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COUNTY LICENSING COMMITTEE.

ABERDARK POLICE COURT. !

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ABERDARK POLICE COURT. TUESDAT.Befo?,e A. De Rutzen, R- H. Rhys, D. E. Williams, and R. Fothergill, Jun., Esqr3.) LICENSING MATTERS.—Mr R. O. Gery, clerk to the Local Board of Health, applied on behalf of Mrs Susannah Colston, 185, Cardiff-road, Aberaman, for a license to sell sweets. After the usual proof of service of the notices the Bench granted the licullse YV Beddoe applied for an endorsement of the license of the Cardiff Arms Inn, Commercial-street, to Mr David Hughes, grocer, Commercial-street. Granted. ROBBERY AT THE GKEAT WESTERN RAILWAY STA- TION. -J ohn Thomas Davies, number-taker, and W m. Neete, greaser, both in the service of the Great Western Railway Company, and aged 13 years respectively, were charged on the sheet with having stolen 4Jlbs. of grapes, and Dibs, of butter, the property of the Com- pany. It appeared from the evidence that the goods in question had been deposited in one of the Company s vans at Hereford, on the 18th instant, for transmission to Aberaman, by a Mrs Sarah Lloyd, who locked the van and kept the key. The van arrived safely at Aber- dare, at nine a.m., on the 9th instant, and by the next passengerjtrain Mrs Lloyd also came. At this time the van was found to have been broken into, and a quantity of the grapes stolen. Mr Phillips, the station master, was at once communicated with, and he, upon investi- gation, found that the lock had been smashed. He afterwards traced the grapes to the hut of the prisoner Davies, a short distance from which lie succeeded in finding the lock amongst some rubbish. Inspector Rees, who was sent for at this juncture, arrived, and searched the prisoner Davies, in whose pocket be found a quantity of grape stems, which the latter said had bam given him by his mother the night before. He, however, afterwards made a statement implicating Nwte, whom the Inspector forthwith arrested. When i confronted, the lads accused each other of having taken the initiative in the he Bench considered that the evidence with regard to Neete was not ;■ uJii- ciently strong in a legal point of view to convict him, and he would therefore be discharged. With regard to the other prisoner, however, the case was very different. W ere they (rijt; Bench) to impose a pecuniary penalty, it would doubtless be paid by the prisoner's father, and the prisoner himself would escape, comparatively speaking, unpunished. They bad, therefoie, made up their minds to orderbitn to be whipped ten strokes with a birch loci by 1 nHpecter Rees. CUAL STEALING.—Thomas Collard, breaksman, was summoned for having stolen Gllbs of coal, the property of the Abernant Iron Company. A report of this case will be found in our last issue. It will be remembered that the prisoner was then remanded in order to nave a second justice on the bench, so that the matter might be summarily dealt with. He now pleaded guilty to the charge, and hoped to be leniently dealt with.—The Bench senaenced him to seven days' imprisonment with hard labour. DRUNKARDS.—Evan Davies, coachman, arrested by P.C. ltobb in High-street the previous night, upon a charge of riotous drunkenness, was fined 10s and the costs.—James James, collier, found by P.C, James in the same street the same night, lying helplessly drunk, was fined 5s and the costs,—Thomas Hallett, engine- man, charged by P.S. Cook with drunken and riotous conduct in Cardiff-road, Aberaman, on the 19th instant, was fined 15s and the costs.—Dennis Mahony, labourer, brought up under warrant charged with having been druuk in Waterloo Stores Beerhouse, Commercial- place, on the 15th ult., was fined 15s and the costs. The same defendant and Edward Jenkins, puddler, were also charged with the commission of a similar offence in the Engineers' Arms Beerhouse, Gloucester- street, on the 29tb ult. Fined 5s each and the costs. P.C. James proved both charges.—W7illiam Williams, labourer, drunk and incapable in Cardiff-road, Aber- aman, and Sarah Bishop, married, drunk and riotous in Lewis-street, Aberaman, on the 1st instant, were each, upon the evidence of P.C. Gambling, fined 5s and the costs.—John "Jenkins, puddler, charged by P.S. Cook with drunken and riotous conduct in Cardiff-road, Aberaman, on the 4th instant, was fined 10s and the costs.—Wm. Tapp, collier, an old offender, summoned at the instance of P.C. Emanuel for drunken and riotous conduct in Cardiff-road, Mountain Ash, the same day, was fined El and the costs.—Lewis Williams, collier, found by P.S. Melhuish in Cardiff-road, Aber- aman, on the 5th instant, lying helplessly drunk, was fined 5s and the costs. -.J osepb Heal, collier, summoned by P.C. Emanuel for drunken and riotous conduct in Oxford-street, Mountain Ash, on the 11th instant, was fined 10s and the costs.—Martha Hatten, married, charged by P.C. Dyment with similar conduct in Ynys- lwyd-street on the 7th instant, and Henry Jones and John Harris, colliers, picked up in a helpless state by P.C. Whitney in Fforchaman-road, Cwmaman, en the 11th instant, were each fined 5s and the costs.—George Jones, collier, drunk and riotous in the same road the same night, was, upon the evidence of the same officer, fined 10s and the costs.—Thomas Davies collier, an old offender, charged by the same officer with a similar offence, in the same road the same night, was fined X2 and the costs.