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CHRISTCHURCH, May 14. % The criminal sittings of the Supreme Court were continued yesterday before his Honour Mr Justice Herdman.

Alma Quintall, who was found guilty of the theft of a sum of money tihe property of Alfred Jas. Ellen, was brought up for sentence.

His Honour regretted that h© could not accede to the,jury's suggestion that mercy should be accorded to the accused, a*s she had three previous convictions for theft. He would sentence accused to 12 months' reformative detention.

•Edward Cornelrus Sullivan appeared for •sentence on qhai'ge of having'stolen a cash box, and sevej-at cycles, he having pleaded guilty to the charges in the lower Court.

Mr Cunningham, a>uj,w>el for the pri-, soner said he vyas a-ii^a^ried man, 36 years of age, with iour ciiik^r.e«, „,.,lje had had 'serious ...domestic froublc/'ah^ on April 8 his had obtained a maintenance yi^er against him. Accused had committed the thefts within a. pSriod^pf-'-Uvo clays Counsel asked that 'accused should be lienieaitly dealt with. !

Mr Raymond, K.C., Crown Prosecutor, that accused's previous character had been good.

His Honour said he could not admit .a-ccusC'd to probation. A sentence of six months' imprisonment with hard labour would be imposed.

Han-is Thomas Hunt<'-r pleaded not guilty to a charge of the theft at Christclmrc-h on Januai-y 29 of a postal packet, containing a cheque for £11 4s, drawn by Tempieton Bros., in favour of 'TrDimn.?.?,... .. '

Mr A. C. Hanlon, of Dimedin, appeared for accused. '

The facts were that accused, who was 'a i postal official, was alleged to have taken the cheque from a letter in the Post. Office, and cashed it at the* Farmers' Co-op, buying a pair of gaberdine trousers and pocketing the change. He denied all knowledge of the theft..'

A good deal of evidence was heard from the Crown, the chief witness being Douglas J. Burgess salesman at the Co-op., who believed accused was tfte man who cashed the cheque, but who would not positively swear to the fact, and Fredk. It. Dunsford. a handwriting expert^ who dealt with the endorsement on the back of,.tlie ,stolen cheque.

For the defence^ Mr Hanlqn said that the prime question- to which the jury had to direct its attention was whether it had been proved beyond all reasonable doubt that the accused was the pei-son who had cashed the cheque, and bought'the goods at the 'New Zealand Farmers' Co-op, Association.' If the was the man, the probability^ was that he was the man who stole •tlhe cheque, but lio submitted that the evidence of Burgess as to identification was very far from conclusive, and he had also refused to positively swear to the accused's identity. Coimsel dealt with the- evidence of Dunsford as handwriting expert, 'and. ■insisted' 1-that' tlie fabric" erected on the foundation of only eight sihgl© letters written' by accused must be regarded with the most extreme caution. After his Honour's summing up the jury, after a short retirement, returned a verdict of not guilty, and Hunter v,ras acquitted.

This concluded tie criminal sessions

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Bibliographic details

CHRISTCHURCH SITTINGS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9609, 14 May 1919

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CHRISTCHURCH SITTINGS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9609, 14 May 1919

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