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C. B. Seraphim V. Inspector-General of Police (1935) LJR-WACA

C. B. Seraphim V. Inspector-General of Police (1935)

LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal

Conviction contra. sec. 4 (6) of Gold Mining Products ProtectionOrdinance Cap. 65 (Gold Coast).P. A. Renner (with him A. G. Heward-Mills) for Appellant.T. A. Brown for Respondent.

The following joint judgment was deliveredCourt




We have carefully considered the points submitted to us on behalf of the appellant by his counsel and are satisfied that there is no substance in any of them. But we are satisfied that the conviction on the charge of carrying on the business of a goldsmith cannot be .supported in addition to the other two convictions. A goldsmith is defined as ” a worker or dealer in gold which is not ” a gold mining product and a seller of articles manufactured of ” gold.” It is not quite clear whether a man has got to be both ” a worker or dealer ” and ” a seller “, but if the legislature intended that it was sufficient to be either, an amendment appears to be necessary. In this case there is no evidence that appellant was ” a seller of articles manufactured of gold.” But it is not on this ground alone that the conviction cannot, in our view, be upheld. Throughout this case the prosecution was at pains to prove that the gold found in appellant’s possession was ” a gold mining product “. It did this by having assayed samples taken at random. Some of these samples were proved to be ” gold mining products “, some might or might not be. None was proved affirmatively not to be. The Police Magistrate assumed against the appellant that the unassayed gold in evidence was not a gold mining product. We think that that assumption was not justified. Although it was the case for the defence that it was not a gold mining product he had just found that defence to be untrue. To find again in favour of the prosecution that it was true was to let the prosecution have it both ways. To put it in another way the convictions are mutually inconsistent.

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For these reasons we are of opinion that the conviction and sentence for carrying on a business of a goldsmith without a licence contrary to section 4 (6) of the Ordinance cannot be upheld, and they are accordingly annulled.

The convictions and sentences upon the other charges are sustained.

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