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

R. v. Brennan [1834] NSWSupC 2

murder - dying declaration - domestic violence

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Forbes C.J., 10 January 1834

Source: Australian, 15 January 1834

Before His Honor the Chief Justice and a Civil Jury.

Edward Brennan, stood indicted for the wilful murder of Martha Condron, at Parramatta, on the 18th November last.  The indictment contained 3 counts, severally charging the prisoner, with having caused the death of the deceased in a variety of ways, to all which the prisoner pleaded not guilty.

Mr. Therry appeared on behalf of the prosecution. ...

The case of Brennan then proceeded.

Ann Unwin examined - I live in Parramatta; I was there on the 18th November last; I recollect being in the house of Martha Condron, on the morning of her death; I went there voluntarily; she was not dead when I first saw her on that morning, she lived some hours afterwards; I had been at her house on the Thursday preceding; I was called upon by the prisoner, who told me that Mrs. Condron had sent for me, he said she had received a wound on the Wednesday night, but she would not tell him who had inflicted it, but he observed she might probably tell me; the prisoner desired me to take a pair of sharp scissors, to cut the hair from the wound; he said Isabella Cooper had been there, but her scissors would not cut; the prisoner said he ought to have come for me at an early hour in the day, but he had met with a friend and had been drinking and forgot to call; the prisoner then went away; I immediately went to Mrs. Condron's house; on my way I met the prisoner in company with a man named Evans, who had lived opposite to the house of the deceased; Evans observed that I was going to Mrs. Condron's; I said, pointing to the prisoner, that he had told me of Mrs. Condron's having received some serious wounds on the preceding night, when Evans replied ``pooh, pooh, she got drunk and fell down;" I then went on to Mrs. Condron's house; I found her sitting under a window; she appeared to be very poorly, and said she had been expecting me since morning; I observed I was afraid she had been drinking, when she said had?  I asked her if she had been hurt, when she told me to look at her head, which she said she had dressed herself, as Bella Cooper, when she came, did not offer to look at it; I asked her how it happened, when she said ``never mind, I know who they are, God will forgive them, and I shall tumble up again," an expression she commonly made use of; the house appeared to be in a state of disorder, to which she directed my attention; I observed marks of blood on the wall and on the floor; she said she had washed up the blood herself; on Friday morning I examined her head? the wound was a very small one; a man named Peter Murray came in while I was washing her head, I sent him to Mr. Ellison's for a little brandy to wash the wound with, but Mr. Ellison did not send it, saying he would come over himself; after I had washed her and put things to rights, I went away, I went again on the following Sunday; I saw Sergeant Hamilton, who said `` I am very glad to see you have come, this poor old woman has been falling about on the stones, and I fear she will dash her brains out; she has been vomiting very much; ``I found her very sick, and complaining of being unwell, and made her a little toast and water, which she took; I went away and returned in the afternoon; while I was in the act of washing her head, the prisoner was coming in, when Mrs. Condron said, ``here he comes, d--n him let him go;" Mr. Nichols, who appeared on behalf of the prisoner, objected to the words of the deceased being received as evidence, and quoted various cases in support of his objection.  Mr. Therry, for the prosecution, contended that there was evidence to offer, that the deceased was, at that time, conscious of her approaching dissolution.

His Honor observed that the words of the deceased, in the absence of the prisoner, could not be taken in evidence, but the witness must be allowed to proceed, if nothing further was elicited to prove the deceased's consciousness of being past recovery; the evidence might be rejected.

Witness in continuation - Deceased said ``I am much worse than you take me to be, I cannot live very long, I hope you will attend to me in my last moments, and see me buried;" I promised I would; I live near her; she said a man who lived opposite would buy her a coffin; I asked her if she would like to hear me read to her, when she said she would; I read a Chapter in John to her; she said she hoped she would be able by the next Sunday to go with me to a place of worship, as she long wished to change her life; arrangements had been in contemplation, that I should go to live with her altogether, which I was to have done on the day following on which she died.

Mr. Therry observed, there has been abundant proof elicited, that the deceased thought seriously of her approaching end, her conviction of her dangerous state expressed to witness, her anxiety to hear the gospel, the coffin, her wish to be able to go to church, and her review of her past life, were all conclusive testimonials that she felt her recovery impossible, without however going so far.  Mr. Therry was of opinion that her words were admissible as evidence, and quoted cases in support of his argument.

