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

R. v. Rotton [1822] NSWKR 23; [1822] NSWSupC 23

embezzlement

Court of Criminal Jurisdiction

Wylde J.A., 24 October 1822

Source: Sydney Gazette, 25 October 1822

            On Thursday last Mr Walter Rotton was placed at the bar, and indicted for embezzling the goods of his employer. From the outline of the evidence it was apparent that the prisoner had arrived very lately in this Colony in respectable and flattering circumstances, and that he became introduced to the responsible situation of confidential clerk in the employ of Vicars Jacobs, Esquire a Merchant recently from India. Of a particularly valuable property this young man, the prisoner, had the most absolute control, with the exception of duly accounting to his master in the ordinary course of business. Losing sight of the high confidence reposed, the prisoner had unfortunately suffered himself to become entrapped in the horrible vortex of crime; he had embezzled the property entrusted to him, and sold the same on his own account; and also received sundry sums of money, in the name of Mr Jacobs, which had never been accounted for. There could not be a case develope itself more unhappily for the prisoner than this. He was in the receipt of a salary of £100 per annum; and within three months his kind master had obliged him with the emergent loan of £30, and also allowed him to take £50 worth of goods to venture in speculation; and yet, lamentable to say, the prisoner, a young man respected by all that were acquainted with him, and possessing so many enviable advantages, inconsiderably plunged into the commission of that worst species of offence - a breach of trust. Upon the clearest testimony the prisoner was unhappily too satisfactorily proved, and adjudged to be Guilty, and was, in consequence of that verdict, consigned to 7 years transportation.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University