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ASHBURTON, Friday, Oct. 31st. (Before Mr. F. Guinness, R. M.) DISTURBANCE IN A LICENSED HOUSE. James Currie and Edwin Thomas w r erc charged with creating a disturbance in the Royal Hotel on Wednesday last. Mr Branson appeared for Thomas, who denied the charge, but Currie pled guilty. Constable Maroney stated that he was sent for by Mr Power, the landlord of the Royal. He went there, and saw the accused fighting. Tried to separate them but could not, and with the aid of the landlord succeeded in ejecting them from the house. Was not present when the fight started ; and didn’t know who commenced it. Couldn’t say whether Thomas was acting in self defence or not. Thought he was. Saw blows struck, and fighting went on for five minutes while witness was present.

Mr Power, landlord of the Royal Hotel, —Saw them fighting, and asked them to stop several times. Consider that Thomas was the instigator of the disturbance. They were fighting for some minutes after Maroney came. 1 gave them in charge. I saw the commencement, and there was some bonnetting going on between Thrmas and Meredith Wilson. I took Wilson out of the way. Wilson used ) revoking language to Thomas. Thomas commenced the row and hit Currie first. I was looking on. I think Thomas had no provocation to hit Currie. Currie was drunk hut had not tried to pick a quarrel with any other people. Mr Wilkie was present on the occasion of the fight. Wilson was a very annoying man when in drink. Currie on this occasion was stupidly drunk, ami was pushing against people, and making himself disagreeable. Saw- Thomas and Wilson talking together. Currie pushed himself against hut tho Jotter was in no way annoying Currie. They Wept for each other, and Thomas got the best’ of it. Thomas told Currie to go away, feeing that Currie had got enough, Viade off after‘the Constable !»ipj pijjfiffft*' K‘»V ’

Maroncy, the constable, to take the other man, and lie would take Thomas. Told Thomas that he would have to go to the look-up, and there was no use for running away. To begin with, Currie was struck in self-defence.

George J. Martin, Clerk ; I saw the disturbance, i hoard Thomas call upon Currie t<> knock o.f. Don't think it took more than a minute and a half to separate them. Thomas did not make any violent resistance. Was there four or five minutes before Maroney came in. There was an interval, and the young fe.low starte I again. The young fellow (Came) so drunk ho could md hit a haystack.

•James Wood : SUw the row. Heard Thomas tell Currie to clear out, and Currie still wished to continue the light. Saw Thomas hit him with his open hand.

James Fletcher, farmer, said he saw tlie first of the row. Saw Currie interfere. While Wilson and Thomas were “barneying” the young fellow got up and pulled his coat otf, and struck Thomas, who then acted in self-defence, and twice called upon Currie to knock oif. When Maroney came in it did not take above H minutes to stop them. Currie was about throe parts drunk. When Thomas called upon Currie to knock off and would not 1 told them to wire in, and they did. When Maroney got hold of Thomas he held him from behind, and Thomas did not know who had hold of him, ami as soon as Thomas knew it was Maroney he desisted. A passage of arms here took place between the R.M. and Mr Branson, after which

His Worship fined Thomas and Currie 20s each or 48 hours’ iinpiisoinuent, with costs

E. Thomas was then charged with resisting Constable Maroney. Maroney stated that he arrested Thomas, who knocked him down outside the Hotel, and then escaped from him. Wouldn't say he was drunk. He was sober enough. Cross-examined by Branson : He did not strike me. He purposely tripped me. Did not tell Mr Wilkie that I was tripped and knocked down.

For the defence the accused was put in the witness box and stated that I did not deliberately trip him. Did not see the constable inside. Don’t know whether Maroney touched me or not. There was a rush through the door and I could not say whether I knocked Maroney down or not. I did not push him down deliberately. Fined 10s. CIVIL CASES. Weeks & Dixon v. J. E. Hyde Harris —claim, £l3 18s lOd. For plaintiffs—Mr Neck ; for defendant—party. Summons incomplete. Plaintiffs non-suited. Costs disallowed.

Hawkins y. Harvey—claim, 12s Gd for a whip alleged to have been bought by defendant from plaintiff who held a shop in Tinwald of Spencer Stevens. Mr O’Reilly took exception to a date given in the particulars and spoke at some length on the matter. When he had finished, Mr Crisp, for the plaintiff, proceeded to reply to what he was pleased to call Mr O’Reilly’s “rigmarole.” Mr O’Reilly objected to his learned friend speaking of anything that had fallen from a solicitor of that Court as a “ rigmarole.” Mr Crisp withdrew the word rigmarole, and replied to Mr O’Reilly’s arguments The plaintiff was nonsuited.with 10s costs. SOUTH RAKAIA. Thursday, October 30. (Before Mr F. Guinness, R.M.) William Saunders was charged with driving over the Rakaia railway bridge 15 minutes before the train was due. S. Saunders appeared on behalf of his brother. He stated that his brother only received the summonses just as he was going by the train leaving for Nelson on urgent business, and asked the case may bo adjourned until his brother returned. The case was held over till the 13th November. SLY GROG SELLING. William Morton, boarding-house keeper on the Rakaia and Ashburton Forks railway line, was charged w’ith this offence. Mr Purnell appeared for defendant. P. E. Thorow, constable stationed at Rakaia, proved the service of the summons. Defendant said nothing when summons was handed to him.

