Charge of perjury dismissed

Hertfordshire Mercury, 15th February 1913

Transcript

At Hitchin Assizes session held on 13th February 1913, P.C. Roddis was accused of perjury.  Mr J.R. Macoun appeared for the prosecution, and P.c. Roddis was defended by Mr J.H. Murphy.
In opening the case Mr Macoun spoke of the serious nature of the charge, and said that ‘if a policeman did not recognize the sanctity of the oath and was not very careful in giving evidence there was no telling what hardship he might inflict.’
Mr Murphy and Mr Macoun were very playful in their cross-examinations of the witnesses and caused much laughter in court.  The question of the dog license cropped up and the price paid for it, and his Lordship said he remembered the dog license being raised to 7s. 6d.  ‘I think 7s. 6d. is very dear for a small dog’.  Mr Macoun replied that ‘In Ireland we only pay 2s. 6d.’
Mr Murphy questioned the witnesses’ statements that Mr Oppermann had bought the dog in July and at what age the dog was when purchased, the replies to which cast doubt on the accuracy of these statements from the previous hearings.
When the case for prosecution was closed, Mr Murphy submitted that there was no case to answer.
The Judge asked the jury what they thought and the foreman replied that they did not want to hear any more.  They found the defendant P.c. Roddis not guilty.
His Lordship summing up said that he did not think the evidence which had been given was at all material to the charge of perjury.  He had no doubt that the defendant was a good officer.  P.c. Roddis was discharged and that the costs would be allowed the defence.

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