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MRS. AVES FREED

STAY OF PROCEEDINGS

FOURTH JURY DISAGREES

COMMENTS BY CHIEF

JUSTICE

The failure of the fourth jury to reach a verdict after hearing the trial of Mrs. Isabel Annie Ayes, alias Craike, of Hastings;, oh Seven charges of using an instrument with intent to procure | a miscarriage, has resulted in the Solicitor-General (Mr. H. H. Cornish, K.C.) deciding to file a stay of proceedings. Before discharging the jury and the accused late yesterday afternoon the Chief 'justice (Sir Michael Myers) : commented on various phases of the case, because, he said,' there were aspects which he considered worthy: of the serious . attention of those in' authority. 'He also warned Mrs. Ayes on the future conduct of her household. Mr. H. B. Lusk, Napier Crown Prosecutor, had conducted the prosecution, and Mr. C. G. E. Harker had appeared for the accused. , The jury, which retired at 12.50 p.m., returned just before 5 o'clock, and the foreman told the Eegistrar that an agreement could .not be reached. His Honour: Well, Mr. Foreman, is there any matter, do you think, upon which I can be of any assistance to you? The foreman: The jury doesn't seem to think so. . His Honour: I don't want to know how you were divided. The foreman: The instructions and summing-up were clear enough. Everything was clear enough, but we can't agree:-. \ ■ = His Honour: Do you think it is of any use my keeping you together a little longer? ■''.'■'" The foreman: No use whatever. His Honour: Well, Mr. Lusk, I shall/: of course, have to discharge the jury. Mr. Lusk: I have the authority of the • Solicitor-General that a stay of proceedings will be filed. His Honour: Prisoner at the bar, if the jury in this case had returned a verdict of not guilty, I would have accepted their verdict loyally and without question, even though I may have thought that it was wrong. "The jury, however, have not agreed, and the Crown, it is now stated, proposes to file a stay of proceedings," continued his Honour. "In the circumstances I feel justified in addressing just a few words to you. Not only was there in this case evidence given by five different women alleging that you had procured their miscarriages by the use of these instruments . . . two of the women alleging that they were twice operated upon, but there was evidence which is indisputed arid indisputable that during a period of from eighteen to twenty months you purchased no fewer than twenty dozen —that is, 240 —of these instruments, which the medical evidence says cannot be imagined of use in the hands.of a private person for other than an illegal purpose. There was also evidence that during that same period of eighteen months you had received from no fewer than 183 persons, in varying sums, an aggregate of £2232 10s, that proof coming from your own books." „ ' ,l- ; . ■■•. There was also evidence, ' said his Honour, that the baeik ( part of the accused's section - was;'impregnated with human- foetal remains, the development of which prohibited their, disposal by another method. "Well, upon thai evidence the Crown submitted that a nefarious and criminal business must have been going on in your house for a period of eighteen months or more. The, jury, apparently, found some difficulty and have not been able to; agree upon the question; presumably," as to whether you were the actual person who committed these offences. .1 don't know, of course, whether or not that is the precise | question on which the jury differed. "All I can say is-this, that I should recommend you to see .that your household in future is not carried on in such a way by anyone as that you may be brought before the Court again on a charge:of this kind; because, if you are, you may not be so fortunate, as you are on this occasion."

His Honour discharged the jury and Mrs. Ayes, and added: "I venture to make . thos^e observations .because there are various aspects of this case which, in my view,-are" worthy of the serious attention of those who guide the destiny of this young country."

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/EP19370217.2.54

Bibliographic details

MRS. AVES FREED, Evening Post, Volume CXXIII, Issue 40, 17 February 1937

Word Count
689

MRS. AVES FREED Evening Post, Volume CXXIII, Issue 40, 17 February 1937

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