By the Court. - I did not think she was dangerously ill; she was certainly poorly; I cannot say whether it was her intention to go on the following Sunday to Church; she said she would wish to go if she were able; she observed she would wish to alter her course of life, particularly with regard to drinking, which she said she knew would kill her, if she did not; she had been vomiting very much, but I cannot say it was the effect of drinking: I feel convinced she had not been drinking then, or I must have perceived it; I had some further conversation with her; we were speaking about Mrs. Macarthur, she was then sitting in the outside room; after this we went to take a walk in the garden; the subject of the conversation about Mrs. Macarthur was, the deceased said she would go on the following morning to complain that Mr. Ellison had not used her well: Brennand was then present, he said there will be no occasion Mrs. Condron, for you to complain to Mrs. Macarthur, for Mr. Ellison is going to make an arrangement to allow you so much a week, and was glad to hear that this woman (meaning me) was going to live with you; I cannot say that at this time she was conscious of her approaching end.

Mr. Therry- Deceased used the expression ``here he is, d--n him let him go;" on the approach of the prisoner, he had a vessel in his hand containing beer, which he said had been sent to her by Mr. Ellison; I said, my friend she shall not drink either beer or spirits; the prisoner Brennand, asked me if the cut was deep, when I replied it was too deep for those who done it, if she has not done it herself, the wretches should be brought to justice; I must remark, the neighbours were of opinion she had been drinking, and had fallen and cut her head; the prisoner observed, that she would not tell him who had done it, or he would look after them; the deceased observed, it was not very likely she had done it herself, or how could the window come out on to the floor without breaking; the prisoner hereupon observed that the window had certainly been out, as himself and Evans had nailed it up; the deceased did not seem to be under any apprehension in the prisoners presence; when he went out she said ``that is the man who has done it;" after some other conversation, I went away; on the following morning about I o'clock, I went to the house of deceased; I went to the door and found it bolted; I then went to the window and heard a noise as of some person snoring; I thought the sound differed from that of a person asleep, I shook the window shutter, and it flew open; in looking in I saw the deceased lying on the floor, with her head towards the door of the room; I then ran to Mr. Ellison's to tell him that the deceased was lying on the floor, and asked them to lend me an axe to force the door with, I informed a person named Henry Incle and his wife, who reside in the neighbourhood, when he brought an axe and forced the door; when we went in, the deceased was lying on the floor, apparently in a dying state, but not quite dead; her hand and foot seemed to be drawn up, black and red marks also appeared on her throat; I thought they were occasioned by a band which she always wore under her neck; her cap and the band were under her head on the floor; a great deal of moisture came from her mouth and nose; I did not observe any additional wounds, she was insensible and did not speak after I went in to the house; I took her hand in mine, and putting my mouth close to hers I asked her if she knew me, she did not answer me; I had not sufficient presence of mind to go round to the back door, to get in in [sic] the first instance, when I found the front door bolted, the sound attracted me to the window, which flew open on my touching it; when, on seeing the deceased in a dying state, I immediately ran for assistance; her feet were towards the foot of the bed, and her head towards the room door; she could not have fallen out of bed in that position; myself, Bella Smith, and Henry Snell went in, lifted the deceased on to the bed; I frequently saw the prisoner backward and forward at the house of deceased: I have also seen him at Ellison's; I do not know where the prisoner resided constantly; I knew that he brought deceased her food daily from Mr. Ellison's; who supported her; I did not see the prisoner on the morning of her death; I lifted the deceased on the bed from my own wish, and not at the suggestion of any other person.

Cross-examined by Mr. Nichols. - I thought the marks on the throat of the deceased were occasioned by the band which she used to wear; it was not on her neck at that time; I thought the contraction of her arm and foot were occasioned by a paralytic stroke; I tried to straighten it, but it remained in a contracted state until she was put in the coffin: on my first seeing her she lay with her linen about her neck, as if she had been kicking about, her hair was all about in disorder; I thought from her first appearance, that she had fallen into a fit; I never recollect her to have been in a fit before; I am sorry to say she has been frequently in a state of intoxication; I saw the prisoner frequently at the house of the deceased, he used to carry her victuals daily from Mr. Ellison's; I am certain the back door was closed when we entered, but I cannot say it was bolted; the wound on her head was not very long, nor very deep; I cannot say that she might have received such a wound from falling out of bed; Mr. Evans said that she had been so drunk, she had drawn the cupboard down upon her; the cupboard appeared to have been down; when I saw it it [sic] was lifted up again, but it was not fastened; on the Thursday when the prisoner came for me, he said that some person had cut the head of the deceased, but she would not tell him who it was, but she might probably tell me; if any person had been in or about below Howell's Mill, I think they might have heard a cry of murder from deceased's house, if it had been very loud.

