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Colonial Cases

United States v. Trainor, 1876


United States v. Trainor

United States Consular Court, Shanghai
Bradford, 31 May 1876
Source: The North China Herald, 3 June 1876



Shanghai, May 31st.

Before O. B. BRADFORD, Esq., Vice Consul-General


   BERNARD TRAINOR, who claimed to be an American citizen, was charged with assaulting Chang Chong Qua, keeper of an eating house in Woosung Road.  Complain ant said the prisoner went to his place. And asked to be supplied with food.  He was supplied, for himself and another.  After eating, both started to leave without paying for what they had eaten.  Complainant asked prisoner to pay the bill, 50 cents, which he refused to so, and immediately assault him by striking him with both hands and pushing him. - Prisoner pleaded that he was drunk, and did not think he put a hand on the complainant. - Sergeant Skinner stated that he saw the prisoner nearly at the time of the occurrence, and he was not drunk.  He saw both men at table, and asked them if they had seen any men from an English man-of-war.  Trainor replied, no. - Defendant was found guilty of assuring the complaisant, and was sentenced to ten days' hard labour, on bread and water.

Suspicious Conduct

BERNARD TRAINOR and JAMES ARMSTRONG were next charged with entering Dr. Nelson's premises with a wrong intent.  Armstrong said he went in to lie down, and Trainor that he had gone there to sleep. - Inspector Fowler said both prisoners were under Police surveillance, being suspected of having robbed one house in the French Settlement and another in Hongkew. - Sergeant Skinner stated that when he took Trainor unto custody, he endeavoured to get away from him.  A short time before the arrest, he (the Sergeant) was called to the shop of a person named Rappaport.  The latter complained that the prisoners had gone into his house while he was at supper, and stole a bottle of gin, but he declined to make any charge.  The prisoners had been roaming about, under suspicious circumstances, without any visible means of support. - Sentenced to five days' hard labour each.

Charge if Desertion

   The same two prisoners were then charged with deserting from the American ship Cleopatra, at Yokohama.  Armstrong said he left the ship at that port, without leave, after she was unmoored and was outside the shipping.  He left no clothes on board, having taken them at various times on shore to be washed.  He went on shore to get them back, but got drunk, and the ship left without him. - Trainor admitted that he left the ship at Yokohama. - Both were found guilty of desertion within the meaning of the Act, and were sentenced to thirty days' hard labour each.  - It appears the prisoners paid their passage from Yokohama to Shanghai, in the M.B. str. Tokio Maru.

Suspected Burglaries.

   In addition to the charges above disposed of, the prisoners were remanded, pending the production of evidence by the police, of two burglaries, which were said to have been committed within a day or two.

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