Skip to Content

Colonial Cases

R v. Leopold, 1899

[obtaining by false pretences]

R. v. Leopold

Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
8 August 1899
Source: The Times, 7 August 1899

 

LAW REPORT, AUG. 8.

JUDICIAL COMMITTEE OF THE PRIVY COUNCIL.

(Present - the LORD CHANCELLOR, LORD JAMES of HEREFORD, and LORD JUSTICE A. L. SMITH.)

THE QUEEN v. LEOPOLD.\

This was a petition by Charles Emil Leopold for special leave to appeal in forma pauperis against a conviction and sentence of two years' imprisonment with hard labour passed upon him by her Britannic Majesty's Consular Court at Yokohama on December 16, 1898.

Mr. Crowdy appeared for the petitioner.

The charge on which the petitioner, Charles Emil Leopold, was tried in her Britannic Majesty's Consular Court at Yokohama was one of obtaining money by false pretences in connexion with certain bills of lading and bills of exchange.  It appeared that the indictment contained 12 counts, all of which, with the exception of counts 1, 4, and 6, were quashed or withdrawn. The petition stated that count 4 charged the petitioner with defrauding Messrs. Ahrens and Co., the agents of the North-German Lloyd Steamship Company at Yokohama, by means of certain bills of lading, and with attempting to obtain money from the Hong-kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, Yokohama, under false pretences, which charge was only brought in immediately after the jury had found the petitioner not guilty in respect to counts 1 and 6, which accused the petitioner of the direct offence of obtaining the same money from the banking Corporation under false pretences.

The bills of lading in respect to which he was charged in count 4 were those referred to in counts 1 an d 6.  The petitioner denied the charge, and said he obtained the money in a fair and legitimate manner.  An application was made for the postponement of the trial in order that the depositions of the petitioner's brother might be taken in London, but the application was refused.  The evidence of the petitioner's brother would have at once dispelled the charge of false pretences.  The jury found the petitioner not guilty on counts 1 and 6, which charged him with having obtained money from the Hong-kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation  by false pretences, but they found him guilty of attempting to obtain the identical money under false pretences. The Court sentenced the petitioner to two years' imprisonment with hard labour. The petitioner contended that the conviction and sentence were wrong and ought to be quashed.  He was not charged in the indictment with attempting to obtain the money, and the jury having found him not guilty on counts 1 and 6, which charged him with obtaining the money by false pretences, he could not be found guilty of attempting to obtain the identical money specified in those counts.  Having been found not guilty on counts 1 and 6, he was also entitled to be acquitted on count 4.

Their LORDSHIPS intimated that they were unable to advise her Majesty to assent to the prayer of the petition, which would therefore be dismissed.

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