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SUPREME COURT.— WESTL AND DISTRICT.

CRIMINAL SITTINGS

(Before His Honor Mr. Justice Qresson.) Tuesday, July 17th. The Court was reopened this morning at 10 o'clock. FORGERY AND UTTERING. Samuel Lee, was arranged upon a charge for that on thr 2nd day of May, 1866, ho did feloniously forge certain cheques upon the Bank of Australasia, Sydney, with intent to defraud. The prisoner was also charged with uttering the same knowing them to be forged. " Prisoner pleaded Not Guilty, and the following jury were sworn : — John Robert Hudson (foreman), Joseph Anderson, Thomas Buxton, Robert Cole, William Kingwell, Robert Frith, John Chifßngs, Cornelius John Payne, Edward M'Mahon, Ulrick Mader, John Davidson, and John Hackett.

The Crown Prosecutor briefly stated the case, and said that the indictment was laid under the statute 2 Geo. 4, and 1 Wm. 4c. 63. On the 2nd day of May the prisoner went to a store at Greymouth, kept by Mr Manson. and bought certain goods, in payment of which he teudered a cheque, bearing date the 14th April, 1866. Mr Levack, the manager of the store took the cheque, but after--wards having some doubts in the matmat, insisted upon the prisoner taking the cheque back which he refused to do ; he also refused to return the money obtained from Mr Levack. It would also be proved that the prisoner obtained '•onie blank cheques from Mr Harris, of Greymouth, which could be identified as being the cheques which wero the subject of the indictment. Prisoner having been seen filling in one of them. He called ' Hugh Boyl.?, who deposed that he was a constable, stationed at Greymouth. He knew the prisoner by sight. Remembered the 2nd of 'May. He arrested the prisoner on that day, at about halfpast 9 iv the evening. Witness cautioned him. Before taking him to the watch--house he received a cheque from Mr Levacl^ the manager of Mr Manson's store. (Cheque produce J and identified by witness.) He then 1-ook prisoner to watchhouse. Sergeant Walsh searched prisoner in witness's presence. Witness saw him find another cheque on prisoner's person. (This cheque was also produced and identified by witness.) He also found some pieces of a torn cheque. (Pieces produced a/id identified.) Whilst the prisoner was being searched he had one of the cheques in his hand, which he endeavored to conceal. It was the one Sergeant Walsh found. The pieces were not gummed together, as they are now — they wete separate. There was also found on him some money — about Ll3 10s or Ll3 11s — which'witness believed consisted of two L 5 note.s and throe Ll notes. William Henry James svforn — said that he nras Inspector of Police at Greymouth. Remembered about the 2nd May last. From information he received he went to the Old England Hotel, at Greymouth, kept by Messrs Fisher and Hones 3. ne r- ceived from one of them the blank cheque book Jjow produced. He compared it with.'rhe cheque produced, and found it corresponded with it in the way in which it had been torn out, and also by the numbers.

Cross-examined by prisoner — I recollect the conversation with you when I brought you from the Court House to the Police Station. I recollect the nature of that conversation. You requested that the cheque now produced should be sent to jour brother-in-law, Mr Dugard, as he would pay the amount; and you also requested that it should not bo presented to the bank at Sydney. I tojd you I did not know whether it would be presented at the bank or to your brother-in-law. You said your brother-in-law's address was on one of the cheques. I am not aware whether the cheque has been forwarded or not. I sent the cheque to Inspector Brohara, requesting that it might be forwarded.

Mr Duncan said the* cheque had not been forwarded.

Prisoner commenced making a statement to the Judge, but was checked by his Honor, who informed him that he would have an opportunity hereafter of addressing the jury.

