A story that so very perhaps could have been miscarriage of justice, or perhaps it even was....
To the back a newspaper extract from 1832 showing the results of trials of the 7th Session of the Old Bailey including Sarah Newman being found guilty of robbery. Appearing at the Old Bailey, London on 6th September 1832 Sarah Newman stood trial for robbery.
The trial evidence against her was contested by an eye witness who gave her an alibi.
On Monday 20th August 1832 was on patrol near Hagegrstone Bridge, Hackney, London. He heard a disturbance and when dealing with it was set up by three girls and four men. He was kicked and punched to the ground and had his handkerchief stolen. Police Constable N92 Henry PETTY stated that one of the assailants was Sarah NEWMAN a local girl. He later identified her at an address and she was arrested and charged with robbery. A pawnbroker's ticket was found at her address and a handkerchief simialr to this was found to the stolen one was found the pawnbrokers. She claimed to have been given it by her co-accused Samuel AUSTIN.
Joseph HOOKER, a local cabinet maker, gave evidence that NEWMAN was not involved.
The jury didn't believe them and she was sentenced to death. She was just 17. Her co-defendant was also sentenced to death.
Sarah was clearly from a poor family. Her mother was described at the trial at being nearby to the attack and being heavily in drink.
Sarah would have spent time in Newgate prison and would have been due to be hanged for her alleged crime. Research of the Old Bailey records shows her sentenced was respited to transportation on 18th October 1832 - probably due to her tender years. Young Sarah was sent to Van Diemens Land, now known as Tasmania. Her transportation was for 99 years. She left Torbay on the convict ship 'Jane', along with another 114 convicts, on 22nd February 1833 and arrived in 30th June 1833 in Hobart.
We then know that she applied to be married on 16th March 1836 to Thomas BAYS, a fellow convict, who had arrived on the convict ship YORK. BAYS had been convicted for 7 years on at the Surrey Quarter Session on 9th July 1832, was transported on 11th August 1832 with another 200 convicts arriving in Van Diemens Land on 29th December 1832. The application was approved. We can only assume they married a short while later. As for Sarah, the trail goes cold at the point. She would likely have worked in one of the five female factories on the island, or as a servant in the houses of one of the settlers.
The level of detail recorded on her arrival is fascinating. She was described as 4'11" in height, Protestant and couldn't read or write. Her complexion was fresh and freckled with dark grey eyes. She had tattoos, five dots between finger and thumb right hand and a heart on her left arm, with 5 dots, between the finger and thumb of her left hand.
It appears that her husband, Thomas BAYS, was pardoned in 1842. An extract from a Hobart newspaper, The Hobart Town Courier and Van Diemens Land Gazette shows: