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1930, Thomas James Stevens - Unfit For Publication

 

 

Thomas James Stevens, 1905

Below also see: Thomas James Stevens, 1906,
Thomas James Stevens, 1908,
Thomas James Stevens, 1909,
Thomas James Stevens, 1914,
Thomas James Stevens, 1916,
Thomas James Stevens, 1917,
Charles Gilmore and Thomas James Stevens, 1920,
Thomas James Stevens, 1921,
Thomas James Stevens, 1924,
Thomas James Stevens, 1928,
Thomas James Stevens, 1930 – Buggery
Thomas James Stevens, 1937

 

Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, Thu 18 May 1905 1

MAITLAND DISTRICT
————
(“Newcastle Herald” Branch Office,
High-street, West Maitland.)
———◦———
(From our Special Representative.)

KURRI KURRI.
————


    At the Police Court, before Mr EAL Sharpe, PM, Thomas James Stevens pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly in Railway-street, and was fined 10s, in default seven days imprisonment.

    The same defendant was fined £5, or one month’s hard labour, for using indecent language at same time and place, the sentences to be concurrent.

 



Thomas James Stevens
, 1906

 

The Maitland Daily Mercury, Thu 5 Jul 1906 2

POLICE COURT.

    At the Kurri Police Court on Wednesday, the bench was occupied by Mr EAL Sharpe, PM.

    Thomas James Stevens was charged on the information of Constable Bishop with playing a game of chance to wit “heading them” on the Heddon-Greta racecourse, whilst open to the public on June 9. Defendant pleaded not guilty. Constable Bishop deposed that in company with Constable Camroux, he was on the racecourse on the day in question. A man came up to him, and complained of defendant and several other playing heading them. Witness looked over towards a booth and saw defendant and several others playing heading them. Witness looked over towards a booth, and saw defendant spin two pennies. Witness and Constable Camroux afterwards proceeded too search defendant, and whilst doing so he (defendant) put his hand in his pocket and threw the “kip” (produced) away.—

    To defendant: Witness was about 210 yards away when he saw the coins being spun. He did not see others spin coins. Constable Camroux gave corroborative evidence. Defendant denied the charge. He said he threw the “skip” to the owner when being searched by the police. The defendant was fined £2 and 6s costs, in default one month.

 



Thomas James Stevens
, 1908

 

The Maitland Daily Mercury, Wed 18 Nov 1908 3

MAITLAND COALMINES.
———◦———
(From our Representative.)
————
KURRI KURRI.

    At the Kurri Kurri Police Court this morning the bench was occupied by Mr TH Wilkinson, PM, EJ Cutcliffe and AS Browne, JP.

    A prohibition was ordered to issue against Thomas James Stevens.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, Thu 19 Nov 1908 4

MAITLAND DISTRICT
————
(“Newcastle Herald” Branch Office,
High-street, West Maitland.)
————
(From our Special Representative.)

KURRI KURRI.
————

    At the police court this morning, before Mr TH Wilkinson, PM, and Messrs EJ Cutcliffe and AS Browne, JsP, a prohibition order was made against Thomas James Stevens.

 



Thomas James Stevens
, 1909

 

The Maitland Daily Mercury, Mon 15 Mar 1909 5

THE MAITLAND COALMINES.
———◦———
(From our Representative.)
————
KURRI KURRI.

    At the police court this morning the bench was occupied by Mr VB Cox, JP.

    Thomas James Stevens was charged with drunkenness in Hampden-street, Kurri, on March 13. He was further charged with having made use of indecent language in Cessnock-street on the same date. He pleaded guilty to the drunkenness but not guilty to improper language. In answer to the bench Sergeant Snushall stated that a prohibition order had been issued against accused. For the drunkenness he was fined 10s or seven days, and for improper language £2, in default one month.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Maitland Daily Mercury, Thu 20 May 1909 6

THE MAITLAND COALMINES.
———◦———
(From our Representative.)
————
KURRI KURRI.

    At the Police Court yesterday, the bench was occupied by Messrs TH Wilkinson, PM, and EJ Cutcliffe, JP.

    Bartholomew Brown was charged with procuring beer for one Thomas James Stevens, a person against whom a prohibition order was in force. Mr WJ Enright appeared for the defendant, who pleaded not guilty. After hearing evidence, the bench convicted, and fined defendant £4, with 7s costs, or one month.

 



Thomas James Stevens
, 1914

 

The Maitland Daily Mercury, Wed 19 Aug 1914 7

CESSNOCK POLICE COURT.
———◦———
(From Our Representative.)
————

    At the Cessnock Police Court yesterday the bench was occupied by Mr CH Gale, PM.

PLAYING TWO-UP.

    George Ferguson, Oliver Ford, Robert Jones jun, William Fairhall, Thomas J Stevens, and James Morgan were charged with playing a game of two-up at Aberdare on August 8. Defendants were charged under the Vagrancy Act in the first place owing to an error, and on the advice of the bench that information was withdrawn and they were re-charged under the Police Offences Act. Sergeant Jones said there had been a considerable number of complaints about men playing this game. On this occasion a large number of men were playing the game, but several of them were not known to the police, otherwise there would have been a larger batch charged. In future he intended to proceed under the Vagrancy Act in similar cases. He intended to put the game down and also all other forms of gambling. The PM said he hoped this would be a warning to defendants. If they had been charged under the Vagrancy Act he would have to send them to gaol. Defendants pleaded guilty, and were each fined 20/- or 14 days’ hard labour. 

 



Thomas James Stevens
, 1916

 

Northern Times, Thu 2 Nov 1916 8

TRUANCY CASES.
———◦———
FINES AT KURRI KURRI.
————

    Several charges of having neglected to send their children to school for the full number of days for the half-year ended June 30 last were preferred against parents at the Kurri Kurri Police Court yesterday. Mr CH Gale, PM, occupied the bench.

    Thomas James Stevens, in a similar case, also was fined 1s, with 6s costs.

 



Thomas James Stevens
, 1917

 

The Maitland Daily Mercury, Thu 14 Jun 1917 9

LOCAL AND GENERAL NEWS.
———◦———

KURRI KURRI POLICE COURT.

    At the Kurri Police Court on Monday, before Mr G Telfer, JP, Thomas James Stevens, for having been drunk on the Stanford-Merthyr railway station, was fined 2/6, or 3 days, and for having made use of indecent language he was fined 10/-, or 7 days. 

 



Charles Gilmore and Thomas James Stevens
, 1920

 

Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, Thu 24 Jun 1920 10

MAITLAND DISTRICT
———◦———

KURRI KURRI.
————
POLICE COURT.

    Mr G Atkin, PM, occupied the Bench at the Kurri Kurri Police Court, yesterday.

    Charles Gilmore and Thomas James Stevens were charged with riotous behaviour, and each was fined 10s, with 6s costs.

 



Thomas James Stevens
, 1921

 

Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, Thu 10 Mar 1921 11

MAITLAND DISTRICT
———◦———

KURRI POLICE COURT.
————

    Mr G Atkin, PM, occupied the Bench at the Kurri Kurri Police Court yesterday.

