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1885, Joseph August Metzger - Unfit For Publication
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Below also see: Joseph Metiker, 1887


Evening News, Wed 11 Feb 1885 1


Braidwood, Wednesday.

    A clever surgical operation has been performed in the Braidwood Hospital by Dr Llewellyn on a man named Joseph Metzger, who, about two years ago met with a terrible accident through having been crushed by a log which fell upon him while he was engaged in work at a saw mill. Metzger, for some time was under the treatment of some skilful metropolitan doctors who could do nothing for him. About five months ago he was admitted to the Braidwood hospital, and has since been under the care of Dr Llewellyn, who successfully operated upon him.

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Goulburn Evening Penny Post, Thu 2 Jul 1885 2

Before the PM.


    Joseph August Metzger, a boot finisher, living in a lane off Auburn-street, was charged with having, on or about the 10th of June last, attempted to commit a rape on a girl named Edith Emily McDonald, 9 years of age.

    Mr Betts appeared for prisoner.

    Sergeant Emerton deposed: From information received I proceeded to the prisoner’s residence and asked him to accompany me to Mr McDonald’s, where he was recognised by Mrs McDonald, and I then brought him to the lock-up; I read the warrant to prisoner, charging him with the above offence; in reply, he said, “I am innocent of the charge; I never was guilty of such a crime in my life; I have sisters of my own, and it would be the last thing I should think of doing;” the prisoner further said that he was a German, and not a Frenchman.

    Edith Emily McDonald, nine years of age, deposed: I live with my parents; I know the prisoner by the name of Joe, and I sometimes went to his place; I was there on one occasion when two girls named Holland were present; a man named Willy Tabner [akaTavner] the house; one of the Hollands went away, and I accompanied the other in the direction of Hunt’s store; on the way we met a girl named Kate North, and we all went to Joe’s place; I remember my mother coming to fetch me away from the prisoner’s residence; Tabner was there at the time, and also Kate Holland; they were all in one room, and the front door was locked; I had been to the prisoner’s place before this time; (the witness here detailed the particulars of the alleged offence); prisoner told witness not to mention the matter to her mother; she had received money from him twice, 6d on each occasion; she gave the money to her mother.

    In answer to Mr Betts, witness stated that she did not get the money as a reward for having run messages for prisoner; she could not remember the time when the offence took place; did not recollect being told by the prisoner to go away as she was a nuisance about his place; had told prisoner that there were Chinamen living near her place, and that a woman slept with him—another girl told her this; prisoner did not threaten to beat her for so talking.

    Jane McDonald, mother of the last witness, deposed that on Monday fortnight she accompanied Mrs Holland to prisoner’s residence; they found the door locked, and requested that it be opened at once; met her daughter in the act of coming out; brought her home, Mrs Holland at the same time bringing her niece with her from the same place; her child had made a statement to her, in consequence of which she took her to Dr McKillop’s surgery, but he was not at home, and did not see the child.

    Kate Holland gave corroborative evidence, adding that on the occasion when she and Mrs McDonald went to prisoner’s place she saw prisoner there.

    The case was here remanded to Friday.

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Goulburn Evening Penny Post, Sat 4 Jul 1885 3

Before the PM.


    The adjourned hearing of the charge against Joseph August Metzger of having, on or about the 9th June instant, assaulted a girl named Edith McDonald with intent to commit a rape, was resumed before the Police-Magistrate in his private room, all but those engaged in a professional capacity being excluded.

    Mr Betts appeared for the prisoner.

