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

R. v. Daly [1856] NSWSupCMB 5


Supreme Court of New South Wales, Moreton Bay

Milford J., 20 May 1856

Source: Moreton Bay Courier, 24 May 1856, p. 2

William Daly, pleaded not guilty to an indictment charging him with having stolen a watch, the property of Patrick Proctor Anderson, at Ipswich, on the 21st November, 1855.

The robbery occurred about the time of the November Brisbane Circuit Court, at the Queen's Arms, in Ipswich. The prosecutor was, as he said, "drunk but conscious" at the time, and the watch was taken from the table of his bedroom during the night. It was a hunting watch, the minute hand was broken, and it was worth about £3. That produced was the same. It was not his own, but he had charge of it to sell it for the landlord of the Queen's Arms.

Robert Kirkland deposed that he bought a watch of the prisoner, at the Steam packet Hotel, Ipswich. He told him that "he had come down to marry a gal, that the gal refused having of him, that he had spent £30 because she would not have him, and that he would sell a watch he had bought for her, spend the money and go back into the bush, as he did not care a d--- about her." Witness offered 30s. but prisoner would not take it. Subsequently he accepted 35s. on condition that each party should stand "nobblers round." Witness sold it immediately afterwards to a man named Hector Golling for £2.

Hector Golling, barman at the Steam Packet Hotel, Ipswich, stated that he saw the deal between the prisoner and Kirkland. He bought the watch of Kirkland immediately afterwards, giving him £2 for it. He had the watch about six days at the end of which time he gave it into the hands of a constable named Connor. He bought the watch on the 18th November, as nearly as he could recollect; the Brisbane Circuit Court sat a few days afterwards. He put a guard and key on it himself, but could not say whether the hand was broken.

Samuel Connor, the constable already named, said that in consequence of information received, he sought after the watch, and found it in possession of the last witness. He had orders to take the prisoner into custody, but could not find him. The watch produced was the same he got from Golling; it had been in possession of the police ever since.

William Carson, another constable, stated that he knew the prisoner and Kirkland also. He received information from some one, and in consequence, went in search of prisoner with Kirkland. They found him in a livery stable, and Kirkland pointed him out as the man. Prisoner said that he made a mistake, but Kirkland was positive, and witness took him into custody. Prisoner and Kirkland began talking about the watch, although Daly was cautioned by him. The latter asked Kirkland the price of the watch, and he replied £2. Daly said he would rather give him £2 than suffer an exposure. Witness again cautioned him, but prisoner continued to talk, and said he would as soon give £5 as be taken into custody up the street. Witness replied that he could not let him go for £100, and took him on to the lock up.

This closed the case for the prosecution, and the prisoner, on being called on for his defence, said that he would leave the case in the hands of the jury.

The learned judge lucidly pointed out the chief facts of the case to the jury, and they, after retiring from the court for about an hour, returned with a verdict of acquittal, and the prisoner was accordingly discharged.

The court rose at six o'clock.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University