페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

REG.

MAGGIE NATTRASS.

1882.

chattels in the house is not sufficient. Prior to the passing of the 14 & 15 Vict. c. 19, the third section of which, though in somewhat different language, was re-enacted by the 7th section of 24 & 25 Vict. c. 97, to set fire to goods in a house with the express intention of burning the house, amounted merely to a misdemeanour, namely, an attempt to commit the crime of arson, Setting fire to unless indeed some part of the house was actually burnt, in which goods in a case the crime of course amounted to arson.

building.

One great object of this section was to make such an attempt to burn the house by setting fire to the goods in it, a felony, equal in gravity to arson itself, and not a mere misdemeanour. If a person maliciously, with intent to injure another by merely burning his goods, sets fire to such goods in his house, that does not amount to a felony, even although the house catches fire, unless the circumstances are such as to show that the person setting fire to the goods knew that by so doing he would probably cause the house also to take fire, and was reckless whether it did so or not, in which case there would be abundant evidence that he intended to bring about the probable consequence of his act, namely, the burning of the house. The evidence in this case shows a mischievous disposition on the part of the prisoner to destroy the goods, and not the house, and for this offence she may and ought to be punished, but not upon this indictment.

Not guilty.

CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT.

Monday, March 6, 1882.
(Before Sir HENRY Hawkins.)

REG. v. HARRIS AND ATKINS.
Arson-Setting fire to a picture frame in a house, and so setting
fire to the floor of the houseIntent—24 f. 25 Vict. c. 97, s. 7.
The prisoner was indicted under 24 & 25 Vict. c. 97, s. 7, for

wilfully and maliciously setting fire to a picture frame in a
building under such circumstances that if the building were
thereby set fire to would amount to a felony. The jury found
that the prisoner did not set fire to the house apart from the
frame; that he did set fire to the frame; that the probable

[ocr errors]

ATKINS.

REG.

result would be setting fire to the floor of the house ; that he HARRIS AND

did not intend to set fire to the house ; that he was not aware that what he did would probably set the house on fire, and so

injure the owner ; and that he was not reckless or indifferent 1882.

whether the house was set on fire or not. Setting fire to Upon these findings a verdict of Not Guilty was directed by the goods in a

judge. house.

THI HE prisoners were indicted for feloniously setting fire to a

dwelling-house. There was also a count under 24 & 25 Vict. c. 97, s. 7, charging them with feloniously setting fire to a picture frame in the house under such circumstances that if the building were thereby set fire to, the offence would amount to a felony.

Harris was a workman employed with others in painting and decorating 108, Lancaster Gate, the dwelling-house of a Mr. Allcroft. In the house there was a valuable painting known as “ The Monarch of the Meadows,” which for safety had been taken from the room in which it usually hung and placed on the floor against the hall in an adjoining boudoir. On the evening of the 12th day of September, 1881, the painting was safe. Next morning at half-past six it was discovered that the floor of the boudoir was in flames. The painting was gone. It had been cut out of the frame and stolen. The picture frame was very much charred, and the planks and joists on which it stood were burnt through to a considerable extent.

It was proved that the prisoner Harris had been working on the premises during the whole of the 12th day of September, and that it was his duty each night, at six o'clock, to leave the house. He had ample opportunity, however, of concealing himself on the premises all night if he chose to do so.

The prosecution alleged that Harris had, on the 12th day of September, remained on the premises after his fellow-workmen were gone; that he had cut “ The Monarch of the Meadows,out of the frame and carried it away; and that for the purpose of concealing this larceny, and of leading the owner to suppose that the painting had been accidentally burnt, he bad either set fire to that part of the floor of the boudoir, which was under the picture, with a view to the destruction of the frame, or had placed some inflammable substance under the frame, and set fire to it and the frame with a view to burn the frame, and that the fire communicated with and burnt the floor as well.

Fulton and Wedderburn were counsel for the prosecution.
No counsel appeared for the prisoners.
There was no evidence against Atkins.

Sir HENRY HAWKINS, to the jury.--If you find that the floor of the house was wilfully set fire to by Harris for the purpose of leading the owner of the painting to suppose that his picture had been destroyed by fire, and of destroying all evidence of the fact that it had been stolen, you ought to find him guilty of arson.

REG.

HARRIS AND

ATKINS.

1882.

house.

Again, if you think that the prisoner set fire to the frame of the picture with a knowledge that in all probability the house itself would thereby be set on fire, and that he was reckless and utterly indifferent whether the house caught fire or not, that is abundant evidence from which you may, if you think fit, draw the inference that he intended the probable consequences of his act, and if you Setting fire to draw that inference, then, inasmuch as the house was in fact set goods in a on fire through the medium of the picture frame, the prisoner's crime would be that of arson. I will also add that even if, under the last mentioned circumstances the house had not been actually set on fire there would be evidence of a felony under sect. 7 of the 24 & 25 Vict. c. 97. But if you come to the conclusion that he merely set fire to the frame with the intent to destroy it alone, never contemplating or supposing that the probable consequences of that act might be that the house would take fire-the mere fact that he wickedly fired and intended to burn the frame, and that the fire extended to the house and burnt it against his will, would not constitute the crime of arson.

