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The Goulburn Herald and Chronicle, Wed 24 Dec 1873 1



    Before the police magistrate.

    Elizabeth Cooper v. William Tute; charge of indecent assault.

    Mr Gannon for complainant; Mr Betts for defence.

    The defendant is schoolmaster and postmaster at Mannafield, and the assault in question is alleged to have been committed on the person of Clara Cooper, aged nine years, a daughter of the complainant, and who had been attending defendant’s school. The facts of the case are unfit for publication.

    The police-magistrate, after hearing the evidence of Clara Cooper, Mary Ann Barrett, Elizabeth Anne Montaga Barrett, Elizabeth Cooper, James Cooper, Mary Barrett, and James Cooper, committed the defendant to take his trial at the next quarter-sessions, 22nd January next. Bail allowed—self in £50, and two sureties of £25 each.

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The Goulburn Herald and Chronicle, Sat 27 Dec 1873 2


Sir,—Will you be so good as to contradict an error that appeared in your yesterday’s issue, where it is reported that William Tute is postmaster at Mannafield? This is not the case, as I have held the office of postmaster at Mannafield for the last few years.

    By putting this right in your next issue you will greatly oblige,

Yours obediently,


Mannafield, 24th December.

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Goulburn Evening Penny Post, Sat 24 Jan 1874 3


    This Court opened on Thursday morning at 10 o’clock, before his Honor Judge Macfarland.

    Mr E Lee prosecuted on behalf of the crown; Mr JJ Allman, PM, represented the sheriff; and Mr CK Alexander officiated as clerk of arraigns.

    The legal gentlemen present were Messrs Forster, Betts, and Gannon.


  William Tute (on bail) was charged with committing an indecent assault on the persons of Mary Ann Barrett and Clara Cooper, both children under the age of twelve years, on the 8th November last, at Mannafield.

    Prisoner pleaded not guilty.

    Mr Betts appeared for the defence.

His Honor ordered that all women and children leave the court.

    The Crown-Prosecutor opened the case, pointing out the gross nature of the offence and saying that if the prisoner be guilty of the offence imputed to him the gaol would be the proper place for him to pass the end of his days.

    The evidence of the witnesses who were examined before the police magistrate was recapitulated, but being unfit for publication, we refrain from publishing it. Several witnesses were called for the defence, and to speak as to the prisoner’s character.

    Mr Betts addressed the jury at some length for the defence.

    His Honor summed up and the jury retired to consider their verdict, and after an absence of half-an-hour returned with a verdict of guilty.

The prisoner was sentenced to be imprisoned in Goulburn gaol for twelve months.

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Empire, Tue 27 Jan 1874 4


January 25th.

    The Goulburn Quarter Sessions commenced on Thursday morning and terminated on Friday evening, his Honor Judge McFarland presiding. All the individuals placed upon their trial were found guilty. Mr E Lee prosecuted on behalf of the Crown.

    William Tute, an old man upwards of seventy years old, the keeper of a school at Mannafield, received a sentence of twelve months in Goulburn gaol for indecently assaulting two of his pupils Mary Ann Barratt [sic] and Clara Cooper, aged respectively 10 and 9.


1  The Goulburn Herald and Chronicle, Wed 24 Dec 1873, p. 2. Emphasis added.

2  The Goulburn Herald and Chronicle, Sat 27 Dec 1873, p. 5. Emphasis added.

3  Goulburn Evening Penny Post, Sat 24 Jan 1874, p. 2.

4  Empire, Tue 27 Jan 1874, p. 3.