In the early years of the Swan River Colony, there was no concept of courts treating young offenders differently from adults. This approach had its most glaring example in the hanging of John Gavin, who was only 15 years of age at the time of his execution.
Gavin had been a 'Parkhurst Boy', part of the State's first child migration scheme which brought juvenile offenders from a British prison to work on the land in WA. According to a newspaper report a the time, the jury took only 30 minutes to find Gavin guilty.
As last public hanging took place 12 years later (on 14 January 1856) it is possible that John Gavin was executed in full view of the Perth public.