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Colonial Cases

R v. Williams [1880]

stealing and receiving

Supreme Court for China

Shanghai, 20 April 1880

Source: Supreme Court of China (Shanghai), Judges' Notebooks, Vol. 3 (1880-1893), The National Archives (U.K.), FO1092: 340, p 4

Regina v John Henry Williams

Charge: Stealing and receiving a razor.

Same jurors as in last case. [Jurors: T. H. Vale, B. H. Perceval, Wm. Howe, G. Harrison, A. C. Westall.]

Alfred Barnes.  Chief Constable at the Consr gaol.  I know pr.  He is charged with stealing razor.  It was mine.  Razor produced is the one.  I missed it first on Sunday the 21st Match.  I used it on Saturday the 20th March & it was then lying on my dressing table.  The prisoner had access to my room on the Saturday with the or prisoners in the gaol.  The prisoner is now and was then on the 20th and 21st March a pr in gaol.  I saw razor on following [Thursday].  A China man gave me razor.  He is the watch man in gaol.  I saw the foreman of the carpenters at work in the gaol give the razor to the watchman.  I did not suspect pr.  From information I recd I called prisoner and told him to strip and in the leg of his trowsers I found three pieces of [5] tobacco.  Tobacco is not allowed in gaol.  I asked pr where he got the tobacco from, he sd he had bought it from a China man for 20 cents.  In reply to my question, he sd he had not bought it with the razor.  On the followg Friday he sd what he he had before told me was a lie and he had bought tobacco with a razor wch he had recd from pr Lee, a prisoner in gaol.  The 2nd constable was present when pr made above statement to me.  Lee cd have had no razor of his own. 

By prisoner: I searched you when you first went into gaol, before you were convicted.

James Rogers Bowman: 2nd constable in H.M.'s gaol.  I remember 20th march last.  I was employed with the prs in cleaning Barnes's qtrs.  The pr was engaged in work with the or prisoners.  I recognize razor in ct.  It belongs to Barnes.  I know it, from xxxxxxxx & very frequently from Mr. Barnes. He kept it in his bed room.  Any of prs employed in cleaning Barnes's room cd have taken razor.  I remember pr being searched by Barnes after 20th.  Three pieces of tobacco were found on pr   when he was searched.  He sd he had bought it from a coolie [6] for 20 cents.  On the followg Friday - Good Friday - pr told Barnes what he had sd before was false and he had got razor from pr Lee to purchase tobacco.                                                        

By prisoner

Wang-ki-mao. Sworn and interpreted by Dyan-Kee-Woo duly sworn to interpret truly.  I am a carpenter.  I have seen razor in court before.  I first saw it abt ten days before I was exd in Ct below.  I have had it in my possn.  I got it from anr Chinaman Kwo-ah-me.  He is in Court.  I gave it to Kwo-Sing-Ling watchman at gaol.

By prisoner.  Barnes did not tell me to get razor from carpenter.

Kwo-Ah-Mee.  Sworn and interpreted as in last witness.  I am a carpenter.  I know razor.  I had it in my possn.  I got it from pr.  I was working in gaol when pr gave me razor.  I gave pr three pieces of tobacco in exchange for razor.  I gave razor to last witness.

By prisoner.

Kwo-Sing-Ling sworn & interpreted as before.  I am a watchman in gaol.  I know razor.  I had it in my possn.  It belongs to Barnes. [7]  I handed it to Barnes.

Guilty of receiving razor knowing it to have been stolen.

Sentence. 3 months imprisonment with hard labr.  George French, C.J.

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