John Bootle's trial, from the Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser (6 December 1851):
CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT. (Abridged from the Herald.)
This court opened on Monday, December 1, before his Honor the Chief Justice....
John Bootle was indicted for the manslaughter of James Smith, by striking him with an iron bar, on the Western Road, on the 27th October.
Bootle, a publican, living on the Western Road, having had a few words with his wife, she left him in a pet, and went home to the house of her father, leaving her sister and another lady, visitors of hers, at Bootle's house; the next day she came for her clothes, accompanied by her father ; Bootle, who had been engaged opening some syrup, and had an iron bar in his hand, refused to allow his wife to hand over her band-box to her father ; an altercation ensued and Mr. Smith struck Bootle a severe blow on the forehead with the heavy end of a whip-handle, cutting it open ; Bootle raised his hand and struck Mr. Smith on the side of the head with the iron bar ; Mr. Smith fell, was removed to bed nearly insensible, and medical assistance called in ; but he died in the course of the night. Bootle was described as a quiet inoffensive man.
Mr. Holroyd, for the defence, urged that the injury was most "probably inflicted by Mr. Smith's head coming in violent contact with the bar when raised by Bootle to protect himself from a second blow with the whip handle.
Guilty, with a recommendation to mercy. Sentence, six months' imprisonment.'