‘Orse Thieves

In 1958 when I was about 7 or 8 years old my father, my older brother and I went to Burracoppin to buy some stores for the farm which was situated at Booraan approximately 14 miles distance.

Somehow (as was my dad’s want) we ended up “having a drink” with a couple of old timers who lived at Burra. I clearly remember my Dad asking one old bloke if he had known any of our ancestors from Mangowine back in the early 1900s. The answer was “Bloody ‘orse thieves, the lot of em!!!”.

Dad thought it was a huge joke at the time and would often relate the story to us until the day he died. Dad also added the fact that his dad’s brother (Charles Edwin) was supposed to have joined the army when a policeman attempted to arrest him for “horse stealing” in 1916. Apparently, he jumped on his horse, leapt the yard rails and headed for the bush. He made his way to SA where he enlisted and sadly was killed in France by the Germans in the same year.

This family anecdote got me thinking as to the truth of it all. The following is a collection of information that I have retrieved from old newspapers from Trove.gov.au. Make your own mind up.

Ron Adams, Toodyay, January 2017


In the Criminal Court this morning, the hearing of the charge preferred against Charles Edwin Adams of having stolen a bay mare, the property of Frederick R. Hall of Wattening, was continued before Mr. Justice Burnside and a jury.

Mr. A. E. Barker prosecuted, and Mr. A. P. Abbott appeared to defend. Henry Slater said that he had had but one transaction with the accused. This was in December, 1903, when he bought a mare for £9. Subsequently, the mare was claimed by Mr. Hall and a Constable Cahill. Before Hall came to his place about the mare, witness did not see another brand on it. Rowles never spoke to him about the mare as belonging to Hall. He did not pay any particular attention to the mare when he bought her and did not notice any brands. To Mr. Abbott The accused and his family were much respected in the Locality. Herbert A. Slater said he remembered his father purchasing a mare with a brand XI on the near side. In January last Hall, Rowles and the constable came to his father’s place and they pointed out the cross brand on the XI brand. He thought that the E cross brand had been put on when the mare was young. To Mr. Abbott: He was not an expert, but had had a general knowledge of horses. The mare appeared to have been but recently broken in. She was quiet enough, but not to the bridle.

Frederick Hall (re-called) identified the branding iron ‘E cross’ which he had obtained from Mr. C. E. Dempster and with which he had branded the mare. To Mr. Abbott: He did not produce the iron at the police court hearing at Northam, because, he was not asked for it. John Lee, Registrar of Brands, produced the register showing brands of stock registered by the Stock. Department. To Mr. Abbott: The hrands were registered for the whole State. Martin. Cahill, a constable, deposed to having obtained possession of the mare at Slater’s farm. At that time the mare was branded EX (cross) artl IX (cross), the latter brand being the clearer.Mr. Abbott then outlined the defence.

Charles Edwin Adams, a farmer, residing 35 miles’ from Burracoppin, said that in 1897, Butterly, then manager of Lamont’s station, left the balance of his horses with the accused, with instructions to brand them. Butterly was to give witness one horse when he sold them in 1899 to R. Rowles. There were five in all, all mares. Witness got the mare before the court in September, 1903 and broke it in. In December of the same year he sold the mare to Henry A Slater. When he arrived at Slater’s the mare was wet under the saddle. Any brand would then show out much clearer. To Mr. Barker: the mare was foaled in 1898, and he hid seen ‘her ‘repeatedly since up to December, 1903 when she was’sold. She was broken in in October; 1903. In addition to himself, he was not aware that the jury would have advantage of seeing any witnesses who had seen the mare in his possession prior to this date. He could not explain how the ‘E cross’ brand got on the mare after he sold it to Slater ( without Slater knowing about it. Arnold Butterlv remembered having instructed Adams in regard to mustering him some horses and said that he told the accused he could have one for his trouble. The mare he had seen outside the court much resembled one of the mares he left on the run. He had examined her teeth, and was of opinion she was rising 6 years. He. was satisfied, as far. as her age was concerned, that she could have been foaled by one of the mares he left behind him and she much resembled one of those mares. To Mr ‘Barker: He had left the district about nine years ago. He returned a couple of times, but had not been back for ‘between six and. seven years, or since the/mare was foaled. To his. Honor: He could not say if the mare looked like ‘a bush filly nor could he tell what the sire of the mare might be.

