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Manilla Express, Sat 17 Mar 1900 1

Before Mr WA Swain, JP.

Before Mr DE Veness, JP.

    BESTIALITY.—David Mills, 40 years of age, described as a drover, was charged with having committed a serious and unnatural offence, near Manilla, on March 13.

    Senior-constable [Theodore] Sewell deposed that on Wednesday a report was made to the effect that a man had committed an offence the previous day, between 2 and 3 o’clock in the afternoon, in a gully about quarter-of-a-mile from the Manilla railway station. On the following day he made inquiries from certain persons, and also visited the spot. The gully was in a lane on the road running to Mr W Veness’ farm from the railway station; the road was only used by persons on horseback or on foot, as the deep gully prevented anyone crossing with a vehicle; in the gully there was a rocky bank, against which fresh horse tracks were to be seen; he afterwards saw the accused in the yard of the Junction Hotel; after administering the usual caution, he asked accused where he was and what he was doing on Tuesday; accused hesitated for a time and then replied that he could not remember as he had been drinking for about a month; at the lock-up, in reply to the charge, the accused said he “had no recollection; there surely must be some mistake,” and laughed.

    John Woods, gardener, residing at Green Hatch’s Creek, near Manilla, knew the accused and remembered seeing him on Tuesday in a gully between 2 and 3 o’clock in the afternoon. The offence was then described. The witness, who was not more than 10 yards away, waited for two or three minuites [sic] and then sang out. He was walking home at the time from town; the gully was secluded by bushes. When coming to town he saw the accused ridding in the direction of the spot.

    By prisoner: It was between 2 and 3 o’clock on Tuesday, and he was sure accused was the man.

    William Billings, labourer, residing near the gully where the offence was alleged to have been committed, said he had seen the accused riding a grey mare about; he always wore a drunken appearance. On Tuesday afternoon he saw the mare tied up near the gully in question. Half an hour afterwards he saw the accused riding along the lane in the direction of Manilla.

    By accused: He was sure he was the person he saw.

    This was the case.

    The accused on being asked if he had any witnesses replied, “Yes, I have witnesses at the hotel, who will prove that I never left the hotel on Tuesday.”

    The Bench: Who are they?

    Accused: The proprietor and groom.

    Some delay was created, whilst a messenger was despatched for the persons named.

    William Forster, hotelkeeper, on being called and questioned by the accused, said he remembered seeing Mills at his hotel on Tuesday; he could not say whether the accused was riding about or not.

    By the Police: The accused had been drinking about the hotel; the accused could have been away from the hotel without his knowledge.

    By accused: He never noticed any other person riding the mare.

    In reply to the charge, the accused said, “I’m not guilty, and think can still find witnesses who can prove I was at Mr Forster’s all that day.”

    Mill’s [sic] was committed to take his trial at Tamworth Circuit Court, on April 17.

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The Tamworth Observer and Northern Advertiser, Wed 18 Apr 1900 2

(Before his Honor, Mr Justice GB Simpson.)

THE COURT opened yesterday (Tuesday), his Honor taking his seat a few minutes after 10 o’clock. Representatives of the higher and lower branches of the legal profession were in great force, from Mr GH Reid, QC, downwards. Mr CE Maybury, Sheriff, occupied a seat on the Bench.

    Some time was taken up with the work of hearing excuses for non-attendance of jurors, and in the end William Johnston, John T Robertson and Henry N Garvin were fined £2 each for being absent.

    Mr Alban White prosecuted for the Crown.


    The first case called was that of David Mills, a young man of respectable appearance, who was charged with bestiality. The offence is said to have occurred at Manilla on 13th March. Prisoner was asked to plead, and he said “Not Guilty.”

    Mr R Windeyer, who appeared on prisoner’s behalf, said that owing to bail not having been granted he had been in gaol since his committal, a month ago, and certain evidence of a material character which he could obtain had not been obtained, and consequently his defence could not be properly prepared. He (Mr Windeyer) asked for a postponement of the trial to enable him to secure the necessary evidence.

    The Crown Prosecutor not offering any objection, his Honor granted a postponement to the next Court of Quarter Sessions. The witnesses present were bound over.

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The Tamworth Observer and Northern Advertiser, Wed 25 Jul 1900 3


THE following cases are set down for trial at the Tamworth Quarter Sessions, which open at the Court House at 10 am to-day before his Honor Judge Heydon:—
    Edward Nicholas and Clara Whittaker, stealing from the person in company; committed by Tamworth Bench.
    James Wicks, horse stealing; committed by Manilla Bench.
    David Mills, bestiality; committed by Manilla Bench.
    Joseph Robinson, larceny as a bailee; committed by Tamworth Bench.

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The Tamworth Observer and Northern Advertiser, Sat 28 Jul 1900 4


THE Quarter Sessions opened at the Court House on Wednesday morning. Mr E Jones, PM, had a seat on the Bench as Deputy Sheriff, and Mr V Brown, JP, was present in the capacity of District Court Registrar. Mr RJ Browning prosecuted for the Crown, and the barristers present were Messrs A Thomson, R Windeyer, Alban White, and PR Higgins.

Thursday, July 26.

    The Court resumed its sitting at 10 am, when Mr Windeyer commenced his address to the jury on behalf of David Mills. Counsel referred to the enormity of the offence, and made an impassioned speech, basing his remarks on the assumption that the case was one of mistaken identity, and that a man bearing some resemblance to the accused, who left the district hurriedly as soon as Mills was arrested, and had not since been heard of, was more likely to have committed the offence. He spoke for three-quarters of an hour.

    Mr Browning replied at length, and his Honor exhaustively went through the evidence.

    The jury retired at noon.

Friday, July 27.

    The Court resumed at 10 am.



    In this case the accused was also bound over to appear at the next Court of Quarter Sessions on the 12th December next, or at such other time and place as the Attorney-General might appoint.

    On the application of Mr Proctor, bail was allowed—accused in £60 and 2 sureties in £30 each or one in £60.

    The witnesses in both cases were bound over, and the court then adjourned sine die.


1     Manilla Express, Sat 17 Mar 1900, p. 2. Emphasis added.

2     The Tamworth Observer and Northern Advertiser, Wed 18 Apr 1900, p. 2.

3     The Tamworth Observer and Northern Advertiser, Wed 25 Jul 1900, p. 3. Emphasis added.

4     The Tamworth Observer and Northern Advertiser, Sat 28 Jul 1900, p. 5.