Alleged dangerous riding

Hertfordshire Mercury, 21st August 1915


At Welwyn Petty Sessions Ernest William Pasque, a gamekeeper, of Diamond End, King’s Walden, was charged with driving a motor-cycle in a manner dangerous to the public in Welwyn on July 11.  Mr H. W. Lathom, of Luton, appeared for the defence.  Harry Elliott, a carman, of Mimram Road, Welwyn, said that at 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 11, he was passing Welwyn station in charge of a brougham, having come from Tewin, and when coming round the bend of the road towards Welwyn, he saw a man on a motor-cycle coming under the railway bridge on the main road.  His pace must have been 15 miles an hour.  There was another brougham behind the witness, and he heard a noise and then saw that the motor-cyclist had run into the second brougham.  He heard the defendant sound his hooter before he got to the bridge.  There was no other traffic about.

The witness was on the proper side of the road, and so was the defendant when he passed him.  The road there is about 9 yards wide.  Harry Kingham, Mill Lane, Welwyn, who was in charge of the brougham behind the last witness, said that at the time the horse was walking.  The defendant, on a motor-cycle, came down the road at a fast pace and dashed into him.  The witness was from 3 to 4 yards from the fence.  The first brougham was some yards in front of him.

Replying to Mr Lathom, the witness said the defendant did not ask him to get down and measure the road.  All he said was that it was the witness’s own fault.  The perch bolt of the locking gear of the brougham was broken, which let the brougham down.  Mrs Minnie Elliott, of Welwyn, said she was given a ride in the brougham from near Welwyn station, and sat facing the horse.  They were walking when the motor-cyclist ran into the brougham.  There were quite four or five yards clear for the motor-cyclist.

P.s. Wood, of Welwyn, said that being informed that an accident had occurred near the station between a brougham and a motor-cyclist, he went to the place and saw Pasque there, and he pointed out to the witness where it had happened.  The witness measured the road and found it 9 yards wide, and there was a distance of 19 yards between the two broughams.  He examined the motor-cycle and found that the lamp was broken.  The defendant appeared to have had plenty of room to pass the brougham.

For the defence, Pasque said he sounded his hooter, and turned the kerb on his proper side, and he did not come off his motor-cycle.  His speed was only 8 miles an hour.  He asked the men to come and measure the road, but they would not.  He measured it himself and it was 9 yards wide, which included one yard raised.  His lamp was broken.  Philip Tyler, a boy, from Burnham Green, said he was about 50 yards away and saw the accident, and ran up to it.  He heard Pasque speak to the driver of the second brougham and ask him to measure the road, but he would not and went straight on.

The Magistrates considered the case in private for a few minutes, and on their return the Chairman said the Bench were of opinion that the brougham came round the corner too close, and therefore did not give the cyclist sufficient room.  The case would be dismissed.

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