Robert Knowles said that he knew the Adams family. They were old residents and much respected He remembered buying four mares from Butterly in 1903. He went up and mustered for a fortnight and got two mares. To Mr. Barker: He should say the brand . ‘E cross’ had been on for sometime. Gerard Lamond, recalled by his Honor, said that the accused might have ridpast his place in December, 1903. Mr. Abbott was commencing to address the jury, when his Honor pointed out that the mare had last been seen by Hall in September, 1903 it was sold by Adams in December, 1903 there were three clear months unaccounted for. So far there had been no evidence of stealing. Mr. Barker thought there was a case in the matter of recent possession, for the jury, either for stealing or receiving. He held that the fact that the brands were covered up, taken in connection with recent possession, was in the circumstances, a question raised for the jury. (Case proceeding.)


In the Criminal Court on Monday, before Mr. Justice Burnside, a young man named Charles Edwin Adams appeared to answer a charge of horse stealing from Freckrick JR. Hall, farmer, of Wattaning. The hearing of the case was commenced on Friday last, when the prosecutor told the Court he missed the mare which was one of a number of animals he took over, with his property from C. E., Dempster in September, 1903, and in December, 1904, she was recovered in the possession of a farmer at Goomalling. The Assistant Crown Solicitor (Mr. A. E. Barker) prosecuted, and Mr. A. F. Abbott defended.

Henry Slater stated that he purchased the mare from the accused at Goomalling for £9, together with, another mare and a foal. He did not see an ” Ex” brand upon her. His Honour, in summing up, pointed out that the mare, in company with other animals on the Wattaning property, was able to wander at will over a large area of country. She was missed by Mr. Hall, her owner, for thirteen months, and he indentified the animal when he recovered her by the ” Ex” brand” he had put on her as a yearling. It was alleged that the accused rode the mare to Goomalling, and there, disposed of her to Slater, giving a bill of sale. Both Slater and his son deposed that they did not see the brand mentioned during the time they had the animal. If the jury came to the conclusion that the accused, like Slater, did not see the brand when he first came into possession of the animal, they would see there was no clear evidence that he stole her.

The jury returned a verdict of not guilty and the accused was discharged.


At the Perth Court to-day Charles Edwin Adam’s was acquitted on a charge of stealing a horse, the property of Frederick Hall, after a lengthy hearing.


