Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Breaches of the Distillation Act.

Star, Issue 1093, 18 August 1871, Page 3
Breaches of the Distillation Act.

Charles Martin was charged, on the information of Inspector Pender, with having had an unlicensed still, still-head, worm, or other apparatus for distilling spirits, set up in his house or premises in High street, Christchurch.

Mr Cowlinshaw appeared for the defendant. Inspector Pender deposed that be went to defendant's house with a search warrant, and found the still and worm produced. It was not concealed, and defendant said that he used it for the purpose of distilling water for his business as a photographer.

Defendant had no license of any kind what ever. By Mr Cowlishaw: There were tubs there, but they had no appearance of having been used for making wort; in fact, there was no appearance of any wort. Mr Cowlishaw contended that the possession of such a still as the one found on defendant's premises did not bring the case under the purview of the Distillation Act, which referred to apparatus used for the distillation and making of spirits.

The Bench held that under the Act no doubt it was illegal to hold a still, even for the most innocent purposes, without a license. Perhaps, however, the Commissioner of Customs could give a license under the 9th clause. Mr Mills, the Collector of Customs, said that probably the Commissioner of Customs would grant such a license upon being memorialised thereon.

The Bench said that they would dismiss the case on the defendant giving an undertaking to memorialise the Commissioner of Customs; the still to be returned on the undertaking being given — Similar informations against John Tetley, W. J. Grand, Charles Walker, Thomas Easter, J. W. Barker, and Chas. Lawrence were dismissed, on the understanding that the defendants were to memorialise the Commissioner of Customs for licenses.

note: John Tetley was a butcher in High Street.

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