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

R v Hipple, Darbyshire and Hyam [1832] NSWSupC 57

highway robbery - women defendants in crime - highway robbery, female defendant - capital punishment, woman

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Stephen J., 20 August 1832

Source: Sydney Herald, 23 August 1832[1 ]


Monday. - Before Judge Stephen, and the usual Commission.

Thomas Hipple and James Darbyshire were jointly indicted for a highway robbery, in assaulting and putting in bodily fear John Tilly, and stealing from his person fourteen half crowns; and Catherine Hyam, for being present, aiding, abetting, and assisting in the said felony, at Sydney, on the 9th July.  It appeared in evidence, that on the night of the day laid in the information, Tilly, while walking down the Brickfield Hill, met, as he supposed, two women and a man; one of the would-be women, who afterwards turned out to be Darbyshire, asked him to treat them to a glass of rum; he replied that he would, for he never refused a woman a glass; they accordingly adjourned to a public house, and had half a pint of rum; they did not remain in the house more than two minutes; they went away, and proceeded to a house in Castlereagh-street, which prisoners said belonged to them; they had another half pint of rum, and on Tilly going out of the house, Darbyshire, who was dressed as a woman, followed and knocked him down; Tilly, up to this time, thought Darbyshire was a woman; Nipple [sic] then came up, and tore off his waistcoat, while Darbyshire knelt upon him, and rifled his trowsers pockets of fourteen half crowns; the female prisoner stood at a short distance, looking on; Tilly, after this treatment, went for a constable, and on getting into the house, the three prisoners were immediately recognised by him, and taken into custody.  The three prisoners were found guilty, and the learned Judge passed upon all of them the awful sentence of death, holding out no hope of mercy.

Mr. Rowe defended the prisoners.



[1 ] For a more detailed report of the evidence, see Sydney Gazette, 21 August 1832.  See alsoAustralian, 24 August 1832.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University