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"I can t make an order against a dying man," was a remark passed by his Honor Mr Justice Cooper in dealing at the Palmer ston North Supreme Court with William AVorthington, found guilty of theft of two rings from a woman at Dannevirke. Worthington came up for sentence. He was a middle-aged man, well-dress-ed, and bearing the marks of good breeding. He was a remittance man, suffering from an incurable disease — consumption. Asked if he had anything to say why sentence should not be passed upon him, Worthington said he had already been in gaol ten weeks awaiting trial. He was suffering from an incurable [disease; he had been in five different hospitals in New Zealand receiving open air treatment, and had altogether spent about two years in the hospitals. He found it impossible to get employ-, ment, and only receiving small sums of money from home he was not in a position to maintain himself altogether. He had now by the kindness of friends, however, been placed above the necessity of obtaining a livelihood, for he was to receive larger sums of money from Home. "I have only a few months — probably only a few weeks — to live," concluded the accused man, "and I trust your Honor will not send me to gaol, but if possible to one of the sanatoria. I have the testimony of Dr O'Brien and Detective Cassells to my condition." His Honor : I notice that on two

previous occasions you have been con-

victed of theft, and on two other occasions of false pretences. I also notice that Detective Cassells states that you are more of a fool than a criminal. You are certainly quite unfit for the gaol cells;, not only for your own good, but because your presence would be detrimental to the health of other prisoners , who would afterwards' inhabit the^ cells. I don't quite know what to do with you, however. I don't know whether I have any jurisdiction to commit you to a sanatorium.

Sub-Inspecttor 6' Donovan suggested that prisoner might be sent from gaol to a sanatorium just as other prisoners were sent from gaol to hospitals. The police regulations provided for that.

' His Honor said he would take into account the fact that prisoner had already been in confinement for a considerable period. The proper course would be to send him to a sanatorium in which proper treatment could be given, and, where he would not be a 1 menace to the health of other people. "I think," continued his Honor, "you were properly acquitted on the charge of false pretences. On the other charge you will be sentenced to ten daysf imprisonment without hard labor in-^ the Napier gaol, and I will recommend your removal as soon as possible within that period if the Government sea fit to do so."

Prisoner 1 : "I would like to express my appreciation of the consideration shown me by Detective CasseMs on account of my health."

The Crown Prosecutor asked what was to be done in reference to the rings.

His Honor said the pawnbroker had come by them qiiite honestly and should have the rings till they were redeemed. If prisoner had any money after providing for himself he should certainly see justice done to the woman who owned the rings. Prisoner promised to do so and was then removed. — Standard.

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Bibliographic details

DYING MAN IN THE DOCK, Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume LVII, Issue 0, 27 May 1910

Word Count

DYING MAN IN THE DOCK Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume LVII, Issue 0, 27 May 1910

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