William Henry Honess deposed — that^he was ono of the proprietors of the Old England Hotel, at Greymouth, and remembered the 2nd May last. He saw the prisoner on that day, at witness' house. It was about four o'clock in the afternoon. He asked witness if he could have board and lodging, to which he answered yes. Prisoner asked him if he could oblige him with a blank cheque. He gave prisoner one on the Bank of New Zealand, Greymouth. Witness gave him one out of his (witness 1 ) cheque book. Prisoner also asked for pen and ink, which he got. He then went into a side parlor, and returned in about five nriutes. He then asked witness for another blank cheque. Witness tore another tore out and gave it to him. He weut into the parlor, and filled it up. Witness went into the parlor just as he finished it. He took it up as witness went into the room, and waved it about as if to dry it. There was no one with him while he was in the parlor. A person looked into the room, but went no further. Prisoner came out and asked for a drink ; he said he had no change, and asked witness td cash a cheque for 1/20. Witness did not cash it, but said, " Never mind about the drinks, you can settle up in the morning." Prisoner then had his supper and went out. (Cheque book produced.) The cheque-book produced is the one out of which he (witness) took the blank cheque, The cheque-book was given to Inspector James. Benjamin Levack deposed that, in May last he was managing Mansou and Co.'s shop at Greymouth. He remembered the 2nd May last ; he saw the prisoner on the evening of that day ; it was in their shop. He came in to purchase some goods. He purchased some to the amount L 5 95. ; he offered in payment acheque on the Bank of Austwilasia, Sydney, signed by Dugard, for L2O. Witness declined taking it at first, but as he knew Dugard by repute, and knew that if it was really his cheque it would be honored, he afterwards took it. Prisoner said that the party who gave him the cheque was his brother-in-law, and that his (the prisoner's) name was on the cheque. The cheque was dated Sydney, 14th April. There was no conversation about the date at the time witness took the

cheque and handed the "bHl.ince, Ll4 Is , to the prisoner, who then went out. (Cheque produced and identified.) He directed the poods to be left at the Old England Hotel, in the name of Samuel Lee. After he went out witness was disengaged, and examined the cheque more closely. He went to the bank. He searched lor, and found prisoner. Witness told prisoner that the cheque did not seem Worth anything in Greymouth, and requested that the goods should be paid for in cash. -Prisoner seemed surprised, and said that he had no money, and that he had left the change at home. Witness then called prisoner's attention to the date, 14th. April, , and asked how the cheque could be in Greymouth on 2nd May? and after tejling witness he.received the cheque in Queensland on 14th April, he then said he had received the cheque a few days previous, from Mr Dugard, in Hokitika. He then asked prisoner to return the money, as he did not wish to take nny steps. Prisoner refused. Witness then gave him in charge, and accompanied him to the station. He was searched in witness's presence ; there were Ll3 and some odd shillings found upon him, which witness thought he could identify. (Money produced, which witness could, not identify.) There^ were several cheques found upon prisoner. By prisoner — You received some of the goods personally. This closed the case for the Crown.

Prisoner then addressed the jury, and stated that his brother-in-law had been in the habit of lending him assistance. He asserted that he had pleaded "Not guilty to feloniously forging and uttering, but confessed to having signed his brother-in-law's name to the cheque, as he had done many times before ! If he had acted feloniously, would he have signed his own name at the back ? There was no evidence, he asserted, to prove that he had acted feloniously in the matter, and said that he could bring witnesses as to character. He would call —

Mr Taggart, who, upon being examined by his Honor on behalf of the prisoner, deposed — That he knew the prisoner, and had known him six or seven years. He Was in th? same office with him. His character was good there so far as he knew. He had since met prisoner in New Zealand, and he asked witness for some money. He said he would give him some if he would keep sober, and recommended prisoner to Mr Shaw for employment. Witness did not know of anything against him at Melbourne or Geelong. His friends told witness that prisoner had been drinking. - Cross-examined by Crown Prosecutor — I do not know whether he has a brother-in-law named Dugard. His Honor then proceeded to sum up the evidence, pointing out to the jury that it was for them to consider whether the cheque was signed by the party by whom it purported »to be, signed^ or not. His Honor then drew attention to the fact of the prisoner's statement that the cheque had r}een given him by Mr Dugard, at Hokitika, some days previously, and said it was inconsistent with the prisoner's statement now. He wished them, however, to recollect that in order to ensure a conviction on either charge fraud was a necessary ingredient. Without it was proved that the prisoner acted fraudulently they could not convict him. His Honor then carefully reviewed the evidence, and closed his remarks by telling them that it was for them to say whether or not the prisoner signed the name at the foot of the cheque ; whether it was that of his brother-in-law ; or only a fictitious name with a fraudulent intent, as in such case they would find the prisoner guilty ; but, on the other hand, if there was no fraudulent intent, they would bring in a verdict of not guilty. The Foreman stated that the jury wished to know if 'both cheques were torn out of the same" book, and was informed by his Honor that they were. After an absence of ten minutes, the jury returned a verdict of Guilty against the prisoner, who was then remanded for sentence.

