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1883, Charles Miller - Unfit For Publication
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Below also see: Lucas Leow, 1896,
Conrad Ritter, 1909


The North Eastern Ensign, Tue 30 Oct 1883 1


    A Swiss named Charles Miller, a snake-charmer, lately connected with an itinerant show, was brought up at the Benalla Police Court yesterday, before Mr Blackburne, JP, charged with the commission of three most serious offences. The charges were—indecently assaulting a delicate-looking little boy about 4½ years of age; assaulting with intent to commit an abominable offence upon the person of a lad 13 years; and also for indecently assaulting the latter. The police asked for a remand until the 5th proximo, and the bench granted the application. No evidence was gone into, but from what we can glean Constable Blade and Middleditch caught the accused red-handed in the commission of the first-named offence in the Agricultural Show-grounds. Miller, who appears to be about 30 years of age, will be conveyed to Beechworth this morning.

    As soon as the Police Court was opened yesterday, the building was thronged with a crowd of youths and young men, apparently on the qui vive to hear the disgusting details of a most abominable offence, in connection with the case of the Police v. Charles Miller, alluded to in the preceding paragraph. Sergeant Whelan, however, who appeared for the prosecution, very properly asked His Worship to order the clearing of the court, and when the order of the Bench was being put into effect it was noticed that several of the disappointed ones left with a very bad grace. Why young men will exhibit such morbid curiosity in this direction is incomprehensible. At any rate, such conduct is in no way creditable, and should be discountenanced.

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The North Eastern Ensign, Tue 6 Nov 1883 2

(Before A Robertson, Esq, JP.)

(Before Mr GD McCormick, PM.)


    Charles Miller, charged with various acts of indecency, was remanded until Thursday next.

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The North Eastern Ensign, Fri 9 Nov 1883 3

(Before Mr GD McCormick, PM.)


    Queen v Charles Muller: attempted sodomy. Mr Superintendent Montfort, who appeared for the Crown, asked the bench to hear the case with closed doors.

    His Worship said he wished he could do so, but that such a step was illegal, except in a case where it was considered necessary in the interest of justice so to do. However desirable, in the interests of morality it would be to hear the case in private, he repeated it would not be legal. Eventually, a number of boys who had been called as witnesses, were ordered out of the Court until called on.

    Frederick Mirams, a lad 13 years of age, the subject of the alleged offence, sworn, stated that he first became acquainted with accused on the 5th October. On the 15th October accused took him to an entertainment at Benalla. After the play accused asked him to go and sleep with him to Louch’s hotel. Went to the hotel, where the accused gave him some lemonade to drink. (The witness then gave a relation of what occurred in the prisoner’s room, the particulars where of, by reason of their revolting nature being totally unfit for publication.) The witness, who, it must be remarked, gave his evidence in a rather shameless manner, contradicted himself in some points of his narration, and the bench, considering the attempt at the committal of the capital offence not proven, without further ado dismissed the case.

    Mr Montfort explained to the bench that this was the only charge they could bring against the prisoner.

    His Worship, in reply, stated he well understood the difficulty the police were in.


    The charge against the same prisoner, of indecently assaulting Frederick Mirams, was withdrawn by Superintendent Montfort, this officer stating the Crown could not go on with the case, as the principal witness was a consenting party.


    Muller was further charged with indecently assaulting a little boy named George Paxin, under 5 years of age, on the 27th October.

    Constable Middleditch stated that on the day in question (Saturday, 27th ult) Constable Blade and himself were at the rear of the police court when they saw the prisoner, who had been under surveillance for about seven or eight days, coming into the Agricultural Show grounds, leading the boy Paxin by the hand. The constables, who were in plain clothes, watched the man’s movements. Muller and the boy walked towards the pavilion. Upon reaching this building they observed the man and boy just disappearing into one of the sheep-pens, where they stayed four or five minutes. When they came out of the pen the constables observed that the boy had his coat off, and was carrying the garment in his hand. The man then went into the gully which runs through the grounds. In the meantime the constables, whose suspicions were now more than ever aroused, jump the fence and got into the road at the back of the grounds, leading to the river. They crept stealthily along under shelter of the fence, until they came in sight of the accused and the boy, whom they found in an indecent attitude. At a preconcerted signal the constables rushed upon their man whom they found in the commission of the offence (which was described fully), and whom they immediately arrested and lodged in the lock-up. They then sent for a medical man.

    Constable Blade corroborated the evidence given by Constable Middleditch, and added that the little boy told him that the accused had slapped his face and made him come over the river.

    Dr Henry stated he had examined both the boy and the prisoner. The result of the examination coincided with the description of the offence given by the constables. The prisoner was quite sober.

