1894 Courier & Argus

Wednesday, 24th January.


Before Sheriff Campbell Smith in the Dundee Small Debt Court yesterday, an action was called in which Gaetano Pacitti, Temple Lane, Dundee, sued Pietro Di Duca, confectioner, 29 West Port, Dundee, for the sum of £11 4s 6d in respect of wages due, and of loss, injury, and damage sustained by the pursuer owing to the defender having unwarrantably dismissed him. Defender, who was examined, stated that he engaged the pursuer for a year from 10th Sept., and agreed to pay him £20 for that period. In the winter months he was to sell hot potatoes and in the summer to vend ice cream. Defender paid the pursuer £2 17s per month, and kept and fed him. On 30th November he discharged pursuer because he believed him to be dishonest. About that time pursuer, defender alleged, received a two-shilling piece instead of a penny from a little girl who had called at the shop to buy potatoes. Although he (defender) requested the pursuer to deliver the money over to him, he refused to do so. On another occasion, defender alleged that Pacitti lost half-a-crown when engaged in a fight, and did not make good the loss. During the time pursuer was in his employment he had paid him sums amounting in all to £3 3s 11d, which he held was sufficient wages for work done. In answer to a question, defender stated that he never played at cards for a bottle of wine or anything else. The pursuer, in the course of his evidence, stated that he had played cards with defender, and he pointed out that he had received three bottles of wine, which were included in the sums paid to account. Pursuer stated that in regard to the two-shilling piece he did not notice the mistake the girl had made until after she had left. He had refused to give his master the florin, but he offered to hand it over to the girl if he discovered her or she called on him. As to the wages, pursuer held that, according to the engagement, he should have received £5. He often played at cards for wine. On Sundays he did a few odd jobs, and sometimes he played a game or two at cards. (Laughter) In answer to the Sheriff, pursuer said the wine they played for was Italian wine, and was about 2/- a bottle. It made them stagger a bit. (Laughter) When engaged in the hot potato business he drew from 3/- to 4/- a night, and made from 14/- to 16/- on Saturdays. The Sheriff said he did not think the defender had any legal right to demand 2/- from pursuer, although he had a legal right to insist on its being returned. There was no proof of dishonesty against the pursuer to warrant his master dismissing him. In view of the circumstances, his Lordship said he would give decree for 27/-, with 6/- of expenses.