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Illawarra Mercury, Fri 28 Nov 1930 1

Bulli, Illawarra, c. 1900-1910. Image: NSW State Library collection. Reproduction: Peter de Waal
Bulli, Illawarra, c. 1900-1910. Image: NSW State Library collection.
Reproduction: Peter de Waal

(Before Mr Chapman, SM.)


    George [William] Ferguson, of Thirroul, was charged with committing a. beastly offence, of a revolting nature, in connection with a fowl, at Thirroul, on 16th November, and he pleaded not guilty, being defended by Mr BT Heavener, solicitor, of Sydney.

    Detective Constable Godwin, of Glebe, gave evidence of defendant being in attendance at Glebe police station on 22nd November, at 4 pm, when witness told him of a comunication from the police in Wollongong district, that a man answering his description was wanted for the offence stated, Ferguson replying that he was a member of the RSPCA, and would not do anything like that. He admitted he used to feed the fowls at Ryan’s Hotel, in Thirroul. When asked if he had any knowledge that he was wanted for such an offence, Ferguson replied that “a man told him and that he was going to make the man give him a public apology.” Witness then chargcd Ferguson with the offence. Later, accused gave a written statement of his movements on the day in question

    Asked by Mr Heavener if it was a fact accused had voluntarily attended at Glebe police station and inquired if there was a warrant for his arrest, the witness replied that accused may have done so, but he did not know.

    Edward Hinge, who resides near Ryan’s Hotel, gave evidence of his wife first seeing the accused committing the offcnce, when she directed his attention to it, and he then called a friend, Mr George Bunny, to be a' witness of it.

    [George] Bunny corroborated the evidence of Hinge, both being very definite in details on the committal of the offence.

    Mr Heavener submitted that the offence had not been proved, and, further, there was not convicting evidence of even the attempt at committing the offence.

    His Worship ruled that there was a prima facie ease, and committed accused to stand his trial at the next Quarter Sessions to be held in Wollongong.

    Accused stated from the dock that he was not guilty, and reserved his defence. Bail was allowed of £30, and one surety of a like amount.

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South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus, Fri 28 Nov 1930 2

(Before Mr Chapman, SM.)


    George William Ferguson was charged with committing an abominable crime on a fowl, at Thirroul, on November 16th.

    Mr BT Heavener appeared for the defendant.

    Detective Constable Charles Godwin, of Glebe, stated at 4 pm on November 22nd, he saw defendant at Glebe Police station and questioned him. The latter admitted having been working at Ryan’s Hotel, Thirroul. Witness said Wollongong police alleged he had committed a certain crime against a fowl. Defendant denied any knowledge of such an offence and said he was a member of the RSPCA. Witness asked “When you were at the hotel, did you have anything to do with the fowl?” and defendant replied “Yes, I used to feed them, but used to pet the pet hen, which has since gone broody.” Defendant said he had been told he was wanted in connection with the offence. He was charged and made no reply. About 11 am the following day, witness again saw defendant when the latter said “I can prove where I was on the 16th,” Witness asked “Will you give a written statement of your movements on that day?” Ferguson then wrote out a statement (produced). In this he detailed his movements that day, pointing out he had fed the fowls. After handing witness the statement, defendant said “There were two men saw me with my clothing disarranged as I was leaving the fowl yard.” Witness then asked defendant to explain that and he said he did not know, but thought it must have happened when he was taking the eggs from under the broody fowl.

    Questioned by Mr Heavener, witness said the defendant may have called at the Glebe police station before the arrival of the warrant, but he (witness) did not know.

    Edward Leonard Hinge, laborer, of Thirroul, stated on Sunday, November 16th, he was spoken to by his wife so went to the fence dividing hi place with Ryan’s fowl house. He saw a man standing in the fowl house with a fowl held in his two hands. The man had his clothing disarranged and was committing an unnatural offence. Witness then walked away and called Mr Bunny. They walked over to the fence and witness saw the man in the same position. Witness threw a brick on to the tin shed but the man took no notice. The latter later threw the fowl to one side and then arranged his clothing. He bent down and picked up a dish of eggs and, as he stood up and walked towards them, witness recognised him as George and called him a mongrel —–. Witness identified the defendant as the man seen in the fowl yard that day. He had previously seen the man working about the hotel.

    In answer to Mr Heavener, witness said he was very annoyed. The fence was fairly high and witness looked through a space between the fence and the galvanised iron. His wife had told him she heard the chicken squealing. He denied having treated the whole mater as a joke although he admitted having told several people about it.

    George Bunny, miner, Thirroul stated he was with Hinge on the Sunday afternoon. He gave corroborative evidence. He spoke to Mrs Ryan about the matter. Witness had known the defendant for the past two years.

