Robbery Being Armed (Lacmalac)
30 September 1863 Goulburn Herald
Local and Provincial Goulburn Assizes. (Before his Honor Sir Alfred Stephen, C.J.)
The court opened at ten o'clock. Robbery Being Armed. James Kershaw, John Forster alias Brady, Samuel Kershaw, and William Forster, were charged with having on the 3rd August last, at Sandy Creek, being then armed, assaulted and robbed one Fee You.
A second count laid the offence as that of receiving stolen property.
James Kershaw and John Forster pleaded guilty and were remanded for sentence.
Samuel Kershaw and William Forster pleaded not guilty, and were undefended.
Mr. Isaacs having opened the case called Fee You, a native of Canton, who being sworn by blowing out a candle, was examined with the assistance of an interpreter.
He deposed that he was an extensive storekeeper, having a large establishment at Hong Kong, as well as at Spring Creek near Beechworth, and smaller stores at Sandy Creek, Adelong, Braidwood, Turon, Tumberumba, Lambing Flat, and Tambaroora.
Early in August on a day about which there was at first some doubt, but which was ultimately clearly fixed as the 3rd August last, he was stopped near Sandy Creek in the Tumut district, and robbed by three armed men with their faces concealed, but whom he nevertheless positively identified as James Kershaw, Samuel Kershaw, and John Forster.
They robbed him of his horse, saddle, bridle, whip, watch, trousers, and boots; and one of them proposed to tie him to a tree; but on the representation of James Kershaw they did not do so.
He had since recovered his horse, which was now outside the court-house; and the watch produced he identified as his property.
This witness, though occasionally requiring the assistance of the interpreter, was evidently a most intelligent and an educated man.
George Hibberdson, deposed: In the early part of last month I was living at Mrs. Shelley's, at Shelley's Plains, on the other side from the town of the Tumut River; it is about five miles from Sandy Creek; I know prisoners;
I have known Kershaw since he was a boy, and the other eighteen months; I also know James Kershaw and John Forster; I had William and John Forster employed early in August;
I saw the two Fosters together; and also John Forster and Samuel Kershaw together; they came to my camp on Sunday, I think the 9th August; they rode up to the camp; Samuel Kershaw was riding a black horse and John Forster a roan;
they got off and hobbled their horses; they stopped there that night;
I saw their horses in the morning; the horse was the roan which is now outside the court;
in the morning Samuel Kershaw advised John Forster to take the hobbles off; and also advised him to take his horse to go for some wedges;
afterwards they rode away to where the Forsters were going to get some posts; the Forsters were then just going to shift to their own camp;
they had been stopping with me;
William Forster went over to the township I had never seen the roan horse before that day; I am quite certain it was not a chesnut;
I heard on Monday of a China- man having been robbed; this was the Monday before the men came to my camp.
To William Forster: You stopped at my place on Tuesday night after I heard of the robbery;
and were backwards and forwards up to Monday;
I don't think you were away for any time;
I did not see you take anything up to the gunyah;
it was an open gunyah; there was no way of stopping anyone from putting anything in it;
I never saw you with the bundle produced; it was taken from my camp the day John Forster and Samuel Kershaw shifted their things from my camp;
it was one of them shifted it;
William Forster was not there then; you were at work for me before the robbery; you had worked for my uncle.
To Samuel Kershaw: You had no business at the gunyah.
Francis Halloran deposed: I am a farmer at Lacmalac, seven miles from Sandy Creek;
I know Samuel Kershaw, and have seen the other prisoner once before I saw him at the police office;
I remember on the 3rd August seeing Samuel Kershaw pass where I was at work in company with his brother James and another man whom I should not know again; James Kershaw was in my company before the others came;
this was between three and four o'clock; he met the others as he was going away, stopped talking a few minutes, and went away in the direction of my place and Sandy Creek, I did not see them after that;
all three were on horseback; one of the men was riding a black horse, James Kershaw a little bay, and I did not see the colour of the other horse; I don't think it was the horse now outside the court;
the Kershaws live at Bombolee Creek, about nine miles from Sandy Creek;
I saw no arms with them. John Enwright deposed: I am sergeant of police, stationed at Tumut;
I arrested Samuel Kershaw on the 10th, and the other on the 11th, at Tumut; John Forster was with Kershaw;
James Kershaw I arrested on the 9th;
I asked John Forster to whom the things knocking about belonged; he said to him;
I asked where their horses were; they said they had none;
I saw the horse now outside the court, ninety yards off; I asked whose he was;
Forster said he did not know;
the constable went and fetched the horse; he said it was all right; in the hut I found a bundle containing, with other things, the watch claimed by Fee You;
both men denied that the bundle was theirs; the hut was a bark hut;
there were two saddles in the hut;
I had the previous day found a piece of cloth (a handkerchief) on James Kershaw, corresponding with that described by Fee You as concealing the face of one of the men who robbed him;
I first saw the Chinaman on Friday, 7th August, two days after he had reported the robbery to Mr. Elworthy;
the watch produced I found in the bundle;
the trousers produced were hanging in a bed-room in the house of the two Kershaws' father.
To Forster: I saw you on the 10th;
I apprehended you on that day; you told me you were at work at Hassett's on the day of the robbery;
Hassert told me the same, but said that he could not account for you being there that night.
James Baker Elworthy deposed: I live at Tumut; I know a Chinaman called Fee You;
he was at my place on Wednesday the 5th August;
he made a communication to me;
I don't remember having seen him before; the communication related to a robbery;
I am editor and proprietor of a newspaper; the Chinaman called to advertise his horse.
Fee You re-called and examined in Chinese deposed: The robbery took place on Monday.
Owen Liddle deposed: I accompanied Enwright and assisted to apprehend Samuel Kershaw, and caught a roan horse.
This was the case for the crown.
Samuel Kershaw declined to address the jury.
William Forster said that he could not be responsible for what his brother did in his absence.
His Honor having summed up, the crown-prosecutor admitted that there was no evidence against Forster.
The jury after an absence of about five minutes, returned into court with a verdict of guilty against Samuel Kershaw, and not guilty against William Forster.
Forster was then discharged.