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Clarence and Richmond Examiner, Sat 26 Oct 1889 1

GRAFTON CIRCUIT COURT.

THIS COURT opened on Tuesday at 10 am, before Sir Frederick Darley, Chief Justice. Mr WW Tarleton acted as Crown Prosecutor, and there were also present—Messrs JG O’Ryan and FW Gibson, barristers; Messrs Foott, Meillon, Laman, Donaldson and McGuren, solicitors. Mr Darley attended as Judge’s Associate, and Mr Wilshire was present from the Crown Solicitor’s office.
    The names of the jury were called over, and also those of the special jury. Thomas Shannon, for non-attendance, was fined 60s.

PRESENTATION OF ADDRESS.

    On behalf of the Magistrates of the district, Mr AL McDougall, PM, read the following address. There were 18 of the local Bench present.

        His Honor Sir Frederick Matthew Darley, Knight, Chief Justice of the colony of New South Wales.
        We, the undersigned Magistrates of the territory residing in the police district of Grafton, desire to welcome your Honor on your first visit to our district, the occasion being also marked as the first on which the Chief Justice has presided at the Grafton Circuit Court.
        It is a source of great satisfaction to us, in common with our follow colonists, that you accepted the high office which you now fill in so able and dignified a manner, and we earnestly trust that you may long be spared to devote your great ability to the services of this great colony.
        We trust that your visit to this part of the colony may be one partaking of all the pleasure which the great responsibilities of your office on this official occasion will admit.
        Desirous of showing our unfeigned loyalty to lawful authority represented in your office and person, we beg to subscribe ourselves your respectfully.

    The address was mounted on tulip, neatly engrossed by Mr RR Donaldson, while Mr AW Deane executed the etching, showing on one side a view of the Court-house and one of Victoria-street, in which the front of the Post and Telegraph Office is a conspicuous object.

REPLY.

        His Honor read the following reply—
    Mr McDougall and Gentlemen.
        I ask you to accept my sincere thanks for your address of welcome to this Circuit town and district. I have now had the honour to visit every Circuit town in the colony, including Silverton (now Broken Hill) when it opened the first circuit held in that place. Everywhere have I observed that which you allude to in the last paragraph of your address “unfeigned Loyalty to lawful authority” and respect for those charged with the administration of Justice so characteristic of our race.
        In the early part of the month, seeing the very insignificant nature of the criminal business, which, to the credit of this district, had to be transacted at this Court, and having important public business in Sydney, I made up my mind to postpone my visit to another time. However, the criminal business increased, and it became my duty to attend. I am indeed glad to have been able to do so.
        I am convinced that those who are called upon to administrate justice amongst their fellow citizens, are all the better for possessing a knowledge of the community and the mode of life of the people dwelling in each portion of it.
        I again thank you for your address, and your too generous expressions of goodwill towards me. I feel it will be long ere I forget the uniform kindness, courtesy and respect shown me in all parts of the Northern and North-eastern portion of the colony, the outcome of loyalty to lawful authority—loyalty felt by all classes of the community.

    The usual proclamation against vice and immorality was read by the Associate.

SECOND DAY—WEDNESDAY.

    The Court opened at 9.30 am.

    In discharging the jury, His Honor expressed his sense of the orderly condition of the whole of the Northern and North-eastern districts of the colony which were in a state of which any country might be proud. The fact for the business of four circuit towns such as Maitland, Tamworth, Armadale and Grafton being completed in five days was one which the citizens of New South Wales, one and all, might be proud of. He trusted that crime, though little, would still decrease.

    In looking through the gaol deliveries, His Honor remarked that he noticed that there was a prisoner [George] under committal in Casino gaol to the Lismore Sessions. It was his duty to discharge all prisoners under committal if not brought to trial, or good grounds adduced for their not being indicted.

    The Crown Prosecutor explained that the prisoner referred to was [George] an aboriginal committed for an offence on the Brunswick, 140 miles distant from Grafton, and it would be a hardship to bring the five witnesses in the case that distance, especially as one was a girl [Lavinia McCann] in delicate health.

    His Honor said this was a sufficient excuse for committing to the [see below] Lismore Quarter Sessions.

    This concluded the business, and the Court adjourned at 11.50 am sine die.

    His Honor left town on Wednesday evening by special coach for Glen Innes, from whence he leaves by train to-day for Sydney.

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The Sydney Morning Herald, Fri 15 Nov 1889 2

LISMORE QUARTER SESSIONS.
———◦———
(By Telegraph.)
(FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT.)
———

Lismore, Thursday.

