20 MAY 1922, Page 3

The Court of Criminal Appeal on Monday dismissed the appeal

of Herbert Rowse Armstrong, of Hay, against the sentence of death passed upoehim for poisoning his wife. The appeal was based upon the plea that Mr. Justice Darling should not have admitted evidence relating to the prisoner's alleged attempt to poison his fellow-solicitor, Mr. Martin. The Lord Chief Justice, in a reasoned judgment, said that the evidence was amply sufficient to justify the jury's verdict, apart from the Martin case. The evidence relating to Mr. Martin was, however, admissible, although the prisoner's counsel had based the defence on the theory that Mrs. Armstrong committed suicide. The case raised no new principle in law ; it was merely a question of applying the rules of evidence to a particular case. The decision of the court seems In accordance with common sense. Merely technical pleas seldom outweigh plain facts in an English law court. We may note that the Lord Chief Justice took occasion to condemn in plain terms the conduct of a few newspapers which published a report of an interview with one of the jury in the case. Jurymen, in regard to their deliberations, are bound to secrecy. It would be a grave misfortune if this old and sound rule were weakened.