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JUDGE AND JURY

+ AN ABSURD V^HDIQT, F,Pkr Pbbss Association .] Wjblmngtox, January 7. In the Snpretne Ooart this afternoon Jai. Whl»e was okarged with resisting the poiloe. While being wanted on a oharge of horsesieallng, Constable Slight enJeavonred to arrest him. Prisoner presented a double-barrelled gun (loaded) at the constable. The latter eventually had to fire at the trigger of White's gun with a view of either disabling the gun or ahootiog White m the hand. The latter resulted, and than prisoner wag secured. After four hoars' dettfecttion the jury returned with a vordfot-(upon issue gl?en) to the effect (hat they acq pitted prisoner of any intention of doing harm to the constable, aUhough they admitted that the gun was pointed at tho. constable : t^at Constable B%ht aoced harshly, and that the arrest could have been effected without any shooting. The Ch/ef Justice; pointed out that the jury h*4 not returned a verdict according* to the issues, and d>eoted them again, remarking that m doing bo be was endeavoring to impress them with a eoaee of their duty. They thpn retired, and returned almost Immediately with a verdiot of *' Not guilty." His Honor, m dischargiug prisoner co far as this charge was concerned, Baid he must n^ake qno ov two observations, particularly as to what had been said about Constable Slight. In his opinion Constable Slight behaved with courage

ana judgmoaf, and ( waa very much to be commended for the bourse he took. With regard to Constable Uar, who accompanied Constable Slight, he gave his evidence m a mmner wh : oh showed want of intelligence. For a m^ toeayhedid not think a man was going to fire who pointed at another's head was no absurdity. Of coarse, if Constable Oarr did not think prisoner waa going to fire, why did he not olb'ia with him and take the gan aw»y ? However, the jury had Mldmhe dldnotsuppose another jury would say so —that a constable waer, npon being resisted by a person with a loaded instrument In his hands, not to haw the protection of the I»w. That was The verdict of this jiry. Therefore these twelve gentlemen, who probably had property and who, though, perhaps, not of mnch Importance m them selves' or to their fellow-couutryraen, pqsslbly ha 1 some persons dear to them, Btid that the police, m dlf charge of Ihelr dnty, were to be at the mercy ftf any rasa with a loaded Instrument, Tiie. law did not sa.y so, bqt theae eentloraen sild so. That was their vlovr. Prisoner would be sentenoad at ten to-morrow morning on the oharge of horso stealing, to which he pleaded 'guilty. Addressing the prisoner. his Honor said " If this verdlot was likely to have tbe slightest freight with your olass or with the police, it would be most disastrous; it would prevent the" polio* from doing thdr duty, and it would prompt your class to the greatest offenooß."

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18890108.2.11

Bibliographic details

JUDGE AND JURY, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2031, 8 January 1889

Word Count
487

JUDGE AND JURY Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2031, 8 January 1889

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