Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/178353/domains/unfitforpublication.org.au/html/plugins/system/gantry/gantry.php on line 406
1870, George Banks Suttor - Unfit For Publication
Text Size

 

The Sydney Morning Herald, Thu 1 Dec 1870 1

    INDECENT ASSAULT.—Our Parramatta correspondent writes:—It is not often that the community of Parramatta has to regret the occurrence of any very serious offences in their midst, and there is a species of just pride attaching to this fact which we cannot but feel with complacency. During the past fortnight or three weeks, a painful rumour has been current in the town, involving a character of a gentleman well up in the social scale in a charge of no small magnitude. The rumour was strengthened by several circumstances, so that the public could not refrain from placing considerable reliance on it. The police authorities have at last taken the matter in hand, and to-day (Wednesday) Mr GB Suttor was arraigned in the Parramatta Police Court, charged with having committed an indecent assault on a child of tender years. Messrs W Roberts and TH Hellyer were engaged to appear for the defendant. On the case being called on, Mr George Langley, chairman of the Bench, stated that it would be conducted with closed doors, and the reporters, as well as the general public, were ordered out of Court. We understand, however, that the information being read charging the defendant with the offence, the case was adjourned until Saturday next.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Morning Herald, Mon 6 Dec 1870 2

PARRAMATTA.
———◦———
(FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT.)

INDECENT ASSAULT.—The charge against G B Suttor, for commenting an indecent assault upon a child of tender years, was proceeded with to-day (Saturday) before a full Bench. Messrs W Roberts and TH Hellyer appeared for defendant. The case was conducted with closed doors, the Press being excluded. Several witnesses were examined, whose testimony went to point to the commission of the offence. The medical testimony was also strongly against the defendant, who was ultimately committed to take his trial at the February Parramatta Quarter Sessions. A plea of insanity having been raised in defence, the Bench preceeded [sic] to examined witnesses in order to arrive at a decision hereupon. The evidence of Drs Brown and Pringle, the Rev Mr Britton of Castle Hill, and Mr Johnston, JP, of Windsor, went to prove that defendant was not a fit person to be at large or left without control. He was accordingly forwarded to the receiving house at Darlinghurst for examination and treatment.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Evening News, Tue 13 Dec 1870 3

PARRAMATTA QUARTER SESSIONS.
————
(Before JF Josephson, Esq, chairman.)

THE court of quarter sessions opened on Monday, the 12th instant, when the case of George Banks Suttor, charged with having committed an indecent assault upon a child seven years of age, was called on.

    Mr Wilkinson prosecuted.

    The defendant, by his attorney, William Roberts, pleaded, 1st In the bar to the indictment, that the defendant is now insane, and unfitted by reason thereof to undergo his trial. 2nd. That defendant being a dangerous lunatic and of unsound mind, was, on the 3rd day of December now instant, duly convicted of the offence upon oaths of two duly qualified medical practitioners, and upon the oaths of other persons, and was thereupon committed by justices under the statutes in that behalf to a lunatic reception house, in and for the colony of New South Wales, as by law required, and there ordered to be retained until discharged in due course of law; and the defendant alleges that he has not been discharged from such lunatic reception house, and is not fit, for the reasons aforesaid, to undergo his trial for the offence alleged.

    The defendant’s attorney then challenged one of the jurors, Mr Hugh Taylor, and a new jury was empannelled. [sic]

    Dr Pringle stated on oath: I have know defendant for upwards to ten years. I never attended him personally, but I have attended his family professionally. I have found indications on insanity in defendant’s family. Defendant’s sister, Mrs Lisle, is now, or was lately, an inmate of a lunatic asylum, to which she was committed upon a certificate signed by me and the late Dr Greenup. It is about six or seven years ago. I believe she has never been cured. At the time I believed her to be an incurable lunatic. From facts communicated to me, and from my personal knowledge of defendant’s family, I believe defendant to be a dangerous lunatic and ought not to be at large, and that he is a person liable to commit an indictable offence unless restrain3ed; on the 3rd December last Dr Brown and I examined defendant, and we as medical gentlemen gave a certificate as required by law that he was of unsound mind. The certificate given by us was handed over to the clerk of petty sessions. It was to the effect that defendant was of unsound mind. I have at different times, during ten years, had frequent opportunities of judging of defendant’s demeanour and habits. I know him to have been a magistrate and returning-officer for Parramatta. I form the fact of hereditary predisposition thereto, and defendant’s general demeanour. The charge he now stands indicted with has been communicated to me. I know what he is charged with.