At the Northam Police Court 011 Friday, December 4, before Messrs. J. T. Reilly and I Withnell, J.’sP., Charles Adams was charged with stealing or receiving, knowing it to have been stolen, a horse the property of Char Sing, at Kellerberrin in April 1907. Sergt. Connor prosecuted. The accused, who was defended by Mr. Spry, pleaded not guilty. Char Singh deposed that on March 21, 1907; at Dandanning, he drove two horses in a cart. He saw Mrs. Moran there and asked her if she would deal in horses and what would be a fair deal. He had two mares, which he wanted to exchange for two horses. He made the exchange and gave her £5. He tied the two horses up in the yard and looked for brands. One horse had a J and cross-bar on the near shoulder, and the other horse was branded on near shoulder, but not plainly. Mrs. Moran told him the horse was branded possibly with her mother’s or brother’s brand. (At this stage the Bench left the Court to inspect the horse and found it branded G.A. with semi-circle.) The witness identified it as the horse which he obtained from Mrs. Moran. He knew the horse by its big head and big ears, three white legs and white star. He produced the cheque book from which he got the cheque for £6. Mrs. Moran wrote the cheque and he signed it. The reason he could not see the brand when he bought the horse was that the hair was too long. He produced the receipt which Mrs. .Moran had signed. The receipt gave no brand, but gave a description of the horse. He asked Mrs. Moran to find out whose brand was on the horse and said he would return in two days for it. He tied the horse up and told Mrs Moran he would pay for its feed. He left next day. On March 22nd he asked Mrs. Moran to lend him one of the mares he had exchanged. Mrs. Moran branded the two mares straight away, with her own brand. He borrowed one mare and went away on the 22nd or 23rd of March. He went to Mr. Hall’s and had a conversation with him. Mr Hall said that witness had made a good deal. Witness showed the receipt to Mr. Hall, who said he had seen the horse at Mrs. Moran’ s yard. On the 24th he returned to Mrs Moran’s. He went into the yard, but no horse was there. Saw Mrs. Moran and asked her where the horse was. She said “I let him go I thought he would hang himself. Witness told Mrs. Moran that she had no right to let the horse go. She said “If you like you can take the mares and let me have the two horses back. She wanted to break the deal and return the six pounds, but witness said he would not break the deal. He returned the mare he had borrowed and said he would get the horse next time He saw Adams’ mother, who knew that horse he was driving. He told her about the deal, and she said “You robbed my daughter.” Mrs. Adams was Mrs. Moran’s mother. Witness was away for two months and then returned to Mangowiue, where he saw Henry Adams and others. Mrs. Adams spoke to Henry Adams and told him to get witness’s horse and he would pay for finding it. Henry Adams said “’Will you sell your chance for the horse ” Henry Adams’ offered £4 for the chance but witness said he wanted the horse for work on the farm. That day he went to Mrs. Moran and asked her if she had seen his horse. She said, “Never since that day.” He wrote a letter to Mrs. Adams asking it she had seen the horse and got a reply that she had not. He reported the matter to the police in May of last year. On the 24th of September lie was at Kellerberrin and saw the horse tied up in the stable of the public house. He met C Adam’s and his mother at Kellerberrin races last year on December 6 and spoke to them about the horse. Mrs. Adams said “You have done well with the horse that you have, you don’t want another horse. Cross-examined, Singh said there was no doubt about the horse being the same. He had bought six horses from Mrs. Moran altogether. Frederick Owen Hall, grazier, of Hines’ Hill, said that in 1905 a bay colt was running at his place with a white face and white feet. The colt was running there about two months. He look him to Mrs. Moran’s place, believing, the horse belonged to Mrs. Adams. In 1907, about March, he passed Dandanning and saw the same colt there. The horse was in the yard. He saw Char Singh there and had a conversation with him. The horse in the court yard was the same. Edward Moran, farm laborer, residing at Meckering, said that previous to 1907 he was employed by Mrs.Moran at Dandanning . In 1906 he made a deal with horses for Mrs. Moran with Chas. Adams. The horse in the yard was the horse that he received in exchanged from C. Adams. The exchange was made at Dandanning at Mrs. Moran’s place. Richard Brasche, farmer of Kellerberrin, said he inspected the horse on his wife’s behalf on April 7 last and his wife purchased the horse on his recommendation for £15. The police afterwards took it. Florence Brasche said she purchased the horse from the accused for £15. She produced the receipt. Constable Cahill gave evidence of taking possession of the horse and arresting the accused. For the defence, Thomas Lynch, farmer at Kellerberrin said that he got the horse then at the court house yard at Mangowine on 14th January, 1908. The horse had a swelling on the offside under the eye the same as was there at present. The horse would be four years old, not five years. It bore the same brands as when he had it. Thomas George Adams, farmer, of Mangowine, said he recognised the horse as one bred by Charlie Adams. He knew the sire and dam, the latter belonging to Charlie Adams and the sire, to Mr. Hall. The horse was on Mangowine run for about 12 months. He knew it from a foal until it was broken in. He was present at the branding and helped to brand it at Mangowiue. The brand C A was the station brand of Adams’. He would swear the brand was put on in his presence. Elizabeth Moran, sister of accused, recognised the horse as one Mr. Hall brought and left at her place belonging to C. Adams. She had sold several horses to Char Singh, but the horse in the yard was never sold by her to Char Singh. Char Singh left a horse at her place and told her to let it go if it jumped about. She let it go but did not know where it went. One of the horses that Ghar Singh bought had no brand. Charles Edward Adams, the accused, said he owned the horse in question. He had bred the horse himself. The horse had been at “Waddington, Mr. Hall’s farm. He branded the horse himself. Some time last year he told a Mr. Lynch he could go out to Mangowine and get the horse and if he broke it in he could have the use of it for three months. Mr. Lynch got it and broke it in to harness and saddle. On the 7th of April a Mrs. Prasche said she would like to get a horse on a bill. He sold the horse to her for £15 on a bill for six months. On the 17th September he heard that Constable Cahill had taken possession of the horse and that a warrant was out for his arrest. He made inquiries and found that this was not so. He bred the animal himself and it was his own property. To Sergeant Connor His registered brand was C.E.A. The horse in question was branded C.A. The Bench retired for a few minutes and on returning stated that they considered that a prima facie case had been made out against the accused, and committed him for trial at the next Criminal Sessions in Perth.