    At the Quarter Sessions to-day, James Boxshall, charged with forgery, pleaded guilty, and was remanded for sentence. George, an aboriginal, charged with assaulting Lavinia McCann at Mullumbiby, [sic] with intent, was found guilty of indecent assault, and was remanded for sentence. He was further charged with indecently assaulting one Sohn in Casino Gaol.. The prisoner pleaded guilty and was remanded for sentence. Robert Armstrong, charged with perjury, was found not guilty. John Sheehan, charged with cruelty to animals, pleaded guilty, and was bound over to appear when called on for sentence. The Court adjourned at 6.30 pm till 10.30 to-night, in order to finish a case partly tried.

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The Northern Star and Richmond and Tweed Rivers Advocate, Sat 16 Nov 1889 3

[LISMORE] COURT OF QUARTER SESSIONS.

(Before his Honor Judge Murray).
The Court opened at 10am on Thursday.
    Mr Browning acted as Crown Prosecutor.
    The following cases were disposed of:—

    George (an aboriginal about 17 years of age), charged with criminal assault on a child at Mullumbimby, and further with indecently assaulting a male prisoner [Sydney Sohn – aka Sydney John ], was sentenced to three years imprisonment, with hard labour, in Grafton Gaol and to receive two floggings, the first of 10 lashes in 12 weeks, and the second for 10 lashes in 24 weeks time.

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The Northern Star and Richmond and Tweed Rivers Advocate, Wed 20 Nov 1889 4

COURT OF QUARTER SESSIONS.
————
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 14.
(Before his Honor Judge Murray).

The Quarter Sessions opened at 10 am on Thursday.
    Mr Bowning acted as Crown Prosecutor.
    The jury list having been called over, with three or four exceptions all answered to their names.

CRIMINAL ASSAULT.

    George, an aboriginal, was charged with criminally assaulting one Lavinia McCann, a child, 4 years of age, at Mullumbimby, on September 16. Prisoner pleaded not guilty.
    Jury: F Fredericks (foreman), C Griffin, John Stanger, T Kidd, John Olley, Louis H Robinson, Peter McLaren, J Morton, George Cottee, W Brown junr, WG Blanch and TW Meaney.
    Accused was defended by Mr Foster, instructed by Mr Allingham.
    The evidence taken was unfit for publication, and the jury, after a short retirement, found the accused guilty of indecent assault only, he was remanded for sentence.

INDECENT ASSAULT.

    George (aboriginal) was further charged with indecently assaulting a male prisoner whilst confined in Casino gaol.
    Accused, who was undefended, pleaded guilty.
    He was remanded for sentence.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 15.

    The Court opened at 9 am.

SENTENCES.


    George (an aboriginal), found guilty of an indecent assault on a child, and to another charge of indecent assault on a male prisoner, to which he had pleaded guilty. Had nothing to say.

    Constable Andrews stated prisoner is a New England boy; three years ago he came to the Brunswick.
His Honor in sentencing prisoner (who appears to be about 17 years old) told him he was a very bad boy and he would have to shut him up until he was a better boy. He must sentence him to a couple of whippings and to imprisonment with hard labour in Grafton gaol for three years, and that in 12 weeks time he was to get a flogging of 10 lashes, and 12 weeks after that another flogging of 10 lashes, and he hoped it would do him good. In three years if he was a good blackfellow he would be let go.

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The Richmond River Herald and Northern Districts Advertiser, Fri 22 Nov 1889 5

LISMORE QUARTER SESSIONS.
————

AT the above Court, before his Honor Judge Murray, on Thursday last, the following cases were disposed of:—

    George (an aboriginal about 17 years of age), charged with a criminal assault on a child at Mullumbimby, and further with indecently assaulting a male prisoner, was sentenced to three years imprisonment, with hard labour, in Grafton Gaol, and to receive two floggings, the first of 10 lashes in 12 weeks, and the second of 10 lashes in 24 weeks time.

 


1  Clarence and Richmond Examiner, Sat 26 Oct 1889, p. 3. Emphasis added.

2  The Sydney Morning Herald, Fri 15 Nov 1889, p. 8. Emphasis added.

3  The Northern Star and Richmond and Tweed Rivers Advocate, Sat 16 Nov 1889, p. 2.

4  The Northern Star and Richmond and Tweed Rivers Advocate, Wed 20 Nov 1889, p. 5. Emphasis added.

5  The Richmond River Herald and Northern Districts Advertiser, (NSW), Fri 22 Nov 1889, p. 2.