Chairman.—You will have an opportunity of bringing that forward In the proper cource, when you are called upon for your defence.
John Cleland sworn, Mrs. Dent stated to me last night that she did not know what step to take, whether to incur the displeasure of her husband, or forfeit the £10, as she had promised not to appear. I live next door and have had frequent opportunities of witnessing the assaults, it was every day, a regular succession of assaults. Never saw any provocation on the part of Mrs. Dent, she never raised her hand, she was obliged on two occasions to my knowledge to take refuge with a neighbour. I saw the prisoner on one occasion strike her violently, and knock her down on a chest, he hit her principally on the breast, she ran out of the house, her screams brought a neighbour who took the infant child away.
By a Juror—She exhibited marks of violence on her throat.
Chairman,—Have you any thing to say prisoner in your defence.
Prisoner—I am not a very good speaker
Chairman,—The Jury will make every allowance.
Prisoner,—I will acknowledge gentlemen we have not lived a happy life together. My wife, has been in the habit of practising many petty vexations. (As an instance of this a letter was here handed to the bench. The prisoner complained that it commenced and ended without any of those endearing epithets, which might be expected, from an affectionate wife, addressing a beloved husband The circumstance of the letter being written to him during his confinement in the prison, in consequence of the repeated attacks made upon her, seemed to explain this apparent want of courtesey) The prisoner continued, I object to the evidence of Cleland, he had a spite against me, because he imagined that I destroyed a valuable Astronomical work belonging to him My wife has never exhibited any marks of violence.
Chairman,—warmly—We saw the marks on her throat, and delicacy no doubt prevented her from exposing others.
Prisoner—I have been subjected to a lengthened series of vexations, but I now solemnly swear I will never molest her again.
Chairman.—The conduct of Mrs. Dent under all her sufferings, has been truly exemplary, and calculated to excite the deepest sympathy. Gentlemen, the facts are so simple that it may be needless to recapitulate the evidence, however if you are of opinion that it is necessary, I wiil now read to you the deposition.
The Jury not requiring it, retired for a few minutes and returned a VERDICT GUlLTY.
John Velvick,—charged with assaulting a black man named Samud Alii.
Sumud Alii Sworn on the Koran.—On the evening of Christmas day I saw the prisoner in front of the Perth Hotel, Jackson, Aassi, and I were going along the street to Mr Leakes Store. Met prisoner and another man: he caught hold of me and said "you black man, give me glass of grog," I said "got no money," he said "you black b—! give you glass" I said "I no drink," he then struck me two or three times I tried to make him quiet (The witness here repeated words uttered by the prisoner, which are too beastly and disgusting for publication.) prisoner held me, while another white man beat me with a stick, when more black men came up he said "all right, very good man and shook hands. Black men all went to their own fire place, white men to Mayo's public house. I saw twenty white men come with sticks, prisoner in front : he asked me to fight, I say "I no fight" be said you bloody b— you must fight, prisoner called all the white men, who caught hold of the black, about eight in number, and some held them fast whilst others beat them with sticks.
John Wittenoom, sworn.— Recollect being opposite Mayo's between 6 and 7 on the evening of Christmas day, saw several black and white men pushing each other down, seemingly in play, saw previous witness and another standing looking on, prisoner pushed a man against Samud Alli purposely. The black men after being teased for some time broke some sticks and acted on the defensive The white men were the more numerous. Saw the black men shortly afterwards sitting quietly round their fire Saw a body of white men about twenty, with boys, coming down from Mayo's with sticks, saw the prisoner there with a stick, the black men were most cruelly used prisoner appeared to head them, he was first, The black men were covered with blood, some of the weapons were very thick The white men were drunk, but the blacks sober
J Purkis, sworn—Remembered hearing a nosie opposite my house, thought it a Christmas gambol, but when I went out I saw a party of black and white men fighting. The prisoner was active in exciting a tumult, it lasted for half an hour, there was then a parley, and both sides shook hands J Wittenoom came down and said he thought there would be a fight I hurried to the black mens huts, about 20 white men came down and challenged the blacks to fight, the prisoner in particular The black men declined fighting. I saw 2 or 3 struck whilst sitting round the fire, there were about 8 black men The attack was made whilst they were sitting on the ground, not one left without serious wounds. One man whilst a white man was shaking hands with him, was struck in a most brutal and cowardly manner with a pole about 7 feet long The person who did it left, exulting that the blood of a black, was on his body From the general conduct of the black men I do not think them likely to bring any thing of the kind upon them, don't think them likely to provoke a quarrel They are not powerful men, should not think it necessary to take a stick to them
J Wittenoom recalled,—The acts of the black men were not a sufficient provocation to use sticks
D Patterson sworn,—Remember a row on Christmas day, heard that some white men were going to pull the black mens huts down, (confirmed statements of the other witnesses) I live on the same allotment, never saw any impropriety in the black mens conduct
Prisoner in his defence stated.—That they were only playing, when a black man struck him with a stick and knocked him down two or three times. They parted friendly and he did not take a stick up to the hut with him
(Several of the Jurymen here repeated what They knew of the transaction This is highly improper, and most probably did not reach the ear of the Bench, or it would have met with a reproof. The Jury are bound to consider the evidence dispassionately, such gratiutous Communications are therefore not only improper, but leave an inference that circumstances within their personal knowledge and probably not produced in evidence, have some weight in their decisions, we will allow it is extremely difficult in so small a Community as our own to select a Jury unacquainted with the circumstances of a Case, previously to their entering the Box, or to divest themselves of the impression this knowledge has left upon their minds, but there cannot be much difficulty in refraining from a public declaration of it.)