A Shocking Abuse of Justice

In November last a man named C. E. Adams was accosted at Kellerberrin for the alleged theft of a horse claimed by an Afghan named Char Singh. He was committed for trial at Northam, and the “long. vacation” coming on then was remanded until the March Sessions of the Criminal Court at Perth, whereupon the Crown Prosecutor entered a nolle prosequi in the case, and he was released.

lt would seem, from Adams’s statement in this paper and to the Attorney General that he has been treated with shocking injustice. He declares (and says he has eight witnesses ready to swear) (1) that he bred the horse that he was accused of stealing (2) that it was at least 12 months older than the animal sold to Char Singh; (3) That the Afghan’s animal was unbranded and a stallion, whereas Adams’s horse (ie the one he was charged with stealing) was castrated and branded in the presence of witnesses and (4) that accused sold the animal in dispute to a Mrs Braysher on six months’ terms, and “none but a lunatic would steal “a horse and sell it on a six months’ bill.” In order to clear himself from a baseless charge, he had to go to the expense of bringing eight witnesses to Perth, and to endure mental worry and social stigma for six long months for the police had the warrant in band in September, but didn’t execute it till November, although Adams went out of his way to give them the opportunity. If this is British justice, we should like to see a specimen of the other sort.

It “is coming it strong,” as Sam Weller observed, when a white man can be arrested and subjected to ignominy, worry, and expense for six, months on the practically unsupported word of an Asiatic The least the Government can do is to recoup Mr Adams his financial outlay. An action, against the Afghan for wrongful imprisonment would doubtless lie but in all probability the turbaned gentleman “isn’t worth powder and shot.” The case reveals a dangerous abuse of the forms of justice and the attention of the Attorney-General is hereby drawn to it. Footnote by RWA – This is an editorial written in the language of the day containing the prejudices that were in effect at that time (1907). But nevertheless, Great Uncle C E Adams was not guilty!

THAT E.X. MARE, GIVEN BY SQUATTER DEMPSTER TO C. E. ADAMS Who was Charged with Stealing Her, but Acquitted by the Jury.
Acclamation: As you weekly apportion large spaces in your paper to ventilating the wrongs of those suffering from grievances they are powerless to resist I would now call your attention to the case of young Adams lately charged by Fred Hall, station owner with horse stealing. It appears that Mr Dempster, the proprietor of various squatting properties in this State sold a squatting property at Wammenning to Hall. Further it is arranged between Dempster and Hall that the latter should use E.X. (Dempster s brand) for his horses which in itself seems a most unheard of arrangement, but one that fe»’-nnghi, have been worked to their mutual benefit and profit. There was an arrangement that young Adams, (who lived about 20 miles from Hall’s) should have one of a number of horses on the run for the trouble of bringing and yarding the others, This was carried out, and he received the horse as arranged. Some time after, he disposed of this beast to a settler named Slater. Meanwhile Adams had got a contract of road making or clearing near Esperance Bay. Some time ago Hall had offered a reward for his missing horse. Whether he knew of the arrangement which had been made with regard to Adams recompense or not I don’t know. A man named Rowles gave information of the whereabouts of the beast. Hall at once took steps to have Adams arrested, as it was shown that he had disposed the horse to Slater.

