A SINGULAR CASE.
+ (Psr Press Association .) i ' Dunedin, January 10. Joseph Va.ebtloe, a young man, * ploughman by occupation, was oharged at the Supreme Court to-day with, on ».he 28ch October, murdoriog his illegitimate child, near B.»!o!utha. Sir R. Stcur. de fended aocused. The Crown Prosecuor, m opening, said prlasnor had a strong motlvo f.r desiring to get rid of the child, *« Ua maintenance waa a burden ou him Tbe evidence would show that when the infant was eight d*ya old ha oallod at tho houee where the mother, J*ne P< rter, resiled, between 8 and 9 o'clock at nigh., i and took the child away on horseback, i -f ter aligbt remona»rane» , saying he would carry it to his sister, f ur or hv\j miles off, with wbom he had arrauged to keep it. I • would be proved that no suoh arrange- < meot had been made; that prisoner, ins'etd of going to bis sister's, went lo tbe direction 'of the rlvor, having, he afterwards said, made up his mind to gT to a Mr Sioper, thirteen miles elf, and as tt him for some money due. When he reaohed the banks of the Oiutha, prisoner said he got off and led the horse; that he stumbled, the horse jamped back, and the ohild aooidentally fell I uto tbe river. He waded m and reovered wbat he thought to be the ohild, but it proved to be only a shawl. Prisoner did njt return or go to Sloper's, but travelled all night to his father's thirty-six miles ctt. Here he was,
or pretended to be iv great grief aud a dez.d oondition, and only some days after gave an aocouot of the ocoarrenoe. The police, after investigation, concluded that the child's death oould not have been accidental, and arrested accused. Sir R. Stoat raised tbe point that there was no case to gu to a jury, on the ground that the death of the child was not proved, and if prisoner's aooonnt, which was the only evidence of death, was aooepted as true the occurrence was accidental. The Judge said he would reserve the point If necessary, and the esse went to the jury. Sir B. Stout, m his address for the defence, admitted prisoner acted m a very stupid manner, but the evidence Bhowed he was. a partioolarly stupid man, and had been aabject to fits. He elaborated tbe point as to there being no evidence of death. His Honor said that as no body bad been recovered it was a case In whioh the j ary must proceed with oautl n. Io the first place the Crown should prove that prisoner's story not only might be, but must, from the necessity of the oase, be untrue. If they failed m tint prisoner was entitled to be acquitted ; but lf they succeeded, it was then for tbe jury to take the faot of the untrue story In oonjnrotton with the other airoumatanoes of tbe case, and all the aots of acoused, and consider whether they were loffiolent to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that he must , have intentionally kilted tbg child. The jury, after an hour and a half'a retirement, , returned a verdict of " Not guilty." j
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2034, 11 January 1889
A SINGULAR CASE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2034, 11 January 1889
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