Joseph Taylor was discharged, the Grand Jury not having found any bill against him.

ASSAULT.

Christopher Reynolds, aged 30 years, was charged with assaulting one Thomas Campion. Prisoner pleaded Not Guilty, whereupon the following jury were chosen : — William Melody (foreman), Willinm Young, William Henry Lash, John Dutton, Archibald Scott, Hugh Cassidy, Andrew Lindsay Edgar, Solomon Michael Solomon, John Dixon, John L ; ghtfoot, Andrew Cumming, and Henry Mace. The Crown Prosecutor stated the facts of the case to the jury. He (observed that the prisoner was charged with a common assault. On the 21st April prisoner was living with one Thomas Campion. They were mates. On that day they had some words, and from that they came to blows ; in fact, they had a stand up fight. ■ Some time after this the prosecutor was suddenly struck down by the prisoner, by a blow from a stone, and rendered insensible. These were the facts and he would call

Thomas Campion, who when sworn, slated that he was a miner, and resided at the Kanieri. He remembered the 20th of April last. He knew the prisoner, and was living with him in the same tent on that day. They had a dispute about the measurement of an adjoing claim. Witness went down to the town, and left the prisoner in the hut. He met prisoner in the town about an hour after that, and asked him to go in and have a drink. Prisoner said "Yes," and they went in and had a couple of drinks. Prisoner then challenged witness to wrestle, and be accepted the offer. Prisoner threw witness, who complained of his cutting his (witness') shin. Prisoner replied, " Youre a damned coward ; come, I'll fight you. 1 ' Witness fought him, and he had the best of it for a considerable time. They were separated, and witness stopped there, but prisoner went away. He afterwards met witness at the corner of a street, when he said, "Look here, I want to fight you.' 1 Witness said, " All right, come along." They then fought again, and were again separated by Gillis, a man who was with them. Prisoner met witness opposite the Belfast Hotel, and said, " Come on, I'm going to take satisfaction out of you." Witness said, " All right, let us have a fair stand up fight for it." They fought, and witness knocked prisoner down and left him on the, ground. Witness then went home, and' on his way was knocked down from behind with a blow that stunned him. He was rendered insensible by the blow. Witness was hit on the left side of the head. Gillis and several others were present when the blow was struck. Witness

could not say whether prisoner struck the blow, He received the blow two or three yards from where he left prisoner lying. Prisoner was sober, and not excited by liquor. Cross-examined by prisoner—l .recollect the night you and I had a row. It was at home in your hut that we had the dispute about the claim. The argument led to a fight. I met you in a baker's shop down in town. I called you out to have a drink. I did not call you out to tell you that the storekeeper had defrauded you. I swear it was not I who challenged you to wrestle. You kicked me, and there was a mark on my leg for a long time after. I don't recollect when I met you ,at the Star Hotel calling you a convict blackguard. I swear you challenged me to fight several times. I knocked you down into a-cutting seven or eight feet deep. I did riot knock you down with a piece of sheet iron I did not strike at you with a stone. I don't recollect striking at you with a piece of wood seven or eight feet long. I will not swear it was you who struck me. Dugald Alexander Gillis deposed that he was a miner, residing at Kanieri. Remembered 21st April last. Saw last witness on that night ; also the prisoner. They had a dispute about a claim. Nothing took place then. Witness was at Ryan's {Hotel. They commenced to fight, but he could not say who commenced it. They fought come time outside the door, when witness separated them. They met afterwards in the town, and commenced fighting. Witness separated them again. They went along towards the town and commenced fighting a third time,-and witness separated them again. Reynolds immediately afterwards went towards his tent. Witness saw Reynolds after this in Mr Kingwell'e store, and persuaded him to go home along with witness. Witness and he occupied the same tent. Reynolds went home along with witness. A short time afterwards Campion was brought to the door, and witness was asked to let him sleep in the tent that night. Before Campion was brought to the tent, witness last saw him at Paterson's store. Witness consented to allow Campion to sleep there for the night, provided thera was no more quarrelling. Campion came into the tent. He walked into the tent and sat down on the bedside The prisoner and be commenced quarrelling again, and they went outside. Before they came to the town witness saw Campion struck by prisoner on the head with with a stone which knocked him down. It was at the back of Paterson's store. Prisoner then went away towards his tent. The stone would be about 10 or 12 lbs. weight. It was after this that Campion was brought to the tent. By the Bench— When he was knocked down Campion appeared to be stunned by the blow and was bleeding. By Mr Duncan — About half-an-hour or three quarters of an hour elapsed before he was brought to the tent. Witness saw him struck again afterwards, somewhere about the face, by prisoner. Witness- saw an axe in Reynold's hands. He appeared to be desirous of striking Campion with it. He did not striko him with it. It was taken from him. He was too far from Campion to reach him at the time it was taken from him. It might be about 9 o'clock when Campion was struck by the Stone.

