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1877, Stephen Harper - Unfit For Publication
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The Goulburn Herald and Chronicle, Wed 11 Apr 1877 1


    Commenced on Monday at ten o’clock before his Honor Mr Justice Faucett. Mr Rogers prosecuted for the crown, assisted by Mr Jackson of the crown solicitor’s office. Mr A Mackellar acted as deputy sheriff, and Mr Makinson as clerk of arraigns. Mr Heydon (barrister), and Messrs Gannon, Betts, Curtis, and Prudence (solicitors), were present during the day.


    Stephen Harpur [aka Harper],  quite a youth, was charged with having on the 9th day of December, 1876, at Billilingera near Cooma, committed an unnatural offence [bestiality with a mare] .

    Prisoner pleaded not guilty, and was defended by Mr Heydon, instructed by Mr Gannon.

    The crown-prosecutor said he should not do more than call witnesses except to state that on the depositions he could not see evidence of more than an attempt to commit the crime, and it was competent for the jury under the statute to find prisoner guilty of the attempt only.

    John Parker, James Cavenagh, Sergeant Stapleton, and John Cosgrove junr, gave evidence on behalf of the crown.

    Mr Heydon addressed the jury.

His Honor summed up carefully, instructing the jury to acquit prisoner upon the capital charge, and leaving it to them to say if he was guilty of the attempt.

    The jury retired, and after an absence of thirty-five minutes brought in a verdict of not guilty.

    Prisoner was discharged.


1  The Goulburn Herald and Chronicle, Wed 11 Apr 1877, p. 2. Emphasis added.