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James Stephenson, Henry Airs, Thomas Turner, and ------ another, 1828


The Australian, Tue 9 Dec 1828

Friday [5 December 1828]

    Mr Justice Stephen having taken his seat, James Stephenson, Henry Airs, Thomas Turner, and -------, were arraigned, being severally indicted for an unnatural crime. One of the prisoners, it appeared in evidence, was chief mate, and the others were seamen belonging to a whaling vessel, which recently put in here. We shall not enter into the disgusting details of this case. Suspecting, from the apparent close intimacy of the parties, and their secluded habits, that all was not correct, the Captain and others took an opportunity of observing their conduct, with more than common circumspection, which finally induced the Captain to bring his vessel into port, and the merits of the case under legal investigation.

    The prisoners being indicted capitally, and there being no direct proof of the suspected object of their assembling having been effected the Court directed a verdict of acquittal. The prisoners were, however, detained to answer to a fresh information.


1  The Australian, Tue 9 Dec 1828, p.3. Justice Stephen’s 1826 notebooks could not be located at SRNSW.