Public opinion was divided over this verdict

Public opinion was divided over this verdict, in particular for Wattorgin. The Sydney Herald stated on 16 February 1835: “The…simple looking girl, about seventeen years of age, stated, that there had been eleven in the party…but the two prisoners were the only individuals whom she could identify, from the strong resemblance the blacks bear to each other”.

A letter to the editor suggests a just verdict was not reached:“One of the prisoners [Mickey Mickey] was identified by all the three witnesses…The other prisoner, Charley Myrtle…was identified by the girl only. Lynch and his wife said they saw all the party…Lynch expressed his belief that [Wattorgin] was not one of the party…the case against [Wattorgin] rests altogether on the girl’s evidence – who says, she recollects him principally because his teeth were whiter, than those of the others…In one word, the case against Charley Myrtle is the uncorroborated evidence of one person [who]…had never seen him before…on this evidence the man is…sentenced to death”.

Mickey Mickey was executed by hanging on 27 February 1835. Wattorgin’s sentence was commuted to transportation to Van Diemen’s Land for life. (Blair, 2003, 82-84).