Obscene or not heard?

Hertfordshire Mercury, 9th May 1914


John George Skipp was charged with using obscene language in High Street, Buntingford, on the 25th April.  He pleaded not guilty.

Police Constable Mapley said that on the previous Saturday, at 11.20 p.m., he had found the defendant outside the almshouses where his father lived, using obscene language and behaving like a madman.  He had had some drink but was not drunk.  He had told the defendant not to use such language and, on threatening to take him into custody, he went away.  There had been several complaints against him.

The Chairman said that this was a sad case.  For three years, Skipp had not been before the Court and that, when not with drink, was well behaved.  The smallest amount of drink made him, as the Constable had stated, act like a madman.  There were pages of convictions against him, the total number being 56, and it was necessary therefore to protect both the public and the man himself.

On an appeal from the Bench, the probation officer, Mr H.J. Andrews, said that he would help the defendant if he would keep from drink.  Skipp said that drink had been his downfall, and he solemnly promised to keep from it.  The Bench thus decided to put him on probation for 6 months, and he was bound over in his own recognizance for the sum of £5 to be of good behaviour for this period.

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