The Yass Courier and General Advertiser, Fri 3 Oct 1873 1
LOCAL AND GENERAL
YASS CIRCUIT COURT.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 1.
Before his Honor Mr Justice Cheeke. 2
THE court was opened at ten am. Mr GM Stephen prosecuted for the Crown. Dr Campbell attended as deputy sheriff; Mr GA Cheeke as clerk of assize, and Mr Walsh, junior, represented the Crown solicitor.
The Clerk of Assize read the usual proclamation against vice and immorality.
Mr Stephen handed in the commission appointing him to prosecute on the part of the Crown.
George Bird, an elderly, grey-haired man, was arraigned on a charge of the above description, [bestiality with a mare ], alleged to have been committed on the 2nd July last at Spring Creek, four miles from Young.
Prisoner pleaded not guilty.
The undermentioned persons gave evidence in proof of the offence charged:—Cecil Charles Bird (who stated that he was not related to the prisoner), Edward Collins, and constable Michael Loughnane.
The jury returned a verdict of guilty, and the prisoner was remanded for sentence.
George Bird, who had been found guilty of an unnatural offence, was then placed in the dock for sentence.
The Judge, addressing the prisoner, stated that he had been convicted on the clearest evidence that had ever come before him during the time he had exercised the position of a judge. In former years the sentence of death used to be carried out for the offence of which he had been found guilty. That sentence will not be passed by me, but will be recorded against you. Your life will be spared, but the Executive will impose whatever term of imprisonment they may think fit—it may be imprisonment for seven or fourteen years, or may be for life. Your life is saved, but death will be recorded.
The Judge then directed the clerk of assize to record sentence of death against the prisoner.
This concluded the business, and the court rose about half-past five o’clock.
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The Goulburn Herald and Chronicle, Sat 4 Oct 1873 3
YASS CIRCUIT COURT.
THIS court was opened on Wednesday last before his Honor Mr Justice Cheeke, when the following cases were disposed of, Mr G Milner Stephen prosecuted for the crown, assisted by Mr CR Walsh from the crown-solicitor’s office.
George Bird, an old grey haired man, was charged with an unnatural offence, alleged to have been committed at Spring Creek, about four miles from Young.
He was found guilty, and sentence of death recorded.
James Fallon, sixty-seven years of age, was charged with the murder, on the 14th May last of James Makins, at Tipperary Gully, near Young.
This being a capital case, Mr LA Windeyer was requested by his Honor to undertake the prisoner’s defence, and did so accordingly.
The jury, after half-an-hour’s consideration, returned a verdict of “guilty of wilful murder.”
Sentence of death was passed.
This concluded the business.
The court rose about half-past five o’clock.
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Clarence and Richmond Examiner and New England Advertiser, Tue 9 Dec 1873 4
(From the Papers.)
The case of the man [George] Bird, convicted at the last Circuit Court held at Yass of an unnatural offence and sentenced to death, has been under the consideration of the Executive Council, and the sentence is commuted to ten years penal servitude.
1 The Yass Courier and General Advertiser , Fri 3 Oct 1873, pp. 2, 3. Emphasis added.
2 Mr Cheeke Justice died 14 Mar 1876, and this is the final occasion in which he presided in a case included in Unfit for Publication.
3 The Goulburn Herald and Chronicle, Sat 4 Oct 1873, p. 3. Emphasis added.
4 Clarence and Richmond Examiner and New England Advertiser, Tue 9 Dec 1873, p. 5.