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Indecent assault

I came across the following newspaper article on Trove and believe that it may involve my second great aunt Mary Donnelly.  Mary was twelve years old in 1882 and lived in Cooyal.  One of twin girls born to James Donnelly and his wife Mary nee Gallagher in 1870, she never married.  Mary lived in Cooyal on the family property for many years with her parents, then she moved with her mother to a house in Lewis Street, Mudgee.  She died on the 3rd March 1937 at the Mudgee District Hospital and was buried at the Mudgee General Cemetery, in the Roman Catholic section on the 4th March 1937 (see here).  I have previously mentioned her in blog posts here, here, here, and here.

Returns of criminal cases heard at the Quarter Sessions at Mudgee on 2nd of August 1882 show that James Garbutt plead guilty to Indecent Assault and was sentenced to imprisonment with hard labour in Mudgee Gaol for eighteen months.  NSW State Records have a gaol photograph and record for James Garbutt here.

Source: MUDGEE. (1882, August 12). Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907), p. 39. Retrieved from


August 9

QUARTER SESSIONS.- This court opened at Mudgee on Wednesday last, before Judge Cansdell.  Ambrose pleaded guilty to several charges of horsestealling and larceny, and as there previous convictions against him he was sentenced to five years on the road.  Dargon alias Bloomfield, alias McKenzie, pleaded guilty to two charges of horsestealing, and received three years on the roads.  Fawcett, a young man who has been a local preacher and a policeman in his day, and who made a haul at Rylstone some months ago by informing on 16 shantykeepers, was convicted of indecently assaulting a little girl under the age of 10 years.  There were four previous convictions against him for larceny, and the judge sent him on the roads for three years.  Garbett, a Cockatoo Island expiree, pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting Mary Donnelly, of Cooyal, aged 12 years, and was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment.  A like sentence was passed upon Egan, alias


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