    Cross-examined: I think now that defendant is able to understand what is going on. That is what is being said of him and what he is here for—but that he is not able to instruct his advisers as to his line of defence, or suggest what he should say in his defence. I have not examined defendant since 3rd December instant. My opinion is based on what I have noticed previously of defendant’s conduct. I know he has been a JP and returning-officer for Parramatta within the period of six weeks. I believe that during the last three years defendant has not been safe at large. I believe that at the present moment he can understand the words of the indictment read, but he cannot attach any criminality to the offence with which he is charged. I mean to say this—that he does not in my opinion believe he has done any wrong. For some days after the occurrence I spoke to him about it, and he it was who introduced the matter to me, and stated that he had no desire as regards women, but that he could no restrain himself where there were young children.

    Examination continued: Men are given to such offences from mental derangement.

    To his Honor: I believe defendant knows what he is here for, but am very doubtful whether he understands the guilt of his offence. I believe defendant to be insane on this point, but this is only one of the many phases of lunacy of which I believe him to be a subject. He has been guilty of many strange notions, but this is the first act he has been publicly charged with. I cannot tell at present whether he has a knowledge of right and wrong, but I can say that at the time I examined him he was not sane. I cannot say how he is now—an insane man has lucid intervals—but I believe the defendant to be such a dangerous lunatic as to be unfit to be at large, and I believe that he is not now capable =of forming an opinion as to his guilt. He is capable of knowing that he committed the offence, but he attaches no guilt to it.

    John Howson, attendant at the lunatic reception house, Darlinghurst, was examined. It appeared from the statements of witness that since his confinement defendant had been under his custody. He had seen a good deal of him, and had held conversations with him. He did understand witness particularly about his meals. He never spoke to witness about the crime charged against him, nor did witness to him.

    Robert Champley Rutter, a duly qualified medical practitioner, resident in Parramatta for forty years: Knows defendant and the Suttor family. Knows that there is hereditary insanity in the family. Defendant has been very eccentric for many years, and at last this eccentricity has merged into madness. From general information received, and from personal knowledge of defendant’s habits and demeanour he is insane, and unfit to undergo his trial.. I believe him to be a dangerous lunatic, and that his insanity is gradually growing worse. I know the charge preferred against defendant. I know him to be an aged man, near seventy. The crime imputed to him is a species of insanity.

    Mr Roberts asked the witness: Have you, apart from personal experience, any authority to bear out your opinion in this respect.

    Dr Rutter: I have. I produce it—a book, entitled “Cyclopaedia of Practical Medicine.” An article therein written by Dr Pritchard, on “Insanity,” was read.

    Examination continued: I speak from general knowledge of defendant’s family and his habits. Two of his family are in lunatic asylums. One is a young man there—a first cousin. I do believe defendant is a dangerous lunatic, unfit to be at large, and unfit to stand his trial on the charge now preferred against him.

    Cross-examined: There has been some talk about moral insanity. Do you consider this offence one indicative of moral insanity?

    Answer: I do. But when such insanity remains for some time, it becomes intellectual insanity. I do not believe that defendant knows the graveness of the crime for which he stands indicted. I believe defendant does not know he has done wrong.

    Mr G Langley, JP, said the magistrates on the 3rd instant, seven in all, inquired into the charge of lunacy then preferred against the defendant. The decision as to the lunacy of defendant was come to on the evidence of two medical gentlemen as required by law.

    The depositions were put in.

    The Crown prosecutor havening addressed the jury.

    Mr Roberts desired to speak on behalf of his client, but the court refused the application .

    The judge have summed up the evidence as bearing for and against the plea.

    The jury retied, and the court was adjourned till 7 pm.

    The court re-assembled at 7.30 pm, and the jury returned a verdict—“That the ‘charged’ is in a proper state to taker his trial—he is sane.”