By the Prisoner — I heard you challenge Campion to fight that night. I saw Campion get hold of you in Ryan's bar. He appeared desirous of wrestling with you. Both were down when 1 went out. I cannot say who struck first. I did not call Campion by name, and tell him to let you up. I called 4 on you to let him up. I did not see Campion throw a stone. I heard a stone strike Ryan's house, but I cannot say who threw it. You went away on my persuasion. When Campion and you were at tho corner of \ the street I heard you ask him to go home. I heard Campion call you in the presence of a lot of men a convict's bastard. I saw Campion throw you into a cutting seven or eight feet deep. I did not see him strike you with a piece of sheet iron or a stone. I saw him with a piece of wood in his hand, but I did not see him striking at you. I told Campion not to strike you with the wood, and I caught hold of him. I could swear it was you who struck him with the stone. I saw you get it at the back of Paterson's store. After Campion knocked you down the crowd took him away ; he did not go away of his own accord. He was standing with a piece of wood in his hand, which was taken away from him. I brought your hat home. I did not call Campion an old cow. When Campion came to the tent I saw men assisting him. They had their arms under him ; he was walking. The tent door was closed. I came to the door before Campion came to the door. They asked leave of me first to allow him to stop there. The storekeeper came in and asked your leave to Campion's stopping all night, to which you replied that he might provided he did not kick up a row. I don't recollect your asking him to go to bed. (Prisoner here referred to witness's depositions in Magistrate's Court, "wherein it appeared that he had deposed positively to the fact.) I heard you make use of threatening language, saying if you had not killed him, you>wisbed to kill him. The crowd rushed prisoner and took the axe out of his hand. When the axe was taken out of your hand Campion was lying on the ground. You did not fight another round. By the Bench — The prisoner had the stone either in a handkerchief or a scarf. He struck from behind. It was not like throwing a stone ; it was using it as if from a sling. Campion fell down instantly. When he arrived at the tent he seemed partly senseless. It was about half an hour from the time he was struck to the' time when he arrived at the tent. I afterwards saw Campion fighting with the prisoner in the tent. He had sense enough to fight. When Campion received the blow with the stone he was standing in the street doing nothing. He was using some words. He was not aiming blows at any one. He was not in a fighting attitude. The hut belonged to prisoner and me. Both prisoners were drunk. _ ("The depositions of the witness taken at the Magistrate's Court, with reference to the way in which the stone was thrown, we're read, by which it appeared that a discrepancy existed between the statement then made and that now given.)

Wm. Blanc deposed— He was sergeant of police stationed at Kanieri. He remembered the 21st April last, and saw prosecutor on that night. He was lying in a hut at the back of the Camp. He was insensible and bleeding from the head. From information received witness arrested prisoner. He was quite sober.

