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1899, John Henry Watts - Unfit For Publication
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The Cootamundra Herald, Sat 25 Nov 1899 1


    Before His Honor Acting Judge Browning.


    Before his Honor Acting Judge Browning.



    John Henry Watts was charged with attempting an indescribable assault upon a young lad named Doughty.

    Jury: M Maher, G Troy, W Miller, A Briant, W Dalwood, W Loftus, J Corby, R Andrews, R Burgess, J Ingold, LP Forsyth, AG Keith.

    Robert William Doughty, [15], a young lad, groom at the Tumbarumba hotel, stated his case, the details of which we cannot publish.

    Fanny Livingstone also gave evidence.

    Constable Brown deposed to arresting accused, who admitted being at John’s hotel on the night in question, had spoken to the boy, but had not made the overtures to him that were stated by him (the constable); accused made no answer to the charge made against him.

    Accused [John Henry Watts] elected to go into the witness box, and he denied Doughty’s statement in toto, except that he had seen him after ten and spoken to him.

    To the CP: I wanted to know what was meant by Fanny Livingstone’s allusions to him about the previous night; I don’t go by the name of Corkscrew Jack or Waterbury Jack; all I said to Doughty that evening was that it was raining.

    John O’Meally deposed: I remember accused being in Tumbarumba on the Friday night and met him at John’s hotel; we were drinking together that night till after 10 o’clock, when you left to go to bed, and I saw you go towards the billiard room; I never saw you that night in the company of Doughty or have any conversation with him that night.

    To his Honor: I was sober when I went home; accused when he went to go to bed was pretty drunk, but could walk all right.

    To the CP: I have known accused for 12 years; that evening after tea we were drinking pretty constantly.

    Walter Johns deposed: I saw you at our hotel on the Friday night in company with O’Meally; but I never saw accused speaking to Doughty once that night; I served you with the drinks constantly till about 10.39.

    To the CP witness admitted that accused might have been speaking to Doughty.

    Johns (recalled) said he had known accused at Wagga, but had never known him by the nicknames stated.
His Honor charged the jury, explaining that in a case of this kind no material importance was attached to consent or age; and he explained and reviewed the evidence, advising the jury that if they accepted Doughty’s statement as to any assault in the way explained, they must find him guilty of the serious criminal offence.

    The jury retired at 5.6 o’clock, and returned to court at 10.55 to ask the boy how long was it after the offence that the complaint was made of it to the police. The boy [Robert William Doughty] said he fancied it was next day, he saw Sergeant Healy; the police came to him; he complained to Mrs Johns the night of the offence.

    The foreman (Mr Corby) said, if they decided, it would be within ten minutes and they again retired.

    They returned at 11.10, with a verdict of guilty on the first count – indecent assault on a male.

    A police report was put in of complaints made as to his conduct with boys.

    His Honor commented upon the act of the prisoner. He then sentenced prisoner to twelve months hard labour in Goulburn gaol.

    The court rose at 11.17.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Cootamundra Liberal, Sat 25 Nov 1899 2

(Before His Honor Acting Judge Browning.)


    John Henry Watts was charged with the above crime.
    Accused pleaded not guilty, and was undefended.
    The evidence lasted about three hours, and the Judge summed up strongly against the prisoner.
    The jury retired at 5 pm, and returned at 11 o’clock with a verdict of ‘Guilty.’
    Watts was sentenced to 12 months’ hard labour in Goulburn Gaol.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

James Henry Watts, Gaol photo sheet 3

SRNSW: NRS2605, [3/6000], Young Gaol photographic description book, 1894-1920, No. 62, p. 62.

Gaol Photo Sheet - 
Transcribed Details

No. 62

Date when Portrait was taken: 20-3-1900

Name: James Henry Watts

Native place: Wagga Wagga NSW

Year of birth: 1866

Arrived       Ship:
in Colony }   Year: BC

Trade or occupation
previous to conviction  } Baker

Religion: Church of England

Education, degree of: R & W

Height: 5' 9¼"

Weight     On committal: 154
in lbs     } On discharge:

Colour of hair: Dark Brown

Colour of eyes: Blue

Marks or special features: Fair complexion, eyes deep set in head. Slightly build. Scar back on L[eft] hand. Scar R[ight] leg under knee cap Mole R[ight] cheek near ear, mole R[ight] eyebrow.

(No. of previous Portrait ... ) 


Where and When Offence. Sentence

Cootamundra Q.S




Indecent assault on a male person

12 months H.L.


1     The Cootamundra Herald, Sat 25 Nov 1899, p. 2. Emphasis added.

2     The Cootamundra Liberal, Sat 25 Nov 1899, pp. 2, 3.

3     SRNSW: NRS2605, [3/6000], Young Gaol photographic description book, 1894-1920, No. 62, p. 62.