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

R. v. O'Reilly [1850] NSWSupCMB 24


Supreme Court of New South Wales, Moreton Bay

Stephen C.J., 13 November 1850

Source: Moreton Bay Courier, 16 November 1850

Matthew O'Reilly was indicted for having, on the 30 th May last, at Warwick, forged an order for £3 14s. purporting to be drawn by A. Morris on R. Campbell, Tertius, with intent to defraud Robert Campbell.

Thomas M'Evoy, Chief Constable at Warwick, deposed that on the 21st June last the prisoner was confined there for drunkenness, and while there, as he inquired about an order for £3 14s., which he said was missing, witness ordered him to be searched. When being searched, he sprang away towards the fire, and attempted to put into the fire the cheque now produced. Witness forcibly restrained him. Prisoner said the cheque was no use, as he had written it himself; but a few moments afterwards said he had picked it up at Canal Creek. He also said that he had a right to write what he liked, so long as he did not tender it.

Robert Carter, Constable at Warwick , apprehended the prisoner there on the 21 st June last, and saw the prisoner attempt to throw the cheque into the fire when being searched. The Chief Constable prevented him, and took the cheque from him. Witness escorted the prisoner to Drayton, and on the road the prisoner said that he had got the order from a shepherd at Mr. Moffatt's station. He wanted a constable to be sent there, and said that he would find there three books, one of which was "Cook's Voyages," and the forgery had been written on a blank leaf of that book. He said that the shepherd alluded to wrote it.

Cross-examined by the prisoner: Never heard prisoner say that he wrote the order himself.

Mr. M'Evoy being recalled, repeated his positive recollection that the prisoner used the words imputed to him.

C. Rolleston, Esq., Commissioner of Crown Lands at Darling Downs, deposed that the signature to a document, (stated to have been found upon the prisoner, but not so proved), being a certificate of prisoner's declaration that he had lost his written discharge, was, to the best of witness's belief, Mr. Morris's signature. The signature to the cheque produced witness believed to be a forgery. Witness knew Mr. Mortis; he drew on Mr. Robert Campbell, Tertius.

This being the case for the Crown, the Jury returned a verdict of guilty, and the Court sentenced the prisoner to three years' hard labour on the public works.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University