Woman sent to prison

Hertfordshire Mercury, 8th May 1915


At Hertford Borough Sessions Jane Maria Dunnage, of Green Street, was summoned for being drunk and disorderly on May 1.  She pleaded not guilty.

P.C. Archer said that at 11.15 p.m. on the date in question he received a report that Mrs Dunnage was very drunk in Green Street and using bad language.  He went there with P.C. Tatham and saw her lying on the path.  Her son was trying to get her up.  They eventually got her indoors, but she persisted in coming out again.  She shouted and swore, went across to another woman’s house and knocked at the door and wanted her to come out and fight.  P.C. Tatham corroborated.

The defendant denied that she was drunk, and alleged that a neighbour wanted to create a disturbance with her.  She called Maria Hood, of Fisher’s Lodging House, who stated that the defendant was sober at 10.10 p.m..  Harry Miles, of 18 Green Street, a lad giving his age as 15, was next called by the defendant, and when asked to read the oath, he exclaimed:

‘I can’t read.’

The Clerk: ‘Can’t read! Where have you been to school?’

The witness: ‘I was in hospital a long time. I have been there two or three times.’

The defendant: ‘He has been there three months.’

The Clerk then read the oath and the boy repeated it after him.

In his evidence he said that the defendant went to bed just after 10 o’clock, and he went after that.  He did not know anything which took place subsequently.  Supt Pear said there were 17 previous convictions, and the defendant was still under probation.  Mr Hudson Dixon, the Probation officer, said he did not know what to do with the defendant.  She was all right when she kept away from the drink, but if she got drink she went perfectly mad.  The Mayor said it was a terrible thing that the defendant could not keep away from the drink.

This made the third time she had been recently summoned, and she would have to go to prison for a month with hard labour.

This page was added on 11/12/2014.

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