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

R v Crawford [1832] NSWSupC 85

highway robbery - Parramatta

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Stephen J., 5 November 1832

Source: Sydney Herald, 8 November 1832[1 ]


Russel Crawford was indicted for a highway robbery, assaulting, putting in bodily fear, and stealing from the person of Mr. George Banks Suttor, one hat, a gold chain, two seals, and one key, at Parramatta, on the 3rd of September.

On the day laid in the information, as Mr. Suttor was proceeding along the Windsor Road in a chaise with his mother, he was stopped by three men and knocked out of the vehicle by a violent blow received on the back of the head from behind the chaise which laid him senseless; while in that state one of the marauders pulled at his gold chain, which parted from his watch, they also took his hat and his mother's reticule.  The following evening Sergeant Pawley of the Mounted Police, stationed at Parramatta, together with two of his men went out in a cart disguised on the road; when about three miles from Parramatta, he observed three men in front of the cart who took to the bush, shortly after two men came up one on each side of the cart, the prisoner was one and they were in the act of striking with bludgeons, when he called upon them to stand, two of the men took to the scrub, and prisoner took the other side over the cleared ground, one of the Policeman followed, but not being able to overtake him fired his pistol, and prisoner was wounded in the arm and captured.  Prisoner had on his head a hat which he took off, and asked the Sergeant if he had heard of the robbery the night before, the Sergeant replied yes, Mr. Suttor; prisoner said if he would look into the hat he would find Mr. Suttor's name erased from the casing, he also said there was taken at the same robbery four white loaves, five shillings, and a gold chain and seals, and that the other men had the gold chain and seals secreted in the waistband of their trowsers.  At the time he was taken he had on a green jacket, with white metal buttons, which he said was the upper part of a coat stolen from a gentleman on the Parramatta Road.  The hat was sworn to by Mr. Suttor.  The jury without hesitation found the prisoner guilty.  The prisoner was then called up for judgment, and in passing the sentence of the law upon him, the learned Judge observed that the case had been brought home to him on the clearest evidence that possibly could be adduced.  It did not require any Act of Parliament to explain to any person the nature of the offence of which he had been convicted.  He could hold out to him no hope or mitigation of punishment for an offence committed under circumstances of such great atrocity; when Mr. Suttor was travelling with his aged mother, he had committed the offence in company with other men, who, there was no doubt, had for a long time been engaged in plundering their fellow creatures.  The awful sentence of death was then passed upon him.



[1 ] See also Sydney Gazette, 8 November 1832; Australian, 23 November 1832.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University