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(From the Post of Saturday.)

At the Resident Magistrate’s Court this (Saturday) morning, before Mr. T. A. Mansford, 8.M., James Horace Smith was brought up, on remand, charged with refusing to provide for the support of his illegitimate child. The information was altered to include accused’s six illegitimate children, the eldest of which was scarcely nine years, and the youngest but 11 months olcl .

Mary Ann Smith deponed that she was not defendant’s wife, but he was the father of her six children. On Thursday fortnight she got up at 6 o’clock, and found accused had gone out and taken all his clothes. He left 30s. and a note stating he was going. She next saw him when he was arrested. Her children were left destitute.

In cross-examination by prisoner, complainant said she was the wife of Edward Louis Smith, tbe uncle of the prisoner. She had been living with prisoner for about eight years, and had had five children to her own husband, Besides six, to prisoner. She had been with her own husband nine years previous to making prisoner’s acquaintance. One child by prisoner hid died, and he had carried it to his uncle’s (witness’ husband), house, rolled in a blanket and laid it on his table. She left her husband because she would not stay in his house with two children of her nephew’s. The accused then cross-examined witness about her conduct in Wellington, Auckland, and Christchurch, the witness’ answers being to the effect that she had lived in misery. On Wednesday night week he came home late, and she refused to admit him for a long time, because she had never been accustomed to get up for her own husband, and was not going to do so for her nephew. He had called her improper names, and she had flung, a kettle at him. §he could not fight him, and had to defend herself against his abuse.

Prisoner—Did you not use a knife ? Witness —Look' here, James, the case is black enough without your fabrications, my dear fellow. About seven years ago you struck me, and I went to Mr. Crawford, who made me a present of a summons against you, but you begged me' not to proceed, and I withdrew the charge. In reply to further questions, witness said she had often been hungry, and 1 so had the children. Her husband had offered to taka her back. The cross-examination extended to great length, during which the whole private life of the parties came out; the woman frequently making uncomplimentary remarks regarding the prisoner. Constable Lawrie deponed to the arrest of the prisoner at the Heads on board the schooner Annie, on the 22nd inst., bound for Hobart Town. Prisoner then said the woman was not his wife.

Sergeant Anderson gave evidence to the effect that prisoner acknowledged that the woman’s six children were his, and that the woman had previously had six to her own husband, his uncle. Prisoner then made a lengthy statement regarding his relations with the yroman. He said he first became acquainted with her some nine, years ago, when invited, tQ

stay at his uncle’s house in Auckland. He was then about seventeen years of age. His uncle went to the Thames for a time, leaving him to take care of his aunt. He was thrown a good deal into her company during this time, and had frequently to take her to the theatre, a place where till then he had never been, as he had been brought up to attend church and Sunday School regularly. It was during this time that he was enticed by his aunt. He had never, however, thought of living with her as he subsequently did. He then told his aunt that he must leave the house, but she said she was very fond of him, and she wished him to stay to take care of her. When his uncle came back he (prisoner) proposed to leave the house. She said, “If you do you will have to take me.” He kept on living with his uncle, and at last Mrs, Smith told hex* husband that he (prisoner) should leave the house, as she could not agree with him. His uncle then took his wife to the Thames. They had only been away a few days when she arranged with her husband that she should leave and go to him (prisoner) with her children. Prisoner consented to this, and went to the Thames and brought the woman and children to Auckland, and she lived with him as his wife. After two months she went back to her husband, butreturhedtoprisoneragain, and for 18 months she came and went. Finally she brought up her husband and children, and all lived together. He afterwards left the house, and the woman followed him. He then determined upon leaving Auckland. He left for Wellington, and shortly afterwards Mrs. Smith wrote to him, stating that she had been turned out by her husband, and was houseless, and she wished to come to him (prisoner). He, of course, agreed to take her, as he could not see her houseless, He then left Wellington, and went to Christchurch, where Mrs. Smith’s extravagance sent him into the Bankruptcy Court. He returned to Wellington, haying left Mrs. Smith in Christchurch, but taking the children —one only nine months old—with him. [Here he broke into tears and loud sobs, during which Mrs. Smith remarked that “James could do that at will. ”] He then explained that he determined to leave, and took passage in the Annie, when he was arrested. He was prepared to take the children, and provide for them, but not to allow the woman anything. Sergeant Anderson said prisoner’s sister was anxious the disgraceful connection should cease, and would help to look after the children. Mrs. Smith—lt is very hard for me to have my children taken from me. Pin Worship—This is a very lamentable case of domestic misery and unhappiness. Both parties are to blame, but the woman most. I think it advisable the mother should have charge of the youngest child for a time. I shall make an order that the father shall pay for the support of the youngest child ss. per week; the other children will be handed over to the care of the father. The prisoner was then released.

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Bibliographic details

EXTRAORDINARY AFFILIATION CASE IN WELLINGTON., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 100, 15 May 1880

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EXTRAORDINARY AFFILIATION CASE IN WELLINGTON. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 100, 15 May 1880

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