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1857, Frederick Knight - Unfit For Publication
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The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Tue 10 Mar 1857 1

MAITLAND CIRCUIT COURT.

    This court opened yesterday, before his Honor Mr Justice Milford.
    The barristers present were Mr Faucett, Mr Lutwyche, Mr Pring, Mr Butler, and Mr Windeyer. Mr Pring prosecuted for the Crown.
    The proclamation against vice and immorality was read and a jury empannelled [sic].
    A commission signed by the Governor General, authorising Mr Pring to prosecute for the Crown at these assizes was handed in.
…  

UNNATURAL CRIME.

    Frederick Knight was indicted for having committed an unnatural offence, [bestiality with a cow], at Warialda, on the 7th January, 1857.

    Mr Faucett appeared for the defence; attorney, Mr O’Meagher.

    All women and children were ordered out of court, on account of the character of the evidence.

    The only witness called was William Howard, chief constable at Warialda. He deposed to details altogether unfit for publication.

    Mr Faucett addressed the jury for the defence, arguing that the commission of the crime was a matter, of not of impossibility, in the highest degree improbable; especially as it rested on the evidence of the chief constable alone, whose very conduct impaired his credibility, if it did not absolutely destroy it.

    Mr Pring made a few remarks in reply.

    His Honor summed up. He pointed out to the jury that they would have to satisfy themselves either of the completion of the offence, which would prove the prisoner guilty of the charge, or otherwise of the attempt to commit the crime; and first of all they must determine whether they would believe the story or not.

    Both the counsel, and his Honor also, expressed their disapprobation of the conduct of the chief constable, who, according to his own showing, had witnessed the commission of an act of felony without interfering when he could to prevent it, and without arresting the felon or giving information of his act till the next day.

    The jury retired for about a quarter of an hour, and then returned a verdict of not guilty. The prisoner was discharged.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Northern Times, Wed 11 Mar 1857 2

MAITLAND CIRCUIT COURT.
————

    This Court was opened on Monday last, at ten o’clock. Mr Justice Milford presided. The barristers present were Messrs Pring (Prosecutor for the Crown), Butler, Lutwyche, Faucett, and Windeyer. After the usual formalities had been gone through, the first case was called.

...

UNNATURAL CRIME.

    Frederick Knight was indicted for that he did, on the 7th of January, 1857, at Warialda, commit an unnatural offence. The prisoner was defended by Mr Faucett; Attorney Mr O’Meagher. The particulars wholly unfit for publication.

    Wm Howard, chief constable at Warialda, was the principal witness examined. Constable Henson was called but was asked any questions.

    Mr Faucett addressed the jury for the defence, contending that his client was innocent of the crime for which he stood indicted, and that the chief constable of Warialda was highly censurable for not having prevented, or for not having attempted to prevent the commission of the crime with which the prisoner was charged, and was also censurable for not having arrested the prisoner immediately after the committal of the offence. Mr Pring addressed the jury for the Crown, and his Honour having summed up, the jury found the prisoner not guilty. The prisoner was discharged. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 11 Mar 1857 3

HUNTER RIVER.
————
MAITLAND CIRCUIT COURT.
(Abridged from yesterday’s Maitland Mercury.)

    The Court opened yesterday, before his Honor Mr Justice Milford. The barristers present were Mr Faucett, Mr Lutwyche, Mr Pring, Mr Butler, and Mr Windeyer. Mr Pring prosecuted for the Crown.   The proclamation against vice and immorality was read and a jury empannelled. [sic] A commission signed by the Governor-General, authorising Mr Pring to prosecute for the Crown at these assizes was handed in.

    UNNATURAL CRIME.—Frederick Knight was indicted for having committed an unnatural offence, at Warialda, on the 7th January, 1857. Mr Faucett appeared for the defence; attorney, Mr O’Meagher, The only witness called was William Howard, chief constable at Warialda. He deposed to details altogether unfit for publication. Mr Faucett addressed the jury for the defence. Mr Pring made a few remarks in reply. His Honor summed up. He pointed out to the jury that they would have to satisfy themselves either of the completion of the offence, which would prove the prisoner guilty of the charge, or otherwise of the attempt to commit the crime; and first of all they must determine whether they would believe the story or not. Both the counsel, and his Honor also, expressed their disapprobation of the conduct of the chief constable, who, according to his own showing, had witnessed the commission of an act of felony without interfering when he could prevent it, and without arresting the felon or giving information of his act till the next day. The jury retired for about a quarter of an hour, and then returned a verdict of not guilty. The prisoner was discharged.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Sat 14 March 1857 4


    [Mr Justice Milford has never before sat in Maitland, and knew nothing therefore of the Court-house building. But after unintentionally making one jury ill by locking them up in a room without ventilation, it would have been well to have ascertained by Inquiry that other fitting rooms can be found – in the court-house, and in the Hunter River Hotel – and that juries have been locked up in them by other Judges, without the public service suffering. – Eds, M.M.]


1  The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Tue 10 Mar 1857, p. 2. Emphasis added.

2  Northern Times, (Newcastle, NSW), Wed 11 Mar 1857, p. 2. Emphasis added.

3  The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 11 Mar 1857, p. 3. Emphasis added.

4  The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Sat 14 Mar 1857, p. 2. [Square brackets] in original document.