    This concluded the case for the prosecution.

    Mr Heavener submitted that the offence had not been proved. He also submitted that Hinge had allowed his imatgination [sic] full hway [sic–sway].

    The SM ruled against this and held there was a case to answer.

    When charged, Ferguson said he was not guilty and reserved his defence.

    He was committed for trial at next Quarter Sessions at Wollongong. Bail was fixed at self and one surety of £30.

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Illawarra Mercury, Fri 6 Mar 1931 3


    At the [Wollongong] Quarter Sessions, [before Judge Sheridan], this morning in the case of McIntosh, the jury returned to court with a verdict of not guilty, and McIntosh was discharged.


    The jury disagreed, and the accused was remanded to next Wollongong Quarter Sessions.

(Before His Honor Judge Sheridan).

    Mr Browning, Crown Prosecutor.




    George William Ferguson was charged with an abominable offence against a fowl, at Thirroul, on November 16.

    Mr Thos F Williams appeared for the accused.

    Jury: RE Brown, H Henson, W Muir, RJ Hodgkinson, R Hope. JS Hamilton, CH Smith, JG Taylor, WV Porteus, WJ Johnston, E Byron, TE Epps.

    (This case was reported in these columns when accused was before the Bulli police court).

    Detective Constable CE Godwin, Glebe, gave formal evidence and said that accused, when arrested, said “I am a member of the RSPCA, and I would not do a thing like that.” Later, accused made a statement (produced) detailing his movements on the day in question, in which he said that he had” patted the pet fowl,” and denied anything further.

    By Mr Williams: Accused did not come to Glebe Police Station under arrest.

Bulli Pass Hotel (Ryan’s Bulli Pass Hotel), Thirroul, c. 1900-1927. Image: NSW State Library collection. Reproduction: Peter de Waal
Bulli Pass Hotel (Ryan’s Bulli Pass Hotel), Thirroul, c. 1900-1927.
Image: NSW State Library collection. Reproduction: Peter de Waal

    Harold Leonard Hinge, labourer, Thirroul, deposed that he went to the dividing fence between his yard and the yard of the Hotel Ryan, and there saw a person holding a fowl in a certain position. The fowl was screeching and witness went away and called another man. Witness had been told something by his wife previously to going over to the fence.

    By Mr Williams: I could not see the head of the person whose actions I have described.

    George Bunny, miner, Thirroul, gave evidence corroborative of that of the previous witness, and said that he had called accused “a dirty —–.”

    By Mr Williams: I watched accused for a minute and a half.

    Accused [George William Ferguson] (in a statement from the dock) said that all he had done was to collect the eggs, and remove the broody hen from off the eggs. He would not dream of doing what was suggested, and came of a respectable family.

    Certificates of good character were tendered by Mr Williams.


    At 10.25 Mr Williams, who had concluded his address to the jury, rose to object to some remark passed by the Crown Prosecutor in his address.

    His Honour ordered Mr Williams to sit down.

    His Honour ordered Mr Williams to sit down.

    Mr Williams repeated, “Your Honour,” and was again told to sit down.

    Mr Williams again attempted to speak, and was ordered to leave the court.

    Mr Williams immediately did so.

    In his summing up, His Honour said that the attack on the character of the witnesses in the case was unfair and unwarranted, and reached depths of vituperation which he had rarely heard in a court of justice, and hoped not to hear again.

    At 10.30 the jury left to view the scene of the alleged offence, and on returning retired to consider their verdict.

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South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus, Fri 6 Mar 1931 4


    The Quarter Sessions opened at Wollongong on Monday, before his Honor, Judge Sheridan.

    Mr Browning was Crown Prosecutor.

    Mr Kirby, JP, occupied a seat on the Bench.


    George William Ferguson was charged with attempted bestiality at Thirroul, on Nov 16th. He pleaded not guilty and was defended by Mr Thomas F Williams.

    Jury—RE Brown, H Henson, W Muir, RJ Hodgkinson, R Hope, JS Hamilton, CH Smith, JG Taylor, WV Porteous, E Byron, TE Epps, and WJ Johnston.

    Detective Constable E Godwin, of Glebe stated he saw the accused on November 22nd, and questioned him. The latter denied the offence but admitted having been working at the hotel and looking after the fowls. The following morning the accused made a statement in which he admitted feeding the fowls about 1.30 pm. In it he also stated such an offence was inhuman. He also told witness his clothing was disarranged while he was in the fowl yard.

    Questioned by Mr Williams, witness said Ferguson had said he intended to demand an apology from the man.

