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1896, James Carpenter - Unfit For Publication
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The Illawarra Mercury, Sat 11 Jul 1896 1

Friday, July 10.
(Before the Police Magistrate.)


    James Carpenter appeared in custody, charged with having, at Mount Keira, on February last, indecently assaulted William Henry Napier, otherwise Chapman.

    Senior-constable [Stephen] Thorncroft deposed to the arrest of accused, on 9th instant, at Mount Keira, by virtue of the warrant produced, which he read to him; in reply accused said he supposed he would get into trouble over it; he prayed that accused be remanded until Thursday next for production of evidence.

    Accused was remanded accordingly.

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Evening News, Sat 18 Jul 1896 2


    WOLLONGONG, Saturday.—At the Wollongong Police Court yesterday James Carpenter, miner, was committed for trial at the next court of quarter sessions for assaulting a boy of tender years named William Henry Napier.

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The Illawarra Mercury, Sat 18 Jul 1896 3

Thursday, July 16.
(Before Mr JH Nisbett, PM.)


James Carpenter, 1896. SRNSW: NRS2138 [3/6060], Photo: SRNSW.
James Carpenter, 1896. SRNSW:
NRS2138 [3/6060], Photo: SRNSW.

    James Carpenter, on remand, was charged with having, at Mount Keira, in or about the month of February last, indecently assaulted William Henry Napier, or Chapman.

    Mr Russell for accused.

    Senior-Constable Thorncroft deposed to the arrest of accused, and to the statements made by him.

    William Henry Napier deposed that he was ten years of age, and resided with his mother in Sydney; he knew accused, who was a single man, and had lived with him for some time at Keiraville, accused having brought him from Sydney. Witness there related particulars of the alleged assault, which were of the most revolting nature; he also stated that accused had frequently beaten him.

    Sarah Napier, mother of the previous witness, deposed that she had been divorced, and now took the name of Napier or Chapman; she saw accused in Sydney about four months ago, when she arranged with him to take the boy; he was to clothe him and send him to school; she came down to see the boy, when she found that he had been beaten, and she took him to a doctor in Sydney; the boy complained to her about accused’s conduct, and when she spoke to him about it he did not deny it.

    Rudolph Bohisman deposed that he was a duly qualified medical practitioner, residing and practising in Sydney; he had examined the boy, and found several bruises upon his body; the boy’s mother was a general servant in his employ.

    Accused, who reserved his defence, was committed to take his trial at the ensuing Court of Quarter Sessions on the 18th August; bail being allowed, himself in £100 and two sureties in £50.

    The evidence in the case was heard in camera.

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The Illawarra Mercury, Thu 20 Aug 1896 4

Tuesday, August 18.
(Before his Honor Judge Fitzhardinge.)

    Mr J Armstrong prosecuted for the Crown, Mr JA Beatson, JP, represented the sheriff, and Mr Cleeve acted as Clerk of the Peace.


    The following magistrates were sworn in as Justices of the Peace and welcomed to the Bench by his Honor:– James Christopher Johnston, William Charles Dunster, George Couch, Thomas Andrew Noble, and Austin Joseph O’Grady.

Wednesday, August 19th.

    James Carpenter was charged with having, at Mt. Keira, indecently assaulted a boy named William Henry Napier.

    Mr Russell for accused, who pleaded not guilty.

    Jury: Charles Plimmer, WH Rees, Alexander McKenzie, WA Dennis, James T Burrell, John Ryan, John Clarke, Robert Wilson, CE Weston, CJ Weston, CJ Cullen, John McPhail, and D Richmond.

    His Honor said he understood from the Crown Prosecutor that the details of the case were of a very filthy nature, and he therefore requested all other than officials to leave the court.

    The Crown Prosecutor stated the case to the jury, after which evidence was given by William Henry Napier, 10 years of age, Sarah Napier, his mother, Dr Borshman [aka Bohisman], and Senior-constable Thorncroft.

    Accused [James Carpenter] gave evidence, denying the truthfulness of the charge.

    Mr Russell addressed the jury at length on behalf of accused.

    His Honor having summed up, the jury retired at 1 o’clock.


    James Carpenter, indecent assault on a male child.

    His Honor, before sentencing the prisoner, said he had been convicted on a series of most disgusting acts. Instead of taking care of the boy committed to his care he had tried his best to destroy his moral nature. The sentence was that accused be imprisoned for three years, with penal servitude.

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James Carpenter, Gaol photo sheet 5

SRNSW: NRS2138, [3/6060], Darlinghurst Gaol photographic description book, 1896-97, No.6749, p. 51, R5106.

Gaol Photo Sheet - 
Transcribed Details

No. 6749

Date when Portrait was taken: 24-8-1896

Name: James Carpenter

Native place: England

Year of birth: 1857

Arrived       Ship: Mormons
in Colony }   Year: 1880

Trade or occupation
previous to conviction  } Miner

Religion: C of Eng

Education, degree of: R & W

Height: 5' 5¼"

Weight     On committal: 156
in lbs     } On discharge:

Colour of hair: Black

Colour of eyes: Blue

Marks or special features: Mole over left eyebrow and left cheek. Miners coal scar on left little knuckle.

(No. of previous Portrait ... ) 


Where and When Offence. Sentence

Wollongong Q.S




Indecent assault on a male person

3 years ps


1     The Illawarra Mercury, Sat 11 Jul 1896, p. 2. Emphasis added.

2     Evening News, (Sydney, NSW), Sat 18 Jul 1896, p. 5.

3     The Illawarra Mercury, Sat 18 Jul 1896, p. 2. Emphasis added.

4     The Illawarra Mercury, Thu 20 Aug 1896, p. 2. Emphasis added.

5     SRNSW: NRS2138, [3/6060], Darlinghurst Gaol photographic description book, 1896-97, No.6749, p. 51, R5106.