    Emma Holland deposed: I am nearly 15 years of age, and live with my mother in Clifford-street; I have known the prisoner about a month; my mother washes for Metzger & Tavner; I went for the washing some time last month, about a fortnight ago, and found Edith McDonald with the prisoner and Tavner there; this was about 11 o’clock in the forenoon; Edith and Tavner wanted me to sing, and Edith said “if you don’t sing I’ll lock the door;” she had the key in her hand; I snatched it from her and put it in the door lock; the door was closed when I came, and when I knocked I heard Edith say “here is Poppet,” referring to me, and she opened the door; after I got in Will Tavner told me to close the door, which I did; about 15 minutes lapsed between the time of Edith threatening to lock the door and the arrival of Mrs McDonald; we were sitting down during the time, and I was talking principally with Edith; Mrs McDonald knocked at the door; it was not locked; I opened it at the request of Tavner; nothing had taken place and I went straight home; my aunt was with Mrs McDonald; Edith went with her mother; I never saw Edith there before, but she came to my mother’s once or twice to ask if the clothes belonging to Tavner and the prisoner were done.

    To Mr Betts: I know that the door is always kept shut while the prisoner and Tavner are at work; Edith never mentioned to me that any money had been given to her by the prisoner, and I do not know whether she was accustomed to run errands for them.

    Prisoner, who reserved his defence, was committed for trial at the Quarter Sessions to be holden on the 15th September next. Bail allowed in two sureties of £50, and self £100.

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Goulburn Evening Penny Post, Sat 12 Sep 1885 4


    The list of case for trial at the Quarter Sessions, which commences on Tuesday, will probably be as follows:—David Jack, unlawfully and carnally knowing his own daughter, aged 16 years (committed by the Berrima bench); Mary Stark, perjury (committed at Goulburn sessions by Judge McFarland); Louis Favoritte, stealing from the Chatsbury Hotel (committed by the Taralga bench); John Chuck and George Chuck, tampering with railway points (committed by the Goulburn bench); Joseph August Metzger, assault with intent (committed by the Goulburn bench); Elizabeth McCann, alias O’Connell, stealing from the person; Charles Hale, arson at Mittagong (committed by the Berrima bench); William Wright, maliciously destroying a mare, the property of John Walsh (committed by the Taralga bench).

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Goulburn Evening Penny Post, Tue 15 Sep 1885 5


The Quarter Sessions opened this (Tuesday) morning before his Honor Judge McFarland, the Crown-Prosecutor was Mr HR McCulloch; and the other legal gentlemen in attendance were Messrs GR Nicholls (of Moss Vale), and Betts and Davidson (of Goulburn), solicitors. Mr Alexander, PM acted as deputy sheriff.

    The case for hearing were as follows:—

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Goulburn Evening Penny Post, Thu 17 Sep 1885 6

Before his Honor Judge McFarland.



    Joseph Augustine [sic] Metzger stood charged with having, at Goulburn, on the 18th June, indecently assaulted Edith Emily McDonald, aged under 14 years, name, 8 years and 11 months. The prisoner pleaded not guilty, and was undefended.

    The case was proceeding as we went to press.

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Goulburn Evening Penny Post, Sat 19 Sep 1885 7

Before his Honor Judge McFarland.


    Joseph Augustine Metzger stood charged with having, at Goulburn, on the 10th [sic] of June, indecently assaulted Edith Emily McDonald, aged under 14 years, namely, 8 years and 11 months.

    The prisoner pleaded not guilty, and was undefended.

    The child [Edith Emily McDonald] being called deposed: I am 9 years old, and live with my mother and father; I know the man, but don’t know his name; he lives where the Frenches used to live; I pretty often saw him down at his house; I used to go there to see him; I know a girl named Holland; I have gone alone to the prisoner’s house; I was on good terms with him; he never gave me any presents; he gave me six-pence a good while ago, and told me not to tell my mother; I don’t know how long ago; he never asked me to come to his place; I was in his bedroom; he carried me there.

    The child here, whilst trying to continue her evidence, burst out crying, and her mother was allowed to sit by her. She then regained courage, and gave particulars of the alleged offence.

    She continued: After this I went home, but said nothing; I afterwards told my mother; I went to his place again, and my mother brought me home; I used to go to his place, and he used to give me money—sometimes sixpence, sometimes threepence.