    The evidence of Anna Paxin, mother of the lad, went to show that on the Saturday in question prisoner, who was stopping at her brother’s boardinghouse, asked her to let the little boy go out for a walk with him. She consented, and they both left. The man was quite sober.

    The accused [Charles Muller] made a statement to the Bench to the effect that some things said by Constable Middleditch were not true. He said: “I am guilty in the case, except in a few things that have been said; but I don’t understand the laws of this country.”

    The accused was thereupon committed to take his trial at a court of General Sessions to be held in the Northern Bailiwick on some future day to be hereafter fixed.


    Mr Superintendent Montfort applied for permission to discharge firearms within the town boundary for two months.—The police offering no objections, the Bench granted the application.

    The court then adjourned.

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The North Eastern Ensign, Tue 5 Feb 1884 4

WHAT cannot be viewed in any other light than as an anomaly is the regulation under the Judicature Act requiring the committal for trial of accused persons to the first high court in each bailiwick.

    In the case of the man Charles Miller, who was committed from the Benalla Police Court for trial “at a court of General Sessions in the Northern Bailwick, [sic] on the date to be hereafter fixed,” and which court now proves to be that of Shepparton, witnesses will have to attend from Alexandra and Benalla;

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The North Eastern Ensign, Tue 6 May 1884 5


    The above court was opened yesterday before His Honor Mr Justice Holroyd. Mr CA Smyth acted as Crown Prosecutor. The only member of the bar present was Mr DC O’Leary. The calendar embraced three criminal cases, viz: Queen v James Quinn, inflicting grievous bodily harm on an old woman named Hart, at Greta, on 15th April; Queen v Charles Muller, indecent assault at Benalla in October last; Queen v Charles Pearce, charged with committing a rape at Milawa in November last.


    Charles Muller was placed at the bar and charged with having wilfully and indecently assaulted a male person named George Paxin.

   Prisoner pleaded Guilty, and was remanded for sentence.

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The Argus, Wed 7 May 1884 6

(By Telegraph.)

Benalla, Tuesday.

    The Assize Court sittings were resumed to-day. Charles Miller, a Swiss snake charmer, who yesterday pleaded guilty to a charge of indecently assaulting a boy five years old, was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment, and to receive a whipping of 15 lashes on the 6th June next.

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The North Eastern Ensign, Fri 9 May 1884 7


    The business of this court was resumed on Tuesday, before Mr Justice Holroyd.


    Charles Miller, who on the previous day had pleaded guilty to the charge of indecently assaulting a boy named George Paxin at Benalla, on the 27th October last, was brought up for sentence. His Honor read the accused a severe lecture, commenting upon the extremely vile and disgusting nature of the crime to which the prisoner had pleaded guilty. He then sentenced Miller to be imprisoned for 18 calendar months, and to receive a private whipping of 15 lashes with the cat-o’-nine-tails, on the 6th of June next.

    The court then adjourned sine die.

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The North Eastern Ensign, Fri 13 Jun 1884 8


    Charles Muller [sic], a Swiss, who at the recent Benalla Assize pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting a little boy four years of age, and who was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment and to receive a whipping of fifteen lashes, received his flagellation at the hands of Upjohn, at Pentridge Stockade on Tuesday. It is reported that, although the punishment was not considered severe, the prisoner appeared to suffer acutely, moaning, and writhing his body at each stroke of the lash.



Lucas Leow, 1896 


Bendigo Advertiser, Sat 31 Oct 1896 9


Friday, 30th October.

    A SERIOUS CHARGE.—A foreigner of rather uninviting appearance named Lucas Leow was charged at the Police Court this morning with vagrancy. Sergeant English at once applied for a remand for a week, as he said the police intended to prefer another charge against defendant and had not sufficient time to prepare a case. He was also charged with indecently assaulting a boy named Thomas Bell who was with him, and who was arrested at the same time by Constables Le Page and Molloy for vagrancy. The assault upon Bell is alleged to have been committed near Maryborough on 20th August last, and the police have been informed that Leow has been guilty of similar practices at California Gully. All the cases were adjourned for a week. Bell’s friends are stated to reside at Daylesford, and the police intend making inquiries respecting them.

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Bendigo Advertiser, Fri 6 Nov 1896 10


Thursday, 5th November.

    POLICE COURT.—Mr RB Thom, JP, was on the bench this morning.

    SERIOUS CHARGES.—The man Lucas Leone, [sic] who was charged last week with vagrancy and remanded, will to-morrow have to face a rather formidable list of charges. Three separate offences of indecently assaulting boys, and another indecent assault on a little girl, as well as the vagrancy charge, will be preferred against him.

