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A case arising) out of a cocksfoot cleaning contract was heard at the 8. M. Court, Akaroa, before T. A. B, Bailey, Eeq., 8.M., and G. Armstrong. Esq., J,P., on Wednesday. The case was between Robert Letter, of Barry's buy, plamtiff, and Cbarlea Wrigbt, French P»rm, and Alexander Milne, defendants, The statement of. claim was, the plaintiff olaiined tha following goods:—'lwelve sacks of grass seed, containing 901b., each of the value of £25. the property of the plaintiff, taken by the defendant about 24th March, and detained by the defendant, Chas. Wright, from that date until the date of the entering of the plaint, and that the plaintiff says that before entering this plaint on March 24, and on subsequent days he demanded the said grass- s< ed from defendant, Chas. Wright, hut the defendant refused to deliver them The plaintiff claims possession of the said grass eeed, or. £25 in ease possession cannot be had, and $10 damages for its detention. -Mr F. Hunt appeared for plaintiff, and Mr A.T.Donnelly for defendants. Mr Hunt, in opening- the case, said Mr Latter bad 275 eackshe wanted cleaning to the required sample. This seed consisted of seconds. Milne took a oontraot for cutting and threshing from Mr Latter. Milne did not do well out of this contract. Mr Latter gave Milne concessions, and in consideration of thi3 gave him a contract to clean the seconds at Id .per lb,.which was twice the ordinary price fur cleaning. The fi-sfc day he cleaned eight sack*, and at the end of a week about 42saok3. Next week he *onlygleaned 10 sacks, though he had half the seaonds to clean. The right proportion of seed to be obtained ffrom the 275 sacks of seconds was about 70 Mr Latter then heard that Milne had sold 12 sacks of seed to a neighbour. Mr Latfer's son heard of thia, and he questioned Wright who bought the seed, and 'told him that the seed was not Milne's to sell Immediately Mr Latter heard of it he claimed the £25 from Wright. . He was un •

able to slop payment-oh cheques; to Mibe, II was inferred that Milhe had mixed

up the good ?eed with the refuse. This was ehown only by the fact that the sample of eeed sold to Wright waa 131b seed When this man was partly through his work tho man asked whnt Mi' Latter was going to do with the. refuse, and Mr' Latter gave it to him willingly, and it wa? suppo-e d from that time Milne had simply let the good aeed mix up with thp refuse, which he later cleaned foe himself. asked the Magietrate to make an order for £25, the prioe ol the feed sold by Milne to Wright. The burden of proof tbue fell on Wright and Milne. There was no doubt Milne was out to beat his employer. They bad nothing against Wright, but he was brought into the case owing to his having purchased the seed He should, however, have known that a grass seeder oould not have seed to Ball. E. Latter, sworn, said Milne had a con., tract of 40 acres of cocksfoot. Milne made £10 where his men made £14. He (witness) then gave him a £i bonus. He then gave hioj a second contract to olean 275 sacks of seed. Hβ aaked him to clean it.up to 141b or 151b seed: He explained that in riddling seed he paid hisi contractors toe the seconds wtie'a they riddled, as he paid them for tbe seed at so much per lb. lie offered Milne Id per to to put the seed, through the blower, and bring it up to the 151b per bushel sample, after five days work, Milue let him know that witness's s,on had somplained that the sepd was not up to the sample. He then went and inspected the seed and the ■'T-aviufcS. Xli«e werev !ibou't' 42 sacks of a ecned soed. The'refuse fioui the machine was about 71b par bushei seed. There was about half the 275 eacka than cleane 1. He toid Milne that the refuae would be burned on the beach. For th> next week'd work, Monday to Saturday, Milne only: got 10 sacks of seed He paid Milne on the 52 sacks. He.did.ndc him any sack 3or seed. ' The -first he heard of Milne selling any eeed was a Week, later,, when he paid Milne for the cleaning. Milne had shown him a sample oEthe se'd which he said wae a better sample. The aventge of this seed was about, 15 b. About two hours after he had settled with Milne he heard twelve sacks ■ ere missing, and jthat Oh«s.,' Wright haa Itpught ie , He, saw Milne, who trea'ed the matter aeo joke. ./The sacks bore hiss brand. He wrote to/Milne and told him to return the ,teed; VHis son told Wright he should .no' buy seed, but Wright bad said that Milne had told him it was alright. He asked JVright to return the seed later. It was impossible to get 12 sacks of seed from the blowings from the machine. To Mr Donnelly : .Miloe had worked pre, viousiy for him. He did not write to Milbe aud , ' ask him to come from the North Island o take a oohtraot. When he started Milne on the cleaning contract be did not have him under the supervision of his son. .Witness : Hβ only taw Milne twice. His sen did not supervise Milne's work, Milne started on March 3rd, a Tuesday. He gave Milne specific instructions about cleaning the seed that it was to be 151bs. He had paid him twice the market value for cleaning in consideration of bis previous contrnot. After he had been trying for a week he found it was only 141b seed, and be accepted that. Milne did not tell him before witness saw the seed that good seed was going overthe back of the machine. He did not say that Milne could have the refuse Milne did not aek for the refuse. .At the back of the machine th« refuee sted went 71b, and a f?w feet back ilb. He did not see the seed after he saw Milne and did not visit the uhed until Monday morning, some days after he had paid Milne, After witness found the seed was gone, he sent word to Wrifiht who c.irue up and saw him'/ He,told Wright jlilne had no claim to the seed, and he tried to stop pay raent of the cheque He toid Wright he was goirig to have thy seed back. The last thing the maohinH would do would be to blow 101b seed from the machinp.

