Thomas Bell

Evidence Type: Newspaper Report
10 October 1843

COUNTRY NEWS.

PARRAMATTA.

POLICE OFFICE, OCTOBER 6.

Before G. ELIOTT, Esq., P. M., Dr. ANDERSON, J. P., J. BLAXLAND, Esq., J. P., and Capt. MOFFAT, J. P.

THOMAS BELL, JOHN HAMILTON, and MARY CORCORAN, appeared, on summons, to answer a charge of embezzlement.

Mr. ELIOTT stated, that being the Visiting Magistrate at the Factory, he would decline adjudicating in the case; and Dr. ANDERSON took the Chair.

On the Acting Criminal Crown Solicitor (Mr. CALLAGHAN) opening the case, Mr. NICHOLS, on behalf of Messrs. BELL and HAMILTON, objected to the power of the Police Magistrate issuing a summons on so grave a charge as felony, unsupported by affidavit; and requested that the information (if any) on which the summons was issued, might be read.

Mr CARRINGTON, on behalf of MARY CORCORAN, agreed with what had fallen from Mr. NICHOLS, and further stated, that the summons purported to be issued at the instance of the Criminal Crown Solicitor, and although he might know that Mr. CALLAGHAN was acting in his behalf, yet he thought that objection would hold, as he was not bound to recognise him as the Criminal Crown Solicitor in this instance.

Mr. CALLAGHAN stated, that the objections urged by the Counsel for the defence were captious; all the defendants had to complain of was that they had been treated with too much lenity; but if they persisted in their objections, he would adopt another course, by which the prisoners would be brought up in charge of a constable in about fifteen minutes.

Mr. NICHOLS stated, that as the Criminal Crown Solicitor had held out that threat, he should retort by saying, that if the Police Magistrate issued a warrant, and the grounds of the information proved unsatisfactory, the defendants would have their remedy against him; and further, that it was absolutely necessary that the information should be on oath, in order that if false, the parties could be indicted for perjury.

Mr. CALLAGHAN replied, and Mr. NICHOLS insisting on his objection, the Court adjourned.

At twenty minutes past twelve, a warrant having been in the mean time prepared, on the affidavit of G. ELIOTT, Esq., THOMAS BELL, JOHN HAMILTON, and MARY CORCORAN appeared at the bar, when Dr. Anderson, J. P., and JOHN BLAXLAND, Esq., J. P., having taken their seats—

JOHN RYAN, Chief Constable of Parramatta, being duly sworn, deposed, that he apprehended the prisoners at the bar on a warrant from that Bench, charging them with embezzlement and conspiracy.

Cross-examined by Mr. NICHOLS—Apprehended Mr. BELL in the Court House yard, Mr. HAMILTON on the footpath in George-street, and MARY CORCORAN in the Police Office; the warrant is signed M. ANDERSON, J. P., and is produced by me.

The Assistant Crown Solicitor enquired on whose behalf Mr. NICHOLS appeared; to which he responded, for Mr. HAMILTON and Mr. BELL.

At the request of Mr. NICHOLS, the information was then read, which set forth that G. ELIOTT, Esq., being the Visiting Magistrate of the Female Factory, had been informed, and believed, that THOMAS BELL, Mrs. BELL, JOHN HAMILTON, and MARY CORCORAN had conspired &c., &c. [As the case is yet pending, we do not conceive it right to insert the information.]

G. ELIOTT, Esq., being again sworn, deposed, that the contents of the information were true, and that THOMAS BELL, JOHN HAMILTON, and MARY CORCORAN at the bar, were three of the parties alluded to therein.

Mr. NICHOLS applied that the case be postponed till Saturday, at eleven o’clock, and that the prisoners be admitted to bail in their personal recognizances of £100 each, to appear at that time. The Criminal Crown Solicitor having consented, the Court adjourned.


See Original: “COUNTRY NEWS. PARRAMATTA. POLICE OFFICE, OCTOBER 6,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Tuesday 10 October 1843, p.4