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Colonial Cases

Belgium, Army

Montgomery County Times, 23 October 1893


A REMARKABLE ESCAPE.-A Belgian officer, Captain Felix, who was recently sentenced by courtmartial to degradation for having stolen money from a bathing machine at Ostend last summer, may certainly consider (says the Evening Standard) the circumstances under which he has been acquitted of the offence by the military Court of Appeal singularly lucky. One of the great points in the evidence against him was that in the purse which he was accused of stealing from a lady's bathing cabin, there was amongst other coins a gold Napoleon with a black spot on the back. An exactly similar coin, it appears, was found in the Belgian officer's possession, and much stress was laid upon the fact. After his condemnation he appealed, and for the defence the governor and treasurer of the National Bank were called. They stated that they had made an experiment. Two bags of gold had, by their instructions, been taken haphazard from their vaults, and it had been found that of a hundred gold coins ninety were Napoleons, and that three- quarters of the latter had a black spot on the back. This statement, it can readily be understood, created a sensation, and the officer's antecedents being excellent he was acquitted. He admitted, however, that he was in the habit of entering bathing machines occupied by ladies "for fun." Probably seeing what results this sort of fun might have entailed, he will in future avoid indulging in it.

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