PENRITH, SATURDAY, JAN. 17.
(Before J. JAMESON, W. HARRISON, and J. THOMPSON, Esqrs.)
CHARGE OF SHEEP STEALING - JAMES DIXON, labourer, formerly of Penrith, but now residing at Newsham, in the parish of Greystoke, was brought up in custody charged with stealing a sheep, the property of MR. A. MCDOUGALL, on or about the 25th December last.
MR. S. K. JAMES appeared on the prisoner's behalf.
From the evidence it appeared that one of 46 sheep belonging to the prosecutor was missed about Christmas from a field at High Chapter, in the parish of Castlesowerby. Prisoner was formerly a hind for MR. MCDOUGALL, and assisted to dip the sheep. About a year ago, he left prosecutor's employ, and now lives a mile from where the sheep was lost. On the 8th of this month JAMES TAYLOR, a farm bailiff, found a guano bag containing a sheep skin among the hay in a byre at Woodgill, two miles distant from prisoner's house. There was a blue mark upon the skin above the tail, as in the case of the prosecutor's sheep, and where the letter D ought to have been, the wool was torn away.
ANN PATTINSON, the wife of a carrier, identified the guano bag as one she had given to prisoner's wife. She knew it to be the same from the darns and stains upon it.
After other evidence, MR. JAMES applied for an adjournment, in order to produce evidence on behalf of the prisoner. The application was granted, and on Tuesday the further hearing of the case was gone into.
MR. JAMES drew attention to what he regarded as discrepancies and inconsistency in the evidence tendered, and called witnesses in behalf of the prisoner.
The Bench retired, and on their return, the Chairman said, "We don't find that there is sufficient evidence upon which we can send the prisoner for trial at present, but our decision is by no means final about the matter.
MR. JAMES said he had been requested to mention one circumstance which had recenly occurred. He did not feel justified in naming it before as he had no evidence to prove it; but he had been told by the prisoner that a stray sheep of MR. MCDOUGALL's had been found in a field.