    The defendant was then called on to plead, and pleaded not guilty; but as his attorney required four days to plead, it was arranged that the trial would take place on Friday next.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Empire, Wed 14 Dec 1870 4

PARRAMATTA QUARTER SESSIONS.
———
(Before JF Josephson, Esq, chairman.)

THE court of quarter sessions opened on Monday, the 12th instant, when the case of George Banks Suttor, charged with having committed an indecent assault upon a child seven years of age, was called on.

    Mr Wilkinson prosecuted.

    The defendant, by his attorney, William Roberts, pleaded, 1st. In bar to the indictment, that the defendant is now insane, and unfitted by reason th3ereof to undergo his trial. 2nd. That defendant being a dangerous lunatic and of unsound mind, was, on the 3rd day of December now instant, duly convicted of the offence upon oaths of two duly qualified medical practitioners, and upon the oaths of other persons, and was thereupon committed by justices under the statutes in that behalf to a lunatic reception house, in and for the colony of New South Wales, as by law required, and there ordered to be retained until discharged in due course of law; and the defendant alleges that he has not been discharged from such lunatic reception house, and is not fit, for the reasons aforesaid, to undergo his trial for the offence alleged.

    The defendant’s attorney then challenged one of the jurors, Mr Hugh Taylor, and a new jury was empannelled.

    Dr Pringle stated on oath: I have known defendant for upward of ten years. I never attended him personally, but I have attended his family professionally. I have found indications of insanity in defendant’s family. Defendant’s sister, Mrs Lisle, is now, or was lately, an inmate of a lunatic asylum, to which she was committed upon a certificate signed by me and the late Dr Greenup. It is about six or seven years ago. I believe she has never been cured. At the time I believed her to be an incurable lunatic. From facts communicated to me, and from my personal knowledge of defendant’s family, I believe defendant to be a dangerous lunatic and ought not to be at large, and that he is a person liable to commit an indictable offence unless restrained; on the 3rd December last Dr Brown and I examined defendant, and we as medical gentlemen gave a certificate as required by law that he was of unsound mind. The certificate given by us was handed over to the clerk of petty sessions. It was to the effect that defendant was of unsound mind. I have at different times, during ten years, had frequent opportunities of judging of defendant’s demeanour and habits. I know him to have been a magistrate and returning-officer for Parramatta. I form the fact of hereditary predisposition thereto, and defendant’s general demeanour. The charge he now stands indicted with has been communicated to me. I know what he is charged with.

    Cross-examined: I think now that defendant is able to understand what is going on. That is what is being said of him and what he is here for but that he is not able to instruct his advisers as to his line of defence, or suggest what he should say in his defence. I have not examined defendant since 3rd December instant. My opinion is based on what I have noticed previously of defendant’s conduct. I know he has been a JP and a returning-officer for Parramatta within the period of six weeks. I believe that during the last three years defendant has not been safe at large. I believe that at the present moment he can understand the words of the indictment read, but he cannot attach any criminality to the offence with which he is charged. I mean to say this—that he does not in my opinion believe he has done any wrong. For some days after the occurrence, I spoke to him about it, and he it was who introduced the matter to me, and stated that he had no desire as regards women, but that he could not restrain himself where there were young children.

    Examination continued: Men are given to such offences from mental derangement.

    To his Honor: I believe defendant knows what he is here for, but am very doubtful whether he understands the guilt of his offence. I believe defendant to be insane on this point, but this is only one of the many phases of lunacy of which I believe him to be a subject. He has been guilty of many strange actions, but this is the first act he has been publicly charged with. I cannot tell at present whether he has a knowledge of right and wrong, but I can say that at the time I examined him he was not sane. I cannot say how he is now–an insane man has lucid intervals—but I believe the defendant to be such a dangerous lunatic as to be unfit to be at large, and I believe that he is not now capable of forming an opinion as to his guilt. He is capable of knowing that he committed the offence, but he attaches no guilt to it.

John Howson, attendant at the lunatic reception house, Darlinghurst, was examined. It appeared from the statements of witness that since his confinement defendant had been under his custody. He had seen a good deal of him, and had held conversations with him. He did understand witness particularly about his meals. He never spoke to witness about the crime charged against him, nor did witness to him.

