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FRIDAY. Before Mr J. B. Ferrier and Mr J. W. Pyman. CAPTAIN REFUSED TO ATTEND A BOARD OF TRADE INQUIRY. There came on for hearing a case of an unusal kind, in which Captain J. Le Gac, master of the s.s.Racine, belonging to Messrs Gueret and Co., shipowners, Cardiff, a weekly trader between Barry and French ports, was charged, at the instance of the Board of Trade, with refusing to attend, as witness, a Board of Trade inquiry.—Mr Ivor Vachell, solicitor, Cardiff, appeared to prosecute, and Mr J. Sankey, B.A.L. (instructed by Messrs Downing and Hancock, solioitora, Cardiff), defended. In opening the case, Mr Vachell said it was one of very considerable importance, the point being a very interesting and simple one. The charge against the defendant was shortly this, that he did not attend to make a deposition before the Receiver of Wrecks. Mr Vachell called the atten- tion of the justices to the Merchant Shipping Act, which provided that where a vessel had been in distress off the coast of the United Kingdom, the Receiver of Wrecks had powers of an inspector of the Board of Trade to call upon the captain to answer certain questions, the replies given to be made use of. Ten or fifteen years ago an attempt was made by a captain to decline to act as witness, but ultimately he did. Coming direct to the pre- sent case, Mr Vachell said the Racine left Barry on Saturday evening, the 21st of April, and got in collision the same night off the Foreland with a sailing ship, the name of which was unknown. The Racine arrived back at Barry Docks on the following day with her bows stove in and the forepeak full of water. Of course, the Receiver of Wreck requested the captain to attend as witness, but he declined to do so, and handed in a state- ment. It might be contended by the other side, Mr Vachell suggested, that if the vessel was in the Channel and off the Foreland, she was not in distress off the coast of the United Kingdom," but quoting from eminent legal opinion, he remarked that if a vessel was in an Estuary-in the jaws of the land-she was then off the coast of the United Kingdom. Mr Vachell again referred to the Act under which the Receiver of Wrecks was legally entitled to examine the captain. The Act said that a witness should be allowed expenses. If any person refused to attend as witness after the expenses being offered, and neglected to give the answers, he was liable to a penalty not exceeding £10, Then, again, it might be contended that this was a foreign ship, and there was no need for a foreign captain to take notice of the provi- sions of the British Merchant Shipping Act. In support of the argument, Mr Vachell said, "any ship," as the Act specified, meant British or foreign. He assured the justices that the Board of Trade looked upon this case as one of the greatest im- portance.—Mr W. G. Boucher, Receiver of Wrecks, then gave evidence as to the return of the steamer Racine to Barry after the collision on the 22nd of April. He summoned the captain to attend before him as a witness. On the 2nd of May the master turned up, but refused 5s which was tendered to him as expenses. Handing in a written statement, defendant refused to be examined, and absolutely declined to answer any questions.—In reply to Mr Sankey witness said he wished to know something of the affair which the defendant refused to give particulars of. For instance, what position the lights of the Racine were in, what orders were given, what efforts were made at life-saving, the orders of the engineers, &c.-Mr Sankey, address- ing the Bench for the defence, said before the Receiver of Wrecks could obtain jurisdiction, the vessel must have been in distress on the coast of the United Kingdom, as the Act stated. The question was, what did the" coast" mean? By the Territorial Waters' Jurisdiction Act the coast extended three miles from dry land, whilst the place where the collision took place was nine miles off the Foreland. His friend wished to punish a person who was not a subject of the British Government, and they should not make him suffer for misdemeanours which had been committed out of the United Kingdom.—The Bench thought the vessel was on coast, and fined Captain Le Gac £1 and cost.—Mr Sankey gave notice of appeal. WOMEN'S SQUABBLE. Ann Norman and Jane Carrol, two women of Barry Docks, were charged by Ann Lee, a neigh- bour, with assault. Complainant said on the 2nd instant she was pulled into the road by the hair of her head, -and one of the defendants bit her finger,A witness for the defence said com- plainant ran out in her hasty temper and "scrammed" the defendants on the face. (Laughter.)—The cases were dismissed. BONVILSTONE PUBLICAN FINED. Edwin Deere, landlord of the Red Lion Inn, Bonvilstone, who was defended by Mr A. F. Hill, solicitor, Cardiff, was charged with selling intoxi- cating liquor during prohibited hours.—P.C.'s William Davies and R. Polmeer said they visited the defendant's premises on Sunday, the 3rd ultimo, when they found thereon a man who lived a mile away. He was drinking.-For the defence it was pointed out that the man in question entered the house in company with some bonajide travellers, who came in a trap, and the barmaid, Mr and Mrs Deere being away, supplied him with a drink by mistake.A fine of 20s and costs was imposed. FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY. In connection with the last case James Clarke, gardener, St. Nicholas, was fined 5s for being on licensed premises during prohibited hours. Defendant pleaded that he had only left the north country a fortnight, and was not aware of the Welsh Sunday Closing Act. SERIOUS CHARGE AGAINST AN ITALIAN FIREMAN. An Italian fireman named Carotho Tomaso, of no fixed abode, was placed in the dock charged with indecently assaulting an eight-year-old girl, named Mabel James, daughter of Moses James, coal-trimmer, 27, Pyke-street, Barry Docks. Mr A. Kershaw, from the office of Mr A. Jackson, solicitor, Barry Docks, defended. The evidence of the little girl, who was bright and intelligent, showed that she was playing with another child on Weston Hill on the previous Wednesday, when the prisoner came up and carried her away to some trucks at the east end of Barry No. 2 Dock, where the assault took place.—Cross-examined by Mr Kershaw, the child said she was crying on Weston Hill, and prisoner gave her some sweets and lid.—Emily James, mother of the child, went into the witness-box, and completely broke down, whilst the child also began crying. — Arthur Russell Marsh, a moulder, of 30, Tydfil-street, Barry Docks, said he saw the prisoner giving the child sweets and money, and becoming suspicious he followed the man, and informed a constable. The prisoner took the child to the end of the dock.-Dr Wilde, who examined the little one the same afternoon, said he found no marks of violence upon her.-P.e, James Davies spoke to following the prisoner, and after what he saw, he arrested the man, who said, in reply to the charge, I found the little girl crying on the dock, I took her in my arms, and asked her what she was crying for. I tried to coax her, and gave her some sweets and money. I have children of my own, and would not assault a little girl, as I am a father."—The accused was committed to take his trial at the Quarter Sessions. INDECENCY. A warrant was ordered to be issued for the appearance of George Hibbert for committing an indecent act. For using indecent language on the highway, Patrick Maloney and William Courtney were fined 5s each. A half-crown penalty was imposed upon Benjamin Forse; a warrant being ordered to be issued for the appearance of Nora Ellen McCarthy for a similar offence. Charged with indecent behaviour, Margaret Martell, described as a prostitute, was sent to prison for 14 days Leif Reberg being fined 7s 6d for the same offence. SORROW AND DISMISSAL. Elizabeth Smith, a Cadoxton widow, pleaded guilty to stealing a quantity of growing flowers, value 3d, the property of William Cruise, market gardener.-Defendant having expressed sorrow, the case was dismissed. A FEW DRUNKS. Daniel Carey and Alexander Malwaly, for being drunk and disorderly, were mulct in fines of 5s each. Margaret Morgan was ordered to pay 2s 6d and a warrant was ordered to be issued for the appearance of Ellen Morgan;

MONDAY.

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