Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/178353/domains/unfitforpublication.org.au/html/plugins/system/gantry/gantry.php on line 406
1859, John Lee - Unfit For Publication
Text Size



The Wagga Wagga Express and Murrumbidgee District Advertiser, Sat 13 Nov 1858  1

POLICE COURT.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 1858.
(Before the Police Magistrate [Henry Baylis].)

    UNSOUND MIND—Thomas Williams, brought up on remand from Wednesday last, was discharged, there being no further evidence against him.

    UNNATURAL CRIME—John Lee and Matthew Wilkinson, apprehended on the above charge, were brought up for examination. The complainant in this case, James Ginn, not appearing, the prisoners were remanded till Monday, and a warrant issued to secure the attendance of Ginn.

MONDAY, NOVEMBER, 8.


    UNNATURAL CRIME—John Lee and Matthew Wilkinson, remanded from Saturday were brought up for further examination. The evidence in the above case is unfit for publication. Wilkinson was discharged, there being no evidence to connect him with the above charge. The prisoner Lee was committed for trial at the next Criminal Sessions, to be held at Goulburn in March next.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Depositions for John Lee 29 Mar 1859 Goulburn trial 2  

1

(M. 11 & 12 Vic., Cap. 42.)
Depositions of Witnesses.

New South Wales
TO WIT.                }

The examination of James O’Keeffe of Wagga in the Colony of New South Wales, Chief Constable taken on oath this sixth day of November in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty eight, at Wagga Wagga in the Colony aforesaid, before the undersigned, one of Her Majesty’s Justices of the Peace for the said Colony in the presence and hearing of John Lee and Matthew Wilkinson who are charged this day before me for that they the said John Lee and Matthew Wilkinson on the fifth day of November Instant at Wagga Wagga, in the said Colony, did feloniously commit the abominable crime of buggery, contrary to the statutes in that case made and provided.

2

    This deponent James O’Keeffe being duly sworn on his oath saith as follows: Last evening I was informed that an unnatural crime had been committed or attempted at Mr [Thomas] Fox’s [Squatters] Hotel [Fitzmaurice Street] in Wagga Wagga [South] by the prisoners Lee and Wilkinson. I had the information from James Ginn that he had gone into the room where the prisoners were, and had interrupted them. I went in search of the prisoners. I was accompanied by Jim, Jim pointed out the prisoners to me, they were in the tap room of Mr Boon’s [Commercial] Hotel  3  [Gurwood Street, Wagga Wagga South], I knew the prisoner Wilkinson before, but I did not know the other man. I apprehended Lee first, I told him the charge on which I took him into custody and cautioned him, as to any statement he might make. He said nothing to the charge. I then apprehended Wilkinson for the purpose of securing his attendance here as a witness against Lee. On the way to the watch house Wilkinson said to me he did not think it would come to that, but no that it had gone so far, he would do all he could. Wilkinson made no further statement to me. On reaching the watch house I stripped an examined both the prisoners, but I could see no marks upon them, or upon their clothing. There was no medical practitioner in town that I could call in to examine them. I confined the prisoners in separate cells. I warned my informant Jim to be here in attendance this morning. He is not in attendance. I have been informed that he has gone out of town. I believe that he has been induced by other parties to leave the town to avoid giving evidence in this case.

[Signed] James O’Keeffe, CC.
The above deposition of James O’Keeffe was taken and sworn before me at Wagga Wagga this

3

sixth day of November AD1858.
[Signed] Henry Baylis, PM.

    Remanded until 8th Instant, for the purpose of procuring obtaining the attendance of James Ginn to give evidence.
[Signed] Henry Baylis, PM.

November 8th 1858.

    John Lee and Matthew Wilkinson brought up in custody to answer further to the above charge. The former deposition of James O’Keeffe having been read over to the prisoners – James O’Keeffe  resworn at the instance of the prisoner Wilkinson on his oath saith as follows: Jim did not inform me that when the affair occurred, Wilkinson had alarmed the house.
[Signed] James O’Keeffe, CC.