    Twenty-six defendants were charged with having played an unlawful game, “two up,” but by consent the charge was reduced to the charge under the Police Offences Act, and Mr WJ Enright pleaded guilty for the following defendants: Jacob Ackery, George Collette, William Johnstone, John Edward Treay, Thomas Hanley, Frederick Frazer, Robert Thompson, Arthur Frat, Frank Baldwin. Edward Wise, Patrick Hansen, William Perry, James Chenhall, Robert Milgate, David Dann, George Muir, Harry Whittington, Christopher John McKenzie, Jorn Irving, Thomas Rankin, Thomas James Stevens, Thomas Disney, Alfred Griffiths, and Henry Edward Opher.

    Mr Enright then asked that the charges against Robert Tweedie and Richard Moore be withdrawn, as he had been informed that the two defendants had only just arrived, and had not taken any part in the game. Sergeant Stein consented to the request, and the charges against the two defendants were withdrawn.

    Mr Atkin said he was glad that the defendants were men and wise enough to admit that they had been playing and not waste the time of the Court like what had occurred at Cessnock on the previous day.

    Mr Enright also informed the Court that the defendants were playing two miles from the town in the bush.

    Sergeant [Ernest Frederick or Frederick Ernest] Stein stated that there was another aspect regarding the case. One of the defendants was a married man, and through gambling he was neglecting his wife and children. The police were forced to take action on account of the numerous complaints that were received of that kind.

    Mr Atkin said if those who played bet for smaller stakes and did not neglect their wives and families, the police would not go rushing into the bush after them. It was no pleasure for the police. They should refuse to play with the man to whom Sergeant Stein had referred. Only those who could afford the money should play. As they were not causing a public nuisance, the fine would not be so heavy. He imposed a fine of £1, with 8s costs, In each case.

 



Thomas James Stevens
, 1924

 

Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, Thu 28 Aug 1924 12

MAITLAND DISTRICT
———◦———

KURRI KURRI.
————


    Mr TW Cohen, PM, presided at the Kurri Kurri Police Court yesterday.

    Edward J Wein was fined £1 for having behaved in an offensive manner, and £1 for having used indecent language.

    On charges of riotous behaviour, William Crichton and Donald Wilson were fined £1, with 8s costs.

    Thomas James Stevens was fined £1, with 8s costs, for having used indecent language.

    A probibition order was issued against Percy Grills for twelve months.

 



Thomas James Stevens
, 1928

 

The Maitland Daily Mercury, Thu 23 Aug 1928 13

STANFORD-MERTHYR
———◦———
LOSS ON COLLIERY WORKING.
————
SUSPENSION OF LABOUR
CONDITIONS.
————

    The East Greta Coalmining Co, Ltd, applied to the Mining Warden, Mr GA James, at the East Maitland Warden’s Court to-day for a suspension of labour conditions attaching to the Stanford-Merthyr Colliery No. 1 leases. Mr BA Helmmore appeared for the company, and Mr Daniels for the combined unions, which were objecting. With him were Messrs T Robbins (deputies), TG Moran (colliery mechanics), and J Connell (check inspectors).

    John Grinsell, law clerk, and Alfred M Williams, manager of Stanford-Merthyr No. 1, gave evidence as to posting and serving notices.

Stanford Merthyr Colliery, 1924. Image: SA State Library collection, B63003. Reproduction: Peter de Waal
Stanford Merthyr Colliery, 1924. Image: SA State Library collection,
B63003. Reproduction: Peter de Waal

    Charles Gerard Derkenne, secretary of East Greta Coal Mining Company, stated that the leases in respect of which the application had been made, comprised Stanford Merthyr No. 1 Colliery. It had been in existence for 27 years. The company owned the leases. The sum of £29,000 had been spent on the leases, and £77,000 on the colliery. Up to the end of last year, the colliery had been worked almost continuously. Since the beginning of the year there had been no trade from the colliery. There was an approximate loss of £3500 on last year’s working of Stanford Merthyr. That included the electric light undertaking to light certain town in Tarro and Kearsley Shires. Leaving out the electric light undertaking, the loss would be £8000 to £10,000. On the last fortnightly paysheet there were 36 men. In order to make a profit or cover expenses, there would have to be a reasonable output and work at least eight days a fortnight. The company also owned two other colliers, East Greta and Stanford No. 2. Since the beginning of the year—16 fortnightly pays—East Greta had worked 66 days and Paxton (Stanford No. 2) 109 days. The average for East Greta was 4.1-8 days, and Paxton 6.13-16. Stanford No. 1 was the most expensive colliery of the lot. The daily output ranged from 700 to 730 tons. That was an average of less than 2 tons per man. There was a steep seam and secondary underground haulage was partly responsible. There was practically no coal trade at the present time, and in its present state it would not be possible to work Stanford No. 1 profitable, and pay expenses. He saw no immediate prospect of conditions in the trade altering to enable the colliery to work 8 days a fortnight. He saw no prospect in the next six months. In reply to Mr Daniels he said the company was not connected with any shipping. There were about 550 shareholders. Stanford No. 1 had an opportunity of supplying its quota to the railway relief contract. The total allotted to the company was 8570 tons. The Paxton seam was thin. The percentage of large to small coal at Stanford No. 1 was 56 to 44. There might be a slight difference at Paxton, but he would not agree that it was 43-57. The company did not own the line to Stanford.

    To the Warden: The profits from No. 1 did not go to establish two other colliers and the electric light.

    To Mr Daniels: On the relief allotment the order was spread over 6 months. A train load was about 330 tons a day, which would mean for the colliery about two-thirds of a day per week.—

    To the Warden: The area of the leases in No. 1 was a little over 1100 acres. They were winding from 1500 yards, about one in three dip. There was no dividend last period. Immediately prior to that it was 5 per cent per annum. During his term of 10 years the highest was 10 per cent. They only write off about (62 ?) per cent for depreciation. The last increase in capital was made about 3 years ago by an issue. It was increased from £500,000 to £1,000,000. The amount actually paid up to date was £575,000, and that had gone to the development of No. 2. The output of 2 tons per man was the lowest on the field.

    Charles Anthony Earp, chairman of directors of East Greta Company, said the company had been losing money at Stanford No. 1 for years. Up to last year they were sharing work with the three colliers, and the loss at the end of 1927 was £1500 per fortnight. Keeping the three collieries open for a few days a fortnight cost a lot of money—out of proportion to the output. He has been trying to get a contract for 30,000 tons, at the rate of 8 days a fortnight. At the rate of 2000 tons per week they would re-open Stanford No. 1. It would cost about £500 to re-open and start the colliery. It would not pay to work it for the small relief contract.—

    To Mr Daniels: They were steering for insolvency by sharing the work. It was all a question of output per man per day. He knew a colliery that was putting out 1100 tons a day with 300 men. Modernising the haulage, in his opinion, could not be done at Stanford. They had not had as many industrial troubles as some other collieries.

    William Alfred Arundale, in charge of hauling tackle at Stanford, said it was some years since the last new machinery was installed underground. They could do no more in the output. They had gone up to 1000 tons per shift. There had been a slight improvement in the pit-top workings. The whole trouble was that there was no supervision on the pit-top. They could get more coal out of it they liked. He asked for better haulage. The mine was really short of equipment, in reply to Mr Helmore he said they did not have sufficient skips in the pit. He had seen 40 skips on top full of dirt.

