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Family Notices






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SLINGS AND ARROWS. (BY A YEOMAN OF THE GUARD). "r Mr. Wynne Edwards sheltering inside the walls of the Conservative Club in Den- bigh, attempted to be ironical on Friday evening last, by pretending to move-a vote of condolence with the Liberal party, on the loss of its leaders, and regretted that the Conservatives bad no party, worthy of the name, to oppose. It is true the Liberal party has lost several of its leaders recently but Mr. Wynne Edwards is not the one to wax sarcastic over the matter. It has very recently been demonstrated that the Liberal party is much too strong for Itilgii,, and that even very insignificant leaders can out- manoevre his generalship. Even a party without a leader is too strong for him, and be is welcome to try again, and as often as be likes. He will meet with the same invincible resistance. 0 9 Much comment has been raised by the action of the Denbighshire Joint Police Com- mittee in deciding to pay the fine and costs which were imposed on a police constable of the county by the Ruthin Bench of Magistrates. A summons for assault was taken out by a man-against whom a charge of drunkenness was subsequently inquired into and dismissed — against a police constable. The Ruthin Bench, after a somewhat long bearing, fined the con- stable XI and costs, a total of £3 3s The Chief Constable applied that the Committee should pay this money, 'as he believed that the constable was telling the truth This is a slap at the Ruthin magistrates, to say the least of it. The Chief Constable added that 'if a policeman incurred such expenses as these in the. execution of his duties, he would hesitate before doing the same thing on another occasion' Why? Accord- ing to the judgment of the magistrates who heard the case, this constable was not fined for anything be did in the execution of his dutyif so, he should most certain- ly'hesitate before doing the same thing again, in my opinion, tne nne was imposed not only as a punishment, but in order that he and other constables should hesitate before doing the same thing again.' I am-not censuring the constable. I am willing even to admit that possibly the magistrates were wrong. The point is this. Why should policemen, when they appear as defendants be treated differently from other people ? If a man had been fined for as. saulting the constable, not a single member of the Police Committee would have dreamt of paying his fine and costs. A policeman when convicted, is as much of an offender in the eyes of the law as anybody else. Why treat him differently? The conse- quences of all this may be that the police officers of the county will multiply what are in the eyes of the magistrates illegal acts, because they will know, if they are fined, that a grateful county will bear all their expenses and pay their fines. « « t 9 With all due respect to the chairman of the Standing Joint Committee, I very much doubt if the committe have power to pay this money. The chairman said that they had, under Sec. 66 of the Local Go- vernment Act, 1888. This is the section —' All costs incurred by the Quarter Ses- sions or the justices out of session of a county, and all costs incurred by any justice, police officer, or constable, in de- fending any legal proceedings taken against him in respect of any order made, or act done, in the execution of his duty as such justice, police officer, or constable shall, to such amount as may be sanctioned by the Standing Joint Committee of the County Council and Quarter Sessions, and so far as they are not otherwise provided for, be paid out of the county fund of the county and the Council of the county shall pro- vide for such payment accordingly.' First of all, the act complained of was not, so the magistrates decidpd, done in the execu- tion of the constable's duty.' He is found to have exceeded his duty by turning a man out of his own house, or the house he lodged in, without cause. These are the words of the chairman of the bench, the Rev. Chancellor Jones:—'They bad here tha extraordinary anomaly of a man being turned out of his own home. When the constable was asked what he intended to do with the man, be gave no satisfactory answer—in fact, it was the most funny case he had ever heard.' Now, if this is right, and the fine and costs imposed right, how can the committee pay this money? If it is not right, then why did the police not appeal 1 « V « But in any case, I venture to say that if the committee will pay the £1 fine, they will be committing an illegal act. Section 66 only refers to costs, and, to my mind, it never contemplated either the costs or anything else when a conviction bad fol- lowed. There is no provision in the sec- tion for the payment of any fine. In con- clusion, I may say, that if the Chief Constable has such faith in his officer, as not to punish him in any way on account of this case, f do not quarrel with him in the least, but when the Joint Committee in consequence of his application decided to pay the costs fine and of a convicted con- stable, then I think it is time to protest.

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