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...----..._.-----A JUDGE'S…










BETHESDA FARMER & PWLLHELI MINISTER A CURIOUS CASE. At the Biaaigor County Court on Monday, be- fore his Honour Judge Moss, a very curious and complicated action between a Bethesda far- amier and a Congregational minister was head. Mr Proct.or i(instriU5ted by Messrs Ellis Da- vies, M.P., and E*van Jones) ajppeared for Henry Prichaxd, farmer, Bethesda, who sued the Rev Griffith. David Hughes, Congregational minister, Pwllheli, as executor of the late Hug'h Roberts, for the return of a number of animals which were alleged to have been allowed to re- main on the property of the late Hugh Ro- berts, Rihosgad Fjarm, Penitraethi, Anglesey, for (grazing purposes. In the alternative the plaintiff claimed the value of the animals. Mr R. A. Griffith (instructed by Messrs S. R. Dew and Co.) defended. In opening the case for the plaintiff, Mr Proc- tor observed that one defence to the action was that the claim was statute-barred, and he jpresfumed the other defence was that the animals belonged to the deceased, Hugh Ro- berts. It seemed tfet Roberts purchased Rhos- gad Farm for £2900, borrowed £2500 on a first mortgage, and £3000 on a second mortgage., from which it would be seen that his interest in itihe equity was very J'ittle. It was a lowland ifarm, and the .plaintiff's Wa6 an upland farm. and the plaintiff sent sheep to the lowland farm for grazing. Out of the acquaintance thus, be- gun financial relationships sprung up between the deceased and the plaintiff, and the plain- tiff was a claimant against the estate for £347 odd. The result of some sheep transactions between the parties in the years 1898-8-9 was the plaintiff became a large creditor, and began to press for payment. He wag then approached by Roberts, accompanied by the second mort- gagee and Mr Jonn Ellis Jones, Ret/hesda, who 'had lent Roberts some money. At that inter- view Roberts said that if the plaintiff would cease pressing and would continue to-oblige him, he would make his will in the plaintiff's favour. That was the inducement not to .press, and he made his will, by which, subject to the pay- ment of a legacy of £200 to his housekeeper, the whole estate was left to the plaintiff. On the strength of that will the plaintiff con- tinued to assist Roberts in his business, and even became surety to the bank for him. The plaintiff also allowed Roberts the use of some of his horse6. Sometimes there were payments for grazing, but as Roberts's financial position became more involved those payments ceased. In 1897 there were oertain dealings in connec- tion with tthe farm and the mortgages upon it, and the plaintiff took a transfer of the second mortgage for £300. The second mortgage was pressing, and a further charge was created in favour of Jtohn Ellis Jones for J3150 on the farm. In October, 1900, Roberts saw Mr Elllis Davies, and made another will in the plaintiff's favour. At that time a demand was being made. Roberts said that his two nemhews ex- pected the things, but he intended the plaintiff to have everything. About the time of the making of the second will it was discovered that, notiwitJhstanding that the plaintiff had a transfer of the second mortgage, Roberts had sold the farm free from all incumlbrances before the will was made. When that was discovered John Ellis Jones, the owner of the third charge, bgan to press for his money, and he was paid off, and the plaintiff was, very foolishly, in- duced to become surety for money to pay off the third mortgage. The person to whom, the farm was sold was the Ipres.emt defendant, a cousin of Roberts. The propertv was after- wards resold to Roberts, who had all along been in possession. Robert died in May last, and it was then discovered that a new will had been made of later date than those already mentioned, by which everything was left to the present defendant. The plaintiff gave evidence in support of counsel's statement, and was in the box for a;bout three hours. Evidence was also given by Richard Owen Jones, Angus Macdonald, and J. R. Jones. Mr Griffith, for the defence, said that by the will of Roberts, the defendant was (made exe- cutor, a.nd without any desire of his own was placed in a very onerous position. He was cailled upon to realise the estate, which were large liabilities, and legacies ipayable .un- der the will. The defots amounted to £3005 and the (gross eejtate was only £:224 so that the executor had1 to be very careful in. what he did. He invited the (plaintiff to a conference 'for the purpose of discussing the matter, and, if possiMe, of proving his claim. TMr the plaintiff failed to do to the defendant's satisfac- tion, and the defendant then said that the mat- ter wouJd have to igo to Court. Tha.t WaBl how the case ca.meintto Court. He submitted that there was no corroborative evidence of the plain- tiff's claim, and that the evidence given had not proved it. Resides, the Statute of Limitations had been pleaded, and there was no evidence of bailment. Under the circumstances the de- fend ant did rieht in (bringing the matter into Court, and, indeed, was bound to do so. The defence "claimed to have bought the animals claimed. The Rev 'Griffith Ttavid Hueihee, the defen- dant, then (gave evidence, and was eross-exa- mined by Mr proctor. He said he bought the farm from Roberts for £4000, of which £1100 was a [promisory note. He subsequent!" resold a portion of the farm to the deceased for £ 4500.âDid you pay cash? No.âThis is a peculiar transactionâhow were you paying this £ 4500? Witness entered "nto a. complicated ex- jplaniation, in the course of which the frequently withdrew statements made, with aipolipies, re- statements, and corrections.â'After a while his Honour suggested that the matter was not re- levant. to :wrncth [Mr Proctor, while erpressine himself willing to drop the subject, remarked that it was important as effecting the credibilit- of the witness, and declared t(hie storv he was tellinicr, as he told it, was an incredible story. His Honour could see-nothine inconsistent, but ultimately Mr Plrocftor abandoned its cross- examination of the defendant, and other wit- nesses were called. After (1, five houms' sitting his Honour found a.'fiainst the plaintiff af: to five iteim in the j claim, 11:n¡;t as to the other Itwo considered he had made out. his case, a.nd >crave judgment in his favour for 1£120. costs to follow the event.


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