    This deponent James Ginn being duly sworn on his oath saith as follows: I am a labourer. I was last in the service of Mr Jeffreys of Illiliwa. I am now out of employment. I have been staying at Mr Fox’s Hotel in Wagga Wagga for the last three weeks. On Friday evening last, about an hour before sundown, I was in Mr Fox’s bar. The two prisoners were at Mr Fox’s that evening. About three o’clock in the afternoon I saw the prisoner Wilkinson go into a room in Mr Fox’s house. The room is called “dead house”, and is kept to put drunken people in. Wilkinson was drunk when he went into the room. About an hour afterwards I saw the prisoner Lee follow Wilkinson into the dead house; I did not take much notice of him. I cannot say whether he was drunk or not. About an hour after that I opened the door. The first thing I saw was the prisoner Lee’s hand on Wilkinson’s privates. I stood against the door which was a little way open. I watched the prisoners. The

4

prisoner Wilkinson was laying on his side. The prisoner Lee was laying on his side too, close at the back of Wilkinson. I saw Lee undo Wilkinson’s trousers and pull and pull them down right over his backside. He had his own trousers undone and his private out. He drew up to Wilkinson and continued so about half a minute. His face was towards Wilkinson’s back. Wilkinson jumped up and gave the alarm. He called Lee a brute and took hold of him by the collar and wanted to pull him out of the room. I closed the door when Wilkinson made the alarm. I stayed outside the room. Wilkinson came outside and I asked him what was the matter. He said “This man,” referring to the prisoner Lee, “wants to take liberties with me.” Lee did not say anything, Wilkinson’s trousers were all down and so were Lee’s. There were several people in the tap room and heard Wilkinson accuse Lee. Lee sat at the table in the tap room when he came out of the taproom dead-house, for a short time and then went away’ no-one made any effort to stop Lee leaving, or to take him into custody. I spoke to Lee, I called him a wretch and told him what I had seen. He did not answer me anything. In the evening the Chief Constable came to me to inquire about the affair. I told him what I knew of it, and I went with him and pointed out the prisoners Lee and Wilkinson to him. They were in Mr Boon’s taproom. They were in the same room but not in company together.

    Cross examined by Lee: I do not recollect how long you were in Fox’s that evening. I did not have a glass of anything to drink with you.

    By the Bench: I did not acquaint Mr Fox the landlord of the house of which what I had seen because I did not like to have anything to do with the matter. I was not drunk myself. I had had a few glasses, but I knew what I was doing. I had lent Wilkinson five shillings

5

that afternoon, and when I saw Lee go into the dead house I thought that he was perhaps going to rob Wilkinson. When I saw Lee in the dead house with his private out it was erect. Lee appeared to be about half drunk when he came out of the dead house and was accused by me of the offence. I had no acquaintance whatever with Lee. I had seen him a few times at Mr Fox’s. I have never had any quarrel or dispute with Lee. No-one else besides myself saw what took place in the dead house. I have known Wilkinson about three weeks. I believe he was in Mr Fox’s service. I did not appear here to give evidence on Saturday because I did not like to have anything to do with such a case.
[Signed] James Ginn.

    The above depositions of James O’Keeffe and James Ginn were taken and sworn before me at Wagga Wagga this eighth day of November 1858.
[Signed] Henry Baylis, PM.

    [Matthew] Wilkinson, ordered to be discharged from custody for the purpose of giving evidence, being duly sworn on his oath saith as follows:– I am a bush carpenter. I was last in the service of Mr Fox of Wagga Wagga. I came in from the bush last Friday morning. I went to Mr Fox’s house and stayed there all day. I drank a large quantity of wine on which I got tipsy. I went into a room when I found myself tipsy. The room adjoins the tap room. I laid down and went to sleep. How long I was asleep I don’t know. I was awokened by some person’s hand in my trousers. The person was handling my privates. I withdrew the hand and pushed it away. I then lay still a few moments longer and the hand returned to the same place. Directly it moved higher up and commenced loosening my trousers. I felt the trousers drawn from under my belt, but had not power to stop them from

6

the drink which I had taken. The trousers were drawn down until I was completely naked. I lay then on my right side, and felt someone’s arm come across my body. An effort was made for drawing me and the person together. I put my hand across and felt the person’s skin. I shouted and jumped up in a fright. I saw the prisoner Lee lying close to where I stood, my trousers were down at the knee. I came out into the tap room and got myself to rights as soon as possible. I called Lee many “wretches” and “dogs” for attempting the affair. He made no answer to me at all.

    The prisoner Lee declines to put any question to this witness.

    By the Bench: I did not see Mr Fox at the time but I shouted and alarmed the whole house. When I jumped up no-one was in the room but Lee and myself. I was in such a fight I did not take notice whether Lee’s trousers were down or not. I never saw Lee before in my life that I know of.
[Signed] Matthew (his X mark) Wilkinson.

    The above deposition of Matthew Wilkinson was taken and sworn before me at Wagga Wagga this eighth day of November 1858.
[Signed] Henry Baylis, PM.

    The prisoner John Lee, declines to make any statement. Is committed for trial at the next General Gaol Delivery at Goulburn for an assault with intent to commit an unnatural crime.
November 8th 1858 [Signed] Henry Baylis, PM.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

(O. 1.)
Recognizance to give Evidence.

