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

R v Ritchards [1826] NSWSupC 67

burglary, dwelling house

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Trial, 13 November 1826

Source: Australian, 15 November 1826


Wm. Richards was capitally indicted for a burglary and robbery.

Alex. John McGuigan, wheelwright in George-street, Sydney, deposed that on the 7th day of last October a workshop adjoining to the dwelling-house was broken open and entered during his absence; a quantity of iron work, amongst which was an axletree, were stolen.  The robbery was perpetrated by means of a large aperture made in the wall of the shop.  The prisoner had been at his house on the same day, to receive some money which was due to him for work done.

Cross-examined - Did not discover the place had been robbed until next morning.  The robbery might have been effected in the day time.  No person slept in the workshops.

By the Court - The workshops are not protected by any building or wall round them.

John Norman remembers his master's premises being robbed about five weeks since.  Observed the workshops were closed up; but does not know whether they were fastened by any lock at the time.   Early next morning saw there had been a large hole made in the wall.

Cross-examined - The aperture might have been made before dusk on the previous evening.

Thomas Bowers, a Sydney constable, stated that on the evening of Saturday the 7th of October last he was standing on the Brickfield-hill, when the prisoner came by carrying an axle-tree on his left shoulder.  He was coming in a direction from the prosecutor's house and walking towards his own house on the Brickfields.  The prisoner's place was subsequently searched, but the axletree could not be found.

Cross-examined - It was twilight when witness saw the prisoner on the evening alluded to.

Nichols, another constable, deposed nearly to the same effect.

The learned Judge charged the Jury that that part of the indictment which charged the prisoner with a burglary, must be abandoned - with respect to the fact of stealing, it would be for them to consider whether it was possible the constables had been mistaken in the identity of the prisoner.

Verdict - Not Guilty.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University