Wednesday. Anril 7. 1858.
Before His Honor A. McFarland, Esq., and a Bench of Magistrates. We extract from the columns of our contemporary the following report: — Upon His Honor taking his seat he called for a
The Crown Solicitor stated it had not been the custom to prepare a Calendar. His Honor inquired how, without a Calendar, it was possible for a Judge to address a Jury upon the cases to be brought before them, unless he was made aware of what was the nature of the charges? The Crown Solicitor then prepared a list of the prisoners for trial with the charges laid against them. William Elliot, was indicted for stealing a cheque for £31 1 3s 4d, the property of W. R. Piesse. Mr Howell defended the prisoner. His Honor, addressing tbe Jury, said that on occasions like the present it was both usual and proper that the Jndge should make a few observa tions on the state of crime in the district over which the Court had jurisdiction ; the only distinguishing circumstance in the present instance was that in this colony the legislature had abolished Grand Juries to which the address was made, and therefore it must be made to a common Jury. It would ill become him to discuss the wisdom or expediency of abolishing Grand Juries, it was sufficient for him to know that tbe Jury was composed of men of intelli gence and character, as he believed to be the case. It was a circumstance of extreme pleasure to him and should be of just pride to the colony, to find that under its peculiar circumstances, there existed so little crime; he believed that life and property were as secure in this Penal Settlement as in any other A ustralian Colony, or even in the most favored p ortion of tbe Bridsh dominions, and he hoped by a f earless discbarge of his duty to preserve it as free rom crime as he had found it. In the present there
were four cases for trial, two of which he was sorry to see were of a very serious kind, and upon them, had there been a Grand Jury he should, have made some observations for their gtudance, as it was he requested tbe steady and patient attention of die Jury to the facts as disclosed by the evidence. - The Advocate-General then opened his address to. tbe Jury on the first case, and called — W. R. Piesse: is a Sergeant of Police. Received the cheque produced from His Excellenty the Governor on 17th Feb. I lost the cheque on the same day on my way to Gnildford. I immediately returned to Perth and went to tbe Bank and also to His Excellency, I also advertised the loss in the Perth Gazette, offering a reward of £1 for its re covery. In consequence of what I heard about a week afterwards, I went to Mr DeLeech's shop at Guildford. In consequence of what the lad attending there told me, I took him to Mr Rummer's public house, and there found the prisoner in charge of a team belonging to Mr Martin. I went there a second time with James Moulton who also identified him. On the first occasion, neither of DeLeech's boys, Pierce and Sergeant, at first identified the prisoner, Pierce said he believed the prisoner to be the man. 1 found the cheque in the possession of .a man named Leach, to whom I gave charge of the team. When I first accused the prisoner he denied it. I have blown tbe prisoner four or five years. Cross-examined by Mr Howell — Does not know whether the prisoner cau read or write; be made his cross to the depositions. James Moulton — Remembers seeing the prisoner at the shop of Mr DeLeech, and heard him ask for a pair of trowsers, he offered a cheque in payment, the same as that produced. I know Thomas Stroud, and went out to call him to ask him to come in and see about changing the .cheque, because I knew the Sergeant had lost a cheque by seeing it in the news paper. Stroud is Mr DeLeech's servant. The boys Sergeant and Pierce were attending in DeLeech's shop. I was there as a customer. When I returned from calling Stroud, the prisoner said the trowsers were too dear, and put the cheque in his pocket book and left the shop. That evening I went with prose cutor to Bummer's where I identified the prisoner. Prisoner said when arrested that he would not go because he had not been away from Bummer's that evening. Cross-examined by Mr Howell — I read the cheque in DeLeech's shop, the boy Sergeant read the cheque out Re-examined by Advocate-General — -Does cot remember whether any person asked the prisoner where he got the cheque. Tbe prisoner's statement before the magistrates was put in, to the effect — 'When I found the cheque I did not know whose it was as I conld not read it, when the boy at DeLeech's read out tbe cheque, I determinened to have nothing to do with it, and intended if an opportunity offered, to put it into Sergeant Piesse's window or under his door. In defence Mr Howell contended there was no evidence of a larceny to go before the Jury. His Honor ruled there was evidence. Mr Howell, in defence, then urged upon the Jury that the prisoner, on finding at DeLeech's shop what the cheque was, had no intention of appropriating it to his own use. In reply the Advocate-General argued that the prisoner's statement was a confirmation of the prisoner's guilt, and the circumstance of the pri soner's denying that he had been away from Bummer's was a further proof. His Honor summed up, observing that the evidence in the case was as clear and simple as the law; the cheque is lost, the prisoner finds it, and offers it in payment of an article of dress. The Jury found the prisoner guilty of a mis demeanor for an attempt to commit felony; 3 months imprisonment with hard labor. In sentencing the prisoner, the Chairman made some remarks as to his intention to do all within him lies to make hard labor be really hard labor. In the case of Joseph Johns, committed by the bench at Champion Bay for trial at the Sessions, the Advocate-General applied for an adjournment to the next Sessions, in consequence of the absence of the article charged to have been stolen and also a principal witness. His Honor having looked over the depositions declined acceeding to the application, as it appeared that at the time of hearing before the magitsrates on the 16th of February, the prisoner on being asked elected to haire his case decided nnder the summary jurisdiction, but that nevertheless the Bench had decided npon sending the case to the Sessions. Joseph Johns was then put into the dock the indictment read charging him with stealing a crowbar. Mr Howell appeared for the defence. His Honor directed the prisoner to be discharged upon his own recognisance to appear to answer the charge at the next Quarter Sessions if called upon. Thomas Haggarty, charged with a misdemeanor upon Ellen Golding-, sentenced to 12 months hard labor. Prisoner was undefended.