SCENE IN A MAGISTRATE’S COURT.
Gisborne, April 22.
The Resident Magistrate’s Court yesterday again presented an undignified scene. The case against A. F. Hardy for perjury was proceeding, and during the examination of one witness for the prosecution, Mr. Matthew Price, one of the presiding magistrates, expressed his astonishment at the witness recollecting what had transpired about three months ago. Witness objected to discredit being thrown,upon his testimony. Mr. Price replied that witness’ recollection was better than a shorthand reporter’s notes. Mr. Rees, solicitor for the prosecution, remonstrated with the Bench, and stated that such scenes tended to bring the administration of justice into contempt, and made it difficult to conduct cases in a proper way. Mr. Price forthwith committed Mr. Rees for contempt of Court, and ordered the bailiff to take him in charge, which the bailiff did. By this time the court was thronged with spectators. Mr. Rees refused to withdraw the expressions complained of, and after a little time, when things became cooler, the Bench fined him LI, and then adjourned the Court. Mr. Rees declined to pay the fine. The Court again assembled, and a number of persons were about to pay the fine, but Mr. Rees would not consent, preferring to take the alternative of a fortnight’s imprisonment. Mr. Rees declined to go on with the case, and his clients being unable to conduct their own case, and refusing to employ other counsel, another adjournment for two hours took place. Through the influence of some friends of both parties, Mr. Rees consented to the payment of the fine, and appeared in court for his clients in the afternoon.
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