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OTHERS

v.

1882.

streets, and no one has ever doubted that such processions BEATTY AND were perfectly lawful. Now the appellants complain that, for having so assembled as I have before stated, they have been GILLBÄNKS. adjudged guilty of the offence of holding an unlawful assembly, and have in consequence been ordered to find sureties to keep the peace, in the absence of any evidence of their having broken it. Unlawful It was of course necessary that the justices should find that some assembly. unlawful act had been committed by the appellants in order to justify the magistrates in binding them over. The offence charged against them is "unlawfully and tumultuously assembling with others to the disturbance of the public peace, and against the peace of the Queen,” and of course before they can be convicted upon the charge clear proof must be adduced that the specific offence charged has been committed. Now was that charge sustained? There is no doubt that the appellants did assemble together with other persons in great numbers, but that alone is insufficient. The assembly must be a "tumultuous assembly," and "against the peace,” in order to render it an unlawful one. But there was nothing so far as the appellants were concerned to show that their conduct was in the least degree "tumultuous" or "against the peace." All that they did was to assemble together to walk through the town, and it is admitted by the learned counsel for the respondent, that as regards the appellants themselves, there was no disturbance of the peace, and that their conduct was quiet and peaceable. But then it is argued that, as in fact their line of conduct was the same as had on previous similar occasions led to tumultuous and riotous proceedings with stonethrowing and fighting, causing a disturbance of the public peace and terror to the inhabitants of the town, and as on the present occasion like results would in all probability be produced, therefore the appellants, being well aware of the likelihood of such results again occurring, were guilty of the offence charged against them. Now, without doubt, as a general rule it must be taken that every person intends what are the natural and necessary consequences of his own acts, and if in the present case it had been their intention, or if it had been the natural and necessary consequence of their acts, to produce the disturbance of the peace which occurred, then the appellants would have been responsible for it, and the magistrates would have been right in binding them over to keep the peace. But the evidence as set forth in the case shows that, so far from that being the case, the acts and conduct of the appellants caused nothing of the kind, but, on the contrary, that the disturbance that did take place was caused entirely by the unlawful and unjustifiable interference of the Skeleton Årmy, a body of persons opposed to the religious views of the appellants and the Salvation Army, and that but for the opposition and molestation offered to the Salvationists by these other persons, no disturbance of kind would have taken place. The appellants were guilty of no offence in their passing

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OTHERS

BEATTY AND through the streets, and why should other persons interfere with

or molest them? What right had they to do so ? If they were GILLBANKS. doing anything unlawful it was for the magistrates and police,

the appointed guardians of law and order, to interpose. The 1882.

law relating to unlawful assemblies, as laid down in the Unlawful books and the cases, affords no support to the view of the matter assembly. for which the learned counsel for the respondent was obliged to

contend, viz., that persons acting lawfully are to be held responsible and punished merely because other persons are thereby induced to act unlawfully and create a disturbance. In 1 Russell on Crimes (4th edit. p. 387), an unlawful assembly is defined as follows: "An unlawful assembly, according to the common opinion, is a disturbance of the peace by persons barely assembling together with the intention to do a thing which, if it were executed, would make them rioters, but neither actually executing it nor making a motion towards the execution of it. It is clear that, according to this definition of the offence, the appellants were not guilty, for it is not pretended that they had, but, on the contrary, it is admitted that they had not, any intention to create a riot, or to commit any riotous or other unlawful act. Many examples of what are unlawful assemblies are given in Hawkins' Pleas of the Crown, book 1, cap. 28, sects. 9 and 10, in all of which the necessary circumstances of terror are present in the assembly itself, either as regards the object for which it is gathered together, or in the manner of its assembling and proceeding to carry out that object. The present case, however, differs from the cases there stated; for here the only terror that existed was caused by the unlawful resistance wilfully and designedly offered to the proceedings of the Salvation Army by an unlawful organisation outside and distinct from them, called the Skeleton Army. It was suggested by the respondent's counsel that, if these Salvation processions were allowed, similar opposition would be offered to them in future, and that similar disturbances would ensue. But I cannot believe that that will be so. I hope, and I cannot but think, that when the Skeleton Army, and all other persons who are opposed to the proceedings of the Salvation Army, come to learn, as they surely will learn, that they have no possible right to interfere with or in any way to obstruct the Salvation Army in their lawful and peaceable processions, they will abstain from opposing or disturbing them. It is usual happily in this country for people to respect and obey the law when once declared and understood, and I hope and have no doubt that it will be so in the present case. But, if it should not be so, there is no doubt that the magistrates and police, both at Weston-super-Mare and everywhere else, will understand their duty and not fail to do it efficiently, or hesitate, should the necessity arise, to deal with the Skeleton Army and other disturbers of the public peace as they did in the present instance with the appellants, for no one can doubt that the authorities are only anxious to do their duty and

OTHERS

1882.

to prevent a disturbance of the public peace. The present BEATTY AND decision of the justices, however, amounts to this, that a man may be punished for acting lawfully if he knows that his so GILLBANKS. doing may induce another man to act unlawfully-a proposition without any authority whatever to support it.

Under these circumstances, the questions put to us by the justices must be Unlawful negatively answered, and the order appealed against be assembly. discharged.

