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1868, Constantine Caproni - Unfit For Publication
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Empire, Wed 6 May 1868 1

CENTRAL POLICE COURT.
TUESDAY.
(Before Messrs Day, Hughes, and Love.)

    Constantine Kleprodi, [sic] on remand, was charged with having attempted to commit an unnatural crime. McCarroll appeared for the prisoner, and applied that the money and jewellery taken from him by the detectives should be placed in their Worships' hands, for the purpose of prisoner's defence, which was acceded to. Additional evidence was produced of the prisoner's criminality, and he was committed to take his trial at the ensuing sittings of the Central Criminal Court.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 6 May 1868 2

CENTRAL POLICE COURT.
TUESDAY

    Before their Worships the Police Magistrate, Messrs Love, Hughes, Murphy, Horden, Hill, Farnell, Oatley, Hunt, and Pritchard.
...
    Constantine Caprieri [sic] was charged with having assaulted with intent, &c., one John McGuire. The evidence is, of course, unfit for publication. Committed for trial at the Central Criminal Court. Mr Carroll, on behalf of the prisoner, cross-examined the witnesses, and reserved his defence.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Depositions for Constantine Caproni 14 May 1868 Sydney trial 3

(M., 11 & 12 Vic., Cap. 42.)

Depositions of Witnesses.

New South Wales, City of Sydney
TO WIT                                       }

The examination of Joseph Camphin, a Detective Constable of the Police Force in the Colony of New South Wales, John Peter Lennartz of George Street Sydney, publican and John Maguire of George Street Sydney, in the said Colony, draper's assistant taken on oath, this 29th day of April in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty eight, at the Central Police Court Sydney in the Colony aforesaid, before the undersigned, two of Her Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the said Colony, in the presence an hearing of Constantine Caproni who is charged this day before us, for that he the said Constantine Caproni, on the 24th day of April last past at Sydney, in the said Colony, did feloniously assault one John Maguire with intent feloniously wickedly and against the order of nature to commit and perpetrate upon him the detestable and abominable crime of buggery.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Constantine Caproni
Assault and unnatural offence

    Remanded till tomorrow.
Central Police Court.
Sydney 28th April 1868.
[Signed] Thomas Douglas, JP.

1

Detective Constable Joseph Camphin on oath states:
    At about 6 o'clock on last Monday evening I arrested the prisoner in George Street, Brickfield Hill, opposite Kingsborough's Drapers Shop by virtue of the warrant [see below] which I now produce, wherein a man whose name is unknown to the informant, (John Maguire), but whose person can be identified is charged for that he on the 24th day of April Instant at Sydney did

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feloniously make an assault on one John Maguire with intent feloniously, wickedly and against the order of nature to commit and perpetrate upon him the detestable and abominable crime of buggery.

    When I arrested the prisoner I read the warrant to him and I pointed to a passage there and said "Up that passage." He said "All right, I'll go with

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you." On the way to the Watch House he again asked me what he was charged with. I again explained to him. He said "All right. I now understand." I took him to the station and the boy John Maguire came in there. He said "That's the man." The prisoner then said that he had never seen the boy before and didn't know him. I read the warrant again to him. He then asked me when

4

I came to the word "bugger" what it meant. I explained it. He said "Oh! I understand."

    I found on his person £2 3d., 6 and eighteen boxes of jewellery.
[Signed] Joseph Camphin.

Sworn at Sydney this 29th April 1868 before.
[Signed] William Day, JP, John Hughes, JP.

5

John Peter Lennartz on oath states:–
    I will well and truly interpret the evidence given in this case between our Sovereign Lady the Queen and the prisoner at the Bar to the best of my skill and knowledge.
[Signed] John P Lennartz.

Sworn at Sydney this 29th April 1868 before.
[Signed] William Day, JP, John Hughes, JP.

6

    Information read.
John Maguire on oath states:–
    I am in the employ of Mr [James] Clark of Brickfield Hill [614 George Street, Sydney] as a draper's assistant.

    My information just read is true. The prisoner in the person who I alluded to. He very often used to come into the shop and buy things. I used often to speak to him.

