The bird got the 'bullet'

Hertfordshire Mercury, 8th January 1916


At Hertford County Sessions, John Martin of the Folly, Hertford, was charged with trespassing in pursuit of game, on December 17th, on the Bayfordbury estate.

The gamekeeper for the estate said that he had heard a shot and then, when turning round, had seen the defendant lowering a gun from his shoulder.  He had seen the defendant climb over a fence and go after the bird which had lain fluttering on the ground.  The defendant also sent in his terrier to flush out the wounded bird which had scuttled into the bushes.  The gamekeeper asked the defendant if he had got the pheasant, but the defendant then claimed that “It was not a pheasant, but a pigeon that I shot”.  The gamekeeper confirmed that he had been in his job for many years and certainly knew the difference between a pheasant and a pigeon.

The gamekeeper confirmed that he had searched the defendant and had found a gun barrel and stock, a ferret, some food, and some cartridges.  The defendant, having already claimed that he had shot a pigeon, could not confirm whether he had got the bird or not.

The Bench was not convinced by the defendant’s stories.  He was fined 10 shillings.

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