Sivut kuvina

The second section of the riot act gives the form of the proclamation, concluding with the words, "God save the King." Where, in the reading of the proclamation these words were omitted, it was held that the persons continuing together, did not incur the penalties of the statute. Child's case, 4 C. and P. 442 (a).

Upon an indictment under the first section of the 1 Geo. 1, stat. 2, c. 5, the prosecutor must prove, 1, that the prisoners with others, to the number of twelve, were unlawfully, riotously, and tumultuously assembled together; 2, that proclamation was made in the form given by the second section of the statute; 3, that the defendants, with others, to the number of twelve, remained or continued unlawfully, riotously, and tumultuously together, for one hour or more after the proclamation; lastly, it must be proved that the prosecution has been commenced within twelve months after the offence committed. 1 Geo. 1, st. 2, c. 5, s. 8.

The second or subsequent reading of the act does not do away with the effect of the first reading, and the hour is to be computed from the time of the first reading. Per Patteson, J., Woolcock's case, 5 C. and P. 517 (b).

If there be such an assembly that there would have been a riot if the [*822] parties had carried their purpose into effect, the case is within *the act, and whether there was a cessation or not, is a question for the jury. Ibid.

An indictment under the riot act for the remaining assembled one hour after proclamation made, need not charge the original riot to have been in terrorem populi; it is sufficient if it pursue the words of the act. Per Patteson, J., James's case, 5 C. and P. 153 (c).

Proof of demolishing buildings, &c.] The offence of demolishing buildings by rioters (formerly provided against by the statutes 1 Geo. 1, st. 2, c. 5, 9 Geo. 3, c. 29, 52 Geo. 3, c. 130, and 56 Geo. 3, c. 125, repealed) is now forbidden by the 7 & 8 Geo. 4, c. 30, s. 8, which enacts, "that if any persons, riotously and tumultuously assembled together to the disturbance of the public peace, shall unlawfully and with force demolish, pull down, or destroy, or begin to demolish, pull down, or destroy, any church or chapel, or any chapel for the religious worship of persons dissenting from the united church of England and Ireland, duly registered or recorded, or any house, stable, coach-house, out-house, warehouse, office, shop, mill, malt-house, hop-oast, barn, or granary, or any building or erection used in carrying on any trade or manufacture, or any branch thereof, or any machinery, whether fixed or movable, prepared for or employed in any manufacture, or in any branch thereof, or any steam-engine or other engine for sinking, draining, or working any mine, or any staith, building, or erection used in conducting the business of any mine, or any bridge, wagon-way, or trunk for conveying minerals from any mine, every such offender shall be guilty of felony, and, being convicted thereof, shall suffer death as a felon."

This sentence may be recorded under the 4 Geo. 4, ante, p. 224. Although the prisoners are charged only with a beginning to demolish, pull down, &c., yet it must appear that such a beginning was with intent to demolish the whole. The beginning to pull down, said Park, J., in a

(«) Eng. Com. L. Rep. xix. 465. (b) Id. xxiv. 434. (c) Id. 251.

case where the prisoners were so charged, means not simply a demolition of a part, but of a part with intent to demolish the whole. If the prisoners meant to stop where they did, (i. e. breaking windows and doors) and do no more, they are not guilty; but if they intended, when they broke the windows, &c. to go farther, and destroy the house, they are guilty of a capital offence. If they had the full means of going further, and were not interrupted, but left off of their own accord, it is evidence that they meant the work of demolition to stop where it did. It was proved that the parties began by breaking the windows, and having afterwards entered the house, set fire to the furniture; but no part of the house was burnt. Park, J., said to the jury, "If you think the prisoners originally came, without intent to demolish, and, that the setting fire to the premises was an after thought, but with that intent, then, you must acquit, because no part of the house having been burnt, there was no beginning to destroy. If they came originally without such intent, but afterwards set fire to the house, the offence is arson. If you have doubts whether they [*823] originally came with an intent to demolish, you may use the setting fire to the furniture under such circumstances, and in such manner as that the necessary consequence, if not for timely interference, would have been the burning of the house, as evidence to show that they had such intent, although they began to demolish in another manner." Ashton's case, 1 Lewin, C. C. 296.

