1910/58 Rex .vs Lee Sing and Lee Lewis – carrying dangerous weapons
As part of the Chinese Historical Wrongs Legacy Initiative, the BC Archives has digitized a selection of documents related to criminal prosecutions against the Chinese community from 1866 to 1914, found in GR-0419. These are mainly records created as part of the preliminary hearing held before a judge in order to determine whether there was sufficient evidence to proceed to trial. There are often lengthy witness statements, and cross examinations by both prosecution and defense lawyers. The eventual verdict is sometimes recorded on the outside of the docket. They offer a fascinating glimpse into 19th and early 20th century criminal activity around the province, and ways in which the Chinese community was stereotyped. The records offered for transcription here are a small selection; for additional digitized material from GR-0419 click here.
*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum. Some materials may contain content that is racist, sexist or otherwise offensive. In addition, GR-0419 records deal with subjects such as assault, murder and abuse, which may upset some readers. The Royal BC Museum is only the custodian of archival materials; the content does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Royal BC Museum.
*All transcriptions are provided by volunteers, and the accuracy of the transcriptions is not guaranteed. Please be sure to verify the information by viewing the image record, or visiting the BC Archives in person.
It may have been that the goods were smuggled, but there is not evidence of that. It may be that the accused are guilty of some offence in connection therewith, but there Is no evidence that they have been guilty of smuggling the goods. And so as to bring this matter within the language of the section, there is no evidence that the accused knew the goods were smuggled nor can it be even suggested that they were smuggled. Supposing that some other person smuggled these goods, and had sold them to these Chinamen, the case would not come within Section 117, because there has got to be the actual knowledge that they were actually smuggled goods; and the evidence has not been produced here. I take it that the evidence is not strong enough to sustain a suggestion that the goods are liable to seizure. Just because Col Worsrop thought that the goods were liable to seizure is no proof at all. It has to be proved that the goods were actually smuggled, and he had actually seized them with definite knowledge that they were smuggled, I ask your Worship for a dlsmissal of the case. THE COURT I think there is enough evidence to commit for trial. A Jury could find on the evidence there. I commit you both for trial at the next Court of Competent Jurisdiction. I hereby certify the foregoing to be a true and accurate copy of the said proceedings, (Sgd) (Harry Langley. I hereby certify the foregoing Statement of facts in a true and correct copy of the depositions taken before me at tho hearing of the above case. A. P. Bull. Police Magistrate in and for the City of Vancouver in the province of British Columbia. BC Archives GR-0419 BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Box 143 File 1910/58 Attorney General documents.