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Bendigo Advertiser, Sat 7 Nov 1896 11


    Before Mr Dwyer, PM, and Mr J Green, JP.

    INDECENT ASSAULT.—A foreigner of rather uninviting appearance was charged with indecently assaulting Thomas Bell near Maryborough on 13th September last. He was also charged with indecent assault on the following boys at California Gully, namely:—Marcus Ripper (12th October), David Lewis (18th October), Henry Batten (10th October), and with indecent assault with intent to carnally know and abuse Lily Lewis, a girl under the age of 10 years, on 11th October. Sub-inspector Murphy prosecuted, and accused was undefended. Sub-inspector Murphy said the first they heard of the prisoner was at Daylesford, from where they had reason to believe he had decoyed the boy Bell. Immediately after leaving Daylesford, almost the first night the prisoner committed an indecent assault, which was afterwards repeated. After coming to California Gully he enticed boys to his hut for immoral purposes. On the application of Mr Murphy the court was cleared. James Bell, father of the boy Thomas Bell, stated that he was a carter, living at Sailors’ Hill, Daylesford. He had known accused since the 13th June, when he was camped in the vicinity of witness’ residence. He had no apparent means of support, beyond doing a little gardening and woodcutting about the town. On the night of 10th September his son left his house, and prisoner was at the same time found to have left his hut. Witness made a search on horseback, and the disappearance was reported to the police and gazetted. Did not see the boy again until yesterday at the Bendigo Gaol. The boy left home without witness’ consent. Prisoner when at Daylesford had a habit of drawing himself into the company of children. The evidence of Thomas Bell, a boy 15 years of age, Marcus Henry Ripper, aged 11 years, residing at California Gully, David Lewis, aged 10 years, Henry Batten, aged 9 years, having given evidence in support of the charges, Constable Molloy deposed that on the morning of 29th October he arrested the prisoner at his tent near the Who-Can-Tell Co’s mine. Took him where the boy Thomas Bell was, at the house of a man named Caleb Lewis. Asked the boy if accused had done any indecent acts, and after hesitation he replied “No.” Then arrested Bell also. At the lockup the man made a statement bearing out the boy’s evidence. Accused denied the offence, and said it was Bell who had assaulted him (prisoner). Afterwards he said that the boy was an awful liar; nothing he said could be believed. Witness said to him, “What did you do to the boy Marcus Ripper?” Accused replied that the boy came to lie down in his tent one morning. On the first charge the bench said that a boy 15 years of age must have understood the whole proceedings, and was evidently a consenting party, and accused would, therefore, be discharged for that offence. On the other charges he was committed to take his trial at the Bendigo Supreme Court on 10th December next. In the cases of indecently assaulting the little girl Lewis and vagrancy, accused was remanded for a week.

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Bendigo Advertiser, Sat 14 Nov 1896 12


Friday, 13th November.

    A REVOLTING CHARGE.—The Man Lucas Loew, [sic] who last week, it will be remembered, was committed for trial on several charges of indecently assaulting little boys, was to-day at the court charged with the capital offence of carnally knowing and abusing a little girl, aged eight, named Lily Lewis. The medical evidence disclosed that the girl had been abused most grievously, and this, taken with most intelligent evidence by the little girl herself and several playmates, completed a story the details of which were of a most revolting description. Accused was in the habit of attracting the children to his mia-mia at Maiden Gully by joining in innocent games with them, but his motive was evidently of a hideously criminal nature. He was committed for trial at the next sitting of the Supreme Court at Bendigo.

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Bendigo Advertiser, Tue 8 Dec 1896 13


    The following is the list of cases set down for hearing at the above court, which opens before His Honor Mr Justice A’Beckett on Thursday:—


    Arthur Henry Hill, false pretences.
    Edward Kennedy, unlawfully wounding.
    John Thomas Nicholas, housebreaking.
    Frederick Ridley, uttering a forged cheque (two charges).
    Otto Louis Heeren, indecent assault on a male person.
    Lucas Leow, indecent assault on a male person (three charges).
    Lucas Leow, assault with intent to carnally know a girl under 10 years of age (two charges).


    George Edward Shalders, perjury.
    James Drysdale and Randolph William Bear, conspiracy to commit perjury.
    Clara Isabel Bowers, larceny.
    Joseph Keam, false pretences.
    James Trevelyan, unlawfully wounding.

