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A SECRET COURT

HOW JUBTIOEIB ADMINISTERED IN AUCKLAND.

I The following ia the full text of the artiole m the " New Zealand Berald " referred to m recent telegrams as having oaußed quite a sensation m Auckland :— On the evening of the 22ad Maroh last Messrs J. P. King and F. G. Ewiogton sat m the Polica u'ourt to adjudicate on tbe case of a young man who had been arrested ov a charge of stealing from his { employer. There were no reporters present, and the proceedings were kept quiet The prosecutor, Mr Trafford, said he wou'd withdraw the case if the young man would confess his guilt. This the young man did, and the prosecutor thereupon withdrew the case. Inspector Broharn, who was conducting the proceedings, also agreed, and tha young man was allowed to leave tbe Court, fie was, we need hardly cay, the son of a wellknown and well-to-do citizen. In stating the ciroumstanoes we withhold the name of the youDg mao for the present. What we wißh to direot attention to specially Is the extraordinary conduot of ihe Juatioes and the police. If a poor lad had been arrested for theft at half-paßt three o'clock ia the afternoon, no Oourt would have sat for him He would have had to coma np next morniog at the ordinary sitting of the Oourt. and fnll publicity would have been given to the casa. Woa the holding of a sitting lata m the afternoon, long after the Court had cosed, for the purpose of conoealing the affair ? We venture to say that if the case had been brought op m a publio Court, neither the Magistrates nor the polioe would have daied to have aoted as they did. We now give the statements of some of the parties concerned : — ME J. P. KIKO'S B_AT_ffl___T. Mr J. P. King, on being interviewed by s reporter, was very frank, and stated the ciroumstanoes so far as they were within his knowledge, without any hesitation. He says : *• Mr — — called upon ma between three and f me o'olook m the afternoon, with a message asking me if I would go up to the Polioe Court to sit upon a case with Mr Ewlngton. I went np and did so, taking the chair, inspector Btohara said ' Your Worships, this is a oase where a young man has been arrested, but the prosecutor, Mr Trafford, does not wish to. proseaute.' I said, ' What aye the olroumstances of the case?' Mr Broharn replied, 'The circumstances are these : This young man has embeweled £1 of Mr Traff ord's money and Mr Trafford does not wish to prosecute.' I said, 'Mr Trafford, is that so ' He said, 'Yes, if he will make an apology.' I replied, 'Mr Trafford, we must have no qualifications m this matter. Do you proscate, or do you no V Mr Trafford said, Then I do not.' Mr Broharn further remarked 'As Mr Trafford does not wish to proseoute, we oanuot, of oourae, press the oase.' Ihe caie was therefore dismissed." Ia response to an enquiry from the reporter as to whether It was • praotloe to form a Beach In the afternoon after the Oourt bad risen for the day, and bring parties arrested up before it to be dealt with Mr King replied, "This Is not an unusual custom. I h.ve been on several oooaslons called on to aot m somewhat similar oases. " We may remark the usual oourse Is, when a prosecutor expresses a desire to withdraw a oharge, the dourt insists on examining into the olroutnstanaes to see that a felony is not being compounded. MB TpAPFOBD'B STATEMENT. Mr Trafford, dentist, made a lengthy statement to the reporter, but much of it he deolined to allow to be published. The pours briefly told are : I went on a visit to Sydney, returning m tbe middle of March, leaving young — - — — , who was mmy service. I had reason to be dissatisfied with the young man on my return. First I lost a £1 note, then a sovereign. I applied to the detectives, stating the circumstances. Tbey suggested marking the money. I marked some £1 notes, aud a 1 ho took the numbers of them. On tha 22 id March last, I missed one, and weni and told Detective Hughes, as Dsteotive Herbert, who had been on the business, oonld not be got at, being on other doty. Acquainting him of my suspicion, Deteotive Hughes went up to the Clarendon and found young . at dinner, and spoke to him of the matter. The marked £1 note wss found on him, and when I was sent for to his father's place of business the lad had been taken there m cmtody. Subsequently his father implored me to withdraw ihe charge. We went to the polioe station and saw Inspector Broharn about it, as I did not want to ruin tbe boy's future, or to injure his family. Inspector Broharn deolined to entertain anything of tbe kind. He said that It was ont of their hands, and out of his. He had tbe reports of tbe deteotive, and the law must take its course by the aooased being brought before the Banah, to be dealt with. It was at a later itage Vtragested to get a Bench of Justices and have the case dealt with forthwith. 1 •aw Mr Ewlngton about sitting on the oase, but did not see Mr King. With regard to the £1 note and sovereign I missed, and the marked £1 note, I had £3 given to me, but I never got baok the marked note. Wbea the oase oatqe on m the Court, I was asked If I withdrew the oharge. I said 1 would do so if the boy woald confess \tlis gu|lt io the Court, He did so, and the oase was dismissed. UB EWINGTONS STATEMENTS I was m my • ffioe one tveuing when Mr Trafford and Mr (tbe father of aooused) oame. Mr Trafford said, "Mr 's son has been robbing m*. I have had blm arrested for trig offsnoe, and lie il now at ths Polioe Offioe, I have oonsented to withdraw the oharge, and I want yoa to oome up and sit at onoe." I went and sat with Mr J. P, King. The proceedings were oonduoted by Inspector Broharn. The proseontor said he had been robbed, but he had agreed to withdraw the oharge, so as not to blast the young man's prospeots Mr Broharn ooniented to this, and we discharged the aooused, I believe that we are entitled to aot as we did, under the 6,oth seotlon of the J^ustioes of the Peace Act. The entry m the oharge sheet is "——-», did on the 22nd Maroh, 1889, at Auckland, felonionsly steal, take, and carry away the sum of 20a, the property of Taos Trafford. Arrested by Deteotive Hughes; disobarged hv Mersrs Ewlngton and King, J.P.s, 22nd Maroh.'' If this Is the w*y m whioh Justice le to be administered In Auckland, there Is nothing to hinder the most serious orimes being compounded. It would seem that if a mao is arrested at any time during the day or the ntizht, he can, if he hss fofla* enoe, or power enough, get a couple of justices to git, and If be bas made the hea sssary arrangements with the prosecutor and tbe police, the justices discharge the aooused, and not a word of the matter becomes kaown- We should hope that Aaokland Is quite singular m this style of administering ji^tlae. We should have hoped too that this was a singular instance, tut the matter-of-course way m whioh the whole proceeding was gone about^ and the fact that the circumstances have only oome out by mere aooident softer a considerable lapae of time, must osuse considerable misgiving. Messrs Ewlngton and King were not the Justioes of the day, and had nq right to go up and oonstltute a Court at the behest of tbe prosecutor and the father of aooused. We say also that it is very wrong for the polioe to oonssnt to suoh a thing, The Government are bound to make a thorough Investigation Into the whole oiroumstaooes, whioh are soandaloas la the extreme.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18890522.2.11

Bibliographic details

A SECRET COURT, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2131, 22 May 1889

Word Count
1,370

A SECRET COURT Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2131, 22 May 1889

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