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2 corrections, most recently by peter-macinnis - Show corrections

WINDSOR.          

POLICE OFFICE, Saturday.-Before Mr. J. L. Scarvell and S. Tuckerman, Justices of the Peace, Charles Eather, jun., appeared upon summons to answer the   charge of the Chief Constable, for that he, being a

person duly licensed to sell fermented and spirituous   liquors did, on the 18th day of October last, suffer a person resorting to his premises to use a certain "un-   lawful game," called or known as "two up, heads and   tails," within the said premises, contrary to the act, &c. Mr. Coley appeared for the prosecution, and Mr. Walker for the detence. Mr. Coley, in opening the case, said that probably an argument might be raised   upon the meming of the words "unlawful game," and   he admitted that he had no colonial authorities to offer on the subject, but he quoted from some de- cisions under the English Publicans' Act, showing that "gaming " meant playing for money   or money's worth. The evidence of two police constables was then given, who deposed that on Thursday evening, the 18th of October, at eleven o'clock, being on duty they were attracted by a light in the stable of the defendant's premises in George-street, Windsor ; they heard the jingling of money; saw four persons in the stable, one of whom   was a person named Tress Bower; saw the latter toss three times with penny pieces; the third time he   tailed them, when Eather said "you're only three in   me now;" Eatber then took the penny pieces and tossed three times; the third time he headed them   and said "now you're only two in me;" Eather took     them up again ; saw two half-crowns lying on the ground ; some person then came to the stable and said "the traps are outside," when Eather immediately blew the light out. One of the constables swore that he had had considerable experience in gambling, and that it was usual in that game, "two up heads and tails," to   put down the stakes when playing. On cross-examina- tion they said they were there only between five and ten minutes, and that they saw no money pass between the parties ; nor did any peraon in their presence   pick any money up. After proof of the license and premises, this closed the case for the prosecution. Mr. Walker then addressed the Court for the défendent, and submitted that the charge laid had not been proved sufficiently to warrant a con- viction. In the first place the Court could not deter- mine that the game played was "unlawful," which   constituted the gist of the offence. The decisions under the English Act quoted by Mr. Coley were not at all applicable under the colonial act, inasmuch as the former punished "any gaming whatsoever ;"   whereas the colonial act only punished "unlawful   gaming." Now he defied any one to say, or to point out in any statute either English or colonial, that the game alleged in the present charge was proscribed or prohibited in any manner. As it was the stakes only appeared to have been for half-a-crown, which could scarcely be called gambling-it being the opinion of many jurists that it was only when the stakes were excessive that the offence waa criminal. Besides, there was no proof of any money having passed between the parties-the mere fact of the money lying on the ground would not, he submitted, warrant the Court in making a conviction, as the strictest proof ought to be given in such matters. Under all these circum- stances he (Mr. W.) urged that his client was en- titled to an acquittal. He said he had been instructed that the tossing was only for a bottle of por'er, and urged upon their worshipa not to put too much reliance upon the evidence of constables, who however well meaning, were naturally inclined to wish for a conviction. Captain Scarvell said he thought the case had been made out, though not so fully as could have been wished, still sufficient in his mind to warrant a convic- tion. He said the magistrates felt some difficulty in deciding what was an "unlawful game," and he   thought it ought not to have left to them to settle as it has been. However, he remembered the Attorney General maintaining once in the Supreme Court that all gaming for money, or money's worth, was unlawful. Mr. Tuckerman was somewhat of the same opinion ; he thought there was sufficient presumptive proof that   gambling had taken place. He considered that if   tossing with half-pence determined whether one man is to give another man half-a-crown, it is a gambling transaction. The Bench thereupon found the de- fendant guilty, and sentenced him to pay a fine of

£5, with £1 3s. 6d. costs.

TAMPEHIMG WITH JUSTICE.-Previous to the hearing of the above case (the Queen against Eather), Mr. Tuckerman, J.P., said he wished publicly te notice the fact of «ome person (a woman) having that day week sent him a letter with a view of influencing hu decision in the case. He «aid ther« could be nothing «o unjustifiable aa' auoh a practice. ' He considered it tampering with the administration of justice. He had taken an oath to perform his magisterial duties faith- fully and impartially, and it was his full determination ever to adhere to that oath. He had known many parties in the district in his early year« ; but upon the Bench, and in hi« magisterial oapacity, he knew no one. Parties who could write him auch letters very much mistook hi* character if they thought he would be influenced by them, and it waa hie determi- nation, if he ever received the like again, to publicly mention the names of the parties, that they might be held up to public indignation. In allusion to thia matter, Mr. Walker, attorney fcr Mr. Bather, «aid he felt pained at the circumstances detailed, by Mr. Tuckerman. Far himself and client, he held himself entirely innocent of all knowledge of the very indis- creet production, and, in behalf of Mr. Bather, he would only aay, " Save me from my friends." The person who could write such a letter ought to be held up to public execration.

3rd November, 1855. j

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