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SPECIAL BOROUGH POLICE COURT.

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SPECIAL BOROUGH POLICE COURT. SERIOUS CHARGE AGAINST AN OLD MAN. At a special police court, held on Wednesday, before the Mayor (Mr. Tumour) and Mr. T. J. Williams, Thomas Jones, stonemason, Charnell's Well, Denbigh, was charged in custody with com- mitting an indecent assault upon Catherine Myfanwy Jones, daughter of Isaac Jones, of 11, Charnell's Well, on Saturday night, the 14th in st. Mr. Moseley (of the firm of Mr. Foulkes- Roberts) appeared to prosecute on behalf of Inspector Thomas, of the N.S.P.C.C., and Mr. A. O. Evans defended. Catherine Myfanwy Jones, the complainant, said she was 13 years of age on the 19th of September last. About 8.30 p.m. on Saturday she saw the prisoner standing in the door of his house. He asked her whether she was going to town again that night, and she replied that she was not. He then asked her whether she would go into the house, to which she replied that her father had told her to make haste home. The prisoner then got hold of her by the hand and dragged her into the house, and then shut the door. He then sat down on a chair, and put his arm round her waist. After describing the assault, complainan t went on to say that prisoner pushed a threepenny bit into her hand, and asked her not to tell anybody. She cried at the time, and then went ho.ue. Cross-examined by Mr. Evans: I was ex- amined by Doctor Jones the same night. I remember my father coming with Sergeant Farrell to prisoner's house, but I did not hear Thomas Jones say that they had better get me examined by a doctor. I have been in the habit of going to the Baptist Chapel, and collecting money for the missionary society. The prisoner promised to give me some money towards the society, and he carried out his promise. Replying to the bench, complainant said he gave her a penny fortnight last Saturday, and also one on the Saturday night the offence was committed. To Mr. Evans: Prisoner did not promise to give me 6d. towards the missionary society, but told rr-e he would give 3d. to make up a sixpence. 1 have not made any complaints of this sort against anyboiy else. People in Charnell's Well do not say that I am an un- truthful girl. v Ann Jane Jones, wife of Isaac Jones, was the next witness called. She said that the girl was sent out on an errand on the night in question, and returned about 8 30 p.m. She was crying ancTmade a complaint to her. Witness then informed her husband. Isaac Jones, father of the complainant, said that in consequence of what his wife told him, he sent for the police. Sergeant Farrell came down and went with him and his daughter to the prisoner's house. In the prisoner's presence his daughter made a statement and accused prisoner of indecently assaulting her. In reply, prisoner said, If I dragged her in, there must be a mark on her arm,'and then suggested that a doctor be called to examine her in his pre- sence He denied having assaulted her. On the Sunday night following, prisoner called at his house and wanted to have a conversation with him with reference to the case, but witness refused to talk it over with him, as the matter was in the hands of the police and the Inspector of the Society. Sergeant Farrell said that, in consequence of information received, he proceeded on Satur- day night to 11, Charnell's Well. He saw Thomas J*nes at his house, and told him that a complaint had been made against him. Pri- soner said that the girl had gone into his house to collect some subscription for the Baptist mission and that he gave her a threepenny piece. Shortly afterwards, Isaac Jones and his daughter followed. The complainant made a statement to the same effect as the one she made in the court that day. Jones said it was n.ot true, and added, 'If I have done anything to her, there would be marks upon her. I will have her examined by a doctor, that's fair enough, isn't it.' Witness then advised the father to have the girl examined by a doctor, which was done. He apprehended the prisoner on the previous night on a warrant. Prisoner denied the charge. He was slightly under the influence of liquor on the night the offence took placj. The complainant was sobbing when lie saw her at the house on Saturday night. Some argument took place here as to the question of calling the doctor. Mr. Moseley argued that it was not necessary to call medical evidence, inasmuch as the charge was only one of indecent assault and not of having carnal knowledge of the complaint. Mr. Evans, on the other hand, contended that it was absolutely necessary to call the doctor, before the charge could be sustained. Cross examined, Sergeant Farrell said that the prisoner, although slightly under the in- fluence of drink, knew