CAVE, J.-I am entirely of the same opinion. The question in this case is, whether these persons were guilty of the offence of unlawfully and tumultuously assembling together to the disturbance of the public peace and that of the Queen, and I am of opinion that they were not. The learning on the subject of " unlawful assemblies” is to be found in Hawkins' Pleas of the Crown and Dalton's Country Justice. In the first-mentioned authority the definition of an unlawful assembly is given, which my brother Field has referred to in his judgment; but it is there further said: “This seems to be much too narrow a definition ; for any meeting whatever of great numbers of people with such circumstances of terror as cannot but endanger the public peace and raise fear and jealousies among the king's subjects seems properly to be called an unlawful assembly, as when great numbers, complaining of a common grievance, meet together, armed in a warlike manner, in order to consult together concerning the most proper means for the recovery of their interests, for no man can foresee what may be the event of such an assembly;" and further it is said: “Also an assembly of a man's friends for the defence of his person against those who threaten to beat him if he go to such a market, &c., is unlawful, for he who is in fear of such assaults must provide for his safety by demanding the surety of the peace against the persons by whom he is threatened, and not make use of such violent methods, which cannot but be attended with the danger of raising tumults and disorder to the disturbance of the public peace. Yet an assembly of a man's friends in his own house for the defence of the possession thereof against those who threaten to make an unlawful entry therein, to or for the defence of his person against those who threaten to beat him therein, is indulged by law, for a man's house is looked upon as his castle :” (Hawk. P.C., book 1, c. 28, ss. 9, 10.) So far Hawkins; but Dalton, in his Country Justice, goes further where, in cap. 136, s. 1, it is said : “An unlawful assembly, riot, or rout, is where three or more shall gather together, come, or meet in one place, to do some unlawful act with violence, and that unlawful act must be malum in se and not malum prohibitum. As when three persons or more shall come and assemble themselves together to the intent to do any unlawful act with force or violence against the person of another, his possessions or goods; as to kill, beat, or otherways to hurt or to imprison a man; to pull down a house, wall, pale, hedge, or ditch ; wrong

OTHERS.

0.

BEATTY AND fully to enter upon or into another man's possession, house, or

land, or to cut or take away corn, grass, wood, or other goods GILLBANKS. wrongfully, or to hunt unlawfully in any park or warren, or to do

any other unlawful act with force or violence, against the peace or 1882,

to the manifest terror of the people; if they only meet to such a Unlawful purpose or intent, although they shall after depart of their own assembly. accord without doing anything, yet this is an unlawful assembly."

Now, putting these several passages from these old authorities together, it seems to me to be impossible to hold that the appellants here have been brought within them as being guilty of unlawfully and tumultuously assembling. The meeting or assembly of the Salvation Army was for a purpose not unlawful. Was there an intention on their part to use violence ? If, though their meeting was in itself lawful, they intended, if opposed, to meet force by force, that would render their meeting an unlawful assembly; but it does not appear that they entertained any such intention. On the contrary, when met and resisted by the Skeleton Army, they used no violence of any kind, and manifested no intention of meeting their opponents with like violence to that which the latter offered to them. I come therefore to the conclusion that the appellants were not guilty of unlawfully assembling, and that, for the reasons and on the grounds before mentioned, the judgment of the court should be pronounced in their favour.

Judgment for the appellants with costs. Solicitors for the appellants, Whittington, Son, and Baker.

Solicitors for the respondents, Crowder, Anstie, and Co., for J. O. Simmons, Axbridge.

Ireland.

QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION.

Wednesday, May 10, 1882.

(Before May, C.J., FITZGERALD, J., and BARRY, J.)

Reg. v. THE JUSTICES OF CORK.

Justices of the peace-Sureties for good behaviour-Summons

Objection of several distinct offences charged-Party accused as

witness-Oriminal proceeding. F. (a Roman Catholic priest) addressed a meeting composed mainly

his parishioners, who were tenants of C., and advised them, if any of them should be evicted for nonpayment of rent, not to pay rent until the evicted tenant should be reinstated in his holding. F. was thereupon summoned to the petty sessions to show cause why he should not give security for future good

behaviour. The summons recited that F. had endeavoured to excite discontent

in the minds of Her Majesty's subjects and incite them not to fulfil their lawful duties, and to injure and impoverish persons

who would not obey the orders of an unlawful society. At the hearing of the summons a resolution proposed by F. at the

meeting was read from a copy of a newspaper by his counsel, whereupon the solicitor for the prosecution proposed to read the speech of F. from the report in the same copy.

This was objected to, but allowed by the justices. F. was then tendered as a witness on his own behalf, but the justices refused to allow him

to be examined. Held (1) that the justices had jurisdiction to make the order, and

that the evidence was sufficient ; (2) that it was no objection that the summons recited several distinct acts of misconduct of F.; (3) that the copy of the paper was admissible as evidence of the speech of F. at the meeting ; (4) that F. was not a competent uitness this being a criminal proceeding ; (5) On a summons to find sureties for good behaviour the defendant may disprove the matters charged. ULE nisi for a certiorari to bring up an order of Justices of

the county of Cork, whereby the Rev. Thomas Feehan was ordered to give sureties for his future good behaviour, and in default of giving sureties was ordered to be imprisoned for a period of six months unless he should sooner give security.

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