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

R v Hillyard [1833] NSWSupC 46

murder - manslaughter - sentencing discretion

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Dowling J., 7 June 1833

Source: Sydney Herald, 10 June 1833[ 1]

Friday. - Before Judge Dowling and the usual Commission.

William Hillyard was indicted for the wilful murder of John Smith otherwise called John Heyman, by stabbing him in the side with a knife, at Sydney, on the 28th November.  It came out in evidence that on the day laid in the information, the deceased threw an iron pot belonging to prisoner at a boy who had been abusing him; the pot broke, and the prisoner asked the deceased what he did that for, the deceased then came up to him and a scuffle ensued, during which a knife belonging to the prisoner entered the side of the deceased, but in what way was unaccounted for by the evidence, the prisoner expressed his sorrow when he found the man was wounded, and said that any expense he would be put to for a doctor he would pay; the deceased was conveyed to the hospital where he got better, and in the month of December was discharged at his own request, he subsequently came back again, and died on the 27th February.  On the body being opened it was found that a sharp instrument had penetrated the lungs from which an abscess had formed, and on suppuration taking place death had ensued.  A number of witnesses gave the prisoner a most excellent character for a number of years, for humanity and kindly feeling.  The Jury returned a verdict of manslaughter, and the learned Judge in passing sentence observed, that taking into consideration the whole circumstances of the case, he considered justice would be satisfied by sentencing him to pay a fine of one shilling, - this being done he was discharged, with an admonition from his Honor to curb his passion in future.

Mr. Rowe defended the prisoner.



[1 ] See also Dowling, Proceedings of the Supreme Court, Vol. 84, State Records of New South Wales, 2/3267, p. 53.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University