Christchurch, Oct. 15.
The libel action, C. F. Barker v. “ Lyttelton Times,” was heard to-day. The plaintiff sought to recover damages from the proprietors for the publication, on the 12th July, of an alleged libel on him in that paper, commenting on the case of Regina v. Greenwood, in which the plaintiff was prosecutor. For this the plaintiff sought to recover the sum of £3OOO damages. The plea of the defendants was a general denial of all the material allegations. The following issues were sent to the jury—(l.) Did the defendants, on or about the 12th day of July, 1879, falsely and maliciously print and publish of the plaintiff, in a newspaper called the “ Lyttelton Times,” published in Christchurch, in the said district, the words and figures set out in the plaintiff’s delaration ? (2.) Has the plaintiff thereby been greatly injured in his reputation ? (3.) What damages (if any) is the plaintiff'entitled to recover from the defendants in respect of the said cause of action ? The second was eventually ordered by his Honor Judge Johnston to be withdrawn. The case was confined almost entirely to argument on the question of whether the article was libellous or not, and few witnesses were called. The jury returned a verdict for plaintiff for £5 damages—which, of course, carried costs. The weather has been very wet and cold for the last two or three days, more like winter than spring.
A verdict was returned on the man Felton of death by apoplexy. The evidence showed that he had taken aconite during the afternoon, and the doctors do not say whether that had caused death or not.
Dunedin, Oct. 15.
The trial of William Waters, on the charge of murder, was concluded at the Supreme Court yesterday, at 11 p. in. The jury retired, and after about half an hour’s consultation returned a verdict—not guilty. The prisoner was also acquitted of the same charge on the Coroner’s warrant, but in regard to other similar charges arising out of the same circumstances, the Crown Solicitor obtained leave to apply for authority to enter a “ nolle prosequi” instead of an arraignment. The prisoner upon the several indictments accused was discharged from custody, and the jury were dismissed. In the Supremo Court to-morrow, in the breach of promise case, Mary Craddock David, of Dunedin, v. James Taylor Hirst, of Wellington, damages £IOOO, will come on for assessment. The divorce case Daniel White, petitioner, v. Esther White, respondent, and David McLennan, will also be heard.
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