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

R. v. Fairs [1829] NSWSupC 72

stealing, in dwelling house - Cowpastures - Vaucluse

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Forbes C.J., 25 November 1829

Source: Australian, 27 November 1829


Samuel Fairs was indicted for stealing in the dwelling house of William Wentworth, Esq. 200 pounds of salt pork, one cask, and 56 pounds of nails, on the 10th of October at the Cowpastures.[1 ]

Mr. Attorney General Baxter, and Mr. Wentworth conducted the prosecution, and Dr. Wardell, Mr. Francis Stephen, and Mr. Rowe, the defence.

It appeared in evidence, that the prisoner having been an overseer at a farm on the Cowpastures, rented by Mr. Wentworth, on which were several fat pigs, Mr. W. ordered the prisoner to have the pigs killed, and salted, and when done, to send the meat to Vaucluse, his residence, near Sydney; the pigs were killed, and salted according to order, and the casks were lodged in the an [?] at store on the farm; shortly after, word came that Mr. Wentworth had let the farm, and in consequence, that the establishment would have to be broken up; the prisoner, it was deposed, after this rolled out a cask of pork from the meat store, which when he left the farm, was with other things put on his dray, marked, with the word ``bottles" in chalk; some portion of the salted pork was sent to Vaucluse, but there was a deficiency of five or six hundred weight.  Some time after Mr. W. met the prisoner, who on being questioned about the pork, behaved in an insolent manner, and asked Mr. W. to search his house, Mr. W. however, allowed the affair to stand over for six weeks without proceeding further, when obtaining a search warrant, a search was made of the prisoner's premises, where were found eight pieces of pork, which the man who killed the pigs swore were his cutting, and belonged to prosecutor.  On the prisoner hearing this, prisoner said he had taken the meat in lieu of some rations, which he had to find for himself two years ago, when he was at Vaucluse.

In defence it was attempted to be proved, that the cask of pork, which was put on his dray at the farm, contained only ``bottles," but this failing, the Learned Judge summed up concisely, leaving it for the Commission to say, whether they considered the robbery had been committed in a dwelling house or not.  The Commission, after about three minutes' absence, on their return into Court, found the prisoner -- Guilty of Larceny.  He was remanded.[2 ]  The Court then adjourned.



[1 ] See also a brief note of this case, Sydney Gazette, 26 November 1829.

[2 ] He was sentenced to transportation for seven years: Sydney Gazette, 1 December 1829.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University