RESIDENT MAGISTRATES’ COURT.
Friday, September 17.
(Before Mr. F. Guinness, R.M.) A DISCONTENTED MEMBER. Henry Hamlin, who was before the Court at last sitting for vagrancy, and had been sent back to the Old Men’s Home, whence he came, was again charged with vagrancy. Hamlin had again absented himself from the Home without leave, and of course once more came into the hands of the police. Mr. Harris gave evidence similar to that he had given at last sitting. He had written to the Charitable Aid Board, and Mr. March had replied that the man had been discharged from the Christchurch Hospital as incurable. Hamlin suffers from injured eyes, and ho protested strongly against being sent b ick to the Home. He appeared to think he had been very badly treated because no one had taken up his case, and procured for him the services of an oculist ; he was quite sure that a good oculist could restore his sight. His Worship said be did not wish to deal harshly with the case, but there was only one of two courses Hamlin coul 1 follow, either to go back to the Home, or go to prison for six months. Accused replied that he could not content himself in the Home, and the gaol was equally objectionable. Perhaps his Worship would send him back to the Hospital. He thought the public should take the matter up, and get him the attendance of an oculist. His Worship said the man would be sent back to the Home for a week, during which time he might endeavor to interest private individuals in his case ; but if he were brought up again he would have to go to prison. Hamlin said it was impossible for him to be content in the Old Men’s Home, and he evidently thought himself very hardly treated. His Worship said that, however much Hamlin’s condition was to be commiserated, his discontent with the only institution that was open to him left the Bench no alternative but to commit him to gaol for six months. TETHERED HORSES. William Smith was charged with having two horses tethered on a section within the Borough, the same not being enclosed by a fence. The defendant stated that the ground was in his occupation. Constable Neill stated that he had found the cattle on the ground mentioned, and from instructions received from Sergt. Felton, he had impounded the horses. In answer to his Worship, the Mayor, who was present, said that, in his official capacity, he had no statement to make, but as a private individual, if anyone came on a section of In's to take away animals, he should certainly order the intruders off. His Worship dismissed the case, as he could not interfere with the common law right of any individual, and he considered the section under which the information was laid was idtra vires. However, there were instances under which an action could be laid under the section, but there was nothing to prevent a man tethering a horse on his own property so long as the rope were short enough to prevent the animal’s getting on to the road.
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