New South Wales
TO WIT.                }

Be it remembered, that on the eighth day of November, in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty eight Matthew Wilkinson of Wagga Wagga in the said Colony, labourer James Ginn of Wagga Wagga labourer and James O’Keeffe of Wagga Wagga Chief Constable personally came before the undersigned, one of Her Majesty’s Justices of the Peace for the said Colony and acknowledged themselves to owe our Sovereign Lady the Queen the sum of one hundred pounds each of good and lawful money of Great Britain, to be made and levied of their goods and chattels, lands and tenements, to the use of our said Lady the Queen, her Heirs and Successors, if they the said Matthew Wilkinson, James Ginn and James O’Keeffe shall fail in the condition indorsed.

Taken and acknowledged the day and year first above mentioned at Wagga Wagga in the said Colony, before me.
[Signed] Henry Baylis, JP.

    The condition of the within written Recognizance is such, that whereas one John Lee was this day charged before Justice of the Peace within mentioned, for that he on the fifth November Instant at Wagga Wagga did feloniously assault one Matthew Wilkinson with intent to commit an unnatural offence. If therefore they the said James O’Keeffe, James Ginn and Matthew Wilkinson shall appear at the next General Gaol Delivery to be holden at Goulburn in and for the Colony of New South Wales, ----- and there give such evidence as they know upon an information to be then and there preferred against the said John Lee for the offence aforesaid, to the jurors who shall pass upon the trial of the said John Lee then the said Recognizance to be void, or else to stand in full force and virtue.
[Signed] Henry Baylis, JP.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

[On the depositions’ cover sheet is the following]

1859
Goulburn Circuit Court
Wagga Wagga No. 19
Regina
v.
John Lee
Depositions

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2216
Wagga Wagga
November 8th 1858
Depositions
against
John Lee
For trial at the next Gaol Delivery at Goulburn for feloniously assault.
Criminal Crown Solicitor
Goulburn Assizes
28 March 1859
[Signed] L[yttleton] H[olyoake], Bayley, Attorney General

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Information for Assault with intent to commit sodomy
2nd count for a common assault
[Signed] LH Bayley, Attorney General
5 March 1859

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Assault on Matthew Wilkinson with intent to commit sodomy at Wagga Wagga
on 5th November 1858
2nd count Common assault

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Justice JN Dickinson’s Notebook 4

69

[Goulburn, Tuesday March 29 1859]
Queen v John Lee –    1. Assault on Matthew Wilkinson with intent to commit sodomy.
                                2. Common assault

Mr Butler stated the case.

    Matthew Wilkinson is my name. I live 2 miles from Wagga Wagga. I know prisoner. I saw him in about 5th November last. I saw him at Fox’s hotel in Wagga Wagga. I got very drunk there. I went into a room next tap & slept there. I was lying on floor. I was awakened by a person’s hand in my trowsers. When I awoke I found myself stripped & a person’s naked skin near me.

70

I pushed hand from my trowsers after I took it out. I laid still a few moments – hand came to same place in a few moments viz the bottom of my belly. I was then lying on my right side. Person was lying at my back. He put arms round me when I was stript stript & made an effort to draw me to him – my trowsers were pulled down on my legs. Trowsers buttoned when I laid down. (?) on me when I went to sleep also when I awoke.

71

I jumped up – shouted out – people came into room & (?) I saw prisoner lying close to my feet – close to where my back was when I was lying there. I saw nothing about prisoner’s clothes. Prisoner lay still. I immediately left the place – no one else in room. Prisoner came into tap in 15 minutes. I called prisoner “dogs & wretches”. Prisoner said nothing.

    Cross-examined.

    James O’Keeffe. I took prisoner.
Verdict, Not Guilty.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Goulburn Herald and County of Argyle Advertiser, Wed 30 Mar 1859  5  

GOULBURN CIRCUIT COURT.

    HIS HONOR Mr Justice Dickinson, and Mr Sempil, Clerk of Arraigns, arrived at [John Joseph] Roberts’s [The Goulburn] Hotel on Sunday, at 3 pm.

    The sittings of the Court commenced on

MONDAY, 28TH MARCH.

    The Court opened at ten o’clock. The barristers present were— Mr Butler, who prosecuted on behalf of the Crown, and Messrs Blake, Blakeney, and Simpson. Attorneys— Messrs Walsh, Allman, Gannon, and Waring. Mr Chatfield acted as Sheriff.

    The usual proclamation against vice and immorality having been read, the trial of the prisoners commenced.

TUESDAY, MARCH 29.

    The Court opened at 9 o’clock.

ASSAULT WITH INTENT TO COMMIT AN UNNATURAL OFFENCE.

    John Lee was brought to the bar charged with having, on 5th November last, at Wagga Wagga, feloniously assaulted one Matthew Wilkinson with intent to commit an unnatural offence.