The same rule was laid down in the two following cases:-The prisoners about midnight came to the house of the prosecutor, and having in a riotous manner burst open the door, broke some of the furniture, and all the windows, and did other damage, after which they went away, though there was nothing to prevent their committing further injury. Littledale, J., told the jury that this was not a "beginning to demolish," unless they should be satisfied that the ultimate object of the rioters was to demolish the house; and that if they had carried their intentions into full effect, they would in fact have demolished it. That such was not the case here, for that they had gone away, having manifestly completed their purpose, and done all the injury they meant to do. Thomas's case, 4 C. and P. 237 (a); and see 6 C. and P, 333 (b).

Where an election mob pursued a person who took refuge in a house, upon which they attacked the house, shouting, " pull it down," and broke the door and windows, and destroyed much of the furniture, but being unable to find the person they were in search of, went away; Tindal, C. J., ruled, that the case was not within the statute, the object of the rioters not being to destroy the house, but to secure the person they were in search of. Price's case, 5 C. and P. 510 (c).

But the case may fall within the statute, though the intent to demolish may be accompanied with another intent, which may have influenced the conduct of the rioters. Thus, where a party of coal-whippers having a feeling of ill-will towards a coal-lumper, who paid less than the usual wages, collected a mob, and went to the house where he kept his paytable, exclaiming, that they would murder him, and began to throw stones, &c., and broke the windows and partitions, and part of a wall, and after his escape, continued to throw stones, &c. till stopped by the police; Gurney, B., ruled that the parties might be convicted under the 7 & 8

(a) Eng. Com. L. Rep, xix. 363. (b) Id. xxv. 425. (c) ld, xxiv. 432.

Geo. 4, c. 30, s. 8, of beginning to demolish, though their principal object might be to injure the lumper, provided it was also their object to demolish the house, on account of its having been used by him. Batt's case, 6 C. and P. 329 (a).

Proof of a rout.] A rout seems to be, according to the general opinion, a disturbance of the peace, by persons assembling together, with an intention to do a thing, which, if executed, would make them rioters, and actually making a motion towards the execution thereof. Hawk. P. C. b. 1, c. 65, s. 8; 1 Russell, 253.

Proof of an unlawful assembly.] Any meeting whatsoever of [ *824 ] *great numbers of people, with such circumstances of terror as cannot but endanger the public peace, and raise fears and jealousies amongst the King's subjects, seems properly to be called an unlawful assembly, as where great numbers complaining of a common grievance, meet together armed in a warlike manner, in order to consult respecting the most proper means for the recovery of their interests, for no one can foresee what may be the event of such an assembly. Hawk. P. C. b. 1, c. 65, s. 9. The circumstances which constitute an unlawful assembly were much discussed in the case of Redford v. Birley, 3 Stark. N. P. C. 76 (b). In that case, Holroyd, J., said, an unlawful assembly is where persons meet together in a manner and under circumstances which the law does not allow, but makes it criminal in those persons meeting together in such a manner, knowingly, and with such purposes as are in point of law criminal. He then proceeded to state what may constitute an unlawful assembly, adopting the language used by Bayley, J., in Hunt's case at York. All persons assembled to sow sedition, and bring into contempt the constitution, are an unlawful assembly. With regard to meetings for drillings, he said, If the object of the drilling is to secure the attention of the persons drilled to disaffected speeches, and give confidence by an appearance of strength to those willing to join them, that would be illegal; or if they were to say, we will have what we want, whether it be agreeable to law or not, a meeting for that purpose, however it may be masked, if it is really for a purpose of that kind, would be illegal. If the meeting, from its general appearance, and all the accompanying circumstances, is caculated to excite terror, alarm and consternation, it is generally criminal and unlawful.

A question, with regard to the admissibility of evidence, showing previous meetings for the purpose of drilling, arose in Hunt's case, 3 B. and A. 566 (c), which was an indictment containing counts for a conspiracy, unlawful assembly and riot; and in which the jury found the defendants guilty, on the count for an unlawful assembly. On a motion for a new trial, on the ground that this evidence had been improperly received, the application was rejected. Abbott, C. J., said, "It was shown that a very considerable part of the persons assembled, or at least a very considerable part of those who came from a distance, went to the place of meeting in bodies, to a certain extent arranged and organized, and with a regularity of step and movement, resembling those of a military march, though less perfect. The effect of such an appearance, and the conclusion to be

(a) Eng. Com. L. Rep. xxv. 423. (b) Id. xiv. 166. (c) Id. v. 377.