    Harold Leonard Hinge, laborer, of Thirroul, stated his property was adjacent to the yard of the hotel. He looked over the fence and saw the accused holding a fowl in both hands. Witness then detailed particulars of

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the offence, which was of a particular revolting nature.

    In answer to Mr Williams, witness said he was talking in his yard when his wife called him. He could not see the head of the person in the fowl yard.

    George Bunny, miner, of Thirroul, stated he was in Hinge’s yard, talking when Mrs Hinge came to them. Witness then went over to the dividing fence and saw Ferguson with a black fowl. Witness called out “You dirty —–” The accused then arranged his clothing.

    Questioned by Mr Williams, witness said he did not consider it a laughing matter. He was disgusted and offended but did not inform the police as he did not consider it was his business.

    The accused [George William Ferguson], in a statement from the dock, stated he was lifting the fowls out of the nest to get the eggs. His clothing was disarranged but he denied committing the offence—it was ridiculous and he was not guilty of it.

    Several references as to the accused’s good character were tendered and read.

    At the conclusion of the case the jury inspected the locality of the alleged offence.

    During the course of Mr Browning’s address, Mr Williams interrupted and took exception to the former’s remarks.

    His Honor ordered Mr Williams to sit down and said Mr Browning was quite within his rights in replying to the remarks made to the jury by Mr Williams.

    The latter again attempted to speak to His Honor, but on refusing to sit down when ordered to do so, was ordered out of the court.

    He left immediately.

    The jury after bing locked up for twelve hours disagreed and was discharged.

    Ferguson was remanded till next Quarter Sessions.

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The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 7 Mar 1931 5


Wellington, Friday.

    Miss Edna Mylecharane, a photographer, had an unenviable experience when a kerosene lamp she was carrying exploded. Her flimsy dress of georgette was soon in flames, but with great presence of mind, she threw herself on a bed and, with assistance, the flames were put out. She was severely burnt about the arms, chest, and neck.


Windsor, Friday.

    A recommendation of the finance committee was adopted by the Windsor Municipal Council that the Mayor be requested to control the meeting of the council strictly in accordance with the ordinances, and that in future any disorder should be rigidly suppressed. This is a result of the extremely disorderly meetings which the council frequently holds, many of which break up in confusion. At the last meeting one of the most prominent aldermen in the town was assaulted outside the council chamber by a rival alderman’s supporter, and suffered serious injuries.

    The council’s gallery of photographs of past mayors has been added to by a picture of the late Robert Dick, the first Mayor of the town, in 1871-72. The photograph was presented by his nephew, Dr James Adam Dick.


Wentworth Falls, Friday.

    According to Mr Martin Flynn, of The Nest, Wentworth Falls, the Great Dane dog grows to a gigantic size and weight. Mr Flynn states that his dog turns the scale at 20 stone. The animal is active, symmetrical, playful, and good tempered. He has an appetite in proportion to his size.


Albury, Friday.

    Mr AA Hart, a well-known Albury businessman and bowler, died this morning. He was 59 years of age.


Albury, Friday.

    There have been several scandalous cases of imposition lately before the Court, arising out of the issue of relief orders. One case to-day was that of a young man named Smith, charged with falsely pretending to Sergeant Ferris that he was in distressed circumstances, and by means of this pretence obtained a food relief order. The police, to test the story of poverty, visited Smith’s camp, and there found a large stock of provisions, which he had evidently secured for the rabbit-trapping season. In addition to a horse and wagonette, he had a couple of hundred rabbit traps and three dogs. He was sentenced to a month’s imprisonment.


Wollongong, Friday.

    At the Wollongong Quarter Sessions, Albert Baxter, who was found guilty of embezzlement of funds of the Water and Sewerage Board whilst employed as a clerk in the Wollongong office, was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment.—George William Ferguson, [28], was charged with an unnatural offence. The jury failed to agree, and he was remanded until the next Sittings of the Court.—Stanley Robert McIntosh and James Cairns were charged with breaking and entering the store of JG Fairley, at Port Kembla, and stealing. By direction of Judge Sheridan, a verdict of not guilty was entered in the case of Cairns, and the jury found McIntosh not guilty. 


1     Illawarra Mercury, (Wollongong, NSW), Fri 6 Mar 1931, pp. 6, 10. Emphasis added.

2     South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus, (NSW), Fri 28 Nov 1930, p. 17. Emphasis added.

3     Illawarra Mercury, (Wollongong, NSW), Fri 6 Mar 1931, pp. 6, 10. Emphasis added.

4     South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus, (NSW), Fri 6 Mar 1931, pp. 9, 11. Emphasis added.

5     The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 7 Mar 1931 p. 16. Emphasis added.