    To prisoner: I don’t think I ever saw you carrying anything about the streets; you never promised me sixpence to get you a cat; I have gone messages for you; you gave me money at the White Horse; I don’t remember you telling me not to go into the bedroom nor to go home; I have been in the bedroom with other children.

    Kate Holland, a married woman, living in Clifford-street, deposed to having seen the child going towards the prisoner in June last; witness and Mrs McDonald went to the house, and could not open the door; saw prisoner through a crack; Edith McDonald and Emma Holland came out when the door was opened; witness went there on account of Emma Holland.

    To prisoner: I am Mrs Holland, that is my name; there was another man in the house; I tried to open the door, but could not; Emma Holland used to go to the house for washing, I believe.

    Jane McDonald, mother of the child McDonald, gave evidence to the effect that from something told her by Mrs Holland she went to prisoner’s house and shook the door well, but could not open it; heard laughing and romping inside; the door was opened, and her child came out; they had some conversation, and in consequence went straight for Dr McKillop, but he was not in.

    To prisoner: The child told me once you gave her 6d for going messages.

    Emma Holland, niece of Mr Holland, deposed to having gone to the prisoner’s house; Edith McDonald called her in, and they remained ten minutes or a quarter of an hour; after that Mrs McDonald and Mrs Holland came, they left; a man named Tavener [sic] was there.

    To prisoner: The door was not locked; you have given me 3d and you have given me buns; you never said or did anything wrong to me, and I never knew you to do so to any person.

    Sergeant Emerton deposed: On the 30th June I had a warrant for prisoner’s arrest; he lived at what is known as Avery’s yard; I went to him and asked him to come with me to the lockup and charged him with indecent assault on Mrs McDonald’s child; after hearing the warrant read he said, “I am innocent of the charge; I never was guilty of the like in my life; I have sisters of my own; I’m not a Frenchman—I’m a German.”

    To prisoner: I think I had some conversation with Mrs Russell, as I am let to believe her child could give some important evidence.

    Mrs McDonald’s previous depositions being read, the case for the Crown closed.

    For the defence, Mrs Margaret Russell was called, and deposed: Sergeant Emerton told me he had heart reports, but did not know if they were true; he said something to the effect that he had heard that my little girl was one of a number of girls who used to go to prisoner’s place.

    Mary Russell, daughter of the previous witness, deposed to having been at the prisoner’s place with Edith McDonald; never knew him to do or say anything wrong to either.

    William Tavener remembered Mrs Holland and Mrs McDonald being at prisoner’s house; the door was not locked; remembered him once telling Edith to go home; heard him promise her 6d for a cat; she had been in the house at times when witness came home from or went to work.

    To the Crown Prosecutor: She was sometimes alone with him; sometimes she was with other children.

    The prisoner read a statement; he regretted his not being able to express himself sufficiently clear in English, being a foreigner; he however strongly asserted his innocence.

    The judge having briefly summed up, the jury retired. After over an hour and a-half’s absence, the jury returned and announced a verdict of not guilty, and the prisoner’s discharge was at once ordered. He commenced uttering expressions of gratitude to his Honor and the jury, but was not allowed to proceed and he left the dock. There had been some exclamations of satisfaction at the result uttered by persons in the court, but all exhibition of feeling was quickly put a stop to. The business of the sittings ended with this case.



Joseph Metiker, 1887


The Sydney Morning Herald, Tue 13 Dec 1887 8


    At the Metropolitan Quarter sessions yesterday, Richard Charles Hunter, for indecent assault, was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment; Charlie Orphan, an aboriginal, for attempting to break and enter, was sentenced to six months; John Wallace, for larceny, to three years; James Ellison Stuart to six months, and Edwin Ive, for malicious assault, to 12 months’ imprisonment; William Dew, charged with committing an unnatural offence, was acquitted; and William Flavelle, charged with indecent assault, was found guilty, and sentence deferred until this morning. The following cases have been added to the calendar since the commencement of the sessions:—Joseph Metzker, from Port Macquarie, two charges of unnatural offence; Abas Khan and Ameer Khan, from Kempsey, assault and occasioning actual bodily harm; and Joseph Kirkwood, from Nambucca, charged with unlawfully wounding with intend to kill.

