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

R. v. Bull [1839] NSWSupC 32

robbery - aiding and abetting

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Stephen J., 14 May 1839

Source: Sydney Herald, 15 May 1839[1] 

Before Mr. Justice Stephen and a Civil Jury.

Robert Bull and George Green were indicted for assaulting John Beale on the Kissing Point Road, on the 1st May, and robbing him of one £5 and three £1 notes, a pair of spectacles, and a watch and key, and Thomas Croft and Emanuel Taylor were indicted for being present, aiding and assisting.

About a quarter past eight on the evening of the 1st of May, the prosecutor, who is Superintendent to Mr. H. Macarthur's Estate, was proceeding towards the Vineyard from Parramatta, when he was met by the four prisoners, who were soldiers in the 28th Regiment, belonging to the Duck River Stockade; Bull asked him if he belonged to Mr. Macarthur, which Mr. Beale denied, suspecting that something was wrong, when Bull said he thought he was the man that sent one of his comrades into the Colonel for going on Mr. Macarthur's ground, and if he was sure of it he would prevent him from walking that road again; Croft and Taylor said they thought Bull was mistaken, and requested him to ``come along," but after a good deal of abusive language and one or two blows, Bull and Green robbed him of the articles laid in the indictment.  Croft and Taylor took no active part in the robbery, but in Mr. Beale's opinion were looking out to see that no one was coming.  There was a great deal of confirmatory evidence which left no doubt of the prisoners' guilt.

His Honor said that according to the evidence of the prosecutor, there could be no doubt of the guilt of Bull and Green.  With respect to the two prisoners charged as principals in the second degree, it was not sufficient that they were present passively looking on, to make them accessaries, but if they committed the least act in concert with the other prisoners, such as looking out to prevent discovery, they were guilty of the offence committed in the indictment.  The Jury retired about five minutes and returned a verdict of guilty against all the prisoners, but recommended Croft and Taylor to mercy, as they were of opinion that had it not been for them more violence would have been used.  Bull and Green to be transported for life; Croft and Taylor to be transported for fifteen years.



[1] See also Sydney Gazette, 16 May 1839; Australian, 16 May 1839.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University