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RESIDENT MAGISTRATES’ COURT.

Tuesday, September 7.

(Before Mr. F. Guinness, R. M.) CRUELTY TO ANIMALS.

Robert Todd was charged with cruelly ill-treating a horse. A. O. Aitken remembered being at the railway station on the 14th August, and seeing the defendant in charge of a team. He lost his temper, and kicked the shins of one of the horses. He caught hold of the tongue of the other horse, and twisted it round, pressing the tongue against the bit. Mr. Dunn, who was present with witness, cautioned the accused. He made no reply. By accused I understand driving horses, and know the amount of punishment which a horse .should get. Did not see any mark on the horse. You wer§ ill-treating the horse for (wo or three minutes, _ } | SSS

J. MacLeau Dunn remembered the dayin question, and was in company with Mr. Aitken, and saw the accused in charge of a wagon and team of five horses. Saw three of the horses bolt/, and be caught by a lad. Accused tried to back the wagon up to the railway shed with the two horses remaining. He did not seem to have full control of the horses, and they did not readily obey him. He kicked both horses furiously on the chest, knees, and shins, and one of the horses he held by the tongue while he made it back.

Accused said one of the horses was young arid a bit stubborn, and he did not ill-use the animals much. Was a perfectly qualified driver. His Worship said the offence had been clearly proven, and accused’s experience only aggravated the offence. Kicking a horse’s shins might seem to accused to be a very effective way of getting a horse to back, but it was a very cruel one. He would be fined LI, with expenses of witnesses, LI each, and costs of court.

The witnesses intimated their intention of giving the expenses to the tobacco fund of the Old Men’s Home.

BY-LAW OPTEJfCES.

F. P. O’Reilly, who was charged with a breach of the Borough By-Laws, protested against the service of summons which had been made last Court day. He had been summoned at eleven o’clock to appear at ten o’clock the same morning. Sergeant Felton said that the fact of Mr. O’Reilly appearing on last Court day was sufficient evidence that the summons had been properly served. Mr. O’Reilly denied having appeared to the summons,’ but consented to go on with the case now.

The alleged offence was for riding across the footpath opposite the Court House. Sergeant Felton said , that on Friday last he had cautioned Mr. O’Reilly not to ride across the footpath near the Court House. Mr. O’Reilly desisted from going across the footpath at the time, but at a later period of the morning, the accused had ridden across the footpath in Moore street in defiance of the warning both of himself and the printed notice posted up. Mr. O’Reilly was summoned for riding across the footpath in West street. By accused—ldo not know that you were not going across the footpath. You were riding across to meet me on purpose to speak about a client of yours. I said “ Don’t ride across the footpath, or I will summon you.” In reply to a question, I told you that you had time to go to the railway station, and in going there you rode across the footpath. William Browm, foreman of the Borough Council, said that the footpath at the corner of West and Moore streets was cut up a deal with people riding and driving over it. There -was a printed notice there cautioning people not to cross the footpath. The notice was signed by the Mayor.

Rudolf Friedlander said that complaints had been made to the Borough Council in consequence of the way the footpath had been cut up at the corner of Moore and West streets.

Mr. O‘Reilly, in defence, made a statement to the effect that he had no intention of riding across the footpath on the first occasion. The Sergeant had certainly in a joking way given him a caution, but he did not think it was more than a joke.He had subsequently ridden across the so-called footpath, but there was no footpath formed. In reply to a question from him, the Borough Solicitor had laughed at the idea of any action being taken for riding across such a place. By the police—The making of the footpath is not within my memory. Mr. O'Reilly argued that it was ridiculous to call such a place a footpath ; and, moreover, the by-law provided for cases where offences were committed wilfully, and he did not know that the place was a footpath, in fact, he did not know it was a footpath now. His Worship said the principle involved was whether there was any lawful excuse. It was necessary to prove that the offence was committed wilfully, and without lawful excuse. This the prosecution had failed to do, and he would dismiss the case. Sergeant Felton said it was evidently not necessary to bring forward two other similar cases. Mr. Pearson, who was charged with riding across a footpath had said he was going to see a party. His Worship wanted to know whether crossing a footpath to see a person was not a lawful excuse.

