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Railway obstruction, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2545, 16 October 1890
At the R.M. Court this morning before MrC A. Wray, R.M., Ernest Evans was charged,-under section 29 of tne Offences Against the Person Act, with having placed upon the railway line n heap of stones on the 7th October last, with the object of derailing the North express train'. 1 Mr Cuthbertson appeared for Evans, and Mr Cresswell for the prosecution: Mr Cresswell detailed the circihngt*nces of the. attempt that had been! made near Chert-soy, on the evening of the 7th October, to derail the express by pLicing stones upon the line, but explained that the evidence connecting Evans with the offence was wholly circumstantial, though very, strong. He called John Moore, driver of the express train, who said that on the 7th inst. wnen witness ■was about-a quarter of a i mile from Chorteey his engine ran over something like stones. A loud report resulted and dust and shingle flew about. Pulled-up at Chertsey and informed tho stationnmßter, telling him to go back and see what was the matter. The obstruction on the line caused much noise, but witness could not'say that the engine was nearly beinpr derailed. ' Samuel Horsnell, guard on the express. ot the 7th October, said that when nerrring ChertjSey station the driver whistled for brakes to check the train, and the train was pulled up. Witness jumped out and met, the fireman. Reported to' the stationmastei- what the fireman Hd him. Did not go back to the scene of the obstruction. Did not observe anything very unusual when the train went over, the stones^ but saw the dust flying. The speed of the train would be about thirty miles an hour, and there was nearly a full train of passengers. James Wells, stationmaster at Chertsey, said it was an unusual occurrence for the express to stop at Cherfcsey, but it did so on the! 7th October. Was m the office •when tlip alleged obstruction was met with on the line, and did not hear the report. When the guard reported what had happ^ed witness went back, but searched" more for a carcase than for stones on the line. Made a second search with the.platelayer, and the latter drew witness's attention to tho stones (produced). Some of the stones were broken and Others marked as if they had been crushed by the engine. The stones were found alongside the rails, and there wits grit of the stones upon the rails themselves, into which the stones -had cut. The stones must have been placed upon the rails between the hours of 6.45 and 7 21 p m., because the train from Christchurch left ,Chertsey for Ashburton at 6.42^ an,d would cross the express at Bromore, while the express was not due at Chertsey until 7-20. Saw nobody near the spot between the hours mentioned, arid ther«i are not usually many people near there. '„ . , By Mr Cuthbertson.—The tram from Christchurch to Ashburton is a slow train, and could riot' possibly have passed over the obstructions had they been there, without »°ticing them. From the position m which the stones were found witness believed they had all been placed upon the rails. They were lying on each side of the rails within a radius of a yard, and it was his belief they had been placed there by design: Henry Horsnell, platelayer, corroborated the evidence given by the stationMAster; ... George Sclirlett, a farmer, residing near Cherfcsey, knew accused by sight. ( Saw him the morning after the accident m the office at the railway station at Chertsey. The telegraphist, Porter, was there at the time, and Evans said to Porter '' I would like to see two trains or engines meet. It would be grand fun." Remarked to accused that that would be foolish fun, and ho said ha did not mean if anybody was on board. Believed this was on the Bth-either a Tuesday or a Wednesday. Was under the impression that the conversation between the two lads was the obstruction on the previous evening. Was not m the township during the day ° John Herbert Porter, telegraphist at CherW, had seen the accused once or twice Remembered the 7th of October, which irw » Tuesday. Saw Evans at the station m the' morning, and he remarked to witness that it would be a bit of fun if two engines were let loose at each other. Witness said there would be little fun m that as the drivers would be killed. Evans said he did not mean with any £>dy on board, but that the drivers should turn on steam, and jump out. This conversation was at about ten o^lock m th* morning. In the evening when the express wascoming along witness heard a <^e»t crash, and saw the express _stop report could be heard distinctly at th?3V™\ °H*rdwicke remembered seeing accused tf* tU 7th inst., at Mr Johnston's. He clme t^e with a man named Hickey. T P ff Thnsto^B »DOut five m the evemnj? Left J°hn*y£" Heatley. Witness and Thre would have been plenty of time tor accused to have put the stores on the lTne at the particular place after w,tness and Heatley left him and before thfl crash was heard. Saw accused about nve o'clock on the following evening, and aAso 84 By Mr' Cuthbertson.