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1922, Oliver Collins Gross - Unfit For Publication
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Below also see: Oliver Collins Gross, 1927 – Carnal knowledge


Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, Fri 11 Aug 1922 1

Thursday, August 10.
(Before Mr W Le Brun Brown, SM.)

    Thomas Fardy (71) did not appear to answer a charge of drunkenness, and his, bail deposit was forfeited.

    James Richardson was fined 20s, or five days, for improper behaviour, and 10s or 14 days, for using improper language.

    Sarah Jane Shaw, who had pleaded not guilty to a charge of having used insulting word, to Constable Rochester, was fined 10S, with 3s costs.

    Harold Wills was fined 40s, with 3s, costs, for having made use of improper language.

    Oliver Collins Gross was charged with wilful improper conduct in Harris-street. Mr Wheeler appeared for defendant who pleaded not guilty, but was convicted, and sentenced to two months’ imprisonment. The sentence was suspended on defendant entering into sureties of £15 to be of good behaviour for twelve months.

    The case John Refrew versus Walter Mayer, alleged insulting words, was withdrawn.


Oliver Collins Gross
, 1927


The Cessnock Eagle and South Maitland Recorder, Tue 23 Aug 1927 2

Laborer and Imbecile Woman

    A very serious allegation was made again Oliver Collins Grose, 3 48, a laborer, at Cessnock Police Court on Saturday morning.

    Grose was charged, before Mr EJ Gibson, JP, that on August 19, at Cessnock, knowing a woman named Emma Craft to be an imbecile, he did attempt to have unlawful carnal knowledge of her, the said Emma Craft.

    Accused, who pleaded not guilty was remanded until Tuesday on £30 bail.

    In connection with this case, it is alleged that at 5 pm on Friday afternoon, Constable Carroll, who was off duty on sick leave with a poisoned hand, observed a man following a woman through the bush. Becoming suspicious that the man had some ulterior purpose in view, he telephoned to Sergeant Toohey, who sent Constable Martin to the scene.

    Constable Martin and Constable Carroll followed on the trail, and in the bush, near a creek, they came upon the man, it is alleged, in the act of committing a serious offence against the woman, who was struggling to free herself. The constables arrested the man, and the woman ran away.

    Last November [1926] Cessnock was shocked over a criminal assault against Emma Craft by a nineteen year-old youth named James McBurnie. On that occasion the woman was found lying in an unconscious condition near the Aberdare Extended fan shaft, with her head battered and bleeding. It was evident that she had been the victim of a brutal assault.

    The youth McBurnie was sentenced to death, but the sentence was afterwards commuted to seven years’ imprisonment,


    The case was again mentioned at the Cessnock Police Court this morning, when Mr Banfield, who appeared for the accused, asked for an adjournment for a week.

    Sergeant Toohey objected, and explained that he had all his witnesses in attendance, and was ready to go on with the case.

    Mr Banfield said that it was only on the previous night that he had become interested in the case, and it was hardly fair to expect him to proceed at such short notice. The charge against his client was a very serious one, and he thought that it was only reasonable that the application for an adjournment be granted.

    The PM (Mr M Cleeve) granted an adjournment til August 30th, but intimated that he intended to increase the bail.

    Mr Banfield:- Why not leave it stand at the £80, your Worship. The accused has been living here for quite a number of years and has been a straight going man.

    The PM: That may be so, but this is one of the most serious charges possible to imagine. In view of that and the fact that the woman has been previously assaulted by another man, I will make the bail heavy.

    Bail was fixed at £150.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Cessnock Eagle and South Maitland Recorder, Fri 2 Dec 1927 4


    Oliver Collins Grose [aka Gross], who was charged at Maitland Quarter Sessions with committing a serious offence against the imbecile woman, Emma Craft, was found guilty and remanded for sentence.

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Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, Sat 3 Dec 1927 5


    The Maitland Quarter Sessions were resumed at the East Maitland Court house yesterday before his Honor Judge White. Mr TS Crawford was Crown Prosecutor.


    Oliver Collins Grose was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for having attempted to commit a serious offence on an imbecile at Cessnock.

    Accused said he had nothing to say.

    Plainclothes Constable Booth stated that accused was man of low moral character. On a previous occasion he had warned accused about his behaviour in trying to get a deformed girl, aged 15 years, to leave her home.

    Accused: “I know nothing about trying to entice anyone away.”

    His Honor said while the offence was of a gross and coarse descripition, accused had not inflicted any bodily injury, otherwise the offence would have been more serious, and the term of imprisonment would have been longer.


1     Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, (NSW), Fri 11 Aug 1922, p. 7. Emphasis added.

2     The Cessnock Eagle and South Maitland Recorder, (NSW), Tue 23 Aug 1927, p. 5. Emphasis added.

3     There is a gaol photograph available from SRNSW: NRS2467, [3/6120], State Penitentiary photographic description book, 8 Oct 1927-24 Feb 1928, No. 22721, p. 206. R5159.

4     The Cessnock Eagle and South Maitland Recorder, (NSW), Fri 2 Dec 1927, p. 8.

5     Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, (NSW), Sat 3 Dec 1927, p. 6 . Emphasis added.