Skip to Content

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

R v Radley [1826] NSWSupC 72

murder - manslaughter - domestic violence - women defendants in crime - sentencing discretion

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Trial, 24 November 1826

Source: Sydney Gazette, 25 November 1826


Sarah Radley was indicted for the wilful murder of her husband, on the 2d day of November, instant.

The particulars of this case have been already detailed in this Journal.  After a lengthy examination of several witnesses, the Learned Judge charged the Jury, and observed, from all the circumstances of the case, that the deliberation, or previous malice necessary to constitute the crime of murder was wanting, but if they were of opinion that the blow which caused the death of the deceased, was given under the sudden impulse of passion, they would find a verdict of manslaughter; if, on the other hand they should think the infliction of the wound was altogether accidental, they would acquit the prisoner.  The Jury, after a short consultation, returned a verdict Guilty of Manslaughter.

After the verdict was delivered, His Honor observed that he was not at that moment prepared to pass sentence, and intimated to the Acting Attorney General,[1 ]that, on account of the present crowded state of the gaol, and for the sake of an almost infant child of the prisoner, which appeared before the Court he had no objection, with the consent of the Crown Officer, and provided the sureties were approved of by him, to admit the prisoner to bail, to appear when called on to receive the judgment of the Court.  The prisoner was subsequently discharged upon her own recognizance in £100, and two sureties in £50 each, to appear when called on.



[1 ] W.H. Moore.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University