    On Friday night last at about half past ten o'clock I met the prisoner in

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George Street about three doors from Rush and Rosseaus, Drapers Shop.

    I said "Good night" to the prisoner. He replied "Good night." He then said "Will you come home with me?" I said "No, good night." He then called me back. He then said "Come over the road." I then went over the road with the prisoner. He then took me up a passage (a Hatter's shop is at the corner.) When we got up the passage

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for about 3 or 4 yards I stopped. He then said "Come down further," I said I wouldn't. He then unbuttoned his trousers and took out his privates. He then took off my belt and undid my trousers. He put his hand about my posterior and kept feeling about me. I told him to stop and it was no use for him to try and do that. I spoke pretty loud. He said "Above all things keep your

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mouth." He then said "Come down farther, it is too light." I refused. He then wanted me to meet him another night. I refused and left him. While he was with me his privates were hanging out.

    When he asked me to go home with im he said it was for me to sleep with him.

    At the time he was feeling me he put his person in my hands.

    When he was feeling

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me he spoke something but I couldn't understand him. He used force to detain me. I was frightened to call out as he had a stick in his hand and I thought he would use it.

    I had to push him away from me two or three times. I am certain he intended to get about me.

    The prisoner left the passage first and I followed afterwards. I was frightened to stir till he

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left the gateway.

    He was rubbing his privates while he was feeling me and from his motions and manner I believe he wanted to have connection with me.

    I tried to resist the prisoner by pulling my trousers up. The prisoner then would pull them down again. This occurred 2 or 3 times.
[Signed] John Maguire.

Sworn at Sydney this 29th April 1868 before.
[Signed] William Day, JP, John Hughes, JP.

Further remanded till Tuesday next.
29th April 1868.
[Signed] William Day, JP, John Hughes, JP.

12

(M., 11 & 12 Vic., Cap. 42.)

Depositions of Witnesses.

New South Wales, City of Sydney
TO WIT.                                      }

The examination of Richard Johnson of Cumberland Street Sydney, in the Colony of New South Wales, clerk taken on oath, this 5th day of May in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty eight, at the Central police Court Sydney in the Colony aforesaid, before the undersigned, two of Her Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the said Colony, in the presence and hearing of Constantine Caproni who is charged this day before me, with the offence as before stated.

13

Richard Johnson of Cumberland Street clerk on oath states:–
    I know the prisoner and the boy John Maguire.

    Last Friday night week between 10 and 11 o'clock I saw the prisoner and prosecutor in George Street nearly opposite "The Golden Gate". They were talking together. The left there and walked down the street a little way. I was on the opposite side

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of the street near Tester's Lane, [off George-street]. (There is a hatters shop at the corner.) The prisoner and prosecutor came across the road towards this lane. I ran up the lane with a friend of mine. I saw them come into the lane together. The prisoner first, made water. He then spoke to the boy, (the prosecutor), but I couldn't understand what he said. I thought then that the boy took

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off his belt voluntarily and attempted to pull down his trousers, but, the prisoner at this time was feeling about the boy At this time near to his belt. I saw the boy take the belt from near his hips. It was then unfastened. The prisoner then made motions as if he wanted the boy to go further up the lane. The boy appeared to resist. When he did resisted the prisoner was feeling about the

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boy's person. His trousers were not down at this time but I saw the boy before this make 2 or 3 attempts to pull down his trousers. The boy appeared to me to be trying to pull his trousers down, but I won't swear positively that he was trying to pull them down. I saw the prisoner after this take out his privates and put it in the boy's hand and the boy then kept moving his hand

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backwards and forwards. This was continued for a short time. The prisoner then buttoned up his trousers. I then walked down the lane with my friend and passed the prisoner and the boy. I waited at the bottom of the lane till the prisoner and the boy came out of the lane. Nothing took place between them then. They said a few words and they both came out at the bottom of the lane

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the boy said to the prisoner "Good night Sir." I took hold of the boy. The prisoner said "Good night my boy" and walked on or ran away quietly.

    The boy didn't make a complaint then to me but he cried.

    By Bench: I can't say that the boy was trying to take down his trousers, because he would make the same motion to pull hold them doing up. There was a light shining in

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the lane at the time. I could see all that took place. I was away from them only five or six yards.

