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e.g., to tell fortunes, to wander abroad and lodge in a barn, &c., having no visible means of subsistence, to wander about and
THE QUEEN. endeavour by exposure of wounds, &c., to gather alms, to run away and leave a wife, &c., chargeable to the parish, to play or bet in the streets with a table, &c., to have possession of a pick- Rogue and lock, with intent feloniously to employ it, to be found in or upon vagabond any dwelling-house, &c., for any unlawful purpose, all these are frequenting punishable as acts of vagrancy, though they be committed on one Intent to comoccasion only, whereas the word " frequenting” was used when mit felony. the offence of which the appellant was convicted was created. The case of Re Cross (1 H. & N. 651; 26 L. J. 28, M. C.) was cited in support of this conviction. In that case the court supported a commitment which alleged that the prisoner “ being a suspected person and reputed thief frequenting the public streets and places of and in the said city (of London), then and there was found in Railway-place, being a public thoroughfare, and one of the places of public resort of and in the said city, with intent feloniously to steal the moneys, goods, and chattels of Sarah Seymour from her person." According to the report in Hurlstone and Norman's Reports the only point taken for the prisoner was that it did not appear that the prisoner frequented the spot where the prisoner intended to put his felonious intent into execution-viz., Railway-place, and the court held that this was unnecessary, Martin, B. saying, "a reputed thief frequenting Fleet-street cannot escape by going down Inner Temple-lane to commit a felony," meaning, as shown by the Law Journal Report, “ if a man frequents Fleet-street and attempts to pick a pocket in Inner Temple-lane, that is within the Act of Parliament." The case is very unsatisfactorily reported, and the real objection to the commitment does not appear to have been taken, viz., that it did not state that the prisoner frequented the public streets, &c., with intent to commit a felony, but only that the felonious intent existed in Railway-place, where he was only shown to have been once, and it was quite consistent with the averment that he frequented the public streets with an innocent or lawful intent. In discussing and deciding that case it seems, by both counsel and court, to have been assumed, though there was in fact no averment to that effect, that the frequenting the public streets was with the felonious intent charged. On this assumption (but only on this assumption) I entirely agree in the decision, for I am clearly of opinion that a man who frequents a public street, having in his mind the intent to commit a felony when and wheresoever opportunity arises, is liable to the penalties of the Vagrant Act, even though no opportunity arises, and may be committed as a rogue and vagabond, if the justices are satisfied, on sufficient evidence, first, that he frequented the street; secondly, that he did so with intent to commit felony. The overt act or the attempt to carry out the intent is not an essential part of the offence against the Vagrant Act of Geo. IV., and it was decided in Reg. v. Brown (17 Q. B. 833; 21 L. J. 113, M. C.), and Re
Jones (7 Ex. 586 ; 21 L. J. 116, M. C.) that it is not necessary that the intent should be to commit a felony “there”-that is, in the street frequented. Read in this light, Cross's case is no
authority either against or in favour of the present appellant. I Rogue and am, then, in the absence of any authority to the contrary, and for vagabond”- the reasons I have endeavoured to express, reluctantly compelled Frequenting to come to the conclusion that this commitment ought not to highway Intent to com
stand, because there is no evidence of a “frequenting” any mit felony. public street with a felonious intent, and that the mere finding
upon one occasion of a man in a public street, under circumstances leading to the conclusion that he intended to commit a felony, is not sufficient to satisfy the statute. What amounts to a “frequenting" a street must depend upon the circumstances of each particular case; I only say one visit to it does not, and that is all that is proved by the evidence before us. In order that the error may be avoided in future, I think it right to point out that, apart from any question of evidence, the statement of the offence in the commitment is open to question. It alleges that the appellant frequented the street for an unlawful purpose, to wit, with intent to commit a felony, the intent to commit a felony being only charged under the videlicet ; without such videlicet the commitment would be clearly bad, for, though it is an offence within the Vagrant Act to be found on private premises enumerated in sect. 4 for any unlawful purpose, it is not an offence against that Act to frequent a public street, &c., unless with intent to commit felony, which intent ought to be alleged directly and not as in the commitment before us. This conviction must, for the reasons I have given, be quashed.
Conviction quashed. Solicitors for the appellant, Gregory, Rowcliffes, and Co., for 0. W. Newlands, South Shields.
Solicitors for the respondents, Clarke, Rawlins, and Co., for J. M. Moore, Town Clerk, South Shields.
QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION.
Monday, Dec. 15, 1881.
(Before MATHEW and DAY, JJ.)
LANE (app.) v. COLLINS (resp.). (a)
Adulteration—Skim-milk-Deficiency of butter fat-38 S. 39 Vict.
c. 63, s. 6. In answer to a request for milk, the respondent sold to the
appellant skim-milk, which was proved by the analyst to be 60
per cent. butter-fat deficient, and not a normal whole milk. Held, upon a case stated, that a magistrate was justified in finding
this was no offence within the 6th section of the Sale of Food
and Drugs Act, 1875. THIS
was a case stated by one of the metropolitan police
magistrates for the opinion of the court under the provisions of 20 & 21 Vict. c. 43, 8.2, as follows:
1. The appellant is an inspector appointed by the county of Surrey for the Wandsworth district under the Sale of Food and Drugs Act, 1875, and the respondent is a milk seller at Merton, in the said district.
