Harry King, bird dealer, was charged with being drunk on the licensed premises of The Peacock Inn, Queen Street, Hitchin: and William Chapman, the landlord, was charged with permitting drunkenness.
Mr George Passingham, solicitor to the Hitchin Licensed Victuallers’ Society, defended in both cases.
Inspector Peck stated that at nine o’clock on the evening of September 14th he found King drunk at the public house and called the attention of Louis Chapman, manager of the house, to the man’s condition.
P.C.s Gray and Burroughs gave corroborative evidence. King, who was examined on his own behalf, said he had some words with his wife because she broke up several bird cages and he went to The Peacock.
He was excited and had a little beer but was certainly not drunk. Arthur Barnard, a drover, said King had had some beer but was not drunk.
Inspector Peck : When do you consider a man drunk ?
The Witness: When he falls down, and can’t pick himself up (Laughter)
William Hough also deposed that King was not drunk. When cross-examined he said he considered a man drunk when he could not walk or speak. Harold Louis Chapman, who was in charge of the house that night, said King was somewhat excited but not drunk.
King was fined 5 shillings, including costs. Mr Chapman, who was called in his own defence, said he had held the license of The Peacock for 43 years without complaint, and was about to give up the occupation.
The Justice convicted on the charge of permitting drunkenness, but imposed no penalty.