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
1882, William Smith - Unfit For Publication
Text Size


The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Sat 2 Dec 1882 1


    The November sittings of the Maitland Quarter Sessions was opened on Thursday morning, before his Honor Mr District Court Judge Dowling. Mr Clarke Irving prosecuted for the Crown; the members of the bar present were Messrs Edmunds and Harris. The prisoners in custody were arraigned.


    On the jury list being read over, James Green, George McKean, and Henry Buchanan did not answer to the call, and were each fined 40s.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Tue 5 Dec 1882 2


    The Court reopened and ten o’clock.


    His Honor remitted the fines of George McKean and Henry Buchanan,  jurors, who were absent on the first day but reported themselves on the opening of the Court.


    William Smith was charged with that he did on … October, at Copeland, commit the above … pleaded not guilty, and was defended … of the case, which was a very disgusting … as follow: The prisoner, who is a miner residing at Copeland, met the prosecutor, William Gearing, a Randwick Asylum lad, aged 15, apprenticed to Robert Carlton, butcher, of Copeland, between the bar and the billiard room of the Royal Hotel, and speaking to him made certain proposals. The prosecutor accompanied accused to the back of the hotel, and was pulled by him into a shed where the alle[ged] offence was attempted, the prosecutor … evidently a willing party.— George Lees, cor[roborated] … and Frederick Collins, saddler, both of … gave evidence of hearing voices in the …, of going to the door, of speaking to … who made no complaint to them … witnesses gave accused a good character … substantiated the statement of prisoner … that he had not been in the township … eight o’clock, whereas the alleged … stated to be committed about ten o’clock.

    Mr Edmunds, in addressing the jury [for the] defence, enlarged upon the enormity of [the] offence, and asked the jury would they convict the prisoner upon the unsupported evidence of a boy such as the prosecutor, who was evidently a consenting party. The learned gentleman read authorities on the subject, and pointed out that the prisoner had been charged with the offence, while the attempt was only proved.

    His Honor, in summing up, alluded to the clever manner in which Mr Edmunds, the counsel for the prisoner, raised an important and rather difficult question of law. His Honor further said that Mr Edmunds had argued very clearly and very cleverly the point that the intention of the prisoner could not be to commit the offence stated in the indictment.

    The jury, after a short absence, brought in a verdict of not guilty, and prisoner was discharged.

    His Honor then adjourned the court until this morning, when the District Court opens. His Honor took occasion to compliment Mr Edmunds on his success in his native town, he having won all his cases but one. Mr Edmunds, in thanking his Honor, explained that West Maitland was his native town.

    Upon the court resuming after luncheon hour, Mr Clarke Irving, the Crown Prosecutor, said he had been requested by the public and officers of the Court, as it was his Honor’s birthday, to compliment him upon looking so well and hearty, and upon the retention of his power and ability. (Applause.) He trusted that his Honor would long be spared to carry out his duties, and adorn the bench.

    His Honor thanked everyone present for the kind words Mr Irving had given utterance to, and took occasion to remark that he could not much longer be expected to continue his duties. He was getting old – the same age as the Queen, – but like an old horse, the more work he had the better he got. It was fifty years since he had first come among them, and he could be regarded as one of themselves.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, Wed 6 Dec 1882 3


    THE following additional sentences were passed on Friday at the Maitland Quarter Sessions by his Honor Judge Dowling:—Charles Sheridan, attempted suicide at the Black Diamond Hotel, Newcastle, three months; Patrick Bourke, police constable, alleged perjury, acquitted; Martin Daly, breaking and entering Canon Tyrrell’s residence, acquitted; Wallace Johnson, horse stealing, twelve months’ hard labour; Thomas Turner, horse stealing, Wollombi, acquitted; Samuel Thompson, Dungog, embezzlement acquitted; William Smith, a Copeland miner, unnatural offence, acquitted.


1  The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Sat 2 Dec 1882, p. 2.

2  The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Tue 5 Dec 1882, p. 4. Emphasis added. The available microfilm newspaper copy is torn and some of the article’s text is missing. The missing text is replaced by … in the transcription.

3  Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, Wed 6 Dec 1882, p. 2. Emphasis added.