2. The appellant laid an information before me under the 6th section of 38 & 39 Vict. c. 63 (the Sale of Food and Drugs Act, 1875) against the respondent for that he did on the 12th May, 1884, within the said Wandsworth district, sell, to the prejudice of the purchaser, an article of food, viz., milk, which was not of the nature, substance, and quality of the article demanded by such purchaser.
3. Upon the hearing of the summons, which was granted upon the above information, it was proved that, whilst the respondent was delivering milk in the ordinary course of his business in the Broadway, in the parish of Merton, the appellant stopped him and asked him for a pint of milk. Under the direction of the respondent a boy assisting the respondent served the appellant with a pint of milk, for which the appellant paid to the respondent the sum of twopence.
4. The appellant informed the respondent that he had bought the milk for the purpose of analysis, and gave him a sample. A portion of the milk so purchased by the appellant was analysed
(a) Reported by M. W. McKELLAR, Esq., Barrister-at-law.
by the public analyst for the county of Surrey, who delivered the
following certificate : 1884. Surrey.- Sale of Food and Drugs Act, 1875.—Analyst's Certificate.
To Arthur Joseph Lane. Sole of Food I the undersigned public aualyst for the county of Surrey do hereby certify that I and Drugs Act received on the 12th May, 1884, from Arthur Joseph Lane, Inspector of Weights and -Skim milk- Measures for District C in the said County of Surrey, a sample of milk, No. C 343 for Deficiency of analysis, which then weighed 6oz., and have analysed the same, and declare the
result of my analysis to be as follows:
I am of opinion that the said sample contained the parts as under, or the percentages of foreign ingredients as under: 60 per cont. butter fat deficient. Observations: Not a normal whole milk. No change had taken place in the constitution of the article that would interfere with the analysis. As witness my hand, this 15th day of May in the year of our Lord 1884, at Southwark. Thos. STEVENSON.
5. On behalf of the appellant it was considered that the appellant, having asked for milk, the respondent should have supplied him with unskimmed milk; that is to say, milk in its whole normal condition, and from which no butter fat had been abstracted.
I, however, dismissed the summons on the ground that the respondent had committed no offence within the 6th section of the Sale of Food and Drugs Act, 1875, inasmuch as the appellant had asked for "milk” and got "milk,” but milk which had been skimmed. I thought that sect. 9 was the section which applied to what the appellant complained of. The question for the opinion of the court is whether, under the circumstances, I was right in dismissing the summons.
Dated the 12th day of August, 1884.
Day argued for the appellant. This comes within the prohibition of the 6th section of the Sale of Food and Drugs Act, 1875 (38 & 39 Vict. c. 63). The words are : "No person shall sell, to the prejudice of the purchaser, any article of food or any drug
which is not of the nature, substance, and quality of the article demanded by such purchaser.” The prejudice to the purchaser is indisputable; the article demanded was milk, and it surely cannot be said that this was milk with 60 per cent, butter fat deficient. [MATHEW, J.-You asked for milk, and seem to have expected cream.] This was not even half milk.
The respondent did not appear.
MATHEW, J.-I think the magistrate was right. I cannot say this was an offence within the 6th section of the Act. This article sold to the appellant is not proved to be anything but milk in its nature, substance, or quality. It is inferior milk, but the appellant did not ask for best milk or cream. At all events I cannot say the magistrate was wrong. I express no opinion as to whether the respondent committed any offence within sect. 9 of the Act. Day, J.-I concur.
Judgment for respondent. Solicitors for appellant, F. F. Smallpeice, for Smallpeice and Sons, Guildford.
CROWN CASES RESERVED.
Saturday, June 28, 1884. (Before Grove, Stephen, Watkin Williams, Matiew, and
REG. v. STEPHENSON. (a)
Coroner-Interference with— Obstruction of course of justice
Jurisdiction of coroner-Burning body after appointment and
before holding of inquest-Misdemeanour. It is an indictable misdemeanour wilfully to prevent the holding of
an inquest of which a coroner has given notice, or to destroy a body upon which an inquisition ought to be held. Where, therefore, a coroner bonâ fide believe information given to
him to be true, which, if true, would necessitate the holding of an inquest, it is the duty of the coroner to hold an inquest; and it is a misdemeanour to prevent the holding of such inquest, notwithstanding that the information given to the coroner was in fact
untrue. A coroner, however, has not an absolute right to hold an inquest in
any case he chooses. In order to justify him in holding an inquest he must have reasonable grounds for believing that the
death was caused by unnatural means. CASE ASE reserved by Hawkins, J. for the consideration of this
court, which was stated as follows: The defendants were tried before me at the assizes holden at Leeds, on the 15th day of May last, upon an indictment in substance charging them with having burnt the dead body of an illegitimate infant child (named George Stephenson) to which the defendant Elizabeth Stephenson had recently given birth, with the intent to prevent the holding of an inquest upon it. The defendants were both found guilty ; but I deferred passing sentence, and admitted them to bail, until the opinion of the Court of Criminal Appeal could be obtained upon certain questions of law which I reserved at the request of their counsel.
The defendant Elizabeth was on the 17th day of December, 1883, confined of the child in question at the house of a Mrs. Atkinson, at Cayton, near Scarborough, in the North Riding of Yorkshire, with whom it lived until its death on the morning of the 12th day of January last.
(a) Reported by R. CUNNINGHAM GLEN, Esq., Barrister-at-Lar.