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A bigamy case presenting some very complicated and peculiar features came before the City Police Court at Hobart lately. A man named Hadin was charged with having in June, 1878, married one Elizabeth Otick while his wife, Mary Ann Matilda Smith, whom, he had married in April, 1876, was yet alive. It appeared that the woman Smith, at the time of her marriage with Hadin, was married to a man named Mitchell, who had deserted her; and who, for all that is known of him, may be yet alive. It is contrary to the law that in such a case the legal wife of the offender should give evidence against him, and the question now arises—which of these two women is Hadin’s wife? If the woman Smith was thfe wife of Mitchell, supposing him to be alive, and there is no evidence that he is not, she cannot be the legal wife of Hadin, and therefore the second woman, Otick, must be his legal wife. If, on, the other hand, Mitchell is dead, and!, there is no evidence to show that he is alive, the woman Smith is Hadin’s legal wife. As a consequence, the Bench did not know how to proceed,, as in either case they might possibly’ take evidence illegally, and under these circumstances the Police Magistrate said they would adjourn the hearingwith the double object of, if possible, obtaining more information as to the bearings of the case, and to consult with the law officers in the matter. Hadin was admitted to bail in his own recognisances of LSO. — Mercury,

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 528, 7 January 1882

Word Count

A CURIOUS BIGAMY CASE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 528, 7 January 1882