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CRIMINAL SITTINGS, Issue 15646, 10 November 1914
DUNEDIN. ILis Honor Mr Justice Sim. sat at 10 this morning. ACQUITTED. John Jones was charged that lie did, on September 18, at Dunedin, indecently assault a girl under the age of six years. There was a second count of assaulting the girl. Mr B. S. Irwin appeared for accused, who pleaded not guilty. Mr S. Solomon, K.C., acting Crown Prosecutor, said that accused was apparently a man past, middle age, and the accusation against him was that ho decoyed the girl on to the Town Belt, and there committed the offence complained of.
■Mr Irwin, for the defence, pointed out that the girl, when she went home, told her mother that the man did not touch her, and if the jury believed that story the case for the Crown dropped to the ground. Counsel put it that what the girl npw said happened did not happen, and contended that what she said at the first was tho truth. The man’s actions after the alleged ofjenoc were not those of a guilty man. He wont back to the locality, and when he was spoken to by Detective Hammerly he told him all that had happened. Learned counsel pointed out that the Magistrate in the lower court had certified that this wa» a proper case for the man being defended in tho higher court at the expense of the Crown. His Honor, in addressing the jury, said that so far as the charge was actually concerned it rested entirely on the evidence of the little girl. T’ho story she told her mother was in direct contrast to the story she had told tho Court. The jury retired at 11.40, and returned in half an hour with a verdict of “Not guilty,” and accused was discharged, A SKEIOUS ASSAULT, Charles Banwell was charged with, on the 29th .September, assaulting Ah Sing so as to cause him actual bodily harm. Mr A. C. Hanlon appeared for accused, who pleaded not guilty. Mr Solomon said ihat accused was with assaulting a Chinaman 71 years of age. The injured man had four wounds on his face which wore sufficiently severe to cause him to he detained in the Hospital for a fortnight and to become a patient afterwards, and also to cause him to permanently lose the sight of one of his ejos. Ho also had a very severe scalp wound as a result of a fall from the blows. The assault took place in a. house in Stafford street kept by a woman named Brown, who had lived with tho China-man. On the dale in question another woman called Conn went to tho house with Banwell and another man. Conn went out of the house shortly afterwards for the purpose of getting beer. IMvilo she was a wav the Chinaman went to the house to get. a, blanket and an overcoat. He took away the blanket and returned for the overcoat. Seeing Banwell in the house ho said : “ What arc you doing hero?” and told Brown that the man had no right in the house. Accused, who was silting dowt, rose, and. without speaking, he struck | the Chinaman, who was knocked down senseless. In the lower court Hr Hanlon made tho suggestion that the woman had some hand in the matter, but she denied it, and so far there was nothing to show that she took a part in the assault The woman Conn, who could not be found when tho case was heard in the lower court , would now be called, and she would say that accused told her that lie bad been fighting with a Chinaman. When arrested Banwell said : ” How is the Chinaman getting on':" The constable sard; “He is in tho Hospital, and will not bo able to attend the Police Court." A ceased replied: "I suppose T shall get two or thve-- ' years for this job.” He also added that he did not do all that the Chinaman got. Kvidence was given hv Div, Church tnd ! Mac.phei son, Betsy Conn, Detective Hnmmcrly. and Ah filling. Caroline Brown, who described her relations with Ab Rhing in the phi aso “T have stopped, at bis plare us a paying guest,” swmo that accused struck the Chinaman two or throe times about, the bend, and the place was covered in blood in a short 1 time. The Chinaman had a stick in bis hand, and ordered Banwell out. waving the slick. Flie did not see the Chinaman strike Banwell. Mr Hanlon : T think you look upon yourself as one of the Chinamen’s wives? Witness: 1 am one of their women or girls. Mr Hanlon : Oil, I beg your pardon. Were you wife, woman, or girl in this house?—l was a woman in the bouse. You were under tho influence of liquor, weren’t vou?—No. Mr Hanlon : But yon pleaded guilty next, day to drunkenness—just to oblige, I I suppose. Now. wasn't Ah Rhing angry when he came in and found you and accused?—He was displeased. How did lie show his displeasure?—He shook me by the arm. Yes. T think ho shook you into the corner. Did vou not bit him with the hcerglasft’—Xo'! What did be say when ho shook you up? —He said I was mot lit to be there and did not suit him. . . . I said : “ I am an Englishwoman. and don’t want any Chinese (nonsense.” Is it a. fact that Ah Rln'ng is your best ! Chinese friend?—He is the most refined Chinese friend of my acquaintance. Did vou take the frving-pau to him?— No! Then if Ab Shing said yon bad it in your hand that would not be correct?— No ! He must have been dazed?