A fracas in Takaka
The Greymouth Police Inspector was advised that one of his constables had unlawfully detained a Takaka farmer on 8 August 1894.
The farmer, Henry Pollard, emerged from a brief stint in jail to accuse Constable John Nash of false imprisonment and malicious prosecution. After a disagreement with a local tram company Pollard had torn out a rail that crossed his land, effectively blocking the route. The ensuing fracas saw him arrested by Nash even though he claimed he had done nothing illegal as the land was his. It went all the way to the Nelson High Court where the saga was reported at great length. The Chief Justice found in Pollard’s favour as to false imprisonment but opined that Pollard had failed to prove Nash had acted maliciously. Both parties were ordered to pay court costs.
Shown here is the report on the verdict sent to the Inspector of Police in Greymouth. Ironically Nash wrote the report, referring to himself in the third person as “the defendant”.
[P1 233 1894/1112]
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