What follows is the cream of the story and incontestably proves Hall to be one of the meanest men out of Hades in journeying to Northam to obtain a warrant, he stopped and had refreshments at Adams’ mother’s house on his way, and was particularly friendly to the inmates. After obtaining the warrant for her son, he returned home, staying, mark you at the mother’s house all night with welcome and free quarters for himself and horse, never having hinted at the business he had been engaged upon. Were a prize offered to the man who could prove himself to be the meanest cur in the State, I unhesitatingly as merit there would be found no hand dispute the question with him.

The case was tried in Perth and the unfortunate Adams, though gaining the day, received no costs to indemnify him for being dragged up from Esperance Bay on a capital charge, losing his contract and having to leave Perth for home nearly penniless.
The case is a peculiarly hard one, and if Adams has no right to compensation, then no man’s liberty is safe in the State of WA. It Adams is not entitled to be reimbursed what he has been compelled to lose by the unjustifiable act of Hall, then it is competent for any man who ever owned a branding iron to Order the gaol of any other man in possession of a beast carrying his registered letters of mark. Liberty is very highly regarded in this State, and the reason for this is not far to seek But surely a free man upon whose person the violent hand of the law is laid without the slightest warrant beyond the sworn information of an evidently irresponsible individual may consider himself entitled to use that law as a lever to prize a substantial compensation out of an apparently malicious prosecutor?

Adams was arrested on January 20 at Ravensthorpe, nearly 600 miles from Perth where he was employed as a contracting teamster on the rabbitproof fence, driving his own horses and making a decent profit out of the undertaking.
He was taken away, from the team without one moment’s notice or grace and not even given the opportunity to turn his outfit over to a responsible person who would, safeguard his interests. The consequence was that he lost his contract, and was practically deprived of his means of livelihood. He could not be dealt with at Ravensthorpe and was taken to Northam and gaoled pending his presentation at the magistrate’s court, where he was remanded on bail for a fortnight. He was then committed for trial at Perth, and on Monday was acquitted by a jury.

Adams estimates his direct loss at £200. And the sarcasm of the law is made apparent when it is stated that the prosecutor, who had no right whatever to prosecute – Mr. Champion Mean Man Hall, was paid all his travelling expenses, all his incidental expenses, and so much per day while engaged in the persecution of a well known and reputable man whom he charged with stealing his own horse!

In this country many things happen which could not possible occur elsewhere. But after his most recent experience anything at all which happens should not occasion Adams the slightest surprise. FOOTNOTE BY RWA – Again, NOT GUILTY, Author of above unknown but appears to be a good friend of Charles.


J Charles Edward Adams was charged in the Northam Police Court, on Friday, the 17th inst, before W. D. Cowan, Esq., R.M., with stealing a horse from Wattoning on the 11th December, 1903, the property of F H Hall. Sergeant Smyth prosecuted on the part of the police. Mr P. Lyon appeared on behalf of the accused Adams. Frederick Hall sworn, said to the following effect. He was a station owner at Wattoning He missed a yellow bay mare, branded EX under saddle, near side. He last saw the mare in September 1903. He looked for the mare over his runs. He knew the accused who is a neighbor of his. He turned out the jnare on his run with a stallion. He was in Northam early last year, when he informed the police of the loss of the mare. In December last, in company with Constable Cahill, he went to H. Slater’s place at Goomalling; he found his mare working cultivator Sgt Cahill took charge of the mare; he saw the mare outside the court : the mare is his property; he bred the mare on his own run; The mare is six years old next March; W. I Rowles broke the mare in; EX is Mr C. E. Dempster’s station brand; when he last saw the mare she had no other brand on; he now noticed a faint brand on the top of his brand; AX is one of the letters, but what the other is he could not tell; when the police’ took the mare at Goomalling the mare was distinctly branded EX or IIX (or cross). By Mr. Lyon – He had 33 head of horses; he had the horses entered in his stock book. His neighbors keep horses; he took the station over about six years ago.

