Skip to Content

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

R v Dugurd [1836] NSWSupC 58

convict escape, assisting, sentencing discretion - Bong Bong

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Dowling A.C.J., 15 August 1836

Source: Sydney Herald, 18 August 1836[ 1]

Daniel Dugard, a constable, was charged for that he, having one William Warby and others in his custody under a warrant from William Hampden Dutton, Esq., one of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the Colony, on a charge of cattle-stealing and receiving stolen cattle, did wilfully, designedly, and interestedly allow the said William Warby to escape, be at large, and go withersoever he would at Sydney, on the 18th November last.

From the evidence, it appeared that the defendant was a constable at Bong Bon, and four prisoners were given into his custody for the purpose of being forwarded to Sydney, and that on his arrival he and his prisoners went into a public house and got drunk.  The next morning the prisoners were apprehended in a drunken state by the Sydney Police, in a public-house on the Brickfield-hill.

In putting the case to the Jury, His Honor said that they must state in their verdict whether they considered he suffered the prisoners to escape wilfully or negligently.  The Jury returned a verdict of Guilty of negligently suffering a prisoner to escape.  His Honor observed, that had the Jury brought in a verdict that he had wilfully suffered his prisoners to escape, the punishment would have been transportation for life, and had the crime with which the prisoners were charged been murder, he would have had to suffer death.  The sentence of the Court was that he be fined forty shillings and imprisoned for two years.



[ 1] See also Burton, Notes of Criminal Cases, Vol. 27, State Records of New South Wales, 2/2427, p. 95.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University