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

R. v. Baldwin [1834] NSWSupC 120

receiving stolen goods - women defendants in crime - married women's legal disabilities

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Burton J., 12 November 1834

Source: Sydney Herald, 17 November 1834[1 ]

Sarah Ann Baldwin stood indicted for receiving one gown and one petticoat, the property of Mrs. Mary Eagan, knowing the same to have been stolen.  The prisoner was the wife of Richard Baldwin, who stood charged with receiving stolen property, but who absconded previously to trial.  His Honor directed the Jury to acquit the prisoner, as her act was the act of the husband, who might be indicted for the offence; there was a possibility that the prisoner might be led into error by her husband, who, it appeared, had had extensive dealings in stolen property; the fact of her having gone into the public Police office with the articles on her person, was prima facie evidence of her unconsciousness of their having been stolen.  The Jury found the prisoner Not Guilty.  The articles were given up to the prosecutor.



[1 ] For the notes of the trial judge, see Burton, Notes of Criminal Cases, State Records of New South Wales, 2/2417, vol. 16, p. 19, noting that at the time of the trial the defendant was free by servitude, that is, a former convict.  See also R. v. Irving, Sydney Herald, 17 November 1834.


Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University