Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

4 articles on this Page





PEMBROKESHIRE SUMMER ASSIZES. The commission for these assizes was opened at the Shire H all on Wednesday evening before the Hon. Sir J. P. Wilde, Knight, one of the Barons of Her Majesty's Court of Exchequer. His Lordship arrived from London by the six down express train, and was met at the Railway Station by W. Rees, Esq., of Scoveston, High Sheriff of the County, in whose carriage, escorted by javelin men, he was con- veyed to the Hall. The commission having been read, the Court adjourned to 12 o'clock on Thursday. His Lordship attended Divine Service on Thursday morning at Saint Mary's Church, where the Assize ser- mon was preached by the Rev. J. H. A. Philipps, of Pieton Castle. The rev. gentleman, whose discourse was marked by much eloquence, selected for his text the 5th chapter of the II. Corinthians, 10th verse. For we must all appear before the judsrment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it he good or bad." His Lordship took his seat on the Bench at twelve o'clock. There were six prisoners :for trial for the County of Pembroke, charged with the following offences:—one with forgery; two with robbery with violence one with burglary; one with supplying a noxious powder to pro- cure abortion; and one with wilful murder. The calen- der for the Town and County of Haverfordwest contained only one prisoner, who was charged with arson. The names of the gentlemen in the commission of the peace having been read over, the following gentlemen were constituted a GRAND JURY FOR THE COUNTY OF PEMBROKE. Sir Hugh Owen, bart., (foreman,) James Bowen, Esq, James Child, Esq, T. H. Davies, Esq, G. W. W. Davies, Esq, J. N. Dunn, Esq. R. P. Davies, Esq, J. Evans, Esq, J. B. Allen, Esq, J. Higgon, Esq, G. James, Esq, John James, lisq, W. H. Lewis, Esq, T. Mansell, Esq, Wi-n. Owen, Esq, James B. LI. Phillips, Esq, X. Peel, Esq, T. Roberts, Esq, Edward Wilson, Esq, and F. L. Barou De Rutzen. The following gentlemen were sworn as a GRAND JURY FOR THE TOWN AND COUNTY OF HAVERFORDWEST: Ed. Owen Davies, Esq, (foreman,) David Clare. Esq, H. Davies, Esq, Robert Greenish, Esq, Stephen Green, Esq, J. B. Henley, Esq, Richard James, Esq, William Lewis. Esq, William Llewellin, Esq, H. Phillips, Esq, W. Phillips, Esq, Jas. Phillips, Esq, G. Phillips, Esq, A. Stannard, Esq, S. Taylor, Esq, John Thomas, Esq, and W. Williams, Esq. The usual proclamation was then read, after which Hia Lordship proceeded to charge the Grand Juries. In doing so, he said :— GENTLEMEN OF THE GRAND JURY,—I have to con- gratulate you upon the numerous attendance on the part of those who are concerned in the administration of justice in this county. We are met here at the usual period of the year to transact the criminal business of the county, and I think it is fortunate we have so large an attendance as has been given on the present occasion. As to the cases, I regret to say that I cannot, in common with those who have filled this place before me, congratu- late you upon the calendar, which shows a greater pre- sence of crime than is usual in your well-ordered county. Gentlemen, there are six or seven prisoners for trial on this occasion, and I regret to say that out of those six or seven, three or four are crimes of very great magnitude. There is a case of robbery with violence by two soldiers; that will be a question turning entirely upon the credit that you give to the prosecutor, and the person whom he says was with him. That is a case with which you will probably have no difficulty. There is another case of robbery or rather burglary, which is a question of iden- tity the evidence against the prisoner turns upon the possession of some pocket handkerchiefs, which were found in the barracks were the prisoner was. That per- haps may be a case of some doubt. There is a case of forgery against the clerk of some Milford Improvement Commissioners, which is very plain, and with which you will deal without difficulty. There are indeed three charges against the same individual — three separate charges. I rather think it will be found that the prisoner admitted altering the cheques in one or two oases: I think his excuse was that he meant to apply the money he obtained by the alteration to pay further charges on the Commissioners. I need hardly point out to you that when a man alters a cheque, unless there are some ex- traordinary circumstances to show he was doing so honestly, or to presume that he did so without the in- tention of fraud, he is therefore guilty of forgery. Gentle- men, I now come to the really severe and heavy case of the Assime-tbat is a case in which a woman named Williams, is charged with poisoning or attempting to poison her husband. The case, there can be no doubt, is one of some peculiarity. The evidence shows that there was an illness of the husband for some duration, and during that illness there were symptoms which are con- sistent with, and not only consistent with, but strongly indicative of his having taken poison. It is also shown that the wife obtained poison for the purpose, as she said, of killing rats. That is the facts of the case on one side. On the other side there is no doubt of this that the hus- band