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

R. v. Varney [1835] NSWSupC 65

murder - manslaughter

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Forbes C.J., 7 August 1835

Source: Sydney Herald, 13 August 1835[ 1]

William Varney stood indicted for the wilful murder of Thomas Hughes, at Windsor, on the 1st July last, by striking him on the head with a spade.  It appeared that the prisoner and the deceased were in the service of Mr. Fitz, at Windsor, and as the day laid in the indictment, the deceased having been sent on a message returned in a state of intoxication and was very quarrelsome; after being in the kitchen a short time, some words occurred between the prisoner and the deceased, when the prisoner ran into the yard, brought a spade into the kitchen and made several blows at the deceased, which were warded off by the interposition of a third person, a stranger to the house, the prisoner leaned on the spade for some time without speaking, when the mediator thinking quiet was restored, turned his back on the prisoner, and was about to leave the room, when he heard a blow given, and turning his head saw the deceased lying on the ground with the blood flowing from a wound on his head, apparently inflicted by the spade; the head of the deceased was dressed and he was put to bed, where he languished until the 6th ultimo, when he was removed to the Hospital where he died on the following day.  The Jury found the prisoner Guilty of Manslaughter.



[1 ] Compare this verdict with that in R. v. Collins, 1835, heard on the same day.  For another case of manslaughter where the original charge was murder, see R. v. DorrSydney Herald, 4 May 1835; Australian, 5 May 1835.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University