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THE COURTS-TO-DAY.

(Before Messrs W. Hutchison and J. Horsburgh, J,P.a.) ; : the previously-heard case against Thomas Calvert charged with depositing nightsoil in his garden, contrary to the by-law of' the' Mornington Borough Gouhoil, their ; Worships gave judgment as foliowa on the point raised by Mr Hanlon, counsel for the defence:— "By-law 29 strictly prohibits the deposit or burial of nightsoil in: private gardens or allotments within the borough, and such absolute prohibition manifestly requires public provision to be made for getting rid of such matter elsewhere; Accordingly we find the Council has selected a place of deposit within the borough, Which is referred to in the by-law, and it transpired that there is alsosuoh a depot provided without the borough. - But the evidence showed that the place of deposit within the borough iB either inadequate or unsuitable for the purpose intended, inasmuch as no arrangements appear to have been made to make it readily, accessible to the public; and .the place of deposit without the borough can only be used through the medium of a contractor, whose serviws mayor may not always be available, and payment for which may press too heavily upon a portion of the community. In these circumstances it' is evident that there are cases in which the operation of the by-law may be not only inconvenient but even oppressive. We ,do not, however, take it upon ua to rule that it is bad in law, and therefore if infringement if it is proved a penalty inuat necessarily follow." Mr Hutchison asked if Mr Hanlon wished to call any evidence. —Mr Hanlon: Your Worships have ruled; me, and that is an end of it. My case is closed.—Mr Bathgate : I am instructed by the Council not to press for a severe' penalty.—Mr Hutchison: Defendant will be fined Is, without costs.

(Before Messrs A. Solomon and W. Hutchison, J. P. 8.) .:....

