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At yesterday’s meeting of the Hospital and Charitable Aid Board at Christchurch the following report was road respecting the allegations of cruelty and ill-treatment made by an inmate named Mann against the Master. The commissioners appointed to conduct tjhe enquiry were Mr March

and the Resident Magistrate of Ashburton :

“Ashburton, loth November, 1882. Sir,— Wo have the honor to report that in terms Of a resolution passed by the Hospital and Charitable Aid Board, we held an inquiry at the Ashburton Home this day respecting certain allegations made by a late inmate of the Home named William Mann against the master, to the effect that he (William Mann) had been knocked down by the master and otherwise illtreated. The evidence of Dr Trevor (the medical officer of the institution), Mr Harris (the master), William Mann (the late inmate), Thomas Thompson, James McGrath, John Norton, Henry Jones, George Fuller, Alfred James Siordet, and William Cotterill (now inmates of the Home), together with the evidence of Sergeant Felton and Constable Smart, is attached. The real facts of the case are briefly as follows :—William Mann was admitted to the Home on the 6th January, tSB2. On his admission it was found that he was covered with vermin, and it was absolutely necessary to put him through a bath. This treatment Mann strongly objected to, and wished to leave the Home and be sent to England. He appears to have made several applications to the medical officer to recommend his application. It also appears from the medical officer’s testimony that he was always complaining and discontented with everything. The master of the Home consulted the medical officer as to the

best course to adopt with an inmate who was discontented, and did not want to remain. Dr Trevor recommended that in that case the best plan would be to let him go. On the 20th October Mann left the institution, and was found in one of the hotels drinking. He refused to return to the Home, on the ground that he had been ill-treated by the master. In reply to a direct question, Mann stated that he had not been ill-treated; at the same time be charged the master with knocking him down. The evidence of Sergeant Felton clearly proves that Mann’s word is not to be relied on in any way, and his conduct during the time of the inquiry convinced us that he is a man unable to control his temper. From the evidence brought forward we do not think that the master of the Home ill-treated Mann in any way, but we think his conduct open to censure in not complying with a request made by the police for him to attend and give evidence in court. It is right that we should add that all the inmates were assembled in the day room, and each inmate was asked if be had any complaint to make. All replied in the negative with the exception of one, who comp’ained of partiality shown by the master and matron in their treatment. Several inmates

expressed tneir tnanKiumess uuu uieie was such an institution as the Home.—We are, etc., Donald Williamson, J. E. March. H, Thomson, Esq., Chairman Hospital and Charitable Aid Hoard. Christchurch.” Hon E. C. J. Stevens said that the Board had at its last meeting taken just the same view of the question as the report, a» they felt that the master should have attended at the Court when requested to do so. Dr Prins said that he thought a letter should be sent to the master, stating that while he was exonerated from the charge of ill-treatment, the Board were of opinion that in future when called upon by’the police, he attend at the Court to give evidence. It was resolved—“ That the Board are satisfied that the charge of ill-treatment against the master by the patient Mann was not substantiated, but that he be directed in future to attend and give evidence when called on by the police. ”

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Bibliographic details

THE ALLEGED ILL-TREATMENT OP AN INMATE OF THE OLD MEN’S HOME., Ashburton Guardian, Volume IV, Issue 794, 16 November 1882

Word Count

THE ALLEGED ILL-TREATMENT OP AN INMATE OF THE OLD MEN’S HOME. Ashburton Guardian, Volume IV, Issue 794, 16 November 1882

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