Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/178353/domains/unfitforpublication.org.au/html/plugins/system/gantry/gantry.php on line 406
1901, Michael Lyons - Unfit For Publication
Text Size



The Goulburn Herald, Mon 11 Feb 1901 1


BEFORE the PM and Messrs Foxall, Mather, and CH Roberts.


    Michael Lyon [aka Michael Lyons] was charged with indecency on Saturday 2nd February. Mr O’Brien for defendant.

    The evidence was of a disgusting nature and the court was cleared.

    Martha Rutland (a married woman), and Sarah Bungate deposed as to the nature of the offence.

    Defendant, employed by Messrs Lillis Bros, deposed that he had lived in Goulburn for eighteen years. He denied the charge.

    Frederick James Bellamy, labourer, and Mrs Jacob gave evidence as to defendant’s movements on the date of the alleged offence.

    JS Lillis deposed that defendant had been inoffensive and very respectable and one of the best men his firm had employed.

    Accused was committed for trial to Goulburn Assizes on 19th April. Bail allowed and forthcoming – accused in £80 and one surety of £80.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Goulburn Evening Penny Post, Tue 12 Feb 1901 2


BEFORE the Police-Magistrate and Messrs Foxall, Roberts, and Masters.


    Michael Lyons pleaded not guilty to a charge of wilful exposure, and was defended by Mr O’Brien.

    The court was cleared during the hearing of the case.

    Martha Rutland, wife of Charles Rutland, deposed that at about 3 o’clock on Saturday, 2nd February, she saw defendant sitting on his doorstep in Clifford-street; witness lived opposite to defendant, and she was in the street with Miss Bungate; defendant coughed and jeered to attract their attention, and when they looked he deliberately acted in a most disgusting manner; a man who had been talking to defendant had left a few minutes before; they were about 50 yards away from defendant; he had had some drink.

    To Mr O’Brien: Witness had never been on speaking terms with defendant; witness once had occasion to get a solicitor to write him a letter; Bungate told her that defendant was making use of her name at the station, and witness said she would scald him.

    Sarah Jane Bungate, residing with her parents in Clifford-street, deposed that she had known defendant for five years by sight but never spoke to him; he lived just opposite. (Witness, who was standing with Mrs Rutland, gave corroborative evidence.)

    Michael Lyons, labourer, working for Messrs Lillis Bros, deposed he had been in Goulburn for 18 years; he had been for 11 or 12 years with Mr P McShane and 2½ years in his present employment; on the afternoon in question he went into the White Horse Hotel, and on coming out of the front door he met a man named Bellamy, who walked down to witness’s door and had a yarn there for about 10 minutes; witness went into the house as soon as Bellamy left; his wife and other members of the family were near the passage, and the door was open; he did not commit the offence sworn to by the previous witnesses; he was not on friendly terms with Mrs Rutland; he did not come out of the house again till 9 o’clock at night.

    To Senior-sergeant Matthews: Witness had only been twice before the court; once for drunkenness and once for fighting; he had also been fined for profane language; he had about five drinks on the Saturday.

    Frederick James Bellamy, labourer, deposed that he lived at the Terminus Hotel; he met defendant on Saturday week at defendant’s door and stopped talking with him for a while; Mrs Rutland and Miss Bungate were on the other side of the street; as witness left defendant said—“I’ll go inside and have a lie down,” and made a move to get up from where he was sitting on the doorstep; witness could not say whether he went straight in, as witness did not look back; the door was half open, and he saw defendant’s wife sitting in the passage; defendant said to witness—“Those are two nice girls across the way, aren’t they?”

    Helen Lyons, wife of defendant, deposed that she remembered the afternoon in question; she saw Bellamy talking to her husband at the front door; she was sitting in the hall with her brother, John McAnally; when Bellamy left her husband came straight inside and went to his room; he did not leave again till about 9 o’clock; her husband could not have exposed himself without her knowledge, as the door was open.

    JS Lillis, of the firm of Lillis Bros, deposed that the defendant was in the employ of the firm and had been for about three years; he was very respectable, inoffensive, and one of the best men they ever had in the place; Mrs Rutland’s house was 70 yards from defendant’s.