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Bendigo Advertiser, Thu 10 Dec 1896 14

    ALLEGED INDECENT ASSAULT.—Yesterday afternoon George A Coleman, a hairdresser, a former resident of Bendigo, arrived here in the custody of Senior-constable Monks, of Avoca, under committal for trial on three charges of attempted indecent assault on boys. He will be brought up at the [Bendigo] Supreme Court, which opens this morning. Last week the accused, who was well known in theatrical circles, was assaulted by a young man, who was subsequently fined. His defence was that four years ago, when he was a lad, the accused attempted to indecently assault him. That case led to inquiries being made, the result of which was that proceedings were instituted against Coleman on three charges for the more serious offence of indecent assault.

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Bendigo Advertiser, Fri 11 Dec 1896 15


    Before his Honor Mr Justice A’Beckett, and juries of twelve.
    Judge’s associate—Mr T Pennefather.
    Crown Prosecutor—Mr JTT Smith, instructed by Mr Hosken of the Crown Law department.


    Otto Louis Heeren, an elderly man, who described himself as a bookbinder, pleaded guilty to a charge of having indecently assaulted a boy at Heathcote. He admitted a prior conviction for a similar offence in 1892, and was remanded for sentence.

    Lucas Leow was placed on his trial on the following charges:—Indecent assault on a boy at Maldorr on 13th September; indecent assault on a boy at Maryborough on the 14th September; indecent assault on a boy at Dunolly on 26th September; indecent assault on a boy at Maiden Gully on the 6th October; assault with intent to carnally know a little girl at Maiden Gully on 10th October; assault with intent to carnally know a little girl at Maiden Gully on 11th October; indecent assault on a boy on 12th October; indecent assault on a boy on 14th October; and indecent assault on a boy on 18th October. The prisoner pleaded guilty. He stated that he had given a written statement to the governor of the gaol, and if it were handed to his Honor it might save a deal of trouble and expense, as well as the time of the court. The statement was handed up to the judge, and after accused had admitted five previous convictions, including one at Benalla, when he received a sentence of 18 months’ imprisonment and a flogging for a similar offence to the one he now pleaded guilty to, the prisoner was remanded for sentence.

    George Alfred Coleman was indicted on three charges of having indecently assaulted three boys at Avoca. The accused pleaded not guilty, but subsequently Mr AG Dunlop intimated that acting under his advice accused would plead guilty to common assault on two of the boys, Smart and Wardlock. The Crown Prosecutor said that he would accept that plea and enter a nolle prosequi in the case of the other lad. Prisoner was then remanded for sentence.

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Bendigo Advertiser, Sat 12 Dec 1896 16


    A WELL DESERVED PUNISHMENT.—A foreigner named Lucas Leow, who on Thursday pleaded guilty to nine charges of indecently assaulting little boys and girls, was placed in the dock at the Supreme Court yesterday to be sentenced. Mr Justice A’Beckett said that the prisoner had admitted having committed most disgusting assaults on several little boys and a little girl, in addition to which, according to the depositions, he had abducted one boy and taken him away from his parents. Prisoner had stated that the filthy, revolting acts to which he had pleaded guilty were the result of his own contamination when a boy. That may or may not be so, but there could be no doubt about the fact of his having debased a number of children. He (his Honor) experienced a difficulty in deciding how to deal with such a scoundrel. His personal feeling in the matter would be to have the prisoner rendered incapable of such acts in future, and turned adrift, but the law would not allow that; he could only impose the punishment provided by law. The prisoner had admitted a prior conviction in 1884, when he received a sentence of 18 months and a flogging of 15 lashes for a similar offence on a boy at Benalla. The prisoner would be sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment with hard labor; on the first Wednesday in January receive a flogging of 15 lashes with the cat-o’-nine-tails, and the first three days in every third month in the first and last years of his incarceration be spent in solitary confinement.


    Before his Honor Mr Justice A’Beckett. And juries of twelve.
    Judge’s associate—Mr T Pennefather.
    Crown Prosecutor—Mr JTT Smith, instructed by Mr Hosken of the Crown Law department.


    Lucas Leow, who had pleaded guilty to nine charges of indecently assaulting little children, was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment with terms of solitary confinement, and ordered to receive a flogging of 15 lashes on the first Wednesday in January.

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Bendigo Advertiser, Thu 17 Dec 1896 17

    FOR PENTRIDGE.—Lucas Leow, who was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment at the Supreme Court last week, goes to Pentridge this morning in charge of Constable Coffey.



Conrad Ritter, 1909 


The Yass Courier and General Advertiser, Tue 14 Sep 1909 18


    The next regular visit of the Ophthalmic Optician from the well-known firm of Angus & Coote,492-4 George Street, Sydney, will be made on Tuesday, September 28, and Wednesday, September 29, when he may be consulted on all cases of defective vision, failing sight, or eye troubles, at Banfield’s Royal Hotel. This graduate optician is equipped with the latest instruments and appliances for accurate sight-testing, etc., and all examinations are conducted free of charge.