—P. C. Whitney also proved charges of drunkenness against Thomas Howells collier, aHd Thomas James, labourer, found in the same road the same night, both of whom were fined 5s and the costs. —Wm. Lewis, collier, drunk and riotous in John-street, Cap Coch, on the 12th instant, was, upon the evidence of P.S. Melhuish, tined 15s and the costs. Daniel Cokely, pitman, picked up by P.S. Rodman in Jeffreys- street, Mountain Ash, on the same day in a helpless condition, was fined 5s and the costs. -Titus Jenkins, collier, another old offender, summoned by P.C. Gambling for drunken and riotous conduct in Lewis- street, Aberaman, on the same day, Was fined £1 10s and the costs.—Charles Jones, collier, charged by P.C. Emanuel with similar conduct in Commercial-street, Mountain Ash, on the 11th instant, was let off with a fine of 7s 6d including costs.—John Jones alias Win. Davies, pollier, and Henry Sage, shoemaker, found by P.C. Gambling on the 13th instant drunk and fighting together, were fined 15s each and the costs. HEAVY PENALTY ON A PUBLICAN.—Win. Emanuel, landlord of the Dublin Ale and Porter Stores Beer- house, Mountain Ash, was summoned for permitting drunkenness on his premises.—P.S. Rodman proved going to defendant's house on the 13th instant. In the taproom he found seven men drinking out of quart and pint vessels. Three of the men were very drunk. In a back room he found the defendant sitting in a chair very drunk. Witness called in another constable to see the state of affairs. Defendant was utterly incapable of movement, being so drunk. Witness pointed out one of the men to the landlady, and be was at once turned out by her. When the men got outside they were too drunk to move away.—Defendant had nothing what- ever to say for himself. It transpired that he bad been previously fined X5 for a similar offence.—The Bench thought that a more gross case than this was hardly ever met with. The drunken men wers not only harboured in this instance by the landlord, but the latter himself set them the example by getting into a beastly state of intoxication. The penalty which thsy would in. pose upon him would be one of £10 and the costs. -Defendant at once paid over the amount. ORDER OF MAINTENANCE.—Thomas Lewis, collier, was summoned to show cause why an order should not be made on him to maintain John Lewis, his father, who is chargeable to the Merthyr Union.—Mr T. B. Meredith, master of the Workhouse, stated that the old man had been an inmate tor some considerable time. He was afflicted with paralysis, and therefore totally unable to gain his own livelihood.—Defendant ex- pressed his perfect willingness to contribute towards his father's support. He had always done so in fact- paying him 3s per week regularly while not in the workhouse.—The Bench did not consider this amount sufficient. He would have to pay per week and the costs. PETTY SQUABBLING.—Elizabeth Webb, married, was summoned for having assaulted a Mrs Elizabeth Lloyd. —Mr Simons appeared for the complainant. There was also a summons against Mrs Lloyd by Margaret Wilt- shire, widow, for having damaged four panes of glass, her property, to the amount of 2s 4d in which Mr Simons defended.—It appeared that Mis Lloyd enter- tained strong feelings of jealousy towards Mrs Wiltshire, and on the 12th instant, finding her husband in the house of the latter at a rather late hour she in her wrath smashed the glass as complained of above. Mrs Webb, rushing out of Mrs Wiltshire's house at that instant, struck Mrs Lloyd a blow in the face, which constituted the assault before referred to.-For this Mrs Webb was now fined 5s and the costs. Mrs Lloyd was ordered to pay a fine of a farthing—the Bench said they couldn't very well make it lese;-and the amount of damage done, but without costs. Richard Lewis, collier, defended by Mr W. Beddoe, was summoned by Catherine Meyrick, married, for having committed an assault upon her at Cwmbach on the 12th instant. This, which was a very trumpery matter arising out of a quarrel of some standing, was dismissed, with costs against the complainant. THE ALLEGED MALPRACTICES AT THE RE- CENT BOARD OF HEALTH ELECTION. Mr John Hammett, manager of the Werfa Colliery, was summoned at the instance of the Aberdare Local Board of Health, for that he did, between the 20th and the 27th days of August last, unlawfully fabricate a cer- tain voting paper then duly delivered for the purpose of taking the votes of the ratepayers of the Local Board of Health district, in pursuance of the Public Health Act, 1848. He was also charged under another sum- mons with having within the same period unlawfully and falsely assumed to act in the name and on the be- half of one Edward Richards, then being a ratepayer and entitled to vote in pursuance of the Public Health Act, 1848, at a certain election then depending for the No. 3, or Lower Town Ward of the said Local Board of Health district, &c., &c. —Mr Simons appeared on behalf of the Local Board for the prosecution, and Mr B. T. Williams of the South Wales Circuit, instructed by Messrs. Rosser and Phillips, for the defence. The case created a considerable amount of interest, the court being crowded throughout the hearing. A large number of the principal ratepayers of the town and neighbourhood were present.