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

R. v. Hovell [1824] NSWSupC 4

Accessory to offence

Supreme Court of New South Wales
Forbes C.J., 16 June 1824
Source: Sydney Gazette, 24 June 1824


Sydney, Wednesday, June 16, 1824. ... Mr. Wm Holten Hovell was next placed at the bar, on a charge of having been accessary before the fact to the last-mentioned felony. [1] His Honor the Chief Justice was pleased to remark, that he thought it would be most proper to impannel a new Jury to try the case, as the circumstances that were to come under investigation, originated in the preceding trial. Thursday next (this day) was therefore appointed for the trial of Mr. Hovell.


Forbes C.J., 24 June 1824
Source: Sydney Gazette, 1 July 1824

Thursday ... The Court was occupied the greater part of this day in the investigation of a charge preferred against Mr. W.H. Hovell (and alluded to in our last Number), as accessary to an offence, of which two men had been convicted on the preceding Monday, on an indictment for carrying away some stones, the private property of William Howe, Esq. of Glenlee; and after examining all the witnesses brought forward in support of the charge, and other evidences of the highest respectability in the Colony (four or five of them Magistrates), who voluntarily testified as to the general conduct and character of Mr. Hovell, as unsullied, and uniformly just and honorable in his dealings, His Honor the Chief Justice summed up the whole of the evidence with much ability and perspicuity, when the Jury, without a moment's hesitation, declared Mr. Hovell Not Guilty of the imputation; and he was immediately discharged, to the general satisfaction of a very crowded Court.


[1] The full report of the previous case, R. v. Bull and Bushel (16 June 1824) is: "Jacob Bull and William Bushel were indicted for stealing from the quarry of Wm. Howe, Esq. at Minto, certain stones, chisselled and prepared for building purposes. The prisoners were found Guilty, and remanded." (Source: Sydney Gazette, 24 June 1824.)

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University