Assaulting his Brother - in • James Cooper, a young man, was charged with violently assaulting Robert M'Robie on the 28th of September with a candlestick. —Sergeant O'Neill staWd that accused was arrested at a quarter to ten o'clock on the night of the 28th of last month. He was then charged with an indictable offence under section 190 of the Code. ; On inquiry the police found that the evidence would not sustain an indictable offence, and he (the sergeant) now withdrew from, the case, as Mr Thornton was to appear on behalf of the complainant. It was counsel's intention to proceed summarily.— Mr Thornton: That is bo. I appear for the complainant in this case. The charge was then amended to common assault. Accused pleaded not guilty, and was defended by Mr Hanlon.—Mr Thornton stated that the complainant was a brother-in-law of accused's. The latter was a man of about twenty-four years of age. Hib father died recently, and his widowed mother lived in Lees street. Mr M'Robie, who was married to a sister of accused's, also lived in the house, where young Cooper resided intermittently. For a long time accused had been the cause of considerable annoyance to his family, but they bad screened him. Instead, however, of showing any penitence for his conduct he had become still more offensive of late, and the family had no option but to bring the young man before the Court and have him taught a lesson in some form or other. The police, no doubt, thought when they arrested accused that the offence was more serious than it actually was, but it was not the young man's fault that he had not oommitted a far more serious offence. The complainant, however, was willing that he should be treated in the ordinary way. Accused came home at noon on Tuesday, and made himself generally disagreeable towards his mother, hia sister, and the other members of the family. He left home at about twenty minutes past two in the afternoon, and returned at about a quarter to eight.... He at once commenced to make use of filthy and disgusting language towards his mother and. the rest of the family. Mr M «Robie, who was away ott the time, was sent for, and when he arrived he tried to quieten accused, ,but his efforts were fruitless. The prosecutor sat down to write, and accused continued to be very abusive, keeping up a running fire of filthy language. He then Went out into the kitchen, and Mr M'Robie followed him in order to stop him from doing any harm. It was then that accused struck the complainant with the candlestick. A younger brother came to Mr M'Robie's assistance and secured possession of the weapon, which accused was nourishing in his hand. At the request of the women the younger brother went for the police,' and while the lad was away accused promised to be good. He, however, renewed his attack a few minutes afterwards, and struck Mr M'Robie on the nose, which bled freely for some time. This young fellow had shown by his conduct that his desire was to drag down the whole of the family into disgrace, and counsel asked the Bench to take everything into consideration and award him the maximium penalty, if the case was proved against him. —Mr Hutchison: He was drunk,. I suppose. —Mr Thornton: He was under.the influence of liquor, but that was no excuse. Robert M'Robie, in corroborating counsel's opening statement, stated that accused lifted a lamp to throw at bis sister. He caught hold of witness by the throat with the left hand, and struck him on the side of the head with a brass candlestick whioh he held in his right hand. He threatened to get an axe and smash an overmantel, and make things merry, as he termed it. He promised 10 keep quiet when the police were sent for, but a few minutes afterwards he broke out again and. struck witness on the nose, causing him to lose a large quantity of blood. By Mr Hanlon: Accused was all right when he kept away from drink. They agreed fairly well. He had not attempted to get accused put out of the house. He had never said one word against him.— The next witness was David Cooper, who, on being asked by the Bench if he would like to see his brother Bent to goal, replied " He deserves it." Constable Hill said accused seemed to be sober when he arrested him.—Mr Thornton was then about to call Mrs Cooper, when Mr Hanlon. said: It seems to be a family squabble—(Mr Thornton : " I do not admit that")—and it seems hard that the mother and probably the sister of accused should be called to give evidence against bim. Rather than see them put into the witness box I will withdraw the plea of not gnilty and plead guilty. That will save any further evidence heing called. Counsel then proceeded to address the Bench in mitigation of sentence. He submitted that the evidence of Mr M'Robie went to show that accused, when he kept away from drink, was not a bad sort of fellow at all. . He was sure nobody would be more sorry' to see the young man imprisoned than his mother and sister, and, although at present they felt right in asking, counsel to have him sent to gaol, they wonld probably see that it was a mistake' when they cooled down. If he were fined that would teach him a. lesson.—Mr Thornton: I don't admit that it was a family quarrel. It takes two to make a quarrel. The conduct of the man has been such that the family have been com* polled to bring him. before the Court in order that the matter might be terminated, and accused taught a lesson. Counsel then handed to the Bench, a list of accused's previous convictions. Mr Hanlon: Your Worships will see that his convictions are for drunkenness. Mr Solomon: The man has been charged three times with drunkenness within the last four or five months. Has he paid the fines? Sergeant O'Neill: Yes. Mr Hanlon: So that he has never been in gaoL—Mr Thornton : As a matter of fact bis mother has paid them in order to screen him.—Mr Hutohigop, in addressing accused, said: It has not only been a family row, but it appears from Jour list of convictions that you ave been before* the Court frequently, and you seem to be getting- incorrigible. We., are very unwilling to entertain the idea of sending you to gaol, because wo are afraid that wonld make you worse instead of better; However, taking

all the circumstances of the case intoaftcount, you will be given another/chance, i Ifon: will ■■ be fined 2Gi3, or mept, and be bound pvef to keep for six; months in your own recognisance'of" £lO and --two-" sureties'if fSveach;! :tt is impossible to leave,the household iat your mercy without some protection of that sort. iyMr Hanlon: That makes it a sentence of six months; he cannot find the sureties.— Mr Solomon : We cannot leave these people unprotected. ; Hanlon said ; tnatr, under the Act the Bench could not hare sentenced the man to more than 1 two months' impritoa--ment, and the result of - the: sentence now was that:he would haye.tojgo.tp/jgaol for sir months!—Mr Solomon .:> The Bench have acted within the: provisions of'the "Act. They are quite justified in \heird6tiißi6n.-

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18971001.2.30

Bibliographic details

THE COURTS-TO-DAY., Issue 10434, 1 October 1897

Word Count
1,554

THE COURTS-TO-DAY. Issue 10434, 1 October 1897

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