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HE DIDN'T DIE.

BUT LIVED TO CHEAT AGAIN.

TWO YEARS WITH HARD LABOR.

A case which created interest during the "Powelka" session of the Palmerston Supreme Court was that in winch a consumptive was found guilty. <>i theft at Dannevirke. '•! can't send [a dying man to gaol," remarked Mr Justice Cooper, when passing sentence.

Recent happenings m the Auckland province show that the man does not intend to die just yet. He gave his name in Palmerston as William Worthington, and his offences consisted m representing himself to a female boardinghouse keeper as a Survey officer with a salary of £800 a year. On the strength of that he borrowed a couple of rings to wear at a party at the DanneVirK© Vicarage, lrlier© lie -rraa 00. occasional guest, lie omitted to return tho jewellery, which was ultimately recovered in a Wellington pawnshop, and Worthington was there arrested Dy Detective Cassels for theft. He is a middle-aged man, dresses well, and bears the marks of good breeding. He said he was a remittance man. He had already been in gaol ten weeks awaiting trial. He was suffering from ? n incurable disease; he had been in five different hospitals in New Zealand receiving open air treatment, and had altogether spent about two years in he hospitals. He found it impossible to get employment, and only receiving small sums of money from Home he was not in a position to maintain himself altogether. He had now by the %indness of friends, however, been placed above the necessity of resorting to dishonest methods of obtaining a livelihood, for he was to receive larger suras 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." This appeal tempted his Honor to leniency, and a very light sentence was imposed. "I notice," said Mr Justice Cooper, "that on two previous occasions you have been convicted of theft, and ou 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 1 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-Inspector O'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. The result was that the dying man left the dock amid whispered expressions of pity from the body of the court, ajid went to gaol for the brief period of ten days. He waa immediately placed in a sanatorium, and after a short and quite pleasant stay went out into the world again. IN SEARCH OF PROPERTY. J But Mr Worthington, whose real name, by the way, is Geen, was not quite so near death's door' as he made out, and he immediately got to work in another part of the island. In the Waikato he represented himself •as one Wilson, a wealthy person in search of property, and had all the land agents in the province conveying him over the landscape in motor-cars and generally treating him in princely fashion.' Qeen was discovered, and arrested for false pretences. He came before the Supreme Court at Hamilton on Friday. ' Unluckily for him he was again tried before Mr Justice Cooper, and this time he met his deserts. His Honor, in passing sentence, said that Geen had been convicted of false pretences at Napier, of false pretences at Auckland, false pretences at Hamilton, theft at Auckland, and theft at Hamilton last month. In answer to his Honor, the prisoner admitted that he had been convicted by his Honor of theft at Palmerston North. . "It is evident," said his Honor, "that you have been gaining your livelihood during the past three years ly trading on the credulity of the public, and I feel very much inclined to declare you an habitual criminal. I shall sentence you to two years' imprisonment with hard labor, which will keep you for some time at least from committing these frauds. It is astonishing how gullible ■ some people are. At Dannevirke you represented yourself as occupying a high position in the Survey Office, at a salary of £800 a year, and persuaded some fool of a woman to give you money and jewellery because you said you were going to marry her. At that time you produced a . medical certificate stating that you were dying of consumption, and had only a , few days to live, in consideration of which I only sentenced you to ten days' imprisonment. You now look very much better, and if you live to see this sentence out, and ever come' before the court again, you will be declared to be an habitual criminal."

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/HNS19100914.2.8

Bibliographic details

HE DIDN'T DIE., Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume LX, 14 September 1910

Word Count
869

HE DIDN'T DIE. Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume LX, 14 September 1910

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