RESIDENT MAGISTRATE'S COURT.
Thtjksdat, sih Octobik. (Before J. Eathgate, Esq., E.M.) Albion Brewing Company v. William Insley. —Claim of L 34 15s, beer supplied. In this case the usual 48 hours' notice by summons to the > defendant was dispensed with, as it was believed that he was about to leave the Province. He had said that "if the Kumara Rush was to go ahead, he would like to go and have a look at it." He is in regular employment in Dunedin. Mr F. Chapman appeared for the .plaintiff, and Mr Aldredge for the defendant. The case waa adjourned till Monday. George Wilson v. Edward Towsey (Lawrence).—Claim of L 8 ss, meat supplied. Judgment for plaintiff with costs. George Folkes v. Anderson and Morrison.— Claim of LI 7s Cd, work done. Judginont for plaintiff with costs. William Patrick v. Patrick Cox.—Claim of L 2 8s Gd, goods supplied. Judgment for the plaintiff with costs.
The Court adjourned till the following day.
PORT CHALMERS. (Before T. A. Mansford, Esq., R.M,)
Embezzling Cargo.—Valentine Menlie and Edward_ Cotter, seamen belonging to the ship Thomasina M'Lellan, were charged with having, on or about the end of June last, embezzled a portion of the ship's cargo, to wit, 12 pairs of trousers, valued at L 6. Mr Eathgate prosecuted, and Mr Joyce appeared for the de fendants, and plaaded guilty on behalf of the defendant, Cotter, and not guilty for Menlie. A great deal of evidence was taken. His Worship said that th« case was clear enough against the prisoner*l- It was a very serious charge, grave results having so often ensued upon sailors plundering in tho holds of vessels. He should sentence each of the prisoners to 12 weeks' imprisonment, with hard labour. Charge against a Shipmaster.—Captain Gibb, of the ;ihip Thomasina M'Lellan, was charged by Edward Cotter with having unlawfully as&aultod him on the 25th, 2Gth, and 27th clays of July, by putting him in irons. Mr Bathgate appeared for the defence, and _Mr Joyce for the prosecution. The hearing of the charge occupied several hours. From the evidence, it appeared that the assault arose out of the embezzlement case reported above. When the captain was informed of it, he ordered the man Cotter aft, and there and then put him in irons and chained him to the mizen-mast of the ship in such a position that he could not sit down. This happened on the night before the ship went into Kio Janiero, and it was proved that Cotter was kept in that position from 11 p.m. to 5.30 a.m. next day. The captain said there was no place below to coufine him in until the steward, acting under his (the captain's) orders, cleared away a space in the lazarette. Cotter was then moved below, and remained there until he was taken ashore at Itio and given into the charge of the British Consul. The ship arrived at Rio on the Sunday, and on Monday the captain communicated with the Consul, and was informed by him that the man could not be tried for embezzlement in a Brazilian Court, and would have to be taken on to Otago to be arraigned there. He gave the captain the following written authority and instructions: — "I, the undersigned, Acting British Consul, have duly authorised Captain John Gibb to confine Edward Cotter as a prisoner on board until he reaches Otago, where hecan be tried according to British law, the prisoner being not only charged with felony, but with threatening and attempting the life of AndiewAnderson, one of the crew. (Signed) S. A. Austin, Acting Consul." After having seen the Consul, Captain Gibb went on board H.M.S. Volage, which was lying at Sio, and stated the case to her commander, Captain Fairfax. The latter said that he would not interfere in the matter, and that prisoner had better be taken on to Otago. He had come to that conclusion after consulting with Her Majesty's Minister at Eio and the Consul. The prisoner was not present at either of the interviews. It may be observed that when Cotter was arrested on board he frankly admitted his guilt, and said he waa aorry for what he had done. The captain, however, deenied it neceesary to confine him to prevent his escape and to keep him away from the rest of the crew, as he had been a sort of ringleader amongst them, and had threatened to "knife" one of the men named Anderson for informing against him. Trouble with the crew had been experienctd on former occasions, and the captain suspected that cargo had been broached from the fact cf noticing some of the men under the influence of liquor. Nothing, however, could be proved until the man Cotter was arrested. On the third day after reaching Eio, Cotter was sent ashore, [and taken charge of by the Consul until the day the ship sailed. He was then remitted on board, and again confined in the lazarette, ironed, and chained to a staunchion, as he had been when first placed there. He was permitted to come on deck when necessary, and once slipped his irons and came up of his own accord. Whilst in custody he was rationed with two biscuits and a tin of water per day. The day after the ship sailed the prisoner made a, voluntary confession and apology to the captain, and the same was taken down in documentary form and signed by the prisoner. He was then freed and returned to his duty, but when the ship arrived here he was again arrested, and this time confined in the sail-room on deck. Mr Joyce argued to show that tha proceedings at Kio were irregular, not to say illegal, inasmuch that the prisoner was not formally arraigned before the Consul.—His Worship replied that he did not feel himself confident to pass any opinion upon, what had transpired at Rio. That would haye to be left to a higher tribunal. He should simply confine himself to what took place before the ship arrived at Bio, and on that would deliver his decision on the Morrow, when, as there was another heavy case to be heard, the Court would open at 10 o'clock.
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