    Robert Champley Rutter, a duly qualified medical practitioner, resident in Parramatta for forty years: Known defendant and the Suttor family. Known that there is hereditary insanity in the family. Defendant has been very eccentric for many years, and at last this eccentricity has merged into madness. From general information received, and from personal knowledge of defendant’s habits and demeanour he is insane, and unfit to undergo his trial. I believe him to be a dangerous lunatic, and that his insanity is gradually growing worse. I know the charge preferred against defendant. I know him to be an aged man, near seventy. The crime imputed to him is a species of insanity.

    Mr Roberts asked the witness: Have you, apart from personal experience, any authority to bear out your opinion in this respect.

    Dr Rutter: I have. I produce it—a book, entitled “Cyclopaedia of Practical Medicine.” An article therein written by Dr Pritchard, on “Insanity,” was read.

    Examination continued: I speak from general knowledge of defendant’s family and his habits. Two of his family are in lunatic asylums. One is a young man there–a first cousin. I do believe defendant is a dangerous lunatic, unfit to be at large, and unfit to stand his trial on the charge now preferred against him.

    Cross-examined: There has been some talk about moral insanity. Do you consider this offence one when such insanity remains for some time, it becomes intellectual insanity. I do not believe that defendant knows the graveness of the crime for which he stands indicted. I believe defendant does not know he has done wrong.

    Mr G Langley, JP, said the magistrates on the 3rd instant, seven in all, inquired into the charge of lunacy then preferred against defendant. The decision as to the lunacy of defendant was come to on the evidence of two medical gentlemen as required by law.

    The deposition s were put in.

    The Crown prosecutor having addressed the jury,

    Mr Roberts desired to speak on behalf of his client, but the court refused the application.

    The judge having summed up the evidence as bearing for and against the plea.

    The jury retired, and the court was adjourned till 7 pm.

    The court re-assembled at 7.30 pm, and the jury returned a verdict—“That the ‘charged’ is in a proper state to take his trial—he is sane.”

    The defendant was then called upon to plead, and pleaded not guilty; but as his attorney required four days to plead, it was arranged that the trial should take place on Friday next.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Morning Herald, Tue 20 Dec 1870 5

PARRAMATTA QUARTER SESSIONS.
———◦———
(FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT.)

FRIDAY, 16th, and Saturday, 17th December.
Before Mr District Judge Josephson.

    THE QUEEN V. SUTTOR.—Mr Wilkinson, Crown Prosecutor.—The trial of this case, from the grave nature of the offence, and from the high social position defendant has occupied, created an unusual amount of interest, the Court being crowded. On Friday the case lasted all day, from 10 am till about half-past 7 pm, when the jury were ordered by the Judge to be detained until the following day.

    George Banks Suttor was charged with an indecent assault upon a female child of tender years—to wit, of seven years—at Parramatta, on the 4th November last.

    The defendant was represented by Mr William Roberts, assisted by Mr Hellyer.

    Harriet Horsey, nursemaid to Mr FJ Wickham (whose daughter 7 years of age was the injured child), deposed to her being taken with another child in defendant’s gig, and conveyed to the Parramatta domain, where the offence was said to have been committed, on the 4th November. Other witnesses were Mr FJ Wickham, James Hanna, and police-sergeant Kelly. A question of defendant’s sanity was raised during the trial, and the medical testimony of Mr John H Pringle and Mr W Brown were to the effect that he was not of sound mind.

    Mr James Byrnes, MLA, gave evidence on the same purport. Mr Isaac Aaron and Mr ESP Bedford, who had seen defendant at the Lunatic Receiving House, Darlinghurst, were of opinion that he knew right from wrong at the time of committing the offence.

    The jury found defendant guilty of the offence, and stated their belief that when he committed the offence, he was “conscious of knowing right from wrong;” but they recommended him to mercy on account of his age and eccentric habits.

    He was sentenced to two years, with hard labour, on the roads or other public works pf the colony.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

New South Wales Government Gazette, Fri 23 Dec 1870 6

(2585)

Department of Lands,

Sydney, 23rd December, 1870.

