The Northern Star and Richmond and Tweed Rivers Advocate, Sat 12 May 1888 1
LISMORE COURT of QUARTER SESSIONS.
TUESDAY, 8th MAY.
BEFORE his honor Judge Murray.
Barristers present—Mr Harris (Crown Prosecutor), Messrs O’Ryan and Ellis.
Solicitors—Messrs Norrie, (Grafton), Allingham, Simmons, Dickey, Stocks, Shorter and Somerville.
Maguire L Smith alias James Ross, was brought up, charged—That on the 8th May, 1888, [sic] at Wyranga Station (Mr Bundock’s) he carnally knew a mare. Mr Norrie for prisoner.
The following jury were sworn:—Foreman: H O’B Wilson, JW Coleman, Andrew Connelly, John Salleway, Edward Navan, David Johnstone, Thomas Ring, Henry Touger, Edward Tulk, George Clancy, R McKenzie, George Hawker.
William Johnstone deposed: Was a horse trainer living at Wyranga station (Mr Bundock’s), on the 30th of October last fed the race horse in the slab stable, about 100 yards from the house; a half-caste girl named Alice was standing at the door; saw prisoner coming to feed a draught mare with green stuff in a trough at the side of the stable; after placing the feed in front of the mare he got a box and placed it behind the mare, and thus effected his purpose; this I saw through the cracks or slits in the slabs of the stable; Alice also saw what I state; on Monday morning went to where prisoner was working and told him that if he had any respect for himself he would go away after what had occurred; told a man on the station also about it, named Beausemmon; Mr Bundock sent for me on Monday night; at about 7 o’clock that evening saw the prisoner and told him that I was going to Casino on Tuesday; was up on Tuesday morning about 6 am and found prisoner had left.
By Mr Norrie: Beausemmon was a stockman on the station, and the prisoner was a farm labourer; was not on good terms with prisoner; he had complained to Mr Bundock of my conduct on a former occasion; was in the empty stable with half-caste about an hour; it was a lovely moonlight night.
Alice Williams (a half-caste) deposed to seeing offence committed.
By Mr Norrie: Live at station; was up at house to get sugar for mother; went to stable to get matches from Johnstone.
At this stage the court adjourned till 2 pm, on resuming:—
Constable Corbett recalled, deposed: He was stationed at Casino, and swore as to the warrant.
The prisoner [James Ross] made a statement to the effect that it was a cruel conspiracy made by the men on the station to get him removed.
The arrest of the prisoner took place 475 miles away in Queensland.
Mr Norrie having addressed the jury, also the Crown Prosecutor, and the Judge having summed up, the jury retired, and later on brought in a verdict of “not guilty.”
The Judge remarked in discharging the prisoner that had the verdict been guilty, for such a detestable crime as that with which he was charged the least term of imprisonment he could give would be five years, and perhaps for life, gave the same as a warning.
1 The Northern Star and Richmond and Tweed Rivers Advocate, Sat 12 May 1888, p. 4. Emphasis added.