    Also at Gunning (McCabe’s Hotel) on Thursday, September 30.


    The Aborigines’ Protection Board has been informed that the Government has approved of the proposal to acquire 1200 acres, as a new camping ground for the aboriginals in the Yass district. The site is Egerton, on the Yass River, 12 miles from the town. The board will now proceed with the preparations for erecting dwellings for the blacks in the new locality.

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The Yass Courier and General Advertiser, Fri 17 Sep 1909 19



    The Yass Quarter Sessions opened yesterday morning, His Honor, Judge Rogers, presiding. Mr JH Mason was Crown Prosecutor.

    Conrad Rutter [aka Conrad Ritter] was charged with committing an offence on a boy named [William] Grocott. Rutter had a long list of previous convictions, and he was found guilty. His Honor imposed a sentence of five years penal servitude.

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Conrad Ritter, Gaol photo sheet 20 - 21

SRNSW: NRS2258, [3/5993] , Grafton Gaol photographic description book, 1910-1911, No. 184, p. 185, R5125.


Gaol Photo Sheet - Transcribed Details

No. 184

Date when Portrait taken: 20-10-1909

Name: Conrad Ritter
(aka Conrad Muther, Conrad Turner, Conrad Palmer, Conrad Low)

Native place: Switzerland

Year of birth: 1850

Arrived        Ship: Indus
in Colony }   Year: 1877 

Trade or occupation
previous to conviction  } Cook

Religion: Presbyterian

Education, degree of: Read & Write

Colour of hair: Black to Grey

Colour of eyes: Grey

Height: 5' 10"

Weight     On committal: 157
in lbs     }  On discharge:  

Marks or Special Features: Figure of female with left leg across right with 1870 in centre of body 

 (No. of Previous Portrait ... ) 


Where and When Offence. Sentence

Benalla SC

Huntly PC


Tatura PC

Bendigo SC


Yass Q.S








* 8














Indecent assault on a male person

Drunk etc.

Obscene language

Indecent language

Indecent assault on a male person &
Assault with intent to carnally know a girl under 10 years of age (9 Counts)

Indecent Assault

Indecent Assault on a male person

18 months HL

Fine or 24 hours Imprisonment

Fine or 7 days Imprisonment

Fine or 1 month Imprisonment 

7 years HL and one whipping of 15  strokes and Solitary Confine

3 years HL and Solitary Confine

5 years PS

* According to the newspaper reports the trial took place in May 1884 and not Aug of that year



1     The North Eastern Ensign, Tue 30 Oct 1883, p. 2.

2     The North Eastern Ensign, Tue 6 Nov 1883, pp. 2, 3.

3     The North Eastern Ensign, Fri 9 Nov 1883, pp. 2, 3. Emphasis added.

4     The North Eastern Ensign, Tue 5 Feb 1884, p. 2.

5     The North Eastern Ensign, Tue 6 May 1884, p. 3.

6     The Argus, Wed 7 May 1884, p. 6.

7     The North Eastern Ensign, Fri 9 May 1884, p. 2.

8     The North Eastern Ensign, Fri 13 Jun 1884, p. 2.

9     Bendigo Advertiser (Vic), Sat 31 Oct 1896, p. 3.

10   Bendigo Advertiser (Vic), Fri 6 Nov 1896, p. 3.

11   Bendigo Advertiser (Vic), Sat 7 Nov 1896, p. 3. Emphasis added.

12   Bendigo Advertiser (Vic), Sat 14 Nov 1896, p. 3.

13   Bendigo Advertiser (Vic), Tue 8 Dec 1896, p. 3. Emphasis added.

14   Bendigo Advertiser (Vic), Thu 10 Dec 1896, p. 2.

15   Bendigo Advertiser (Vic), Fri 11 Dec 1896, p. 4. Emphasis added.

16   Bendigo Advertiser (Vic), Sat 12 Dec 1896, pp. 4, 5.

17   Bendigo Advertiser (Vic), Thu 17 Dec 1896, p. 2.

18   The Yass Courier and General Advertiser, Tue 14 Sep 1909, p. 2.

19   The Yass Courier and General Advertiser, Fri 17 Sep 1909, p. 2.

20   SRNSW: NRS2258, [3/5993], Grafton Gaol photographic description book, 1910-1911, No. 184, p. 185, R5125.

21   * The Benalla Supreme Court trial date shown—5 Aug 1884—is incorrect. The date, according to the newspaper reports, is 5 May 1884.