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Deniliquin Chronicle and Riverine Gazette, Sat 11 Apr 1868 1

(Before the Police Magistrate)



    John Leaman, a shoemaker, was charged by the Police with having attempted to criminally assaulted Mary Dally [aka Mary Dalby]. The evidence was taken within closed doors and Mr Robertson watched the case for accused. On Sunday evening about 9.30 Constable Brennan, being at home, heard a noise and a faint cry from a woman at the rear of his house in End Street, Deniliquin. He went out and saw and heard sufficient to justify him then in taking prisoner into custody on the above charge; but subsequently, before prisoner was taken to the lock-up, prosecutrix denied the assault, said they had both tumbled down, and requested the constable to let prisoner go. They were both under the influence of liquor, but the woman was more drunk than the man.

    Mary Dally could not identify prisoner as the man arrested on Sunday evening by Brennan; she owned that a man did accost her, and that he had wanted to go home with her; she refused she said, and gave him a push, when he fell and she fell also. She screamed from the effect of the fall, not from the conduct of the man. She admitted she was under the influence of drink, having had a glass of brandy, some ginger beer, and ginger wine. She was an unwilling witness, and as her account of the transaction did not support the serious charge preferred by the constable, it of course fell to the ground.

    Both man and woman were then charged with indecent behaviour in a public place under the Towns Police Act, and in addition to the evidence of the constable that of Mrs Perrin’s was taken. It was conclusive, and the male prisoner was sentenced to six months hard labor, and the female to a similar punishment for half the time – in the Gaol.


The Pastoral Times, Sat 11 Apr 1868 2

(Before J Giles, Esq, PM.)


(Before J Giles, Esq, PM.)

    John Leaman was charged with committing a criminal assault upon a married woman named Mary Dalley, at Deniliquin on the night of Sunday the 5th instant. Mr Robertson appeared on behalf of prisoner.

    Constable Brennan deposed that about half-past nine o’clock on the night of Sunday last, while sitting in his own house he heard a noise of a scuffle in the middle of the street, and the faint cries of a woman. He ran over and found prisoner in the act of having connection with Mrs Dalley [aka Dalby]. Witness pulled prisoner up; his person was exposed. Mrs Dalley told witness that she had done all she could to resist him, but that she could not. Both parties were under the influence of drink. Witness took prisoner to the lock-up. The assault took place in End-street. Mrs Dalley pressed witness very much to allow the prisoner to go away, rather than that she should have herself exposed to the public. The woman was more drunk than the man.

    Mary Dalley, a married woman, residing at South Deniliquin, deposed that she did not know the prisoner, and had not seen him before to her knowledge. Remembered constable Brennan coming up to her and a man last Sunday night between nine and ten o’clock, in End-street, near to Brennan’s house. She was going home and a man came behind her and said he would go home with her. Witness said he should not; the man insisted, and witness told him to go back and that if he attempted to go with her she would knock him down. Witness gave him a push and he fell down, and something striking her on the ankle she fell down also. She screamed out – not because the man touched her but because of her fall; witness fainted away until Brennan came up. The man did not behave improperly towards her. Only one man pulled her about that night. Remembered the constable coming up to her, but did not remember him taking the man away. Did not ask Constable Brennan to let the man go. Had some drink at McCullough’s public-house; Did not have any in company with prisoner. McCullough said she had a glass of brandy and ginger beer; while church was in she had some gingerwine. Did not meet a man at McCullough’s. After they fell down the man tried to pick her up, but he did not have connexion with her. He did nothing to her against her will after they fell down. Her crinoline was up, but not her underclothing. Her crinoline flew up when she fell.

    The Police Magistrate said he was bound to take the witness’s evidence, but still had his own opinion about it. He was inclined to think there was no rape about it; that if anything was done he believed she was a consenting party.

    The prisoner was discharged.

    John Leaman and Mary Dalley were then charged with indecent behaviour in a public place, and pleaded not guilty. Mr Robertson appeared on behalf of Leaman, and stated that for the sake of the female defendant’s husband, who was a decent old man, he hoped his Worship would deal leniently with her, and also reminded the Police Magistrate that Leaman had been already two days in the lock-up.

    Constable Brennan repeated his evidence as given in the last case.

    Mary Ann Perrin, a widow, residing in Deniliquin, deposed that she saw the two defendants walking past her house on Sunday night. They were both drunk, and the male prisoner was attempting to take the other home. They were nearly an hour going about fifty yards; when they reached the back of Brennan’s house they fell down together, and laid down until constable Brennan went over to them.

    Both prisoners found guilty, and Leaman was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment with hard labour, and Mary Dalley to three months’ imprisonment.


1  Deniliquin Chronicle and Riverine Gazette, Sat 11 Apr 1868, p. 2. Emphasis added.

2  The Pastoral Times, Sat 11 Apr 1868, p. 4. Emphasis added.