drawn from it, were points for the consideration of the jury, and no reasonable person can say, that they were left to the consideration of the jury in a manner less favorable to the defendants than the evidence warranted. And if this appearance was in itself proper for the consideration of the jury, it must have been proper to show to them, that at the very place from which one of these bodies came, a number of persons had assembled before day-break, and had been formed and instructed to march as soon as there was light enough *for such an operation, [ *825 ] and that some of the persons thus assembled had grossly ill-treated two others, whom they called spies, and had extorted from one of them, at the peril of his life, an oath never to be a King's man again, or to name the name of a King; and that another of the bodies that went to the place of meeting expressed their hatred towards this person by hissing as they passed his doors. These matters were in my opinion, unquestionably competent evidence upon the general character and intention of the meeting."

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Robbery from the person, which is a felony at common law, is thus defined :—a felonious taking of money or goods of any value from the person of another, or in his presence against his will, by violence or putting him in fear. 2 East, P. C. 707 (1).

Where an indictment stated that the prisoner with force of arms, &c. made an assault on W. M., and him the said W. M. then and *there feloniously did rob of, &c., without averring that the act [*826] was committed with "force and violence," or that the party was put in "fear" according to the usual form; Lord Lyndhurst, B., inclined to think the indictment insufficient, but said he should reserve the point. At the following assizes, Parke, B., stated that his Lordship had conferred

(1) 1 Wheeler's C. C. 420.

with some of the judges, and amongst others with himself, and they were of opinion that as the objection must be supposed to have been taken after verdict, it was unnecessary to decide whether the objection would have been good on demurrer, inasmuch as the omission was cured by the 7 Geo. 4, c. 64, s. 21. Lennox's case, 2 Lew. C. C. 268.

The 7 and 8 Geo. 4, c. 29, used the words "rob any other person of any chattels, &c." The new statute merely says "rob any person."

Statute 7 Wm. 4 and 1 Vict. c. 87.] The 7 Wm. 4 and 1 Vict. c. 87, by which the provisions of the 7 and 8 Geo. 4, c. 39, rélating to this offence are repealed, abolishes the punishment of death for simple robbery, and restricts it to cases where the crime is attended with cutting or wounding.

Robbery attended with cutting or wounding.] By the 7 Wm. 4 and 1. Vict. c. 87, s. 2, "whosoever shall rob any person, and at the time of, or immediately before, or immediately after such robbery, shall stab, cut, or wound any person, shall be guilty of felony, and being convicted thereof shall suffer death."

This sentence may be recorded under the 4 Geo. 4, ante; p. 224. For the punishment of accessaries under the recent statute, see ante, p. 207.

The evidence to support an indictment under this section will be the same as that required on an indictment for simple robbery, see pòst; and in addition it must be proved that the prisoner either immediately before, at the time of, or immediately after the robbery, stabbed, cut, or wounded the prosecutor, as the case may be. With respect to the evidence requisite to sustain the allegation of stabbing, &c., see ante, p. 728. If the prosecutor should fail to prove the stabbing, &c., the prisoner may still be convicted of the robbery, and if the proof of the latter should also fail, the party may be found guilty of an assault under the 7 Wm. 4 and 1 Vict. c. 85, s. 11, ante, p. 264; see Ellis's case, post, p. 827.

Robbery attended with violence, &c.] By the 7 Wm. 4 and 1 Vict. c. 87, s. 3," whosoever shall, being armed with any offensive weapon or instrument, rob, or assault with intent to rob any person, or shall, together with one or more person or persons, rob, or assault with intent to rob any person, or shall rob any person, and at the time of or immediately before, or immediately after such robbery, shall beat, strike, or use any other personal violence to any person, shall be guilty of felony, and being convicted thereof shall be liable, at the discretion of the court, to be transported beyond the seas for the term of his or her natural life, or for any [*827] term not less than fifteen years, or to be imprisoned for any term not exceeding three years."

By s. 10, in cases of imprisonment the court may award hard labor, and also solitary confinement not exceeding a month at any one time, or three months in any one year.

The evidence to support an indictment founded on the third section of the above statute will depend upon the particular offence charged; whether it be a robbery, or an assault with intent to rob by a party armed with an offensive weapon; or by two or more persons; or whether such obbery be accompanied by striking or other personal violence. Should

« EdellinenJatka »