SPURIOUS COINS IN CIRCULATION
LOCAL RESIDENT CHARGED,
At the Magistrate's Court to-4ay, before Mr E. Page, S.M., Frank Eaton Hudson (Mr W. A. Carruth) was charged with having spurious coins— gilded sixpences—in his possession.
The first witness Was Robert Baker, one of the proprietors of the Silver Grid restaurant in Cameron Street. He said that during the month of June they received a gilded sixpence, the fraud being discovered- when the coin was taken to the bank. The matter was then reported to the police. Witness knew the accused. ! He was an occasional customer for a meal at the restaurant. Albert W. Wills, manager of the National Trading Company's branch in Whangarei, said that on a Monday in .Tune last he took to the bank a gilded sixpence among other money. The spurious coin was received on the Saturday night previously. He could not tell who passed it. Witness could neither recognise the accused, nor swear that he had been in the shop.
Mrs E. Matthews, boarding-house keeper, said .that the accused had boarded with her for, about four months. She had noticed a small cardboard box in his possession, but not any paint. Accused was ejected for not paying his,board. He still owed her money.
Constable 0. J. Paine said that he had known the accused for three and ,*i half years. Witness arrested him on November 4 for drunkenness and searched him at the lqck-up, finding a gilded sixpence. Accused resisted when a top pocket was searched. Witness found a spurious coin, which at first he believed was a half-sovereign. The gilding appeared to be ' freshly done. The only other money found was a , shilling. Next morning witness search- | ed accused's belongings. !He found a box in which was a small brush, a bottle of spirits, sohie gold dust, and some imitation gold enamel. Witness said he had mixed some up and tried it. He told accused he would be charged with making counterfeit coins. Accused asked what witness meant, and the latter told accused that he had found a. gilded sixpence on him the night before and had since found his gilding outfit. Accused denied this anu said he had never seen a gilded sixpence.' Accused then came . into the office and was shown a kit which he recognised as belonging to him. It was in the kit that witness had found the gilding outfit.
Continuing witness said he knew that there were gilded sixpences in circulation about the beginning of June. About June S \the^_ manager of Messrs Wallace and Co (Mr Wells) had handed him a gilded sixpence. On the same dale Mr Baker, of the Silver Grid, also gave him a coin. (Both coins produced and identified by wit-
ness). On October 12 witness had been called to Mrs Matthews' boarding house to eject the accused, who was drunk and refused; to pay his board. Witness went to accused's bedrodni and saw him pack his kit. Amongst other things in the bag witness had seen a box, similar to the one which he had found in the outfit.
Cross-examined by Mr Carruth witness said he had heard that accused was well-connected. -Witness .thought that the paint would disguise > sixpence sufficiently to allow it to pass as a half-sovereign without a close scrutiny, or in the dark. ,
Mr Carruth, addressing the Court, said he thought the evidence given by Mr Wills and Mr Baker should not be connected with the charge against accused. He said that neither of them knew where the money came from and neither knew Hudson. Accused might have easily been a victim, as had. Mr Will s and Mr Baker, and might easily have taken the coin for a half-sover-eign. He did not think that the evidence was strong enough to warrant a conviction. Continuing, Mr Carruth said that probably in many houses gold paint could be found, and perhaps in some, gilded coins. He said it was onlly a coincidence and he had a gilded sixpence on him at the moment, but would be very sorry to find himself in the lock-up in consequence. (Laughter). He did not think it was anything more than a little suspicion, and could not warrant a committal to the Supreme Court.
Mr Page deferred judgment until 10 o'clock on Wednesday morning.- .
The accused was also charged with drunkenness, sentence being deferred fintil the former case is concluded.'