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

Wanen v. Sergerson [1841] NSWSupC 63

assault, civil

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Burton J., 24 June 1841

Source: Sydney Herald, 26 June 1841[1]


This was an action of assault. The plaintiff was a gardener, and the defendant had been a publican. From the plaintiff's evidence it appeared that the assault was committed in January last, in a public house, belonging to one Leary, in York-street, where a difference having occurred between the parties about some money, 6s. or 7s., which the defendant claimed from the plaintiff, the former struck the latter a severe blow in the mouth.

            The defendant's case was, that the plaintiff made the first assault upon the defendant, and was himself the first cause of the quarrel.

            Mr. JUSTICE BURTON in charging the Assessors, said, that if they believed that the defendant struck the first blow they should give the plaintiff damages, without any regard to the humbleness of his station, for that no character could be higher than that of an Englishman; and that they should give their damages according to their estimation of the injury, without any consideration with respect to the costs or to the plaintiff's having had it in his power to proceed in any inferior Court, for that he was entitled to come to the Supreme Court if he thought fit so to do.

            Verdict for the plaintiff - Damages £25.

            Counsel for the plaintiff, Mr. WINDEYER; for the defendant THE SOLICITOR-GENERAL.


[1]              See also Sydney Gazette, 29 June 1841.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University