In that case, the Sergeant remarked that everyone would have a lawful excuse.

Alfred Pearson was charged with unlawfully riding across the footpath in Tancred street.

William Brown remembered seeing the accused cross the footpath. Mr. O’Reilly, for the accused, said there had been no evidence that a lawful excuse could not be given. Witness, recalled by the Bench, said that it was not possible for the accused to have got to the house without crossing the footpath. Hia Worship said that when a person crossed a footpath to get to certain premises, it would be necessary to show that the owner had neglected to apply to the Borough Council for a crossing. So long as it was not proved that a crossing had been applied for, there was nothing to prevent anyone from crossing the footpath to enter premises. His Worship said that in any information of a similar nature it would be necessary to state in the information that no crossing had been applied for.

George Cates was charged on a similar information, with driving a horse and cart across the footpath in Moore street. William Brown, foreman of the Borough Council, gave evidence to seeing the accused cross the footpath in Moore street. The accused is in Messrs. Orr and Co.’s employ, and was taking bags to the store.

By the Bench—There is no crossing put across the footpath, but Mr. Orr has had notice to put in a crossing. By accused—There is a week’s work to repair the footpath. It could not be done in a day. I never told you that you could not pass the footway. You could not get to the store without crossing the footpath. Cannot swear that Orr and Co. have had an official notice served on them to put down a crossing. George Parkin, member of the Works Committee of the Borough Council, stated that Councillor Orr had been told to put down a or he would be prosecuted. Messrs. Orr and Co. had never applied to put down a crossing. By accused—Don’t think that it could be called telling Mr. Orr privately when he was told in the Council Chambers at a meeting of the Council. George Cates, the accused, said he had crossed the footpath and had done so in the execution of his duty, ■'

By the police—Don’t know whether my employers have any legal right to cross the footpath. By the Bench—The footway was cat up before I crossed it, and it would be hard to inflict a fine bn me for what other have done.

His Worship said that the accused had no excuse in this case. .. - , Mr. Cates thought it was a good excuse that he was acting in, the interest 6/his-employers. ' ■ ' 1 His Worship said that in this case ho wbhld inflict the minimum penalty of Is. DAMAGES. In the adjourned case of Cameron v. Boyle, an action for damages, which was heard at last Court day, his Worshi after quoting authorities, said that at the time the alleged injury was inflicted, the defendant was illegally trying to impound sheep, but as there was no damages perceptible at the ‘ time, only nominal damages for Li would be given, with costs —total Lp gs. Baldwin v. Meynall.—Claim L 6 2s. 6d. Defendant applied for an adjournment for three weeks. Judgment was given for

plaintiff, but he would be granted a rehearing,if applied for. ■ Doherty v. Goffin.—Claim LI 16s, Judgment for amount and costs. To be paid in a month. Baldwin v. Holmes. Claim Ll 7 11s. 6d. Mr. O’Reilly appeared for the defendant, and objected to the claim, on the ground that the parties had not been sufficiently described. He objected to the hems described as “ refreshments” and “ cash lent.” An adjournment wonld be asked for, so as to obtain the attendance of a witness. Adjourned, on payment of costs, to September 14. Lyttelton Times v. Eagle. —Claim L 5 18s. Mr. Ireland, for defendant, took objection tot he summons, on the ground that the plaintiffs were insufficiently described, nor their last known place of abode given. Mr. Zouch put in a written document, signed, “ W. Reeves, for the proprietors, Lyttelton Times," but this Mr. Ireland objected to, as it was not signed by the proprietors. His Worship nonsuited the plaintiffs, on the ground that their names' were not disclosed, nor their last place of abode given. Leave would be given to appeal.

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RESIDENT MAGISTRATES’ COURT. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 150, 9 September 1880

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