, when he saw the man in the dock (Brock) going towards the beach. Witness got into conversation with him, and after a while found that he was of unsound mind. He then requested the man to come to Newcastle. He said yes, he did not suppose witness could do any more harm than had been done to him. His neck had been broken, and his spirit had left the man, but had returned to him again. He said he prophesied the famine in 1846, in Ireland, and his prophesy had come true. He continued talking in a wild strain until they reached the lockup, where witness confined him for protection. He was not violent.

    Dr Knaggs, on oath, deposed, that in his opinion the prisoner was a dangerous lunatic and unfit to be at large.

    Dr Schraeder gave evidence to the same effect.

    The Bench ordered the removal of the prisoner to Maitland gaol there to await the pleasure of his Excellency the Governor-in-Chief being made known.

    During the whole of the time the above evidence was being given the unfortunate man (Brock) kept addressing the court in a most strange and incoherent manner, proving fully, apart from the evidence, that he was unfit to be at large. Among other things he stated that though he was standing on the floor of the Court-house he was in the interior of Ireland. He said he had lost his magic and was under a spell from a priest, or he should not be in the position he was. He said he wanted to go to a good doctor, as there was something in him which wanted bringing out. He had been killed once, and after he was dead his "guts were flogged out of him." His spirit then left him, but had come back again. He further said he had committed murder, and was the sole cause of the great Irish famine in 1846. He had caused many famines and wars, and would do worse if he was not let alone. He complained bitterly of having been deceived by some one he designated "Charley," who he alleged broke his father's neck, and his brother's neck. He in revenge broke Charley's neck. His brother's name was Captain Brock. He had been deceived by means of a telescope which was turned upside down, and objects that were near appeared three miles off, and distant objects seemed close to him. His father was once tried for the murder of his own sister, but in consideration of what he (the prisoner) had done he was honorably acquitted. On being removed he expressed his great satisfaction what they (the magistrates) had done with him.

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Charge of Stealing.

    Joseph Smith, in custody, was charged with stealing certain articles of wearing apparel, the property of Ellen Stein, of Minmi, on the 31st January last.

    Constable Lee of Hexham, said he apprehended the prisoner about eleven o'clock on Saturday last, by virtue of the warrant produced. He was charged in the warrant with stealing one chemise and one sheet. On being apprehended, he said he bought the saucepan and bedtick from a person named Mrs Andrews, but the sheet and chemise he knew nothing of. On Saturday evening he went to the prisoner's hut, at Minmi, with Mrs Stein. We there found the bedtick produced on a stretcher. Mrs Stein at once identified this as her property. The saucepan produced was at Mrs Taylor's, who said that the prisoner had lent it to her. Mrs Stein also identified this as her property. The other articles were not found.

    Ellen Stein (the prosecutrix) stated the circumstances under which the goods allege to be stolen were missed by her. Five weeks ago last Friday night, she missed the articles from her garden. The bedtick was on the ground, and the saucepan on a bench against the back door or the house. She last saw the articles at nine o'clock on the night before she missed them. She lost a sheet and chemise at the same time. She missed the articles early on the following Saturday morning. She saw the articles again on Friday last. From information she received from one Ellen Andrews she went to the prisoner's hut and there found the bedtick produced. She at once claimed it as her own. The bedtick was her property, when she claimed it the prisoner said it was his property, and that he had had it in his possession six years. Witness then asked where the saucepan was and the rest of the things. He said in reply, that the saucepan was at Mr Taylor's, the chemise, and the sheet. Witness was positive the tick was her's; she recognised it by its general appearance and by two holes in it. The ticken was bought in Scotland. She could not identify the saucepan by any particular mark, but she believed it to be her's. The two articles were worth about 13s.

    By the prisoner: We were outside the house when you denied the tick was mine. I did not see any other bedtick at the prisoner's place. You asked me who told you where the things were, and I said Ellen Andrews's. You said that is the very woman I bought the things from.

    The prisoner elected to be dealt summarily with, and at his own request the case was remanded for a week to allow of witnesses being procured. Bail was allowed the prisoner, himself in the sum of £10, and two other sureties of £5 each.

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Charge of Stealing a purse.

    Edward Clifford, miner, was charge with stealing a purse containing the sum of £3 8s, the property of one Ellen Chandler, on the 7th instant.