It is hereby notified, that His Excellency the Governor, with the advice of the Executive Council, has been pleased to appoint

WILLIAM FULLAGER, ESQURE,

as Trustee of the Parramatta Park, in the room of Mr George Banks Suttor.

(70-5646 Ms.)

J BOWIE WILSON.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 24 Dec 1870 7

THE GOVERNMENT GAZETTE.
———◦———

The following notifications appear in yesterday’s Government Gazette:—

    APPOINTMENTS.—Mr William Fullagar has been appointed trustee of the Parramatta Park, in the room of Mr George Banks Suttor.

    GOVERNMENT GAZETTE.—The Government Gazette will be published on Wednesday, the 28th, instead of Tuesday, the 27th instant.

    WITHDRAWAL OF CHURCH AND SCHOOL LEASES FROM SALE.— the undermentioned portions of land advertised in the Government Gazette of the 25th ultimo (No. 287), for sale at the Land Office, Singleton, on the 28th instant, have been withdrawn from sale, namely:—Lots 12, 13, 14, and 15, county of Durham, parish of Liddell.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 31 Dec 1870 8

NOTES OF THE WEEK.
———◦———
FROM THE 23RD DECEMBER TO THE 30TH DECEMBER.

SUCH a cold and stormy Christmas has not been known in Sydney within the memory of man. In many parts of the interior there has been a sudden rise of waters, and an inundation of low-lying country.

    A new Public school was opened at Paddington on the 23rd instant.

    An old woman, named Martha Wilton, died suddenly in Pitt-street on the 25th instant.

    An unfortunate man, named Bernard Devine, died on the 26th instant, from the results of a severe fall.

    A splendid codfish, 46 inches long, 20 inches in girth, and 43 lbs weight, was recently caught near Gundagai.

    John Coulter, a confinee in Darlinghurst, of the vagrant class, died in the gaol hospital on the 21st instant, aged 70 years.

    The committee charged with the management of the Anniversary Regatta have arranged for fourteen events.

    Mr William Fullagar has been appointed trustee of the Parramatta Park, in the room of Mr George Banks Suttor.

    Mr George Wyndham, an old colonist, for many years well known as a most successful vigneron, died suddenly in Sydney last Saturday evening.

    a human skeleton, apparently one which had been buried for many years, was recently uncovered on the Bondi Beach, during the last tempestuous weather.

    on Tuesday last, the Hon Sir James Martin and the Hon JB Wilson were re-elected for East Sydney without opposition. The joint re-election of Messrs Robertson and Windeyer was opposed by Mr JG O’Connor. Messrs Robertson and Windeyer were, after sharp contest, re-elected.

    the Fidelity Lodge of Freemasons (No. 267 IC), gave a picnic on Wednesday last, at Robinson’s Point.

    The Christmas dinner for the children of the Randwick Asylum was provided by Mr John Baptist, who has most liberally exercised this charity annually for the last sixteen years. Mr Baptist’s gift consisted of—8 sheep, 89 lbs beef, 1 pig, 0 lbs suet, 56 lbs raisins, 26 lbs currants, 12 lbs rice, 5 lbs lemon, peel, 6 cwt potatoes, 6 cwt flour, 132 lbs sugar, 12 lbs coffee, 2 lbs tea, 10 gallons lemon syrup, 12 dozen eggs, 130 lbs biscuits, together with vegetables.

    Attention has been drawn to the fact that this very exceptional season resembles that of the summer of 1832. Unfortunately our authentic meteorological records do not back further than 1840.

 


1  The Sydney Morning Herald, Thu 1 Dec 1870, p. 4.

2  The Sydney Morning Herald, Mon 6 Dec 1870, p. 5. Emphasis added.

3  Evening News, (Sydney, NSW), Tue 13 Dec 1870, p. 3. Emphasis added.

4  Empire, Wed 14 Dec 1870, p. 3. Emphasis added.

5  The Sydney Morning Herald, Tue 20 Dec 1870, p. 5. Emphasis added.

6  New South Wales Government Gazette, Fri 23 Dec 1870, p. 2851. Emphasis added.

7  The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 24 Dec 1870, p. 7. Emphasis added.

8  The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 31 Dec 1870, p. 5. Emphasis added.