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1870, William Hennessey - Unfit For Publication
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Goulburn Evening Penny Post and Southern Counties General Advertiser, Tue 4 Oct 1870 1


BEFORE his Honor, Mr Justice Hargraves.
    The above court was commenced yesterday morning. The Attorney-General represented the Crown. Mr Jackson from the crown-law office instructed.


    His Honor took his seat at ten o’clock.


    Thomas Hennesy [aka Hennessey] was charged with the offence.
    The evidence was altogether unfit for publication; and after a short absence the acquitted the prisoner.

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The Goulburn Herald and Chronicle, Sat 1 Oct 1870 2

    THE GOULBURN ASSIZES will commence on Monday next before his Honor Mr Justice Hargrave. The attorney-general will prosecute for the crown. There are six criminal cases for trial, viz:—Michael Seerey (on bail), committed by the Goulburn bench, arson; Thomas Callaghan, Young, indecent assault; Thomas Rayner, Braidwood, criminal assault on a child; William Welsh, assault with intent; Mary Gurney, Goulburn, manslaughter; and Thomas Hennesey, [sic] bestiality. There is only one civil case—that of Jeffs v. Hoare—on the paper for hearing.—Messrs Butler and Davis, barristers, are expected to be in attendance.

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The Goulburn Herald and Chronicle, Wed 5 Oct 1870 3


THIS court opened on Monday before his Honor Mr Justice Hargrave. The Attorney-General (Sir WM Manning) prosecuted for the crown, assisted by Mr Jackson, from the crown law offices. The other legal gentlemen present were Mr Davis, barrister, and Messrs Walsh, Betts, Gannon, and Emanuel, solicitors. Mr Conolly represented the sheriff, and Mr Ralph Hargrave performed the duties of clerk of arraigns.

    The Queen’s proclamation against vice and immorality was read by the clerk of arraigns.


  His Honor took his seat on the bench at ten minutes past ten o’clock.


    William Hennessy, was charged with having, on the 17th August last at Araluen, committed an offence against nature [with a mare ].

    Prisoner pleaded not guilty, and was defended by Mr Davis, instructed by Mr Gannon.

    The attorney-general stated the case to the jury and called,

    Sergeant Brennan, who deposed: I am stationed at Araluen; on the 27th August I received information upon which I arrested the prisoner; he said he did not commit the offence; the principal witness took me to the gully where the offence was alleged to have been committed.

    To Mr Davis: Horses were in the habit of running in this gully; prisoner told me the charge was brought against him because he cut away a tail-race belonging to Leaney; a man named Cowles told the prisoner that if he did not clear out he would get a warrant for him; prisoner has borne an excellent character.

    John Leaney deposed: I am a miner, living at Araluen; I am sixteen years of age; prisoner worked in a claim next to our claim; on the 17th August I was going after three saddle horses, when I saw the prisoner leading a mare along the gully; I saw him tie up the mare to a wattle; (witness here described the alleged offence); prisoner then got onto the mare and rode away; there was a quarrel between the prisoner and our party.

    To Mr Davis: There are twelve shareholders in the claim I worked in; I was about eight yards from the prisoner; I was on the side of the range and the prisoner was in the gully beneath; I made no noise until the prisoner was going away; Cowles lodged the charge against the prisoner; I am only a friend of Cowles, who said I ought not to have said anything about it.

    David Cowles deposed: I am a shareholder in a claim at Mudmelong; there was some dispute about a race between our party and the prisoner’s party; it was a Wednesday evening I heard about what the prisoner had done; this matter was talked about in the claim, and I and Henry Nash went to the prisoner’s hut and told him he had better clear out; if he did not clear out I said I should be under the necessity of getting a warrant for his apprehension; I did not get the warrant, nor do I know who gave the information to the police.

    To Mr Davis: Leaney did not tell me the plain facts, but left me to guess; Nash questioned the boy about the matter and he told him all about it; prisoner said he would not clear out, but he would see the matter out regardless of expense; Leaney is no relation of mine; Leaney’s mother lives at Jembaicumbene.

    This was the case for the crown.

    Mr Davis addressed the jury for the defence.

    The attorney-general having replied, his Honor summed up, the jury retired, and after an absence of five minutes, returned into court with a verdict of not guilty.

    The prisoner was then discharged.


1  Goulburn Evening Penny Post and Southern Counties General Advertiser, Tue 4 Oct 1870, p. 2.

2  The Goulburn Herald and Chronicle, Sat 1 Oct 1870, p. 4. Emphasis added.

3  The Goulburn Herald and Chronicle, Wed 5 Oct 1870, p. 2. Emphasis added.