The Queen v James Courtney

Judgment Date17 April 1856
Date17 April 1856
CourtCourt of Criminal Appeal

Crim. Appeal.


The Queen v. LaveyENR 3 Car. & K. 26.

Rex v. Lavey Ry. & M. 109.

Regina v. BallENR 6 Cox, 360.

Regina v. PhilpottsENR 5 Cox, 363.1

Rex v. NichollENR 1 B. & Ad. 21.

Regina v. OvertonENR Car. & M. 655.

Rex v. DowlinENR 5 T. R. 311.

Regina v. Schlesinger 10 Q. B. 670.

Regina v. SmithENR 1 Den. C. C. 79.

434 00311n10N-LAW REPORTS, E. T. 1856: Crim. Appeal. -Couri Criminal Zpiotai.* THE QUEEN v. JAMES COURTNEY. April 16, 17. On an an in- Tun was a case reserved for the Court of Criminal Appeal by dictment for perjury, al- Chief Justice MONAHAN. It stated that James Courtney was tried' leged to have been commit- at the last Assizes for the county of Kildare, for perjury, alleged ted by the pri soner in a de- to have been committed by him in a deposition made by him before position made by him before a Coroner, while holding an inquest on the body of John Conn011y. a Coroner, The indictment alleged that on the inquest it became and was' while holding an inquest, a material question whether, on the 9th of December, the said the assigment of perjury was James Courtney, Patrick Carroll and John Connolly, or _either that the pri soner had of them, had drunk any intoxicating liquor after they had left the falsely stated that neither he police-barrack, and before they had on the evening of the same nor the de ceased had day arrived at the guard-room of the 60th Rifles ? And that drunk any in toxicating on said inquest he the said James Courtney swore that neither liquor on the night the de- he the said James Courtney, Patrick Carroll and John Connolly, ceased died; or either of them, had tasted any intoxicating liquor at the- time whereas the tehviadt e Thee wpa sr they- arrived at the guard-room of the Rifles, or between that soner had time and the time of their leaving their barracks ; whereas drunk quan- 0 tities of in- in truth and fact they and each of them had during that interval toxicating liquor. The drunk a large quantity of intoxicating liquor, to wit, two naggins Judge left the question of of whiskey. whether the matter on There was another assignment of perjury, on a statement in which the per. jury was as- Courtney's deposition, that they were quite sober at the time signed was material to of their arrival at the guard-room; whereas in fact they were the jury, who found that it not saber, but on the contrary intoxicated, and under the influence was material, of intoxicating liquor. and convicted the prisoner. -Held, that such evidence was material, and proper subject-matter of inquiry by the Coroner, and that the conviction was right. Semble, the question of materiality is one for the Judge, and not for the jury. - * Coram MONAHAN, C. J.; BALL, J.; JACKSON, J. ; RICHARDS and GREENE, $3B.. COMMON LAW REPORTS. 43x5 The first witness for the Crown was Robert Cooke Carter, the Coroner for the county, who proved that he held an inquest on the 11th and 12th of December, on the body of John Connolly, a constable of police, who died on the 10th of December ; that the prisoner Courtney was examined as a witness, and made and signed the deposition which he produced, and. which was read, He also produced, and proved the other proceedings at the inquest, which I reeeived as evidence of the holding of the inquest, and. the proceedings thereat. The next witness for the prosecution was Patrick Doyle, who proved that he was doing business in a public-house on the Curragh ; that Courtney, Carroll and Connolly came to the public-house about seven o'clock on the night of the 9th of December, and had some whiskey and punch ; that they left in a short time, and returned again to the public-house in about an hour, that is, about eight o'clock, and had a naggin of spirits ; that they left in a short time after drinking the spirits. John M'Owen, a waiter in the public-house, proved that on the second occasion deposed to by the previous witness, he had seen the three policemen in the publickhouse ; that he had served them with a naggin of whiskey, but that not having spoken to them, and their coats being buttoned up, and they muffled, he was not able to idenÂÂtify them. - Michael Hannan also proved that he was in the public-house on the 9th of December, the Sunday night before the inquest ; saw the three policemen Courtney, Carroll and Connolly get a naggin of whiskey ; Connolly gave witness part of it ; Connolly and Courtney drank the remainder of the naggin. Thomas Priest, a soldier of the 60th Rifles, proved that on the night of Sunday, the 9th of December, about half-past ten o'clock, the prisoner Courtney, Connolly and another policeman came to the guard-room of the Rifles ; they said they had lost their way ; they appeared to be intoxicated ; they remained about ten or fifteen minutes, and then went away. This was the case for the prosecution. At the close .,of the case a discusslon arose, as whether 69. 436 n COMMON LAW REPORTS. evidence supported the perjuries assigned. I was of opinion that there was sufficient evidence that the prisoner and the two other policemen had taken intoxicating drink in the interval between leaying the police-barrack and coming to the guard-room of the Rifles, but nut as to the party having been intoxicated. A disÂÂcussion then arose, as to whether the matter which I considered there was evidence of...

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