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Judicial CP - November 1938

Corpun file 22440

The Age, Melbourne, 3 November 1938

Birching for Youth

"Young Blackguard" Says Judge

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Six strokes of the birch and imprisonment for one month were ordered by Mr. Justice Lowe in the Criminal Court yesterday for a youth who appeared before him last year on a charge of having committed an offence against a girl at Malvern in May, 1937, and was released on a bond to be of good behavior for three years, and to come up for sentence when called upon.

The youth, Allan Thomas Hughes, 19 years, Anderson-street, Caulfield, was sentenced by Judge Stretton in October to imprisonment for four years and nine months on six charges of larceny, one of receiving and one of assault and robbery in company.

He appeared yesterday to receive sentence for the original charge for having broken his recognisance.

Mr. Justice Lowe read a police report, which stated that at Brighton and Carnegie three months later young girls were accosted by young men on several occasions. Police questioned Hughes and another youth, who were released, however. When arrested on the larceny charge Hughes made a statement allegedly admitting four assaults on girls.

"Having regard to the evidence before me, I have come to the conclusion that you are a young blackguard, and should be severely punished for your crime," Mr. Justice Lowe said yesterday. He added that he had considered ordering Hughes a whipping last year, and it was only after hesitation that he released him on a bond.

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Mr. Justice Lowe ordered that the sentence of one month in gaol should be served concurrently with sentences at present being undergone.

Hughes appealed unsuccessfully to the Court of Criminal Appeal against the sentence imposed on him by Judge Stretton, who stated in his report that he considered Hughes a person of "real and versatile criminal character." He thought it would be in the interests of the community that he should be kept from society, and considered the sentence too light.

The Crown Prosecutor, Mr. Book, K.C., replying to a statement by Hughes that he had been forced to obey another "man," said the "man" was another boy aged 16 years.

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