Assault on Stevenage gamekeeper

Hertfordshire Mercury, 9th January 1931

Transcript

The jury found John Hemmings (31), a labourer, guilty of assaulting Bert Pitcher, a gamekeeper, at Stevenage, on November 23, and not guilty of night poaching.  Prisoner was bound over in the sum of £10 to be of good behaviour for three years .

Mr Levy, prosecuting, said the land in question was in the occupation of Mr Thomas H. Riches, Fairlands, Stevenage.

Edward May, gamekeeper to Mr Riches, said he heard the report of a gun from Abbotts Grove, and he and Pitcher went towards the Grove and heard two more shots. Witness went after a man who had an electric torch, but the man got away . Hearing Pitcher in difficulties with another man, he returned and saw prisoner, who struck him. Prisoner also struck Pitcher, and they then got him to the ground and handcuffed him.

Police Inspector Ingram, said counsel, went to where the struggle took place, and about 80 yards from the spot found a hen pheasant which had been freshly shot and was not cold. Where the struggle took place he found a heavy stick.

Bert Pitcher said he saw the prisoner in Abbotts Wood, and he went for Hemmings, who knocked him down .

P.S. Reid said that the prisoner denied that a blood-stained bag  with feathers on it  belonged to him .

Prisoner, giving evidence, said he went out after suppertime as a result of a quarrel with his wife.  He went to Abbotts Grove but did not go there with the intention of poaching. He did not own the stick which was produced. When in the wood  he heard noises which he thought was shots, and when he approached a light he was, he declared, felled by blows. After he was struck, the two keepers hit one another.

As stated, he was bound over.

 

 

 

 

 

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