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MAGISTERIAL.

ASHBURTON— Friday, April 2. (Before Mr. F. Guinness, 8.M.) INDECENT ASSAULT. Win. Skedgewell was brought up on remand, charged with having committed an indecent assault on the person of Elizabeth James, on the 26th August last, in the kitchen of the Wheatshoaf Hotel, where the girl was then a servant. Mr. W. 0. Ireland appeared for the prisoner. Elizabeth James, a servant in the employ of R. W. Shearman, Somerset Hotel, said that in August last she was cook at the Wheataheaf Hotel. On the 25th August last, the prisoner threw her down on the floor of the kitchen, and committed the offence complained of. Witness screamed and Mr. Willcocks came to the rescue and sent for the police at orco. Constable Farmer came the same evening after dusk. The prisoner was then gone, ihe assault took place between 12 and 1 of the day. Never had any connection with the prisoner previously. Mr. G, Willcocks, landlord of the Wheatstone Hotel, deponed that last witness was in his employ in August last. Prisoner was also working for him and had boarded in the hotel for seven weeks previous to the 25th August. On the latter date witness heard a row in the passage, ond on going down, met the girl at the door, who said she had been insulted by the prisoner. Told prisoner to leave the house at once, as he was using bad language, and abusing the girl. Sent for the police, immediately afterwards. Did not servo tho prosecutrix with any drink on that date, and never saw her guilty of an immodesty. Jesse Baxter, a laborer at Longbeach, said he was at the Wheatsheaf Hotel on the 25th August last. The girl James and the prisoner were both in the kitchen. Was asleep at the time, and was wakened by their loud talking. Heard prisoner call the girl a very disgusting name, and make a remark about her being unduly familiar with all the men about the place. Witness said he ought to be ashamed of himself for using such expressions to a woman, and threatened to thrash him for it. Prisoner cleared out of the hotel, and was not found again that night. Mr. Ireland said there was a doubt as to the prisoner having committed any assault on the prosecutrix, and he would ask his Worship to give him the benefit of the doubt. Prisoner reserved his defence, and was committed for trial at the next criminal sittings of the Supreme Court at Christchurch. The case was heard with closed doors. CIVIL CASES. Cookson v. Stewart. Claim LlO 10s. No appearance for plaintiff. Case dismissed. Taylor v. Dufrates. —Claim LI 15s. 2d. Judgment for plaintiff, with costs. Griffin v. Adams.—Claim L 8 9s. 9d. ■No appearance. Tisch v. Elder. —Claim L 9 7s. Bd. Judgment for amount in full, with costs. Doherty v. Keen. —Claim L 4 for rent. LG had been the original sum owing, and L2 had been paid. Defendant contended that only three weeks’ rent was due, but was not able to produce any documentary evidence of ihe fact. Judgment was given for LI.

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MAGISTERIAL. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 82, 3 April 1880

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