Mr W.H.Rolfe, the Independent candidate for East Herts at the next general election, had had a newly purchased cart painted red, white and blue, and inscribed with the words “Lord Clavering of Essex”. At 6 p.m. on the Thursday, the Bishop’s Stortford police had been called to eject Mr Rolfe from the Chequers Hotel, North Street. This had been done, and he had lain on the pathway until he had been removed to the police station, where he had been detained. It was decided that charges would be brought against him for being drunk and disorderly, and for refusing to quit licensed premises, and for being drunk and disorderly on the public highway.
At a special Bench at Bishop’s Stortford on the Friday, Mr Rolfe, a farmer of Clavering, Essex, was brought up in custody charged with being drunk and disorderly in North Street. Mr Bryan Nockolds was acting for the defendant. The defendant pleaded not guilty.
Police Constable Emmerton said that a complaint had been made to him, and that he had then gone to the Chequers Hotel. He had seen the defendant leaning against the mantelpiece. He had been shouting. The manageress had asked the defendant to leave, but he had refused. He had also refused to leave when the Constable had asked him to do so. The Constable had given him every opportunity, but had eventually had to put him out. He had then lain on the pathway until he had been taken to the police station. Police Constable Bradley corroborated.
Thomas Marsh, chauffeur at the Chequers, said that the defendant had been drunk, and Thomas Marlborough, yard foreman at the hotel, said that the defendant had used foul language.
In the witness box, the defendant said that he had been put out with unnecessary violence and might have had his neck broken. He said that when they had got him out they just let him go, and he fell, as he had meant to do. He was only acting. He was of an excitable nature but had not been drunk.
Mr Nockolds, after reading a report from the police surgeon, said that he had nothing to say.
The Chairman said that no-one was more sorry than the Bench to see the defendant in this position. His solicitor had seen the medical report. The defendant was then bound over in the sum of £10 to be of good behaviour, but to appear later at the Petty Sessions.
At Bishop’s Stortford Petty Sessions on the 7th May, Mr Rolfe appeared to his own recognizance on the charge of being drunk and disorderly in North Street, Bishop’s Stortford on 23rd April. Police Constables Emerton and Bradbury said that the defendant had lain on the path outside the Chequers Hotel and was decidedly drunk. There had been a crowd of about 60 people around him and, as he would not get up, they carried him to the police station.
Corroborative evidence having been given by on-lookers, Dr Agnew, a police surgeon, said that he had examined the defendant the same night. He was able to stand but was in a highly excitable condition. He could not say that he was drunk. After reading Dr Agnew’s report in the police book, the Bench retired.
On their return, the defendant was bound over in the sum of £10 for 6 months, the Chairman stating that as Mr Rolfe had consented to this course, the case would be dismissed. The second charge of being drunk and refusing to quit licensed premises was not proceeded with.