THE RAILWAY THEFT
SENTENCES IMPOSED. George Alexander Black (railway enginedriver) and William Winskill Kirkwood (fireman), who pleaded guilty last Monday to the theft of four bottles of whisky, valued at £l, came up for sentence in tho Police Court this morning. Mr A. C. Hanlon, for the accused, called evidence as to character. Arthur Stone-ham said that he had known Black since 1897, when he joined the Dunedin Highland Rifles. Ho served two years in the company, and rejoined in 1901, in order to go with th-jv Eighth Contingent to the South African War. He had. no hesitation in speaking for his general character. Cecil Harry Street said that accused in tho D Squadron of the Eighth Contingent, of which witness had command in Africa. Accused always conducted himself well as a man and ae a soldier. His discharge was "character very good." John Fogarty also Epoke woll of Black. I Frederick W. Platte, solicitor, said that he had known Kirkwood all his life. He bore an excellent character, and belonged to a woll-known and respectable family at Port Chalmers. James Rennie, school teacher, said that Kirkwood bore a good character at school. George Griffiths, locomotivo foreman of railways, said that Kirkwood had been under his charge for mine years. He had always been a steady, hard-working young fellow. There had been no complaints about him. The Magistrate (Mv Bartholomew) eaid that since the last occasion he had very carefully considered the position of the accused. It was very regrettable to see men given euch good" characters in their present position. Their coumsel had very forcibly put their position before the Court but he had to consider something more than the position of the individual. He had to consider the interests of tho public. Tho offence of which the accused had been convicted—pillaging—was a serious one, and more serious when committed by railway servants than it would have been if it had been committed by an outsider. Frequently during the last two years persons had been sent to gaol for pillaging and broaching cargo. In the present case it was not a case of a man accidentally falling by taking articles that happened to bo alongside, of him. The circumstances showed system. The engine-driver left his engine whilo tho fireman drove it, a-nd the former then walked 50yds to the railway .shed at Stirling, broke open a case, and extracted four bottles of whisky. It would seem that- Black wb.s really the principal k\ tho matter, but Kirkwood had chosen to identify himself with Black, and ho must take it that the two acted in consort. Black would be sentenced to a month's imprisonment with hard labor, and Kirkwood to two weeks with hard labor.
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THE RAILWAY THEFT, Evening Star, Issue 15655, 20 November 1914