PROSECUTION OF A MARINE STORE DEALER. - At the Workington Police-court, on Saturday, PATRICK MURPHY, marine store dealer, of Whitehaven, was charged with having purchased 7-1/4 cwt. of brass bushes, the property of MESSRS. KIRK BROTHERS, of the Ironworks at Workington.
The case was before the magistrates last Wednesday, when it will be remembered that some men were committed for trial for having stolen the brass, which they had taken to Whitehaven and sold at MURPHY's marine store for £9.
MR. ATTER, of Whitehaven, and MR. FIDLER appeared for the defence to-day. Fourteen witnesses were examined for the prosecution. The evidence went to show that after information was sent to Whitehaven about the brass having been stolen, the police visited MURPHY's store when defendant denied all knowledge of any of the brass coming there, and offered to allow the police to search the place.
It was afterwards discovered that the defendant had consigned the brass by rail to Newcastle, where it was followed by INSPECTOR THORNBORROW, of Whitehaven, who succeeded in recovering the whole of the stolen property. The Bench committed prisoner for trial, but admitted him to bail.
APPLICATION UNDER THE EXPLOSIVE ACT. - At the Workington Petty Sessions on Wednesday, MR. PAISLEY applied on behalf of the West Cumberland Iron and Steel Company for a licence to store mixed explosives under the Explosives Act, 1875, in a building erected for that purpose at Great Clifton, adjoining Westray Pit.
MR. SPENCE, manager of the works, having been examined, the application was adjourned for a week in order to see that the conditions of the Explosives Act had been properly carried out.
A PIPE IN A PIT. - JAMES ADAMS, coalminer, of Clifton, was charged with having had in his possession a tobacco pipe whilst working at the in-bye side of William Pit, near Clifton, and by so doing committed a breach of the Mines Regulations Act.
MR. PAISLEY appeared to prosecute. ANDREW MOORE, foreman at the pit, proved that defendant was found with a pipe in his possessionn whilst working at the in-bye side of the pit.
MR. PAISLEY stated that the manager had been compelled to bring this case before the Bench in order to ensure the safety of the men. The defendant was fined £1 including costs.
A WARNING TO EMPLOYERS. - MESSRS. HENRY and THOMAS KIRK, of the New Yard Ironworks, were charged by MR. W. C. TAYLOR, her Majesty's Inspector of Factories and Workshops for the north-west of England, with having on the 30th of August had in their employ a certain number of young persons contrary to the provisions of the Factories Act.
MR. WEBSTER appeared to defend. MR. TAYLOR said the offence with which the defendants were charged had been committed under the 27th sect. of the 41st Victoria, chap. 16, which enacts that in any factory no children or young persons under the age of 16 years shall be employed for more than seven or 13 working days, unless the employer has obtained a certificate from the surgeon that the children are fit to be employed.
He said that he visited the defendant's factories on the 30th of August, and found that several young persons had been there not only more than the number of days allowed, but also several months without having received a certificate from the surgeon. This firm had been warned before, notwithstanding which they had committed this offence. He had no wish to press the charges very heavily. He was glad to say the defendants had taken the straightforward course of pleading guilty.
There seemed to be a great deal of misunderstanding about what the duties of a certifying surgeon were, and he would take this opportunity of throwing a little light on the subject. When he visited this firm, they told him that they thought it was the duty of the surgeon to call upon them. That was not the surgeon's duty.
A firm might make an agreement with a surgeon to visit them, but in the absence of any such engagement, it was obviously the duty of the firm to seek the surgeon. But there was another matter.
Notwithstanding that the defendants had made this excuse to him, so far from this being the case, DR. HIGHET had written to them to say that the young persons employed by them, would have to be sent to him in future for their certificates; DR. HIGHET having previously visited the defendant's factory, but for reasons which he need not go into, having discontinued doing so. The penalty in each case was a fine not exceeding £5.
MR. WEBSTER said it was absolutely necessary that MESSRS. KIRK should depute the management of their concerns to their agents. They had deputed the management of their boys to a certain person whom he could call if it was necessary. It was this person's duty to get the surgeon down to inspect the boys. It was his duty to see that each of the boys were of a proper age, had passed a certain standard at school, and then get the medical certificate.
Now the person whose duty it was to do this, was a person named CHISAM, and there was no doubt but that he was in default in his duty, but he had only been in the defendant's employ three or four months, and had neglected to carry out the provisions of the Act. The Bench would see that by law CHISAM was the proper person to prosecute, and not the defendants, but MESSRS. KIRK had no desire to escape by laying the responsibility on CHISAM.
He would suggest that the Bench should deal with the first case, and then dispose of the other cases, by simply ordering the payment of the costs. MR. TAYLOR said he did not think that he could withdraw any of the cases. He felt that it was his duty to press for a penalty in each case.
MR. WEBSTER said he thought the Bench might suggest to MR. TAYLOR the advisability of withdrawing the other cases, and he could lay the suggestionn of the magistrates before the proper authorities.
The Bench fined the defendants 15s., including costs in each case, making a total of £5.
ILL-TREATING A HORSE. - ROBERT MALONE, Workington, was charged with having cruelly treated a horse whilst attached to a cart at the Cleator and Workington Central Railway station. JAMES BELL, inspector of permanent way for the Cleator and Workington Railway Company, gave evidence to the effect that the defendant was standing up in the cart and striking his horse with a thick stick which he had.
Witness also spoke to defendant kicking his horse about the legs and body. SERGEANT REED gave corroborative evidence. The defendant was committed to gaol for a month with hard labour, and was ordered to pay the costs; in default another fortnight's imprisonment.
ASSAULTING A SISTER. - JOHN HEWITT, of Workington, was charged with having assaulted JANE ANN LONGSTAFF, his sister, on the 6th inst. at Workington.. Complainant stated that defendant was her brother. On the day in question, he came into her house, and after using some bad language, he struck her a violent blow in the face, and left a mark which pained her for two days afterwards.
Defendant: I did not strike her: I just touched her with my open hand, as I have done many a time before.
MARY ANN HEWITT, sister to the parties, gave similar evidence. The Bench fined the defendant £1 including costs.
INDECENT LANGUAGE. - MARGARET SMITH and MARGARET BIRKETT, two women residing at Workington, were charged with using indecent language in the streets.
SERGEANT REED said that on the 3rd of the present month, the two defendants were "fratching" and using most indecent language in the streets. He could not get them into the house. The language they were using was shameful.
Fined 18s. including costs; in default, a fortnight's imprisonment with hard labour.