    Prisoner was undefended

    The Crown Prosecutor stated that the crime which was of so atrocious a description, was alleged to have taken place in a public-house, in a room in which the drunkards were stowed, and which was called the dead-man’s room. Wilkinson, being drunk, was put in this room, and it was alleged by him that prisoner there committed the offence.

    Matthew Wilkinson sworn: deposed to the circumstances of the offence, (the particulars of which are unfit for publication.)

    Prisoner denied the charge.

    His Honor having briefly summed up, the jury after a short consultation, returned a verdict of not guilty.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Morning Herald, Mon 4 Apr 1859  6

GOULBURN CIRCUIT COURT.
(Abridged from the Chronicle of Wednesday.)
MONDAY, MARCH 28.

BEFORE His Honor Mr Justice Dickinson.

    The Goulburn Assizes opened on Monday last, with an unusually heavy calendar. His Honor, Mr Justice Dickinson, attended by Mr W Chatfield, as Deputy Sheriff, took his seat on the Bench at 10 o’clock.

    There was a full attendance of jurors and others. Mr Butler, assisted by Mr Dillon, Criminal Crown Solicitor, prosecuted on behalf of the Crown. There were present also the following members of the legal profession:—Barristers: Messrs Blake, Blakeney, and Simpson. Attorneys: Messrs Walsh, Allman, Waring, and Gannon.

    The Clerk of Assize, Mr RH Sempill, having read the proclamation against vice and immorality,—Mr Butler’s commission to prosecute at these assizes,—and the authority of the Sheriff, appointing Mr Chatfield to act as his deputy, the business of the Court commenced.

TUESDAY, MARCH 29TH.


    John Lee, a man of middle age, and of decent appearance, was indicted for that he, at Wagga Wagga, on the 5th November last, did feloniously assault one Matthew Wilkinson, with intent to commit an unnatural offence; a second count charged the prisoner with common assault. The jury, without retiring from the box, returned a verdict of not guilty, and the prisoner was discharged.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Thu 7 Apr 1859  7

    GOULBURN CIRCUIT COURT.—This court opened on the 29th March, before Mr Justice Dickinson; Mr Butler prosecuting for the Crown.

    John Lee was charged with having, on 5th November last, at Wagga Wagga, feloniously assaulted one Matthew Wilkinson with intent to commit an unnatural offence. The crime was alleged to have taken place in a public-house, in a room in which the drunkards were stowed, and which was called the dead man’s room. The prisoner, who denied the charge, was acquitted.


1  The Wagga Wagga Express and Murrumbidgee District Advertiser, Sat 13 Nov 1858, p. 2.

2  SRNSW: NRS880, [9/6425], Supreme Court, Papers and depositions, Wagga Wagga, 1859, No. 19. Emphasis added.

3  "Commercial Hotel, South Wagga Wagga. Jonathan Boon, Landlord of the Commercial Hotel, In returning his grateful thanks to the public generally for the very large share of patronage and support accorded him since he commenced business as a publican, begs to invite their attention to the altered condition of his premises. The Commercial Hotel has been completely remodelled and refitted: Accommodation has been largely increased by the construction of new Bed-chambers; and the Parlours re-arranged, better lighted, and perfectly ventilated. The whole house has been painted. New Furniture, and such a thorough change effected for the better, that were it not for its position and the large trade it does, which no circumstances can alter, visitors could hardly recognize the Commercial Hotel of to-day as the Commercial of yesterday. The Stables have been very much extended, and the supply of provender is beyond comparison; superior to anything in Wagga Wagga, and this fact is now so well know, that Boon’s Livery Stable is always full to overflowing. Jonathan Boon’s stock of Spirits, Wines, Beers, and Cordials, need scarcely be referred to here; and it is considered sufficient to say they are still what they always were. The superintendence of the Commercial Hotel is entirely in the hands of Mrs Boon, and the assertion of this fact, it is modestly hoped, will be a sufficient guarantee to all who know Mrs Boon, that the cleanliness, comfort, and general attendance at the Commercial Hotel is superior to anything to be found in Wagga Wagga.” The Wagga Wagga Express and Murrumbidgee District Advertiser, Sat 6 Nov 1858, p. 1.

4  SRNSW: NRS5864, [2/3159], Judiciary, JN Dickinson, J. Notebooks Circuit Courts, 1845-60, pp. 69-71. Emphasis added.

5  The Goulburn Herald and County of Argyle Advertiser, Wed 30 Mar 1859, p. 3. Emphasis added. 

6  The Sydney Morning Herald, Mon 4 Apr 1859, p. 5.

7  The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Thu 7 Apr 1859, p. 3.