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

R. v. Alstock [1857] NSWSupCMB 10

stealing, in dwelling house

Supreme Court of New South Wales, Moreton Bay

Milford J., 1 August 1857

Source: Moreton Bay Courier, 4 August 1857, p. 1S

STEALING IN A DWELLING-HOUSE.

George Alstock was indicted for stealing a watch, the value of £5, in the dwelling-house of William Clarke, Queen-street, on the 22nd May.

William Clarke sworn: I keep a lodging-house in Queen-street, Brisbane; prisoner came to my house on 22nd May, and asked for lodgings; I had a watch hanging on a nail in the shop; my wife asked me what time of day it was; I went to see, and showed the watch to a Chinaman, who was lodging in my house, to see if he could tell the time; prisoner was present at the time; I put the watch back on the nail; the Chinaman told me that prisoner had taken the watch; I went to the prisoner in the yard, and knocked him down, and took the watch from him; the watch now produced is my property: it is worth £5.

Charles Dean, a Chinaman, sworn: I know prisoner. I saw him at Clarke's. I was lodging there. I went out with prisoner and another man for a walk and came back again in the evening. Prisoner waited in the shop and talked to Clark; I saw prisoner put his hand along the shelf, and take the watch off the nail; I watched prisoner go into the yard, and told Clark about it; I went into the house when I saw Clarke put his hand on prisoner; Clark took the watch from prisoner and gave it to me.

This was the case for the Crown.

The prisoner addressed the jury, pointing out some contradictory evidence and denied having taken the watch.

His Honor briefly addressed the jury. After a few minutes consideration the jury found the prisoner guilty.

The Crown Prosecutor stated that the prisoner had been discharged by a writ of habeas corpus at the last criminal sittings, and it was only the day after he got out of gaol that he stole the watch.

His Honor sentenced the prisoner to two years' hard labor in Brisbane Gaol.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University