Welsh Newspapers

Search 15 million Welsh newspaper articles

Hide Articles List

7 articles on this Page





[No title]


IN another column our readers will find a report of the proceedings at the St Asaph Petty Sessions, held on Monday last, with regard to the charge of "wilful and corrupt perjury which had been pI efcrred against Sergeant PABRY of that place. The case itself presents several peculiar features, and so does the manner in which it was conducted. In the first place, when it is considered that only one solitary assertion respecting a mere matter of fact had to be proved to be either true or false, viz., whether a given person was in the immediate neighbourhood of a certain place at a specified time or not; and it is then stated that such a simple consideration occupied the attention of the Court for about seven hours, the irresistible conclusion ib forced upon us that there must be some defect or fault in the mode of administering justice at St. Asaph. It goes without saying that the magistrates try to do their best, but then it is necessary for the efficient discharge of judicial functions that the one who acts as judge should have had a proper legal training, and should possess a knowledge of the laws of evidence. When that training is wanting,and when that knowledge does not exist, or has only an imperfect existence, a legal process conducted under such conditions must necessarily be tardy in its movement,irregular in its course, and at times too hesitating, and at others too impulsivo. A case conducted in such a manner and weighted with such conditions always drags a weary length, and the case at St Asaph on Monday is as apt an illustration as couid well be found. The oft repeated assertions made in the court during the pro- gress of the trial that "a Stipondary would have settled the business in an hour," at once hits off with exact precision the: cause of the delay, and at the same time suggests the proper remedy for it. The Groat Unpaid have had their day, and the exigencies of the ago in which we live do- mand a substitute—active, competent, and from its ve:y nature beyond the shadow of a suspicion. In the second place, there is one aspect of the ease which should not be over- looked. Sergeant PAREY had stated in his evidence given on November Brd, that he saw JOSEI'H ROBERTS on the scene of the dis- turbance, which took place on the night of September 11th, Now that statement was cither in"Y.ecordance with th,G fact of JOSEPH ti o i; .,I s presence iu tho place in .question or not. The SERGEANT had so stated to the be-b of his belief. It is not only possible but it ife even probable that lie might have been mistaken. Let it be granted that he was mistaken, and then vill arise this ques- tion—Did ho make the wrong assertions knowingly and under the influence of a wil- ful and corrupt motive'? We say ho neve. did, aud all who know the worthy SERGEANT will say the &$me. He had his duty to per- form, and if he was really under the impres- sion-fis he undoubtedly was—that he saw JosEpH ROBERTS on the night in question and I at the place in question, then it was his duty to say so, and he did say so. Now this brings us again to the case itself. If the magistrates had viewed the charge from this point of sight fit the commencement of the proceedings, and had then compared the in- dictment with the legal definition of perjury they would have been able at once to have dismissed the case, since the gravamen of the charge did not fall within the scope of the! legal definition. Such a method of procedure would have shortened the length of the case by four or five hours, and would have done something still more important; for it would have saved some of the witnesses on both sides from laying themselves under the sus-1 picion that what was wanting in the case against the SERGEANT to fill up the terms ol the legal definition of perjury they them- selves in 1 heir own individual cases were freely and willingly supplying. C, n We note, too, that three additions have just been made to the bench of magistrates, two of these being gentlemen of Rhyl, whom we both respect and honour. Yet, despite! that respect and notwithstanding that honour, it is our duty to give as our opinion that had they both been on the bench at St. Asaph on Monday last, they would have been tot illy unable to have effected any improvement it) tho proceedings. The legal training and the legal knowledge, which we have already alluded to, cannot be predicated wo (FC: afraid of any one of the three. There is ;J apparent inccngruity, too, in the case of MUBRAY BROWNH, who is one of her MAJKSTY\ Inspector of Workhou.es. As a magistrate ho becomes roi c.voy!i? guardian in every Union in Flintshire, and as an injector it is his duty to attend every Union to inspect the Board of Guardians. His very attendance at a Beard will therefore have to bo made in a two-ibid capacity—as a guardian and as an Inspector of Guardians. In other words he will be compelled (oh'resclf Which role will he plsy ? and which wdl he piay 1 0 better? Sir CiiAfci.KS DILKK, the Presi-j dent of the Local Government Board, is p sharp Dfln, and is in possesion of an aeut; intellect, and so the problem may safely bt to him for its solution,