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1887, Christopher Kline - Unfit For Publication
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The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Tue 26 Apr 1887 1


    Yesterday the sitting of the Maitland Circuit Court was begun before his Honor Mr Justice Faucett, his associate being Mr Arthur G Plunkett. Mr WM Christian, JP, represented the Sheriff, and the Crown Prosecutor was Mr WH Coffey, who was assisted by Mr EH Wilshire, from the Crown Solicitor’s office. Messrs FE Rogers, W Edmunds, and Harold W Cockshott were the other members of the Bar present.


    Mr Francis William Reay, of Hamilton, was sworn in before his Honor, in chambers, as a magistrate for the territory.


    Christopher Kline, an elderly man, was charged with having committed an abominable offence against nature [bestiality with a sheep], at Ironbarks, near Cassilis, on the 19th instant.

    The accused was undefended, and pleaded not guilty.

    The evidence disclosed a shocking case of human depravity. Constable John James Jones, a constable stationed at Cassilis, proceeded to Ironbarks on the 19th April, on official duty, and there saw the accused commit the crime with which he was charged. It seemed that the constable stood twenty yards away, and watched the accused’s movements for some five or six minutes before he called out. He was questioned in court by accused [Christopher Kline] as to why he did not approach and interfere, if he was acting in the way described. Jones’ explanation was that he was not aware of the man’s intention in the first instance.

    His Honor to witness: “You did not interfere till the offence was done, according to your own showing. Do you not know that it is your duty to prevent crime far more than to wait till it is committed. If a man was going to murder another would you wait till the murder was committed?”

    Witness: “No, your Honor.”

    The Judge: “It is the same thing.” The case actually rested on the statement of Jones, and the evidence was unfit for publication.

    In the course of his summing up, his Honor said: “It is a strange thing that the constable did not stop the commission of the offence. I cannot understand it. It seems that the constable waited till the crime was committed in order to bring forward the case.”

    The jury retired at fifteen minutes to 1 o’clock. After twenty-five minutes’ consultation, they found the accused guilty of “an attempt to commit the crime.” Accused was remanded.

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Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, Tue 26 Apr 1887 2

(Before Mr Justice Faucett.)

HIS Honor Judge Faucett opened the Circuit Court at Maitland yesterday morning.

    Mr WH Coffey was Crown Prosecutor, while Mr Arthur G Plunkett was judge’s associate. Mr WM Christian acted for the sheriff, and the other barristers present were Messrs FE Rogers, W Edmonds, and WH Cockshott.


    Christopher Kline was charged as above, and was found guilty of an attempt to commit the offence, on the evidence of Constable Jones, of Cassilis, and remanded for sentence.

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The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Thu 28 Apr 1887 3

(Before his Honor Mr Justice Faucett.)

    The Court re-opened at a quarter past ten o’clock.


    Christopher Kline, found guilty of attempted bestiality, said that he was as innocent as a child unborn. There was no previous conviction against the prisoner, so far as was known. His Honor said that he must take the verdict of the jury and not the prisoner’s statement. The sentence was that the prisoner be imprisoned in Maitland Gaol for the term of three years, and that he be kept to hard labour.

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Christopher Kline, Gaol photo sheet 4

SRNSW: NRS2138, [3/6048] , Darlinghurst Gaol photographic description book, 1886-1887, No. 3869, p. 110, R5102.

Gaol Photo Sheet - 
Transcribed Details

No. 3869

Date when Portrait was taken: 21-5-1887                                               

Name: Christopher Kline

Native place: Germany

Year of birth: 1832

Arrived       Ship: Norwood
in Colony }  Year:

Trade or occupation
previous to conviction  } Shepherd

Religion: C of England

Education, degree of: Nil

Height: 5' 7"

Weight     On committal: 138
in lbs     } On discharge:

Colour of hair: Grey

Colour of eyes: Blue

Marks or special features:

Where and when tried: Maitland CC.
25 April 1887

Offence: Attempt to commit bestiality

Sentence: 3 years HL


 (Previous Portrait ...  ) 


Where and When Offence. Sentence








1   The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Tue 26 Apr 1887, p. 4. Emphasis added.

2   Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, Tue 26 Apr 1887, p. 6. Emphasis added.

3   The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Thu 28 Apr 1887, p. 4.

4   SRNSW: NRS2138, [3/6048], Darlinghurst Gaol photographic description book, 1886-1887, No. 3869, p. 110, R5102.