At Ware Petty Sessions on Tuesday, George Sewell of Duke Street, Hoddesdon, and Joseph Halsey of Burford Street, Hoddesdon, were summoned for trespassing, on 20th February, in search of game on land at Great Amwell, owned by Mr Frogley. Sewell did not appear, but Halsey attended and pleaded guilty.
Thomas Fox (!) , a gamekeeper in the employ of Mr R Barclay of High Leigh, Hoddesdon, said that when on his beat on 20th February, he had seen the defendants ferreting. He said that he had seen them take a ferret out of a rabbit hole. When asked what business they had there, Sewell had said that “rabbits were getting very scarce”, and Halsey had said that they had “only put the ferret into a rat’s hole”. Halsey added, mournfully, that he was very unlucky, and that keepers did not seem able to catch anyone other than him. He confirmed that he had been discharged from the army and that he was now the sole support of his poor widowed mother.
Supt Handley said that there had been 15 previous convictions against Halsey, the last one being on 29th December last at Cheshunt. The majority of these had been for trespass. There had been 6 previous convictions against Sewell.
The Bench convicted both. Halsey was fined 15 shillings or 7 days, and Sewell was fined 9 shillings or 7 days.