Skip to Content

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

R. v. Regan [1823] NSWKR 11; [1823] NSWSupC 11

stealing, cattle - receiving stolen goods

Court of Criminal Jurisdiction

Wylde J.A., 26 April 1823

Source: Sydney Gazette, 1 May 1823

            Cornelius Regan was next indicted for having in his possession a certain steer, the property of Mr James Badgery, knowing the same to have been stolen. This seemed to be rather a novel case: Mr Badgery has stock in Argyleshire; he was inspecting his cattle on or about the 20th of March last in that part of the country, and to his surprise discovered a beast with a strange brand, but still was enabled to recognise the animal to be one of many that had been stolen from his stock. Upon closer examination, the beast proved to be branded with Mr Badgery's own brand, which happens to be placed on a spot that requires more than ordinary scrutiny to discover. Upon enquiry he was informed that the prisoner Regan, who was or had been in the employ of D. Wentworth, Esquire had sent the animal to be herded with Mr B.'s stock, for the purpose of security, as well as of obtaining good pasturage. Regan lived within about 3 miles of Mr Badgery, who saw the prisoner forthwith. Regan told Mr Badgery in 24 hours he would satisfy him as to the way he became possessed of the beast, having acknowledged the animal to be his property. Mr B. would not consent to this evasion, and the matter was brought under the cognizance of the Magistracy; the consequence was, the committal of the prisoner. The beast was sworn to by another witness to be the property of Mr Badgery; which, however, was not attempted to be controverted by the prisoner. His Honor the Judge Advocate, in this stage of the proceedings, informed Mr Solicitor Garling, on behalf of the prisoner, that no further evidence would be called in support of the prosecution; the beast having been found and acknowledged [rest of line illegible] it became his duty to account for obtainment. Mr Garling then suggested to the Court, that the prisoner, in that case, was entitled to an acquittal, inasmuch, that he was charged with having in his possession certain property knowing the same to have been stolen, whereas it had not yet been proved that the animal was actually stolen; and it was remarkable also, that the beast, said to be stolen, was found in Mr Badgery's own stock. His Honor then reminded Mr Garling of the rather awkward circumstance of the animal being branded with the prisoner's initial, R; at the same time His Honor was pleased to remark to the Court, that the observations of the Solicitor for the prisoner were entitled, from their importance, to proper consideration, for which purpose the Members retired for several minutes. Upon their return, His Honor said, that the Members thought it necessary that the prisoner should go into his defence. The defence was entered into accordingly; and notwithstanding the laborious ingenuity of the worthy Solicitor, the prisoner was adjudged Guilty - 3 years transportation.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University