In August of 1876, Crown Street hairdresser William Harrison faced Wollongong Court charged with having "violently assaulted, ravished and carnally known" a female client.
But it appeared Harrison was the unfortunate victim of a woman's fanciful yearnings.
Christina Wilson, wife of tailor William Wilson, told the court that Harrison had attended her home in Upper Crown Street to dress her hair for an upcoming ball.
She said that on entering her house that morning, he "closed the door and turned the key".
"He then did my hair, standing before me, and when he had done my hair he had me in such a position that I could not move," she said.
"I told him to stop and he said it was too late. I went to scream, but he put his hand on my mouth until he had done what he wanted. I struggled a few moments when he assaulted me, but I could not scream out. He committed the assault against my will."
Mrs Wilson, who had been married for just four months, said she took two days to report the alleged assault because she had been feeling unwell. She was also too upset to take proceedings on the day the assault occurred; however she was well enough to attend the ball.
When questioned in court, she denied asking Harrison whether he wanted to curl her hair in the front room or the bedroom, and that she was lying on the sofa when he arrived.
"I did not put my arms around him; I could not give alarm after he left as he left me senseless. I was not senseless when my husband came home, nor too senseless to go to the ball that night," she said.
Mrs Wilson denied claims she attended Harrison's shop that evening, despite a witness saying he saw her there; nor did she ask him to dance at the ball.
She denied sending him letters and poetry and was not in the habit of going to his shop "almost every night".
Mr Wilson said he arranged for Harrison to do his wife's hair.
It was he who pressed his wife to lay charges, after he learned of the assault.
He rejected a printed piece of poetry on which Harrison claimed Mrs Wilson had written, "From the one who loves you dearly".
For the defence, William Macdonnell said he saw Mr Wilson and Harrison playing billiards together on the afternoon of the alleged assault on friendly terms.
The case was dismissed.
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