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RESIDENT MAGISTRATE’S COURT.

ASHBURTON.— To-Day. (Before J. N. Wood, Esq., R. M.) Civil Casks.— Hardy v. Lake. Claim L 44 18s Bd. Mr Parnell for the plaintiff. Judgment by default for amount claimed and costs. Forgery. —James Scott was charged with having, on the Ist day of October last, forged a certain acquittance or receipt for the sum of L 8 ss, with intent to defraud Charles Jones. Mr Harper appeared for the prosecution, and called as evidence the following—Charles Jones, a laborer, residing at Chatmoss, deponed. I am in the employ of Messrs Miles, Hai(Sfill and Co., and was engaged at Chat-

moss in their service on the 13th Oct., 1880. I know the accused. He was manager at Chatmoss on that date. The signature to the receipt produced is not mine, neither is it my mark. 1 can write. . I never received the money, or any portion thereof, which is mentioned therein. On that date I told Mr Scott to pay LI 9s to a hawker named Mitchell. I signed no receipt for that amount. I know the accused’s handwriting ; that in the body of the receipt produced is his, (the receipt purported to be for L 8 os paid to C. Jones). I never authorised him to sign a receipt on my behalf. I first became aware that he had signed my name about a month ago, when the new' manager (Mr Bell) came to the station. I have received an account (produced) from my employers, debiting me with the receipt of LB ss, to which [ objected. William Mitchell —I am a draper, residing at Ashburton, and w'as carrying on that business in 1880. On the 13th October last, I w r as at the Chatmoss estate hawking drapery. I sold some goods to the last w'itness, to the value of LI 9s. which amount he told accused to pay me, and he did so with an order. He paid me LI in addition, on behalf of another young man, making the order for L 8 os, and I gave him the balance of Lfi 10s. The cheque I paid into the Bank to my credit. I was at Chatmoss in January last; as far as I am aware, I did not sell anything to Jones on that occasion. 1 took no other orders on the date mentioned in the information, besides that received from Jones. By accused —I took L2 9s out oi the order you gavefme, and returned you the balance. You said a young man in the swamp wanted a pair of boots, and if they did not fit they were to be returned to the store. Onlprevious occasions you paid me one cheque on behalf of the whole of the men who had obtained things from me. You had made this your rule for vears. Charles Lovatt —I am a shepherd on the Chatmoss Station. I have been there for two years and nine months. I know the prosecutor. He has been there about nine months. During the time I. have been on the estate I have not knownauy other employee of the same name on the estate. I had every opportunity of knowing all the employees. By accused—l used to see all the men in the swamp cutting the drain. I saw Walker and another there. Henry Emplcto.i —I am cook at Chatmoss. I have been employed there nearly fourteen months. I cook for the men and the house. I know the prosecutor. During the time I have been there I have not known any other person named Jones being employed there. I recollect Mitchell being there in October. I did not see any person buy anything from him. I do not remember buying anything in January from Mitchell. By accused —I remember a man named Messiter working at the drain. I did not know his mates. You said you had a warrant out for him. Thomas Taylor—l am a clerk to Mcssx-s Miles and Co., Christchurch. On the 29th of December I went up to Chatmoss and saw accused there. On the day following I received the receipt produced from him. Walter Foster—l am a clerk in the employ of Miles and Co. Accused was engaged as manager at the Chatmoss estate. I have general supervision over matters connected with the estate. The account produced ■ is made up from orders we received from Chatmoss and paid. It was rendered by me to accused. There is an item there dated 13th Oct. for L 8 ss, which was presented by the Union Bank of Australia, and paid by cheque on Miles and Co. ’s account. On receipt of same, the amount would be debited to Charles Jones’ account. I know the handwriting of the accused. The body of the order is evidently written by him, and so far as I can judge, the signature is also his. This was the case for the prosecution. For the defence, accused called John Walker, a contractor at Willowby, who deposed : I know a man named Messiter, . working at Chatmoss. I also know one of his mates, whose name is Jones. Ho is a lad about 19 years of age. When I first saw him he was in company with Messiter. They met me on the Longbeach road. Messiter was carrying a bundle of clothing, and I asked him if he was leaving the swamp, to which he repied, “ Oh, no ; Jones and myself are going to spend a Sunday in Ashburton, and were going to Winslow to catch the train.” When we wore cutting a drain in the swamp Jones called on mo. I frequently told you of the sheep getting in the drain. During the whole time I was engaged on the drain I never saw the shopherd. By Mr Harper—'When I first saw the lad Jones was, 1 think, in July. I have seen him since two or three times. I know accused. He called on me when I was cutting the by drain. John Alpine —I am a laborer working at Chatmoss. I was mates with tiro last witness in November last in cutting a big drain in the swamp. We started tiro work on November 4th. I was not working with Walker on his Road Board contract in July. I saw Charles Jones whilst working at the drain. The shepherd never came down to the place where wo were working. It would have been possible to have had a dozen men working at the drain without it being known. Charles Jones, at the request of the accused, was ro-called, and in reply to him said —My employers have never threatened mo with tire loss of my billet. I did not prosecute. I bet that you would get convicted, but not on this count only. I heard that there were likely to be other actions brought against you. Having been duly cautioned the accused made the following statement, somewhere about tire 24th June, I am not certain about the exact date, 1 was in my employer’s, Mr. Rhodes’, office, Christchurch. We wore talking about tiro drainage of Chatmoss and during this a man named Messiter came and asked Mr Rhodes for a job. Ho stated ho had been employed at Bhmclirtb for several months, and Mr Rhodes instructed mo to interview him. Me told mo bo had three other mates, one a lad named Charles .limes. 1 took his name down specially because ho went into the ollice and asked Mr Rhodes fo* a job on n station. When ho came out he said be did not think there was a chance of getting a job. I went, in with Messiter then to see Mr Rhodes, and the result was that it was arranged that ho should come up to Chatmoss, and 1 should contract with him if possible. Messiter asked mo bow much work there would lie, and then asked the lad Jones bow much ho would want a week to come up. Jones said lie did not care about wages, as lung as ho got a job, and Messiter said lie could come up. On the following day Jones came up and was accompanied by two others. The next day the lad Jones came up to mo and said ho had had a job at Lithtield, at 12s Gd a week, but did not like it, and so had come on after Messiter. I gave him a pair of old trousers and boots, and he wont down to the swamp. He worked for three weeks. A man named Williamson was at that time doing a contract for us, and I told the lad to go down and he’d probably get a job. Subsequently Williamson and Jones came up, and Williamson offered to reduce the contract by a certain amount if I would let Jones finish it ; I to pay his wages. Ho was working three weeks and two days, for which lie allowed him LI per week. I then gave Jones a job to sew grass seed, which lasted a week. He then went cooking in the camp for Williamson for about ten days. In October, about the Bth or 9th, ho came to me and said that as the orders could not be cashed down south, would I make up his account, get his order cashed for him in town, and obtain him a pair of boots. About the 13th of October Mitchell was up there, and I drew the ' boy’s order and got him a pair of boots,

paying for them and for the pi’osecutor’s things out of it, and subsequently refunding LI 9s out, of my own pocket to make up the latter sum. Next morning I gave the lad his boots and change, there being present at the time two other persons, one the bookkeeper on the estate. I was often pressed for time, and made memorandums of payments on slips of paper, and think an error has occurred between the two Jones’ accounts. Accused was committed for triai. Embezzlement.—The same accused was charged with the embezzlement, on the 3rd Feb., 1880, of L 25 15s, the property of R. H. Rhodes, H. P. M. Aynsley, F. Banks, W. Reeves, and E. "S. Harley (executors of Mr Hassall, deceased). Mr Harper prosecuted, and Mr Branson defended the accused. After hearing the evidence, which was very lengthy, nrisoner, who reserved his defence, was committed for trial, bail being fixed in two sureties of L 250 each, and self in LSOO

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http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18810325.2.6

Bibliographic details

RESIDENT MAGISTRATE’S COURT., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 302, 25 March 1881

Word Count
1,753

RESIDENT MAGISTRATE’S COURT. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 302, 25 March 1881

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