    Thomas James Stevens, first-class shift man gave to following notes:—Bottoms, Stanford No. 1, miners 2/11¾ filler and wheeler 1/11½ total 4/11½ per ton; Stanford No. 2, bottoms 4/9 per ton, average wheeling 7d; top pillars No. 1, miners 2/7¾, filler and wheeler 1/10; No. 2, miners 4/7, wheelers 7d. Upkeep for horses would cost slightly more than Paxton.

    To Mr Helmore: They did not take the blame of output per man.

    To the Warden: The output could be increased to a greater extend if the facilities were made. It was a matter of congestion

    The warden reserved his decision.

 



Thomas James Stevens
, 1930

 

The Cessnock Eagle and South Maitland Recorder, Tue 16 Sep 1930 14

KURRI MAN
CHARGED
————
WITH ABOMINABLE
OFFENCE
————
Boy of 15 Concerned
————
On Bail of £500.

    Thomas James Stevens, of Kurri Kurri, who was arrested by the police on Saturday, appeared before Mr AE Stoneham, JP, the Kurri Kurri Police Court on Monday, and was charged with an abominable offence, in connection with which a boy of 15. The offence was alleged to have been committed at Stanford Merthyr on Saturday last.

    On the application of Sergt Wood, Stevens was remanded to appear at the Kurri Kurri Police Court on Wednesday, September 24th. Bail was allowed, self in £500, and one surety of a like amount.

    It is understood that Stevens is a married man with ten children.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, Tue 16 Sep 1930 15

A SERIOUS OFFENCE
————

    Thomas James Stevens, 53, of Stanford Merthyr, was charged at the Kurri Kurri Police Court, before Mr AE Stonham, JP, yesterday, with having committed a serious offence. He was remanded till September 24. Bail was allowed, self in £500 and one surety in £500.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Cessnock Eagle and South Maitland Recorder, Fri 26 Sep 1930 16

KURRI MAN COMMITTED
FOR TRIAL
————

    Thomas James Stevens, on remand, appeared before Mr DW Reed, PM, at the Children’s Court, Kurri Kurri, on Wednesday, charged with a serious offence in connection with a boy of fifteen at Stanford Merthyr on September 13th.

    Stevens was committed to stand his trial at the Maitland Quarter Sessions on December 2nd. Bail was allowed self in £150, with a surety of a like amount.

    Mr HT Skilton appeared on behalf of the accused, while Sergeant Wood conducted the prosecution on behalf of the police.
According to evidence given by Dr JT Tennent, Government Medical Officer at Kurri Kurri, the boy concerned is of low average intelligence. A boy of that intelligence, he said, could be led into doing something a boy of more superior intelligence would never dream of doing.

    Dr Tennent said that when he examined the accused he smelt strongly of drink.

    Sergeant Wood, of Kurri Kurri, said that the accused was considerably under the influence of liquor when he spoke to him about 6.30 pm on September 13th. He told Stevens that he was going to detain him, and added the he (defendant) was too drunk at the time to realise the seriousness of the charge. At 9.30 pm that same night witness awoke Stevens, who was asleep in the cell, and after he had been examined by a doctor, witness read the charge over to him. Stevens said, “I am innocent, absolutely.” The next morning Stevens asked witness what he was charged with, and when told, he said, “I was drunk and went into the bush to lay down. I had a bottle of beer beside me. The boy, who is always rambling out in the bush, came along looking for a cow. He started to interfere with me. He is a nuisance to everybody.” When witness asked defendant in what way the boy was a nuisance. Stevens replied, “He is always wanting matches and tobacco,” and added, “I am innocent of that.”

    Answer Mr Skilton, Sergeant Wood said that Stevens was so drunk when arrested that he did not know what he was doing.

    Constable Whitechurch, of Kurri Kurri, said that he was told something on the day in question, and described the lay out of the bush and what he found at a bush bower about two hundred yards from the boy’s residence.

    The boy, [John Wright], given evidence said that he was going along a bush track when he met Stevens, who asked him to go, and the accused pulled him and took him into the bush, not far from the track, accused caught him by the legs and pulled him down. A man later came along, and when he had gone, Stevens told him to give a wring name.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Newcastle Sun, Mon 1 Dec 1930 17

BIG LIST
———◦———
Maitland Quarter Sessions
————

    A big list will confront Judge Sheridan at Maitland Quarter Sessions which commence to-morrow.

    The list is:—

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 2

    William Edward Jones, application by the Crown to he declared an habitual criminal; Vivian James Buckley, alleged breaking, entering and stealing; Louis Sydney Bryden, alleged breaking, entering and stealing; Francis Henry Selwood, alleged breaking, entering and stealing; George Bruce, alleged breaking, entering and stealing.

    For plea only, Charles Keith Gregory Chenery, William Reginald Wickham, Francis Charles Rampling, William Smith, alleged breaking, entering and stealing (three charges).

    For Trial: William Richardson, alleged manslaughter; Edward Albert Strang, alleged breaking, entering and stealing: Duncan McColl Germyn, alleged breaking, entering and stealing; Richard Jackson, alleged breaking, entering and stealing; Richard Bartlett, alleged abduction; Joseph Flynn, alleged stealing.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 3

    Christopher Patrick O'Brien, charged with by wanton driving having done bodily harm; William James Hailstone and William Searish, (1) alleged breaking and entering with intent to steal; (2) alleged attempting to break and enter; Thomas James Stevens, alleged sodomy; William Reginald Wade, alleged shooting with intent.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 4

    Eric Ben Flaxman, alleged false pretences; any other committals and appeals.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Newcastle Sun, Wed 3 Dec 1930 18

FOR SENTENCE
———◦———
Remand at Sessions
————

    Thomas James Stevens was remanded for sentence when he pleaded guilty before Judge Sheridan at Maitland Quarter Sessions today to a charge of having indecently assaulted a man at Stanford Merthyr on September 13.

    Stevens’ record showed a long list of convictions for indecent language, riotous behavior, drunkenness and playing two-up.

    Mr RJ Enright appeared for Stevens on the assignment of the Crown, Mr RJ Browning prosecuted.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, Thu 4 Dec 1930 19

“ABOMINABLE OFFENCE.”

    Thomas James Stevens, 53, was charged with having, at Stanford Merthyr, on September 13, 1930, committed an abominable offence. There was a second count of assault. Mr WJ Enright said that on his advice, accused would plead “Guilty” to the second count.

    Accused was remanded for sentence.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Maitland Daily Mercury, Fri 5 Dec 1930 20

QUARTER SESSIONS
——•——
SENTENCES IMPOSED
———

    His Honor, Judge Sheridan imposed sentences at the Maitland Quarter Sessions to-day.

BLAMED DRINK

    Thomas James Stevens, who had pleaded guilty to a charge of an indecent assault upon a boy, was brought up for sentence.

    [Thomas James] Stevens said that drink was the cause of the trouble.

    In imposing a sentence of six months’ imprisonment, his Honor said he thought it was a very light sentence. Only for the fact that Stevens was under the influence of drink at the time of the crime, he would have imposed a heavier penalty.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Singleton Argus, Fri 5 Dec 1930 21

LEFT £60 IN MOTOR CAR
———◦———

    A juror engaged on a case ot [sic] the Maitland Quarter Sessions yesterday left £60 in a pocket of his motor car prior to entering the Court, and did not remember anything further until I o’clock. He was a member of a jury which retired to deliberate at 10.28 am, and as the Court adjourned for lunch a loud knock was heard from the jury room.