By a Juror - I thought the deceased's motive in pulling my apron on the approach of the prisoner on Sunday when I was dressing her head, was merely to draw my attention to his coming; when she was found in that state described on Monday morning, her bed had certainly the appearance of having been lain on.

John Brooks - I lived on the premises of the deceased until the Wednesday prior to her death; I rented the skilling near the stable; I left on that day because the rain used to come through the roof; I left about 9 o'clock, and bade her good night; I then went to sleep in my own boat which was moored near Mr. Howell's Mill; I was in the habit of sleeping there, I was just dozing off when I heard her crying out ``John, John, won't you come, won't you come," I heard no cry of murder, she cried very loud; I thought she cried for assistance; I pulled my boat to the side, and went towards her cottage; on approaching it I saw some person in white go across the road from Mrs. Condron's gate; I could not tell who it was; I could not say who was the person who came out of the gateway; I cannot say it was a female; I afterwards saw the prisoner Brennand cross the road, he came out of the deceased's yard; this was about 11 o'clock; he went between Mr. Ellison's and the next house; I am positive it was out of her yard by the cart gateway; the bed-room window of the deceased looks into the yard towards the gate; I went to the window and asked the deceased if she was in bed, she replied she was; I then asked her if she had called me, she said she had, but I did not come, she said she would have been killed but for my coming, but I put them past it; I I [sic] then asked her if I could do anything for her her [sic], when she said I could not, and had better go to bed, as she could make shift by herself, which I did; on the following morning I went to the deceased's house to return the key of the house I had quitted; I saw a quantity of blood on the window; she then told it was occasioned by the persons who had cut her head on the previous night; the prisoner Brennand was bringing some fire into the house, when I asked her if she knew who the persons were who done it, when she said it was Brennand, the prisoner was at this time quite close to her; I though he could not help hearing her; he might have been at the distance of five yards, not more; he looked on and said nothing; there appeared to be a good deal of blood on the window and on the floor; I had been robbed in the house I left many a time; I am not aware that I accused the prisoner of robbing me, I may have done so; I know he was one of the party; I felt aggrieved at the prisoner for taking my property I never told him I would serve him out for it; that is not the cause of my appearing here to day; I neither like him nor dislike him; I never said that I would get him hanged; I have had no conversation with any person on this matter; I did not give evidence privately to Mr. Macarthur; the only evidence I gave was at the Police Office; I cannot say what the distance from the deceased's to my boat is; the mill was not going on that night; I swear that it was about 11 o'clock; I could hear her cries very plainly; I only went to her window; I did not go into her house, she was not drunk; I am not aware that the deceased was a woman of weak mind; I am positive I saw Brennand; I did not speak to him; I knew he was in the habit of going there; the deceased shewed me the blood, she did not shew me her head; I did not see the person who came before the prisoner from deceased's house, I believe it to have been a man; I don't know the dress that prisoner wore on that occasion; I know he was not in his shirt; I saw his face; it was a star light night; it was not quite dark; the distance from the person who went before the prisoner was about forty yards; I cannot swear whether it was a man or a woman; the deceased spoke audibly, when she said the prisoner had done it; I am of opinion that he must have heard her; she did not seem to be afraid of the prisoner hearing her; she did not say she would go to a Magistrate; I was not aware that an inquest was held on the body after her death; I gave evidence on that occasion; I gave no evidence on that; I have known deceased to be fresh; but I never heard her sing out John before.

By the Court - I used to sleep at the deceased's house before I went to my boat.  I rented a house from her the evening of this day; was the first time I slept there; my sleeping place from that of the deceased's was about 10 yards: I was a protection to her when I slept there; a person named Snell and his wife used to sleep there after the death of her husband; I think I gave deceased notice that I was about to leave; I am positive I told prisoner of my intention to do so on that day; I never saw the window of deceased's bed room open before that night, it was always shut; when I went to the window I found the window sash lying on the floor inside, appearing to have been forced in.

