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NO IDEAL CASE.

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ACTION FOR SLANDER.

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ACTION FOR SLANDER. At the assizes held at Warwick, the cause of Lund v. Wamsley" has been tried, and was an action of slander, brought by the superintendent of police and inspector of nuisances at Leamington, against a mem- ber of the local board of health of that town. The plaintiff was formerly an inspector of detectives in London, and officiated during the Great Exhibition of 1851. He was subsequently promoted by Sir R. Mayne to be a superintendent of the metropolitan police force, and after a service ef twenty-four years retired, in consequence of ill- health, with a pension. Upon, that occasion Mr. Lund quitted the police force with the highest possible certificates of character, and was presented by the inspectors, sergeants, and constables of his division with a gold watch of the value of £49. Mr. Lund was appointed superintendent of the Leamington police in 1859, and, having discharged his duties in that position to the satisfaction of his employers, has had his salary raited three times between his appoint- ment and the present date. The defendant is a bookseller and stationer and a collector of income-tax, and, after two unsuccessful efforts, wii* elected a member of the local board in 1866. The slander now complained of was uttered on thuee sepa- rate occasions: on the first the defendant was alleged to have charged the plaintiff with perjury; on the second and third with drunkenness. The case for the plaintiff was that, as far back as 1860, on the occasion of her Majesty passing through Leamington, the defendant took offence at the eonduct or the plaintiff in excluding the public from a foot-bridge over the Great Western Railway, and wrote to the Secretary of State thereon. I111804 a public meeting was held in Leamington for the purpose of canvassing the conduct of the local board of health, and a Mr. Heritage having spoken in defence of the board, Mr. Lund incurred Mr. Wamsley s displeasure by refusing to turn Mr. Heritage out of the room. On that occasion it was stated that Mr. Wamsley said to the plaintiff, I told you, Lund, 18 months ago, that I would get you cut of the town, and I will never leave you till I do. I will get you out before two years are over." Again, a woman of bad character was taken up on a charge of stealing plate, and on that occasion Mr. Lund took into his possession a diamond and emerald ring, which was found concealed upon her person. Tne woman was discharged by the magistrates, there beinr no evidence against her upon the charge on which she was taken up, but the magistrate refused to order the ring to be given up to her, and Mr. Lund retained it, and, believing it to have been stolen, advertised for the owner, whom, however, he was unable to discover. This also constituted a grievance in Mr. Wamsley's eyes, who wrote to the Secretary of State on the subject, and from time to time annoyed Mr Lund by remarks tending to insinuate that Mr. Lund had retained the ring for improper motives. In 18C5 proceedings were instituted against a professional gentleman in the town of Leamington for perjury, alleged to have been committed before a master of one of the courts at Westminister, upon the reference of a claim against the local board. On the occasion of the preliminary inquiry before a magistrate at Bow-street police- court, in London, the plaintiff and others were examined as witnesses, but the magistrate, deeming that a primAfacit case had been made out, committed the accused for trial The result was communicated to Leamington by telegram, and on the arrival of the train containing the witnesses, the defendant was found at the Leamington station with a placard hearing the words" committed jnr trial" upon it. This placard the defendant was said to have attempted to fasten rounfl the plaintiff's hat, saying at the same time, 11 It will be your turn next. You have committed perjury sftvaral times, and I can prove it." This was the slander first complained of. It should be added that when the charge of perjury against the gentleman alluded to came on to be tried before the Chief Justice of England and a special jury, the indictment having been removed into the Queen's Bench by ctrtiorari,- the case for the prosecu- tion broke down, and the defendant was acquitted without being called upon to give evidence in his defence On a subsequent occasion, when a charge of drunkenness against one of the police force was under investigation, the defen- dant stated that he was sorry to say that there was too much drunkenness going on in the police force at Leamington, from t-he highest to the lowest, and that they ought to punish the highest and let the lowest off on easy terms. Mr. Lund denounced this statement at untrue, whereupon the defendant said he had seen the plaintiff go into the "bakehouse (a place so-called where liquors are sold) for two hours at a time. Upon this there was a great uproar, and the chairman demanded an unqualified retractation and apology from the defendant, which, however, he refused to give. On the third occasion the defendant was said to have repeated the charge of drunkenness in a private conversa- tion with a member of the board named Ballard, and to have told that gentleman that he had seen Mr. Lund so drunk that he could not stand, and required to be supported by two men. The case for the defendant was that he had no ill-feeling against Mr. Lund, that he had never imputed perjury to him and that the placard was not intended in any way to Allude to Mr Lund. As to the chartre of drunkenness made at the meeting of the buard, the defendant denied that the expression "from the highest to the lowest" was in- tended to include Mr. Lund, and contended that at all events the occasion was such M to make the statement a privileged one. As to the remaining charge, the defendant denied that he had ever said anything of the kiud to Mr. Ballard, aud stated that he was not on friendly terms with that gentleman. It would be perfectly impossible to give any idea of the weight of the testimony on either side, a great number of witnesses having been examined, and the trial having lasted a day and a half. Judging by the attendance of spectators, the case appeared to excite the greatest interest in Leamington. In summing up, his Lordship directed the jury, as to the question of privilege, that if they believed the words spoken were intended to include Mr. Lund, the question was, whether those words were spoken by the defendant in the bond fide discharge of his duty, or whether he took advantage of the opportunity to go out of his way from motives of malice and ill-will to make a charge against Mr. Lund which was entirely unfounded. After being absent from the court five minutes the jury returned with a verdict for the plaintiff for £ 75.

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