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1879, Robert Scott - Unfit For Publication
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Australian Town and Country Journal, Sat 26 Apr 1879 1


April 23.

    BATHURST ASSIZE.—His Honor Acting Judge Davis will open the Court of Assize here to-morrow, the Crown being represented by Mr E Bennett. The calendar is not unusually large, but comprises some of the most revolting crimes. In addition to those enlarged on bail, the following is the list:—Alexander Medcalfe and Charles Gillespie, alias Wilkinson, rape; Peter Irvine, bestiality; Mary Jane Wilson, infanticide; Robert Scott, bestiality; Frederick James, sacrilege and larceny; Joseph McDermott, arson; John Punyer, horse-stealing; Michael Rawson, horse-stealing. None of the cases are likely to excite much interest, as nearly all the crimes have been committed in the little townships outside of Bathurst.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Bathurst Times, Sat 26 Apr 1879 2

(Before Mr GC Davis, Acting Judge.)

His Honour took hi seat at 10 o’clock.

    The barristers present were — Mr E Bennett (Crown Prosecutor), Mr E Cohen, Mr JH Want, Mr D Buchanan, Mr C Heydon, Mr Pitcairn, Mr JJ Teece, Mr WH Cooper.

    Attorneys: Messrs J Williams (Crown Solicitor), JN McIntosh, GM Dunn, F Curtis, JC McLachlan, TH Hellyer, A West, W Morgan, LF Heydon, Coonan, A Thompson, J McPhillamy.

Mr C Cowper, Sheriff, and Mr Benjamin Lee, Police Magistrate, were also present.

    Mr John McIntosh (Acting Associate) read the commission appointing Mr Davis as Judge at this Court, and the latter gentleman took the oath to faithfully discharge the duties of his position.

    The Acting-Associate next read her Majesty’s proclamation against vice, immorality, and crime, and then called the names of the jurors summoned to attend the Court.


    His Honor took his seat on the Bench this morning at 10 o’clock.


    Robert Scott, a youth of some 16 years, was charged with this offence [with a mare].  He pleaded not guilty and was defended by Mr Buchanan, instructed by Mr Hellyer.

    The Crown Prosecutor opened the case, and called—

    Constable Thomas Samuel Slack, who deposed to having received information of this offence having been committed by prisoner, and proceeded to prisoner’s residence which is about 20 miles from Rydal, and arrested him at the instance of Mr Bransell at the same time charging him with having committed the crime alleged; prisoner made no reply; he said he was 15 years old last September; took the boy to the scene of this alleged offence; this was about 500 yards from the residence of the boy; after giving the usual caution, asked prisoner with reference to the information received from Bransell and the boy acknowledged that he was guilty.

    Richard Bransell gave distinct evidence as to the commission of the offence; but Mr Buchanan endeavoured to show that this witness was frequently not in his right mind; and indeed the boy’s father swore that on or about the full of the moon Bransell, who lived by himself, was very peculiar in his conduct, and in fact dangerous.

    Mr Buchanan addressed the jury for the defence; and remarked that though they had no witnesses to call, they were certain of a verdict out of the mouths of the witnesses for the Crown. A vigorous and not very long address was delivered to the jury based on the two facts that the mare was wild and half-broken; and that, occasionally, the witness Bransell, was weak in his mind.

    His Honour very carefully summed up the case; and the jury retired. They remained 15 minutes in consultation, and returned with a verdict of not guilty. Prisoner was discharged.


1  Australian Town and Country Journal, Sat 26 Apr 1879, p. 806. Emphasis added. 

2  The Bathurst Times, Sat 26 Apr 1879, p. 2. Emphasis added.