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Hearing of a charge of conspiracy to defraud against Harry Wintle, land agent, aged 53 (Mr. Garland), and Arthur Asplin, salesman, aged 50 (Mr. Henry), before Mr. Justice Gornish and a jury in the Sunreme Court yesterday afternoon, ended in the acquittal of accused.

Called by Mr. Y. R. Meredith, for the Crown, Harry Coleman testified that he arranged with Wintle to purchase a house owned by the Smith estate for £1100, and was told the trustees made it a condition that the purchaser should pay the land agent's commission, which he figured' at £35. Wintle said the £35 could be called a bonus for giving Coleman first refusal. Witness said the terms of the sale were cash, but he did not pay the £35 till Wintle had got the trustees' signature. Witness insisted on an agreement, given him by Asplin in which it was ruled that if the sale was not satisfactorily completed thd £35 voluntarily paid as a bonus should be returned to witness. He raised the matter in the Land Sales Court, and shortly afterwards he received a letter froirt Asplin containing a cheque for £35, saying it was arranged as a refund if the sale went through.

In cross-examination the witness said he understood that if he did not pay the *£35 he would not get the house.

At this stage Mr. Meredith conferred with his Honor, and later said the evidence did not support the charge of conspiracv.

His Honor agreed, and accordingly directed the jury which returned a verdict of not guilty.

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Bibliographic details

LAND AGENTS' TRIAL, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 186, 8 August 1945

Word Count

LAND AGENTS' TRIAL Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 186, 8 August 1945

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