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Dramatic Closing Chapter In John MacDonald's Career of Vice

Treavo, Gardiner's Fate Still • • • ' .■'.'■•.' .. ■ . . . Hangs In Balance

Mysterious Telephone Messages To Prisoner's Counsel ■ .-■<'■.. . ■■ ■ j- ■ .■ ■ ~ • ■ •■ ; ■ ' . ' . ..- --:■ y i (From "N.Z. Truth's" Special Christchurch Representative.) pQJJND guilty by a jury of a serious offence against a* young wo- • inan,>the fate of Treayo Gardiner,- of Christchurch, amarried Eian with three young children, still hangs in 1 the balance.

pcMbrnpiN Gardiner failed to line jg^V«^ up with the other prisoners «Sg^-^jr ( for senten.ce following his 3b&Bmß conviction some . surprise ggSLsIgSS was expressed, and when it TrWfiv >ecame known that sen- :.*■ ' terice had been deferred people began to ask why. The reason is that sensational developments are expected to take ; place. „ ; '■■ ...•...,'■ •■ : v.". ' . ■ . Lawyer .Frank; Sargent, who appeared for Gardiner) is; understood to have come into "possession of information on the strength of which he intends making application/ for a new trial. The- fresh evidence which is stated to:b,ave come to light was not m counsel's possession— nor was it suspected — at the time of the trial, and Lawyer Safgrerit is gbingto fight the issue to a finish, believing that the information he how holds will have a most, important bearing, on, the whole case if he can" get it tfo a jury. \ "N.Z. Truth" has already told the story of the midnight adventure of Elsie Eijeen "Wilson, the 20 r year-old Christchurch domestic, as! a result of which -she charged Gardiner with having committed a grave offence against her. ■\.; • ■;,- .-• " ■ She accompanied Gardiner m his car one night for the purpose , of attending a party, but instead of going to the rendezvous the pair . travelled out to the country. > In a lonely lane near Paparua. prison the girl said the offence took place, and following its occurrence she appealed to two warders who were standing outside theVgate of a house. voige£ -<M the wire ; She;-- jynip^d -from ' the motor-car •screaming, and.. later, , m the house ;■ of the warder^ she denounced Gardiner as a cur.'V: r : "■"■■ ■■ ■'. .-'. ■■" ; •■ "• ' Gardiner's defence was that the rgirl had demanded money when the'question of misconduct was raised between them. \..X. „ . . After a lot of argument the gave her £1, but on receipt of the money, said Gardiner; she wanted to go home, and he said she could either, give him back the money or go on with the arrangement. . ■■•'. According to him, the arrange-

';■ ment was 1 fulfilled, although the girl alleged the commission of the : offence. She swore m the box that Gardiner was the first man who had ever misconducted himself with her. These were the issues which went before t-he jury. The girl's story was believed and Gardiner was found guilty. • ■ Lawyer Sargent failed to establish his defence of "consent" on the girl's part and Gardiner was condemned. Barely had the announcement of the conviction gone abroad, however, than counsel's telephone bell began ringing m his office. ' ; ' ■ ■ ' ' . Mysterious voices of anonymous ■ persons, it is stated, told him certain things and suggested certain quarters where valuable informs* tion could be secured; . Realising that new and important evidence might be obtained which he thought would put a different complexion on the case, Lawyer Sargent acted promptly and made application to the judge to defer sentence on Gardiner pending the result of inquiries. His Honor granted the request and counsel began to follow up the vague clues that had been supplied to him by the mysterious voices over the telephone wire. , . , And then; with dramatic unexpectedness, a young man walked into Lawyer, Sargent's office and announced that his conscience would not allow him to remain silent any longer. That young man, "Truth" is m a position to, announce, made a statement. He has told all he- ; knows—and' a sensational, document it is. • He has come forward voluntarily at great detriment to himself m order that the whole facts, as he knows them, shall be given. Since the events of which he tells m his statement the young man has married; he is a complete stranger to Gardiner and has come forward, so this paper is reliably informed, for the sole purpose of doing what he considers is the right and the only proper thing m the circumstances. Apart from this valuable new witness, Lawyer Sargent has opened other avenues of information and is hopeful that sufficient fresh- evidence will be obtained to justify his application for a new. trial. • LEGAL PROBLEM • ' When 'the case was before the jury last week the existence of this evidence was unsuspected, the jury finding on the facts then before them. A legal difficulty; may crop up m that the judge may not have the power vested m himself to order. a. new trial. At present there seems to be some little doubt as to whether a judge can order a new trial unless it is successfully shown that the verdict was against the weight of evidence. Thatdpes not apply m Gardiner's case, but should he find that jurisdiction does not lie with the Court m this instance, Lawyer Sargent intends to avail himself of another legal provision and apply direct to the GovernorGeneral. : " ' The latter course, however, could only be taken after Gardiner had been sentenced. ■-■',■ Whatever avenue of obtaining a new trial is open to him, counsel is determined to fight the Jssue to a finish on the strength of the ■ new evidence he now holds. . Meanwhile, Gardiner is on the rack of suspense, wondering whether the wheel. of fortune will turn m his favor — -even, at the .eleventh hour. . : ,

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Dramatic Closing Chapter In John MacDonald's Career of Vice NZ Truth, Issue 1121, 26 May 1927

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