On Monday 10th September, 1900, Catherine Ryan came before Magistrates charged with being drunk and disorderly. On Saturday 8th September, Catherine was turned out of the Black Horse, Hertford, apparently drunk and using bad language. Once outside, she created a disturbance and a crowd gathered.
With the assistance of a number of people she was taken to the police station, where she was locked up. Pc Wright stated the woman was very disorderly but he could not say that she was drunk.
Giving evidence, Ryan told Magistrates her husband had deserted her and their five children. She had gone to the Black Horse to look for him, where she believed he was keeping another woman. Ryan said her husband had knocked her down and given her a “thorough good hiding”, then another man had held her down whilst her husband ran away. Ryan also said she had not had a drink for a month.
Although the Magistrates were satisfied that she had been disorderly, they took a compassionate view and given she had been locked up since Saturday she was discharged on condition she left the town immediately.
Ryan agreed to the order, subject to fetching her child from the workhouse where it been placed whilst she was locked up.