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Nice Witnesses. [i;y thi.kcrai'H.] Dux el> Ix, T o- d ay. A coroner’s inquest was held yesterday at Port Chalmers touching the suspicious lire at Mansford Bay on the sth inst. The next-door neighbors swore that on the evening of the lire they heard noises in the house, as of people jumping off a form or table, and saw a light in the parlor, where the lire broke out. Other witnesses swore that a boy named Martin M'Mahon declared to them that Pearce, the owner of the house, offered him LlO to fire the house. M'Mahou was somewhat intoxicated at the time. George Moir in his evidence said that on Feb. 21, while on the bed, ho was with M‘Mahon, who was drunk. M‘Mai ion wanted him to go mates, as ho had been offered LlO to burn a homo ; but he (M‘Mahor) intended to try to get Llo. Witness gathered the house was Pearce’s. He thought it was only the beer talking. Said, while ho was in the hospital, that he would burn any house down in those hard times for LlO. M’Mahon iu his evidence said he made the statements when drunk. He was very sorry. He know' nothing of the fire. Pearce never mooted to him to set lire to the house, but he mooted the matter to Pearce. “ That's an honest confession,” added the witness. Tlie Coroner: “You have cither wilfully perjured yourself or endeavoured to set up a theory which is very improbable—that you were so drunk as to be under an hallucination, and you quite fail to clear Pearce. You are one of tlie worst and most discreditaide witnesses that ever came into a Court.” Two witnesses swore that M’Mahon was not under the influence of drink when he made the statements. Pearce denied ever having a conversation with M‘Mahon. Ho and his family were away from the house on the night of the tiro.” The jury returned a verdict that the house was wilfully fired by some persons unknown, and that the evidence of M‘Mahon and Moir was very unsatisfactory.

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Bibliographic details

WILFUL FIRE RAISING., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 300, 23 March 1881

Word Count

WILFUL FIRE RAISING. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 300, 23 March 1881