THE WELLINGTON LIBEL CASE.
♦ In the case Anderson (editor of the “ Evening Chronicle,” Wellington) v. Kirkbridge (proprietor of the “JRangitikei Advocate”), an action for libel arising out of the recent election, the following were the chief issues set before the jury, with the answers given : • ‘ 2. Did defendant print and publish of and concerning the plaintiff in the “ Bangitikei Advocate ” the words set forth in the declaration ?—Yes. 3. Are said words defamatory of plaintiff?—Yes. 4. Are the allegations of fact in alleged libel true ’ of the several matters following, that is to say, was plaintiff apprehended and placed under restraint and charged and liberated as in second plea alleged ?—Yes. _ Did plaintiff assault and beat one Richard Cobden Easby, and was the plaintiff committed for trial as alleged ?—Yes. Was plaintiff in employment of one Thomas McKenzie, and, whilst in such employment, was plaintiff a person of drunken and dissipated habits !—-Yes ; during the latter portion of that employment he was a person of drunken habits, but he did not threaten McKenzie. Did plaintiff reside at the town of Wanganui and contract debts, and did he leave the said town without paying such debts and have such debts never been paid ?—Yes. Was plain- ' tiff arrested and charged and convicted at WangarA%HSfelleged ?—Substantially, yes. Did pontiff unlawfully illtreat his wife at Wanganui as alleged, and was the assistance of the police constable procured, as alleged ?—Yes. Was plaintiff charged at Wellington and convicted as alleged 1 — Yes. Is plaintiff, and was he many years prior to the 9th day of August, 1879, in the habit of drinking alcoholic liquors very hard as alleged, and was his health thereby affected as alleged I —He ■was so at various
times up to 29th July, 1879. Did plaintiff illtreat his wife as alleged ?—Yes. Is plaintiff, as a journalist, and as editor of the “Evening Chronicle” newspaper, generally known and reputed to be a very scurrilous writer, and in the habit of making coarse personal attacks in the said “ Evening Chronicle ” newspaper upon persons who happen to differ from him in politics ?—Yes. Is the alleged libel, so far as it is a matter of comment, fair comment upon the acts, conduct, and writings of the plaintiff?—The comments on the acts and writings are justified so far as the article complained of is concerned. What sum, if any, is plaintiff entitled to recover from defendant ?—None.
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