28 JANUARY 1882, Page 3

The North-Eastern Railway has made a great mistake in prosecuting

Dr. Abrath and Michael AlacMann for conspiring to defraud them, by trumping up a false assertion of injury inflicted on the latter by means of a railway accident. Their case broke down through the absolute untrustworthiness of their witnesses, and the strong evidence adduced as to Dr. Abrath's high character. We regret this unwise prosecution the more, as we do believe that the Railways are constantly de- frauded in actions of this kind ; indeed, it seems that people who would think common theft disgraceful are not at all ashamed to purloin in every possible way from Railway Com- panies, as if the Commandment "Thou shall not steal" had no validity against Companies. Numbers of offences which, morally speaking, are thefts and nothing else, are hardly punished at all, or very lightly punished, and punished under very different categories from that of theft, if committed against Railway Companies, and therefore we regret the more every injudicious attempt of these Companies to defend themselves, more especi- ally against people who are in the right, and who have not swindled them. As a rule, Railway Companies are in the matters much more sinned against than sinning.