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Below also see: James Hanwright, 1900


The Pastoral Times, Sat 6 Mar 1886 1

(Before His Honour Judge Forbes.)


    James Hanwright was charged with attempting to shoot with intent to murder his wife Alice Hanwright, and further with attempting to shoot with intent to do grievous bodily harm, and also with assaulting the said Alice Hanwright. He pleaded not guilty, and was defended by Mr Gillott.

    The following jury was sworn: J Lang, W Plence, A White, D Glenn, G Parker, A Joyce, C Bailey, J Hartley, J McMillan, TR Arthur, D Nash and BM Knight.

    Greta Behn deposed that she was the mother of the wife of the prisoner. On the 24th October last she was at Rae’s shop and had a child in her arms. Her daughter was near her. The prisoner came up, and snatched the child from her arms. Her daughter took the child from him, and ran into Rae’s. Prisoner followed and witness followed the prisoner. Prisoner put a pistol to her neck. Witness called out for assistance. A man came over and threw the prisoner down.

    Cross-examined: There had been bad feeling between them. The pistol did not go off. Her daughter would not live with him because he ill-treated her. There was a quarrel between them before. He threatened to shop her with an axe and she had him bound over to keep the peace.

    Alice Hanwright deposed that she was the wife of the prisoner. Was outside Rae’s shop in October last with her mother when the prisoner came up and snatched the child from her mother’s arms. Witness took it away from him and ran into Rae’s shop. Prisoner came after her and put a pistol to the side of her neck. Heard the pistol snap. Mr Thomas then came up and held him to the floor. Saw the pistol in his hand, but did not see it taken from him. On the previous Friday he asked her to go home. She refused and he said he would shoot himself and his youngest boy.

    Cross-examined: Her mother never interfered between them. He started to drink a few weeks after they were married. Thought he fully intended to kill her.

    William Thomas deposed that he witnessed the disturbance near Rae’s in October last. Witness pulled the prisoner away and knocked him down. Saw some bright thing in his hand and thought it was a knife. It was taken from him by a constable.

    John T Brady deposed that he lived in Geelong at present. He saw the disturbance at Rae’s. The previous witness was holding the prisoner, and witness went to help. Took the revolver (produced) from his hand. It was then at full cock.

    Cross-examined: Prisoner was very obstreperous.

    Constable [John] Geraghty deposed he arrested the prisoner. He produced the revolver which he got from Constable Durrance. On the road to the lockup prisoner said he bought the revolver to kill a dog and then end his own miserable life. On searching him found the cartridges produced. On being arrested prisoner fell down apparently in a fit. He said it was a serious charge, and asked how much a man would get for it. He further said it was that witch of a mother who drove him do it.

    Cross-examined: The revolver could not go off because they were pin fire cartridges in a rim fire chamber.

    Constable [John Thomas] Durrance gave similar evidence. He got the revolver from the witness Brady.

    H Moser deposed that the prisoner bought a revolved from witness. He said he wanted to shoot a horse or a bullock and a mangy dog. Witness knew that the cartridges would not go off in the revolver. Gave them to him because he was acting in such a strange manner.

    The jury retired, and after an absence of about a quarter of an hour returned into court with a verdict of guilty on the second count, that is attempting to discharge firearms with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

    The prisoner was sentenced to penal servitude for five years.



James Hanwright, 1900


The Wagga Wagga Advertiser, Tue 20 Nov 1900 2

(Before Mr G Martin, PM.)


ALEXANDER HUGHES, for being drunk in Fitzmaurice-street on the 18th, was fined 10s or three days imprisonment.


    William Rolls, manager of Sandy Creek Station, pleaded guilty to a complaint of non-registration of 4 dogs and was fined 10s per dog and 4s 10d costs. Mr Mitchelmore appeared for defendant.


    The Inspector of Nuisances proceeded against several persons for breaches of the by-laws. Small fines were inflicted in several instances.


    James Hanwright was charged with behaving in an indecent manner in the Town Hall gardens on the 11th instant. After the evidence of five witnesses, including Sergeant Anderson and Senior-constable Holder, the bench sentenced the accused to six months hard labor in Goulburn gaol. Inspector Smith pointed out to the bench that the man deserved a flogging, but after giving the case lengthy consideration the police magistrate decided not to order that punishment in this instance. The case was heard with closed doors.


1  The Pastoral Times, Sat 6 Mar 1886, pp. 2, 3.

2  The Wagga Wagga Advertiser, Tue 20 Nov 1900, p. 3. Emphasis added.