lived for a full month after she had any access to her husband, after she left his residence—after she was in the house. The question will be, when you hear the medical testimony,-for there is no doubt he ultimately died from exhaustion,—whether you can sufficiently at- tribute the exhaustion from which he died to be the con- sequences of any poison previously administered to him. There is a further fact upon the depositions, that on opening the body no poison was found, but it is said that the lapse of thirty days for which the deceased lived, that lapse of time would be quite sufficient to account for not finding any poison. If you can do so, no doubt it will be your duty to find a bill, and allow the case to be dealt with in this court. There is one case which I would mention to you, because I think it is one in which you will find no bill. It is the case of a man, named Gwyther, a farmer, who is charged with having obtained, supplied, and procured poison, knowing it was intended to be unlawfully used with intent to procure miscarriage. This is an offence which is created by a late statute; for administering a poison or drug for such purposes was always a criminal offencei The offence here charged is created by a late statute; and section .59 of that statute says that whosoever shall unlawfully supply or procure any poison or other noxious carriage, &c; therefore the offence is supplying a cer'al? drug, or whatever it was, knowing that it was intended to be used for that purpose. The evidence in this case, as I have it on the depositions, is very peculiar, for it will turn out, if the witness states to you what she said before the magistrates, that the prisoner gave her a pow- der, and that she says she did not take the powder, and never intended to take it for the purpose charged. IfJ point of law the construction of that section is that it is not sufficient that a man should obtain the powder and give it to another, intending it to be used, but it is neces- sary that the person to whom it is given intends to use it for a criminal purpose. Therefore, gentlemen, inasmuch as the offence comes before you in a different form, it is my duty in point of law to tell you that the offence is not completed. It also appears that there is some doubt that it was a powder which was usually used for this purpose. The chemist who will come before you will tell you that he did not se'l the powder for such a par- pose, so that the case in other respects is involved in un- tell you that he did not seil the powder for such a par- pose, so that the case in other respects is involved in un- certainty. I need not detain you with any further ob- servations. I may tell you that there need not be a 111' 1 Grand Jury to find a bill, but that any majority of twelve is quite sufficient for the purpose. GENTLEMEN OF THE GRAND JURY OF THE TOWN OF HAVERFORDWEsT.-ln the calendar before me you have one bill, and that a very short one. There is one case-* a ease of arson. The question will be wholly one 0' identity. There were two men who were originally charged with the offence-one named Garrn and She other named O'Keefe. The magistrates, however, thought tM evidence against O'Keefe not sufficient, and the only one whom they sent is here is John Garrn. There will or there may be some doubt as to his identity; however, if you have no douht about thatr unless yoa feel that the case is so feeble in point of evidence, and not worth further discussion, your duty will be to find no bill. 1 have no other remark to make, but to thank you for your attendance on this occasion. The Grand Jury then retired, and in a short time returned a true bill. The Court then proceeded with the TRIAL OF PRISONERS. William Robson, 25, soldier, was charged with bor- glariously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Thomas Grieve, at the Borough of Pembroke, on night of the 30th of May. 1853, and stealing 34 handker- chiefs, and certain moneys the property of the said Thomas Grieve, and a watch, chain ami key, the property of James Angus. The prisoner pleaded Not Guilty. Mr H. Allen prosecuted. Thomas Grieve: I am a draper at Pembroke Dock. On the 30th of May last I locked up my house at half-pasc eleven o'clock at night. At half-past six on Sund&JC morning, I looked out of my window, and saw a piece ot beef lying on the garden wall. It was not there the day before, Access could have been had to the house bY the kitchen window. I lost a silver watch and chatSt and 34 handkerchiefs, which were in the shop the night before. They could have had access to the shop b1 means of the kitchen window. The handkerchiefs prO- duced are my property. None of them were sold to any customer. Robert Irving: I belong to the Pembrokeshire Con- stabulary. On the 31st of May 1 went to the Pembroke Dock barracks, and received the twelve handkerchiefs/ now produce. They were taken from the pillow case iO the prisoner's-bed there was straw in the pillow-case. By the Judge: The prisoner was not in the room at tl16 time he was under arrest. Patrick Power: I am a sergeant in the 85th regimen" I was in charge of the room where the prisoner slept. The handkerchiefs were found in the prisoner's pillo"* case: I had occasion to look for the prisoner on Saturday