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Colonial Cases

R. v. Megreda [1849]

R. v. Pinder


General Court, Bahamas

Lees C.J., 29 or 30 October, 4 November 1849

Source: Nassau Guardian, 31 October 1849, p 2

[2] Michaelmas Term, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 1849

The Hon. J.C. Lees, the Chief Justice, took his seat on the bench, immediately after ten o'clock.

The Attorney General in the course of the day exhibited two informations, one against Augustin Magreda for the Larceny of Goods and Money of the value of £2.13s.4d., belonging to G. Renouard Esq.; and another against Thomas Culbert for the larceny of money of the value of £8.6s.3d.

George Pinder was arraigned upon an indictment for Larceny, found in Hilary Term last, against himself and Joseph Russell - Russell pleaded Guilty but the Defendant absconded and has only been taken within the last few weeks. The Prisoner pleaded Guilty.

Augustin Magreda was then put upon his trial. A verdict of Not Proven was returned.

Source: Nassau Guardian, 10 November 1849

[1] 29th October, 1849

The Queen vs. George Pinder - Larceny. [Indictment found last term.] Defendant absconded. Pleaded Guilty.

The Queen vs. Augustin Megreda - Larceny.

The Attorney-General conducted the prosecution. The prisoner was not defended by Counsel.

Gustave Renouard. Knows prisoner. Employed prisoner about 2nd of last month; employed him in papering segars; placed him in a room adjoining his store; was employed about 8 or 10 days - more than a week certainly. While prisoner was in his employ he missed $15; next day missed $1 or 10s.; mentioned it to Bode, and his suspicions of prisoner - told Bode to tell him he must finish his work; this was the day before Bode caught him. Witness agreed to pay him $1½ for work. Next day found he was arrested on a charge by Bode - obtained a search warrant. Serjeant Folkes went to execute it - witness accompanied him; his house was in the Eastern district - found segars, 125 - looked much like witness's (segars produced) exactly resembled witness's - that shaped segar not common in Nassau - was wrecked. Witness had found bottled ale, segars that were wrecked; found several pairs stockings, scissors several parcels of needles, tea, 5 reels thread, 3 or 4 sperm candles, 1 box mushrooms, 1 book called "Bye-laws of the Victoria Lodge," 2 cotton parasols, a parcel of pins; among those articles can swear to book - only members of the Lodge have them. Nobody in Nassau has mushrooms for sale; witness knows the name and marks; can swear to mushrooms; 2 pairs stockings have a peculiar mark; believes there are none in Nassau like them - has sold them retail to ladies - has scissors exactly the same - thinks those are his that he had in use on counter - has sold some of the mushrooms, but only to persons who, he believes, wanted them for immediate use. Saw at Police Office a piece of broadcloth and a box of sardines, also a piece of paper which came from his store, in which they were wrapped up. Swears to paper from writing on it and marks; has broadcloth in store like that, and sardines; is the only person who has similar boxes of sardines.

Cross-questioned. Witness did not see him take anything.

Byron Bode, Clerk to Mr. Renouard. Knows prisoner. Lately employed by Mr. Renouard - don't know date; about last of last month - was employed about segars, Renouard kept store on bay. Prisoner employed in room adjoining store, 2 doors open from that room into store. Mr. Renouard has a large stock of articles for sale by retail - witness is only Clerk. Mr. Renouard spoke to witness about money he had missed - it was on a Saturday. On Tuesday witness counted money in till and told prisoner he was going out a bit - went out, when he returned missed 9s., was out about   10 minutes - it was British coin; upon returning found John Dean in shop, prisoner in next room. Dean went out 2 or 3 minutes after witness came in; witness locked till before he went out, and put key in show case. No one was there then but prisoner - does not know whether prisoner saw him do that - when witness returned found key had been removed. After Dean had gone, and before witness counted money, he sent prisoner out on a message - he a nt him out because he did not wish him to see him count the money. Prisoner was absent 2 or 3 minutes. Spoke to prisoner about the money as soon as he returned. Dean had come back, and it was in his presence witness told him he took 9s. out of the till; he replied witness could search him, he had no money about him.Witness told him he suspected him of having taken money last week. He said he knew nothing about it, but said that he would sell what few things he had, and pay the amount missed. Witness then sent for Police Serjeant, and charged prisoner with the theft. Serjeant took him in charge; witness accompanied him to his house. This was about 9. a.m. attended Police Office in the course of that day - some money was then shown to him (9s. 2d.) mostly in British coin. Prisoner in witness's presence said he had brought it from home. Prisoner had had no time to go home. Search warrant was taken out, adn witness went to search - segure, and other things (before mentioned) were found in witness's presence; segars like Mr. Renouard's do. scissors do. stockings do. gloves do. mushrooms do. candles, &c. Books kept in room the prisoner worked - witness carried broadcloth and sardines in paper to Police Office. Mr. Laroda gave them to him - Mr. Renouard has similar goods; knows paper. Heard prisoner say he bought the cloth from Mr. Weech, and sardines from Mr. Moore.

