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

Bell v. Crowder [1834] NSWSupC 108

tort, interference with servant - convict service - Port Stephens - Australian Agricultural Company

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Burton J., 16 October 1834

Source: Sydney Herald, 20 October 1834

Thursday, October 16, 1834.

Beforr [sic] His Honor Mr. Justice Burton, and a

Special Jury.

Bell v. Crowder. - This was an action of tresspass brought by plaintiff, a provision merchant of Sydney against defendant, a livery stable keeper, for wilfully driving his gig in contact with a horse on which plaintiff was riding, whereby he was thrown down and seriously injured; the animal which was of considerable value, died next day.  Damages were laid at £100.  It appeared that plaintiff was proceeding on horseback towards Parramatta, and in conformity with the established regulation, kept the right hand side of the way.  When within a short distance of the bridge, a little on the Sydney side of Irelands Public House, he saw the defendant approaching him in a gig on the same side of the road; plaintiff proceeded in security, but finding that defendant was not disposed to cross the road, plaintiff, in order to avoid unpleasantness, proceeded to the opposite side; at the same moment, defendant turned off also, when the shaft of the gig came in violent contact with the chest of plaintiff's horse, which was thrown down, plaintiff lay for some time insensible from the effect of the fall.  The animal died on the Friday following, and being opened by Mr. Macnaughton, it was found that the shoulder blade of the animal was shattered to pieces, and the chest extensively injured.  For the plaintiff, evidence was put in to shew that the side of the way on which he was proceeding from Sydney to Parramatta, was the proper side of the way under the regulations.  For the defence it was sought to be shewn that defendant was proceeding on the proper side of the way, when the accident occurred.  From the obvious falsehood of the testimony of one of the witnesses for the defence, the learned Judge committed him for perjury, and another prevaricated so grossly, that he was delivered into the hands of the police to be taken before the Bench of Magistrates for examination on that charge.  The defendant Crowder was also committed by His Honor for subornation of perjury.  The case was put to the Jury on the point, whether the plaintiffs horse had ran against the pole of the defendant's gig, or on the contrary, had the gig been driven wilfully in contact with the horse as stated.  Was defendant proceeding on the right side of the way or not?  The Jury returned a verdict for plaintiff, damages, £25.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University