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

R. v. Smith (No. 3) [1834] NSWSupC 125

bestiality- capital punishment

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Forbes C.J., Dowling and Burton JJ, 18 November 1834

Source: Sydney Herald, 20 November 1834[1 ]

William Smith, convicted of an unnameable offence.  His Honor Mr. Justice Dowling said, that after a patient trial, a Jury of his Country had found him guilty of a most atrocious offence, not to be named amongst mankind; he should follow the example of the learned Chief Justice, and forbear polluting the ears of the auditory by referring to the particulars of the heinous offence; all that remained for him then, in obedience to the commands of the law, was to order that the prisoner be taken to the place whence he came, then to the place of public execution, and then to be hanged by the neck until dead, at such time as his Excellency the Governor should direct.



[ 1] Smith was tried on 10 November 1834: Dowling, Proceedings of the Supreme Court, State Records of New South Wales, 2/3288, vol. 105, p. 70.  He was found guilty of bestiality with a female dog.

See also Sydney Gazette, 20 November 1834; Australian, 21 November 1834.

There was also a charge of bestiality with a calf: R. v. Williams, recorded in Burton, Notes of Criminal Cases, State Records of New South Wales, 2/2411, vol. 8, p. 45 (not guilty).  James Dalton was charged with the same offence with a cow, and tried on 5 February 1834: Dowling, Proceedings of the Supreme Court, State Records of New South Wales, 2/3289, vol. 106, p. 58 (not guilty, but remanded for a misdemeanour).  For another bestiality case, which led to a sentence of two years in irons on the public roads, see Sydney Gazette, 20 February 1834.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University