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

R. v. Maggs [1839] NSWSupC 27

murder - manslaughter - Cowpasture - provocation

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Willis J., 3 May 1839

Source: Sydney Herald, 6 May 1839[1] 

Before Mr. Justice Willis and a Military Jury.

John Maggs, free by servitude, was indicted for killing Charles Maze, by beating him with his hands, at the Cowpasture, on the 3rd of February.

The prisoner and the deceased were in a public-house on the Cowpasture Road, when the deceased, who was described to be a very quarrelsome man, took away the prisoner's hat, and when the prisoner asked him for it, he used a deal of bad language, and challenged Maggs to fight.  Maggs declined several times, when the deceased struck him; the landlord then turned them out of the house, and they went to a neighbouring paddock to fight.  They had several rounds, when the deceased gave in, and was taken ill, and died about three days afterwards.  Mr. Colonial Surgeon Hill stated, that the deceased came to his death from inflammation of the lungs, caused by external injuries.  The Judge told the Jury the only consideration for them was, whether the death of the deceased was caused by the prisoner; the other matters were for his consideration.  The Jury found the prisoner guilty, but strongly recommended him to mercy.  The prisoner had been in gaol upwards of two months.  To be fined one shilling and discharged.



[1]  See also Sydney Gazette, 7 May 1839; Australian, 7 May 1839.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University