—Mr Simons, on opening the case, said the summonses were taken out under the 13th Section of the Act of 1MI. He might state that this prosecution had not been set on toot out of any personal feeling. The Board of Health conceived that in the interests of the public all elections should be con- ducted with strict propriety, and that any violation or breach of the Act, if brought home to any person should be tievereiy punished. It was a matter of ex- treme regret to the Board that they were obliged to bring forward such a case, but if a gentleman in Mr Hammeit's position was allowed to commit such irregu- larities with impunity, persons, whose characters were not so well established might be led to do things still worse. He was really at a loss to understand what possible defence there could be to the case. The facts were extremely simple,he should proceed at once to lay them before the Bench. The first summons which he lc intended dealing with first was, the one for fabrication of the koting paper of the man Edward Richards. He then proceeded to call Mr R. O. Gery, clerk to the Local Board, who, in answer to the learned gentleman, stated: I produce the notice for the election of a candidate for No. 3 Ward, signed by the Chaiiman of the Board, and duly pub- lished according to the Act of Parliament; also the nomination paper of Howel Williams and Dr Price. I issued the voting papers. Handed the one produced to the distributor Henry Davies, together with a memor- andum book. Edward Richard's name appeared as a ratepayer ic the rate book, as duly quulified to vote at that election. The voting paper produced was not re- turned to me by the distributor, but this book (contain- ing an entry that the paper referred to bad been mis- laid) was, in its present conditionr. Was present when Edward Richards produced this paper, and saw this memorandum made upon it in red ink, and signed by Richards. Mr Thomas, whose «ignature attests that of Richards's, was appointed by a resolution of the Board to assist the chairman in the matter. By Mr Williams The voting papers were delivered on the 22nd of August to the distributor, and he ought to have gone round for them Tuesday, August 26th. The election was over that day. On the 27th August we met to count the votes. No voting paper could be received that day unless there were some default on the part of the collecting officer. As appears from his book the collector called at Richards's house on the 26th Aug. Richards came before the Board on the 27th August, accompanied by Mr Gilbert Price, the step-son of the successful candidate. Our chairman dictated the words in red ink. This voting paper was never tendered then or at. any time to be recorded at that election. We shouldn? £ .have received it.if it had been because it came too late, the omission not having occurred through the act of our collector. i By Mr Simons The election was not over until de- clared by the chairman on the 28th August. I produce Henry Davies's appointment. I Henry Davies, examined by Mr Simons, said I M- ceived the voting paper from Mr Gery for Richard?. Produce my memorandums. L'ft the paper at Richards's bouse on the 22nd Aui:st Inst. Called for it on the 2Gth August, and received ;.u answer tha~ it had been mislaid. Dun'o remember who 1 saw :.t the house. Mr Williams I have nothing to ask you. iur Watkin Jones Thomas, in answer to Mr Simons, said:! am a member of the Local Board of Health. Was appointed and acted in aid of the chairman, in consequeHce of the latter's infirmity. Edward Richards brought me this voting paper. I wrote this number in red ink upon it on the 27th August. It is the sub- stance of the statement which he then made to me. I read it over to, and it was signed by, him in my pre- sence, and it (the paper) is in the same state now as then. Edward Richards, examined by Mr Simons, said 1 am the ocoupant of 6, Hill-street, as mentioned in this paper. Was with MrE. G. Price bringing it before the Board of Health. This memorandum was read to, and signed by me. ididnotwritornymarktothepaper in the presence of Mr Hammett, as is mentioned upon it, neither did laubhorize Mr Hammett to write my initials in the margin. Mr Williams Now, did you not know the paper had been filled up by your wife the day befoie you went with Mr Gilbert Price before the Board? Witness: I did. Mr Williams You knew in fact before the counting day that your wife had given your vote? Witness Yes. Q. And that your wife had said she was authorized to give the vote for you ? Mr Simons objected to the validity of this question, on the ground that the vote had been confided by the Act of Parliament to the elector himself, and not to the wife. Any act of the wife could not possibly there- fore give validity to the paper. The vote was a personal thing, and could not be delegated to another, except in the case of public companies where the Act expressly provided for a voting by proxy. Mr De Rutzen ruled adversely to the objection. Whatever the result of the wife's act might turn out to be, the fact of her having, or not having, said she was authorized by the husband to give the vote, could not be excluded.