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THREATENING THE ACTINGPREMIER.

MOOItE IN THE SUPREME COURT. EVIDENCE AS TO CHARACTER. 1 ACCUSED TO UK MEDICALLY EXAMINED. After the irregularity mentioned in yesterday's issue had been disposed of, Francis Thomas Moore was again brought before Mr. Justice Edwards yesterday afternoon for sentence, on the charge of threatening to kill or do grievous bodily harm to Sir Joseph Ward. Mr, Gully appeared for tho Crown, and Mr. Wilford for the prisoner. Counsel for' tho defence called the following ovidence — ■ Henry Barber stated that he had known prisoner for seventeen or eighteen years. Moore had been in his employ at the Wellington Meat and Refrigerating Company — had risen to be manager of the Meat 'Export Company's works. Witness had been in constant touch with him, and knew him to be a man of quiet disposition, and of the highest character ana ability. Prisoner had a great aptitude for writing letters, and it was witness's impression that he had allowed himself to do this without ever recognising the seriousness of what he wus doing. Sir Joseph Ward deposed that he understood prisoner had an interview with .him about twelve months ago, but witness would not have known him again by sight. Witness identified the letter he had written to prisoner's father the morning after the arrest. Was not aware until after the prisoner was arrested that he had been seeking to get an interview with witness, who nod not the slightest objection. John Rod, Johnsonville, said ho hod known the prisoner twenty-five years in business and social relations. He ,had always been very quiel, well behaved, and very temperate. Witness could not account "for him Meriting the letters, and on reading them came to the conclusion that ' he had been studying too much ; and that his brain had become affeoted. Charles Duncan, foreman of the Meat Export Works, Ngahauranga, stated that he had known prisoner for the past sixteen years. Moore had always been a quiet, good-tempered man. Witness never knew him to be offensive, but he was very irritable at times,. He considered that prisoner had written the_ let-te-r» in a moment of irritation without liny intention of carrying out his threats. His Honour remarked that if could not have been a moment of irritation, because there were two letters on different dates. Sir Wilford said he had examined these witnesses more with regard to the second letter, as the first written on a card was like a man Miymir : " I'll kill you at 5 o'clock in tho morning." His Honour lunai'il that the card might perhaps be a form of politeness, but he would take it as intent to kill. John Chapman, who had known prisoner for twenty-teveu yeurs, aud George Munxon gavo similar evidence, and said they would pluco little weight on the threat. Manson remembered being at Parliament Buildings on tho night of 20th July, when prisontv was told he could not see the Acting-Premier that night. Wm. H. Field, solicitor, stated .that he had been in intimate association with the prisoner for some years. After Moore'B appointment to report -on the meat industry he got an idea that he was not only to report- on but to reform the industry. As a result he had begun addressing meetings and writing to newspapers ; and waß hauled up by the Department of Industry, and told to confine himself to (simple report*. Witness had, been of tho came opinion as the prisoner with regard to some of the schemes advocated. /It was apparent to him that tho prisoner chafed under the restrictions imposed by the Department. He complained *of his hands being tied, and expressed his intention to resign and join a now company, the Meat Producers' Association. Prisoner , expressed a strong desire to see Sir Joseph Ward, and on more than one occasion complained of being unable ,;to carry out his desire — being apparently very much irritated over his failure. Witness had assured him that Sir Joseph was very busy, but would see /him, no doubt, as soon as work slackened. He had also seemed irritated at certain criticisms in the House regarding h ; s appointment, but on witness showing him ( Hansard — that there was not .much about tho mutter — he was satisfied. That was the lost time witness had seen Moore before the writing of the letters, and he had again expressed his strong desire to see Sir Joseph. Witness believed that the writing of the letters was dictated by a desire to force an interview. The prisoner had been very much accustomed to having his own way, as his brothers and parents always gave into him ; and, as a result, he had been rather spoiled. Witness added that he did not believe the man had any intention of carrying out his threat, and he (had told Sir Joseph that. James Joseph Moore, brother of accused, said he had a conversation on the telephone with the prisoner the night before the last letter was written. PxiSQner rang up about 7 p.m. and said ho was not -going on very well. Witness pointed out that he was not dependent on the Government or the farmers, and advised him to give up hiß agitation, as he had plenty of talent and energy to get along in some other occupation. They arranged to meet on Saturday at Johnsonville to make arrangements. Witness was astonished at reading the letters afterwards, and thought that something had happened in the meantime to irritate ,him, and ho had taken the step as a last shot at Sir Joseph Wurd to get what ha wanted. Witness would not pay any heed to the threats, lie had never known his brother to use any before, and he was prepared to go bail for his good behaviour. Mrs.' L,ucy Barnett said prisoner had been boarding with her for three months before his arrest. She had seen the letter bf 13th August before it was sent to Sir' Joseph Ward. When prisoner showed it to her, she told him not to send it, but he said it was only a joke done to get attention from the Government, and he sent the letter. Sir Joseph here stated that he would

