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

R v Boyd and Drummond [1826] NSWSupC 35

stealing, sheep - Moreton Bay

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Forbes C.J.,[1 ] 10 June 1826

Source: Sydney Gazette, 14 June 1826


John Boyd and Henry Drummond were indicted for stealing seventeen sheep, the property of the Crown, at Moreton Bay, on the 26th of January last.

The prisoners were stockmen, at Moreton Bay, and absconded from that settlement, taking them a number of sheep.  On the circumstance being made known to the Commandant (Captain Bishop), a constable and some soldiers were sent in pursuit, who tracked the prisoners for some distance through the bush.  They, however, afterwards lost all traces of them, and returned to the settlement, and for a considerable time after no tidings were had of the prisoners; when one night an alarm was given that robbers were attempting to rush some sheep from the folds; constables and soldiers immediately hastened to the spot, and apprehended the two prisoners, who, it appeared, had returned to the settlement in the hope of procuring a fresh supply.  On being brought before the Commandant, they confessed having made away with the former sheep, and also that their object in returning was to obtain more.  On the trial, however, they pleaded not guilty, and stated, that their former confession was made with the view of escaping corporal punishment at the settlement, and of being forwarded to Sydney, where they could have a fair trial.  Guilty. - Remanded.[2 ]



[1 ]Stephen J. resigned as temporary Justice of the Supreme Court on 27 May 1826, and was not sworn in as puisne Justice until early November 1826.  See C.H. Currey, Sir Francis Forbes: the First Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1968, pp 97-98; Australian, 3 June 1826.  In the meantime, Forbes C.J. sat alone.

[2 ] On 19 June 1826, both defendants were sentenced to death: Australian, 21 June 1826.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University