-The question was then again put to the witness and answered in the affirmative. Witness, in further cross-examination, said he had never complained of the filling up of his paper before going with Mr Price. Had never asked for a fresh voting paper. His wife had done the same thing for him before, many times. He had plenty to think about his work. He thought she knew more about those matters than he did, but she had not told him that she had voted this j time for Mr Williams until after Mr Price had been there, when she told me what a fool I must have been to say anything at all about it (laughter). ( Dlr iNVillianis: You believe in woman's rights, per- hapa ?—Witness Yes sir, (renewed laughter). Mr Simons: And woman's breeches, too? (Loud laughter). Cross-examination continued I should never have gone up to the Board of Health Office had not Mr Price taken me there. Mr Williams Then these words in red ink I Edward Richards hereby certify that this paper was filled and my vote recorded for Howel Williams without my knowledge or sanction are not your words. Witness No, sir. Q. Your vote never was recorded at all in fact. A. No, sir. Mr De Rutzen Perhaps it will shorten matters a little if I were to ask this question. Was this paper ever tendered at all as a voting paper ? Mr Simons I cannot say it was. His Worship Is there any positive obligation to tender a voting paper ? As far as I can see you may write anything you like upon it, or make waste paper of it if you choose. Then the question arises was this ever tendered as a voting paper at ail ? Mr Simons I think not, but the witness will tell us. (To witness) Did you ever vote on the paper for Howel Williams Witness: I never saw anybody. I neverllhad the chance. Q. Why? A. Because I never saw any of the collectors. Q. But you knew the paper had been left at your house? A. Yes, but I suppose my Mrs gave permission to have it filled up. 1 left it to her the same as many times before, because 1 think she is wise and capable enough to do those things (laughter). In further re- examination witness said that, his declaration in red ink had been read over to him before he signed it, and that he was not aware until afterwards that his vote had been given for Howel Williams. He had not authorized his wife to give it, but she did in those matters as she pleased. He did not work at Werfa. colliery. In answer to a question from the Bench, Mr B. T. Williams read the 26th Section of the Public HealthAct, which provided that the chairman and other officers connected with the election having performed their duty up to the evening of the 2Gth, and nothing being left undone on their part, the voting paper in question became invalid, mere waste paper in fact. Mr John Hughes, assistant overseer, was called, and proved that Richards was duly qualified to vote at this election. Mr B. T. Williams then addressed the Bench on be- half of his client, lucidly responding to the points adduced by the prosecution, contending at the onset that when defendant attested the woman's signature to the paper he did so under the impression that she had full authority-as the evidence, perhaps, showed-to act in this matter. He acted without the intention of com- mitting any fraud whatever and in doing so merely acted in accordanoe with a practice established in this town years since in connection with the votes of the locality for the witness Richards just now confessed that the wife had acted similarly on many occasions up to the present, And as this paper was filled up four days before the day of collection, surely the husband going home every night had abundant opportunity for correcting any mistake on the part of the wife, if any mistake had been committed—there was the paper for ratification by the husband. Had the facts been other- wise, and the defendant had taken instructions from the wife to fill up the paper on the part of the husband, and the fact was concealed from the husband, that vote bad been recorded, then the facts would have weighed much more strongly against the defendant, but here, for some reason or other, the paper was never delivered up; so that the statement on the back of it, to the effect of Richards' vote having been recorded for Howel Williams without knowledge or consent, was groundless, for it had never been recorded at all. In conclusion, the learned counsel said that this paper was not delivered on the 26th of August through his own default and not through the default of the chairman or his officers. What then was the nature of this paper on the evening of the 26th pursuant to the Act of 1848 ? Why it was no voting paper at all, thoroughly null and void it was simply waste paper. He should call no witness as intended, but simply base his defence on these state- ments. Hit Worship said he should be glad to hear any state- ments from Mr Simons. The real question seemed to be—Was this paper ever tendered as a voting paper ? Mr Simons having elicited that Mr Williams did not intend calling any witnesses upon the second point, said it was clear there must be a conviction. The question was not whether a voting paper might or could be used, but whether it had been fabricated. He quoted from legal works to prove that a man was equally liable to punishment, who purloined, defaced, or altered, and pointed to the fact that a provision of the Act specially applied to the present case, otherwise they would have this condition of things—all a man would have to do who had committed a fabrication would be to suppress the paper, and prevent the collection, and thereby shield himself from the consequences of the violation of