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1902, Andrew Middleton - Unfit For Publication
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The Independent, Fri 22 Nov 1901 1

COUNTRY NEWS ITEMS.
———◦———
(From Our Exchanges.)
————

COROWA.


    A youth, Andrew Middleton, 15 years, has been committed for trial at Albury Quarter Sessions by the local Bench, on a charge of obscene behaviour.

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The Albury Daily News and Wodonga Chronicle, Fri 14 Feb 1902 2

ALBURY QUARTER SESSIONS.
———•———
THIS DAY.
(Before Acting Judge Browning.)

    Crown Prosecutor: Mr JP Pickburn.

A DISGUSTING OFFENCE.

    A youth named Andrew Middleton was charged with having committed an unnatural offence [bestiality with a mare ] at Corowa.

    In opening the case, the Crown Prosecutor said the painful feature was that Middleton was a member of a respectable family, and the extraordinary feature was that the alleged offence was committed on the road side in broad daylight and in sight of four people.

    The jury were Messrs A McVean, H Headley, A Schultz, WK Barnes, W Ellis, FW Habermann, A Waugh, J Thomas, ET Arthur, J Harrison, GN Funke, W McGuffin.

    The accused pleaded not guilty.

    Mr Tietyens appeared for the accused.

    Five witnesses gave evidence in support of the charge.

    In his address to the jury, Mr Tietyens said the witnesses had not definitely identified the accused as the person whom they had seen committing the offence. It should also be noted that, although they were not near enough to identify him, yet they could give details of what they saw him doing! The two statements were absolutely inconsistent. Then, was it likely that anyone in his sober senses would go into a public place to commit such an act when there were plenty of secret places to go to. Then it was stated that when detected in the commission of the act in the first place he rode off a distance of about eight chains and again committed the offence right under the noses of the witnesses. Surely that was an impossible story!

    In reply to the jury, Mr Tietyens said the accused was 15½ years of age.

    The jury then retired to consider their verdict.

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The Albury Daily News and Wodonga Chronicle, Sat 15 Feb 1902 3

ALBURY QUARTER SESSIONS.
———•———
YESTERDAY. [Fri 14 Feb 1902]
———
(Before Acting Judge Browning.)

    Crown Prosecutor: Mr JP Pickburn.

BESTIALITY.

    In the case against the youth, Andrew Middleton, the jury returned a verdict of guilty of an attempt, with a strong recommendation to mercy on the ground that the boy was not aware of the enormity of the offence. The accused was remanded for sentence.

THIS DAY.
———
SENTENCES.

    The prisoners found guilty yesterday were brought up this morning for sentence.

    Andrew Middleton (an unnatural offence).—The boy’s father said the prisoner was under 16 years of age. His Honor said he was reluctant to send a boy of that age to goal, and he would advantage of the merciful section of the Act to abstain from passing a sentence of imprisonment upon him. He wanted to give the lad a chance to become a decent man. Mr Tietyens said it was proposed to send Middleton to the Bayswater Salvation Army Farm, in Victoria. His Honor said he would liberate Middleton under the First Offenders’ Act on sureties of £40 being found that he would come up for sentence if called upon.

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The Albury Border Post and Wodonga Advertiser, Tue 18 Feb 1902 4

ALBURY QUARTER SESSIONS.
————
Friday, February 14.
(Before His Honor Acting Judge Browning.)
Crown Prosecutor—JP Pickburn.

A BESTIAL CASE.

    Andrew Middleton, a lad about 13 or 14 years of age, was indicted on a charge of committing an unnatural and bestial offence at Corowa on November 5. Accused, who was defended by Mr FW Tietyens, pleaded not guilty.

    The Crown Prosecutor: The case is a most disgusting one, your Honor. Could not the court be cleared?

    His Honor: Yes. I would suggest as the case is a most repulsive one that all respectable persons should leave the court. Of course, if they like to hear this sort of thing they can remain.

    A few acted on his Honor’s suggestion, but the majority showed their appreciation of the filthy details by remaining in court.

    The jury was:— A McVean, H Headley, A Schultz, WK Barnes, W Ellis, TW Haberman, A Waugh, J Thomas, ET Arthur, J Harrison, GN Funke, W McGuffin.

    The Crown Prosecutor explained the most salient features of the case. It was a most disgusting and painful one—painful because the accused lad was the son of most respectable parents, who were highly esteemed by their neighbors [sic]. The offence was alleged to have been committed on a mare in broad daylight and in the full view of no less than four persons.

    Emil Petersen, a vigneron at Corowa, Charles George, Albert Schriviner, Edward George, and Sergeant Walsh gave incriminating evidence.

    Mr Tietyens is his address to the jury urged that there was no evidence before them as to identification. None of the witnesses would swear positively that accused was the person who committed the offence, Again, if such an abominable act were contemplated, would accused select the most public place to carry it out, and in broad daylight, when he did not know at what moment someone might come along. If he did this he must certainly have been bereft of his reason and intelligence. He would ask the jury to disbelieve the evidence, as the lad’s own statement that he was near the fence for the purpose of repairing it was far more likely to be true. Moreover, the mare in question moved away from the place while he was trying to get on, which would account for the compromising attitude in which he was observed by the witnesses. He would ask the jury to give the accused the benefit of any doubt which might exist.

    The Crown Prosecutor reviewed the evidence, and said if the jury were satisfied in their own minds that the witnesses were speaking the truth they knew their duty, if not they knew how to act.

    His Honor having summed up, the jury retired, and in about three-quarters of an hour returned into court with a verdict of guilty of attempt, with a strong recommendation to mercy, as he was not apparently aware of the enormity of his offence.

    His Honor said he was reluctant to send the lad to gaol, and he would refrain from passing sentence on him, in order to give him a chance to become a decent man. He would liberate him under the First Offenders’ Act on two sureties of £40 that he would come up for sentence if called upon.

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The Albury Banner and Wodonga Express, Fri 21 Feb 1902 5

ALBURY QUARTER SESSIONS.
———✦———
Friday, 14th February.
(Before Mr Acting District Court Judge Browning.)

    This court was opened at the usual hour. Mr JP Pickburn held the Crown briefs, and the sheriff was represented by Mr S Murphy, PM.

ATTEMPTING AN UNNATURAL OFFENCE.

    Andrew Middleton was charged with attempting an unnatural offence and pleaded not guilty Mr Tietyens appeared for the accused.

    The following jury were sworn:— A McVean, Henry Headley, August Schultz, William K Barnes, William R Ellis, Frederick W Haberman, Alfred Waugh, John Thomas, Evelyn T Arthur, Joseph Harrison, Gustave Funke, William McGuffin.

    The jury returned a verdict of guilty, with a strong recommendation to mercy.

Saturday, February 15.
SENTENCES.


    Andrew Middleton, attempting an unnatural offence. His Honor said he would, in view of the boy being under 16 years, suspend sentence, on two persons becoming sureties in £40 each for his good behaviour for three years.

 


1     The Independent, (Deniliquin, NSW) Fri 22 Nov 1901, p. 4.

2     The Albury Daily News and Wodonga Chronicle, Fri 14 Feb 1902, p. 3.

3     The Albury Daily News and Wodonga Chronicle, Sat 15 Feb 1902, p. 2.

4     The Albury Border Post and Wodonga Advertiser, Tue 18 Feb 1902, p. 5. Emphasis added.

5     The Albury Banner and Wodonga Express, Fri 21 Feb 1902, p. 34.