The cases referred to were R. v. Child (L. Rep. 1 C. C. Rep. 307; 12 Cox C. C. 64), R. v. Batstone (10 Cox C. C. 20); Reg. v. Heseltine (12 Cox C. C. 404); R. v. Nattrass, ante, p. 73).

The Jury, in reply to questions left to them, found that the prisoner did not set fire to the house apart from the frame; that he did set fire to the frame; that the probable result would be setting fire to the floor ; that he did not intend to set fire to the house; that he was not aware that what he did would probably set fire to the house and so injure the owner thereof; and that he was not reckless and indifferent, whether the house was set fire to

or not.

Upon these findings his Lordship directed a verdict of

Not guilty.

Ireland.

HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE.

QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION

January 19 and 21, 1882.

(Before May, C.J. and BARRY, J.) Reg. (on the prosecution of REYNOLDS) v. THE JUSTICES OF THE

COUNTY OF Cork. (a) Certiorari-Sureties to be of good behaviour—34 Edw. 3, c. 1

Jurisdiction of magistratesEvidence- Affidavit. H. R., at the execution of an habere to enforce payment of rent, addressed a number of persons, including the tenant

under eviction, as follows : " Pay no rent to the landlord. We will make you right about the land; we will build you a house at any expense, and make you comfortable during the winter.A summons was issued against H. R., calling on her to show cause why she should not be bound over to be of good behaviour, and at the hearing of the summons H. R. was ordered to find bail to be of good behaviour for six months, and in default to be imprisoned for one month. She refused to give bail and was accordingly imprisoned for one month. Held, on motion to show cause against a conditional order for a writ

of certiorari, that the justice had jurisdiction to make the order. Held also that the court would not allow the evidence given in the

court below to be supplemented by affidavit of other facts that

occurred at the execution of the habere. Mo OTION to make absolute a conditional order for certiorari

to bring up for the purpose of being quashed an order made by Mr. E. B. Warburton, one of the justices of the county of Cork, ordering Miss Hannah Reynolds to be bound to her good behaviour for six months, herself in 501. and two sureties in 251. each, or in default to be imprisoned in the county of the city of Cork gaol for a period of one month.

It appeared from informations that on the 1st day of December, 1881, the sheriff of the County of Cork proceeded to execute

(a) Reported by Jones H. STAVELEY, Esq., Barrister-at-Law.

THE JUSTICES

OF THE

1882.

writs of habere issued against two tenants of the Earl of Bantry REG. in actions of ejectment for nonpayment of rent.

The sheriff was protected by a large force of police, and Mr. E. B. Warburton, a magistrate for the county, was also present. The first writ was COUNTY OF

CORK. duly executed, and the sheriff then went to the house of the second tenant, one Catherine Murphy, still accompanied by the police and the magistrate. On arriving at the house of Catherine Murphy they found Miss Reynolds surrounded by a crowd of Sureties for persons, and amongst them the tenant Catherine Murphy and Inciting not her son, to whom she addressed the following words : “Pay no to pay rent. rent to the landlord. We will make you right about the land. We will build you a house at any expense, and make you comfortable during the winter.” The same day informations were sworn before Mr. Warburton, who on the 2nd day of December, 1881, issued a summons requiring Miss Reynolds to attend at Castletown Berehaven Courthouse, in the said county, on the 9th day of December, 1881, as a defendant, by reason that a complaint had been made to him that she was guilty of aiding and abetting an unlawful and criminal conspiracy for preventing the payment of all rent, by inducing a tenant of the Earl of Bantry, named Catherine Murphy, not to pay her rent. Miss Reynolds attended accordingly on the 9th day of December, 1881, when the hearing of the summons was adjourned until the 23rd day of December, 1881, and after the adjournment of the hearing of that summons Miss Reynolds was served with a second summons, which, after stating that Miss Reynolds did unlawfully incite one Catherine Murphy, a tenant of the Earl of Bantry, to refuse to pay rent lawfully due by her to the said landlord, required her to show cause why she should not be bound over with solvent sureties to be of good behaviour for six months, or in default be committed to prison, and which summons was returnable immediately, and the hearing whereof was also adjourned to the 23rd day of December, 1881. Miss Reynolds again attended on the 23rd day of December, 1881, the day appointed for the hearing of both summonses, when the first summons was not proceeded with, and, when she required that it should be proceeded with or dismissed, the magistrate (Mr. Warburton) refused to make any order thereon but that of "withdrawn.” The second summons was then proceeded with, and Miss Reynolds was ordered to be bound to her good behaviour for six months, herself in 501., and two sureties in 251. each, or in default to be imprisoned for one month. She refused to give the required bail, and was accordingly committed to prison for one month. Mr. Warburton, the magistrate present at the evictions, was the only magistrate who heard the summonses on the 9th and 23rd days of December, 1881. A conditional order for a certiorari to quash the order made by Mr. Warburton having been obtained on behalf of Miss Reynolds.

The Attorney-General (with him the Solicitor-General, James Murphy, Q.C., and Edward Sullivan) showed cause. This is not

« 이전계속 »