Sergeant James BEATTY – Murdered – Penrith – 11 Jan 1890 – Grave 01

Sergeant James BEATTY



11 January, 1890

On 11 January, 1890 outside the Penrith Police Station, the sergeant had occasion to speak to an Indian vagrant whom he had earlier asked to leave town. The man suddenly leapt at Sergeant Beatty, stabbing him five times. Local people and Constable William Moseley then pursued the offender and cornered him however the man threw a brick which struck the constable in the chest. Constable Moseley then drew his service revolver and shot the offender, wounding him. The constable and locals then threw themselves on the offender and he was arrested. He died later that night. Unfortunately, the wounds inflicted upon Sergeant Beatty also proved to be fatal.

The Launceston Examiner of 11 January, 1990 provided the following news of the tragedy.

TERRIBLE TRAGEDY. A terrible tragedy was enacted this afternoon at Penrith. A coloured man, a stranger in the town, was observed by Sergeant Beatty to be throwing stones at passers-by. The officer warned him to desist, and was in the act of arresting him when he drew a knife and stabbed Beatty in the chest, the weapon going completely through his body. Beatty called out, and Constable Mosley came to his assistance, armed with a revolver. Mosley [Moseley]fired at the coloured man, who was in the act of running away, but missed. A second shot, however, took effect, and the fugitive reeled and was about to fall, when a young man named Zolliner [John Zahnliter] seized him. Both men rolled over on the street, and the coloured man drew the knife again and stabbed Zolliner. He was ultimately seized and taken to the lock-up. Sergeant Beatty, who is not expected to recover, has had his dying depositions taken. Zolliner’s wound is not serious.

The sergeant was born in 1835 and joined the police force on 5 February, 1858. In 1862 he became a member of the newly-formed New South Wales Police Force. At the time of his death he was stationed at Penrith.

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