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The Daily Telegraph, Wed 21 Dec 1887 9

(Before Mr District Court Judge Docker.)

    Mr WH Coffey prosecuted on behalf of the Crown.


    Joseph Metzker [aka Metiker] was acquitted on a charge of having indecently assaulted a youth named [Robert William] Hogg, but there being another charge against him he was remanded in custody.

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The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 21 Dec 1887 10

(Before his Honor Mr District Court Judge DOCKER.)

    Mr WH Coffey prosecuted on behalf of the Crown.


    Joseph Metzker was charged with committing an indecent assault upon a boy named Hogg, at Kendal, in September last. The boy, in cross-examination, stated that seven years ago he was indecently assaulted by another man.

    The jury, after a brief deliberation, returned a verdict of not guilty.

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The Daily Telegraph, Thu 22 Dec 1887 11

(Before Mr District Court Judge Docker.)

    Mr WH Coffey prosecuted on behalf of the Crown.


    Jos Metzker, a middle-aged man, of the working-class, was found guilty of having attempted to commit an indecent assault upon a youth named Michael (or Montague) Chapman, at Kendal. He was remanded for sentence.

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The Sydney Morning Herald, Thu 22 Dec 1887 12

(Before his Honor Mr District Court Judge DOCKER.)

    Mr WH Coffey prosecuted on behalf of the Crown.


    Joseph Metzkey, who on the previous day was acquitted on a similar charge, was indicted for having, on the 8th September, attempted to commit an unnatural offence. There was a second count in the indictment charging him with indecent assault.

    The jury found the prisoner guilty of the indecent assault.


    The Court will sit again to-day for the purpose of passing sentences and hearing an appeal case.


    The relative merits of the various designs for the eight new postage stamps which are intended to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the colony were decided by the Postmaster-General and the Minister for Justice yesterday. 13 The number of designs submitted for competition was 965; and the Ministers who were entrusted with the duty of adjudicating upon them have found their task by no means easy. The premiums offered were two in number—the first £10 10s, and the second £3 3s—for each of the eight denominations of stamps. The conditions were that the designs had to be drawn in black and white to a scale four times the size of the present penny postage stamp, and that a distinct design had to be sent for each denomination—one penny, two pence, four pence, six pence, eight pence, one shilling, five shillings, and twenty shillings. The designs for which the premiums are given become the property of the Government, and those that do not obtain prizes will be returned to the owners. The letters containing the names of the successful prize winners have not yet been opened, but the mottoes of the competitors to whom Mr Roberts and Mr Clarke recommend that the prizes should be awarded are as follow:—One penny stamp, first prize, motto “Finis Coronat Opus;” second, “Chi la Dura la Vince.” Twopence, first, motto “Chi la Dura la Vince;” second, “Finis Coronat Opus.” Fourpence, first, motto “Evening Star;” second, “Finis Coronat Opus.” Sixpence, first, motto “Finis Coronat Opus;” second, “Chi la Dura la Vince.” Eightpence, first, motto “Finis Coronat Opus;” second, “Vivat Regina.” One shillings, first, motto “Captain Cook;” second “Finis Coronat Opus.” Five shillings, first, motto “Atlas;” second, “Finis Coronat Opus.” Twenty shillings, first, motto “Rerumque ignarus imagine gaudet;” second, “Georgia.” The adjudicators are of opinion that the twopenny stamp of “Finis Coronat Opus” should be substituted for the one penny design by him, and that change will therefore be made. The prize designs are all neatly and carefully executed, and they bear evidence of artistic skill and originality of treatment. The first prize design for the penny stamp gives a view of the Sydney Harbour as a centrepiece, set in a framework of Australian ferns, with a crown on the top. The first prize twenty-shilling stamp contains representations of Lord Carrington, with the year 1888, and Governor Phillip, with the year 1788. Lord Carrington is well pourtrayed [sic] upon the first prize twopence stamp. There are upon other stamps drawings of the Queen, of Captain Cook, the allegorical figure of New South Wales, designs of the Australian arms, and views of Sydney harbour. The first prize design for the 5s stamp has for a centre service a map of Australia, with the names of the colonies in their places. The Postmaster-General intends to have the successful designs photographed, in order that the public may have an opportunity of seeing them.

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The Daily Telegraph, Fri 23 Dec 1887 14

(Before Mr District Court Judge Docker.)

    Mr WH Coffey appeared on behalf of the Crown.


    Jos Metzker, who was convicted of having indecently assaulted a young man, was sentenced to five years’ penal servitude.

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The Sydney Morning Herald, Fri 23 Dec 1887 15

(Before Mr District Court Judge DOCKER.)


    Joseph Metzker, convicted on the previous day for having committed an indecent assault, was brought up for sentence.
His Honor said the jury had found the prisoner guilty of the lesser count in the indictment. Had the same evidence been given in another case in which he was acquitted, there could be no doubt that he would have been then convicted. In that case he (his Honor) would have had power to have ordered him to have been flogged; and there was little doubt he should have done so. The offence was a most disgusting one, and there was no doubt that the prisoner was addicted to such crimes. The sentence of the Court was that he be kept in penal servitude for the term of five years.

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Joseph Metzker, Gaol photo sheet 16

SRNSW: NRS2138, [3/6049], Darlinghurst Gaol photographic description book, 1887-1888, No. 4047, p. 43, R5102.

Gaol Photo Sheet - 
Transcribed Details

No. 4047

Date when Portrait was taken: 12-12-1887

Name: Joseph Metzker
(aka Joseph Metcar)

Native place: Switzerland

Year of birth: 1855

Arrived       Ship: Actor
in Colony }   Year: 1871

Trade or occupation
previous to conviction  } Boot finisher & Laborer

Religion: C of E

Education, degree of: RW

Height: 5' 6"

Weight     On committal: 163
in lbs     } On discharge:

Colour of hair: Dark brown

Colour of eyes: Brown

Marks or special features: Right leg broken. Mole on Right Temple

Where and when tried: Sydney Q.S.
21 December 1887

Offence: Indecent assault on a male

Sentence: 5 years P.S.

Remarks: Guilty

 (No. of Previous Portrait ...  ) 


Where and When Offence. Sentence

Goulburn Q.S.

Port Macquarie







Indecent assault



2 months L


1     Evening News, (Sydney, NSW), Wed 11 Feb 1885, p. 4.

2     Goulburn Evening Penny Post, Thu 2 Jul 1885, p. 4. Emphasis added.

3     Goulburn Evening Penny Post, Sat 4 Jul 1885, p. 3. Emphasis added.

4     Goulburn Evening Penny Post, Sat 12 Sep 1885, p. 3. Emphasis added.

5     Goulburn Evening Penny Post, Tue 15 Sep 1885, p. 2.

6     Goulburn Evening Penny Post, Thu 17 Sep 1885, p. 2.

7     Goulburn Evening Penny Post, Sat 19 Sep 1885, p. 7.

8     The Sydney Morning Herald, Tue 13 Dec 1887, p. 7. Emphasis added.

9     The Daily Telegraph, Wed 21 Dec 1887, p. 6.

10   The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 21 Dec 1887, p. 4.

11   The Daily Telegraph, Thu 22 Dec 1887, p. 3.

12   The Sydney Morning Herald, Thu 22 Dec 1887, p. 4.

13   See the Power House Museum, Sydney, for its holdings.

14   The Daily Telegraph, Fri 23 Dec 1887, p. 6.

15   The Sydney Morning Herald, Fri 232 Dec 1887, p. 4.

16   SRNSW: NRS2138, [3/6049], Darlinghurst Gaol photographic description book, 1887-1888, No. 4047, p. 43, R5102.