RESIDENT MAGISTRATE’S COURT.
Fail)ay, Aug. 6.
(Before Mr. F. Guinness, R.M.) BREACH OF RAILWAY BY-LAWS. Herman Morris was fined ss. for unlawfully trespassing on the railway line, contrary to the Railway By-laws. THE BOROUGH BY-LAWS. For leaving a horse and cart unattended, contrary to the provisions of the Borough By-laws, Richard Trigg was fined ss. RESCUING IMPOUNDED CATTLE. Thomas Corbett a lad of ten years old, was charged, on the information of Thomas Wilson, with unlawfully rescuing fifteen head of cattle which had been lawfully seized by the said Thomas Wilson, for the purpose of being impounded. Mr. Purnell for the prosecution ; Mr. Ireland for the defence. Thomas Wilson, sworn, said he was a farmer at Wakanui. Knew the defendant’s father, whose property adjoined that of witness. For the last two years had been annoyed by Corbett’s cattle getting on to the public road, and getting into witness’ crops. Corbett has a great number of cattle —more than he has feed for. Have tried on three occasions to impound the cattle, but have not been able to. On Sunday last tried to impound the cattle. They were about twenty chains from Corbett’s house, on the public road. Took possession of the cattle for the purpose of impounding them. While driving them along the road, the defendant came up with a dog, and he called out to the dog to bail the cattle up. I told him I was going to pnt them in the pound. The lad used some foul .language in reply. I told him I would get the police to him. Made a rush towards the cattle, and the boy turned round, and said I would catch it for striking him with the stick. I had not struck him. I had not a stick in my hand, but a bit of fencing wire. The dog continued to drive the cattle away, and having a slow horse I had to allow the boy to take possession of the cattle. The dog scattered the animals in such a way that it ivould have been impossible for me to get them together. There were about fifteen head of cattle. The lad and his sister are often in charge of the cattle. The lad was about twenty chains away when I commenced to drive the cattle, and then the boy came up. On a former occasion, the defendant and his sister took the cattle from me. When I went to drive the cattle on Sunday last, there were two men apparently ready to assist the boy if he had not been able to take possession of the animals.
By Mr. Ireland —I do not know that these men were coming towards me to prevent me from thrashing the defendant. The cattle were in one mob when I first came across them. They Were going in the opposite direction to Corbett’s house. 1 drove them about four chains before the dog commenced to drive them. Did not gather any more cattle while driving the others along the road. The dog was about a chain in advance of the lad. Do not know that I was being watched. Went after the boy, but did not try to thrash him, nor did I threaten to do so. The boy did not dodge 'me in the flax. Mr. Corbett and I are not on the best of terms, in consequence of his cattle coming on to my land constantly. I have only one cow and two calves, but they have not got on Corbett’s land recently. James Chambers, sworn, said he remembered the Ist August. Was at Corbett’s on that day. Saw Mr. Wilson pass going to church. He was riding a horse. There were a few of Mr. Corbett’s calves crossing the road from one paddock to another. There were five in the road and two in a paddock. Wilson commenced to drive the cattle, and turned back and took the two others with him. He also went on Corbett’s ground to try and got other cattle to join the mob, but he could not get thorn, as they were amongst the flax. Corbett has a dog. The lad went down the road to see what Wilson was doing with the cattle, and the dog followed him. Tlio defendant did not set the dog on the cattle. The dog is in the habit of running after the cattle in case they go on to the road. The dog is kept principally on purpose to guard the cattle. When Wilson could not get the cattle, he went after the boy to try and strike him with a piece of wire, and I went towards the lad, as he was crying. By Mr. Purnell—l am in Mr. Corbett’s employ. At the time, I was sitting by a stack. Had no conversation with the boy before he went after the cattle. When he came hack the boy said lie had been down to see what Wilson had been doing, and that Wilson threatened to kill him. Do not know that the boy and his sister had attempted to take the cattle from Wilson before. Have only been in Corbett’s employ for a fortnight. I was about three chains away when Wilson took possession of the cattle. The dog was not there when Wilson took possession of them. Thomas Allison corrobrated the evidence of the former witness.
Examined by Mr. Purnell—Cannot say why Mr. Wilson abandoned the cattle. Have been in Mr. Corbett’s employ since 2Gth July. Have frequently seen the dog go after the cattle. Could not hear what was said between the boy and Mr. Wilson. Did not know Mr. Wilson, and did not know what he was going to do with the cattle. The boy was a chain or two away when he went to Mr. Wilson. By the Bench—ln taking the cattle to the pound, Mr. Wilson would have to pass the church.
Mr. Ireland wished to put the defendant in tlie witness-box, but the boy’s father objected. Thomas Corbett, sworn, said that the defendant would bo eleven years of age next September. He had been educated, and at times had been taught the Scriptures.
It being considered unnecessary to put the defendant in the witness-box, Mr. Ireland addressed the Bench, and argued that the action was merely brought out of illfeeling between the parties. After Mr. Purnell had replied, his Worship said that the evidence of the two witnesses for the defence had been very straightforward, and was opposite to that of the complainant. They lad said there were only five cattle, the prosecutor said there were fifteen. The prosecutor had said there were high words used by the lad, the defendant’s witnesses hod said they had heard no words used. Considering there was a doubt in the matter, he would give the defendant the benefit of it, and dismiss the case. On the application of Mr. Parnell, his Worship cautioned the lad that he was running a great risk if, at any time, he tried to rescue cattle which any one had in their possession, although he might have an interest in them. CIVIL CASES. Friediander Bros. v. Hamilton. - Claim L 42 135., balance of account. Mr. Purnell for plaintiffs. Judgment for plaintiffs with costs, L 3 3s.
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