like to ndd, irom information since le<m r ed. tluit it had occutTCil to him that lirobably tho prisoner avus led into the mutation leierred to by entire or partial iiiiscoiiception on his part. It might bo quite possiblo from tho information pitted bol'oro him by the prisoner's immodlato rela^vDs and friends for that to liavo been the case. Witness understood that tho man was of opinion he wns being burked in some way in the work he had in hand. Witness had. since been informed that the prisoner was under the impression that some one connected with tho meat industry with whom he had differences of opinion was oxcrcising some influence over him (Sir Joseph) in connection with the prisoner's special work. Ho desired to say thab he had no communication with anybody from the time of Moore's omployment conqerning his work, nor did any one ever communicate with him except the head of the Department in which the' prisoner worked. Apparently this had led him to form the conclusion that his report to the Government was being kept back. Such ' was not the case. This report had been sent in by tho head' of the Department some weeks ago, and he (witness), considering it very able, lead it sent to the Government Printing Office, so that it would bo printed when he placed it before Parliament. He had N not yet received it, and consequently had not been able to lay it on the table of the House. Upon that point the prisoner had evidently felt some irritation. Witneßs could have informed him or any of his friends what the position of affairs wa». Witness was &Ibo quite certain that upon, the question of the payment of prisoner's money some gross misrepresentation must have been made, as the prisoner assumed that he had 'stopped payment, which was not the cose. As a matter of fact, the only delay was that some vouchers for travelling expenses were in the Audit Office. There Woe no question of keeping back his salary. From what had been stated since, witness wus of opinion that prisoner came to wrong conclusions, and was carried away by tjiem; and ho did not attach the same importance to the letters now as previously. He did not know the accused or any of his friends, and the. conclusion he came to after receiving the second letter was that he should hand it over to the proper authorities. His Honour — What might be the result if the prisoner came to a similar wrong conclusion about some other matter? It does not mutter what conclusion the man comes to, he must not do that sort of thing. ' Somebody had to occupy public positions, and th6se whose duty it is to do so must be protected. . Mr. Wilford asked permission for tho prisoner 'to make a statement. His Honour said he was not prepared to hear on.c ot- that stage. Putting the best construction on the matter, he would have the mnn medically examined. He would then have v great deal more information than ho possessed at present-. The witnesses examined as to character laid stated that they had never known of him to nntko uss'of threats, mid that they would not have suspected him of writing a threatening letter, or carrying out his threßtsv but he had done so, and there it was. He would remand the prisoner for a week, and havo him medically exnmtued in tho meantime. His Honour snid lie nlso desired to know more übout the fnithhenling with which Moore had been concerned. The prisoner wns then remanded for medical examination.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/EP19020819.2.3

Bibliographic details

Evening Post, Evening Post, Volume LXIV, Issue 43, 19 August 1902

Word Count
1,637

THREATENING THE ACTINGPREMIER. Evening Post, Volume LXIV, Issue 43, 19 August 1902

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