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

R v Ross [1832] NSWSupC 58

burglary - children, criminal defendants - death recorded, against child - sentencing discretion, children

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Forbes C.J., 29 August 1832

Source: Sydney Herald, 3 September 1832[1 ]

Peter Ross was indicted for a burglary in the dwelling-house of John McLean, with intent to steal the goods and chattels therein, at Sydney, on the 15th July.  The second count laid the house as the dwelling of our Sovereign Lord the King. -  The prisoner, who is a lad only fourteen years of age, and respectably connected, was found guilty, but recommended to mercy, on the ground of his youth.  The Judge informed the Jury that their recommendation would be attended to, and judgment of death was recorded against him.  The Chief Justice informed the prisoner that in this case he had ordered judgment of death to be recorded against him, in consequence of the recommendation of the Jury who tried the case, founded on his tender years, and his previous good character, he should recommend the case to the consideration of His Excellency the Governor; but it was not to be understood that in so doing he held out any premium for crime to persons because of their youth, he held out no such expectation, but should recommend the case at the suggestion of the Jury who tried it.  In concluding, the Chief Justice observed, that he was old enough in years to have forfeited his life to the laws of his Country, and he hoped if clemency was extended towards him, the awful lesson he had learned that day would prevent his ever again appearing before a Court of Justice.

Mr. McDowall defended the prisoner.



[1 ] See also Sydney Gazette, 30 August 1832.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University