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OBSTRUCTING THE TRAM CARS.
» ■ "■ NEW BRIGHTON TRAM QOMPANY v. MRS KJNIOHT. At the Magistrate's Court this morning, before Mr B. C. Bishop, JJP. and Mr. S. S. BlacWburne, J.P., Charlotte Knight *nd ; John Knight, jun., were charged -bat, on Jan. 8 and 9, they did obstruct the horses ' and cars of the mw Brighton Tramway ' Company, by driving * «Wt *t a slow pace in front of the cars, con-traiy to the provisions of!, tbe Tramways Act, 189*. ': ' Mr We-stonf «.pgea*ed for platetiff, #ad Mr Hunt for defeudagi*. ! Mr Weston •&$ that the story of the troubles between the Tra/mway Company ', and -Mrs Knigh* was a very old en«, and well known to the public. For some time $>ast things .had gone smoothly, but during the present month the difendnhie had again iflfterfered with' the Company's arrangements, causing great; inconvenience to pas? seniers on' the line. Thef h«d wiifitiljr obstructed the lins, by driving * _*ay«oM* on 'it just before the tram came alow, Mid proceeding for .some distance along the line at a very slow pace. Mr Weston oaflsd George aFI-ntyre, chairman, of direotoits of the plain/tiff eompajiy, who gfcve ev*d#«fr oi $$ state of the t*|» line, asserting' that there was quite .gop enough on the road for a cart to travel algngside the lin-e without interfering with the tra«n«, He considered 1 that the road-' way was in a fit state, for trasc. . George Lister, tram conductor, stated that be was conductor of the 8,15 a.m. tram from New Brighton, on Jan. 8; Just before the trata reached Mrs Blight's, the hay-cart appeared on the line and «on- ; tinued along for some distance iv front of the oars. Witness was prepared to say that the driver of the hpy*-eart deliberately waited until the traawsar appeared, John Thomson, manager of the New Brighton tramway Company, stated that on Jan. B. he drove the 8-15 s.». tra.m from- New Brighton. He saw Mrs Knight standing in the centre. of the tram-line. She held an umbrella, which she waved as the trwu approached. This was apparently a signal to her son, who at once appeared with ibe load of hay. Oa. the everting of Jan. 9, and again on the morning of Jan. 9; the performance was repeated. He had no hesitation in laying that the h&y-oart regularly waited until the tr«n**c_-' approached, and then took possession of the line, He had «yen s*en the cart come out with sn unusually small load on, siroplrra order to block the ears. The roadway beside the line was in good order, and quite seis for such loads as Knight was carry, ing. He himself would be quite prepared to drive similar loads on the road and pass the train with them. The obstruction caused by the Knights had mads the tram some* muiutes tote in reaohing town, to the great inconvenience of Home of the passengers. W- J. Bruce and Major Shand gave evi^ denoe of the actual obstruction. Q. J. Marshall, secretary to -the company, gave evidence of a similar nature. '. Cross-examined by Mr Hunt: Witness said that some labour had been expended of late on the roadway. The centre of the roadway, that is, the actual tram-line, bad been repaired, and, incidentally, the sidetrack had eomejin for some attention. At thi* stags 'Mr Weston recalled John Thomson, who said that money had certainly been spent on tho side-track. He wad sure that as much as £20 » year was spent on it ,Mr Westoh said that the defendants had. violated the agreement entered into by them with the Tramway Company, He felt confident that the Bench would take his : view of the ease. . Mr. Hunt submitted that the ease agwnst Mrs Knight must be struck out, as there was no evidence against her. The Justices decided to hear the whole case before giving a decision on this point. Mr Hunt men submitted that the information was wrongly laid. A 8 *here was an agreement between the parties allowing right-of-way to Mrs Knight on condition of her ' subservience to the company, the plaintiffs should have taken civil proceedings. He again submitted that there was no case against Mrs Knight. He called John Knight, who stated that he had had » great deal of hay to cart, quite sixty loads, and it was impossible to avoid coming out sometimes in front of the tram. The side-track was full of holes and unflt ' or . u,e ' so *-*-***■ &• WM compelled always to keep on tbe line. A load of hay, such as he carried, would be very easily cspeiwd. Any obstruction of the tram was purely accidental, and Mrs Knight had not signalled to him with the umbrella. She had gone to the paddock merely to look at the hay, Charlotte Knight said that she did not signal to her son to obstruct the tra-m. This closed the case. The Bench, Ift giving judgment, said that there was no case iigainst Mi- Knight. They found that John Knight had wilfully obstructed the tram on two occasions. They would impose a fine of £1 and costs on each case.
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