RESIDENT MAGISTRATE’S COURT.
ASHBURTON—Saturday, Jaw. 31, (Before Mr. F. Guinness, R.M.) VAGKaNCY. Jas. Nolan and John Brown were charged with having no lawful visible means of support. Sergeant Pratt stated that the men were living in the river bed in a tent, and were knocking about from public-house to public-house in a state of drunkenness, and had not been working lately. He gave both prisoners a very bad character. His Worship sentenced them, to three months hard labor. LAEO2KV. John J. O’Brien was charged with larceny from a tent of property to the value of L 9. Constable Farmer, sworn, said—From information received, I went to a tent in a paddock on the Wakanui road to make enquiries about a watch and chain, the property of Angus Ross. I searched and found a bag containing blankets, tie, scarf, and waistcoat. In the latter garment were a silver watch and chain. Accused claimed the blankets, tie, and scarf; Angus Ross claimed the waistcoat, watch, and chain. I arrested the accused. (Watch, chain, and waistcoat produced.) Accused said we knew nothing about the watch and chain, more than that he had seen them in the tent at the head of a bunk. By Mr. Branson—There wore others present when I arreste 1 the accused. Angus Ross, contractor, d'.poned—l am working at Mr. Scott’s. Prisoner was working there on 29th inst. ’ I live in a tent with accused and Samuel Scott, my mate. I left the tent on morning of 29th to go to work among the corn. Prisoner stayed at Mr. Scott’s. I left my watch in my waistcoat in the tent. I returned at noon same day. My watch and chain were then all right. I then left for the township, and came back about 6 o’clock. Missed my watch and waistcoat at 10 o’clock that night. Prisoner was in the tent; and I told him I missed the things. Prisoner said he had lost his blankets and scarf. Saw prisoner next morning about seven o’clock. The prisoner was set at work that morning at some barley stooks. I saw him shortly afterwards coming from the direction of some oaten stooks, near where the bag was found, and not from the barley stooks. I then accused prisoner of taking the things. He denied it. Mr. and Mrs. Scott and I searched the oaten stooks and found a bag containing prisoner’s blankets, towel, and scarf, and my waistcoat hidden in a stock. Was with Constable Farmer when he found the property. I identify the watch, chain, and waistcoat as mine. I value the watch at L 4 or L 5. James Quinn, watchmaker, valued the watch at L 4. Mary Scott and her husband, Samuel Scott, corroborated previous evidence. After hearing Mr. Branson and evidence for the defence, his Worship dismissed the charge.
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