Ben Warby discharged
9 May 1836 The Sydney Herald
Saturday. - Mr. Foster applied to the Court for the discharge of Benjamin Warby, on his own recognizances.
Mr. F. said that in making the application, he under stood that the Crown Officers would not oppose the motion.
The Attorney-General said that he should not oppose Warby's being discharged on his recognizances to a large amount; but in doing so, he thought it his duty to mention the circumstances under which he complied with the application.
Benjamin Warby had been tried before his Honor Mr. Justice Burton on Thursday, for receiving stolen cattle under very peculiar circumstances.
William Warby, a brother of Benjamin's, was convicted for cattle-stealing, and when the warrant was issued for his apprehension, Benjamin Warby, his brother, bought the whole of his herds, amongst which were the stolen cattle, and had the bargain completed by a bill of sale, which had been set aside by the verdict of a Jury convened to try the case.
He had felt it his duty not only to take this step, but also to indict Benjamin Warby for receiving the stolen cattle from his brother.
After a long and minute investigation, which occupied an entire day, the Jury had acquitted Benjamin Warby of any criminal intent; which verdict, in all probability, they had given partly in consideration of the very high character the prisoner had received by many gentlemen of high standing, who had known him for sixteen or seventeen years.
There were other cases of exactly a similar nature against Warby, but, as a Jury of his country had acquitted him on any guilty knowledge in the transaction, he did not feel called on to prefer the other charges: and he now publicly stated his determination of proceeding against every individual, however high their station in life might be, where the slightest suspicion attached.
He mentioned this, in consequence of in-formation that had reached him officially that persons in the interior were in habit of purchasing cattle from suspected persons before their committal; and who were under the impressions that because a sale was effected openly, no criminality attached to the proceeding.
Where suspected parties, however, were afterwards convicted, he considered it was prima facie evidence of a knowledge by the purchaser that the cattle were not honestly come by, and he would not let a case slip without prosecuting; should they even be acquitted, the disgrace of being prosecuted would not be more than equivalent to their imprudence in having bought from suspicious characters.
The present applicant had received the highest testimonials of his integrity up to the purchase of the cattle in question; he should, therefore, considering the transactions as one of imprudence rather than a guilty knowledge, consent to his discharge, on his own recognizance for £500.
Warby entered into the required security, and was discharged.