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Colonial Cases

United States v. Deslandes, 1870


United States v. Deslandes

United States Consular Court, Shanghai
23 February 1870
Source: The North-China Herald, 1 March 1870



Shanghai, 23rd Feb., 1870.

Before Dr. JENKINS.


For assault and battery on the person of Mr. Chastel.

Defendant did not appear when called, but came in afterwards.

J. Meincke. - I am a German subject, employed by Teige, Nolting & Co.  I was in the compound on the 28th January.  I saw Mr. Deslandes come with a writing desk.  He brought it to Mr. Chastel's office.  I heard a noise.  I saw defendant strike plaintiff on the  neck causing him to fall against a pillar.  Mr. Bennett was present.

Wong-a-sung. - I am Mr. Chastel's office boy.  A bed and a writing desk were brought into Mr. Chastel's office by two foreigners (Messrs. Deslandes and Ekad.)  My master was present.  Mr. Deslandes told him, he must leave the house.  He refused, when Deslandes flogged him on the neck, and caused him to fall down.  Mr. Chastel did not strike back.  He was not able to do so.

Mr. Aked, asked if he should be paid for his attendance at court as he was losing money by doing so.  He was told that he was entitled to $1.50 for each day he spent at Court, as well as 15 cents for each mile of road he had to travel in coming and going.

Mr. Aked. - I am a British subject.  The row took place between 11 and 11.30 a.m.  I don't remember the date.  I went with Deslandes to take possession of the house.  I was engaged as his clerk.  We took some books with us.  Deslandes informed Mr. Chastel that he had come to take possession and had brought his desk along, that he had better clear out.  I did not see Deslandes strike him.  They were both excited and swinging their arms about.  I saw no blow struck.

Chastel said he would call me as a witness.  I asked for what.  He replied, to prove that Deslandes struck him.

To Defendant. - you walked quietly in Chastel's office and said this is my clerk.  I have brought my desk along to take possession of the premises.  You told Mr. Chastel that he might remain in one room of the house till he found suitable quarters elsewhere.  I did not see Chastel elbowing defendant out of the office.

Jules Barbe, Superintendant of French police. - On the 28th January, I was at the Consulate when Mr. Chastel came and told me, that Mr. Deslandes had chased him out of his house.  He asked me to go and put him out, I sent my sub-chief, he failed; so I went myself - Deslandes said, I might apply to his Consulate, that when he came in Mr. Chastel was sitting in his office ands that he rose and shoved him to elbow him out, upon which he pushed him back strongly.  Chastel told me that Mr. Deslandes had struck him.  A paper was produced by Mr. Chastel; Mr. Deslandes saw it.  I did not notice it particularly; but I almost recognize it as that one now in Court.

Defendant. - I don't recognize the receipt; I did not care to look at it as I had a lease.

E. Fajard. - I came in at half-past 12 and saw the Chief of Police, Deslandes and Aked in Chastel's room.  I saw a table and a bed there.  I was astonished and asked Deslandes what it all meant.  He said I have a right to be here having taken possession of the premises.  He said also that he had pushed Mr. Chastel out into the verandah, and that the latter had gone to the consulate about it.  Chastel had told me a few days before that he had paid the rent.

To Defendant. - You told me you had had a collision with Chastel, and had pushed him on to the verandah, you did not say you had struck him.

P. H. Bennett, I am a British subject, I rented certain premises to Mr. Deslandes.  I was in the compound, when the row between him and Chastel took place, so that I saw nothing of it.  Deslandes told me he would take peaceable possession of the premises and that he had brought his clerk and some furniture with him.

Consul to Defendant. - You have already pleaded "Not Guilty."

Mr. Deslandes in reply stated. - On the 19th Jan., I wrote to Mr. Chastel a letter in which I told him I had rented his compound and requested him to pay his rent to me.  I got no answer.  On 22nd, I again wrote in similar strains but still got no reply.  On 28th, I moved in and told Chastel he might remain until he could get another house, but must recognize me as landlord.  I have nothing more to say.

Mr. Chastel produced a lease, and also Deslandes letters of 19 and 22, and stated he has been to his Consul, Mr. Kroos; and has been told by him he was all right as long as he paid his rent.  The Court here remarked it would be as well to keep to the case in point, which concerned assault and battery only.

February, 25th, 1870.

Judgment was given on the 25th instant, as follows:-

I find the Defendant F. Deslandes, guilty of the charge of assault, and fine him Twenty-five dollars, together with costs of Court.  In default thereof, thirty days imprisonment.

[See also Joyce v Bennett, North-China Herald, 1 March 1870.]

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