    Cross examined by Mr Carroll: I thought the boy was trying to take the boy's his trousers down but I should rather swear that he was trying to hold them up. I would rather swear to that from what the boy told me and because the boy wouldn't take go up further up the lane

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voluntarily. From what I saw I believe the boy was not going to take down his trousers, that is from the boy not going up the lane and from what he told me.
[Signed] Richard Johnson.

Sworn at Sydney this 5th May 1868 before.
[Signed] William Day, JP, John Hughes, JP.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

(M. 11 & 12 Vic., Cap. 42.)

Statement of the Accused.

New South Wales,
TO WIT                  }

Constantine Caproni stands charged before the undersigned, one of Her Majesty's Justices of the Peace in and for the Colony aforesaid, this fifth day of May in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty eight for that he, the said Constantine Caproni on the ----- day of ----- at Sydney, in the said Colony, did feloniously assault one John Maguire with intent feloniously to commit on him the detestable and abominable crime of buggery and the examination of all the witnesses on the part of the prosecution having been completed, and the depositions taken against the accused having been caused to be read to him by me, the said Justice, before whom such examination has been so completed; and I, the said Justice, having also stated to the accused and given him clearly to understand that he has nothing to hope from any promise of favour, and nothing to fear from any threat which may have been holden out to him to induce him to make any admission or confession of his guilt, but that whatever he shall say may be given in evidence against him upon his trial, notwithstanding such promise or threat; and the said charge being read to the said Constantine Caproni and the witnesses for the prosecution being severally examined in his presence, the said Constantine Caproni is now addressed by me as follows:– "Having heard the evidence, do you with to say anything in answer to the charge? You are not obliged to say anything unless you desire to do so; but whatever you say will be taken down in writing, and may be given in evidence against you upon your trial;" whereupon the said Constantine Caproni saith as follows:– "I reserve my defence."

Taken before me, at Sydney, in the said Colony, the day and year first above mentioned.
[Signed] William Day, JP.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    The prisoner committed for trial at the next Court of Gaol Delivery. Bail refused.
Sydney, 5th May 1868.
[Signed] William Day, JP, John Hughes, JP.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

(O. 1, 11 & 12 Vic., Cap. 42.)

Recognizance to give Evidence.

New South Wales, City of Sydney
TO WIT.                                      }

Be it remembered, that on the fifth day of May in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty eight Joseph Camphin a Detective Constable of the Police Force, John Maguire, of No. 614 George Street in the City of Sydney in the Colony of New South Wales, draper's assistant, Richard Johnson of Cumberland Street, in the said City in the said Colony, clerk personally came before the undersigned, one of Her Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the Colony of New South Wales, and acknowledged themselves to owe our Sovereign Lady the Queen the sum of

FORTY POUNDS EACH,

of good and lawful money of Great Britain, to be made and levied on their goods and chattels, lands and tenements, to the use of our said Lady the Queen, her Heirs and Successors, if they the said before mentioned persons shall fail in the condition indorsed.

Taken and acknowledged the day and year first above mentioned, in Sydney, in the said Colony, before me.
[Signed] John Hughes, JP.

    The condition of the within written Recognizance is such, that whereas Constantine Caproni was this day charged before William Day, and John Hughes, Esquires two of Her Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the said Colony with "attempting to commit an unnatural offence."

    If therefore, they the before mentioned persons shall appear at the next Court of Gaol Delivery, to be holden at Darlinghurst, in and for the Colony of New South Wales, on the eleventh day of May Instant next at nine of the clock in the forenoon, and then and there give such evidence as they know, upon an information to be then and there preferred against the said Constantine Caproni for the offence aforesaid, to the jurors who shall pass upon the trial of the said Constantine Caproni then the said Recognizance to be void, or else to stand in full force and virtue.
[Signed] John Hughes, JP.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

(O. 1, 11 & 12 Vic., Cap. 42.)

Recognizance to give Evidence.