    John McAnally was called, but did not answer his name.

    Mrs Rutland and Sarah Bungate, re-called, deposed that defendant’s door was closed and he opened it after committing the offence.

    Mrs Jacob, of the White Horse Hotel, deposed that on Saturday week the front dor of the hotel were closed all day till 6 o’clock in the evening on account of the funeral of the Queen.

    The defendant was committed to take his trial at the Goulburn Assizes, to be held on 19th April next. Bail was allowed, defendant in £80 and one surety in £80.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Goulburn Herald, Wed 17 Apr 1901 3


OPENED this morning before his Honor Mr Justice Cohen. Mr W Macarthur Allen is judge’s associate; Mr SH Belcher acted as deputy-sheriff; crown prosecutor, Mr DL Levy, instructed by Mr JJ d’Apice of the crown solicitor’s office. The other legal gentlemen present were Messrs T Rose and Augustus James (barristers), AM Betts, H O’Brien, EW Johnson, EF Thomas, PJ Meyer, AH Garraway (Queanbeyan), FH Payne (Moss Vale).


    Phillip Joseph Kennedy was fined 40/- for non-attendance.


    Michael Lyons, a married man was charged with indecent exposure in Clifford-street, Goulburn, on February 2.

    Defendant pleaded not guilty and was defended by Mr Rose, instructed by Mr O’Brien.

    Defendant challenged seven jurors and the crown ordered one to stand aside.

    The case for the prosecution was that on the 2nd February defendant committed the offence in Clifford-street, near the White Horse Hotel, in the presence of two female witnesses, who gave evidence accordingly.

    The defendant gave evidence entirely contradictory.

    Defendant’s wife also gave evidence to the effect that her husband could not have committed the offence without her knowledge; and two other witnesses, Frederick Bellamy and Richard Dittmer, deposed to having seen accused at his front door and going inside.

    Mr P McShane and Mr JS Lillis for whom defendant has worked for years gave him a good character; as also did Mr JJ Roberts Mayor of Goulburn who further deposed to the witness Rutland having used threats fifteen months ago against defendant, Mr George Harris also deposed to such threats having been used.

    Margaret [aka Martha] Rutland, recalled, denied having ever used the threats deposed to.

    Mr Rose addressed the jury commenting on Rutland’s behaviour in the witness box, contending that her evidence was unreliable, and stating that Messrs Roberts and Harris should be believed in preference to her.

    The crown prosecutor briefly replied, and his Honor summed up, stating that the jury must be satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt that the witnesses for the crown were not mistaken before convicting accused.

    The jury retired at 2.10 pm, and after eight minutes’ deliberation returned a verdict of not guilty and defendant was discharged.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Goulburn Evening Penny Post, Thu 18 Apr 1901 4


The Assizes commenced on Wednesday morning before his Honor Mr Justice Cohen. Mr Belcher represented the sheriff. Mr W Macarthur-Allen was associate. Mr DL Levy, instructed by Mr D’Apice, of the Crown Solicitor’s Office, prosecuted. The other legal gentlemen present were Messrs James and Rose, barristers, and Betts, O’Brien, Thomas, Johnson, Meyer (Goulburn), and Garraway (Queanbeyan), solicitors.


  Mr Philip Joseph Kennedy was fined 40s for non-attendance as a juror.


    Michael Lyons was charged with indecent exposure at Goulburn on 2nd February, 1901.

    Prisoner pleaded not guilty, and was defended by Mr Rose, instructed by Mr O’Brien. Seven jurors were challenged by prisoner, and one was ordered to stand aside by the Crown.

    The case for the prosecution was that on Saturday afternoon, 2nd February, prisoner came out of the yard of the White Horse Hotel, and went to the front of his residence in Clifford-street. He then had a conversation with a man named Bellamy, during which he pointed in a jeering manner to Mrs Martha Rutland and Miss Sarah Bungate, two neighbours, living opposite. After Bellamy left the women alleged that Lyons, sitting on his doorstep, committed the offence with which he was charged. They said prisoner wore only a pair of trousers and a shirt.

