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

R v Thompson [1836] NSWSupC 4

assault - passenger on ship - judge, criminal defendant

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Forbes C.J., 8 February 1836

Source: Australian, 12 February 1836[1 ]

Monday. - (Before Chief Justice Forbes and a Military Jury.) - W. F. Thompson, Esq. stood indicted for a an assault committed on board the ship Warrior, on the high seas, within the jurisdiction of the Court, on the 10th November last, in throwing bottle of wine at Mr. Edwin Parks.  It appeared that the complainant was supercargo of the ship Warrior, and the defendant who is Assistant Judge on the Civil Establishment of India, was a passenger therein to this Colony; that owing to some conversation held in the cabin on the day laid in the indictment, wherein a heinous offence was imputed to a party not present, the accused, through some mistake, thought that he was the individual alluded to, and that in a moment of excitement, he threw the bottle.

Verdict - Guilty.  To be imprisoned three calendar months; to pay a fine of £50, and to enter into recognizances to keep the peace; himself in the sum of £100, and two sureties in £50 each.[ 2]



[ 1] See also Sydney Gazette, 11 February 1836.

[2 ] Thompson petitioned the crown for mercy, through Forbes C.J.  On 26 February 1836, Forbes wrote to the governor stating the facts of the case and his belief that Thompson's nervous ``excitability sometimes approaches nearly to a temporary aberration of mind".  Forbes recommended a remission of the remainder of his sentence on his payment of a fine of £50 and entry into a recognisance.  The governor accepted this recommendation (McLeay to Forbes, 1 March 1836; source: Chief Justice's Letter Book, 1836, State Records of New South Wales, 4/6652, pp 7-9.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University