(Before His Honor Sir Robert Stout.)
The hearing of the charge of eattk? stealing preferred against James Patterson, laborer, of Kaitaratahi, was continued at the Supreme "Court yesterday. His Honor in summing' up, said the simple question the jm\y had to decide was whether accused was telling the truth, or whether Mrs Scrimegour and her daughter were tellius the truth. His Honor pointed out that accused's statement ' that "Mrs Scrimegour was anxious to take her cattle off Jackson's and put them on Newman's was absurd, because on his own showing there was a probability of Newman's place being sold to the Government. The jury retired at 4.55 p.m., and returned at .6.30 p.m. with/ a. -verdict- of guilty, and prisoner was remanded until this morning for sentence. IN DIVORCE. Mabel Meredith des Barres v. Frederick Stuart des Barres, application' for dissolution of marriage on the ground of habitual drunkenness and desertion and adultery. Mr Burnard appeared in support of the petitioner. .Respondent was not represented. He suggested that it was a case in which the Court should bo cleared. - -■'! His Honor: Are there any children? Mr Burnard : Yes, there are. . His Honor : Then I will clear the Court. . . :.■•..■'-.. The Court ,was thereupon ordered to ba cleared. . •> Proceeding counsel explained that there were two grounds for the petition, and he proceeded to detail the evidence in support. He called - Mabel Meredith des Barres, petitioner, who stated she was married to respondent on September Ist, 1900, in the Registry Office at Napier. Respondent was then conducting a stable business iii Gisborne. Two years later he sold .out the stables. He had begun to drink and was losing money. It was decided to go to India to see about importing horses. 'Respondent's habits became worse. He did not see the people he intfinded to. He received more money from an uncle who had died and went through that. He was so bad that she returned to New Zealand to her children. She heard of a post at Broome, West Australia, and. sent for . him, where she- joined him. He continued to drink heavily: he was quite. out of his mind. She returned after a year to her mother. She then heard from his friends they were sending him to. New Zealand, and she went to meet him at Wellington. Returning to Gisborne they went., to Repongaere to stay with Mr Chambers. They were Mr Chambers guests. Mr Chambers had arranged for respondent to go into business ih partnership with Mr Lissant Clayton, but respondent was so intoxicated as to be unable to attend the meetings arranged, and Mr Clayton refused to go on. She .and respondent then came to town, where he started as a land agent. Up till 1 then he was not earning anything. Subsequently she -went Repongaere as cook to Mr Chambers at £1 5s per ■week. She remained in tha£ position until Mr Chambers sold his run — for about five or six years. During the j latter part \ of the time respondent used jto drink heavily, remaining in bed four lor five days at a time, and take drugs. i During that time respondent did not awpppbrt her. Proceeding petitioner went on to refer to the attention respondent paid to a housemaid at Repongaere, in respect of which they had had some 1 heated arguments. Respondent had been ''away about eighteen months. He had ' obtained some sealing rights from the (Government, and went Home to float a ■' company. Respondent was to return j home to manage the business. Messrs i Hall and Chambers were backing him. Respondent was to have come out ' on receipt of a cable. The cable was sent, but he never replied. She then went home, and communicated with her solicitors and instituted proceedings for a divorce.. She had an interview with him, at which he said he was returning to New Zealand, and asked her not to go on with the proceedings. She said she intended to go on with the case, as she supposed he was not doing any better in London. Respondent admitted he was living with a. woman in JLondon. Dr Collins deposed'.* to having attended j respondent in, a private hospital. Witness was called upon to perform an operation, hut respondent's system waa so charged, with alcohol that he had to keep him there some time before he 'couiid operate.•Evidence was !given by the housemaid referred to, admitting the statements made concerning her part in the trouble.; His Honor granted a decree nisi, to be made absolute in three months. An order was made as to costs and custody of children until further order,
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