    Prisoner [Michael Lyons] went into the box and denied the truth of the women’s statement, deposing that it was impossible for him to be in the position that they alleged, and that he had not been out of the house from the time that Bellamy left him till about nine pm.

    Frederick Bellamy deposed that on the afternoon of 2nd February he was talking to Lyons at his front door, which was partially open; he was dressed in trousers and vest; as witness left Lyons turned round to go inside; Mrs Lyons was sitting in the hall near the door.

    Richard Dittmer, corporal in G Company, deposed that on 2nd February he was about 25 yards away from Lyons’ residence in Clifford-street and saw Lyons and Bellamy talking outside the house; the door was partly closed; when Bellamy left Lyons went into the house, and the door was closed.

    Ellen Lyons, wife of accused, deposed that on Saturday afternoon, 2nd Febyy, she was sitting in the hall of her house, and her husband was outside talking to Mr Bellamy; the door was partially open; when Mr Bellamy left witness’s husband went inside and closed it; he did not go out again till late; if he had behaved indecently she would certainly have seen it.

    Patrick McShane, produce merchant, deposed that accused had been in his employ to 10 or 12 years, and always during that time bore a good character.

    John Sidney Lillis, of the firm of Lillis Brothers, produce merchants, deposed that accused was now in their employ and had been for three years; he was one of the best men the firm ever had in their employ.

    Joseph J Roberts, Mayor of Goulburn, deposed that on two different occasions Mrs Rutland told him she would send accused up, and made use of bad language about him; accused was a tenant of witness’s at one time, and appeared to be a respectable man; Mrs Rutland was a tenant of witness’s, and he gave her notice to leave because she was always quarrelling with the neighbours.

    George Gray Harris, auctioneer, deposed that on several occasions Mrs Rutland told him when paying the rent she would lag the ——, meaning Lyons; he considered Lyons a straightforward man; Mrs Rutland had notice to quite because she was always quarrelling with her neighbours.

    In reply,

    Martha Rutland denied that she ever made use of the expressions towards Lyons as alleged by the two previous witnesses.

    Mr Rose asked the jury whether they desired to hear him, and the foreman replied that one of them did.

    Mr Rose addressed, arguing that the attitude of Mrs Rutland in the box showed that she was an unreliable witness, and he pointed out several contradictions in her evidence. He maintained that the expressions used to Messrs Roberts and Harris showed an ill-feeling on the part of Mrs Rutland.

    The Crown-Prosecutor replied that the main details as detailed by the women were uncontradicted.

    His Honor summed up, pointing out that if the jury believed the case as deposed to by the women they must convict accused, and directed that there were two standpoints from which the jury might consider the charge, namely, was it a conspiracy on the part of the women to covict accused of a serious offence, or were they mistaken in what they deposed as occurring? In regard to the first he pointed out that there was no evidence to show any illfeeling towards accused on the part of Sarah Bungate. He then reviewed the evidence, showing where it favoured the charge and told against it.

    The jury retired at 2.10 pm, and after an absence of 10 minutes, returned with a verdict of not guilty. Accused was discharged.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Morning Herald, Thu 18 Apr 1901 5


Goulburn, Wednesday.

    The Assizes opened this morning, before Mr Justice Cohen. Mr DL Levy prosecuted for the Crown.

    Michael Lyons, charged with an offence at Goulburn, was defended by Mr Rose, instructed by Mr O’Brien, and was acquitted.


1     The Goulburn Herald, Mon 11 Feb 1901, p. 2. Emphasis added.

2     Goulburn Evening Penny Post, Tue 12 Feb 1901, p. 4. Emphasis added.

3     The Goulburn Herald, Mon Wed 17 Apr 1901, p. 2. Emphasis added.

4     Goulburn Evening Penny Post, Thu 18 Apr 1901, p. 4. Emphasis added.

5     The Sydney Morning Herald, Thu 18 Apr 1901, p. 7.