One hundred years ago, this week in January 1914, the Bunyip Court had to deal with this case of bicycle theft. A seventeen year old, William Ayres, was found guilty of stealing a bike from Michael Dineen, of Cora Lynn. He was sentenced to three months in gaol, an extraordinary sentence compared to what he would have got today and, of course, today his name would not be published as he is under 18.
Bunyip Free Press Jan 8, 1914
This article made me wonder when the Bunyip Court first started - I found this article (below) in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of March 22, 1905. The Court first sat in Kraft's Hall, I'm not sure where that was, William Kraft owned the Gippsland Hotel (the Top Pub) so it may have been connected with that.
South Bourke and Mornington Journal March 22, 1905.
The first sitting of the Bunyip Court was held on March 15 1905. The bench consisted of Mr Cresswell, the Presiding magistrate, and two Justices of the Peace, Ramage and A'Beckett. The first case concerned Myrtle Morris who was charged with having no visible means of support. Myrtle was remanded to Prahran for a further hearing. The second case involved a twelve year old, John Mannix, who was charged with endangering property by setting fire to some scrub, which destroyed gates and fences. He was released into the care of his father who entered a recognizance for the boy's future good behaviour. Once again, this article shows how the legal system has changed (for better or worse depending on your view point) a 12 year old would never have his name mentioned in relation to a legal trial today.
You can read more about the Bunyip Court here.