Cross-examined by Mr. Nichols - I was a protection for deceased sometimes; I was absent sometimes all night down the river, sometimes two days collecting ashes and shells; I was nearly as much out of Parramatta as in it.

By a Juror - The reason why I did not stop the persons whom I saw going from the deceased's house, I was not aware what was the matter; I told the decased [sic] that one of the persons who had been there was Brennand; I don't think he heard the whole of the conversation when he was carrying the shovel of fire by the deceased, but I have no doubt he must have heard her mention his name.

By Mr. Therry. - The reason I asked her if she knew who had done her the injury, seeing the prisoners in the habit of going backwards and forwards; I did not imagine it to be him.

Eliza Newman. - I remember going to the house of the deceased on Sunday the 17th November; I knocked at the front door; it was bolted, the prisoner came and opened it; the deceased did not appear to have been drinking; she said she was very poorly; after a little conversation I went into the garden to gather plumbs and roses, and again returned to the house; when I was leaving, the prisoner opened the front door, and remarked as I went out, that he expected to find her dead some morning, the same as her husband;  It had been generally reported that her husband had been found dead a few months before; when I left the house the prisoner bolted the door.  The prisoners' remarks might have been made in allusion to her habits of intoxication; the deceased had been ill used by a man and woman on the Wednesday evening, and they had given her a black eye; but she did not say who they were; the bed on which she lay was a kind of stretcher; the distance from the residence of deceased to Howell's mill, is about 30 or 40 yards;  If the mill were going, I don't [sic] think a person below the mill could hear a cry from the house of the deceased, she only complained to me of a black eye, and said a man and a woman had come in at the window.

By a Juror - there had been no conversation with the prisoner that could lead to this remark; I know this woman; I did not hear that she had dressed a wound on the head of the deceased; I saw no cuts or plasters on her head; I heard of nothing farther than the black eye; I do not know the prisoner; I had never seen him there before, his appearance excited no surprise; his remark made no impression on me, I scarcely noticed it;  I never mentioned the remark to any person until the time of the Inquest, when I mentioned it to Mr. H. Taylor.

Thomas Shaw. - I am a stone mason, I was in the employ of Mr. McArthur on the 18th November; I cannot speak to the exact time in the morning; I think it was a quarter of an hour before five o'clock, when I passed Mr. Ellison's, the house was not then open; I saw the prisoner the prisoner cross the road from Ellison's gate; I knew the deceased she lived nearly opposite; I made no particular remark to the prisoner on that occasion, nor he to me; I was examined before the Magistrates on this subject; I remarked to the other men, the prisoner had a down look, and was after no good at that early hour in the morning; I don't [sic] know that he heard me say any thing; he held his head down and passed on making no reply: on the following morning at about half hast 5 o'clock, he crossed in the same direction; he was in conversation with a sergeant of the Regiment.

Cross-examined by Mr. Nichols. - I am not on bad terms with the prisoner; I had some words with him about his appearing against me in another court; but I would not swear a lie against him on that account.  I have certainly threatened to indite the prisoner and Mr. Ellison for perjury on that occasion.

Robert Champley Rutter. - I am a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, London; I was callen [sic] to attend the deceased on the 19th November, I found her in convulsions, there were two females present when I arrived; I stated that it was of no utility to administer any thing to her, as she could not survive an hour: she was very violently convulsed: there was a slight contusion on the forehead, also a slight contusion the back part of the head; but it appeared to have blead [sic] freely: a slight discolouration of one of the eyes; and a very slight discoloration on the anterior part of the throat;  It had escaped general observation until I pointed it out.  I opened the head, I discovered the exterior wound had not perforated the skull; the membranes of the brain were perfect on that part of the head; had the blow been a serious one this could not have been the case; I am of opinion that the death of the deceased was not caused by that wound; there was about six ounces of fluid in the venticles [sic] of the brain, which caused the vessels to be unusually turpid; the appearance of the brain was otherwise healthy; I made an incision in the throat, and discovered an effusion of blood in the celular membrane, which stopping the circulation, was the proximate cause of death, these facts led me to the conclusion that the deceased died by strangulation; the appearances of the fluid on the brain are not caused by strangulation, I attributed that circumstance to long previous decease.