—l don’t think that he was very sober. Mr Hanlon : Amd I think you have already said that lie drinks and takes opium pills? Witness : Yes. She added that she knew it was against the rules to have Europeans in tho house. Mr Hanlon said that, it was agreed that Banwell went to tho house, perfectly peaceably. The Chinaman came into the 1 bouse, an angry scene occurred, and the Chinaman was injured. There was no possible way of arriving at tho exact, truth, but he submitted that, as far as could be gathered, the way the thing happened was this: The Chinaman was breaking up the homo and going away, and before he wont he was going to have it out with Caroline Brown. lie started to knock her about, then took up a stick and commenced to make himself master of the house. Counsel suggested that when tho woman was assaulted by the Chinaman, in her drunken condition she. took up the frying pan and battered him about the head. That was probably what happened. If Banwell interfered", was it not reasonable to suppo-ie that he interfered to protect the woman. That accounted for Jus statement to the police—“ I suppose I will get two or three years, but the truth will come out at the "trial that I did not do it all to him.” Ho knew that the other two would .stick together. and he would fall between tho two. The whole thing was a drunken row between a drunk woman and a jealous Chinaman. It has been said that Banwell’s bund was covered with blood, but a man's hand did not become bloody throuch striking another unless there was already blood on that other’s face. HU Honor, in summing up, said that counsel had boon driven to the suggestion that a drunken woman had inflicted the serious injuries with a frying pan, which was a remarkable suggestion. He did not know that it was worthy of serious consideration. As to tho suggestion of a- row, that had no bearing. H was not shown in evidence that accused interfered to protect the woman. After a retirement of 50 minutes the jury returned with a verdict of “ Guilty. ’ Sentence was deferred. fokgert. Christina Barlow was indicted with having, about Jono 23, at Dunedin, made a cheque tor £6 10s, purporting to be drawn on the Bank of New Zealand, Mosgiel, by Alexander Murray, well knowing it to be false. She pleaded not guilty, and was defended by M? Brasch. Mr Solomon said that tho prisoner lived in Dunedin, and here met the farmer Murray. Towards the end of June they wore in a house together, and. she overhauled his pockets, examining a cheque book on the National Bonk, Mosgiel, amongst other articles. PrewntJx. he left
h«r and went about his busineee. Some days afterwards this woman came to him at Mosgiel with a man. There oonld be no doubt, if Murray’s evidence wae accepted, that they went there to get money. In the first place, this man (whom accused knew as Burns) told Murray that his name was Cranfield. She stood by and heard him call himself Cranfield when she knew him as Burns, This man told Murray that he had come because he bad found out that Murray had been intimate with his wife, that ho was going to bring an action for divorce, and that ho wanted Murray as a witness. Murray replied that he knew neither him nor his wife. These two people, in fact, had gone there for the purpose of blackmail. She asked him to give her a cheque; but ho refused, ultimately giving an lOU for £2, which was handed to the man. Having got this, no more was heard of divorce or of “Cranfield.” Next the woman went with the man to an hotel at Mosgiel, and asked for a cheque form on the National Bank, Mosgiel. It was refused, but later she went to a store kept by Mrs Swan and obtained a cheque, stating that she wanted it for a Mrs Burns. She took it away, but camoi back in 50 minutes and got another, stating that Mr Bums had spoiled the cheque. Shortly afterwards a cheque signed Alex. Murray, for £6 10s, was presented to another storekeeper by a man. This man had now disappeared, and the police had not found him. There was no direct evidence, of course, that the woman forged the cheque, but the Crown’s suggestion was that she obtained the lOU that gave Murray’s signature; that although both were Dunedin people they wanted a cheque on the Mosgiel Bank, which would not have been necessary if the man Burns merely wanted to pay her some money; and that she returned for the second cheque because the first forgery was a clumsy one. She was charged with forgery (in spite of the lack of direct evidence), because by tire Criminal Code any person who was a party to any offence might be convicted upon, a count charging him or her with having committed the offence; and also because by another section a person was a party to a crime who either actually committed it or did any act with the purpose of aiding another peieon to commit it. Murray was in the box at 2.50 p.m. WELLINGTON. in the Supreme Court to-day Lawrence Healey, a member of the Expeditionary Force, admitted forging orders for the supply of goods. He was remanded till Friday. Charles Edward Eossifcer, for forging and uttering a school certificate and testimonial in order to obtain employment in the railway service, was sentenced to two years’ reformative treatment.
CRIMINAL SITTINGS, Issue 15646, 10 November 1914
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