The learned counsel continued his cross-examination of the witness at great length as to the horses on his run, but nothing material resulted. Wm. Rowles, sworn, said he is a farmer residing at Jurokine: he was with the complainant Hall at Wattoning about two years ago last October; he broke in a mare for Hall;. she was a bay mare branded EX (cross) on near rib; the brand was hgh up; the mare had no other brand then; he saw a mare outside the court this morning ; that is the mare he broke in for Hall; the. mare has another brand, on now; these brands were not on the I mare when he broke her in for Hall.

By Mr. Lyon – He never saw another mare at Wattoning like the one outside the court house; he got £10 for reward for giving information about the mare; he gave the required information; Hall said if it was not his mare nothing more would be about it; or in othr words, Hall said if it was not his mare he would not pay the £10; as it was Hall’s mare, he paid him the money; he could not tell the age of a horse; he left Hall in October, 1903.

By Sergeant Smyth— He noticed that another brand was on the mare now to what I was on her when he broke her in. The mare has a pimple on the navel, which is a most unusual and peculiar mark. Gerard Lamond, sworn, said he is a I grazier residing at Yarragin station ; he knew Hall the complainant; he is a neighbor of his; he lives within 25 miles of his station ; about 2 years ago Hall’s stock was on his run; one mare was brought in ; the mare was branded . EX (cross) on near rib ; the mare now in the police yard is the same mare; the mare has a natural mark; a lump on her belly near the navel.

By Mr. Lyon – he did not see any other horse with FX (cross) on watering on his run; the horses are watered from a well ; he noticed the mare particularly because she was a fine looking mare. Henry Slater, sworn, said – He is a farmer residing at Goomalling ; he knew the accused Adams ; he purchased a mare from accused on I 11th December, 1903 ; he gave accused £9 cash and a mare and foal, valued at £12, for his mare; he saw a mare outside the police court that is the same mare which be bought from the accused; the mare has been in his possession since December, 1903; the mare had XI on her when he bought her; he produced the receipts given him by the accused when he purchased the mare from him; he never noticed the brand FX on her; the mare was branded, double cross when he bought her ; she was branded in the ribs ; he branded the mare with his own brand; his brand is H and cross; he noticed E cross on the mare in the yard this morning; he never noticed the E cross brand before; the police took the mare out of his possession.

By Mr Lyon – The brand X is Mr. Butterley’s brand; the accused came to his place in the day time with the mare ; the constable and accused told him that the brand E (cross) was on the mare. Herbert H. Slater corroborated the evidence of H. Slater as to the purchase of the mare from the accused. Martin Cahill, Police Constable at Northam, gave evidence as to finding the mare at Slater’s residence; the mare outside the Court is the same mare.

The accused reserved his defence. Accused was then committed to take his trial at the next sitting of the Supreme Court, Perth. Bail was allowed in the sum of £100

Disputed Ownership.

