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The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Thu 1 Aug 1861 1

    INCEST BY A FATHER.—At the Tamworth Police Court, on the 23rd Thomas Toohey was brought before the bench charged with rape on Fanny Toohey, aged about 13 years, his daughter. The prisoner apparently is a man about 50 years of age, and resides on Neminga Flat, near Tamworth. The evidence of the little girl (the prosecutrix) was taken, but as the examination was not concluded we refrain from publishing that portion of the evidence which will admit of publicity. The further hearing of the case was adjourned to Friday. – Tamworth Examiner, July 27.

    BREACH OF THE TOWNS POLICE ACT.—At the Court-house , Morpeth, yesterday, Charles Dudley pleaded guilty to a charge of allowing a ho rse to stray in the public streets, and was fined 5s and 2s 6d costs.

    SURETIES OF THE PEACE.—At the Court-house, Morpeth, on Tuesday, George Tricklebank was ordered to find two sureties in £10, to keep the peace towards W illiam Bellamy, for twelve months; or, in default, fourteen days imprisonment in Maitland Gaol.

    POLICE BUSINESS.— At the Court-house, M orpeth, yesterd ay, there were four cases on the police list. Mr Allman and Mr EC Close, junior, were the sitting magistrates. Two cases, at the request of the plaintiffs, were postponed until Wednesday next.

    UNNATURAL OFFENCE.—On Tuesday John Maher was brought before the bench, at West Maitland, under the charge of attempting the commission of an unnatural offence. The evidence of several witnesses went to show that the attempt was in fact made; but it also appeared that the prisoner is not of sane mind. The case was remanded until Thursday, and bail was allowed—the prisoner in £50, and two sureties in £20 each.

    DRUNKENNESS AND OBSCENE LANGUAGE.—Owen Cusack pleaded guilty, before the bench, at West Maitland yesterday, to the charge of drunkenness, and was admonished and discharged.—John Brown pleaded guilty to the same charge. He was also found guilty of using obscene language, and for that offence was ordered to pay a fine of 20s, or in default be imprisoned for seven days.

    VAGRANCY.—At the Court-house, East Maitland, on Saturday, Patrick Gordon was convicted of vagrancy, and was sentenced to one month’s imprisonment in Maitland Gaol.

    CHARGE OF STEALING.—At the Court-house, East Maitland, on Friday last, Mary Ann Clifford was convicted of having pro perty (a pair of boots) in her possession, reasonable suspected to have b een stolen, and failing to give a satisfactory explanation thereof, was ordered to be imprisoned in Maitland gaol for one month, with hard labour.

    MR YEOMANS’ SALES.—We are requested to call attention to the sales by Mr Yeomans, this day, Thursday, at the Campbell’s Hill yards. They include 40 head superior fat cattle of Mr Andrew Loder’s; 130 head prime fat cattle; and 1 superior milch cow.—Communicated.

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The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Tue 13 Aug 1861 2

(Before W A Purefoy, E sq, Chairman.)


    John Maher was charged with feloniously attempting to commit an abominable crime, at the High-street railway station, West Maitland, on 29th July.

    The witnesses called were Constable Scully, John Cook, James Burns, Dr Douglas, Dr Scott, Dr Liddell, and James Bathgate.

    The fact of the attempt to commit the alleged offence was fully established, but of course the circumstances are unfit for publication. The medical gentlemen examined were unanimously of the opinion that the prisoner was imbecile, some of them alleging that he was incapable of reasoning on the consequences of his actions.

    Mr Windeyer waived his right to add ress the jury, and his Honor pointed out the law bearing on imbecile persons charged with crime.

    The jury, after a short consultation, returned a verdict of “Not guilty, on the plea of insanity.”

    The prisoner was then discharged, his Honor at the same time cautioning his mother to look after him.


    The Court then adjourned till ten o’clock on Monday.


1  The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Thu 1 Aug 1861, p. 3. Emphasis added.

2  The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Tue 13 Aug 1861, p. 3. Emphasis added.