    It was generally thought that the jury had decided on the verdict, but when the Sheriff’s officer opened the door, he was received by an excited juror, who explained his trouble.

    With the permission of the Judge the juror was accompanied by the Sheriff to the car, and the money was recovered.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Newcastle Sun, Fri 5 Dec 1930 22

MAITLAND SESSIONS
Sentences
———◦———
One “Habitual” Criminal
————

    Men who had pleaded guilty and have been found guilty at Maitland Quarter Sessions during the week were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment by Judge Sheridan this afternoon. The cases dealt with were as follows: —

    Vivian James Buckley, breaking, entering and stealing, 12 months’ hard labor.

    Louis Sidney Dryden, breaking, entering and stealing, two years.

    Thomas James Stevens, indecent assault on male, six months.

    Joseph Flynn, larceny of betting ticket, six months.

    William James Hailstone, breaking and entering, two years, and declared an habitual criminal.

    William Fearish, breaking and entering, 18 months.

    Francis Henry Shellwood [sic] and George Bruce, stealing, released on own bond of £40 to be of good behavior for three years and to abstain from intoxicating liquor and the company of criminals during that period. In passing sentence Judge Sheridan caustically rebuked some of the men. He told Buckley and Dryden that they were both young men. and he would feel more sorry for them if their careers had not been such bad ones. The crime of breaking and entering, however, was most serious, and he would try his best to discourage them from committing it again.

    “If people with records continue to break and enter they will have to pay the penalty,” he told Fearish, in sentencing him to 18 months’ hard labor. He at first said that he would further consider the case of Hailstone, described by Sergeant Charters, of Newcastle, as a “manias for stealing,” but when he learned later from Constable Pearson that by day Hailstone had associated with convicted criminals and then at night had done the jobs himself, declared him a habitual criminal, in addition to sentencing him to two years’ imprisonment. He was not sure he was doing right, he said, in releasing Selwood and Bruce on bond, but there were certain circumstances about their cases that made him feel inclined to give them a chance.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, Sat 6 Dec 1930 23

AN UNUSUAL PLEA.

    When Thomas James Stevens, 53, who had, pleaded, “Guilty” to having committed an abominable offence at Stanford Merthyr, came up for sentence, he said that he did not know much about Court proceedings, but since he had pleaded “Guilty” he had been thinking over the matter. “I think I did wrong in pleading ‘Guilty,’ and if I am sentenced to a term of imprisonment I will be treated unjustly.”

    His Honor: Having read the depositions, you will be treated quite justly.

    Accused asked for leniency, stating that his previous minor convictions had been the result of drink.

    His Honor told accused that what he did was a particularly vile act. Only for the fact that he was under the influence of drink, he would have imposed a much heavier sentence. “After being always in trouble with the police,” his Honor said, “you seemed to turn over a new leaf for a number years. I will take that into consideration. You are sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, which I think is a very light sentence.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Thomas James Stevens, Gaol photo sheet 24

13 SRNSW: NRS2328, [14/3084], Maitland gaol photographic description book, No. 2215, p. –. Emphasis added.


Gaol Photo Sheet - 
Transcribed Details 

Name Thomas James Stevens

No. 2215

Date when Portrait was taken: 5-2-1931

 

Finger Print
Classification

Native Place Sydney

Year of Birth 22-7-1877

Arrived in State        Ship
                         }    Year

Trade or occupation

previous to conviction   } Miner

Religion C of E

Education, degree of R & W

Height, without shoes 5' 10"

Weight in lbs.      On committal 138
                     }  On discharge

Colour of hair Fair to grey

Colour of eyes Blue

Marks or special features T. J. S. On right forearm. Clasped hands on left forearm. Scar on stomach. Operation mark on right side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


(Nos. of previous Portrait ... )

CONVICTIONS

St 7574 97939

Court.

Date

Offence.

Sentence

Name.

Gaol No.

Kurri Kurri

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maitland Q.S

4

17

17

16

4

15

15

23

8

7

22

17

7

6

11

11

19

9

27

3

1

5

5

5

7

3

3

5

6

9

3

4

8

10

6

6

8

3

8

12

1905

1905

1905

1906

1906

1909

1909

1910

1910

1910

1911

1912

1912

1915

1917

1917

1917

1921

1924

1930

Riot[ous] Behaviour

Indecent Language

Drunk & Disorderly

Profane Language

Play “Two-up”

Drunk

Indecent Language

Drunk

Drunk

Drunk

Riot[ous] Behaviour

Indecent Language

Riot[ous] Behaviour

Enter Railway Train whilst in motion

Drunk

Indecent Language

Stealing

Play “Two-up”

Indecent Language

Indecent assault on a male person

 14/10 or 7 days HL

 £3 or 1 month HL

 10/- or 7 days

 20/- or 14 days

 £2.6.0 or 1 month

 10/- or 7 days

 £2 or 1 month HL

 10/- or 24 hours

 10/- or 3 days

 26/- or 3 days HL

 16/- or 3 days

 £2.6.0 or 21 days

 26/- or 7 days

 16/- or 7 days

 22/6 or 7 days

 10/- or 7 days

 £2.2.6 or 1 month

 28/- or 7 days

 28/- or 3 days

 6 months HL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thomas James Stevens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 M’land
30.633

 



Thomas James Stevens
, 1937

 

The Maitland Daily Mercury, Mon 20 Sep 1937 25

MAN FATALLY INJURED IN MOTOR SMASH
———◦———
CAR AND LORRY
————
WEST MAINLAND ACCIDENT
————
CLOTHES TORN OFF

    A lift to Maitland on a motor lorry had fatal consequences for a Kurri Kurri man this morning, for the lorry was involved in a collision with a car in West Maitland, and the man was injured so badly that he died in the Maitland Hospital a few hours later.

    The man was Thomas James Stevens (60) of Railway-street, Kurri Kurri. His clothes were almost torn off him, but despite that he did not lose consciousness and seemed quite jovial.

    It is understood that the lorry, which was driven by Mr B Cameron, who was giving Stevens a ride, was proceeding along Walker-st towards the West Maitland Park, when a collision occurred with a car driven by Mr WH Leggett, a fruiterer, of Cumberland-st, Cessnock, who was driving out of Loftus-st, into Walker-st, on his way home.

    Neither of the two vehicles was damaged to any great extent, but Stevens was thrown to the roadway and it was stated that a wheel of the lorry passed over him. His clothes were torn almost completely from him and he suffered injuries to the back and internal injuries, contusions to the left thigh, abrasions to both hands and severe shock.

    The Maitland Ambulance rendered first aid and conveyed the man to the Maitland Hospital where he succumbed later.

    The Maitland district coroner (Mr CG Carr-Boyd) viewed the body and he will conduct an inquest.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Cessnock Eagle and South Maitland Recorder, Tue 21 Sep 1937 26

MOTOR SMASH
————
MAN KILLED AT MAITLAND
————

    A motor smash, in which one man was killed and two others received minor injuries, occurred at West Maitland yesterday.

