Page 8, 8th December 1939

8th December 1939
Page 8
Page 8, 8th December 1939 — 7:111.:ICRTIfiLIT

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Locations: Dublin


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Keywords: Tort Law, Law / Crime


g, Aralt


GROOM knew that a horse, which was generally considered to he the favourite for its race, could not possibly win because of an injury which had been kept secret from the public.

On the strength of this knowledge he made several bets. He is asking his friend, John Brown, whether he may keep the money which he won.

LAST WEEK'S SCRUPLE A servant stole a El note from her mistress and purchased a frock for 19s. lid. The mistress has found out what the servant did with the money and has been to the shopkeeper to claim the Xi note which was stolen.

IS the shopkeeper bound to restore the stolen note?

What this particular scruple has got te do with our friend, John Brown, I

don't quite know. or did it evoke many replies. All the answers, except one, were substantially correct, the mistaken one arguing that "if the thief had taken an identifiable object, then the innocent shopkeeper who received it would be bound in law to return it. He is therefore bound in conscience to refund the CI, and is entitled to reclaim the frock, if he wishes."

Obviously any shopkeeper would be very chary of taking " identifiable objects " in payment for goods, especially from a stranger, and, if he did so, he would be knowingly taking a risk of having to return stolen property. The case of the note is quite different unless he has reason to suspect that it was stolen as " if a child bought H pennyworth of sweets with a pound note without any explanation " Strange (E.5). It looks as though there is no way out for the mistress—who is perhaps Mrs John Brown—except to persuade the servant to return the goods for what they will fetch. I agree with Beecher (Dublin) that " it would be very advisable that the mistress give the girl a chance, and deduct the £1 from her wages. Mostly, it is not from malice, but from a love of a little ' style ' that these young girls begin this petty thieving, and bringing the case before the courts often only starts the poor girl on a life of crime."

The prize, Three Modern Musketeers, by Dennis Wheatley, goes to Ashworth (Thornton, Blackpool).

The Theologian's Solution is: When a stolen note passes from one person to another, the person taking It in good faith for value may retain it until the owner sues and recovers.

Therefore the shopkeeper is not bound to restore the El note which she received for the frock, provided that she did not know or suspect that the note was stolen, hut every shopkeeper would be willing to give back the on condition that the purchased article was restored intact.

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