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Colonial Cases

R v. Fraser [1893]

[obtaining by false pretences]

Supreme Court for China and Jspan

Shanghai, 5 May 1893

Source: Supreme Court of China (Shanghai), Judges' Notebooks, Vol. 3 (1880-1893), The National Archives (U.K.), FO1092: 340, p 338


Regina versus Malbrook Fraser.

Charge.  Obtaining goods under false pretences.

Plea.  Guilty.

As to former conviction.

Plea. Guilty.

Mr. H. T. Wilkinson, Crown Advocate, prosecutes.

Sentence 8 months in Hong Kong of P. Serv. For 12 m.



Source: North China Herald, 12 May, 1893

Before N. J. Hannen, Esq., Chief Justice.
Shanghai, 5th May.
  Malbrooke Fraser was brought up for trial on an indictment charging him that he "on the January 1893, unlawfully, knowingly and designedly did falsely pretend to one Tung Chi-foh that the name "J. Harris," subscribed by the said Malbrooke Fraser, to an I.O.U. which the said Malbrooke Fraser then gave to the said Tung Chi-foh as his own name and his genuine signature by means of which said false pretence the said Malbrooke Fraser did then falsely obtain from the said Tung Chi-foh, three pints of champagne, one bottle of gin, six bottles of beer, one box of cigars, three cigars and money to the amount of one dollar Mex. with intent to defraud.
  The accused was also charged with having falsely represented himself to Tung Chi-foh as the captain of a sailing vessel lying at Woosung; and further, that before the commission of the misdemeanour now charged against him, in Her Britannic Majesty's Supreme Court for China and Japan, held at Shanghai on 14th June, 1892, he was convicted of the offence of obtaining goods by false pretences which conviction was still in full force and not in the least null and void.
  Mr. H. S. Wilkinson, Crown Advocate, prosecuted. Accused was undefended.
  On the charges being read to him the accused pleaded guilty, and the gentlemen summoned to serve on the jury were accordingly discharged.
  Mr. Wilkinson then said there were two other indictments which he did not think it was necessary to read. His Lordship had no doubt read the depositions in the case and would have arrived at a proper conclusion thereon. And all that would be necessary for him to do would be to call the attention of the Court to the law bearing on persons previously convicted of offences such as those with which the prisoner was now charged. Under the provisions of the Prevention of Crimes Act a person such as the prisoner was rendered liable to the supervision of the police after conviction. The question was whether the prisoner was a proper subject for the power vested in his Lordship by Order in Council No. 106, on the subject of deportation, or whether any other of the powers vested in his Lordship should be exercised with regard to him.
  His Lordship - With regard to the matter of Police supervision is it necessary for me to say anything ion the sentence?
  Mr. Wilkinson replied in the affirmative, and quoted the statute bearing on the subject.
  In reply to his Lordship, accused said he had nothing to say why sentence should not be passed upon him.
  His Lordship, in delivering sentence said - Of course I have considered the matter before now, and therefore it is not necessary for me to go at any great length into the depositions or in fact, to refer to them at all. As for you personally it appears useless to make any remarks in the least likely to have any effect upon you. But I have considered that inasmuch as you committed an offence of the same kind before, were sentenced to jail, and immediately on your release proceeded to do the same thing over again, some different treatment must be applied to you this time. I have thought that if you were sent to carry out the sentence in the Hongkong Gaol, you would feel the hardships of prison more acutely than you can be made to feel them here. If you do it may do the community some good, and it may do yourself some good, and therefore the sentence of the Court is that you be imprisoned with hard labour for eight months, and that the sentence be carried out in the Gaol in Hongkong, subject to all the rules and regulations in force in that Gaol, and that after you be placed under police supervision for twelve months.


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