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

R. v. Leighton [1829] NSWSupC 50

assault - damages, personal injury - domestic violence


Supreme Court of New South Wales

Dowling J., 7 July 1829

Source: Australian, 10 July 1829

Mr. Justice Dowling having taken his seat, 

David Leighton was put to the bar, indicted for an assault on the person of Margaret Thurgate, on the 6th May, at Sydney.

It appeared from the evidence of the prosecutor, that she and her husband were living in the house of old Mrs. Leighton, in Cumberland-street, as servants.  On the day mentioned in the indictment, the prosecutrix went out for a goose, and remained rather long.  When she came in, the prisoner wished her to leave the house altogether, which she declined, when he assaulted her violently, tore her clothes, knocked her down; and struck her several blows before he forced her out of doors.  It had been the wish of Mrs. Leighton, and her daughters, that prosecutrix should remain in the house.  This evidence was corroborated by another witness.

In defence, two constables proved, that the prisoner came to them, requesting their assistance, as Mrs. Thurgate would not allow him to see his mother, on which they went up, and saw Mrs. Thurgate.  She appeared as if she had been drinking.  The Jury brought in a verdict of -- Guilty.  Sentence, fine £20, with liberty to speak to the prosecutrix, and to find bail to keep the peace for twelve months, himself in £40, and two sureties in £20 each.

The money was immediately paid, and bail entered into.  The Judge afterwards directed, that £10 should be returned to the defendant, and the remaining £10 should be given to the prosecutrix to compensate her for the injury she had received.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University