    Thomas James Stevens, 60, of Railway-street, Kurri Kurri, was travelling on a motor lorry driven by Benjamin Cameron, of Catherine-street, Cessnock, when it collided with a motorcar driven by William H Leggett, of Cumberland- street, Cessnock, at the corner of Walker and Loftus streets.

    Stevens, who was thrown from the lorry, received an injury to the back, internal injuries, contusions to the left thigh and abrasions to both hands. He was conveyed by ambulance to Maitland Hospital, where he died.

    The coroner (Mr CG Carr-Boyd) viewed the body yesterday afternoon, and will hold an inquest next Saturday morning.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Maitland Daily Mercury, Wed 22 Sep 1937 27

NEWS OF THE DAY

CORONER’S INQUEST.

    On Saturday morning next, the Maitland District Coroner (Mr CG Carr-Boyd) will conduct an inquest at the West Maitland Courthouse into the death of Thomas James Stevens (60), of Railway-street, Kurri Kurri, who died in the Maitland Hospital on Monday following a collision that morning between the lorry on which he was a passenger, and a motor car, at the intersection of Walker and Loftus streets, West Maitland.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 22 Sep 1937 28

COUNTRY NEWS.
———◦———

WEST MAITLAND MOTOR
ACCIDENTS.

West Maitland, Tuesday

    Thomas James Stevens, 60, of Railway Street, Kurri Kurri, was fatally injured when a motor lorry and car collided in South Maitland yesterday. Stevens was riding on the lorry and the impact threw him to the roadway. The wheel of the vehicle passed over him. His clothes were almost torn off. He suffered injuries to the back and internally, and died shortly after admission to the Maitland Hospital.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Maitland Daily Mercury, Sat 25 Sep 1937 29

MAN’S DEATH
———◦———
ACCIDENTAL VERDICT
————
INQUEST STORY

    At the West Maitland Courthouse to-day the Maitland District Coroner (Mr CG Carr-Boyd) found that Thomas James Stevens (60), of Railway-street, Kurri Kurri, died from injuries received when he fell from a motor lorry which was involved in a collision with a motor car at the intersection of Loftus and Walker streets, West Maitland, on Monday morning last.

    Sergeant C Yeomans conducted the police case; Mr JG Steggall, of Cessnock, appeared for Benjamin John Cameron, driver of the lorry; and Mr NT Cragg (Messrs Braye, Cragg, and Cohen, of Newcastle) for William Hooper Leggett, who was driving the case.

    Dr CJB Armstrong, of East Maitland, said death was due to shock and haemorrhage.

    To Mr Steggall: Abrasions to the left side of the abdomen were consistent with a heavy wheel having passed over the body.

    Benjamin John Cameron, lorry driver, of Catherine-street, Cessnock, said he was driving in an easterly direction along Walker-street at a speed of about 25 miles an hour when his lorry collided with a motor car at the intersection of Lotus-street. When he saw the car it was about four yards away on the left, and slightly to the front. He swerved the truck towards the right, and applied his brakes. The car continued on its way along the centre of Loftus-street, and struck the lorry on the left front mudguard. Stevens was thrown from the driver’s cabin to the roadway. He stopped the truck in a few yards. A young chap with him told him to take the lorry back a little. He did this, and alighted, seeing Stevens lying on the roadside. Stevens asked for something to be placed under his head and for a drink of water.

HEARD NO HORN

    To Mr Steggall: There was a dangerous corner about 25 yards past Loftus-street, and at the time of the accident he was slowing down to take the corner. He heard no horn or other sound to indicate a car was travelling along Loftus-street. A house on the corner would obstruct the view from Loftus-street. The front of the car struck the lorry.

    Cameron said he first saw the car when it was four yards away. He was travelling about 25 miles an hour, and had no chance of stopping, and the car struck the lorry’s near-side mudguard. He heard no horn sound, and was on his correct side.

    To Mr Cragg: The car was not out into Walker-street when he first saw it. His lorry was fitted with efficient four-wheel hydraulic brakes. He braked immediately he saw the car. He did not blow the horn approaching Loftus-street. Three persons were sitting in the front of the lorry. Stevens was sitting forward with his left leg out of the cabin and on the running board. The car was travelling about 15 miles an hour.

    To Sergeant Yeomans: Stevens seemed to be quite sober when he boarded the lorry in Kurri Kurri.

    To Mr Steggall: The left front wheel cap and the running board were damaged.

STATEMENT TENDERED

    At this stage Mr Cragg said that on his advice the driver of the car, Leggett, would not give evidence, because a man had been killed and certain allegations had been made. There would be no objection to the statement made by Leggett being tendered.

    Roland Wells, relief worker, of Walker-street, West Maitland, said he was standing on the footpath in front of his home when he noticed a car travelling up Loftus-street at a speed of six to eight miles an hour. It was in the middle of the street when it came to the corner. He then saw the lorry about 31 yards away on its correct side. The pace was about 30 miles an hour. Just before the collision occurred the lorry seemed to swerve to the right. After the accident he saw a man pinned to the ground in front of the lorry’s rear wheel. The lorry travelled about 22 yards after the collision. He heard the lorry brakes applied right at the time of the collision. He heard no horns blown.

    To Mr Cragg: The car was moving slowly at the time of the accident. After the accident the front wheels of the car were about 18 inches short of the bitumen. The tracks of the truck were measured, and found to be 91 feet on the outer curve from the point of impact to where it stopped. In a straight line the distance was 22 yards.

    To Sergeant Yeomans: Witness did not pay much attention to the car tracks. The car swerved slightly to the right.

POLICE EVIDENCE

    Constable AW Sales said he saw the car standing at the intersection. The front bumper bar was torn off, and the front spring and chassis were bent. About 22 yards away in Walker-street, in an easterly direction, he saw the lorry. The near-side mudguard was slightly damaged, and the steering rod bent. Leggett told him he slowed down the car to about eight miles an hour, and sounded the horn twice. He saw the lorry first about 20 yards away and stopped within six feet. The lorry was travelling at a fast pace, and struck his car a glancing blow. After the collision a man fell from the lorry, struck the road, and seemed to bounce in the air.

    Continuing, witness said he examined the tracks of both vehicles. The lorry was on its correct side to the point of impact, where it veered to the right almost in a half-circle. The distance from the car to where the lorry stopped was 66 feet in a direct line. The car tracks, just before coming to the intersection, were on the correct side of the road, but here they turned to the right, finishing almost in the centre of the street.

    By Mr Steggall: The tracks started to veer about 12 feet from the corner. The front wheels of the car stopped a few inches from the bitumen, with the bumper bar overhanging the bitumen. The car was stopped practically in the centre of Loftus-street.

    By Mr Cragg: In Walker-street there was 16 feet of bitumen and where the accident happened there was eight feet of gravel on each side.

    Arthur Stevens, labourer, of Railway-street, Kurri Kurri, who said he was a son of the deceased, also gave evidence.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, Mon 27 Sep 1937 30

MAITLAND – KURRI – CESSNOCK
————————

WEST MAITLAND

ACCIDENTAL DEATH
————
MAN THROWN FROM LORRY
————

    Thomas James Stevens, 60, of Railway-street, Kurri Kurri, who was being given a lift, was fatally injured when the lorry came into collision with a motorcar at the intersection of Loftus and Walker Streets, West Maitland, on September 20.

