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TWELVE YEARS' GAOL

HERCOCK SENTENCED

GUILTY OF MANSLAUGHTER

(By Telegraph—Press Association.) NAPIER, This Day. After the jury had found Colin Herbert Hercock,. aged 21, grocer's assistant, . Waipawa, guilty of the" manslaughter of Mrs. Isobel Annie Ayes, Westshore, the Chief Justice (Sir Michael Myers), in the Supreme Court at Napier yesterday sentenced him to twelve years' imprisonment with hard labour. The jury retired at 12.10 p.m. and returned with their verdict at 2.50 p.m. Hercock appeared very strained while waiting for his Honour to return to the Court, but did not speak when senitence was pronounced. He appeared j quite composed when led from the box. When the sentence was given there was a stir from the crowded courthouse. In passing sentence his Honour commented that from the observations of the accused's counsel one might almost think that the accused should be ranked as a hero. "I do not so regard you," he said, "nor do I intend to adopt Mr. Harker's suggestion of probation. If I were to do a thing like that it would be equivalent to a pronouncement going from this Court that human life'is no.longer safe in i this community. I decline to be a party to such a thing. Not long ago I. presided over a murder trial in which i a young man was found guilty of manslaughter. He received ten years' imprisonment. The difference between that case and yours is that in the case I mentioned there, was no proof that the accused had gone into a room with a lethal weapon in his hand. In this case you went to a woman's house ! with a loaded gun in your hand. i "We know that Mrs. Ayes had performed an illegal operation on a girl and you took her there for that purpose. 1 know that some two years ago she was charged with a series of those offences and in the face of the most convincing and' conclusive evidence j four juries were unable to agree. I do j not hesitate to say that the few—l hope only a few—?who refused to do their duty in that case undertook a serious responsibility as events have turned out, as it appears that this woman came back and continued her previous course. If she had been dealt with as | she should have been, this tragedy | would not have happened.

"Nevertheless," his Honour concluded, "she is entitled to her life, and that you have destroyed."

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/EP19381102.2.105

Bibliographic details

TWELVE YEARS' GAOL, Evening Post, Volume CXXVI, Issue 107, 2 November 1938

Word Count
409

TWELVE YEARS' GAOL Evening Post, Volume CXXVI, Issue 107, 2 November 1938

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