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Friday, July 23.


Matthew Spencer, Robert Todd, and James Todd were brought up on a charge of malicious injury to property, valued at L2 17s. Mr. O’Reilly appeared for the accused.

Philip Tisch deponed—l am the proprietor of the Spread Eagle Hotel. On the 21st inst. I came home at half-past one o’clock in the morning, and found the accused and James File in the hotel. When I went in the men were sitting quietly by the fire. They asked for a drink. At first I refused, and then one of them said, “ We’ll throw, old man, as to who pays for them.” We threw for four drinks ; I lost, and then served them with the drinks. I then told them it was time for them to leave, as I was tired and wanted to go to bed. James File tried to persuade the others to leave, and he then i left. I then asked Robert Todd to leave, ! and lie also went. Asked James Todd I and Matthew Spence to leave, but they declined to go. I said, “ I’m going to bed, and wish you good night.” I then left them in the tap-room. James Todd then went through the house with a candle, looking for mo, and saying lie wanted a drink. He found me in the dining-room, when I told him to clear out, and I then went into my private room, taking the candle with me. James Todd then struck a match, and went through the rooms, looking for me. Spencer was all the while in the tap-room, sitting quiet, but calling to Todd not to go into the private rooms. I then told Todd if he did not leave I would give him in charge to the police. I put my hand on his shoulder, and persuaded him to leave. He said, “ Don’t push a fellow.” He then went into the tap-room. In a few minutes I heard a scuffle, and on going to the porch, saw Harry Cross on the floor, with James Todd on the top of him, hammering him. Spencer was present. I put Todd and Spencer outside. I then locked the door. The}' both stripped, and hung their clothes on a post, and challenged anyone in the hotel to come and fight, and used bad language. When no one went out, and they wore not allowed to come in, James Todd tried to push the door open, and being unable to do so, broke the glass of the door. Matthew Spencer then put his hand through the broken pane of glass to unlock the door ; I hit him on the hand, and took the key out of the door. Spencer asked me for his hat. I did not know Spencer’s hat, hut on looking, found Harry Cross’ hat and threw it out through the broken pane of glass. Todd used some bad language about the way I threw the hat out, and said it was not the hat he wanted. On further search, I found another hat and threw it out also. They then asked for a drink ; I made no reply, and then Spencer threw a stone through the bar room window with great violence. Both the men then came hack to the tap-room window, and called me foul names. Spencer left Todd, and I then heard two more panes of glass being broken. A form was outside, with a case, which the two men took up and threw down violently. Two more panes of glass were tl :n broken. They then ran away. I should have mentioned that James Todd broke in a panel of the bar-room door. Six panes of glass altogether were broken, and the upper glass panel of a door. Three panes were broken by James Todd, one by Spencer, and I believe Spencer broke the others. Todd broke the glass and wood panels of the door. On the night in question it was very bright. When the men went away it was about three o’clock in tho morning. None of the men were drunk. I estimate the damage at L2 17s. The row originated through my refusing to give them drink. I believe that James Todd has been trying to pick a quarrel with me ever since harvest. He owes me some money, and lam afraid to ask him for it. Did not see Robert Todd break any window. Robert Todd was then discharged, there being no evidence against‘him. By Mr. O’Reilly—l was not drunk when I got home that night. I commenced playing Yankee grab with the men, but only bad one glass. I lost in the Yankee grab, but did not lose my temper. I did not find out that the men had no money. I could see from the tap-room window all that was taking place outside. It was not cloudy, but was sufficiently light for me to find the hats in the room without a candle.

Henry Cross corroborated the greater part of the last witness’s evidence, and produced several very ugly-looking missiles

which lie affirmed had been thrown through the windows of the hotel. Both witness and Tisch were sober, and the accused were sober enough to know what they were about. By Mr. O’Reilly—l had some whisky, but was not drunk. William File, sworn, said he was a

carrier, and was at the Spread Eagle Hotel on the night of the 21st, in company with the brothers Todd and Matthew Spencer. When Mr. Tisch came home he was not drunk, but, like the rest of them, another nip would have made him so. By Mr. O’Reilly—When Mr. Tisch came home ho used abusive language to Spencer, but afterwards the whole of them were very merry together.

Witness volunteered a statement to the Bench that Cross was very drunk on the night of the 21st. If he drank one glass he had ton—in fact, he put away the greater part of a bottle of whisky. After Mr. O’Reilly had addressed the Bench, His Worship said the charge of injury to property had been fully sustained, but, taking certain facts of the case into consideration, he thought there was no necessity for a heavy penalty. A fine of ss. would be inflicted on the accused, who would also have to make good the damage which had been sustained by their misconduct, namely L2 17s. His Worship said he could not allow the case te pass without cautioning Mr. Tisch that he had rendered himself liable to an action for a breach of the Fubhc House Ordinance, for allowing gambling in his licensed house. REMANDED. The charge against William Madden, for obtaining money under false pretences, was further remanded, on the application of Sergeant Felton, inconsequence of the continued illness of the accused. HAUNTED BY CATS. Daniel Ready was charged with the larceny of a spade, valued at 65., the property of Richard Taylor. Daniel made a statement to the Bench, in which he confessed to taking the implement, but had appropriated it for one night only, and intended to return it on the following morning. He was very drunk at the time, and thought that all the cats in the country were attacking him. Not having that sense of security which his scriptural namesake possessed while in company with more dangerous foes, Daniel whipped up the spade, which he saw lying on a bank, and told his feline .adversaries if they did not make tracks he would give them “ the contents of it, your Worship.” He had since returned the defensive weapon. After hearing the evidence, which mainly bore out the statement of the accused, his Worship discharged Daniel, with a reminder that drink was the cause of his being before the Court, and advised him to be more abstemious in future. CIVIL CASES. Grigg v. Forman.—Claim Ll 5. Judgment confessed. Mr. Branson applied for costs, as judgment had only been confessed that morning. Costs allowed, L 3 17s. Baldwin v. Hodgson.-—Claim L3l. Mr. Ireland for plaintiff. Judgment by default for amount and costs, L 3 12s. The Court then arose.

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Bibliographic details

RESIDENT MAGISTRATE’S COURT., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 130, 24 July 1880

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RESIDENT MAGISTRATE’S COURT. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 130, 24 July 1880

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