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PIERIS v. MAGRIDA FERNANDO etal.
P. C., Colombo, 38,081.
Ordinance No. S of 1889—Keeping a brothel—Evidence.
In a prosecution under Ordinance No. 5 of 1889, for keeping a brothel,it was proved that a number of women occupied the place alleged to bea brothel, and that men of all sorts visited it both during the day and bynight, and that spirits were drunk on the premises, and that there werefights among the people resorting thereto ; but there was no evidence ofany act of indecency or fornication.
Held, that the place was not a brothel within the meaning of Ordi-nance No. 5 of 1889.
A brothel is a place to which persons of both sexes have recourse forthe purpose of prostitution.
rT^HE first accused was charged with keeping a brothel, and thesecond accnsed with knowingly permitting certain premises,of which he was lessee, to be nsed as a brothel. They wereconvicted and sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 200 each.
Domhorat, for the first accused, and Jayawardena, for thesecond accused.
Drieberg, for the Crown.
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5th November, 1895. WlTHKRS, J.—1896.
I am unable to support the judgment of the Magistrate. He Withms, J.has convicted the first accused in this case of keeping a brothel,and the second accused as a tenant for permitting the premises tobe used as a brothel.
In the case of Singleton v. Ellison, reported this year, 1895, inL. R., vol. /., Q. B., p. 607, it is said that the word brothel has awell-known legal acceptation. It applies to a place to whichpersons of both sexes have recourse for the purpose of prostitution.
Not a single act of indecency or fornication is spoken to by anyof the witnesses as having occurred in this house, which is said tobe used as a brothel.
^ A number of women occupy it and men of all sorts visitedit both by day and by night. Spirits appear to be drunk on thepremises, and fights are said to take place there, and the neighboursnaturally regard the place as one to be put down.
It must be a great nuisance to decent people, but the chargedoes not relate in any way to the offence of keeping a brothel.
There is no evidence that it is a brothel. The conviction of theaccused must therefore be set aside, and the accused acquittedand discharged.
PIERIS v. MAGRIDA FERNANDO et al