Spotlight: Trial of Jackey Jackey (Account of the robbery of Tomlins)

Geelong Advertiser and Squatters’ Advocate (Vic. : 1845 – 1847), Wednesday 1 October 1845, page 2



William Westwood (Jackey Jackey) was capitally charged with robbing (being armed with a gun) Mr P. S. Tomlins, at Redlands. on the 10th August ; of a one pound note, a half-crown, and a shilling. The prosecutor stated that he was at Redlands on the day in question, and in the parlour at Redlands: between seven and eight in the evening a man suddenly entered the room, armed with a gun, which he pointed in the direction of the witness; the prisoner was that man; he said, if any one stirred hand or foot he would blow out his brains; but if they followed his directions, and did as he told them, he would not hurt any of them. The prisoner then told all who were in the parlour to go into the kitchen, they did so, and met another armed man in the passage: soon after a third man brought in a number of men tied up: the prisoner stood in the doorway of the kitchen, with his gun in his hand, and pointed towards the inmates, again commanding them not to move, but assuring them that no harm should happen if they were quiet. He (the prisoner) then enquired what money they had? and asked Mr Tomlins if he had any? Witness said he had a little, and, taking out his purse, delivered to the prisoner about 10s or 15s in silver, and a one pound bank note: amongst the silver money witness was positive there were a half-crown and a shilling. The prisoner felt witness’s pockets, and perceiving that there was a watch in one of the waistcoat pockets, he (the prisoner) observed, that he wanted a watch, but would not take his; after the prisoner had got the money, he and his comrades went away. Mrs Harrison, Mr Bryant, and some others, were present when the prisoner came into the parlour ; Mr Harrison had gone upstairs. When they were in the kitchen the prisoner asked Mrs Harrison for the keys, which he gave to the other men, who went into the parlour, but, failing to open the drawers, the prisoner called out to them to break open the drawers; and make haste about it; when Mrs. Harrison implored of them not to do so, and offered to go to them and open the drawers ; the prisoner said, she should not do that; he could depend upon himself, but not upon his men, who were strangers to him, and it might be rather awkward for a lady like her to go to them; she had better stay with her own people. The Attorney-General deeming it unnecessary to call any other witness, the learned Judge briefly addressed the Jury, who immediately found the prisoner Guilty. His Honor said, there could be no doubt of the robbery, but the prisoner had certainly conducted himself with great forbearance, and many persons who had been convicted of similar offences, had been pardoned the capital charge ; the course of the Court was therefore plain, and his Honor, in ordering sentence of death to be recorded, considered that the ends of justice would be complied with; he was glad that he could spare his life, and should, therefore, direct sentence of death to be recorded. The prisoner, a stout, well made man, about thirty years of age, and with a countenance expressive of great determination, comported himself with indifference, without bravado; he evinced neither surprise or emotion of any kind at the learned Judge’s address.

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