Shadforth Anderson swore that he was a legally qualified medical practitioner. He remembered 21st April last. He saw prcsecutor Campion on that night about halfpast ten. He was all covered with blood about the head, and witness thought he was drunk, but as soon as he was set.dpwn he began to act as if he were in a fainting' condition. Witness examined his head. The large wound at the back of his head was contused, lacerated, and incised. It seemed to have been smashed. Witness dressed his wounds, and prosecutor left the place staggering out. Witness heard the evidence of Gillis to-day, and considered that the wound on the head might be caused by a blow with a stone as described by Gillis. , Cross-examined by the prisoner — I do not think the wound on Campion's head was caused by a fall. I cannot -tell whether he was in liquor. I did not smell it on his breath. This closed the case for the Crown. The prisoner then stated that Campion and he were working together as mates. All the day on which the assault was committed the prosecutor seemed desirous of picking a quarrel with him, and persisted in insulting him. They shortly afterwards had a dispute about a claim. Prisoner - then went on to give an account of the affair, by which it appeared that prosecu- ' tor was drunk, and commenced the fight. He then proceeded to shew that the wound on the prosecutor's head was caused by a fall, occasioned by Campion being in a state of intoxication. He said that the whole affair was premeditated on the part of Campion, who was a tool in the hands of other designing persons, who wished to defraud him (the prisoner) out of a share in a mining speculation. His Honor addressed the jury, telling them that in this case, which was a very simple one, the Crown had, in his opinion, acted most mercifully in not indictiug the prisoner for the more serious offence. He then explained to the jury what would in law constitute an assault, telling them that a light touch on the shoulder would bd sufficient. He went on to say that a ntari was perfectly justified in using sufficient violence to repel bodily injury done to himself, but that it was not lawful for him, to use unnecessary measures. It was for them to Bay whether the blow with the stone was struck by the prisoner, and if so, whether the prisoner was justified in behaving as he did. The jury, without retiring, brought in a verdict of Guilty. . ; His Honor, after a few remarks, wherein he commented upon the nature of the crime, sentenced him to four calendar months' imprisonment, from the 16thJuly -instant.

Samuel Lee, found guilty in the early part of the day, upon a charge of forgery and uttering, was now brought up, and sentenced by his Honor to 2 years' imprisonment with hard labor.

James Burton, against whom the Grand Juryfound no true bill, "was brought up and discharged.

OBTAINING MOKEY UNDEH FALSE PHETESCBS.

Thomas Reesby was charged with an offence of this nature, to which he pleaded Not Guilty. The following jury were sworn: — Archibald Scott (foreman), Robert Cole, Edward M'Mahon, Thomas Buxton, John Chiffings, Thomas Cowlishaw, James Gray, John Stevens, William Thomas Walker, John Hackett, John Paterson, and John Dixon.

The Crown Prosecutor opened- the case by stating that the indictment was laid under 7 end 8 Geo. 4. c 29, s. 63, and said that wherever any person represents, as an existing fact, that which is not an existing fact*, and obtained money by these representations, this is an offence^jwithin the statute. He briefly stated the Sets, of the case to the jury, and called ' Duncan Oswald, who deposed that he was an hotel-keeper at the coal mines at the river Grey. He remembered the 6th day of December last, on which. day he saw the prisoner. He had a conversation with him. Prisoner came accompanied by Mr John Ferguson. Ferguson and he came in together. Prisoner presented witness with an account for meat delivered to witness by the prisoner as from John Millar. The amount of the account waa L 7 Is. He said, " You had some meat of John Millar." He then presented a bill. (Bill produced and identified by witness.) Prisoner said, " This is the bill for the meat you had," and he said be wanted cash for it. He also said he .was ordered to get the cash for it. As soon as prisoner said this witness said to Mr Ferguson " I suppose this is correct?" Mr Ferguson said, "O, yes ; I believe it's all correct.' Prisoner then made no remark, so witness paid the cash and settled the account. It was paid in Ferguson's presence. Knowing Ferguson, witness thought it was all correct. The prisoner went away shortly after. What induced witness to pay the money was because Mr Ferguson came with prisoner. He had no other reason than because he knew Mr Ferguson. It was not prisoner's telling him that he was sent there for the money that made 1 him pay it. It was that combined with Mr Ferguson's presence which induced him to pay. Witness would not have paid the money if prisoner had not represented to him that he was authorised by Millar to receive it. John Millar has since applied to witness for the payment of it over again. It was about a fortnight afterwaf ds. Witness did not see the prisoner again till he was in custody. Cross-examined by the prisoner — T cannot say whether it it was the 6th or 7th of December you called at my house. I paid you L 7. John Millar deposed — That he was a butcher residing at Maori Gully, and knew the last witness Duncan Oswald. Witness supplied him with meat last December to the amount of L 7 per month. He applied to Oswald for payment, when * Oswald shewed him a receipt. He (witness) knew prisoner ; he had never authorised him to receive payment of Oswald's account. He cannot tell whose handwriting the account is ; it is not that of witness. Prisoner was in the employment of witness at that time as stockman and butcher: He sent him nowhere last December. John Ferguson brought him to the Grey to drive cattle for him. Witness allowed him to go. He was to return, but he never did. Witness never authorised prisoner to receive any money on his account. Prisoner has never accounted to him for any money received from Oswald. Witness kept no books, anymore than a note in his pocket-* bodk ; but prisoner saw the meat weighed. He (prisoner) was aware of the price witness charged. The account produced is,