—Johnston's is about a 1 mile from Chertsey, and witness left about five minutes to seven. Accuced was walking and witness rode on to get to the station. From the time he left accused until the train arrived at Chertsey Would be about ten minutes. Where tlie stones were found would be about a' quarter of a mile from where he left the accused. . . ... By Mr Cresswell.—Remained at the statioii till the train stopped, and did not see Evans that evening at the station. There was some excitement at the station that evening. ' By Mr Cuthbertsott.—The Chertsey hotel, where Evans lived, is some distance nearer the place where the obstruction took place than the Chertsey station, and Evans was going home when witness left-him. There was no reason for him to go to the station. Leonard Heatley, blacksmith, residing at Chertsey, saw accused on the evening of the 7th. He was taking some up to Johnstone's. This was about 6.50 pfm. Noah Hardwick, accused, and witness left Johnston's m company, witness and Hardwicke being on horseback and accused walking. The former rode on, leaving accused to come on on foot. About ten minutes after parting from Evaiw witness heard the crash upon the railway line* To have put the stones upon £he lineand get outofthe way Evanswould tb*v:e'had to hurry up, as they left him i»lw«t a quarter of a mile from where the took place. Accused was *hett-ww>n the track running parallel with the lin^ Saw nobody else on the road, either goto* or coming. To get. dowr there, cbljeet ihe stones, and place their on the line, WfVktd -entail on the part o: accused walking at great speed. Constable J^eph Proctor Crocket' centrally corroborated previous evidence Had > good many conversations witl Evari«l/efore he arrested •■him. At fb first Jrfc*sked Evans if he knew any KrabJitdw affair, and he said he wa id when the m P««f he would b About eight or nine chains from the hote ontheroad. Asked him f> saw any m about and he f eplied ♦* No, A> W& ¥
promised to cure me m a week or two He sitkl hie three very exfenwve bottles of medicine, and all the effect I felt from it was the loss of my money. Then I not hold of- a bottle of Mother Seigel's Syrup, and was better almost at once. How sorry I nra I didn't use it years ago!" We can give thin man's name if, you care to have it. He .didn't want it. printed. But he was an good'as fied up for a long while. Illness is a strong rope. Here is one more illustration. Mr R. P. Hopton, of Long Weston, wiy.s.: "I am sixty-eight years old. Mother Sergei's Syrup has not quite made me a young man again, but it has cured me of asthma, nervous prostration, and a throat ailment arising from impure'blood. I was too ill to labour, yet can now do my work thanks to that great remedy. You may publish the fact. The whole complication cam* first from indigestion." And this is. the way people are bound until Mother Seigel's Curative Syrup sets them free.
heard no crash or noise when (.tie !oa;p*c!TV passed, nor had lie eeon any thin if lUivisual.Tht! next time" they had a con vernation ne-j cused opened it by saying- " Ilarvw veryi well you are going to arnwt mo. ''\<;n r.eu "I w;tK there at the time." Sii^suqyentJy accused .spoke to him again, using virtually the same language," but adding ■'Itlooks bad Pie being there and no one else. It will give them some trouble to provu it, as no oiie saw me do it." His coarciHation was m a similar strain on other ccasior-s. He said nothing when arrested-, but when taking him from the.lock-up to the station he said "It will iive me some trouble to get out of this." Witness had been asked several times by prisoner what he was likely to get, if convicted.— Prisoner was rather cute, and hot deaf. People at the railway station were much further oil" than prisoner when the crash took place. By Mr Cdthbert son—Witness could not say how far tho guard's van, was from the engine that night. Prisoner seemed nervous at Chertsey, and seemed anxioms to know the constable's business tjiere. The R.M. did not consider a prima facie case made out, so Avould not call on Mr Cuthbertson. for any address. He considered the case one of tlie weakest that ever come before him. The three points relied on were not borne out by the evidence. The nervousi State of prisoner was ftot at all inconsistent with his innocence and statements made to the constable, and the information wculd ,be dismissed.
Railway obstruction, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2545, 16 October 1890
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