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RESIDENT MAGISTRATE'S COURT.

Wednesday, Mat 15, 1861

Thomas Woods, a seamen on board the Daniel Rankin from Calcutta, was charged with having committed a violent assault upon Charles Mitchell, another seaman of the same ship on Tuesday (yesterday) at the Allied Arms public house, by knocking him to the ground and then kicking him. The quarrel arose about a watch which was missing on board. Prisoner threatened to murder the prosecutor, and the latter was of opinion he might do so. The prisoner was fined 40s, ami costs, or one month’s imprisonment, and ordered to find bail for his good behaviour for three months : himself in £SO, and two sureties in £25 each. Thomas Holmes, another seaman belonging to the Daniel Rankin was charged with having assaulted Charles Mitchell, by kicking him and then drawing a knife and threatening to murder him on the same day and at the same place named in the preceding case. The charge was fully proved, and the Bench severely censured the prisoner for having dared to make use of a knife. He was fined 40s. and costs, and ordered to find substantial bail for his good behaviour for three months. Thomas Burris of Wellesley street was ordered to find bail for having assaulted and threatened to shoot Margaret Grumrner, a woman with whom he was living. The complainant appeared in Court much bruised. The prisoner was ordered to enter into bis bond for £SO, and two sureties for £25 each for three months. Another application was made to-day for the magisterial interference respecting some additional reckless rifle practice. In this instance Mr Alexander Hunter of St. George’s Bay Road, Parnell, stated that this morning (Wednesday) the firing he now complained of took place from a paddock adjoining his own, and that the ball went close to his head, for he felt the wind from it as it passed. The person fired across the road leading to the Native School. Complainant mentioned the name of the offender, hut as it was given upon an ex -parte statement, we refrain from recording it. The Bench was sorry to find that a considerable portion of the time of the Court was occupied in attending to complaints of this nature. He had already communicated with the military authorities upon the subject, and he had hoped that this reprehensible and he might say criminal practice was at an end, but as it appears that such is not the case, he trusted the Press would take cognizance of the matter, and bring its influence to hear towards its repression, so that the honor and dignity of the Rifle Corps of this City might remain untarnished. But he was sorry to say that a few thoughtless members were bringing disgrace upon the whole body by their childlike and foolish conduct. Thursday, May 16th. Frank Rogers and Joseph Williams, the master and mate of the “ Sarah,” were charged with stealing, on Monday evening last, certain wearing apparel and other things, the property of James McNeilagc. Mr. Naughton applied for a short remand to enable the police to search for the remaining property. The prisoners were then remanded until next day. William Cronin was charged by Capt. Henry Tillman, of the ship “Louisa,” from Calcutta, with a

disobedience of his lawful orders, and with using obscene and disgusting language on board, after being ordered to discontinue it. The prisoner entered as an able seaman on board the “ Louisa,” at Calcutta,” and signed articles to remain vdth tlie ship and <io proper duty as a seaman until the end of the voyage. 'I be oflencc nowjcomplaiued of was committed ou Tuesday afternoon last when the troops were under order's to disembark. It was part of the duty of the crew to get tire baggage out of the hold, so that it might be landed by lighters before the troops left the ship. About 3-past 1 o’clock of that day, prisoner left the winch, and wanted to know the reason he could not get his dinner. The mate told him he could not have Iris dinner until the troops had left the ship. He then returned to the winch, and began to swear and make a disturbance, which caused the work to Ire stopped, The mate reported his conduct to the captain, when the latter called the prisoner aft. Tire witness further stated that he gave him the like round of abuse as he did the mate. lie then ordered him forward, ami told him not to do any more work. He desired him to go off the quarter-deck ; lie refused, but at last he walked away. Yesterday, he had read the entry he had made in the log about him, when he again made use of the most foul language, in the presence of the ladies. His conduct had been very bad during the whole of the voyage, which caused him to be put in irons. Mr. Frederick Edridge, the chief mate, corroborated the evidence of the preceding witness, and also proved that when he ordered the prisoner to go forward, he replied, “ lie would not leave the winch for him,” and stood, swearing, which prevented the work going on. The Court said that the log displayed sufficient evidence to prove that the prisoner’s conduct during the voyage had been extremely bad, and that it appeared he habitually used the most filthy language on board. It was equally a disobedience of orders lor a seaman not to leave off swearing when lie was told by his commander, as to refuse to perform Ids legitimate duty. The prisoner was committed to prison for four weeks with hard labour. He then applied for his clothes and wages, and said ho had agreed with the Shipping agent at’Calcutta to be paid off in New Zealand ; but the Court found by the Ship’s Articles, which prisoner had signed, that he was to be paid at th* end oi the voyage.

Friday, May 17. The prisoners Rodgers and Williams were brought up, aiid after some additional evidence had been given, were committed to take their trial at the next Criminal Session of the Supreme Court. Capt. F. E. Campbell, Adjutant of the Ist battalion of the Auckland Regiment of Militia, attended to press the charge against certain of the men belonging to that corps, for a breach of the “ Militia Act, 1858,” by absenting themselves from drill at the Albert Barracks on Tuesday, the 30th April last. Some of the Summons’ were not pressed in consequence of the defendants proving they were at work in the country at the time, and had no means of ascertaining when the notices for drill appeared in the newspapers. In one case the man was incapable of reading, and therefore was totally unable without aid of knowing anything about the call through the medium of the press.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NZ18610518.2.15

Bibliographic details

RESIDENT MAGISTRATE'S COURT., New Zealander, Volume XVII, Issue 1574, 18 May 1861

Word Count
1,144

RESIDENT MAGISTRATE'S COURT. New Zealander, Volume XVII, Issue 1574, 18 May 1861

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