New South Wales, City of Sydney
TO WIT.                                      }

Be it remembered, that on the sixth day of May in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty eight John Peter Lennartz, of George Street in the City of Sydney in the Colony of New South Wales, publican personally came before the undersigned, one of Her Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the Colony of New South Wales, and acknowledged himself to owe our Sovereign Lady the Queen the sum of

FORTY POUNDS

of good and lawful money of Great Britain, to be made and levied on his goods and chattels, lands and tenements, to the use of our said Lady the Queen, her Heirs and Successors if he the said before mentioned person shall fail in the condition indorsed.

Taken and acknowledged the da and year first above mentioned, at Sydney, in the said Colony, before me.
[Signed] DCF Scott, PM.

    The condition of the within written Recognizance is such, that whereas Constantine Caproni on the fifth day Instant was charged before William Day, and John Hughes Esquire, two of Her Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the said Colony with "attempting to commit an unnatural offence."

    If therefore, he the before mentioned John Peter Lennartz shall appear at the next Court of Gaol Delivery, to be holden at Darlinghurst, in and for the Colony of New South Wales, on the eleventh day of May, Instant, at nine of the clock in the forenoon, and then and there give such evidence as they know, upon an information to be then and there preferred against the said Constantine Caproni for the offence aforesaid, to the jurors who shall pass upon the trial of the said Constantine Caproni then the said Recognizance to be void, or else to stand in full force and virtue.
[Signed] D[avid] C[harles] F[rederick] Scott, PM.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

(B.)

Warrant to Apprehend a Person Charged with an Indictable Offence.

To Mr Inspector Reid and, a Constable in the Police Force for the Colony of New South Wales, and to all other Constable in said Force.

    Whereas a man whose name is unknown but whose person can be identified of Sydney, in the said Colony, hath this day been charged upon oath before the undersigned, one of Her Majesty's Justices of the Peace in and for the said Colony of New South Wales, for that he, on the 24th day of April now Instant, at Sydney, in the said Colony, did feloniously make an assault upon one John Maguire with intent, feloniously wickedly and against the order of nature to commit and perpetrate upon him the said John Maguire the detestable and abominable crime of buggery.

These are therefore to command you, in Her Majesty's name, forthwith to apprehend the said man whose name is unknown, and bring him before me or some other of Her Majesty's Justices of the Peace in and for the said Colony, to answer unto the said charge, and to be further dealt with according to Law.

Given under my hand and seal, this twenty seventh day of April, in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty eight, at Sydney in the Colony aforesaid.
[Signed] John Evans, JP.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Information B (General Purposes.)

New South Wales, City of Sydney
TO WIT.                                      }

Be it remembered, that on the twenty seventh day of April, in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty eight, at Sydney in the Colony of New South Wales, John Maguire of Sydney, appears before me, the undersigned, one of Her Majesty's Justices of the Peace duly assigned to keep the peace of our Lady the Queen in and for the Colony of New South Wales, and on oath informs me, that on the 24th day of April, in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty eight at the said City of Sydney a man whose name is unknown to this informant but whose person can be identified did feloniously make an assault upon this informant aforesaid with intent feloniously wickedly and against the order of nature to commit and perpetrate upon him the detestable and abominable crime of buggery, contrary to the Act in such case made and provided; whereupon the said John Maguire prays that I, the said Justice, will proceed in the premises according to Law.
[Signed] John Maguire.

Sworn at Sydney, in the said Colony, the day first above written, before me.
[Signed] John Evans, JP.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

[On the depositions' cover sheet is the following]

5th May 1868
376
Depositions
No. 20
Regina
v.
Constantine Caproni
Assault with intent to commit an unnatural offence
Next Sydney gaol delivery
Attempt to commit sodomy
Central Police Court

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Morning Herald, Tue 12 May 1868 4

CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT.
MONDAY.

    Before His Honor Judge Cheeke.
...

INDECENCY.

    Constantine Klaprodi was indicted for that he did on the 24th April last, at Sydney, assaulted one John Maguire, with intent to commit an unnatural crime.
    The prisoner pleaded not guilty, and was remanded.
    The Court adjourned until 10 o'clock to-morrow (Tuesday) morning.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Justice A Cheeke's Notebook 5

164

[Sydney] Tuesday 14 May 1868
Constantine Caproni – Assault with Intent to commit Sodomy.