The Chairman summed up. The Jury after retiring for a short time, returned a Verdict—Guilty.
I Boltbee,— charged with Stealing Potatoes from Thomas Peel Esq's Garden on Garden Island.
Thomas Peel Esq stated that early in October last he found Prisoner in his Garden diggins up Potatoes. On my asking him what business he had there, he replied he had orders, I said you are my Prisoner and must come before Cap Byrne who subsequently took bail for his appearance to take his trial The Potatoes were planted by the Officers of the Sulphur previously to my becoming the Proprietor of Garden Island On the departure of the Sulphur I purchased the Crop I heard afterwards that the Crop was given away to other persons. Mr. Periam gave me formal possession of the Garden There was no attempt at Concealment on the part of the prisoner: he was open and manly about it, and shewed me what he had taken. I am not certain whether the Prisoner told me by whose authority he acted.
Hy Mr Morgan,—I would ask you Mr Peel whether his Boltbee's general Conduct, as you had opportunities of judging, would lead you to consider that he was a likely man to be guilty of stealing potatoes.
Mr Peel,—decidedly not
Rd. Dawson Esq.,—Had some conversation with the Prisoner about Potatoes at Garden Island on the day the Sulphur sailed. I received permission from the Officers to dig up the potatoes, for the Mess to which I belong at Perth. I gave Cap. Alley of the Mac Naghten, authority to dig on condition that I should have half He employed a man to dig with my sanction. I did not know that a definitive arrangment had been made for the Transfer of the Island to Mr. Peel.
The Chairman here stopped the Case as it was clear that Boltbee was acting without any felonious intent. The Jury unanimously concurring in this opinion.
The Chairman, —Boltbee you are discharged, and leave the Bar without even the slightest imputation upon your Character. No person was never more clearly acquitted
Warrell was charged with receiving sundry articles knowing them to be Stolen.
In consequence of Warrell's spliting against a man of the name of Booker who was tried and convicted, at the last Quarter Session; further disclosures have been made which have implicated the Prisoner
James Day sworn.—I am a Servant to Mr Spiers on the Canning. Remember Warrell and Booker coming to our house, they stopped two nights and one day. Warrell had a pair of corderoy trowsers on, and so had Booker. Warrell offered his for sale for £1. I said it was too much. He left them on a Box, and I afterwards sold them for him for 12s, and gave him the Money.
Elizabeth Spencer, was in the habit of washing at Fremantle, washed Trowsers for the Prisoner. I washed several things for him ; he called and asked me whether I could finish the things by the morning, they were wet and sandy. I told him I hoped he was not going to get me into trouble. I washed brown corderoy Trowsers, And the Blue came out of the striped Shirts, never washed striped shirts before I thought it strange he should have these things. The Prisoner and Booker each put on a pair of the Trowsers. and said they were going up the Canning A night or two afterwards they came down to Fremantle The Prisoner came to me and asked if I had a little Box I could give him, I said I would lend him one, the Box produced is the one. A day or two afterwards he came past with something under his smock frock He said Booker had done the robbery, and he had the Thimbles. I thought they were really thimbles and wanted to look at them. He told me some time afterward that which he had under his Arm, and called Thimbles was watches. He theatened to to take my life if I said any thing.
Henry Vincent, Jailor,-Have seen the Box (here the Box sworn to as belonging to Mrs. Spencer was produced) before. Found it under a tree near the Cantonment, in consequence of Information from Warrell. He did not represent himself as an accomplice. The Box contained a quantity of Watches which were identified by Mr. Habgood, as part of the property stolen from his house. Warrell took me to the Spot and Pointed out a tree under which the Box was found.
The Prisoner in his defence denied ever having seen the Box. It was a conspiracy to get possession of his property, he had never been down to Fremantle only when he came down to give information to Mr. Leake, against Booker.
The Jury returned a Verdict of Guilty.
On Wednesday morning the following sentences were past.
J. Velvick 3 months imprisonment and hard labour. Thomas Dent 3 months imprisonment. and at the expiration of that period to find security for his good behavour. Warrell 7 years transportation. A. Robinson 6 months imprisonment and hard labour.
Acts and Ordinances of the Governor and Council of Western Australia, passed during the Administration of His Excellency Captain James Stirling, 1833.
Edited, Printed, and Published by CHARLES MACFAULL, at the Gazette Office, Perth
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