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Colonial Cases

R. v. Morrison, 1897


R. v. Morrison

Consular Court, Sapeli


Source: The Times, 10 March 1897


At THAMES, WILLIAM MORRISON, 33, a marine fireman, of Brown-street, Liverpool, was brought up on the following charge:-

Mutinous conduct on board the steamer Mayumba, of Liverpool, and sentenced by the Consular Court of Sapeli (West Coast of Africa) to be fined one month's wages and to be imprisoned for 16 weeks, with hard labour, in the first prison available for white men.  Apprehended on board the steamer Gannet, of London, on the navigable river Thames, 57 and 58 Vic., cap. 66, sec. 689."

On the prisoner's being placed in the dock Mr. Mead said he failed to find any authority for him to deal with the case, and the section 689, in his opinion, did not apply.  The prisoner was then put back for the Colonial Office to be communicated with.  No documents relating to the evidence on which Morrison was convicted accompanied him to this country.  During the day inquiries were made at the Home Office, where it was felt there was no power to enforce the sentence, which was pronounced by a Consular Court.  Inspector Knight, Thames police, said the prisoner was given in to custody by the captain of the steamer Gannet, which had arrived from Hamburg.  He had no further evidence.  Mr. Mead said he had come to the conclusion that he could do nothing but discharge him, as he could find no authority by which the conviction was a proper one, although the Home Office, Colonial Office, and Foreign Office had been communicated with.  The prisoner would therefore be allowed to go free.

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