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Irish News - 13 August 1898

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GAMBLING ON A BELFAST STEAMER: OFFENDERS SHARPLY DEALT WITH.

At Ardrossan Borough Court on Thursday- before Provost Young Patrick ODonnell (63), Charles MGinness (20), Michael Hoyland (32), Thomas Cosgrove (35), all dealers, and having no fixed residence, were charged with having exposed three thimbles and a pea, and induced and enticed parties to join in the game of thimblerigging; and with having cozened and cheated James MCann, cab driver, 75 Thistle Street, Glasgow, of 1 3s ; James Marshall, labourer, High Street, Dumbarton, of 2 4s; and William MGhee, wine and spirit merchant, High Street, Airdrie, of 2s 6d. ODonnell pleaded guilty, and the other not guilty. Cosgrove was defended by Mr Arthur Craig, solicitor. James MCann was the first witness examined, deposed that he was at Belfast on Wednesday, and returned by the steamer Adder. He saw all the prisoners on board. About three-quarters of an hour after leaving Belfast. ODonnell produced a white board, three thimbles and a pea to place under them. The game consisted in backing any one of the thimbles as having the pea under it. Cosgrove, whom he took to be an onlooker like himself, lifted one of the thimbles while ODonnell feigned to be looking away. There was no pea under it. Another man, who was not in court, lifted another thimble, and there was no pea under it. Witness then staked 1 on the remaining thimble, taking it for a sure thing. He lost. Witnesss first bet was 2s. He lost it also. He was only left with 2s 6d. A man who stood by wanted to bet 5s. He had only 4s, and witness give him 1s to make up the 5s, the understanding being that if the bet came off witness was to get back 2s. The man lost. That was 1 3s witness lost altogether. They seemed all in one gang. Cross-examined by Mr Craig Cosgrove did not ask him to bet. He was participating with the other three. Cosgrove laid money and lost it, but witness thought that was all in the game. Cosgrove did not appear to witness to be one of the gang, but witness saw them all together afterwards, when they started the three- card trick. Cosgrove had a roulette table. The table was produced in court. James Marshall stated he was from Belfast on board the Adder on Wednesday night. All the accused were gambling, the old man being the principal. He went down below. There was such a crowd that he thought an accident had occurred. As soon as he put forward his head the crowd separated. He saw one of the men get the pea. He was sure he saw the way it was done, it was so simple. Once he was certain he saw it and he gave him 1. Witness was standing by Michael Hyland when the three-card trick as going on, but he (witness) had not got a penny then. They seemed to acting in concert. Witness lost 2 in less than a minute. MGinness brought forward a boy, who lost about 2 14s in the same time. 10s 6d of the sum mentioned was lost at the thimbles, and the remainder at the three-card trick. Wm. MGhee corroborated the previous witnesses. Sergeant Allan deposed that he was advised by telegraph from Belfast that there were seven pickpockets aboard the Adder. Witness went down to the steamer along with two constables. Shortly after the steamer touched at the pier the first witness came ashore and complained that he had been swindled by card sharpers. Witness stood by and pointed out the accused to him as they left the gangway. The accused were removed to the booking office and searched, but nothing was found on them. Witness did not expect to find anything on them. Accused were the only men pointed out by the various witnesses. Provost Young declared his conviction that on the evidence all the accused had been implicated. He therefore sentences them to 30 days imprisonment. ODonnell in addition was required to refund the sum of 3 7s or go to prison fo another term of 30 days.

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Custody Court:
Yesterday: (Before Mr F.G. Hodder, R.M.)

LARCENY OF COAL.
A youth named Henry Joy was charged by Constable Spence with the larceny of a quantity of coal from the Great Northern Railway Company. The constable saw the boy breaking the coal upon the line, place it in a bag, and then proceed to remove it. The constable placed him under arrest, and when cautioned he said This is the second time I have been here. I thought it was no harm to take it. The prisoner was allowed on his own recognissance to come up for judgment when called upon.

ALLEGED STABBING:
A boy named George Leaney was put forward charged with feloniously cutting and wounding another boy named Hamilton Diamond. It was alleged that in the course of a scuffle Leaney drew a knife and stabbed Diamond on the back. Mr Harper defended the prisoner. The prisoner was sent to jail for one month.

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SUMMONS COURT (Before Mr James Johnston, J.P., AND Mr Wm MCormick, J.P.)

WIFE DESERTION:
George Magee was summoned for deserting his wife, Margaret Magee. Defendant was described as a bread-server. Mr Wellington Young prosecuted, and Mr Donnelly appeared for the defendant.. The BENCH decided to allow the complainant 9s per week,

NEIGHBOURLY AMENITIES:
Margaret Jane Coates, 46 Argyle Street, summoned Margaret Coates, of 192 Conway Street, for assaulting her on the 28th July. The complainant alleged that the defendant struck her on the face with her fist. Mr Harper appeared for the complainant, and Mr Maginn represented the defendant. The BENCH decided for to fine Margaret Coates, of Conway Street, 10s for the assault and Margaret Coates, Argyle Street, was fined 5s for using abusive language towards the former.

 

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