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

R. v. Chick and Hock [1855] NSWSupCMB 5

Chinese defendants - stealing - confession, admissibility of

Supreme Court of New South Wales, Moreton Bay

Purefoy A.J., 19 November 1855

Source: Moreton Bay Courier, 24 November 1855

Ching Chick and Ung Hock, Chinese, were indicted, the former for stealing a saddle, bridle, and saddle cloth, the property of Wm. Evans Moncrieff, at Cambooya, on the 27 th July last, and the latter for receiving the same. A second count charged Ung Hock with the stealing and Ching Chick with receiving. Mr. Faucett appeared for the defence.

The case was very simple. On the day named, Mr.Moncrieff, the prosecutor, was on a shooting excursion, with as Mr. McDougall, near Cambooya, and tied up his horse, when the animal ran away, and having captured it in less than half an hour after, he found that the saddle, &c., were gone. While the horse was away witness saw a man in a blue shirt in the direction where the animal ran. The prisoner Ung Hock took the stolen saddle to Mr. Scanlan, at Drayton, to be mended, when it was recognised and detained. The prisoner Ching Chick, who was in the service of Mr. Watts at Eton Vale, had been feeding sheep where the saddle was lost that day, and was therefore suspected, and interrogated, when at first he denied having taken the saddle, next acknowledged that he had done so, and afterwards asserted that the horse had torn it off by biting the girth. Tim Ki, a Chinese lodging house keeper at Drayton, deposed, through an interpreter, that the saddle (identified) had been left at his house by Ung Hock. The latter acknowledged to the Chief Constable of Drayton that Ching Chick had given him the saddle.

A point of law arose, on the opposition of Mr. Faucett to the reception of Ching Chick's confession, before mentioned, as that was made to Mr. Watts, a magistrate who had issued a warrant against Ching Chick for this charge, and in the hearing and view of the Chief Constable who was about to execute the warrant. His Honour decided upon receiving the evidence, but reserved the point.

The identity of the prisoners with the man in the blue shirt was not borne out in evidence. Mr. Faucett cross-examined the witnesses, and ably addressed the jury for the defence. Mr. Holroyd replied, and the Judge charged the jury, who found Ching Chick guilty of stealing and Ung Hock of receiving. Sentence, two years' hard labour each, in Sydney Gaol.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University