    At the inquest at the West Maitland Courthouse yesterday, the Coroner (Mr CG Carr-Boyd) returned a verdict of accidental death.

    Sergeant C Yeomans appeared for the police; Mr JG Steggall for Benjamin Cameron; and Mr NT Cragg (Messrs Braye, Cragg, and Cohen) for William Hooper Leggett.

     Dr CJB Armstrong, of East Maitland, said that Stevens died from shock and hemorrhage [sic] shortly after admission to hospital.

    Benjamin John Cameron, lorry driver, of Catherin [sic] street, Cessnock, said about 7 am on September 20, he was driving along Walker-street at a speed of 25 miles an hour, when, at the intersection of Walker and Loftus Streets, he saw a motor-car about four yards away.

    “I swerved the truck to the right and applied my brakes,” said the witness. “The car continued on, and struck the lorry. Stevens, who was on the front seat, was thrown on to the road.

    By Mr Cragg: He did not know Stevens, but gave him a lift from Kurri Kurri, where Stevens hailed him.

    Mr Cragg said he was not tendering the car driver, Leggett, as a witness in view of the fact that a man had been killed and there were certain allegations. Leggett had made a statement to the police and signed it, and he had no objection to this being tendered.

    Roland Wells, a relief worker, of Walker-street, West Maitland, said he noticed a motor-car in Loftus-street. The car was in the centre of the street at the corner and was travelling at six to eight miles an hour. He also saw a lorry in Walker-street on its correct side, travelling at about 30 miles an hour. When near the car the lorry appeared to swerve slightly to the right and a collision occurred. When the lorry was stopped Stevens was lying in front of the near wheel.

    Constable AW Sales stated that Leggett said he slowed down to eight miles an hour and sounded his horn twice. He said he did not see the lorry until it was 20 yards away. He applied the brakes and stopped within six feet. Leggett said the lorry was travelling very fast and struck the car a glancing blow on the front. Cameron said that the car was only four yards away when he saw it. He was travelling at 25 miles an hour and had no time to pull up. The car struck the front mudguard of the lorry. He did not hear a horn sounded, and was on the correct side.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, Wed 29 Sep 1937 31

OBITUARY
————
MR TJ STEVENS.
————

    The funeral of Mr Thomas James Stevens, 60, of Railway-street, Kurri Kurri, who was fatally injured in a motor-lorry accident at West Maitland on September 20, was largely attended. The interment was made in the Church of England Cemetery, Kurri Kurri, where Rev CW White officiated. The chief mourners were his widow, his three sons, Messrs Charles, Robert, and Arthur Stevens, and five daughters, Mesdames M Brunner, G Moore, W Watts, and H Blain, and Miss Thelma Stevens. The pall-bearers were Messrs Hunter, M McBrien, J Ward, and J Pickering.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Maitland Daily Mercury, Tue 17 May 1938 32

WIDOW’S CLAIM
———◦———
£400 DAMAGES SOUGHT
————
ACCIDENT SEQUEL

    A claim for £400 damages following the death of her husband in a motor accident at West Maitland on September 20 last, was brought by Mary Agnes Stevens, of Railway-st, Kurri Kurri, against William Cooper Leggett, of Cumberland-st, Cessnock, tat the Maitland District Court.

    Leggett was the driver of a car which was involved in a collision with a motor lorry, on which Stevens. A man aged 60, was riding, at the corner of Walker and Loftus-sts.

    The case was part-heard, closing late yesterday afternoon with a police witness in the box. The further hearing was then adjourned until to-day.

    Mrs Stevens was represented by Mr Fitzpatrick, instructed by Mr WJ Enright (Messrs Enright and Skilton, West Maitland), while Mr Herron, instructed by Mr NT Cragg (Messrs Braye, Cragg and Cohen, of Newcastle) appeared for Leggett.

    Mrs Stevens said she was the widow of Thomas James Stevens, who was killed in an accident on September 20 of last year. She and an 18-year-old daughter were dependent on the income of her husband, who was a first-class shiftman. He had been cavilled out since 1927 and had had no permanent employment since that time. He had secured the dole for a short time and was then placed on relief work. She was now receiving a temporary pension.

    By Mr Fitzpatrick: She had to give a written undertaking to repay any pension payments in the event of securing a verdict in this action.

    George Kera, of Coronation-street, Kurri Kurri, said he was secretary of the Stanford Merthyr No. 1 Miners’ Lodge, of which deceased had been a member for 20 years. Stevens was next on in turn as a first-class shiftman. Stanford Main colliery, which the lodge covered, and at which Stevens had previously been employed, had since been reopened, and Stevens would have been taken on.

    By Mr Herron: There had been no call for Stevens. Prior to September the colliery had been closed for two and a half years. The mine employers would raise no objection to a man over 60 being placed on work. There was no age limit; men were employed till they died. There was a move afoot to put men off when they reached 65, but nothing had as yet come of is.

SCENE OF ACCIDENT

    Constable AW Sales, of West Maitland, gave evidence of going to the scene of the accident about 7.15 am. There was a car in the centre of Loftus-streets. From the edge of the bitumen in Walker-street to the fence on the corner of Loftus-street was about 14 to 16 feet. The car was practically level with the edge of the bitumen. The lorry tracks were a foot from the edge of the bitumen until the point of impact. The tracks were then more pronounced and veered in a half-circle. The point of impact was on the edge of the bitumen.

    By Mr Herron: The lorry went 22 yards in a direct line after the impact. The road was a good one. There was no alteration of course or application of brakes apparent before the point of impact. The car was two feet from the edge of the bitumen, but had not passed on to it. The car was never over further than the centre of Loftus-street

    At this stage the hearing was adjourned until to-day.

TO-DAYS’S EVIDENCE

    Benjamin John Cameron, of Catherine-st, Cessnock, said he drove a truck from Cessnock and was involved in a collision with a motor car at the corner of Loftus and Walker-sts, West Maitland. Passing through Kurri he had given Stevens, who was a stranger, a lift. He drove along Walker-st on the edge of the bitumen. Just before the impact he braked and swerved towards the right. The car struck his lorry at the left front wheel. The lorry continued on some distance and Stevens was thrown out, and was either run over , or severely pinched, by a back wheel. It would not be possible, he thought, for him to see the car before he did.

    By Mr Herron: Witness’s lorry was a 1936 model, in good condition, with hydraulic brakes on the four wheels. There were no brake marks on the road.

    A mark on the road was caused by a front wheel out of alignment as a result of the tie-rod being bent. It could be right that the lorry went 91 feet in an arc of a circle before it stopped. He did not know at what part of the swerve Stevens fell off, but when the lorry stopped deceased was lying jammed against a back wheel.

    He did not think the wheel had passed over him. The car was about four yards to his left in Loftus-street when he first saw it, a fraction of a second before the impact. It was travelling slowly and the lorry was travelling about 25 miles an hour. He had not driven in Walker-street at more than 30 miles an hour on that day.

    Stevens was sitting forward in the cabin, with his left foot out on the running board. He realised that the corner of Walker and Loftus streets was dangerous. He would deny that the car was stopped when the collision occurred.

