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ASHBU RTON. —To-Day. (Before Mr N. Wood, Esq., R.M.) Drunkenness. —William Storey, who had been locked up since Wednesday, was discharged with a caution.—Joseph Ibell was fined ss, or in default 24 hours’ imprisonment. Obscene Language. —Joseph Ibell was further charged with using obscene language in a public place. Accused plead guilty, and was fined 10s, or in default 48 hours’ imprisonment.

Illegally on the Premises. —Andrew Rattray was charged with having been illegally on the premises of George Compton, on Sunday last. —Constable Daly gave evidence of having his attention directed to the fact of a person being in an unoccupied shop at 2 o’clock an Sunday morning. He entered and found the accused, whom he immediately arrested, lying on tho floor feigning sleep. The building was in darkness. Accused was sober.—William Beaumont deponed to hearing a person moving about in the shop next to that in which he resided, at about 2 o’clock on Sunday morning. Knowing the building to be unoccupied, he gave information to last witness, and in his company entered the building, where be found accused lying on the floor. Witness before giving information to tho police noticed the reflection of a light in the building on the fence. There was no light in the place when they entered. —Sergeant Felton slated that he had examined the premises on whioh ac*

cused had been arrested. Admission had been gained through a window in which two pa' es of glass had been smashed, and the pieces of glass around the frame carefully removed. On the floor in the room in which accused was arrested, were some matches which had been burned thereon, there being burnt marks on the floor. A candle was also found.—George Compton, the proprietor of the shop, stated accused had no authority to be on the premises. —Accused pleaded intoxication as the cause of the offence.—His Worship pointed out that the prisoner might have by his actions caused a fire on the premises, the blame for which might have been placed upon an innocent person. Accused would be sentenced to one month’s imprisonment. Vagrancy. —William Evans, a late inmate of the Old Men’s Home, and who had, whilst in the institution, behaved in a very refractory manner, leaving the institution several times without leave, was charged with having no visible means of support.—Accused was sentenced to three months’ hard labor. Petty Larceny. —William Roden was charged with the larceny of a purse, the property of William Bush. The evidence showed that the accused and prosecutor

were room mates in the Somerset Hotel. Last evening the purse and a watch chain were taken from prosecutor’s pockets, and he gave information to the police this morning on discovering his loss. Constable Neill searched the room, in which accused was lying in bed, and found the purse under the mattrass on which he was lying.—Accused denied all knowledge of the affair, and submitted that the person who stole the chain, placed the purse under his bed to transfer the guilt to him. —The Bench considered the case clearly proven, and sentenced accused to one month’s imprisonment. Valueless Cheques. —George Wood was charged on two informations with obtaining money by means of valueless cheques, from Robert Shearman, and Samuel Brown.—Accused pled “ Guilty,” and was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment on each charges, the sentences to run concurrently.

Breach or Borough Regulations.— Michael Neal as pleaded guilty to allowing a horse to wander at large.—A fine of 5s was inflicted, accompanied by amount of costs, 2s. Illegal Rescue of Cattle, —John Kellar was charged with the illegal reouing from John Fox of one cow, then in the possession of defendant for the purpose of impoundage. —Mr Ireland appeared for the defendant.—Defendant was fined L 5 and costs, 17s.

Insulting Language. —Robert Little was charged with having used insulting language in a public place, at the Hinds, to Harry Burnett Chichester.—Mr Branson appeared for Little.—The evidence of the complainant showed that he was passing the Hindhope Hotel on the date in question, when the defendant shouted out, “You jumped-up b—— of a schoolmaster, I’ll put the set on you. You go down to Tinwald to get drunk, and then come down here and be all over the school.”—Mr Branson applied for an adjournment till Friday next, to enable witnesses to be subpoened by the defence, this having been prevented yesterday, no J.P. being available to issue them.—Mr Branson’s application was granted.

