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SUNDAY TRADING AT MERTHYR. On Monday, at the Mertbyr Police-court, Baptista Berni and Louis Franketti were again summoned under the Refreshment Houses Act, for unlawfully sailing or exposing for sale or consumption, refresh- ments and other articles between the hours of eleven in the night and four in the morning on the 6th of January.) It will be recollected by our readers that a short time back similar proceedings were instituted against the same defendants, but the prosecution fell through, owing to the actions being taken under the wrong Act, the Stipendiary advising the police to institute proceedings under the Refreshment Houses Act. Hence the piesent summonses. Baptista Berni's case was taken first, and he was defended, as before, by Mr. C. Kenshole, Aberdare.— P.C. Jones was the first witness, and he testified that, on the 6th January, he was standing iu High-street, opposite Bemi's shop, in company with P.C. Brew. It was about eight o'clock in the evening. He saw several persons go in and out of the shop. He then visited the shop with P.C. Brew, and found about 30 persons inside partaking of ice cream and ice water. Money was also being passed. He called the attention of the young man behind the counter, and told him he should report the ease.—Cross-exaciined He was not in court on the last occasion, and so he did not know whether Mr. Berni bad a refreshment house- keeper's licence, but knew there was no licetCJ "-to sell wine. He did not know whether he sold fried fish and potatoes.—Inspector Cook said he was in court on the last occasion, and saw the licence produced. Mr. Kens hole then addressed the Bench at length for the defence, and said that after the intimation that their worships had made on the previous occasion, when the same man was summoned for carrying on his trade on the Lord's Day, it was rather difficult for him to hope to address them on behalf of his client. Since that occasion he had gone very carefully into the different Acts of Parliament dealing with the refreshment houses, and he had certainly come to the conclusion that it was impossible for their Worships upon the evidence before them to convict the defen- dant. As their Worships were aware, there had heen no decisions upon that Act of Parliament. If they decided to convict, then ha would respectfully ask their worships to state a for a higher court. There was no evidence before them to show that this was a refreshment house within the definition of the Act of Parliament. Mr. Kenshole here quoted the 23rd Victoria, Chapter 27, Section 6, and continuing said that they would observe there that all houses, rooms, shops, or buildings kept open for public refreshment, resort, or entertainment, any time between the hours of teninthefveningandfourinthe morning, not being licensed for the sale of intoxicating drinks shall be admitted refreshment houses and forced to take out a liceuce. Any person could keep a refreshment house, though he did not sell during these two hours. Only in that case was it necessary to take out a licence. In this case the sale was made between the hours of 7 and 8, and there was no evidence tu show that it came under the jurisdiction of the Act. He put it to them that there was nothing in the Sunday Closing Act of 1881 to control the refreshment houses in existence before. It was unreasonable to suppose that the legislature intended to close refreshment houses on Sunday. Tf their worships held that they were to close, then it would come to this that no person would be entitled to go to a coffee-house or eatiug-house on a Sunday. It is clear that if no sale takes place at an*- house between those specified hours no licence was required at all. The Sunday Closing Act was clearly intended for the sale of strong drink, and there was no sale of strong drink in this case. On these grounds he submitted to their worships that the defendant could not IK> convicted under the Refresh- ment Houses Act. If they did so he would ask them to state a case, when they might have a decision upon 1 the Act.—Mr. North said he would be quite willing to state a case, but reserved his decision until that day week.—Th« case against Franketti was also adjourned.








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