Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

41 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

I"MONTE CARLO" WELLS.

Newyddion
Dyfynnu
Rhannu

I "MONTE CARLO" WELLS. CLOSE OF THE TRIAL FOR FRAUD. VERDICT AND SENTENCE. The trial of Charles Wells on charges of ob- taining money by false pretences from Miss Catherine Mary Phillimore, the Hon. Cosby Trench, and other persons, was resumed at the Old Bailoy on Tuesday, before Mr Justice Haw- kins, The Treasury was represented by Mr C. F. Gill, Mr Bodkin, and Mr Guy Stephenson and the prisoner by Mr Abinger and Mr Turrell. Walter Mynns, an electrical engineer, was called, and, in reply to Mr Abinger, said I live at Feckham. I know the prisoner. I met him a. few years ago at Erith, and went on board the Isabella, and I went afterwards, at the end of last year, to Liverpool, to do some electrical work on board the Palais Royal. I took the Isabella several times up and down the river, and found that the consumption of fuel was very small. We used from 3cwt, to 4cwt. going to Gravesend and back. I took the Ituna to Gravesend on one occasion, and, although it was a smaller boat, it consumed three or four times as much coal. Richard Micheau, an engine-driver, said that he was driver of the Isabella, the engines of which were of peculiar construction, and there was a considerable diminution in the consumption of fuel. M. Henri Jarloux, of Marseilles, an agent, said that he knew the prisoner, who was his brother- in-law. He had had transactions with him in relation to machines. Weils was engaged in engineering in Marseilles. He invented a steam regulator, which he sold to the company by whom he was engaged. He left Marseilles in 1879. The witness also spoke to other inventions patented by Wells. Mr Abinger, in addressing the ]ury for the prisoner, said that the first question for them to consider' was who was the man with whom they had to deal, and he had called evidence which gave them a sketch of what he was in the past up to the present time. It had been shown that for many years he was an engineer in France and that his inventions dated back os far as 1866, and up to the present day his life had been spent in in venting. All that it was material for him to show was that he was a bona-fide inventor, and that he had sbown clearly by the evidence. The foundation of the case for the prosecution was that the prisoner was not an inventor, but a sham, but the evidence had not supported that C Mr Gil), replying upon the whole case reviewed the evidence, and in reference to the complaints as to the numerous documents introduced into the proceedings, said that the case for the Crown depended entirely upon correspondence, because, from first to last, Miss Phillimore never came in contact with \Vells, The prisoner had no doubt considerable inventive powers, but bis mechanical ingenuity was not directed to the benefit of man- kind, but to the getting of money by fraudulent representations, with the intention of applying it to his own purposes. Mr Justice Hawkins, in summing up, said that an indictment containing 23 charges, with an immense mass of documentary evidence, was calculated to embarrass, not merely the jury, not merely the judge, but the prisoner also, who had to meet each of the charges. There could be no doubt that the offences, if proved, were of a serious character, because, in substance, the charge made against prisoner was that he had been engaged in a series of gigantic frauds, that under the colour of being an engineer and an inventor he had obtained by fraudulent representa- tion large sums of money, amounting in all to about £30,000. The whole of the money ad- vanced, it might be taken, had been lost, but it was not a question whether a loss had been sus- tained or not. The question was whether the people concerned had been induced to part with their money by fraud on the part of the prisoner, that fraud consisting in a false representation of existing facts which he knew to be untrue and which he published with intent to defraud. If those matters were made out to the satisfaction of the jury, then the prisoner was guilty., but if not, then "he was entitled to an acquittal. The jury, after a minute's deliberation, found prisoner g'uilty on all the counts except those referring to Dr White, and the counts which were abandoned. Mr Gill, for the prosecution, said the prisoner left Paris in 1885, he having been charged with fraud and tried in his absence from France. Mr Justice Hawkins said prisoner had been found guilty, on most clear evidence, of a fraud of a very cruel nature, and part of a very wide scheme. It was incredible how people could part with such large sums of money. He believed that Misd Phillimore had acted with the best motives, and that prisoner had traded on her good nature until he robbed her of over £18,800. Justice would not be met if he did not pass a sentence of eight years' penal servitude. ——I

MR GLADSTONE. .

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