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An Obscene Publication.

United Press Association—By Electric Telegraph Wellington, May 4 At the Supreme Court, George Matthews Ewarfc waß charged with selling certain printed matter, namely a newspaper named "Truth," published at Sydney, which, m certain parts, was alleged to be of an indecent, immoral, and obscene nature. Counsel for defence raised two preliminary points—(l) that the case should ba withdrawn from the jury, on the ground that there was no evidence that the accused had knowledge of tho contents of the paper, and (2) that, alternatively, His Honour should rule that the jury must be satisfied that the accuued had knowledge of the alleged obscene contents. His Honour did not think he should do so, and ruled that the case go on. In reply to contentions that various standard books contained indecent passage?, his Honour said that that had nothing to do with the case. According to the colony's law, such a contention was no answer to the charge. All that the jury had to decide was that the printed matter was immoral, indecent, or obscene. It did not matter either, whether the priuted matter contained only reports of Police Court cases or not. That was his ruling, and counsel for the defence, if not satisfied, had the Appeal Court as a remedy. Counsel for the Crown said, what the jury were asked to decide was, whether the articles submitted for inspection were proper for publication m the colony. If they decided that the articles were immoral, indecent, or obscene it would be their i duty to bring m a verdict of " Guilty." lln summing up, his Honour said the accused had practically admitted selling the paper, and the only question for the jury was whether the articles were indecent, immoral, or obscene. The freedom of tho Press was never attacked by putting down anything that tended towards indecency or the corruption of the morsils of youth, on the contrary, it was maintainingjthe freedom of ; the Press. After deliberating for an hour, the jury returned a verdict of " Guilty " Leave was given to carry the points raised regarding the knowledge of accused to the Appeal Court. la the meantime, the accused was liberated on his own recognisances of .£IOO.

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Bibliographic details

An Obscene Publication., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6562, 5 May 1905

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An Obscene Publication. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6562, 5 May 1905