    Constable Smith deposed to the apprehension of the prisoner at twelve o'clock on the previous Saturday night. On the way to the lockup the prisoner walked very lame, which induced witness to take his boot off. On taking off his boot witness found rolled up in an old sock three half sovereigns, four half crowns, one shilling with three P's on it, sixpence with a hole in it, and one shilling burnt black, and six other shillings. The sock was stuffed up the toe of the boot. When we found the money the prisoner said to Mrs Chandler who accompanied us, "I did not take the money to keep it, I intended to put it back again."

    Ellen Chandler, the prosecutrix, deposed to the circumstances under which she lost the money. She said the prisoner had lived next door to her, and had been in the habit of coming in and out of her house. Between nine and ten o'clock on Saturday last, she was cleaning herself before going up the town, when the prisoner came into her house, in which there were four rooms. She was in the front room when the prisoner first came in. She then went into the bedroom to dress herself. Shortly before the prisoner came in she had put a purse containing the money described above, on a table either in the front room or in her bedroom. No one else but herself and the prisoner were in the house at the time. The prisoner went into the bedroom as she came out. He did not remain there more than a minute, but followed her out and immediately went out of the house and came back again almost immediately and showed her a sovereign, saying he had found it in his pocket amongst some cotton wick. He had previously told witness that he had mislaid a sovereign. Witness then looked for her money but did not find it. The prisoner offered to lend her a sovereign till she found the money; she afterwards reported the loss of the money to the police. She identified the shilling with three P's on it, a burnt shilling, and a sixpence with a hole in it. The rest of the money tallied with the amount stolen from her except two sovereigns which the prisoner said were his.

    The prisoner was committed to take his trial at the next Court of Quarter Sessions at Maitland, on the 4th instant.

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TUESDAY, FEB 11, 1868.
Before H Scott, Esq, PM.

Indecent Exposure.

    Mary Ann Stiles was charged with indecently exposing her person in a public place in the city. Constable Wood proved the charge, stating that the prisoner was in company with some men on the wharf, and conducting herself in a most disgusting and indecent manner. The prisoner was sentenced to one month in Maitland gaol.

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Obscene Language.

    Samuel Duder appeared on summons, to answer a charge of using obscene language within hearing of a person passing in Market-street. Mr Slater appeared for the complainant, and Mr Wallace for the defendant. Mr Slater said the complainant had no desire to press the charge.

    The complainant (Peter H Bucksaith) said, that, on Friday afternoon last, he was standing in Rouse's butcher's shop.
Mr Wallace said he would take the preliminary objection that the language complained of was not as set out in the information.

    The Bench sustained the objection, and dismissed the charge on the ground of informality in the summons.

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Drunkenness.

    Charles O'Brien pleaded guilty to this offence, and was sentenced to pay a fine of 5s, or be imprisonment in the lockup for twenty-four hours.

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Ship Desertion.

    Antonio Gabrielle and Fransois (Frenchmen), were charged with deserting from the French ship Amelie, on the 6th instant.

    Mr Sub-inspector Harrison acted as interpreter.

    Both prisoners pleaded guilty to the charge, and said they got away in the ship's boat, which was left fastened
to the wharf.

    The Bench found the prisoners guilty, and sentenced them to be imprisoned in Maitland gaol for eight weeks.

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Using Threatening Language.

    James Cann was summoned for using threatening language to his daughter. Case dismissed. No appearance of parties.

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Assaults.

    Martin Barkley, on remand, was charged with assaulting one Thomas Turner at the Borehole, on the 8th inst. Postponed to Thursday. Bail was allowed on the application of Mr Brown, who appeared for the prisoner.

    The case of Peter H Bucksaith, for an assault on Samuel Duder, on the 6th inst, was withdrawn.

    The case of Frederick Green, for an assault committed on Thomas Jackson, on the 7th inst, was postpone to Thursday next. Mr Brown appeared for the complainant and Mr G Wallace for defendant.

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Wages Cases.

    The case of William Hendry v Captain Peter Fleming, of the bq. Camille, for £19 12s, wages, and Mr Mitchell v Capt Henry Tucker, for £18 4s, was postponed to Thursday, for want of a second magistrate. Mr George Wallace appeared for both defendants. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Newcastle Chronicle, Sat 14 Mar 1868 2

POLICE INTELLIGENCE.
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NEWCASTLE POLICE COURT.
MONDAY, MARCH 11, 1868.

Before H Scott, Esq, PM; and J Corlette, Esq, JP.

Assault.

