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

R. v. Pashley [1829] NSWSupC 8

stealing, promissory note - promissory note, property in

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Stephen J., 4 September 1829

Source: Australian, 9 September 1829

Before Mr. Justice Stephen, and a Commission of seven military officers, -- Geo. Pashley, jun. was indicted for stealing one promissory note for seventeen pounds fifteen shillings and eightpence, belonging to Aspinall, Brown, and Co. on the 16th June.[1 ]

Francis Davidson, store-keeper to Messrrs. [sic] Aspinall, Brown, and Co. stated the he presented the above note to prisoner on the day mentioned, when prisoner took possession of the note, swearing he would pay Davidson the amount, but subsequently affected to deny that he had ever received the note in question.  The note was drawn by prisoner in favour of Joseph Aarons, but was not endorsed when paid over to Messrs. Aspinall, Brown, and Co., and presented by Davidson to the prisoner.

Mr. Sydney Stephen, Counsel for the prisoner, contended that the bill not having been endorsed over to Messrs. Aspinall, Brown, and Co. it could not be held in law as their property, and as laid in the indictment;[2 ] and secondly, that no force having been employed by prisoner to get possession of the note, as deposed, there was nothing to bear out the charge of larceny.

Mr. Justice Stephen put the case to the Commission, stating the first objection raised by prisoner's Counsel to be fatal.  For the second the learned Judge would have felt it his duty to let it stand or fall upon the evident intention of the prisoner, when he took possession of the note as deposed.  Verdict, not guilty.



[1 ] For his committal to trial, see Sydney Gazette, 18 June 1829; and for another report of the trial, Sydney Gazette, 5 September 1829.  See also In re Pashley, 1829.

[2 ] According to the Sydney Gazette, 5 September 1829, Stephen J. added that "Promissory notes did not pass by delivery like other chattels."  On 8 September 1829, the Sydney Gazette reasserted that the judge directed an acquittal on the point of law.


Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University