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Dungannon Quarter Sessions, Co. Tyrone, January 1845

Extracted from Newry [Co. Down] Telegraph, January 21, 1845
Transcribed, Compiled and Submitted by
Len Swindley, Melbourne, Australia
len_swindley[at]hotmail.com

JOHN DIXON OF MULLYCAR, CLONFEACLE PARISH, CO. TYRONE, CHARGED WITH CUTTING AND STEALING A LARCH TREE


Saturday, January 18.

JOHN DIXON was indicted for cutting and carrying away a tree, in the plantation of Mullycar the property of JOSEPH GOUGH, ESQ.

After the prosecutor was sworn.

MR. NEWTON, who was engaged for the prisoner, submitted to the Court that the indictment would not hold, as the value of the property stolen was not set forth therein.

His worship replied by referring him to the 9th of George IV., chap. 56, section 19, where no value appeared to be required.

The case then proceeded.

WILLIAM IRWIN – Lives under the roof with John Dixon: recollects the 6th of November last; was on the street at his own house that evening, about 20 perches from Mullycar plantation; it was a little after sunset; heard the noise of a hatchet, cutting, and went up as fast as possible to the plantation; he then saw John Dixon who had come out over the ditch, with a fir pole and a hatchet; [identifies prisoner]; told Dixon he would be better employed at something else; came up next morning with JOHN McNIGHT, and saw a tree fresh cut; there is a fence round the plantation; Dixon is a tenant of Mr. Gough, and so is witness; the plantation is on part of each of their lands; is quite sure the occurrence took place after sunset.

Cross-examined. – The prisoner’s brother and witness were not on good terms; there were two persons at the plantation that evening, John Dixon was the nearest to him, and he had the stick; does not know what the other man was doing; the stick was a small pole, thicker than a man’s arm., and about 10 feet long; told John McNight that he was not sure who the person was that was with Dixon; cannot tell which of them cut the tree, but saw John Dixon over the ditch with it.

To a Juror. – Is sure the pole was a large one.

To Mr. Newton. – It was not a light sight (sic); he was about five or six perches off when he first saw them, but could then see that the pole was a large one.

ADAM POTTER sworn. – Is bailiff to Mr. Gough; has been so 20 years; knows Mullycar plantation; knows Wm. Irwin; in consequence of what Irwin told him, he went to the plantation. And finding a larch tree was cut, he took out a summons.

COURT. – You say you saw a larch tree cut?

Witness. – I did not see the tree, but saw the root – it seemed cut a few days, and had been cut with a hatchet.

Mr. Newton. – Is it possible for a man to tell how long a larch tree has been cut? Does not the flow of the roisin prevent one from judging?

Witness. – No roisin comes out of it at this season; the roisin comes out in the heat of the weather.

To the jury. – The tree had the appearance of being cut in a hurry.

DEFENCE

PETER CARBERRY, sworn. – Remembers the Nov. fair of Aughnacloy; was scutching on that day; there were some young women scutching with him; he lives about a quarter of a mile from John Dixon; Dixon came to his house about half an hour before sunset; and with the sport and crack they had in the evening, he was detained until about 8 o’clock.

The cross-examination of this witness and that of his son DANIEL CARBERRY, produced considerable mirth in the Court. They succeeded however, in establishing an alibi to the satisfaction of the Court and Jury.

The prisoner was accordingly discharged.