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1890, James Foreman - Unfit For Publication
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Clarence and Richmond Examiner, Tue 4 Feb 1890 1



    James Forman, [aka James Foreman] a Randwick Asylum boy, aged 17 years, and in the employ of Mr FA Small, was committed for trial to the Grafton Circuit Court, for beastiality [sic].

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Evening News, Fri 7 Feb 1890 2


    At the Grafton Court of Quarter Sessions on Thursday James Forman Randwick, aged 17, was found guilty of an unnatural offence. He was remanded for sentence.

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The Richmond River Herald and Northern Districts Advertiser, Fri 7 Feb 1890 3


Sydney, Wednesday.

Grafton, Thursday.

    Judge Backhouse, who was to have opened the Quarter Sessions here to-day did not arrive, owing to the flooded state of the country and bad roads. The court was opened and adjourned pending the Judge’s arrival.

    James Forman, a Randwick Asylum lad employed by Mr TA Small, of Ulmarra, has been committed for trial at the Circuit Court [sic] for an unnatural offence.

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Clarence and Richmond Examiner, Sat 8 Feb 1890 4


ON MONDAY, before Messrs W Goodger, F Turnbull and E Cameron, J’sP.

    Jas Forman was brought up for attempt to commit an unnatural offence on a mare.

    Constable Steele deposed that on information received from TA Small, he arrested accused on February 1st.

    TA Small, a farmer residing on Deep Creek deposed that the accused was apprenticed to him from the Randwick Asylum on November 5, 1885. Last Friday night I discovered accused trying to commit bestiality. I told him he ought to be ashamed of himself. I did not hear his reply. I saddled the mare and came into Ulmarra to my father’s (T Small) place. He (father) told me to leave it till next day. I got up next morning and found Forman in the kitchen; he had made the fire as usual. I got as far as the kitchen door when he sais “Where’s Steele (constable)? I thought you were going to bring him out last night. I’m not frightened; why didn’t you fetch him.” I said, “You ought to be ashamed to hold your head up after the crime you committed last night. You might get 5 years for it.” He said to me that he was not frightened; he could do it (meaning the penalty.) I was within 8 feet of him; he was in the moonlight, and I saw him plainly. He has been a fairly good boy, but very stubborn. No one else saw him but me.

    Mr Cameron to the accused: What were you doing on the block at the back of the mare?

    Accused: Trying to get round the horses.

    Mr Turnbull: What did you have the mare leg tied up for?

    Accused: To prevent her kicking. My trousers were not unbuttoned.

    The Magistrates here allowed the accused to make a statement. The accused said there was a storm on Friday night, and three horses ran into the shed, the mare being one of them. She turned to kick him, so he tied her leg up.

    The Court at this point was cleared, and on reopening the Bench committed Forman to take his trial at the next Circuit Court in Grafton, in April.


THE opening of this Court was fixed for 10 am on Thursday, but owing to the detention of Judge Backhouse, through the condition of the roads between Casino and the Clarence. Mr W Clarke, JP, adjourned the Court till 2 pm, Messrs Bawden and Ryan being on the Bench.

    His Honor arrived by coach just after the adjournment, and announced that he would open the Court at 11 o’clock, which he accordingly did. There were present—Mr Browning, Crown Prosecutor; Messrs Elles and O’Ryan, barristers; and the local solicitors.

    His Honor apologised for being late, stating that it was unavoidable, and that he had travelled during the night to be in time.

    Some cases were called, but as the Crown Prosecutor had not time to proceed with them, the Court was again adjourned till 11.40 am. At that time the Court was re-opened.

    Messrs William Lee, of Ulmarra, and George Martin of Harwood, were sworn in as Magistrates of the territory.


    James Forman was indicted for having, at Deep Creek, Ulmarra, committed an unnatural offence, particulars of which are to be seen elsewhere [see above]. Accused pleaded not guilty, and was undefended.

    Jury—GR Powell, Dugald McGregor, Edward Payne, James Amos, C Wunderlich, S Payne, AG Blanch, J Carson, jun, F Doberer, J Beatson, G Avery, Alex Michael.

    Evidence was given by F Small and Constable Steele, of Ulmarra.

    The Crown Prosecutor did not press for the full offence; but for an attempt.

    The jury found accused guilty of an attempt, with a strong recommendation to mercy on account of accused’s youth (17 years). Remanded for sentence.

    The remainder of the jury were then discharged, and the Court adjourned from 5.40 to 9.45 yesterday.


    The Court opened at 9.45.

    James Forman was brought up for sentence.

    His Honor having ascertained from the Gaoler that provision was made for separate treatment, informed accused that he had committed a most horrible offence, which probably the circumstances of his bringing up did not enable him to see in its proper light. He thought the best course to adopt was to take advantage of recent regulation in this court, and give accused a sentence under separate treatment, which though shorter would be more severe. He exhorted him to lead a better life at its termination. He sentenced him to be imprisoned in Grafton gaol for six months, with hard labour.


1   Clarence and Richmond Examiner, Tue 4 Feb 1890, p. 2.

2   Evening News, (Sydney, NSW), Fri 7 Feb 1890, p. 5.

3   The Richmond River Herald and Northern Districts Advertiser, (NSW), Fri 7 Feb 1890, p. 5.

4   Clarence and Richmond Examiner, Sat 8 Feb 1890, pp. 3, 8. Emphasis added.