    By Mr Fitzpatrick: The bumper bar of witness’s lorry was not damaged in the collision.

    Alan Carruthers, of Cessnock, said he was a passenger on Cameron’s truck, seated between Cameron and Stevens. Approaching Loftus-street the lorry was travelling at about 30 miles an hour. He did not see the car before the collision. The lorry was travelling on the bitumen.

    By Mr Herron: The cabin of the lorry was narrow, but witness thought three persons could sit on it. He had no idea and accident was about to happen. The brakes were applied suddenly about the same time as the impact occurred.

    By Mr Fitzpatrick: The back of Leggett’s car was piled high with vegetables and there were bags of onions on the running boards, while more vegetables were placed in the front of the car and about the hand brake. He heard no horn sounded.

    Roland Wells, of Walker-street, Weest Maitland, said his home was almost opposite Loftus-street. He saw Leggett’s car turning into Loftus-street and proceed along the centre of the roadway about 8 miles an hour. He heard no horn sounded. He first saw the lorry about 30 yards back from the corner then about 4 yards back in Loftus-street. The lorry’s speed was about 30 miles an hour, while the car slowed down to about 5 miles an hour. It was still moving forward at the time of the impact.

    By Mr Herron: Witness would not say that the lorry was travelling too fast.

    Florence Amelia Wells, wife of the previous witness, said she was standing in her back yard when the collision occurred. She heard no horn. She noticed the car was moving slowly, and it was still moving when the lorry came in front of it and the collision occurred.

(Proceeding.)

£400 VERDICT
———◦———
Death of Husband
————
WIDOW’S CLAIM

    The case in which Mary Agnes Stevens, widow of Thomas James Stevens, of Railway-street, Kurri Kurri, proceeded against William Hooper Leggett, of Cumberlain [sic]-street, Cessnock, for £400 damages following the death of her husband as a result of a motor collision at West Maitland on September 20. 1937, was concluded in the Maitland District Court to-day.

    A verdict was returned for the plaintiff for the full amount claimed. An order was made for £200 to go to the widow, and £200 to the 18-year-old daughter, the money to be held in trust by the Register till she reached her majority.

    His Honor said defendant, who was guilty of some negligence, had to shoulder the responsibility, while the driver of the lorry, who probably showed greater negligence, went scot free. He also said that if he had to apportion the blame, he would lay a tenth of it to Leggett and nine-tenths to the lorry driver.

    Plaintiff was represented by Mr Fitzpatrick, instructed by Mr WJ Enright (Enright and Skilton), while Mr Herron, instructed by Mr N Cragg (Messrs Braye, Cragg and Cohen) appeared for Leggett.

CASE FOR DEFENCE

    The first witness for the defence was [William Hooper] Leggett, who said he was a produce merchant. He said he had a fair load of vegetables on his car, which was a tourer, with the hood up. As he approached the corner of Walker-street, intending to turn towards Cessnock, he tooted the horn once. He heard no answering horn, or the noise of an approaching vehicle. The view from Loftus-street into Walker-street was practically nil. When he got to the corner he had a view into Walker-street and saw a lorry coming well on its correct side. It was then between 20 and 30 yards back. He applied his brakes and stopped in about a foot with the front wheels short of the bitumen. It was hard to estimate the sped [sic] of the lorry but he thought it was travelling fats and more than 30 miles an hour. The lorry tore off the front bumper bar of his car. The lorry did not swerve before the impact, not was the pace slackened. Stevens seemed to be catapulted from the lorry when it was about 12 feet past witness’s car. Deceased was caught by a back wheel of the lorry, which was skidding, and was dragged about 15 feet along the roadway.

    By Mr Fitzpatrick: It would take witness a second from the time he saw the lorry to apply his foot and hand brakes.

    He was quite sure he sounded his horn twice, loudly enough to warn other traffic. He was certain that his car was stopped at the time of the accident. He would not admit that the front wheels were right up to the edge of the bitumen.

    George Elliott, of Congewai-st, Aberdare, said he was travelling by car from Cessnock to Morpeth and travelled behind Cameron’s lorry until the time of the accident. The car he was in was travelling about 30 to 35 miles an hour in Walker-st, but the lorry seemed to go further ahead. Leggett’s car came out of Loftus-st, and stopped with the bumper bars about level with the edge of the asphalt. The lorry went about 30 yards past where the car was stopped.

    By Mr Fitzpatrick: The lorry gained about 100 to 175 yards on the car between the turn at Fishery Creek bridge and Loftus-st corner. He would be about 300 yards at the time of the collision.

ASSESSOR’S EVIDENCE

    Thomas Gorton Gray, loss assessor, said he had had experience with regard to claims for motor cars. On the day of the accident he inspected the scene and made certain measurements. The lorry travelled 91 feet in a semi-circle before stopping after the accident. Marks where the car was stopped showed that there had been a sidethrust of about 18 inches in the front wheels. He described the damages to the front mudguards, the headlamps and dumb-irons of the car, and said the steering gear was jammed. He also described damage to the lorry. He had formed an opinion as to whether the car was moving at the time of impact or not.

    Mr Herron: What was your opinion?

    Mr Fitzpatrick objected to the question, saying that it was impossible for anyone who did not see the accident to tell whether the car was moving or stopped.

    His Honor replied that engineers contended they could and allowed the question.

    Gray, answering the question, said it was his opinion that the car was stopped. If it had been moving he would have expected greater damage to the right headlamp and injuries to the radiator.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, Wed 18 May 1938 33

JUDGE CRITICAL
———◦———
NO APPORTIONMENT OF
DAMAGES
————
On Basis of Negligence
————
MAITLAND DISTRICT COURT
————

    In returning a verdict for £400, the full amount claimed, in a case at the Maitland District Court yesterday, Judge Nield was outspoken regarding the “unfortunate condition of things” which did not permit of an apportionment of damages on the basis of negligence. Had this been possible, he said, he would have assessed the negligence of the defendant as one-tenth and that of the other driver as nine-tenths.

    The case was that in which Mary Agnes Stevens, of Railway-street, Kurri Kurri, widow of Thomas James Stevens, claimed £400 from William Hooper Leggett, of Cumberland-street, Cessnock, as a result of the death of her husband through a collision between a motor-lorry on which he was riding and a car driven by Leggett at West Maitland on September 20.

    A verdict was returned for the amount claimed. His Honor directed that £200 should go to the widow and £200 to the 18-year-old daughter, to be invested by the Registrar until she attained the age of 21 years of a further order of the Court.

    Mr J Fitzpatrick, instructed by Mr WJ Enright (Messrs Enright and Skilton), appeared for Mrs Stevens. Mr E Herron, instructed by Mr NT Cragg (Messrs Bray, Cragg and Cohen), appeared for Leggett.

    Benjamin John Cameron, of Catherine-street, Cessnock, said he was driving a motor-lorry along Walker-street from Cessnock, and at the intersection with Loftus-street a collision with a car occurred. Stevens, who was a stranger to him, was picked up when passing through Kurri Kurri. Prior to the collision he saw the car in Loftus-street. He swerved the truck to the right immediately he saw the car, but the car continued on and struck his lorry on the front wheel and mudguard. Stevens was thrown underneath the lorry. He did not hear a horn blown nor did he blow the horn of the lorry.