Martin Barkley, on bail, appeared to answer the charge of having committed a violent assault on Thomas Turner, on the 8th instant, at the Borehole. It appeared from the evidence that prosecutor and prisoner had been drinking together on Saturday night, and on returning homewards early on Sunday morning, some person lying on the ground insulted Turner's wife, and on his going to see who it was he was struck on the head by prisoner. Several witnesses were called for the defence, but the assault being proved, the Bench inflicted a fine of 40s, 4s 6d costs, and 5s costs of one witness, or seven days imprisonment.

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Assault and Robbery.

    Ellen Andrew was charged with having violently assaulted one Joseph Smith, at Minmi, on the 25th Feb, and with robbing him of two £1 notes. Prisoner was discharged.

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Disorderly Conduct on Board Ship.

    Henry Marshall was convicted of this offence on board the British ship Rothley, on the 9th instant, and was sentenced to three weeks imprisonment in Maitland gaol.

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Using Profane Language.

    Thomas Coyde was charged with making use of profane language in Hunter-street, on the 10th instant, and was fined 5s, or forty-eight hours imprisonment.

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Indecent Exposure.

    Charles O'Brien was convicted of this offence in Hunter-street, on the 11th instant, and was sentenced to fourteen days imprisonment with hard labour.

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Obstructing a Watercourse.

    Alexander Forbes, Bolton-street, was summoned for obstructing a watercourse, and thereby causing a nuisance on the premises of Mr Hewitt Banfield, his neighbour. George Tribe, Inspector of Nuisances, appeared for the prosecution, but as he could not show his written appointment from the Borough Council, Mr Brown, who appeared for the defendant, objected to his evidence being taken. The Bench held the objection to be fatal, and dismissed the case.

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Wages Case.

    Frank Beaumont, engineer, was summoned for the non-payment of £18 wages, due to one Robert Whyte. The defendant did not appear, but the bench ruled they had no jurisdiction in the case, and therefore dismissed it.

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Drunkenness.

    John Bryman, for being drunk and disorderly on the brig Hope, on the 10th inst, was sent on board his vessel at the captain's request.

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THURSDAY, MARCH 12, 1868.

Before H Scott, Esq, PM, and E Parnell, Esq, JP.

Wages.

    Peter Fleming, master of the schooner Martha Ellen, was summoned by William Hendry for £19 12s, amount of wages due to him. It appeared from the evidence that plaintiff was mate of the schooner from Brisbane to the South Sea Islands and back, and about five weeks before the arrival of the vessel in this port, the captain told the plaintiff to knock off work as he had said the vessel "was as rotten as a pear." The plaintiff now sues for the full amount of wages, the defendant being only agreeable to pay to the time the plaintiff knocked off work, viz, £7.

    Verdict for the plaintiff for £7 13s 8d. Time allowed for payment to Friday morning, or fourteen days imprisonment.

    Mr G Wallace appeared for plaintiff.

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Detention of Property.

    William Strong appeared, on summons, to answer the charge of holding possession of an iron house in Blane-street, after due notice being given to quite.

    Mr Slater appeared for the plaintiff and Mr G Wallace for defendant.

    Mr Wallace admitted the service of the summons and notice to quit. For the prosecution the plaintiff and witnesses were called to show that the defendant had no claim on the business or premises of plaintiff; and for the defence the defendant and two witnesses proved that plaintiff sold the good-will of his business to defendant for the sum of £5.

    The Bench gave a verdict for the defendant with expenses of two witnesses 20s, and 21s professional costs.

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Wages Case.

    M Mitchell v. Henry Tucker, for £18 4s. Settled out of court.

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Assault.

    Frederick Green, was summoned by Thomas Jackson for an assault, settled out of court.

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Using Threats.

Robert Lawrence, dealer, was summoned by William Chapple for using threats towards him. Settled out of court.

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Using Obscene Language.

    Robert Devon appeared on summons, for using obscene language in the streets of Wallsend, on the 10th inst, and was fined 10s and 2s 6d cost, or forty-eight hours imprisonment.

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Evading a Railway Fare.

    Robert Blair and James Wotherspoon, miners, were each fined 5s and 5s 6d costs for travelling in a railway carriage between Newcastle and Waratah without a ticket.

 


1  The Newcastle Chronicle, Wed 11 Mar 1868, p. 3. Emphasis added.

2  The Newcastle Chronicle, Sat 14 Mar 1868, p. 3. Emphasis added.