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1898, James Derben - Unfit For Publication
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Evening News, Sat 16 Apr 1898 1


    ARMIDALE, Saturday.—The Circuit Court opens here on Tuesday next before Mr Justice Stephens. The following is the charge lsi: Richard and John Newby, William Foster, William Hudson, catttle stealing; Budgetta [sic] Morton, Frank Flockie, pig stealing; John McCarthy, horse stealing; Jas Derben, indecent behaviour; George B McNeal, arson. Mr Moriarty will be Crown Prosecutor.

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The Armidale Chronicle, Wed 20 Apr 1898 2

Tuesday, April 19.

    The Circuit Court was opened at Armidale on Tuesday morning before His Honor Mr Justice Stephen.
    Messrs Maybury (Sheriff) and WF Parker (Deputy-Sheriff) occupied seats on the Bench, and Mr White was present as Judge’s Associate.
    The legal profession was represented as follows:— Barristers: Messrs Jas Moriarty (Crown Prosecutor) and J Garland. Solicitors: Simpson, McDonald, Weaver, Kearney, and Claverie (Armidale), and Nash (Walcha).
    All of the jurors answered to their names, and one was excused from attendance on account of illness.


    James Derban [aka Derben], a cook, pleaded guilty to a charge of committing an indecent offence [with two dogs] at the Royal Exchange Hotel, Armidale, in January last, and was remanded for sentence.

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Evening News, Wed 20 Apr 1898 3


    ARMIDALE, Tuesday.—Mr Justice Stephen, in the Circuit Court to-day, whilst examining a child as to her knowledge of an oath, with a view to admitting her evidence, complained of being misreported by the Sydney papers recently on a similar matter, when it was alleged that he ordered a child witness out of the box because the child did not know anything about an hereafter. He said persons wrote for the newspaper about things they were ignorant of, and, consequently, misconstrued the actions of the judges, who could not always write to the papers to deny such remarks. He further pointed out that the law required judges to make certain inquiries as to witnesses’ knowledge of the nature of an oath before admitting the evidence.

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The Armidale Chronicle, Sat 23 Apr 1898 4

Wednesday, April 20.
(Before His Honor Mr Justice Stephen).


    John [aka James] Derban, who on the previous day pleaded guilty to a charge of indecent behaviour, was brought up for sentence. His Honor characterised prisoner as a filthy fellow, and ordered him to be imprisoned for four months in Armidale Jail.

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James Derben, Gaol photo sheet 5 

SRNSW: NRS1989, [3/6003], Armidale Gaol photographic description book, 1894-1915, No. 56, p. 59, R5083.

Gaol Photo Sheet - 
Transcribed Details

No. 56

 Date when Portrait was taken: 26th May 1898

Name: James Derben

Native place: Ireland

Year of birth: 1863

Arrived       Ship: Duke of Buccleugh
in Colony }   Year: 1884

Trade or occupation
previous to conviction  } Hotel servant

Religion: Ch of Eng

Education, degree of: R & W

Height: 5' 11"

Weight     On committal:
in lbs     } On discharge:

Colour of hair: Dark brown

Colour of eyes: Hazel

Marks or special features: Scars on inside & outside right shin. Receding chin.

(No. of previous Portrait ... ) 


Where and When Offence. Sentence

Armidale CC




Scandalous conduct with two dogs

4 months imprisonment Armidale Gaol & to enter into recognisance in £50 to be of good behaviour for 12 months after expiration of sentence.


1     Evening News, (Sydney, NSW), Sat 16 Apr 1898, p. 5. Emphasis added.

2     The Armidale Chronicle, Wed 20 Apr 1898, p. 2.

3     Evening News, (Sydney, NSW), Wed 20 Apr 1898, p. 5.

4     The Armidale Chronicle, Sat 23 Apr 1898, p. 2.

5     SRNSW: NRS1989, [3/6003], Armidale Gaol photographic description book, 1894-1915, No. 56, p. 59, R5083.