perfectly well what he was doing. It was the prisoner's own sugges- tion that the girl should be examined. Mr. Moseley said that was the case for the prosecution. Mr. A. O. Evans, in addressing the court for the defence, said the charge was a very serious one against a man in the prisoner's position. Hitherto he had borne an irreproachable char- acter, and had reached the advanced age of nearly 70years without any charge of this kind or any other grave charge having been brought against him in a court of law. He had a blame- less character and bore a blameless life. He ventured to say that this was a. trumped-up charge against prisoner, and he could not help commenting upon the fact that the doctor had not beenicalle to sustain that charge. This should not be a persecution against the prisoner but a prosecution conducted in a fair spirit. Whether the doctor's evidence would be against prisoner or in favour of him, the doctor should have been calied to give the court the benefit of the examination which he had made. But it was a significant fact that the doctor had not been ealled. It was the duty of the prosecu- tion to do so, of course, and notfof the deience. Because the theory advanced by the prosecu- tion could not be sustained by the examination of the doctor, they choose to leave the doctor behind, and, consequently, had to leave the charge entirely uncorroborated by a material evidence. The only person who tendered any evidence at all was the little girl herself. But there had not been the slightest tint of evidence to corroborate her evidence. In a charge of that kind, it was necessary, and indeed, essen- tial from a point of law, that there should be corroborative evidence. The law never con- templated to take away a man's character, sim- ply because a little girl, 13 years of age, chose to make such a serious charge against him. The court had now to consider whether any corroborative evidence had been given to prove that there was a prima jacie case against the prisoner—whether it was such a serious charge as a jury would be likely to convict. He (Mr. Evans) contenoed that a prima facie case had not been made out, and that the jury would never convict upon the evidence ten- dered- Prisoner himself had stoutly denied the charge, and denied it the very same even- ing as the alleged offence took place. He denied it not only in the presence of the father and mother of the girl, but also in the presence of the sergeant who arrested him. And another very important fact was, it was prisoner him- self who had suggested that the doctor be called to examine her. He should like to know whe- ther that fact strengthened the theory put for- ward by the prosecution. Nothing of the kind, but on the contrary it showed that Thos. Janes was an innocent man. He not only denied the charge, but this denial of his was supported by the application that the doctor should be called to examine the girl. Another thing, there was no probability of the theory of the prosecution being true. The public thoroughfare was pass- ing close by, and there were four cottages "Jith several children there, and it was not likely that the prisoner would have attempted to commit the offence with which he was charged. If the child was an innocent girl, as the court was asked to believe, it was a very strange thing that she did not scream out when the prisoner attempted to drag her into the house, and was it, he should like to ask, at all probable that he would have dragged her in from a pub- lic thoroughfare, and hold this conversation with her close to the door of a neighbour. The thing was absurd. Be thought such a charge should never have been brought before the court, and especially so as the prosecution could not call a doctor to substantiate their evidence. He ventured to say that Thomas Jones had not assaulted that girl, and hoped that the court would allow him to leave the room without a stain on his character. The prisoner was then foimally charged, and pleaded not guilty. The court was then cleared, and on the re- admission of the public, The Mayor said: Thomas Jones, the court have given this case their fullest consideration, and we have come unanimously to the decision that a prima facie case has not been made out against you, and you are, therefore, discharged for want of corroborative evidence. Mr. Moseley asked that the costs of the pro- secution be allowed, inasmuch as it had been taken by a public society. The Mayor If we have power we will allow the costs. DRUNK AND DISORDERLY. George Ellis, a native of Welshpool, was charged in custody by P.C. Pierce with being drunk and disorderly in Panton Hall the pre- vious night. Defendant pleaded guilty, and was fined 2s. 6d. and 8s. 6d. costs, in defanlt 7 days.

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