Cross examined by Mr. Nichols - I am of the same opinion now, that I was at the Inquest, I recollect the contractions of the arms and legs of the deceased; these were the effect of convulsions and not delirium tremens, the marks on the throat were not a the marks of the fingers extending round the neck; there was a narrow contusive mark of about four inches in length across the truchea; the band which I saw would not produce such a mark, nor would the application of the fingers for the purpose of strangulation have caused such a mark; - I am of opinion that it is attributable to accident, and not to design.  The wound in the head was not in itself sufficient to cause death; there were several discolourations on the body, all the parts of culact were much discoloured by the escudative of the deceased, and the heart.

Edward Webster. - I am a Surgeon, I live at Parramatta; I have been regularly admitted admitted [sic] in London as a Surgeon, I was called on to visit the late Martha Condron; she was not alive when I saw her it was while the inquest was being held; she lay in her own house on a kind of sofa in a bed room; I examined the wound on her head and was of opinion that the blows and profuse bleeding might have caused her death; at the inquest I was asked if on examining the neck, I had any cause to suspect that strangulation had taken place; I said I had not examined the neck, and went back again to the deceased; I was not aware that Dr. Ruther had been there on my first visit; I considered the wound on the head to be an incised wound and sufficient to cause death, on returning to the inquest, I gave up my opinion as to the wound being the cause of death, and came to the conclusion, that the deceased died by strangulation; I cannot say she had been addicted to liquor : I saw nothing that could warrant that opinion,

By a Juror. - If strangulation had been effected by the fingers; it is still possible she might have lived for a short time; had the strangulation been effected by means of the band usually worn by the deceased, it would not produce a mark similar to that on the neck of the deceased, it would have been much broader; a cord would produce a similar mark.

Mary Grounds. - I am a married woman, I knew the late Martha Condron; I saw her on the morning of her death.  I heard she had been dreadfully beaten, I went in and could not help saying, O my God Mrs. Condron who has been murdering you in this manner, she appeared as if great violence had been used, hearing my voice she turned round and appeared to endeavour to speak to me, but she could not.  I observed a dreadful black eye and two or three black marks on her throat.  I thought the marks were occasioned by some person choaking [sic] her; there was a great deal of blood about and it appeared as if some person had been attempting to wash it out, and pipeclay had been rubbed over it.  I called aloud for Henry Ellison that she was dying and went towards home, Mrs. Unwin and several other persons came in at the time.

Cross-examined by Mr. Nichols. - I thought that the marks on the throat were occasioned by the finger and thumb of some person, I think so now.  I don't [sic] know that deceased was foolish, she used to get drunk frequently, I went back again to the deceased's house, but Mrs. Unwin would not let me in, I dont [sic] know the distance from the house of the deceased to Howell's mill.

Isabella Smith. - I live at Parramatta, I know the deceased, I saw her on the day she got the cut on her head, I was called in to see the state she was in.  She shewed me some blood on the window and asked me to cut the hair from a cut on her head.  I said in the name of God how did you come by this, she said a man and a woman came through the window and done it, the prisoner said she would be the better of a little spirits, I gave him three pence and he brought a gill of rum, he gave me a glass and the deceased held in her hand she said ``Oh the villian, the villian," and drank the rum, she did not look at the prisoner, nor appear to address those words to any person in particular; I did not understand it to have reference to what she had told me.  On the following Monday morning Mrs. Unwin came for me to my house, I was cutting wood, she begged me to go with her to Mrs. Condron's, the deceased, as she was dying, I went accordingly and found her lying in in [sic] an indelicate state, I saw some marks on her neck.

Cross examined by Mr. Nichols. - I asked her on the Thursday, if she would know the persons again who had injured her, she said she would if she saw them.

John Lacey. - I reside at Parramatta.  I knew the late John and Martha Condron, I dont [sic] remember how long it is since they died.  I saw the deceased Martha Condron, previously to her death when she was in a state of convulsion.  I did not take particular notice of the marks in her neck, it was much swollen, I saw the prisoner a very short time prior to this at a public house kept by a tenant of mine where I was; he asked me what I would take for the mortgage I had on Condrons property, he was not sober at the time.

Cross-examined by Mr. Nichols - There is no dispute between Ellison and I about a farm, no law suit; it is at the Cowpastures it was given to Ellison by John Condron, I heard so from the Coroner, I don't [sic] know that Ellison was to support her while she lived, I had no conversation with deceased.

