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1889, John Davis - Unfit For Publication
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The Daily Telegraph, Wed 13 Nov 1889 1

(Before Judge McFarland.)

    Mr L Merewether appeared to prosecute on behalf of the Crown.


    John Davis, who pleaded not guilty to an attempt to commit an act of bestiality, was found guilty. Mr Cook, who defended the prisoner, asked his Honor to defer sentence until the next morning, as he wished to call witnesses as to character. His Honor, however, stated that he would accept what counsel said in that regard without his calling witnesses. The prisoner then said he had just landed from his ship after a long voyage, had been drinking with his shipmates and knew nothing whatever of the occurrence. With tears in his eyes he pleaded for leniency on account of his wife and two children. His Honor imposed the minimum sentence allowed by law, one year’s imprisonment, with hard labor, in Darlinghurst Gaol.

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The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 13 Nov 1889 2

(Before his Honor Judge McFARLAND and juries.)

    Mr WL Merewether prosecuted for the Crown.


    John Davis pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempted offence against the law, and was defended by Mr Cook.

    The jury found the prisoner guilty. Prisoner in his statement said he had just been paid off from his ship, and was drunk. Mr Cook, for prisoner, asked for a remand to produce evidence as to good character, but his Honor having heard from Mr Cook what this evidence was likely to be, and admitted it as if given in evidence, passed a sentence of 12 months’ imprisonment, with hard labour.

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John Davis, Gaol photo sheet 3

SRNSW: NRS2138, [3/6051], Darlinghurst Gaol photographic description book, 1889-1890, No. 4571, p. 73, R5103.

Gaol Photo Sheet - 
Transcribed Details

No. 4571

Date when Portrait was taken: 22-10-1889

Name: John Davis

Native place: England

Year of birth: 1854

Arrived       Ship: Illawarra
in Colony A   Year: 1889

Trade or occupation
previous to conviction  A Sailor

Religion: Cath

Education, degree of: R&W

Height: 5' 6½"

Weight     On committal: 151½
in lbs     A On discharge:

Colour of hair: Brown

Colour of eyes: Blue

Marks or special features: Scar on right lower jaw bone & small indented scar on left cheekbone, scar on left side of neck.

Where and when tried: Sydney Q.S.
November 12, 1889

Offence: Attempted Beastiality [sic]

Sentence: 12 months H.L.


(No. of previous Portrait ... ) 


Where and When Offence. Sentence








1  The Daily Telegraph, Wed 13 Nov 1889, p. 6.

2  The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 13 Nov 1889, p. 4.

3  SRNSW: NRS2138, [3/6051], Darlinghurst Gaol photographic description book, 1889-1890, No. 4571, p. 73, R5103.