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

R v Smith [1832] NSWSupC 86

stealing, sheep - stealing, act of

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Stephen J., 5 November 1832

Source: Sydney Gazette, 8 November 1832[1 ]


Thomas Smith was indicted for feloniously stealing and carrying away, on the 1st of September last, ten rams of the value of £5, ten ewes of the value of £5, ten lambs of the value of £5, and ten sheep of the value of £5, the property of Edward O'Brien.

Two witnesses were examined for the prosecution, whose evidence went to show that the sheep had been brought down from the prosecutor's station at Yass' Plains, and were depastured for the time in a paddock near Grose Farm.  During the night of the lst, which was very dark, the shepherd beard the sheep rushed two or three times, as if by native dogs; he, at length got up, and called a man who lives in a neighbouring hut, to his assistance; the pair of them proceeded to the sheep, when they observed three men in the act of driving them toward a part of the paddock where the fence was down, but the whole of them were still in the paddock; the men who were driving them ran away on the approach of the shepherd and his companion, two of them escaped, and the prisoner was apprehended.

Mr Rowe, who defended the prisoner, contended on the authority of Cherry's case; 2nd Russell, 1035, and 1st Leach, 236, that, inasmuch as no severance of the property from the place where it lawfully might be, had been made out, the prisoner ought not to be put upon his defence.  The Attorney General having been heard on the opposite side, the Court ruled that, the evidence adducer was not sufficient to go to the jury, and the prisoned was accordingly discharged.



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

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University