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Colonial Cases

R. v. Armstrong and others [1849]

stealing in dwelling house - burglary - assault

General Court, Bahamas

Sandilands J., 17 July 1849

Source: Nassau Guardian, 25 July 1849 (and see 18 July 1849, p. 3):

[2] GENERAL COURT - TRINITY TERM, July 17th.

Before the Hon. Mr. Justice Sandilands.

Regina vs. George Armstrong - Burglary and Larceny.

Trafalgar Bain. - Witness resides in grant's Town, has a dwelling-house there; remembers quitting his house, in the month of June last, about sunset; Witness fastened the house - returned between the hours of 8 and 9, after gun-fire; on reaching the outer gate witness heard a noise within the house, and, while undoing the chain of the gate, heard a man jump out of the house, and saw a person from the house. Witness immediately called out "stop thief;"the person jumped over the wall surrounding the dwelling-house; and witness saw him escaping through the bush. Scipio Brown and George Grace came out on witness calling, and pursued the person. Brown and Grace returned, bringing back the prisoner. Witness did not see them seize him. Witness found the back door of the house open, and the staple of the door wrenched off; one of the windows was open, also a clothes chest. Witness found the same night, lying scattered in the yard, the articles produced in Court, which he had left in the chest, and identified as his property; and the following morning found the other articles now also identified, lying in the bush, in the path by which prisoner had attempted to escape.

Scipio Brown. - Witness lives in Grant's Town, next to Trafalgar Bain; remembers hearing Bain call out one evening "stop thief!" it was near 8 o'clock; witness was sitting in his house. On going out witness saw a person jump a wall surrounding Bain's dwelling-house, and run through the bush. Witness immediately followed him, keeping him in sight the [3] whole time until he caught him. Witness is quite sure that the prisoner is the same person that he saw jumping the wall; took him back to Bain's house. Witness saw the articles in Bain's yard, now produced in Court.

George Grace. - Witness was staying at Grant's Town with the last witness, Brown. On the evening in question, after 8 o'clock, witness heard Bain call out "stop thief!" went out and saw a man jump the wall; pursued him along with Scipio Brown, who caught him. The prisoner was the person they caught.

William Ross. - Witness lives at Grant's Town, near Trafalgar Bain's; heard the cry of "stop thief!". Witness was then in bed; it was between 8 and 9; went out and saw three men running through the bush - one of them in advance, and two behind; was present when the last two witnesses returned with the prisoner.

William Wallace lives at Grant's Town, and gave evidence in confirmation.

Verdict - Guilty.

Regina vs. David Dames - aggravated assault.

In this case evidence was given by Catherine Dames and Matilda Burrows of a clear and distinct character.

Verdict - Guilty.

The Attorney-General conducted the foregoing cases. The prisoners were undefended.

Regina vs. Mary Ann Edwards - Assault, with intent to do some grievous bodily harm.

The Attorney-General conducted the prosecution. E.B.A. Taylor, Esq., was Counsel for the Prisoner.

William Wilkinson, George Henry, and Doctor Kirkwood, were examined in this case, but the evidence being of a very insufficient character, the Jury returned a verdict, under the new Jury Act, of Not Proven.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School