"Fkiday, July 15th. Before Mr. Justice Johnston. On Friday morning last the Court -vas opened shortly after 10 o'clock by Mr. Justice Johnston, and as on the first occasion, the absence of any case on the criminal calendar facilitated the despatch of the sittings. • The Grand Jury, consisting of the following gentlemen: Charles Elliott, foreman; H. E. Curtis, O. Curtis, E. H. Dash wood, N. Edwards, J. Creasy, Charles Christie, E. Buxton, A. Greenfield, F. Huddleston, J. Elliott, P. M. Hervey, J. R. Hays, H. B. Huddleston,.J. R. Hacket, A. G. Jenkins, A. Kerr, J. F. Kelling, and E. Knyvett having been sworn, His Honor then addressed the Grand Jury as follows:—• GENTLEMEN OP THE GRAND JURY — I may well congratulate you on the fact that during the six months which have elapsed since I last sat here, only one person has been accused in this province of an offence of sufficient magnitude to be tried in this Court, that offence, too, not being very serious in its character or aggravated in its circumstances. .
There is, however, as 1 am informed, good reason for believing that there either are, or recently have been, in this place, persons acting in combination, capable of committing, and ready when opportunity may offer, to commit crimes of far greater magnitude and importance. To be in a state of vigilance and preparation which may prevent tho consummation of such offences, or ensure the detection and punishment of the offenders if they should succeed in perpetrating them, is a duty in the discharge of which I feel sure the authorities of this province will not be .negligent. It affords me sincere satisfaction to find the greatest alacrity displayed here in all quarters to assist in the administration of justice ; and I doubt not that should crime increase, as it probably will, with the increasing population and prosperity of the province, it will not be for the want of wide precautions by the authorities for its prevention, suppression, and punishment. I am glad to find the Gaol in as good a condition as any prison not constructed for the purpose of classification-of convicts can well be, and that visiting Justices have been appointed since my last sitting here, who will.take care, on the one-hand, that the sentences of this Court, and the authorised rules of prison discipline, shall be firmly and consistently, carried out, and, on the other, that prisoners shall not have any reason.to complain of caprice, undue severity, or illegal exercise of authority on the part of the officers of the gaol.
It gives me great pleasure to find that attention has been paid to that painful and unjustifiable anomaly which arose from the want of means of confining lunatics separately from persons waiting for trial or undergoing sentence, to \vjiich I called attention on a previous occasion ; and that the Provincial Government, is now providing a building to be occupied by lunatics, uutil .the very desirable project of establishing a lunatic asylum for the whole colony shall been carried out.
With regard to the solitary case into which, in the due course of justice, it would have been your duty to enquire, I am informed that neither the accused, nor the necessary witnesses for the prosecution, will be in attendance. I very much regret that this should be so, and I shall take care, by estreating the recognizances of the witnesses bound over and who may not appear, and of the parties who have become bail for the accused, and pointing out the necessity..of bringing this case before the Court on a future occasion, that, it shall be understood by all parties that they must not trifle with the administration of justice, but strictly and punctually perform the duties imposed upon them for the public benefit. The occurrence of such cases of negligence affords evidence of the necessity for the. adoption, of a system of prosecution, and arrangements as the transmission of accused persons and witnesses to the place of trial, arid for considering prosecutions in their earlier stages, which will preverit. failures and frustrations of justice such as .occasionally do occur at present and are otherwise liVely to recur in this colony. The subject is one 'which deserves, and, I doubt not. will receive the best attention of the public and the legislature.
I am happy to inform you that the recent labors of the Judges in conference at Auckland, besides alterations in practice already effected, are likely to lead to most important and useful results connected with the adminiatration of justice both
in civil and criminal cases, to insuring uniformity in the operation of the law throughout the colony, and tending si ill,further to strengthen that confidence: on the part of the' public in the tribunals of the country which is so essential to tho well being of society. . The Grant! Jury was then discharged. The names of'the, potty jury were called over, and they were dismissed. Elizabeth Hockey having been called and not answering, the names of the prosecutors, witnesses, and prisoners bail were called. Jane Lockett, a witness, only appearing, his Honor directed that the bail and recognizances of the prosecutor and witnesses be estreated, and said that he hoped the Crown Prosecutor would not let the public suppose that the fact of estreating bail' freed a prisoner from liability to be tried at any future time that they might come within the power of the police. James Balfour Wemyss, Rohert John Creasy, John Fedor Augustus Kelling, and A. Saunders, Esquires, were sworn in as Justices'of-the Peace. The Executors of It. Y. Sibhald v, N. T. Lockhart. The following Special Jury was sworn :— N. Edwards, Jbreman; J. Beit, M. Bury, E. Buxton, P. M. Hervey, J. R. Hacket, J. F. Kelling, H. Martin, D. Moore, R. K. Newcome, A. Scaife, W. Wells. . ; This was an action to recover i>1213 18s- }^-> being balance of an account between the plaintiff and defendant; the former pleading that he was not indebted, and also a set-off of .£471 12s. Id. This case, although protracted, was devoid of any features"of public importance. Mr. Sinclair and Mr. Connell appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr. Travers and Mr. Kingdon for defendant. A verdict was given for plaintiff for ,£365, against which the defendant will have ground for action for ■
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The Colonist, Colonist, Volume II, Issue 182, 19 July 1859
SUPREME COURT. Colonist, Volume II, Issue 182, 19 July 1859
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