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Use Recent Trials for Sly Grog Selling

The following correspondence has passed between the Ashburton No-'ictn-Je Counsi] and the Minister for Justice:—' Ashburton, 31st March. IFOS. The Hon. The Minister of Justice, Wel- , lington. Sir,—We are requested by the Ashburfcon No-license Council to respectfully direct your attention to the laction of Magistrate Wray m giving hi 3 decision m the case of Police versus Mrs Julia Hyland, Police versus R. J. Smith, and his usual practice m dealing with all sly prog cases. In the case op Mrs Hyland, who rents as a Boarding House the old AshburfomHotel, the Police Iraided the premises and found beer, brandy, and whiskey m the house and concealed m outhouses, also a large quantity of small change. The same woman had been previously charged with sly grog selling (m April, 1904), and His Worship had then dismissed the case. On tha present occasion m giving his decision he admitted there were suspicious features m the case, declared he had his own private opinion as to tho liquor found on tbe premises, but gave the accused the benefit of the doubt, and dismissed the cas*. In the case of Ernest James Smith, proprietor of the Rangitata .South Hotel, who was charged with consigning liquor to Ashburton on three feparate occasions m a way that evaded the requirements r-f the Act, His Worship held that it was proved th'vt the acoused " had been doing a good deal of business m sending liquor to Ashburton, aud he knew his license did not permit of such a practice." After further remarks he decided that " as it was the first case of its kind preferred against Smith, he would dismiss it":—which accordingly he did. In the csse of Police v. Alexander, a man convicted on a previous charge & fined, His Worship again convicted and imposed a I fine of £50. Application was made later J on for a reduction m the fine, as Alexander could not pay. The Magistrate weakly extended the time, actually declared he | was prepared to deal leniently, and finally, after more delay, Alexander was still unable to pay the fine, and was sent to gaol for two months. In all these cases, and m the conduct of nearly every sly grog case brought before him, we have to complain of Magistrate Wray's extreme reluctance to convict and enforce the law. He mr.uifests the most regrettable weakness m supporting the police, and wherever it is possible to give the. accused the benefit of any kind of " doubt," he always takes a lenient view and dismisses the case. We are strongly convinced that if the Magistrate would Bdminister tho law againat sly grog selling with the same stringency and impartiality as he administers it m other police and criminal cases, the offence of sly grog selling would be practically wiped out of Ashburton. Wo respectfully appeal to you as Minister of Justice to call for a report of these cases, and to take such action as is ' necessary to soe that the law is firinty and impartially administered. We are, Sir, your obedient servants, Gko. B. Fnglis, President, Ashburton No-License Council; Alfbed Peters, S-'ecretary,

Department of Justice, Wellington, 6th April, 1905. Fir,—l have the honour by direction of the Minister of Justice fco acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 31st March, last, directing the Minister's attention to the action of fche Stipendiary Magistrate at Ashbnrton m the cases against Hyl^nd and Smith for sly-grog selling, and hiß usual practice m dealing with all sly-grog cases. In reply T am directed to remind you that the Minister has no authority to constitute himself a Court of Review of the decisions of the legal tribunals of the Colony.—T have the honour to be, Sir, Yonr most obedient servant, F. Waldgrave, Under Secretary.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG19050509.2.28

Bibliographic details

Use Recent Trials for Sly Grog Selling, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6565, 9 May 1905

Word Count
635

Use Recent Trials for Sly Grog Selling Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6565, 9 May 1905

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