the Act of Parliament. The paper was fabricated on the 22nd by this signature, and the circumstance of the voting paper not being forthcoming on the day of elec- tion had nothing to do with the matter. The offence of fabricating was perfect. It might have been in that condition banded in on the 2Gtli. His Worship The fact is, in this case it was not. Mr Simons The collection or non-collection of the paper is an ingredient unnecessary for the constitution of this offence. The offence is consummated by the altera- tions of the paper, and that man has sustained the loss of his vote in consequence of that fabrication. His Worship The man is not obliged to exercise his vote. Mr Simons No, sir but how is he to exercise it when be found in the interval that his paper had become invalid through the Act of a third person ? His Worship He might have got another. Mr Simons read a section of the act to suggest the contrary. His Worship What was there to bind this man who was perfectly well aware of the fact that on the 26th his wife had signed it, and assuming it was invalid or fabricated or tampered with in some way he might have made it into a valid voting paper and tendered it ? Mr Simons: How? His Worship Why scratch out his wife's signature and Hammett's name, then sign his own, and it is a perfectly legal voting paper. I Mr Simons dissented, remarking that there must be no erasure, and after further argument concluded with much warmth by saying, that to hold under all that had been adduced, that the present was no offence would be to let out ram paint all sorts of wickedness in connection with these elections. He thought beyond all question an offence had been proved, and the defendant was bound to be convicted. His Worship having consulted with his brother magistrates,proceededto give judgment. He said they were clearly of opinion that this summons ought to be dismissed. And he would very shortly state the grounds upon wbichthe though it was not made out. This was a charee under a very highly penal section of the Act of Parliament, which made the person who fabricated any voting paper liable to a long term of imprisonment. Is Now, in this particular case it had been generally ad- mitted that Mr Hammett was a very respectable man. The question was, whether he had committed any offence under this Act of Parliament. It appeared that on the 22ud of August these voting papers were served out, and there was a Mr Williams, who called on the wife of this Richards with Mr Hammett. The wife did, perhaps, what she was authorized, or, perhaps, what she was not authorized to do, and that was to sign the paper, and Mr Hammett was a witness to it. Whether the wife was authorized did not appear to him to arise in this case. The collector called for the papers and he put down in his book what he was told, namely, that the paper was mislaid, although it was at the same time in the house. And let it be borne in mind that Richards, whose voting paper it was, was perfectly aware of the fact that it bad been signed. Now it might be that Richards, having known it was signed, may have told the wife he was not willing for his voting paper to go in. That was quite possible, and the conse- quence was no voting paper was tendered at all. And on the following day, when the votes were going to be calculated—when that voting paper was perfectly waste ? paper, as much as the piece of paper he held in his hand it was taken by Richards to the office;and who was he accompanied by ? Why by the steo^on of the man who was the successful candidate iu the election. That appeared to him to throw strong light upon the whole transaction. He did not mean to nggest that Mr Price had any improper motive ui taking the paper there with Richards. At all events me paper was taken tnere, and if it had been tendered—but it was not—it could not have been received. It never was a x oting paper at any time, for it never left the hous-e and was never ten- dered, for when the collector sought if, lie wab told it had been mislaid. Then on the 27th, when this paper first saw the light of day, it was taken to the counting- room of the Board of Health, accompanied by Mr Price. It would be very, very hard to say that in any of these transactions Mr Hammett really was actuated by any criminal intention, for the man Richards, when he came into the box, said be perfectly well knew that on the 26th, when the collector called for the paper, that it had been signed by his wife. It might be, for aught they knew there was a conversation about it, and it might have been said, We won't tender this as a voting paper. You have signed it in behalf of a candidate, not the one I promised," and he might have put it in the fire if he pleased, or done anything else with it, but had not. and until Mr Price called it bad not seen daylight. He thought, under the circumstances of the case, they could not say there had been any infringement of the Act. Mr Simons asked his Worship to state a case and during subsequent argument, remarked that there was already a case pending at the Court of Queen's Bench as to whether the offence was consummated by the signa- ture of another party, and in answer his Worship's in- terrogation as to which case reference was made, Mr Simons said it was in coneotion with the West Ham Local Board. His Worship acceded.

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