    Constable Camphin. By report apprehended prisoner Brickfield Hill. I (?) and held him. (I had one ?) for assaulting boy up the passage (pressing the ?) passage and attempts to have connexion. (?) (?) he said, All right. (?) (?) (?) (?) In the Watch House I explained again to him. He then said, I understand now. At the Station the boy Macguire said, that's the man. Prisoner said

165

Is that the boy, I have never seen him before. I then read the warrant and when I read buggery he asked what it was and I explained, when he said, I understand.
John McGuire. Employed at Clarke's Brickfield Hill. I know the prisoner. Saw the prisoner 24th April Brickfield Hill. I met him, said good night. he asked me to go home and sleep with him. I said I would not. He asked me to go up a lane. I went then – he then pulled out his privates, took my belt off, pulled down my trowsers and kept feeling about my bottom. I told him (?) (?) (?) (?) that – he told me to hold my mouth, asked me to go further up, gave too much light.

166

He had stick in his hand. I was afraid. (When ?) I walked out of the lane said good night when young man going by. (Holding me ?). Prisoner left me. I made resistance. He put his privates in my hands. He said something, did not understand. He did not use much force. 14 years of age.

    Cross-examined. Only understood some of prisoner's language. Stick produced he had with him. Two men took hold of me when I came out of the lane. He crossed the street and said good night. I told the men what had happened. Richard Johnson was the name of one of the persons. There were people walking about street there.

167

Prisoner made water directly after taking out his privates and before he touched me. Can't tell why I stood by you when you were making water. He asked me to meet him another night when we were in the lane – I did not speak.

    Richard Johnson. Saw the boy & prisoner at Brickfield Hill. Saw them go into the lane. Saw prisoner feeling about the boy's person. He first made water – then he made motion to the boy to go up the lane. Saw prisoner put his privates into the boy's hand and feel about his person. Boy had his front to the prisoner. Heard him say good night to the boy. He creid when I took hold of the boy and told me the occurrence. There was light in the lane.

    Cross-examined. Another person was with me.

    Deposition Police Office read. I ran up the lane because I had been watching prisoner for some time from the wax works.  

168

Prisoner (through interpreter) makes statement. Another person was with him when he first met the boy. First saw the boy when he went into the lane. He made water.

Not Guilty.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Morning Herald, Fri 15 May 1868 7

CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT.
THURSDAY.

    Before His Honor Judge Cheeke.

INDECENCY.

    Constantine Klaprodi was indicted for that he did, on the 5th May last, assault one John Maguire, with intent to commit a capital crime.

    The prisoner pleaded not guilty, and was undefended. Mr Isaacs conducted the prosecution.

    The prisoner, who was a Prussian, gave the Court to understand that he could not speak English, or comprehend that language sufficiently to make out the evidence of the witnesses. Mr Lennartz was therefore sworn as interpreter.

    On the evening mentioned in the indictment the prisoner was seen with the boy Maguire, on Brickfield-hill. A witness named Richard Johnson, who had some reason for watching prisoner's movements, saw him enter the lane called Tester's-lane, off George-street. Witness was within a few yards of them and was in company of a friend. He saw prisoner interfering with Maguire's dress and indecently exposing his person. Witness went forward and seized the boy, and gave the prisoner into custody. The greater portion of the evidence was unfit for publication. The prisoner called no witnesses, but made through the interpreter an address to the jury protesting his innocence, and alleging that he had always borne a good character.

    Mr Isaacs replied. His Honor summed up, and the jury, after consulting for half an hour, returned a verdict of not guilty.

    The prisoner was discharged.

 


1  Empire, Wed 6 May 1868, p. 3.

2  The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 6 May 1868, p. 5.

3  SRNSW: NRS880, [9/6506], Supreme Court, Papers and depositions, Sydney, 1868, No. 376. Emphasis added.

4  The Sydney Morning Herald, Tue 12 May 1868, p. 2.

5  SRNSW: NRS5775, [2/2524A], Judiciary, A Cheeke, J. Notebooks Criminal Sessions, 1865-74, pp. 164-8. Emphasis added.

6  aka Maguire; McGuire.

7  The Sydney Morning Herald, Fri 15 May 1868, p. 2.