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Carter said that he certainly felt the force of his Lordship's observations, and he was ready to fall into any suggestion that he might make as to the course that should be taken.
Crompton, J., inquired of the jury what view they took of the case.
The jury said they were of opinion that it was quite unnecessary to hear any more evidence, and they at once returned a verdict of
Not guilty (a).
(a) Vide a similar ruling of Keating, J., in Hamblin v. Sliellon, post, p. 133.
Coram Bramwell, B.
REGINA v. SMITH. JLHE prisoner was indicted for stealing two post letters containing a bank note for 500/., and also a valuable security, being a Crystal Palace dividend warrant, the property of the Postmaster-General. The prisoner pleaded not guilty.
Clark (with whom was Metcalfe) for the prosecution.
The prisoner was undefended.
It appeared from the opening statement of counsel, and the evidence adduced on the part of the prosecution, that the prisoner had for five years before his apprehension been employed as a sorter and letter-carrier at the General Post Office, and that in the former capacity, namely, as sorter, he had been employed on the morning of the 17th of January, 1861, on the arrival of the mail bags, in sorting the letters for delivery in the East Central District. On the previous evening, the 16th of January, 1861, it was shown that Mr. Haigh, a sharebroker at Hurldersfield, enclosed a Bank of England note for 500/. (the number and date of which were kept, and now proved by his clerk),
1862. and the warrant specified in the indictment, in a letter addressed to Messrs. Moore and Carr, Royal Exchange Buildings, London, whose offices were in the Eastern District delivery, and that letter was duly posted at Huddersfield on the 16th, and ought to have arrived in London on the morning of the 17th of January, 1861. It was, however, proved that Messrs. Moore and Carr never received the letter and its enclosure, and though they at once communicated that fact to Mr. Haigh, and opened a correspondence with the post office authorities, no trace whatever was effected either of the letter, the dividend warrant or the bank note. The prisoner still continued as sorter at the General Post Office until the 10th of the present month of June, when he was brought to the General Post Office on another charge relating to the loss of certain five pound notes, which had been abstracted from letters while in transit through the post office. On being interrogated as to one of the five pound notes which still remained unaccounted for, the prisoner was asked if he had any other notes at home, on which he replied he had no five pound notes, but that he had one for 500/., and that it would be found cut in halves in a cash-box on the drawers in his bed-room, at his residence in Dorchester Street, New North Road. An officer was immediately sent there, and the prisoner's wife gave up the cash-box, which on being opened at the post office in the prisoner's presence was found to contain the two halves of the identical bank note for 500/., which had been remitted from Huddersfield by Mr. Haigh to his London brokers, Messrs. Moore and Carr, so many months before. On its production by the officer, the prisoner volunteered a statement that he had picked it up on Finsbury Pavement in a pocket-book, ten months ago. These facts having been proved,
The prisoner, when called upon for his defence, repeated his former statement, that he had found the note in question in a pocket-book, which he had picked up on Finsbury 1862. Pavement, and added, that he had kept it all this time in expectation of seeing a reward offered for it, which he could claim as his remuneration. He admitted his guilt as to the five pound notes, but declared his innocence of the present charge.
Bbamwell, B. (to the jury).—The possession of stolen property, shortly after it has been stolen, is strong evidence, in the absence of explanation, against the person charged; but here that is not the case, for the note was lost many months before the prisoner is proved to have had it, and although, no doubt, the prisoner had had the note for months in his possession, yet it must be remembered that he volunteered the statement that he had found it in a pocket-book at the spot already mentioned. You may have a shrewd suspicion as to how the prisoner became possessed of it, but suspicion is not sufficient to convict. If you only entertain a suspicion, acquit the prisoner.
The jury returned a
Verdict of not guilty.
Coram Cockburn, C. J.
_^ Trinity Term.
DECLARATION, that the plaintiff Jane, being sole In an action
111 iri on a contract
and unmarried, had been seduced by the defendant, and to pay a woman had been delivered of a child by him, and that afterwards, fo^the support in consideration of the premises, and that the plaintiff °£.!}ba*:t',rd, would keep the child, and would refrain from coming near by the deto the defendant and molesting him in any manner, the condition of
her not molesting him; plea, that she molested him by charging him, falsely and maliciously, and without any reasonable or probable cause, with being the father of another bastard child, and getting an order upon him as putative father (which had been quashed on appeal):—Held, that to find for the defendant the jury must be satisfied that the charge was falsely and fraudulently made, and that they must decide that question on the evidence before them, without any regard to the decision of the magistrates: held, also, that the defendant was entitled to begin.
1862. defendant promised to pay her 12s. a week, as aliment for and on account of the child.
Averment, of all conditions precedent.
Breach, nonpayment of the said sum for thirty-five weeks.
Common count, for money payable for the maintenance of a child for the defendant, at her request, &c.
Pleas, to the first count, except as to 5/. 8s., being vine weeks' aliment, that after the weekly sum, in this plea mentioned, became due, and during the residue of the weekly payments of the said count mentioned became due, the plaintiff did not refrain from coming to or near the house of the defendant or from molesting him, but on the contrary (a), in violation of the agreement, frequently and on divers days came to or near the defendant's house for the purpose of molesting him, and then did so molest him, by making a noise and disturbance, &c, and by falsely and maliciously and without any reasonable or probable cause, charging and accusing him to be the father of another bastard child, and by falsely and maliciously, &c, causing him to be registered as the father, and by falsely and maliciously and without any reasonable or probable cause making an application to a police magistrate for a summons on the defendant, as the alleged father of the child, and by falsely, &c, procuring it to be served on the defendant, and by falsely, &c. causing him to appear and attend before the magistrate to answer the said false charge, and by falsely, &c. causing the magistrate to adjudge the defendant to be the putative father of the child, and make an order on him as such putative father for the payment to the plaintiff, as the mother of the child, of a certain weekly sum, and which order was obtained by the false testimony and imposition of the plaintiff, and all which said acts were done by the plaintiff with the intent to molest the defendant, and whereby and by reason of such and the like acts of
(«) This defined the breach; Edge v. Ptmberton, 12 M. & W. 187.
the plaintiff he was molested, and was put to great ex- 1862. pense and annoyance in appearing against the order and'
getting it quashed and set aside, wherefore he refused to continue the said payments. And as to the second count, except as to 51. 8s., parcel, &c. (averring it to be the same sum and cause of action as in the former count): never indebted as to 21. Hs., parcel of the said sum of 5/. 8s. payment; and as to the residue, payment into Court. Issue.
H. Mills, Q.C., and Day, for the plaintiff.
Hawkins and liiblon for the defendant.
Hawkins, for the defendant, claimed the right to begin; and, as the onus was on the defendant of proving one entire plea,
Cockburn, C. J., allowed it, as the law was admitted, subject to the special defence set up.
The facts stated in the first count, down to the general averment of conditions precedent, were proved.
In July, 1858, the first child was born.
In March, 1859, the defendant was married.
In April, 1859, the plaintiff molested the defendant by going to his house, &c.
On the 30th May, 1859, the agreement declared on in the first count was entered into; and it was, as there stated, conditioned that the plaintiff should not molest the defendant in any way.
The allowance was paid until July, 1861.
In March, 1860, the plaintiff told the attorney of the defendant, who paid it to her, that she was again with child by him; and this was communicated to him. And in that year she went to his house and annoyed him.
The allowance was still paid to her, with an admonition that if she so acted again it would be withdrawn.
On the 28th September, 1860, the second child was born.