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CHESTER QUARTER SESSIONS. The General Quarter Sessions for the city of Chester were held on Wednes- day, at the Town Hall, before the Recorder (Sir Horatio Lloyd), who was accom- panied on the Bench by the Mayor (Mr. H. T. Brown) and the Sheriff (Mr. R. Lamb). There were only two prisoners for trial. DRUNKENNESS IN CHESHIRE. NBED 01" AN INEBRIATES* BOXB. The Recorder, in his charge to the grand jury, commented upon the satisfactory nature of the calendar. The number of prisoners was certainly not in excess of what might be expected in a population such as that of Chester. One of the cases was ef a very disgraceful nature, in which a very old man was charged with an indecent assault upon a girl under thirteen years of age. The other case was one in which a woman was charged with theft. As she admitted the offence, there was no harm in mentioning that she was a very old offender, having, in addition to other serious offences, been convicted fifty-three times of drunkenness. She seemed a fit subject for treatment under the Inebriates Act which was passed two years ago. Unfortunately that Act was not utilised so much as it ought to be, inasmuch as district, borough, and county councils had not, he thought, taken so energetio an action to bring about its operation as might have been expected. Although nearly two years had passed since the passing of the Act, nearly half of England was unprovided with inebriates' homes. Some counties and boroughs had taken steps by agreement with others to provide these homes, but a large portion of the country was still without any. In that portion, he regretted to say, was our own county. No provision had yet been made in Cheshire for putting that Act into operation. Lancashire had taken energetic action, and there had been a proposition that Cheshire should join that county in the matter, but he was sorry to say that Lancashire had enough to do with her own people, and it seemed hopeless to expect that Cheshire should join in partnership with her. Now, however, action would shortly be taken by the Cheshire authorities for estab- lishing an inebriates' home in the county. At the Knutsford Quarter Sessions this week at least one half of the prisoners tried were of the same character ab the woman who was being tried at this court, and there was not one of that number who had not been convicted from 13 to 16 times of drunkenness. He should, therefore, be very glad to see the Inebriates Act brought into operation in Cheshire. He need only further remark that the state of the county regarding the law appeared to be satis- factory, the total number of prisoners dealt with during the past quarter for all kinds of offences having been 350. There had been the usual ups and downs in the different classes of offence. In some, including drunkenness, the number had been a little more, and in others a little less. "A SHOCKING RECORD. Ann Walsh (59), described as a hawker, pleaded guilty to an indictment charging her with having feloniously stolen a woollen jersey and an apron, the property of Mrs. Cowap, Sealand-road, Chester, on the 9th inst.—The Recorder, in giving judgment, remarked that he was afraid the prisoner's case was a hopeless one. He was sorry he could not at present put her in an inebriates' home for a long period in order to cure her of her drunken habits, for it was drunkenness which had led her into other more serious crimes, she having been convicted 53 times of that offence. She had been con- victed seven times of felony, and had served terms of imprisonment varying from one month to 18 months, and had also been in penal servitude for five years—a shocking record. Now she had committed what was, compared to her other offences, a trumpery offence. He had no hesitation in sentencing her to 12 months' imprisonment.—Prisoner: Thank you, gentlemen. ACQUITTAL. Hugh Edwards (74), insurance agent, residing in Trafford-street, was acquitted of a charge of indecently assaulting a little girl named Elizabeth Emma Baker at Chester on the 1st of September.—Mr. A. Latham appeared for the oroaecution, and Mr. S. Moss, M.P., defended.



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