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Decisions of the Superior Courts of New South Wales, 1788-1899

R. v. William Bennett [1809] NSWKR 8; [1809] NSWSupC 8

criminal libel - seditious libel

Bench of Magistrates

14 October 1809

Source: Sydney Gazette, 15 October 1809, 1.

Yesterday William Bennett (who had formerly been a prisoner under sentence of transportation) was again brought before a Bench of Magistrates charged with having written a paper of a libellous and scurrilous [?] tendency; when it having been clearly proved to the satisfaction of the Bench by the evidence exhibited on Saturday the 7th instant , that he was guilty of having written scurrilous and libellous papers, tending to injure and defame the characters of respectable individuals, and also tending to bring the Government of the Colony into disrepute, and to lessen the respect that is due to the Executive Authority, the Bench thought proper to recommend to His Honor the LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR that the said William Bennett should be sent out of the Colony by the first opportunity that may offer; and that in the interim he may be worked in the gaol gang and not permitted to sleep out of the county   gaol . The Bench were at the same time decided of opinion, that the prisoner had in concert with other suspected persons, been heretofore employed in writing papers of a like and improper kind.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University