Mary Downing

Evidence Type: Newspaper Report
6 December 1822

A case of peculiar obscenity came before the Superintendent of Police on Tuesday last; of the kind we believe it is unprecedented. We are not inclined to descend to particulars, but only state that REUBEN PATE, JOHN ROBINSON, JAMES RABNETT, SAMUEL WOOLLETT, and WILLIAM TURNER, five disgraceful wretches, and all prisoners, were charged with gross acts of immorality; and being found guilty were severally sentenced to receive 50 lashes. The scenes that came out in evidence occurred the previous evening, in a house in Castlereagh-street, in the occupancy of JOHN and MARY DOWNING, the former a prisoner, and the latter a free woman. JOHN DOWNING was ordered to be wrought in the gaol gang for three months, while the infamous partner of his horrid iniquity was sentenced to three months hard labour in the Factory at Parramatta. We hope that these latter sentences may be carried into effect with unsparing rigour; as, in those cases alone, a dread of punishment must be kept up; for, in such minds, virtue would seem to have forever flown. — Much praise is due to the Police for the detection of such an abomination.


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