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Posts Tagged ‘kingston penitentiary’

“Convict’s Thrilling Escape: Leaps From Fast Train,” Toronto Globe. November 25, 1918. Page 08.

Man With Bad Record in Toronto Fools County Constable and Flees Near Shannonville – Recaptured at Napanee

John Gowans, who was on his way to Kingston penitentiary, where he was to commence a second five-year sentence for housebreaking, escaped from the custody of County Constable Frank Brown near Shannonville on Saturday morning. Gowans made his escape by obtaining permission to go to a lavatory, and then by leaping from the window of the train after he had slammed the door upon Constable Brown.

Gowans was the housebreaker who entered the house of the widow of the late Dr. Fenton, and assaulted her when she endeavored to hold him until the arrival of police. He was later arrested, and only recently completed his sentence. Judge Winchester on Wednesday sentenced Gowans to five years’ imprisonment upon convictions registered against him for housebreaking in Parkdale.

The convict was recaptured at Napanee on Saturday just before midnight.

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“Jack Lett Is Given Ten Years In Prison,” Toronto Star. November 22, 1918. Page 02.

Canadian Express Co. Robber Also Pleads Guilty to Robbing Union Bank.

Jack Lett, the embryo highwayman who robbed the Canadian Express Co. of $20,000 on October 23, was to-day given ten years in the penitentiary. He withdrew his plea of not guilty and pleaded guilty to robbing the Union Bank and stealing an automobile. For these crimes he also received five and three years respectively. The sentences are to run concurrently.

His brother, Walter Lett, also withdrew his plea of not guilty and pleaded guilty to having received $1,000, which he knew to be stolen. This money he gave to his wife. He was let go on remanded sentence provided he gives $1,000 security and finds two other securities of $1,000 each.

James Gordon Dougall is to spend not less than one year and not more than two years in the Ontario Reformatory.

In addressing Jack Lett, Chief Justice Meredith said: ‘I have no desire to add to the severity of your sentence by lecturing you. I regret that I have no testimony as to your mental capabilities, so I must judge you as I have seen you. The main trouble with you seems to be inordinate vanity. In opening your case your counsel has pictured you as a pigeon-chested, varicose-veined misfit, who is undeveloped both physically and mentally.

Looking Into the Future.
‘Your picture of yourself is that of a bold highwayman. It is to cure you of this delusion that you are to be disciplined. If you were allowed to go free that gun of yours might go off some time, and then some judge would be talking about Jack Lett being hanged by the neck until he was dead.

‘If there had only been a ‘man’ in that express car who would have given you a good thrashing, taken away your pistol, and thrown you out you would have been cured. The only thing to do now is to seek to cure you by the panacea of hard labor.

‘Jack Lett, you were not made for a highwayman. You were given freedom of that express car. Afterwards you went wandering about like a frightened child, and impressed the first man whom you met as a thief. Moreover you left your plunder right under the very nose of those who suspected you. 

‘Walter Lett, you certainly did not do all you could to save your brother, and let me tell you the offence to which you plead guilty is a serious one.

Severe Words For Dougall.
‘James Gordon Dougall, your case has caused me a deal of thought. You were the chief clerk, you held a responsible position, and you can understand that your connection with this crime will cast suspicion upon your associates and inferiors. You were leading a disgraceful life. Don’t you think one should be horsewhipped for a life of that kind.

‘You were found guilty of the lesser offence, but a jury might well have found you the instigator in this farce.’

All the prisoners refused to say anything in their defence, and received their sentences in silence.

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“Fifteen Years’ Imprisonment,” Toronto Globe. November 11, 1918. Page 09.

Stiff Sentence Is Imposed Upon Giovanni di Francesco

Two Others Announced

Giovanni di Francesco, found guilty of manslaughter in connection with the death of Dominic Zangarie, whom he admitted killing on a plea of self-defense, was on Saturday sentenced by Mr. Justice Riddell to fifteen years’ imprisonment.

William Nicholls, who pleaded guilty of doing grievous bodily harm to Martha Hassal, was sentenced to ten years in the penitentiary. Nicholls had been released on parole from penitentiary, where he was serving a term of two years for housebreaking. The unexpired term will run concurrently with his ten-year sentence. As the prisoner left the dock, his young wife, who was sitting in the court, on failing to attract his attention, fainted, and had to be carried out.

Everett Struit, who was charged with Nicholls, and whom the jury found guilty of attempting to do bodily harm to Martha Hassal, was sentenced to eighteen months in the Ontario Reformatory.

