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Richard Henry Keast, the so-called evangelist, has been committed for trial at Auckland on a charge of forging a letter, signed Lucy Aspin, for £2, and uttering the same for £l. In his evidence Mr Aspin said that his daughter was engaged to Keast, who promised that she would get £3,000 down on the wedding day. Keast wrote down a list of things that would be required for the wedding—currants and things,—(Laughter.) About five weeks later witness went with Mr Grey to the Terminus Hotel, Onehunga, where accused and Miss Aspin were staying. He asked Keast when he was going to pay for the goods (£l9 worth) he had ordered for the wedding, and the latter said his sister would be out from town that evening and would pay the bill. On the following Monday witness put the case in the hands of the police. His Worship : “ Were Keast and your daughter married?” Witness: “ No, sir. They were to be married on June 23.” His Worship : “ And you had suffioient confidence in his honesty to entrust your daughter to him?” “Well,” said witness, “ me and my missus held a council of war, and we thought the man was genuine, and having this religious cloak over him we had not the slightest suspicion. It appeared, moreover, everyone else in the district was deceived in a like manner. Then hie promisee were so enticing,” continued witness. “The day Lucy was married she waa to get £3,000, and I was to get a big sum.”—(Laughter.) In answer to the charge Keast said: “I did not mean to forge anything. I merely got the money to oblige Miss Aspin, and tho £ll got I spent to get things for her, Tho pound was spent all but a penny, and I can get a lady in Victoria street to witness I got the things there.” Other charges of false pretenses have been laid against Keast.

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Bibliographic details

A PIOUS FRAUD., Evening Star, Issue 10460, 2 November 1897

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A PIOUS FRAUD. Evening Star, Issue 10460, 2 November 1897