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

R. v. Redman and Lever [1823] NSWKR 3; [1823] NSWSupC 3

murder - women defendants in crime

Court of Criminal Jurisdiction

Wylde J.A., 5 May 1823

Source: Sydney Gazette, 8 May 1823 [1]

            Mary Redman and Bridget Lever were next indicted for wilful murder of Happy Filler, on the 27th of December last; and Thomas Francis and William Fenning were indicted as accessories in the said crime.  About 20 witnesses were called on this trial, but none of the testimony could bring home the offence to any of the prisoners.  From the evidence of Dr Moran, Assistant Surgeon on the Colonial Establishment, no doubt could be entertained as to the deceased woman having met with a premature end, in consequence of a violent blow in the lower part of the skull, inclining to the right year; but whether this was produced by a blow from a rounded weapon, or occasioned by a fall downstairs in a fit, this Gentleman could not positively say, though he much doubted the latter.  It appeared that the prisoners, as well as the hapless deceased, had all being in a state of drunkenness on the night of the supposed murder, and that more infamous and abandoned characters never before polluted a Court of Justice.  However, as nought but a perplexity and infliction of circumstances came out on the trial, which only tended to thicken the mystery in which the transaction seemed to be shrouded, a verdict of Not Guilty was returned.


[1] See also Court of Criminal Jurisdiction, Informations, Depositions and Related Papers, 1816-1824, State Records N.S.W., SZ801, p. 1 (no. 1).

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University