Edward Latter, cod. .of defendarfc, g v evidence that he had the key of the) thed in which Milne's seed was stored. Hs hid 6i sucks Milne aekert' Latter, eenr., l.jr the

bey after be had finished working and was paid oS He e&w Wrigbfc that eatue afctr noon after giving the key, Wright came up to the shed when the seed vas f-Bmj.fed, and Writhe eaid'he wee fining u> ' buy the seed, Witness did not know the arrangement that his father had made, sacks were ali brand d with hie ia'her'i brand. ( Later he four.d tbat twelve . t .east of the sucks'were gone. Wβ saw the samp c was 141b seed from the twelve tacks To Mr Donnelly: Hβ caw Milne on this cleaning contract, and Milne had said that getting the seed up to 151b a good deal w&< wasted, He told Milne the seed was no good. The 67 sacks were in two different heaps of 52 and 15. Wricht took a B»mple of the 15 sacks. Wright di.l not ask it Milne was entitled to sell the mi. He was doubtful about the seed Milne, though Milne had told him ho previously. He ad vised Wright to see his father before buying the seed. He saw Wright leaviDg hia father's house later. James Stewart, sworn, said that he knew Latter'a machine. It certainly was un reasonable to say it was out of date, and would blow 131b eeedfrom the back. To Mr Donnelly: There was a lot of fog in the seed, but not more than usual in eooksfcot seed. This closed the case for the plaintiff,

i In opening the caee for the defence, Mr Donnelly eaid the claim made against Milne was that he stole the seed. His friend.bad to practically establish bis case that the seed was stolen by defendant, and" that he knowingly defrauded plaintiff out of 12 sacks of seed. The standard of proof was th 9 same as if on a charge of theft. Milne would give his explanation. As far as Wrighs was concerned, he bought the seed.honestly and by bona fide sale. The mistake was induced by Lattor or his son. Before the eeed-oleaning job atarted Latter told Milne the eeed must be cleaned up to a 151b sample, or he would not pay Milne at all for the cleaning. Milne found a quantity of good seed was being blown over the back of the machine. He caw Latter, who took a sample of the refuse , found, it was 71b or 81b, and had told Milne he could have it. Defendant then bagged up the refuse until he had finished the cleaning. After he had concluded Lat> ter's seed defendant blew the refuse and got the twelve sacks of Reed be sold Wright,

Wrigbt took samples of the refuse teed while defendant, Milne, was cleaning it, and it went about 101b. The two classes of se-,.