night: he was not in bed as he should have been- *• could not find' him in the Barracks. I saw him at o'clock on Sunday morning in bed. I locked the door oj the hut which the prisoner belonged to: he could only get in through the window, which was three feet the floor. I sleep in the same room. When I ordered the prisoner under arrest, be wanted to make up his bedf but I would not allow him. The things were found in his bed. Mary Lewis: On Saturday night, the 30th of May.M house of Mr Grieve's was secured. The kitchen shutdown. It was open the next morning about na past six o'clock. The doors were fastened the nex morning. George Evans: I am a constable in the County COP- stabulary, stationed at Pembroke Dock. On the nigb' of the 30th of May I saw the prisoner in Bush-street, at two o'clock, about three hundred yards from the proSe- cutor's house. He was going in the direction of tbe prosecutor's house. John M'Kennon: On Sunday, 31st of May, I fouod some handkerchiefs under the step of the door of the bfl to which the prisoner belonged. William Hall: I was at the door when the handker" chiefs were found: I saw no one touch them. By the Judge: 1 found the handkerohiefs by accident: they were not covered up. or Sergeant Power re-called by the Judge The prison occupied part of a hot, which will accommodate 24? Twenty were present at the time. The prisoner the roll call. Another man, named Baker, was also o°l at the time. They wers both in bed the next morning* By the Jury: Baker slept in tse bed next to the prisoner. George Evans re-called by the Judge:. I saw tbEt prisoner in Bush street: there was another soldier, Baker, with him. Baker was charged before the mag's* trates; but the magistrates did not think there was stly case against him. e This- concluded the case for the prosecution. The prisoner, in his defence, said that the pillow-case con* taining the handkerchiefs might have been put into hi bed by Baker, who slept in the next bed. His Lordship summed up, and the Jury, after a sho* deliberation, found the prisoner Guilty. The prisoner admitted a previous conviction for felonY; His Lordship, in passing sentence, said:—Prisoner the bar,—It appears that you were convieted in the of February, 1861, of the same or a similar offence to tD» of which you have just been found guilty, and you we* then sentenced to l°i months' imprisonment. That tence would have expired in August, 1862, but a month has not passed over your head before you rePer^j the same offence. It will be my duty now to pass up you a much more severe sentence, and I hope that may P an end, (when you come out into the world after sufff1 it), tp this system of crime which you have entered up° .j The sentence of the Court upon YOU for this that you be condemned to penal servitude for five years. Francis Weeks Szlumper, 27, clerk, was indicted that he did on or about the 1st day of September, 1 at Milford, feloniously forge a certain Power of Attorn to transfer certain Shares and Interests, belonging to •The Milford Improvement Commissioners.' e- Mr Laseelles and Mr. de Rutzen appeared for the proSnd cation. The prisoner was defended by Mr T. Allen a Mr Bowen. Rev Octavius Leach [ am the rector of Hubbe*0J in this county. 1 was appointed Chairman to the Improvement Company. I made the necessary dec'ar tion. The prisoner was appointed clerk in 185&: ^eaSfh0 for the keys of the seal about the 10th of Sept. seal to a contract lease. I attended at the where the seal was kept. It was secured by three y which are numbered 1, 3, and can only be the three distinct keys. There are duplicate keys. After 0Jl seal was affixed the seal was locked. Subsequently! g the same day, the prisoner asked me to exchange K that he might clean them. I gave mine to him b?et0l turned me two at the same time. I did not notice tn but put them in my pocket. I next opened the seahftd the 4th of April, with the keys which Mr Roberts received from the prisoner. I examined tbe keys 1 reC0ujjjj. from the prisoner: they were not the same as I gave^■ He retained No 1. I next saw my own key in the' session of Mr Roberts on the 4tb of April, prisoner had my keys, he would be able to open the There was no authority given to the prisoner t°.aP/L|tb the power of attorney. There was £ 224, I think* interest, belonging to the commissioners. in Cross-examined by Mr T. Allen: There is no ^^1*0 the bye laws that the clerk should have possession keys; or that the Commissioners should have the erg: of them. There was £ 7,000 owing by the Comnais31" the money invested was-to pay off the debt. It wa proposed that zC500 should be raised to pay Off the bloy pro tanto. The financial year ended in May. there 1862, we sent out a printed balance, showing tn» was a sum of £ 224 3s. lid. for the sinking ^^9 cheque drawn for £ 244 was never presented. I'* QJU- duty of the clerk to lay the cheques before the sioners at their meetings held monthly. The » were not held monthly, because there was 6 u oflly quorum. A commissioner is nobody by himself: sk -jfae recognised at the monthly or extraordinary Tjf end of clerk was in the habit of passing his accountsat; the financial year. I do not know of my the eircnmstaDces attending the On the loth of May, the CflOUiM38ioiaer8 iiiUt a