A.G. Sandeman Esquire was Chair of the Magistrates bench at the Petty Court Sessions along with S. Croft Esquire.
William Archer was summoned before the court charged with being drunk in charge of a horse and cart in Standon on December 31st 1909. Archer, who was described in court as a dealer from Hertford, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
In his defence, William Archer stated that he was driving from Braughing in the direction of Puckeridge and just before he had arrived at that place, his pony had shied as an oncoming pony and trap (driven by William David Drage) had approached them. Archer denied that he was drunk but admitted to drinking a little home-made wine that day as it was cold.
Giving evidence PC Lawrence stated that at six o’clock on the evening in question he went to Standon and saw a Costers’ barrow and a trap, the wheels of which were locked together.
PC Lawrence said he saw the defendant, who was drunk, staggering across the road. He was also shouting and making use of bad language.
With some assistance PC Lawrence managed to free the wheels of the two vehicles.
Another witness, PC Hadder, said that from the position of the vehicles when he had first seen them, he surmised the defendant would have been driving on the other side of the road before the incident occurred.
A man named Spinks, who was in the company of the defendant, drove Archer home. PC Hadder said he had spoken to the defendant since the collision and Archer had been sorry for what had occurred and stated that he had been a teetotaller before the day of the incident.
Mr Drage, owner of the oncoming pony and trap and a boot maker from Standon, said that he and his son were driving to Puckeridge on the left hand side of the road when he heard a horse and cart approaching. Drage saw a light and called out but the wheel of the defendants cart got caught in the wheel of his own cart. Both he and his son were both thrown out of their trap, which was damaged in the collision.
William Drage stated that Archer was driving the barrow at the time and was drunk. When Drage went to speak to Archer he claimed the defendant became abusive and had threatened “to punch his head”.
Archer had since paid for the damage to Drage’s trap and apologised for his behaviour. Drage said he had not seen Archer’s pony shy just before the collision.
The Chairman and the Magistrates judged Archer to have been drunk at the time of the collision and stated it was a dangerous thing for a man to be in that condition when in charge of a horse and cart.
William Archer was fined 7s. 6d. and 12s. 6d. towards court costs.