Thursday, 9th July, 1863
Charge of Embezzlement
Collector Of Rates At Liscard
Edward John Catterall, who for many years has held the situation of rate collector for the district of Liscard, was brought up yesterday before Charles Holland, Esq., charged with appropriating the sum of £296 (Government taxes) to his own use. It has been the custom of the tradesmen the district, who are annually appointed to collect assessed, property, and income taxes, to turn over the business to Catterall, who has held the office of rate collector for many years, and up to the present time discharged his duties faithfully. There are two parties appointed to collect income and property and two for assessed taxes.
The prisoner was defended by Mr. Bretherton.
Mr. Grinnell, the first witness called, deposed that Mr. Copeland (his colleague) and himself agree to pay Catterall a bonus of £5 to collect the taxes for them. He (the prisoner) would also receive the poundage. The moneys over by Catterall to them was in bulk, no details being given as to who has paid. The last sum paid to them was on the 16th of June, which was £97. Two hours after, the prisoner received from Mr. Woodcock, of New Brighton, £5 5s.; no entry was made on the counterfoil of the check book that such a receipt had been given. They afterwards discovered the deficiency to be £96 5s. 0½d.
Mr. Woodcock proved paying the said amount of £5 5s.
Mr. Benjamin J. Spedding, clerk for the commissioners of income tax, etc, for the hundred of Wirral, stated that the appointment of Messrs. Grinnell, Copeland, Crosley, and Thompson, as collectors of income, property, and assessed taxes for the parish of Liscard, was made on the 20th of Oct., 1862. The collectors may be called upon by the surveyor of taxes to pay in their accounts at any time.
Mr. Rowbotham, inspector of Police, stated that he received the warrant, on the 26th of June, and a few days afterwards the prisoner wrote to him stating that he would meet him on the 4th instant at his own door and deliver himself up. The prisoner did so.
Mr. Bretherton, for the defence, stated that it was a mere matter of debt, and the sum of £5 which the prisoner received was not wages, but a commission.
The magistrate decided upon sending the prisoner for trial upon this case.
The next case against Catteral was, from his own admission, the deficiency of £200 in his account for assessed taxes. From the evidence of Mr. Crosley, it appeared that he had also paid him a bonus or commission of £1, and he would likewise receive the poundage. The total amount the district is assessed amounts to £1321 6s. 5d., of which has been collected by the prisoner £1026 18s. 4d., leaving a balance of £264 18s. 5d to be accounted for.
After Mr. Bretherton had spoken for the defence, which was simply a reiteration of his former plea, the prisoner was committed. Bail having been asked for, the magistrate decided upon accepting two sureties of £150 each.
Thursday, 6th August, 1863
Chester Summer Assizes
Before Mr. Baron Wilde
Edward John Catterall surrended to his bail on a charge of having, at Liscard, on the 24th of June last, embezzled various sums of money received on account of his masters, Richard Clifford Gwinnell and Robert Campbell. The evidence. however, failed to sustain the charge of embezzlement, and the prisoner was acquitted. -- There was a second indictment against the prisoner for having embezzled £200, and the sums of money, the property of his masters, Charles James Crosley and Plasket Thompson, at Liscard, but no evidence was adduced, and a verdict of not guilty was returned.