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AUSTRALIAN ITEMS.

"A new phase of the crime of cattle stealing was made known to the unitiated," says the Yass Courier, "at the Goulburn Sessions held last week. A woman well advanced in years, named Slaven, whose husband was represented to be a very infirm old man, was charged with stealing three hides. The owner of the beasts from which these were taken deposed to be the owner of some hundred and odd cattle, several of which were in a very poor and weakly condition, that he found some of them hamstrung, and with their heads battered in by some blunt instrument, and their hides taken off. He recognised the beasts as his property by the head and ear marks, and had missed them from amongst his herd. When the police went to the prisoner's place she denied having any hides, but on search being made six were found concealed, including the three that were the subject of the trial, and which bore the brands of the prosecutor. The defence set up was that the animals from which they had been taken were found dead in the bush, a defence which, were it even proved to be true, would net avail the prisoner. But the examination of the carcases determined that death had been a violent one. The prisoner was convicted, and sentenced to three years' imprisonment in Darlinghurst Gaol."

West Coast Times (Hokitika, New Zealand), October 26, 1869.