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Cwmavon Iatej i Collector…

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Cwmavon Iate i Collector j lenience of Fifteen Months. At Cardiff Assizes en Tuesday, before Mr. Justice Atkin, Henry Dal ies (48), assistant, ovtsrseer, of Cwmavon, was charged on four counts with embezzle- ment, was sent to prison for 15 months in the second division. The riliarge8 were (1) embezzling j divers sums of money amounting to £ 1,0*23 12s. 9d., the property of the overseer of the Poor of the Parish of Michaelstone Low er; (2) making false entries in the collecting book with in- tent to defraud; (3) making false en- tries 'in the monthly statements of the collector cf the poor a.nd special ex- penses rate; and (4) destroying two bank pass books relating to the poor rate aeoount and the special expenses account. Mr. Villiers Meager (instructed by Mr. Edward Powell (Neath), appeared for the prosecution, and Mr. W. Llew- elyn Williams, K.C. (instructed by Mr. Gibson Davies) defended. Mr. Meager, in briefly ou tlining tho facte of the case said that DavieB was appointed assistant overseer for Cwm- avon in January, 1901. His duties were to collect the poor rate and special expenses rate. whilst lie also had charge of the bank pass-books. At the audit for 1917 the prisoner did not put in an appearance, and the auditor wrote him a letter stating there were certain grave irregularities discovered j in hi £ accounts. The audit was there- upon adjourned for Davies' attendance. The total amount of the defalcations was P-1. 023, although since these figures had been made it had been Mo- certained other small sums had ap- pea ml to have been embezzled. From "1901 to If).:h5-f}h!ttt- not been guilty of any defalcations. In 1911 prisoner's salary W.1, £2li! per annum, bnt in April, 1917, it was reduced to £ 160, subsequentiv being in- crea? to £ 200. His Lordship: How much did he collect, per annum ? I jnean, how much was the turnover? Mr. Meager: About £ 6,000. Mr. Meager deferibed the embozz!?- ment as a deliberate one. POLICE ALLEGATIONS. Supt. Ben Evans said prisoner waS": a man of good moral character, and be wielded a considerable influence in Cwmavon and district. "I think from personal inquiries and from what I gather," he added, "I .am inclined to believe this money has been to some extent supporting the propaganda of the Socialist party in the district. Prisoner is a most prominent member, and has been actively interested in propaganda work for the last four years. He is a man who lyts given a considerable amount of trouble and has done considerable amount of havoc to the young growing men of my town." "PREJUDICIAL EFFECTS." Mr. LI. Williams: is that the only thing. you have against prisoner, that j he hrrlds these opinions which are. pre- judicial to the times? Witness: Yes; they have a preju- dicial effect in those times. Mr. Williams:Have you ever pro-! secuted him for'this propaganda? Witness replied that prisoner had been prosecuted for lecturing on the public highway and causing obstruc- tion. His Lordship: Ido not think thab will influence me in my decision. Mr. Ll. Williams asked permission to I' call the Vicar of Cwmavon and other people to testify as to character. His Lordship said it would be no use whatever ns they knew the chan,cter I of the man from the depositions. Dr. Richard Thomas, Cwmavon, said 18 years ago he attended prisoner for tubercular throat. PRISONER'S ANTECEDENTS. Mr., Llewelyn Willi rims said he would endeavour to oxpl,n what wis almost inexplicable— the reason why a man «f j prisoner s character sh'ould have dc- scended to this sad and tr.c position. He was a man of very poor parents, and' since the age of he, had worked at the beal tmplate works to earn his livelihood. He was a man of more than ordinary mental capacity, and during the 17 years he was working there he earned the respect and confidence of his fellow workmen. He was interested in the trade union to which he be- longed and in the course of time he was appointed secretary of the rocal branch of the union. He became dis- trict secretary, and W'lS appointed to the executive committee, and he was appointed vke-^ha.-jr-nan and chairman i in due course. He wielded considerable influence in th ^V ricl. "prJ was elect- to the Gla ^vr.q n CV.untv Council. I Then he suffered from tuberculosis of the throat, and as a result he had to j leave the works, and unfortunately for | I him, took on his present position. Mr. Llewelyn Williams asked his I lord&lup to say that prisoner had not taken the money for self-aggrandise- ment, but had spent it in paying debts he had incurred to give his children a good education. For 14 years he had kept a position without being guilty of any irregularity. During this period he had borrowed money from friends, and when in 1915 his friends came on him to repay the money he began a series of defalcations. Had he faced the position in 1915. lie would have ln a man of clean character. He had this in order to repay his friends. His Lordship It is very distressing to tsee a. man of your position standing where you are. I do not want by word of mouth to add to the pain of your position. It is a sad thing to .see a man who has wielded considerable in- fluence on the members of the com- munity in which he lives charged with an offence like this. It was a serious offence. It was a. case where he had considered whether he would not send prisoner to penal servitude. But he thought justice would be met by ja sentence of 1.5 calendar months' im- prisonment in the second division.

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