Edward Russell deposed that he was a laborer at Mr Passmore’s. Was employed there on the 21st last month. Knew the defendant ; he resided at Mitchem, about three miles from Mr Passmore’s. Went to defendant’s on the 21st of September last. Wheeler went with him. Got there between two and three p. m. Wheeler was still with him. There were throe other people besides defendant there in the sitting room. All were talking together. Knew only one by name, except defendant. His name was Lane. Had no conversation with defendant, only asked him if he would give him some pudding. Had tea and rum as well. Four besides witness and Wheeler had pudding. Wheeler was in the room in the defendant’s house at the time. The defendant went to the back place for the rum, and brought it in in a bottle. I did not call for it, but heard Wheeler call for it. He said “let us have something to drink, Bill.” Defendant did not go for it immediately, as they were all talking together. Could not say the exact time before he brought it in. It may have been ten or fifteen minutes. He placed the bottle on the table. All present helped themselves. There wore five besides defendant. Did not see anyone pay for it. I paid eighteen pence for pudding, as I understood the rum was to be given gratis. The pudding was all I called for. I ate all the pudding in the house. I .think what I ate was worth eighteen pence. Had pudding, tea, and rum. Did not think the rum included in the meal. Had rum before and after the meal. Had rum often. Wheeler called for rum first. Had more than one nip. The defendant brought in rum thi'ee times. He brought it in in a bottle. The same people were present on each occasion. I saw no money paid, only what I paid myself, Paid the one (inn sixpence between the time I Had the meal and when I went away. To the .Bench i Tim mm and sixpence Was paid after I had the three glasses of ruin. Was thorp from about '4.3Q till S p. m., Wheeler left with ulih Crass-e?ijmiined by Mr Barbell j Defendant did noli say anything lo him alicnjt shouting Wjietrtha first buttju was Tipi 'Wibjjtr T'ilT 'Bnt Inj

could have said anything about shouting without me hearing it.. The second bottle of rum was put on the table later, on behalf of Lane. 1 have not to my knowledge sworn differently on a previous occasion. Defendant shouted the last time. On the third bottle being brought in defendant said lie would shout again. On another occasion I believe I said that defendant shouted once, and Lane twice. When the bottle was put on the table I md Wheeler helped ourselves. Others might haw done so, I cannot say ; but I think they did. Defendant was in the room ail the time. I did not interfere with the distribution of the liquor. The outtles were on the table, and wo were permitted to help ourselves. The bottles ■were not brought in full each time. They were not so largo as the ordinary public house bottle. When 1 paid defendant I put my hand in my pocket, and threw down two shillings, or two and sixpence, and said take the damage out of that. He took one and sixpence, and said it was for the pudding and tea. I have had pudding, tea, and liquor from defendant on previous occasions. Did not owe him anything to my knowledge. To the police :—1 have never hid the bottle placed before me at an hotel. I have seen it done. People pay voluntarily each time for the liquor. The bottle is generally put back on the shelf. George Wheeler, sworn, said that he was a ploughman working for Mr Passmore. Knew the defendant. Went to his house on 'i ue-sday the 21st last month. There were three other men at the defendant's. When we went there Russell was with me. We had two glasses of rum when we went in. Afterwards h.-d six more. I drank two, and Russell had two. The four others had a drink with me. All were in the same room. I paid for the liquor with a pound note, and received sixteen shillings back. Wont there about two, and came away about five p.m. Did not see Russell shout. Lane shouted, and defendant shouted twice. I paid four shillings for liquor. Cross-examined by Mr Purnell—l paid the pound note for liquor soon after I in. I have not sworn on a previous occasion that I paid just before I left. I could not say how many nips I had while there :it might have been eight. I had none before I went to defendant’s. I was not quite sober when I left. The rum did not affect me so much that I do not recolwhat took place. I gave defendant the pound, and knew it was for the rum. Neither of us said anything about what the money was for. To the Bench—l called for drinks, and tendered this money to pay for them It was not long after 1 called for liquor that I paid for it—about four minutes after 1 bad the first drink ; or it might have been ten minutes. It was not long. Could not tell exactly how long, as we were all talking at the time. 1 paid for one shout all round. Six partook of it. By the police—l believe I owed defendant three shillings some months ago, but he said nothing to me about it at this time.

For the defence, Mr Purnell offered the evidence taken on a previous occsision, which was accepted by the Court, the complainants agreeing to it. Mr Purnell contended that the in forma tion must be dismissed, on the ground that the defendant had been tried and dismissed for the same offence on a previous occasion.

The Court reserved judgment on this point and on the case until next sitting of the Court, on the 13th November.

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Bibliographic details

RESIDENT MAGISTRATE’S COURT., Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 16, 1 November 1879

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RESIDENT MAGISTRATE’S COURT. Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 16, 1 November 1879

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