Breach of Bridge Regulations.— HemyMoffatt was charged with having, on the 9th April last, driven a traction engine over the Ashburton railway bridge, the fires of the same not being extinguished.—Mr Purnell defended, the prosecution being conducted by Mr Blood, instructed by Mr Joynt.—The evidence of the gatekeeper at the south end of the bridge showed that on the night of the 9th April, at about 10 o’clock, he noticed a traction engine approaching the bridge. He told the persons in charge, including tiie accused, whom he recognised, that the engine should not pass over the bridge, at the same time closing the gate. When the engine came up, Moffatt and others forced open the gate, and held the same whilst the engine passed over tho : bridge. It was driven by its own power To Mr Purnell : It was a moonlight night. Witness was perfectly sober.—Mr Purnell called as evidence for the defence : Henry Moffatt, the defendant, who stated that the traction engine in question had been seized at Tinwald under a bill of sale, and at the time was in the possession of the bailiff. Witness was merely accompanying him, and was going home. —To Mr Blood : Witness had a very strong feeling in the matter of the bylaws affecting the bridge, and considered them absurd. None of the men at the time wore in his employ.—William Brown deposed to seizing the engine in question on the afternoon of the 9th April, under a bill of sale held by the Now Zealand Loam and Mercantile Agency. Witness was acting under instructions from the Company. It was by his order that the engine was taken to Wakanui. He instructed the men, who had previously been in defendant’s employ, to take the engine over the bridge. Witness was in charge of the engine. Moffat in no way interfered with the gate-keeper.—Peter Stuart deposed to being present at the time. Ho was accompanying the engine. Mr Moffatt was never near the gate.—To Mr Blood : Mr Moffatt employed witness to come in with the, engine. Henry Wakeling accompanied the engine from Tinwald to Wakanui. He did not see Moffat at the gate. Could have done so had he been there. —The Bench held that the evidence proved that the engine had at the time passed from the control of the defendant. As regarded the by-law, it was a most necessary one for the safety of public property. The case would be dismissed. Further Charges. Two other charges preferred against the same defendant, for obstructing a railway official in the execution of his duty and for assault, were withdrawn.

Gambling in a Licensed House.— The charge of this nature against Robert Little, adjourned for the decision of the Bench, was brought up. In giving judgment, His Worship said—l adjourned this case for consideration as I had my doubis as to the meaning of the word gambling as applied when only drinks were at stake. I find that the Lexicons’ interpret gaming or gambling as the practise of playing and following up any game, particularly those of chance, as cards, dice, &c., and in the Acts on the subject passed in the 12, 13, and 18 of George 11, gambling is described as the games of faro, basselt, ace of hearts, hazards, passage, roly-poly, and roulette, and all other games with dice, except backgammon ; and I find in Stephens’ Commentaries that all games played with dice, except backgammon, are unlawful; in Oke’s Synopsis that all housekeepers can have billiard-rooms, Ac., but if played for money or money’s worth, or there be betting at the games with the knowledge of the ale-house keeper, that constitutes gaming. I find that Mr Watt, R. M., is reported in the “ Jurist,” page 87, vol 2 of new series, to have held that playing for money’s worth is gambling. I shall, therefore, fine Mr Little. I know it has been the common practice to play at what is known as “Yankee grab ” in hotels for drinks, but the case being brought under tho notice of the Court, I have no other course ; at the same time I shall, however, inflict only a nominal fine in this case. Defendant will be fined 10s and costs. CIVIL CASES. Hanna v. Dawson.—Claim, L4s.—Mr O’Reilly for the plaintiff and Mr Branson for the defence.—The claim was for damages received by defendant riding over plaintiff and thereby breaking his leg. Mr Branson now applied for an adjournment for three mouths, on the ground that the defendant yesterday met with an accident whereby he had sustained a fracture of his leg, and would therefore

be incapacitated from attending the Court. ’ —The case was adjourned for two months, ; viz., 12th July. ' Fricdlander Bros. v. Patterson. —Claim, LI. Mr Crisp for the defendant The claim was for the balance of an account due by the defendant on the purchase of a plough. The defendant swore to the payment of the amount to one of the employe's in plaintiff’s office, and to the obtaining of a receipt for that sum, which had since been destroyed by accident. He admitted indebtedness on a further claim to the extent of L 3 9s. Judgment was given, by consent, for the plaintiff, for the sum of L 3 9s. [The civil business was proceeding when our representative left the Court.]

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RESIDENT MAGISTRATE’S COURT., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 343, 13 May 1881

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RESIDENT MAGISTRATE’S COURT. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 343, 13 May 1881

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