Cross-questioned. Did not see prisoner take any thing.

John Deane. Remembers on a Wednesday morning (he thinks) going to Renouard's shop; when he went in saw prisoner there - he was in the back room where Mr. Renouard keeps flour. Prisoner was not doing anything; no person in the shop - witness went there to see Bode. (Corroborates what Bode said about charging prisoner with theft.)

Bode (recalled.) Cross-questioned. Told him quietly of money stolen when he charged him with theft.

John Folke is Serjeant Police. Was on 10th inst. Sent for to Mr. Renouard's store. On going found prisoner and Bode. Bode charged prisoner with having stolen money - witness took him in custody - coming out witness asked prisoner whether he had any money about him - he said no. Witness took him to the station house. Ordered him to strip to be examined; took off his hat, between the crown and lining found a paper containing money, 9s. stg in Spanish and British money. (paper money produced and identified.) In his trousers pocket found a 2d. piece. Prisoner said he wished to see Bode - took him before magistrate - was sent that day to execute a search warrant - Mr. Renouard and Bode went with him; found things already mentioned. Saw cloth and sardines - said he bought cloth at Mr. Weechs, sardines and mushrooms at Mr. Moore's. Afterwards took prisoner to the stores.

Cross-questioned. Witness did ask him if he had any money - prisoner did say he bought those things at Messrs Weech's and Moore's. prisoner went himself and shewed witness the stores.

Edward P. Laroda. Knows prisoner some years - he speaks a little English - generally speaks to witness in English - witness keeps a goldsmith's shop - prisoner came there one morning this month, brought in a bundle between 8 and 10 p.m. wrapt up in paper (identified by some writing.) Spoke to witness - asked if his boy Jeffrey was in. Jeffrey came in directly after, and witness saw prisoner give him the bundle - it was put behind the counter - saw it there till sunset. After shutting shop that evening, heard that prisoner had been taken into custody - did not see the bundle in the morning. Jeffrey told him it was in a box behind the counter - found it there - opened it - it contained cloth and sardines (identified.) Delivered them to Bode.

Jeffrey Saliniere. Is in the employ of Mr. Laroda. Knows prisoner. Saw him one morning this month in Mr. Laroda's shop - he gave witness a bundle - did not see what was in it - it was wrapt up in paper. (paper identified) Asked witness to put it aside till he called for it. (Corroborates Mr. Laroda.) Before that, prisoner had given him 2 boxes segars to keep for him - that was 24th of Sept. Prisoner was then working at Mr. Renouard's - prisoner got segars again some evening.

John J. Turtle. Is in partnership with Mr. Moore - has a shop in town. Knows prisoner by sight - has never sold to him any candles, sardines, or mushrooms. Never had an sardines or mushrooms - there is a clerk in his store, Wm. Lockhart.

No cross-examination.

John Polhemus. Is Clerk in the employ of Mr. Weech. Knows prisoner by sight - never sold him any thing from Mr. Weech's. Witness has no cloth similar to that in Court for sale.

No cross-examination.


Antonia Strada. Witness sold prisoner the piece of cloth for $2 - prisoner cut it off the piece himself. Witness gave him the sardines and mushrooms.

Cross-questioned. Bought some cloth similar six months ago from Mrs Finlayson, and some from Mr. Renouard. Sold cloth to prisoner 6 months ago - little while after he bought it witness was sick, and he told prisoner he might cut it - witness did not see him cut it - prisoner shewed him the cloth afterwards - sold him enough to make him a pair of trousers - there are 2 holes in it which he swears to - never told him he had trousers made. Knows p. 15 months - did not see the cloth again after he had sold it. Got the canisters from a French sailor who stayed with him - witness did not charge him anything, when he made him a present of sardines and mushrooms, and some other things - has some similar now in his possession - gave it to him at the time he bought cloth.

Vicente Rives. On one occasion the witness paid prisoner 43, which he owed him - it was the day before he was arrested - paid him in quarter dollars and British money. Witness knows that the stocking and gloves came from Cuba - witness used to purchase such things as pins, &c., at wreck sales, and prisoner, when with him, had leave to take what he wanted.

Cross-questioned. 3 pair stockings and 1 pair gloves came to prisoner from Cuba - knows they came from Cuba, because prisoner was living with him, and he saw everything that was sent to him - he got the thing the last time Mr. Pinder's sloop came, when Atwell was Captain. All the things came to his house in a dray - saw the stockings in the package.

Frederico Copat. When Mr. Montanez went away, witness was with him all the morning, and Mr. Montanez told him he was going to make prisoner some present, because he owed him something - saw some segars on a table, and asked him what he was going to do with them - he said he was going to give them to prisoner - knows nothing of scissors - did not see any caniles [?] given, but he told him he meant to give prisoner some.

The Jury returned a verdict of - Not proven.

Lees C.J., 4 November 1849

Source: Nassau Guardian, 14 November 1849

[2] The Court met this morning, when the prisoners convicted during the present term were sentenced as follows:

George Pinder - Larceny - 4 months' imprisonment without hard labour.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School