George GRIGSBY goes to Court - CAMBRIDGE, Waikato 1886
the following was taken from PAPERS PAST
- (the names in capitals are mine)
from the WAIKATO TIMES 27 February 1886
A man named George GRIGSBY was apprehended on warrant on Thursday on a charge of larceny of a bullock, the property of the Waikato Land Association, information having been laid by Mr H. REYNOLDS, of Woodlands.
The accused was brougt before Mr G.W. RUSSELL J.P., yesterday who remanded the case to Friday next, 5th prox., bail being allowed £50 and two sureties of £25 each. Mr WHITAKER appeared for the informant and Mr DYER, instructed by Mr Macgregore HAY, for the prisoner. The bench refused an application from Mr DYER to have the hearing of the case transferred to Hamilton
THE COURT CASE
from the WAIKATO TIMES 6 March 1886
H. REYNOLDS v G. GRIGSY, for larceny of a steer.
Mr Macgregor HAY appeared for accused and Mr WHITAKER for prosecutor
- Mr WHITAKER gave the facts of the case which were that a certain beast bearing the brand and ear mark of the Waikato Land Association was sold at Ohaupo, and the proceeds had gone to the accused. The beast had been taken away without the knowledge of the prosecutor, and sold for the benefit of the accused.
That constituted the larceny.
- Henry REYNOLDS sworn, deposed that he was manager for the Waikato Land Association, and resided at Woodlands, near Taupui. Knew accused, who resides at Tauwhare, and owns land formerly belonging to the company. First heard of this affair on receipt of a letter from Mr McNICOL. Saw GRIGSBY, the accuesed, and asked if he had sold a steer of theirs. He denied at first, but afterwards acknowledged taking it, and asked him to do all he could to get him off easy. Told him it was a very serious thing and that he could do nothing till he had heard from the directors. He had been instructed to prosecute. Accused said he had taken it by mistake, as he thought it was his.
The custom of the station is to brand and ear-mark all cattle when they are weaned. The brand is PLA conjoined, and V cut off the point of the left ear. He knew the beast referred to. Accused never said his brand was on the beast, and never complained we put our brand on his cattle. Valued the beast at £2.10s
- by Mr HAY: Can only say the beast is ours by the brand and ear mark. We are liable to mistakes in branding cattle like other farmers, Cannot absolutely say we have not made a mistake with this one, although almost impossible as all our cattle are branded when weaned. There may be exceptions to that rule. Cannot say whether this is one of the exceptions. Saw accused four or five weeks ago at Tauwhare. No one else was present. He said he had taken some of his cattle to Ohaupo. Showed him brand and earmark were so plain he could not have mistaken it for his. He then acknowledged taking it, but said it must have been by mistake. Had no reason to disbelieve that statement.
- by Mr WHITAKER: Do not think any one could mistake our brand and ear mark. Would have no difficulty in picking out a beast so marked from amongst others not so branded. There may be exceptions to brandng at the weanng, but have not known any for the last three or four years. A beast could not go long after weanng before it was branded. Judged from accused's manner that he took the beast knowingly. Accused said that rather than have any bother about it be (prosecutor) could deduct the value out of his wages. Accused is employed by the company off and on
- Hugh HOCKEN, on oath, said he was a stockman employed by the Waikato Land Association and resided at Newstead. He was in charge of the stock. Knew the white steer in question since 1st June last. Was lookig for it at that time. Knew it by its head, whih was small. It is about two years old, and had been missing since the 1st June. Thought it was dead. He saw it again about a month ago
- by Mr HAY: It was not branded on the 1st of June, but before that. He did not know whose property it was at the time it was branded. He did not know if it was bred from one of the company's bulls.
- Charles HUNTER, auctioneer's assistant, gave evidence of the selling of the steer at Ohaupo on the 13th December last with some others and the proceeds were handed to the accused
- by Mr HAY: There was not any attempt at concealment. The accused entered and sold the cattle publicly in the usual way
- Robert H. COWLEY, farmer at Tamahere, deposed to buying the steer with two others in an odd lot. Took no notice of any brands, and only noticed them when Mr McNICOL drew attention to the beast the day he sold it again at Ohaupo, a month later. Mr McNICOL bought it on behalf of the Waikato Land Company. Never took notice of the brands on cattle. Always knew them again by their looks
- John McNICOL, auctioneer, employed by Mr J. S. BUCKLAND, knew the steer. Bought it from last witess at Ohaupo on the 19th January for £2 10s. It resembled the cattle, and had brand and ear mark of the Waikato Land Association. Handed it over to Mr REYNOLDS
- by Mr HAY: Was in charge at Newstead three years ago. Allowed accused to have the use of one of the company's Hereford bulls. A white cow might have been put to it. If so, it would have had a ? Hereford. Never knew a Hereford bull to get a white calf.
- by Mr WHITAKER; The best in question is nearly a pure Shorthorn - To the court: There was no Shorthorn bulls within a mile of accused's place and no chance of gettig to them
- Thomas TOOK, labourer at Tauwhare, employed by the company, gave evidence in identification of the steer.
- Constable BRENNAN deposed to arresting the accused in the swamp at Tauwharre. On hearing the warrant, accused said he was not aware that the steer belonged to the company
- This closed the case for the prosecution
- Mr HAY addressed the Court on behalf of accused, and said in cases of this kind it was necessary for the Court to state first if there was prima facie evidence to send the case to the Supreme Court. He contended a very important element of proof was wanting to establish the guilt of the accused. He held there was no attempt to steal, and that the beast had been sold in an open, straightforward manner. Mr REYNOLDS's evidence showed accused thougt the beast was his, and that he did not doubt his belief or honesty. The evidence went to show that the company probably branded accused's cattle. His witessess would prove that this beast had been handfed by Mrs GRIGSBY
- Mr WHITAKER replied and said there were many instances of stolen cattle being driven on the highway, and openly sold by the robbers
- The Court had no hesitation in acquitting the accused, as there was no evidece to support the intention to steal.
Mr REYNOLDS's evidence showed there was no such intention
- Accused was discharged