Albert Edwards, M.P. found guilty of serious offence
Verdict of 10 to 2 after jury ABSENT FOUR HOURS: Remanded For Sentence On Tuesday BAIL REFUSED PENDING COUNSEL'S CONSIDERATION OF POSSIBLE APPEAL
ALBERT Augustine Edwards, 40, M.P%f or Adelaide, was **! found guilty in tibe Griminal f Court ^ yestefday pf an unnatural offence and remanded untilTuesday, for sen tence. He was found not euilty of a charge of gross
.indecency. The verdict was by a majority of 10 to 2, and the jury was in retirement for the statutory four hours. The Chief Justice (Sir George Murray), who was on the Bench, said he would not grant bail while Mr. F. V. Smith, K.C.; (counsel for Edwards) was considering whether an appeal would be lodged, but when Mr. Smith had made up his mind the application for bail could be renewed. While the jury was in retirement the Crown Prosecutor (Mr. Chamber lain) told the court that there were other charges pending against Edwards, but the Chief Justice said he would not hear them this session. Yesterday was the eighth day of the trial and one of the biggest crowds in the memory of court officials awaited. the verdict.
Continuing his summing up from the pre- vious day, the Chief Justice said that the witness Davies had been called by the de- fence to prove that the evidence given by Mrs. Blazer, a witness for the prosecution, was biased. He did not know how far jurors thought Davies had been successful as a witness. The evidence given by the wit- ness Karney, for the defence, respecting the persons who had occupied Edwards's room at Victor Harbour was in direct conflict to that of Wilson. The jurors had to consider whether it had been proved beyond reason- able doubt and to their satisfaction, that Edwards had committed the offence charged against him as having been committed at Adelaide. It was unsafe, he emphasised, to convict on the evidence of an accomplice, such as Mundy admittedly was, unless it was corroborated. At the same time it was within their power to convict without cor- roboration if they were convinced that the boy's story was true. FAIR POLICE EVIDENCE Some evidence which might amount to cor- roboration was given by Inspector Trotter, added the judge, respecting his conversation with Edwards in an interview on December 13, and that as to the truth or otherwise of statements then made by Edwards. It had to be remembered that Inspector Trotter had given his evidence from notes, which he had made soon after the' interview, and that Edwards had relied entirely upon his memory. Inspector Trotter had been, he thought, a fair an conscientious witness. His credulity was not in question, but his accuracy in cer- tain details had been challenged by Edwards. There was no reason to doubt the credulity of Detective Harrell. There was no doubt that Mundy, on his own admission, was a sexually perverted boy. Although he had admitted the commission of serious offence, however, there was a good deal to be said in his favour. He had made the admission frankly. It seemed unlikely that he would have made admissions so disgraceful to him- self if the complaints by him against Edwards were not true. DEFENCE AND WITNESSES It was surprising that certain persons who could have been called as witnesses were not called. It was all the more surprising as certain witnesses who were called were not entirely satisfactory. Mr. Smith had said the Crown could have called the other wit- nesses. So could have the defence. The jurors had been led to suppose that those witnesses would have been able to say where Mundy had slept. He, personally, could not imagine how any other interpretation could have been put upon the evidence that those persona could have given.
SPITE THEORY UNJUSTIFIED His Honour said it had been alleged that the story of the boy was a fabrication and made out of malicious spite. That, he thought, attributed to him an ability and in- ventiveneas which hardly could be expected from him. It seemed to him, personally, to have no justification. After a lapse of six months from the time of the alleged offence it seemed most extraordinary that the boy should have invented charges of such an atrocious character aginst Edwards. His Honour referred to certain entries in the lodgers' book of the Newmarket Hotel which was on exhibit in that case, and to criticism by the prosecution of them. JURY SEEKS ADVICE After the jury had been locked up for about two and a half hours they asked the Chief Justice what majority was required for a ver- dict in such a case. The Chief Justice said it could not be less than 10 against 2. After the jury had announced its verdict, Mr. Smith applied for bail pending an appeal, if he were instructed to appeal. The Chief Justice—It is the practice' riot to grant bail except in exceptional circumstances until notice of appeal is given. Mr. Smith asked the Chief Justice to con- sider respite of sentence until he had person- ally looked into the question of lodging an appeal. He wanted an opportunity to ex- amine a full report of the summing up. Perhaps your Honour will allow me to renew application for bail when I have fully considered the matter,'' he said. The Chief Justice— Oh, yes. The Chief Justice added that an application for bail could be made to the Full Court if a single judge did not grant it. I might pass sentence before an appeal is lodged,' he said. 'That will give an oppor- tunity for appeal against the sentence also if the accused so desires. I will be prepared to pass sentence next Tuesday OTHER CASES NEXT SESSION : When the Chief Justice asked the Crown Prosecutor what case was to be heard next, Mr. Chamberlain said that there were other cases against Edwards. Tne Chief Justice said he would not hear them this session. There were still 40 cases on the calendar. The next session would be- gin in a fortnight. Mr. Smith said he agreed with that decision. MAXIMUM SENTENCE The maximum. penalty for a crime of the nature involved in this case is imprisonment with hard labour for 10 years. The presiding judge can also order a whipping.
Mr. H. E- Winterbottom (sec. of Cham- ber of Manufactures) tries his skill with the circular saw under the guiding eye of Mr. R. O. Rosenhaln (manager of Box Factory) during the business men's visit to the South-East.
Mr. H. E- Winterbottom (sec. ol Cham ber of Manufactures) tries his skill with the circular saw under the auiding eye of Mr. R. O. Rosenhaln (manager of Box Factory) during the business men's visit to the South-East.