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PONTARDULAIS BREACH OF PROMISE…

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PONTARDULAIS BREACH OF PROMISE CASE. Concluding Evidence at the Assizes. Hand-writing Expert on the Scene. Jury Find for the Defendant. The extraordinary breach of promise case brought by Mrs. Hannah Evans, a niiddle- aged°and not altogether unattractive-looking widow, of Golden Grove, Pontardulais, who claimed £ 1.000 damages against Edward Thomas, retired col.iery proprietor and haulier, of Grovesend-road, Pontardulais, was brought to a close in Mr. Justice Phillimore's court at the Glamorgan Assizes at Cardiff, on Thursday evening. The case for the plain- tiff was finished about mid-dav, and then it was felt, that despite the te.-t Mrs. Jane Da vies was put to in order to show that she had written the letters attributed to the de- fendant, making and breaking the promise of marriage indeed, apart, from the written promise, the corroboration of a verbal promise seemed very conclusive. Mr. S. T. Evans' sreech for the defence, however, showed that defendant had a good case, the crux of which lay in the handwriting of the letters. Defen- dant was called, and in a rough and ready way he detailed his views of the matter, saymg that all the love making was on the plaintiff's side. The evidence of the expert m hand- writing, however, clearly established the fact that defendant was not the writer of the let. ters. Defendant detailed an extraordinary story. He said he and plaintiff were in the hayiield in July. Abjut a week later they were both en the Pontardulais Railway Station and going to Llanelly. Mrs. Evans introduced herself by asking if lie wa.s Mr. Thomas, of Groves End, and !? s.iid he did not know her. "Don't you remember the woman m the Pen- tie hayfield ?" Mrs. Evans said. "I am the mother of Tom Christmas." He still did not take much notice of her. but. at Llanelly plat- form plaintiff again came up and said, "liow long have you buried your wife?" Defendant said, "Twelve months next September." Then Mrs. Evans said. "I suppose you will have another wife again?" Defendant replied he did not know; and plaintiff said. "You had better look for a nice woman to go in busi- ncss to go to auctions," or something like that. lie said, "Well, look her-, that won't do to n.e, I don't want to get an auctioneer. I have got nothing to do with the Jews' ways. (Laughter). She fJWJl told him that she had a pony and trap, and would drive nim about. He replied that h? had a cart himself, and was looking out for a pony. She tl'A n told him that .she had a pcny to sell, and a few days later lie w nt to plaintiff's house to try and bargain for the pevny. When they were at Llar.el'y they had tea tog -ther, for which wit- ness paid 4,1 (1. for each of them. (Laughter.). It was true that ha was at the plaintiif's house on the 9th of August, but he did not ask her to join lam in life. He never mentioned a word about marriage It was falao that he asked her to drop him a note as to whether t he trap he had purchasad for her would suit. When he went to see her on the 29bh of Sep- tember about the trap she asked linn to go for a drive with her, to which he replied, don't want to bother with you. Laiei on she said "Will yoa matry me n week to-mor- row?" Witness said, "No. never. (x-augli- ter). She than said, 'Took here, Edward Thomas, T put you in troubk bo:00 next Monday." "Mrs. Evans." witness replied; 'you can go and do what you like." On Jan- uary 3 a person went up to him in the street near his house a.nd asked if Edward Thoma.s lived somewhere near there. Witness replied in The affirmative, and that pea'Soii was him- self. He then exclaimed, "I have important NEWS for Tou from Mr. RUldell," and with J tLat he knew that the person speaking was ncwe other than Mrs. Evans, who was dres&d ir male attiie. She had on a bowler hat, a j white collar, and a black overcoat below the knees. She also had a. moustache. (Laugh- ter). Deieaidant was cross-examined as to hi; means, Hnd lie said that he lad tnwferrecl his int rest in eleven houses at Pontardulais to trustees fur the benefit of his son. Thomas Henry Gurrin, the handwriting ex- pert, siaid he was the official expert of the Treasury end the Homo Office. The anony- mous let' r uddrwsed to defendant and the letter-, purporting to be written by defendant to plaintiff, were in the handwriting of Mrs. J.me Davies. An attempt had been made at i disguisp, but ho had no doubt that the letters were forgeries. It was physically impossible for defendant to form such good characters as \ror<A tunnd in the letters attributed tCl him I am sorry to say," added Mr. Gurrin, "that the letter written by Mrs. Davies iu court this moaning confirms my opinion in the sti ongest pe-sfcible manner." Cross-examined by Mr. Bmison. witness said he was asked to report as to whether or not M10 documents referred to wfere written by the same person, and he had no doubt that they were. t. "Experts don't generally have a doubt, said Mr. Benson. t "I frequently l»ve a doubt, replied Mr. Gurrin.. "Had you any doubt in the Pease.nhall case. —Well, under the eiit'e uiiistanoes I should pre- fer not to say.1.9 rri The Judge': Is it wise to go into that/ -Hie jury were divided, and I am not going to try that case. Mr. lienson "Without a doubt on the part of an expert does not convince. Mr. Guirin I expressed an opinion in that c< most unwillingly. Mr. Evans intimated; that lie would not now call any more evidence, and lie proceeded to address the jury for the. defence, and was fol- lowed by Mr. Benson for plaintiff. III summing up his Lordship said that ill one sense Mr. Gurrin'* evidence was not evi- tkiice at all. The jurors Avera the people to Judge whether the letters were written by the rcnmi person. The p euliarity of exports was that tiiey supplied clues to ptople who wae s-'unt sighted—'hey i>ointed out resemblance in lic Luk which most people would pass over, but, once having had their attention drawn to them, they would be abk thornselvca to fonu an opinion as to their nature. If the letter-, were forgeries, til ten Mrs. Davkw had beeji mad-, a cat's-paw of by the plaintiff. Tho Judge's own view of the affair seemed to be that theae was a mutual meeting betwden tho parties and that the defendant was anxious t to ascertain what plaintiff poissesseel. He was rot satisfied, and tlton plaintiff's women friends probably persuaded her to sue for breauli of promise. Before, however, such a promise could have been made there must bo a real engagement, WIld if the jury acepted his view there must be a. verdict for the defend- 'm.After over haif-an-hour's deliberation the iurv roturiKHl a rerdiet for the defendant. Tho Judge: I think these papain should he inipcutide J. I don't know whether any steps should he taken. Mr. S. T. Evans: I desire to ask that all the. eh'Ciimcnts be impounded. The Judge (to the jury) Do you think these docu.nenl.¡,o are forgeries? The Foreman Wo prefer mot to express an opinion on that. We consider bhure was m¡ promise of marriage, and we find 0.11 that.

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