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

R. v. Lawrence and Lindsay [1818] NSWKR 11; [1818] NSWSupC 11

stealing - possession of stolen property

Court of Criminal Jurisdiction
Wylde J.A., 17 June 1818
Source: Sydney Gazette, 20 June 1818

           John Lawrence and William Lindsay were indicted for stealing in the dwelling house of William Wells, in Pitt street, on the 10th of May last, sundry articles of property, among which was a quantity of jewellery; and charged on a second count, with having the said property in their possession, knowing it to be stolen.

           The first witness called was James Frazer, a baker in York street, who deposed that he rented a part of the premises in which the prisoner Lindsay lived; and that on the evening of the 11th of May, the prisoner Lawrence went to the prisoner Lindsay with a bag, containing wearing apparel, crockery ware, and a small box of jewellery; that the prisoner Lawrence, declaring the property was his own, offered it to Lindsay for sale, in the presence of witness, who accepted the offer, and paid him at that time the sum of £1; a second time £1 5s.; and a third time, 2s. 9d. which latter sum Lindsay gave reluctantly; and which, in the whole, made the sum of £2 7s. 9.

           William Spears, a Constable, deposed, that he went in company with the prosecutor, accompanied by another peace officer, to the house of the prisoner Lindsay, taking him with them; and upon searching his apartments, found concealed in various parts, a quantity of property, together with the small box of jewellery, which latter article was taken out of the prisoner's box; the whole of which the prosecutor swore to be his property.

           William Wells, a jeweller, deposed, that being absent from his house in the beginning of May last, he received information that his dwelling had been robbed; that on examination, he discovered the house had been stripped of every article of value, and that an entrance had been effected through a window, which he had left secured, as well as every other part of the house; and the property found in the prisoner Lindsay's house, and which was now before the Court, he swore positively to be his. The prosecutor further declared, that several overtures had been made to him by the prisoner Lindsay, whom, after many solicitations, he visited in his confinement, and he then intimated a hope to the witness that he would not injure him; and that there being several articles of his property deficient, he would make ample restitution; and this witness further deposed, that he had since received, from the hands of Lindsay, by a messenger, various articles of jewellery, together with a gold mounted snuff box, his property, and which were produced in Court.

           Other witnesses were examined, whose evidence went to corroborate the foregoing testimony. The prisoners were placed on their defence; when Lindsay stated, in a paper delivered to the Court, that he bought the articles in question of the prisoner Lawrence, and had, as he conceived, given a fair price for them. The prisoner Lawrence rested his case solely upon a total denial of the charges alleged to him, whereupon the Court cleared, and shortly after reopened, and returned a verdict of Guilty against William Lindsay. Seven years to Newcastle; and acquitted John Lawrence.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University