James Brown. - I am a constable, I recollect the night of the death of Martha Condron, I saw the prisoner on the evening of that day in George street, he was then unarmed, he went to the house of a man named Evans, opposite to the deceased's, I saw him take a piece and load it, when he had done so, he observed that if that were not sufficient he would put something extra in it, he then went towards the Military Barracks, he was absent about half an hour when he returned, as he passed me he said, the first constable or other person who would attempt to stop him, he would put the contents of the piece through him, I could not leave my post, I dont [sic] know that he was suspected of Gartha Condron's murder, I was not at the inquest, I do not know that he was aware I am a constable, I had my staff in my hand, when he went away he went towards the inquest which was held at Mr. Armstrong's he was rather in liquor.

By a Juror. - I have known him for two years, he has been frequently employed by Mr. Mackie as a bailiff, I do not know how long he lived at Mr. Ellison's.

Augustus Hayward Esq. - I am the coroner of Parramatta, I presided at the inquest held on the body of the late Martha Condron, the prisoner attended the inquest, I told him that he was suspected of being the person who had caused her death, that was before he gave his evidence, after which I was told he was gone, I received a letter from him stating that he would be forthcoming in the morning, I considered his absenting himself as merely to avoid going to the watch house for the night.

Andrew Hamilton - I am a Sergeant of the 17th Regiment; I live near the house of the deceased; I remember speaking to her on Sunday the 17th November, about two o'clock; I saw the prisoner on the Thursday previously; he asked me if I had not been over to Mrs. Condron's; I said I had not; he then told me she had been robbed last night; I then went to my lodging, and pulled off my belts, and went into Mrs. Condron's house; she told me that a man and woman had broken into the house, but she did not know the man Brennand, the prisoner, and Evans, were present at the time they came to nail a window which had been broken into; the deceased said she knew the woman; she said in the presence of the prisoner and Evans she did not know the man she told me the same after they had gone away; if she had known him I would been the most likely person in the street for her to have told it to; Brennand and Evans went away together, they took no part in the conversation.

Cross-examined by Mr. Nichols - The distance between Mrs. Condron's house and the mill is 80 or 90 yards; if the mill had been going, I dont [sic] think a person near the mill could hear the cry of of [sic] murder at Mrs. Condron's house.

Charles Lally - I am acting corporal in the 17th Regiment; I recollect mounting duty on the main barrack on the 17th November; I went on at 11 eleven o'clock on that day, and remained on duty until eleven o'clock on the 18th (Monday;) I don't know where Mrs. Condron's house is; I know Mrs. Ellison's; I passed it on the morning of the 18th, about day break; the drums had not beat rivalie; it was about half past four o'clock; I saw the prisoner standing exactly opposite the house where I afterwards understood the murder had been committed; Ellison's house is not exactly opposite that house; I saw him standing in his shirt leaning against a paling on the opposite side of the way, and as he was not smoking, or any thing it struck me as being rather curious; I thought he looked somewhat confused more so than when I had seen him in the Catholic Burying Ground a few days before; I don't know where Evans the human lives, but I know there is a tinman lives near them, as I once took a letter there to a dyer; the prisoner was standing on the inside of the paling; it is at some short distance from Ellison's house.

The case for the prosecution closed here.

Mr. Nichols begged leave to submit to the Court that there had not been a particle of evidence adduced touching the means by which the deceased had met her death, as laid down in the various counts in the indictment, and there was therefore no case to go to the Jury.

His Honor was of opinion that it was certainly unfortunate that the two medical gentlemen had not consulted together, in order to enable them to come to a definite conclusion as to the means by which the death of the unfortunate deceased had been effected; but he was of opinion that there was sufficient evidence, independently of that of the medical gentlemen, to send the case to the Jury.  There was strong circumstantial testimony, the best testimony which can be probably relied on in cases of this nature, where the perpetrator naturally shuns throwing himself into the way of direct evidence of his guilt, he could not therefore take the case out of the hands of the Jury, to whom it is properly referable.

The prisoner being called on for his defence, protested his innocence of the charge on which he he [sic] was arraigned, he declared he was in bed when the injuries were received by the deceased, and he had always acted more like a son to her than a murderer.  Indeed he declared he had done more for her than he had for his own mother in Ireland.

His Honor addressed the Jury at some length, and patiently recapitulated the evidence, drawing their attention to the most important points for and against the prisoner.  The case being submitted for their consideration.  they retired about twenty minutes, and returned a verdict of not guilty, and the prisoner was discharged by proclamation.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University