    By Mr Fitzpatrick: His bumper bar was not damaged.

    Alan Carruthers, of Boomerang-street, Cessnock, said he was on the truck with Cameron. The lorry was travelling at 30 miles an hour just before the collision. He did not see the car. The lorry was travelling on the bitumen.

    Roland Wells, of Walker-street, West Maitland, said he was standing in front of his home and saw Leggett’s car travelling along Loftus-street at a speed of eight miles an hour. When the lorry was 30 yards from the corner the car was four yards from the fence alignment. The car was still moving at about five miles an hour at the time of the collision. He could not say whether the car struck the lorry, or vice versa.

    Mrs Florence Amelia Wells, of Walker-street, West Maitland, said the car was still moving when the lorry went in front of it, and the collision occurred.

    [William Hooper] Leggett, a produce merchant, said he was driving a touring car along Loftus-street. He had a fair load of vegetables. He approached Walker-street at a slow speed and tooted the horn once to give warning. He did not hear or see any vehicle. At the fence alignment he saw a lorry approaching at a fast speed. It was about 30 yards away, and he applied the brakes. His car pulled up within about a foot, his car being then on the gravel portion of the road. The lorry continued on at a fast speed and struck the bumper-bar of the car a glancing blow. The lorry did not swerve, alter its speed, or give any indication of having seen the car. The lorry went into a skid over the road and back. Stevens was thrown under the lorry and dragged beneath the back wheel for about 15 feet.

    George Elliott, of Congewai-street, Aberdare, said that when he was driving towards Morpeth the lorry involved in the accident passed him at Heddon Greta. His car was travelling from 30 to 35 miles an hour. The lorry remained in sight, and at Walker-street appeared to be travelling more than 35 miles an hour. He would say that the motor-car was stopped at the time of the collision. The rear wheels of the lorry went up into the air and it swung to the right and then to the left.

    Thomas Gordon Gray, loss assessor, said that at noon on the day of the accident he measured the tyre tracks of the lorry. They extended for 91 feet in a semi-circle. The car wheels showed where they had been pushed to the left. The right-hand front mudguard was buckled, the dumb iron twisted to the left, and the bumper bar torn off. The left-hand headlight was smashed. His opinion was that the car was stopped at the time of the collision since there was no indication of inward thrust on the mudguard of the lorry. He would also have expected a damaged radiator and right headlight if the car had been moving.

JUDGE’S COMMENT.

    His Honor said the case appeared to be one in which he must find for the plaintiff. The defendant was going on to a highway which carried a great amount of traffic out of a laneway which practically carried no traffic, and which should never carry any traffic at all. It was a sort of laneway which should never have been permitted. It was a roadway, however, and people were entitled to use it, but they had to use it with extreme caution.

    Judge Nield said that he had no doubt that the lorry driver was travelling at a high rate of speed and without keeping any real look-out. Because of an unfortunate condition of things any party guilty of any negligence, no matter how small, was liable for the full amount of the damage claimed. There was no right, where there was negligence on the part of more than one party, to join the other party in the proceedings. He understood that there was some such procedure of third party in England. Furthermore, in the case of road accidents, there was nothing analogous to the law regarding maritime accidents to apply in apportioning the blame and making those parties, which were guilty of a higher degree of negligence, pay more of the damages.

    “It seems to me in this particular case, for example,” said his Honor, “if it were open for me to assess the degree of negligence and apportion the blame as one-tenth to the car driver and nine-tenths to the lorry driver. However, under the procedure we have, it means that the lorry driver goes scot free and the car driver has to shoulder the whole of the responsibility.”

    Judge Nield said that the car driver appeared to have been guilty of negligence to some degree. If he had acted in a reasonably prudent way he would have stopped before the whole of his car had passed the building line, whereas he did not stop until the wheels were almost on the bitumen, and the bumper bar extending over the bitumen for 2ft 3in. He had to agree with the submission that to give way to a vehicle on the right meant to bring a vehicle to a stop in such a position that another vehicle, when it was travelling on its proper and normal course on the road, could maintain that course without coming into collision. He returned a verdict for the plaintiff.

 


1     Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, (NSW), Thu 18 May 1905, p. 6.

2     The Maitland Daily Mercury, (NSW), Thu 5 Jul 1906, p. 4. Emphasis added.

3     The Maitland Daily Mercury, (NSW), Wed 18 Nov 1908, p. 4.

4     Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, (NSW), Thu 19 Nov 1908, p. 6.

5     The Maitland Daily Mercury, (NSW), Mon 15 Mar 1909, p. 3.

6     The Maitland Daily Mercury, (NSW), Thu 20 May 1909, p. 4. Emphasis added.

7     The Maitland Daily Mercury, (NSW), Wed 19 Aug 1914, p. 2. Emphasis added.

8     Northern Times, (Newcastle, NSW), Thu 2 Nov 1916, p. 4.

9     The Maitland Daily Mercury, (NSW), Thu 14 Jun 1917, p. 4.

10   Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, (NSW), Thu 24 Jun 1920, p. 6.

11   Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, (NSW), Thu 10 Mar 1921, p. 6. Emphasis added.

12   Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, (NSW), Thu 28 Aug 1924, p. 6.

13   The Maitland Daily Mercury, (NSW), Thu 23 Aug 1928, p. 2. Emphasis added.

14   The Cessnock Eagle and South Maitland Recorder, (NSW), Tue 16 Sep 1930, p. 5.

15   Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, (NSW), Tue 16 Sep 1930, p. 7.

16   The Cessnock Eagle and South Maitland Recorder, (NSW), Fri 26 Sep 1930, p. 2. Emphasis in original text and added.

17   The Newcastle Sun, (NSW), Mon 1 Dec 1930, p. 6. Emphasis added.

18   The Newcastle Sun, (NSW), Wed 3 Dec 1930, p. 7.

19   Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, (NSW), Thu 4 Dec 1930, p. 2.

20   The Maitland Daily Mercury, (NSW), Fri 5 Dec 1930, p. 5. Emphasis added.

21   Singleton Argus, Fri 5 Dec 1930, p. 6.

22   The Newcastle Sun, (NSW), Fri 5 Dec 1930, p. 7. Emphasis added.

23   Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, (NSW), Sat 6 Dec 1930, p. 14.

24   SRNSW: NRS2328, [14/3084], Maitland gaol photographic description book, No. 2215, p. –. Emphasis added.

25   The Maitland Daily Mercury, (NSW), Mon 20 Sep 1937, p. 5. Emphasis added.

26   The Cessnock Eagle and South Maitland Recorder, (NSW), Tue 21 Sep 1937, p. 3. Emphasis in original text.

27   The Maitland Daily Mercury, (NSW), Wed 22 Sep 1937, p. 6.

28   The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 22 Sep 1937, p. 15.

29   The Maitland Daily Mercury, (NSW), Sat 27 Sep 1937, p. 4. Emphasis added.

30   Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, Mon 27 Sep 1937, p. 9. Emphasis added.

31   Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, Wed 29 Sep 1937, p. 11.

32   The Maitland Daily Mercury, (NSW), Tue 17 May 1938, pp. 2, 7. Emphasis added and in original text.

33   Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, Wed 18 May 1938, p. 4. Emphasis added.