|www.corpun.com : Archive : Up to 1975 : NZ Judicial May 1909|
Evening Post, Wellington, 25 May 1909, p.7
Prisoners for Sentence.
Criminal Assault and Bigamy.
In the case of each of the two prisoners who came before Mr. Justice Cooper for sentence this morning, there were exceedingly peculiar circumstances, which drew from his Honour some interesting comment.
Criminal Assault by a Boy.
The first prisoner was a mere boy, pale-faced and slim. His name was Dennis Richard Dane, and his age was given as 14 years. The offence, to which he had pleaded guilty, was that of rape on a little girl of six. He had nothing to say on his own behalf, and there was no counsel to represent him.
His Honour said the prisoner had committed the full offence under such circumstances that, if he had been of mature years, the only appropriate punishment would have been flogging and a long term of imprisonment. It was a case attended by severe injuries to the child.
A Criminal Taint.
"The police report," continued the Judge, "shows that the prisoner belongs to a family in which a criminal taint exists. Perhaps the boy cannot help himself. I find that of the family one has already been sentenced to two years' imprisonment for attempted carnal knowledge, another is of an exceedingly bad character, and another has been convicted of theft. The whole family seem to have no sense of right or wrong, mentally or morally. This boy cannot either read or write. One cannot help feeling a certain amount of pity for him. Yet it is essential in the public interest that he should be confined for a long period somewhere.
"But where? There is no place in gaol for a lad of this description. To send him to an industrial school might result in the contamination of other boys, though apparently in these industrial schools the boys are really all of a criminal tendency. Is that so, Mr. Bell?"
Mr. W.H.D. Bell: I don't know, your Honour.
The Probation Officer: Parts of the industrial schools are kept apart for those boys, your Honour.
His Honour resumed: "He must either go to gaol or to an industrial school. I shall have to take time to consider the case. I want to be quite sure. I think the boy should be whipped, soundly whipped, and then sent to an industrial school for a long period. Let him be brought before me to-morrow morning. In the meantime let enquiries be made as to what means the industrial schools have of dealing with such boys. A bad, criminal boy, guilty of such an abominable crime must not be allowed to contaminate other boys in an industrial school who are not so bad as he is."
The boy Dane was accordingly remanded until to-morrow morning.
Evening Post, Wellington, 28 May 1909, p.8
A Young Criminal.
Ordered to be Whipped.
His Honour's Remarks.
Dennis Richard Dane, the fourteen-year-old boy, who came up before Mr. Justice Cooper on Tuesday last for sentence on a crime of rape, and was remanded for further enquiries, appeared before his Honour this morning, and received sentence.
His Honour observed that he had been informed by the Education
Department, and also by Mr. Millington, gaoler, that the Burnham
Industrial School was an institution to which he could commit a
youth such as the prisoner, as there was proper provision for the
classification of inmates.
THE ARCHIVE index
About this website
Country fileswww.corpun.com Main menu page
Copyright © C. Farrell 2011
Page created November 2011