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

R. v. Welsh and Sullivan [1823] NSWKR 12; [1823] NSWSupC 12


Court of Criminal Jurisdiction

Wylde J.A., 26 April 1823

Source: Sydney Gazette, 1 May 1823

            William Welsh and John Sullivan were indicted for stealing in the dwelling-house, from the person of Michael Geary (a veteran), a quantity of money and other articles, on the 13th of March last. Geary, it appeared, was at a public-house in George-street, shamefully inebriated, and had been brutally treating his poor wife. The prisoners were close at hand, and in order, as they said, to prevent Geary's brutality from being followed by too serious consequences, they interfered; but, in the very act of thus lending their humane aid to the distressed woman, before a host of witnesses, the prisoner Welsh contrived to plunder Geary of all his money, with his watch-chain and seal; and threw the spoil to his associate Sullivan, who was quickly off, but providentially presently stopped with the booty on his person. The act being observed by several credible witnesses, the prisoners were taken before the Police Authority, by whom they were sent to the present tribunal, as Welsh was a free man. Being called on for their defence, Sullivan said that he was guilty of having the money in his possession, but that he had picked it up without the least felonious intention. Welsh denied the crime, stating how improbable it was that he should have perpetrated such an offence, at a crisis when interposing his friendly offices. The prisoners were found Guilty. Remanded.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University