At the City Court, Perth, on Thursday, before Mr. A. S. Roe, P.M., Frederick H. Hall proceeded against Henry Slater on a charge of having unlawfully detained a mare, the property of the complainant. Mr. F. Martin appeared for the complainant, and Mr. A. F. Abbott for the defendant. The case arose out of one of alleged horse-stealing, which was disposed of at the Criminal Court recently. The complainant (Hall) contended that the animal in question was his, and that the brands had been interfered with. The defence was that it was a case of mistaken identity, and that the mare claimed was not Hall’s. Mr. Roe, in giving his judgment, said that the case was one in which the complainant (Hall) sought to recover a mare which had been unlawfully detained by the defendant (Slater), after due notice had been given. The case in a nutshell was that Stater and his son contended that when the mare was bought by them there was only an XI brand on the animal, and that that brand was put on by one Adams before he took the mare to the Slaters. They saw no other brand on it until the mare was seized by the police in January. The only defence they had to offer was to make out that the EX brand had been put on after the XL They wanted him to believe that somebody had got hold of the mare and put the EX brand on it. Ie was almost an insult to his intelligence to ask him to believe such a thing. The witness Lamont’s evidence was that he could tell the mare among thousands. He had watched her for many years, and had frequently watered and attended to her.He was positive that the EX brand was on her when he had seen her. There was similar evidence given by the man Rose, who broke the mare in. The defence alleged that Rose himself had got hold of the mare and put the EX on, so as to secure the reward of £10 offered by Hall for the recovery of his lost mare. That story might do for fairy-books, but he (Mr. Roe) would not entertain it for one moment. He did believe Herbert Slater, the defendant’s son, when he said that when the mare was brought to the Slaters the XI brand was only a few weeks old, though Adams denied this. He considered that the defendant, before the criminal case was concluded, came to the conclusion that the mare was Hall’s property. He believed Hall and Sergeant Smythe when those witnesses swore that the defendant admitted to them that the mare was Hall’s, but he declined to deliver up the animal until he had been recouped in some measure for the expenses he had incurred. Slater evidently considered that, having ouce bought the animal in good faith, he was entitled to keep her against alLcomers, and in order to bolster up his position had brought witnesses to court to tell an incredible story. The witnesses for the defence repeatedly contradicted themselves, and he could not rely upon their statements. The Court had positive evidence that the EX. brand was several times as large as the XI brand, and that to his riiind proved conclusively that it had been put on while the animal was young; and had grown with fyer. He would enter judgment to the effect that the mare was Hall’s property, and must be returned to him, in default of which Slater would have to pay the amount of her value, £40. The defendant would have to pay the costs of the case. The costs could be drawn up and taxed by the Clerk of Petty Sessions. Mr. Abbott : There will probably be an appeal in this case to Higher Court.

Mr. Roe: There will be the usual stay of proceedings then, if the costs are paid, Mr. Martin: I would apply for an order for the return of the mare in the same state as it is now.

Mr. Roe: There will be an order for the return of the mare within fourteen days.


This was an action brought by Chas. Adams, of Mangowine against Abbott of Merredin, to recover tie price of one bay mare, alleged to be wrongfully detained by the defendant together with damages for such detention.
Mr. G. Leake appeared for plaintiff and defendant was represented by Mr. Cliff Penny.

Plaintiff, in his evidence said that he had sold a mare to defendant, but not the mare that was the subject of this action and that defendant had gone to his mother’s premises at Mangowine and received the mare. He gave the brand the mare sold as CA and that of the beast alleged to be wrongfully in defendant’s possession as CA2 over CA.

Plaintiff was subjected to a severe cross-examination by Mr. Cliff Penny.

He denied that he had taken the mare in dispute from Benjaberring near Burracoppin to Mangowine and had there re-branded and removed a certain growth from the eye.

B. Robbins deposed that he had been asked by defendant if he could certify to a mare then in defendant’s possession and alleged to be the the animal purchased by defendant from plaintiff. He could not do so and would not now swear that the animals were identical. He had had charge of the mare sold by plaintiff to defendant for a few days prior to such sale.
J. Dominella swore to a person visiting the Mangowine stables on a certain date and could not swear that the defendant was the person who had removed the animal.

At ‘this stage of the proceedings Mr. George Leake for the plaintiff said he would not oppose a non suit but Mr Penny on behalf of defendant said he demanded a straight out verdict for defendant with costs.

The magistrate ordered witnesses to he called for the defence.

The defendant (Abbot) in giving evidence on his own behalf said that he had purchased a mare from plaintiff. He swore that the mare in his possession was the animal he had purchased. He admitted that he had lost the animal, and from information received, had gone to Mangowine and removed her from Adams’ yard, leaving behind a foal which was with the mare but was not his property. He affirmed that the brand CA2 was only recently burned it and that then he took possession, it was still blistered The animal was produced in Court and defendant swore to it being the one he had purchased.

Mr. Hay of Burracoppin swore to the mare in question being the same that Adams informed him he had sold it to a Mr Abbot a blacksmith at Merredin.

The P.M. at this juncture declined to call any more evidence. He said it was very bad case indeed and he wondered that the plaintiff had the audacity to bring it before the Court. He gave a verdict for the defendant, with costs, all witnesses subpoenaed on behalf of defendant to be allowed fees and expenses.