SUPREME COURT SITTINGS.
By our Special Wire.
Timaru, Dec. 10. The half yearly 'criminal sittings of the Supreme Court opened to-daj r , before Judge Johnston. ■
True bills were returned in the following cases ;—Thomas Griffin, stealing from the person. William Charles Kiddey, forgery and uttering. Edward Jeffery, maliciously placing an obstruction on the railway line. Edward James, forgery; Harry Daniel Manning, aiding and abetting to commit a forgery ; Albert Godfrey Saunders, aiding and abetting to commit a forgery. John Doyle, forgery and uttering. William C. Graham, .attempt to murder. Thomas Hunt, cattle stealing. Mary Hunt, wilful damage to property. Frederick Noiber, obtaining money by false pretences, two charges.-'
No bills were found in the cases of Alfred Fisher for libel, and W. B. Nightingale for larceny. The following prisoners were dealt with : —Thomas Griffin, 12 months; W. C. Kiddey, one day ; Patrick Finn, 12 months; Edward James, forgery, two years ; John Doyle, 12 months; Mary Hunt, one day ; Frederick Neiber, 1 year on one charge, acquitted on the other. Blenheim, Dec. 10. In the Supreme Court yesterday, the cases of Kir wan, Goff, and Gowrie, for cattle stealing, and Yates, for assault with intent on a young girl, were dismissed. In the case of Earle v. Doherty, for libel, Mr. Travers, who appeared for defendant, made a special plea, alleging the allegations in the libel to be true, viz., that Earle had actually seduced his niece, and had had-intercourse with her during the past two years, and, further, that the alleged libel was made with a view to having the allegations inquired into for the public benefit. 9 p.m. Doherty’s case is still proceeding. The effect of Mr. Travers’ speech was that Mr. Doherty was not guilty; that the libel complained of was true in substance and fact ; that W. B. Earll had seduced his niece and had had frequent intercourse with her while living under his care and protection; that the publication was for the public benefit, as Earll had been a Councillor of the Borough of Blenheim just previously ; that at the time he was a candidate to fill a vacant seat ; that he held a high office as Grand Councillor in the Good Templar Order for the South Island ; that he held office in the Presbyterian Church ; and had served, and was entitled to serve as a Grand Juror ; and that it was for the public good that the allegations should be cleared up, and such a person prevented from holding such offices. Mr. Connelly asked for an adjournment to consider the plea, which was granted for an hour. On re-assembling, Mr. Connolly said the evidence must proceed. The case went on, and publication of the libel was proved. Mr. Travers opened the case, and outlined a most horrible story, comprising it serious of alleged offences of a grossly indecent nature. This afternoon Fanny Townsend gave her evidence in chief, and detailed a number of indecent acts, and the committal of a capital offence. Other important witnesses are to be examined tonight.
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