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Colonial Cases

R v. Wood [1882]

obtaining by false pretences

Supreme Court for China

Shanghai, 12 August 1882

Source: Supreme Court of China (Shanghai), Judges' Notebooks, Vol. 3 (1880-1893), The National Archives (U.K.), FO1092: 340, p 21


Regina v. Garden Wood.

Charge - Obtaining goods from one Wang-sing-li a native tailor by false pretences.

Plea.  Not guilty.


Jury: J. Pemberton, A. Silverthorne, J. Wright, R. Francis (excused for deafness), J. S. Thorburn, C. Hay.

Mr. Mayburgh for the Crown Advocate, opens.


Shu Ling Tsa. - (interpreter sworn) (Witness cautioned in the usual way) I am a partner of Wang Jeung Je & I get $8 a month wages & a share in the profits.  I remember the 18th of the 6th moon seeing the prisoner about 11.30 on that day. [22]

   I saw him at our shop where he came to buy some clothes.  I gave him a hat a coat a vest & a pair of pants.  He put them on.  He was going away.  I wanted payment.  He did not pay.  I wanted $9, prisoner offered $8 & I agreed.  I demanded payment & the prisoner said he lived at the Astor House No. 16 & belonged to the circus.  He told me to send the old clothes to the Astor House at 12.30 - where he would be at dinner, & payment would be made.  I wanted the prisoner to write his name & he did write something in a book - He wrote this - (Book put in & page marked A.)  I have known some of the circus people.  I have made clothes for them.  There is only one circus in Shanghai.

   I would not have allowed the prisoner to take away the clothes if he had not said that he belonged to the circus and lived at the Astor House.  I went to the Astor House at 12.30.  I did not see the prisoner there.  I waited some time but did not get the money.  I have not received payment since.

X Exd.  I do the tailoring business.  I received you.  You spoke to me.  While examining the clothes you spoke to me - while examining the clothes not but when you were putting them on you told me where you were living.  You said you were a circus man.  My partner was in the shop - he did not hear everything that passed.  The value of the clothes you left was about $2. [23]

   I also saw a customer of mine who lives in Room No. 12.  (G. Saroney) .

   Did you ever make clothes for Sarony?

   Yes, I went to his room - I mean Sarony - not Sauny.

   I did not know that you had been in the Customs, nor where you lived.

Lorenzo Maya (Sworn).  I am Secretary to Chiarini's Circus.  That was the only circus in Sh; on the 15 of Aug.  The advertisement in the N.C.D. News is written & signed by me & the description S. Chiarini's R. J. Circus is the correct descrn.  I know everyone employed in the circus - I do not know the prisoner.  He was not either before or after the 1st of Aug. employed in any way connected with the circus.

No X Exn.

Max. F. Zonk (Sworn).  I am clerk at the Astor House.  I know all the people who live in the Hotel.  I know the prisoner.  he was not living in the Astor House on the 15 of Aug. last.  Nor did he mess there.  He did not tiffin there on the 15 of Aug.

X exd.    You were staying there 2 days [24] & a half.  You were ordered to go away - for misconduct - on the evening of the 3rd day - the sole reason was that you introduced a foreign prostitute.  You owe me $35 & your bill is not paid at the Astor House.  I have sent the Shroff after you.

XX exd.  The door keeper would have told me if the prisoner had come in the 1st of Aug; he did not.

Wong Sing Ja (cautioned).  I am a shop keeper.  Shu Ling Tsa is my partner.  I do not know the prisoner.  he came to buy clothes on the 18th of the 6th moon.  Shu Ling Tsa attended to him.  The clothes were a hat a pair of pants a vest and a coat.  I heard him say he was a circus man & wanted some clothes.  He paid no money.  I don't know any of the circus men but my partner does.  I heard that the old clothes were to be sent to the Astor House.  Prisoner went away with the new ones.

X exd.  You spoke to me when you first came into the shop.  My partner did not tell me who you were.  I should have allowed you to go away even if you had not left your old clothes.  I do not know Sarony.  When my partner came back he said he could not find you & that he had been.  I did not think that you had passed yourself off as Mr. Sarony.

This is the case for the prosecution. [25]

Prisoner (calls)

Song Szung Ja (Cautioned).  I remember the prisoner living at the Hotel in April.  I did not see the prisoner on the 1st of Aug at 12.30.  I was out collecting bills.

No X exn.

Tsang Yue Ding (cautioned).  I am Shroff of the Custom House previous to the 31st of July.  I do not know whether I knew Mr. Zonk.

The prisoner makes a statement.  As I was forbidden the Astor House I knew that if a parcel came addressed to me it would be sent away.  If addressed to some one else I could go & ask for it & then see Jansen & enquire into my bill - I feel sure it was paid by a friend of mine.

Mr. Mayburgh in reply.

I sum up.

Verdict -  Guilty.

Sentence three months with hard labour to take effect upon the expiry of the one the prisoner is now undergoing.  Nicholas. J. Hannen.  A.C.J.

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