to the best of witness' belief, correct in weight and price. Cross-examined by the prisoner — I never authorised you to get the money. I kept no account of the beef. I never said you were a partner. I never said, before John Blain, in the store, that you were a partner of mine. You got some money from me. . The last money you g6t I believe was L 6 10s, I gave you money.^ pa account. This closed the case for the Crown. Prisoner said he had instructed John Blain to be subpoened that morning and he would .now call him to contradict some part of the evidence of Millar. John Blain, deposed that he recolleted bfeing in Con Murphy's store when the Prisoner and Mr Millar were there. He was there at the time they lost the cattle. He recollected Millar purchasing the cattle. Witness understood from both the" prisoner and Millar that they were partners ; but cannot -say from whom he understood it. He saw prisoner at the Grey when he came town, but d oes not reqollect telling prisoner that day that Millar had told him (witness) that there was any partnership. Witness recollected Millar saying on the occasion of the losb of the cattle—" The loss won't be much as there are two or three of us." I am hot sute whether he said two or three. Witness could not say he heard Millar mention the names of those "two or three." By it he understood Millar to mean the prisoner. Cross-examined by the Crown Prosecutor — I had ' no conversation with the pris ner. since he has been arrested. I did not kno«r he was arrested till today The prisoner stated he wai a partner, and kept the accounts, and so drew the money. Millar promised to- meet him at the Grey, but did not come. After waiting a day or two the prisoner left. He did not deny receiving the money, but said he had a perfect right to it, as he was a partner. His Honor then explained to the jury the nature of the charge, and told them that in order to convict a prisoner of this offence, the false pretence must be set out in the indictment clearly. The kind of pretence necessary to support the indictment must be a pretence of an existing fact, not of anything future. He wished to impress upon them that before finding the prisoner guilty, they«nust be certain that the pretence mu ot not only have been false, but that it must have been in consequence of that pretence that the money was paid. His Honor then proceeded to place the principal facts of the case before the jury, and read to them such extracts from the evidence as bore more particularly thereon. He observed, that as to the evidence of partnership it was' for them alone to decide. His Honor closed his remarks by telling them if they believe 4 that Oswald had paid the money in consequence of the representations made by the prisoner to him, then they must find the prisoner guilty ; if not, they must . acquit him. The" jury retired, and after an absence of a quarter of an hour, returned into Court, wishing to know from Millar whether he had, at the time the offence was alleged to have been committed, any partner or partners. Millar, being in Court, * was interrogated by his Honor, when he answered in the negative. The jury again retired, and after the lapse of half an hour, re- entered the Court, and gave n a verdict of Not Guilty. The prii soner was then discharged. The Court then adjourned till 10 o'clock next morning.

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SUPREME COURT.— WESTLAND DISTRICT. West Coast Times, Issue 256, 18 July 1866

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