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

R. v. Kelly [1820] NSWKR 2; [1820] NSWSupC 2

receiving stolen goods - sentencing discretion

Court of Criminal Jurisdiction
Wylde J.A., 31 July 1820
Source: Sydney Gazette, 5 August 1820 [1]

John Kelly was ... arraigned for having in his possession property, rather to a considerable amount, well knowing the same to have been stolen. The articles produced in Court, and which were identified by several as having been stolen from them at various times, consisted principally of watches, seals, and jewellery. The property being found in his possession, and sworn to as having been stolen, the prisoner said in his defence he had purchased it, but not bringing the parties forward from whom he had bought it, or attempting to prove he came by the articles in an honest way, he was pronounced guilty. The prisoner seemed to be upwards of sixty years old, very decrepid, and extremely miserable and wretched in his appearance, so much so, that His Honor the Judge Advocate informed the Members of the Court he had been deemed an object of commiseration, and as such the blessedness of that charitable Institution, the Benevolent Society, had been extended to him; but the prisoner, under the garb of poverty and wretchedness, had practised a most gross imposition upon that Institution, and so far from being any longer entitled to the least spark of compassion, had drawn upon himself from the aggravated nature of the offence of which he had been clearly found guilty, the severest judgement the law affords in such cases of extreme depravity, and a sentence of the Court was, that he be transported to the settlement of Newcastle for seven years.


[1] See also Court of Criminal Jurisdiction, Informations, Depositions and Related Papers, 1816-1824, State Records N.S.W., SZ791, p. 747 (no. 53).

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University