All For Love: Part Two
Frenchman Gerard Beaumont seemed unable to take no for an answer. He was charged with stealing items of clothing, including an opera cloak, from a woman living in Neutral Bay on Sydney’s lower north shore. He admitted that he had taken the woman’s clothes but asked the all-male jury to stop thinking like ‘Britishers’ and instead imagine they were passionate Frenchmen. The woman had rejected his advances, and Beaumont explained that in a fit of jealousy he had taken the items to prevent her from going on a date with his rival. He further declared, ‘In my country it is nothing for a young man to be chased by gendarmes because he has climbed, perhaps, to the window of his lady to say good-night to her’.2 The magistrate described his defence as very strange but entirely worthy of consideration. Beaumont was acquitted. The young woman’s thoughts on his actions weren’t recorded.