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

R. v. Fuller [1838] NSWSupC 79

highway robbery, elements of - military defendants in crime

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Willis J., 13 August 1838

Source: Sydney Gazette, 14 August 1838[ 1]

William Fuller, John Long (of the Mounted Police), and Richard Suttor, (labourer), were indicted for assaulting and putting I bodily fear William Bouker, at Goulburn, and stealing two £1 notes, four £2, and twelve £1, the property of the said William Bouker, on the 2nd of July last.

The prosecutor and the prisoners went to Marsden's public-house in the township of Goulburn, and from thence to Moses's inn, drinking together.  They left the latter place to go home together between eight and nine o'clock at night.  On their way home they jostled the prosecutor, and one ran away, the prosecutor pursued, but failing to overtake him he returned, and found that the other two had likewise decamped.  He then discovered the loss of his money.

His Honor said, to constitute a highway robbery, it is absolutely necessary that either sufficient force must be proved to have been used to overcome the party robbed, to enable the thief to become possessed of his property, or some bodily injury inflicted in obtaining it, as, for instance, when a diamond earring was snatched from the ear of a lady, whereby the ear was torn and injured.  That was a robbery, but sufficient force or terror must be used to induce the party to part with his property without his consent, to constitute a robbery.

The jury retired for ten minutes, and on their return to the box pronounced the whole of the the [sic] prisoners guilty of larceny.

His Honor said, had the prisoners been found guilty of robbery, it would have been his duty to order them for execution -- especially the mounted policemen, whose duty it was to protect the public, and a breach of which duty His Honor would never forgive.  His Honor then sentenced them to 14 years transportation each.



[ 1]See also Sydney Herald, 15 August 1838.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University