Text Size


Empire, Tue 5 Apr 1864 1


BEFORE Messrs RS Rose, MM Cohen, and Murray.
Thomas Wright, seaman on board the schooner Leisure Hour, lying at the foot of Liverpool-street, was charged with committing an unnatural offence. The offence was committed on board the vessel early on Sunday morning. Committed for trial at the Criminal Sittings.


The Sydney Morning Herald, Tue 5 Apr 1864 2


BEFORE the Police Magistrate, with Messrs RS Ross, MM Cohen, Oatley, Cullen, and Murray.

    Forty prisoners were brought before the Court, of which number sixteen were discharged, and one was remanded.

    Thomas Wright was committed to take his trial at the Central Criminal Court, for an act of beastiality [sic] committed on board the schooner Leisure Hour, lying at Murphy’s Wharf.

    Five females were sent to Darlinghurst for three months, and other five for one month, being idle and disorderly persons, having neither fixed abode not lawful means of living (some having been found lying, and others wandering, in public places), and others being riotous in their behaviour.

    Matthew Keogh and Isabella Bland, found sleeping in a shed on a wharf, were sentenced to be imprisoned one month.

    Francis Chute was brought before the Bench by constable Irwin, who deposed that between twelve and one o’clock on Sunday morning he apprehended him on information that he had assaulted a young man named Barrett; he denied the charge. Henry Barrett deposed that about twelve o’clock on Saturday night, he and another were returning home from business, and talking as they walked, when the defendant accosted him, and said he (witness) called him a —–sweep; witness told him to mind his own business; defendant followed them some distance, and then by jostling against him knocked him across the kerbstone, so that he fell, and was severely hurt. Mr Barrett’s companion corroborated his deposition. Mr Carroll, who was not in Court at the commencement of the case, submitted to their worships that defendant was wrongfully in custody—the constable not having seen any assault, if any were committed, nor any mark indicative of an assault upon Barrett’s person; he admitted that complainant’s coat was torn, but that is no evidence of an assault. Mr Ross considered that under the circumstances, the constable was quite right in apprehending the defendant, and that they were in a position to deal with the case. Mr Cohen expressed a different opinion. Mr Ross said that Mr Murray, the police magistrate of Eden, agreed with him, and that they accordingly adjudged the defendant to be guilty of the offence charged against him, for which they sentenced him to pay a penalty of 40s, or to be imprisoned seven days.

    Francis Chute was then charged with having wilfully damaged Henry Barrett’s coat, by tearing it from his back, and pleading guilty, was ordered to pay its value, 40s, or to be imprisoned three days.


Empire, Wed 6 Jul 1864 3


BEFORE his Honor Sir Alfred Stephen, Chief Justice.


    Thomas Wright was indicted for the that he did, on the 3rd April, at Sydney, attempt and commit an act of beastiality. The prisoner, in pleading, said he did not recollect anything about it as he was drunk. The court was cleared of females and boys, and the particulars of the evidence entered into. The jury retired, and after a brief absence returned a verdict of guilty of the attempt. There being a difficulty under what statute to sentence the prisoner for the attempt, his Honor passed the following sentence:—That the prisoner be kept at hard labour on the roads for five years. His Honor intimated that should he find the Court had not the power to exceed two years’ hard labour, the sentence would be revised.


The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 6 Jul 1864 4


BEFORE his Honor the Chief Justice.


    Thomas Wright was indicted for committing an act of bestiality, [on a goat], at Sydney, on the 3rd April, 1864.
    Prisoner pleaded that he was very drunk, and knew nothing about the matter.
    The case was one altogether unfit for publication.
    Prisoner was found guilty of an attempt to commit the offence, and was sentenced to five years’ hard labour on the roads.


1  Empire, Tue 5 Apr 1864, p. 2.

2  The Sydney Morning Herald, Tue 5 Apr 1864, p. 3. Emphasis added.

3  Empire, Wed 6 Jul 1864, p. 2.

4  The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 6 Jul 1864, p. 3.