Two Years for Pearsall
William Pearsall, found guilty of criminal negligence arising out of the death of Joseph Hughes, who was killed when the car which Pearsall was driving turned over on Danforth avenue last July, was sentenced to two months [sic] in the penitentiary.

In announcing the sentence, his Lordship declared that the driving of motor cars by men under the influence of liquor must stop. ‘It is bad enough,’ he continued, ‘to be at the mercy of those naturally reckless or too young to be in charge of motors without having men under the influence of liquor driving through our streets. You were guilty of manslaughter, but I am not going to whack the jury over your shoulders because of their mistaken clemency.’

‘There is no law that allows a man to drive fifteen miles an hour,’ said Mr. Justice Riddell Saturday, on postponing sentence on Norman Cowie for a week in order that more inquiries might be made. ‘The law says he must not exceed fifteen miles an hour, but in some cases that is too fast. Auto drivers must think.’

Cowie was found guilty of criminal negligence in connection with the death of Sarah Livingstone, who was run down and killed by his motor car.

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“Is Sentenced For Stabbing,“ The Globe and Mail. October 25, 1938. Page 03.

Sudbury, Oct. 24 (Special). – The sequel to a stabbing affray at Capreol last June, in which William Burman, 46, met his death at the hands of Steve Masluk, Ukrainian lumberjack, was written in supreme court here today when Mr. Justice J. McTague sentenced the accused to two years and six months in Portsmouth penitentiary.

A murder charge against Masluk was reduced to manslaughter after the evidence was heard last week.

Mr. Justice McTague pointed out that although manslaughter carried a term of life imprisonment, he was inclined to be lenient as Burman was the aggressor in all fights of which evidence had been given.

‘I think you might have been provoked to the point of drawing a knife, but that is one thing you must learned, the use of knives cannot be tolerated in this country.’

The supreme court justice dated the sentence from the time of Masluk’s arrest on June 7, the day the stabbing took place.

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“Gets 2 Years For Holdup Of Taximan,” The Globe and Mail. October 25, 1938. Page 03.

Sentence for Robbery With Violence Runs Concurrently With 10-Year Term Already Imposed

One Man Still Sought

Sudbury, Oct. 24 (Special). – With five police officers present in the courtroom, Maurice Fisette, 27, one of the trio who on Oct. 2, held up and robbed Tom Campbell, Sudbury taxi driver, pleaded guilty to the theft of a car and robbery with violence. He was sentenced to two years in Portsmouth penitentiary on each charge, the sentences to run concurrently.

Fisette accepted his sentence, without giving any clue as the identity of the third man who is still at liberty. Harold Olsen, a member of the trio, was struck by a police bullet which glanced off a rock, as police attempted to apprehend the men about 100 miles west of Sudbury. Olsen died in the Red Cross Hospital at Blind River the following day. At the inquest which followed Constable J. Brown, who fired the fatal bullet, was absol;ved of all blame in connection with the bandit’s death.

Before sentence was pased FIsette asked ‘for a chance to go straight.’ He told Magistrate J. S. McKessock he already had a ten-year sentence to serve and pleaded for leniency ‘to give me time to get out and go straight.’ Magistrate McKessock expressed the opinion in passing sentence Fisette had ‘already wasted your opportunities.’

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“Convict at Pen Attempts Escape,” Kingston Daily Standard. October 12, 1912. Page 01.

Chartrand, Insane, Made a Futile Try.

Discovered by Guard Ryan Half Way Through Cell Door – Got Away Last Spring.

Chas. Chartrand, the prisoner who last spring escaped from the Penitentiary and was caught a week later near Brockville, this morning made an unsuccessful attempt to escape, being discovered by Guard Ryan, half way through the bars in his cell door Chartrand is a lifer and has been confined to the insane ward for about six years. He is serving a life sentence for shooting a policeman in Sault Ste. Marie.

The prisoner’s mode of breaking prison was most ingenious. He had secreted a piece of string and a piece of emery stone, and with these and a few pieces of metal, had sawn through several of the bars in his cell. The guard discovered him when he was half through the door. He was captured and placed in a stronger cell.

Chartrand had served about 12 years in the penitentiary, according to one of the prison officials, his whole mind seems centered an escaping, and the guards must be watching him all the time in order to prevent him from breaking away.

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“Has Begun Ten-Year Term.” Kingston Daily Standard. October 11, 1912. Page 08.

John W. Marshall arrived on Thursday afternoon from Sault Ste-Marie to commence his ten-year term at the penitentiary for assaulting his daughter. The prisoner says he was drunk when the offence was committed.

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