were kept quite - separate, Wrigbt found tbat the 12 seeks of serd cleaned froaa t b

refuse byf Milne went 1311b, and he bought the'seed from Milne. Charles Wright, sworn, said he saw Mxlne at Mr Latter's shed, and he examined the seed Milne and his men were cleaning. Milne had said that Mr Latter had given him all going over the back of the. machine. There were about 10 bags of this refuse, and he , weighed the sample after blowing oat some of the refuse in the wind. I? went about 13lbs Ho then mentioned to Milne buyir£ the seed from tho refuse after lie had put it through the machine again. Later he went up to the fhed the day Milne settled up with Latter, and he found Owen and E. Latter, • E. Latter was sampling the 52 saoks The 15 saoks were a long way away from tbe 5*2 sacks. After E. Latter had finished, he told him that he wa9 thinking about buying Milne's seed. E Latter had eaid that he supposed the 13£ sacks were the ones belonging to Milne, Witness took a sample end weighed it, It went 13:|lbs. He then waited for Milne. He asked E. Latter how about the seed, and E, Latter said the seed belonged to the men, though tbe sacks were not Milne's After leaving the shed witness concluded ne« gotiations with Milne, ■ whom he met, and paid cheques for it that evening when the seed was delivered. Tbe next morning he heard there would be trouble about the seed, and he stoppel payment of his cheques. He saw Latter, who said he did not want to bother him about the matter, but wanted to have a slap at Milne. Latter said be gave the seed to Milne. Milne bad heen'harping about the refuse which was going over the back of the maohine. He (Latter) had weighed it'arid it only went 81b, and he told Milne he could have it. To* Mr Hunt—He was quite satisfied that Milne had the seed. He did not see Latter after ho took a sample the lanfc time. Did not ask Latter about the sacks, but Milne said he would fix up about the sacke He bought 13J sacks. Heard Latter was claiming the seed'after he bought it. Latter said he considered Milne bad beaten him. Alexander Milne • gave evidence that he commenced on the cleaning contract on a Saturday afternoon. Mr Latter told him he must make the seed a 151b sample. Wben he tried to get the serupla up to 151b he found that there was good seed going over the back of the machine, He went up and saw,. Mr Latter, and Mr Latter came down next day and saw the refuse, and said wit" nes3 could have it. Hβ bagged up the refuse ai the back of the machine, about 100 sack*. There was a lot of rubbish in it. Sometime afterwards Mr Wright came along and'took a sample of the seed, and he told Wright ii was his (witness 1 ) seed. He asked Wright il it would pay him to drew it, and Wrighl said he would make an offer for it: Aftei treating Mr Latter's seed he dressed the refine from the back of the maohine, auo that , produced 13& sacks of seed, which he put in Mr Latter'a shed, Mr Later, senr. did not visit 'the ehed after the two heaps were arranged finally. He did his utmost U get Mr Latter's seed up to 151b sample. Mi E. Latter was his father's representative' Bee ing the sample was 151b. He sold the seec from the rcfaee to Wrigtit. It was. a falsehood that he had done anything but whai wa3 right aad fair Hβ tried conscientious]) to get the 151b sample. From his experienet to get a 151b sample the machine wouid biov away !3£ or 141b seed»over the back of th< nfachin&. - ■ ' ' To Mr Hunt: His seed's sample was 13|lb and gave Latter a 16.1b sample. Oh th< Monday he had only eight sacks, and woulc not £ r > on because there was good seed goinj ov r ttn bask of tbe machine. E. Latter wpi present when his father gave him the see< igoing over the back. Latter weighed ttn refuse. f • . To the Magistrate: Latter saw him whei he had eight sacks of seed cleaned. Latte: said, "Just give me my* Bamp'e and you car have what is left." The Magistrate; After Latter |aye you thii refuse bow long were you finishing the cleaning of his seed. ./.-.■ '■; .Witness: It was about a week. He hac not started dressing the refuse when Wright visited .the shed. He. was about a week or. Latter's seed altogether. Mr Donnelly, in dosing Ihe case, eaid h< was instructed he could bring expert evidence to-show that it was quite possible that 131b seed would be blown into the refuse , wheri bringing up a sample to 141b or 151b, If tba< fact was weighing with the Magistrate, he Mould like the case adjourned to allow then' to hear this expert evidence. The case was then adjourned for farthei hearing in Christchuroh, :

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Bibliographic details

COCKSFOOT CASE., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXII, Issue 4394, 8 May 1914

Word Count

COCKSFOOT CASE. Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXII, Issue 4394, 8 May 1914

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