Percy Parsell, 16, of Cherry Tree Yard, Ware, was charged with assaulting his mother on 22nd April.
Mrs Parsell, Percy’s mother, said that her husband and two older sons were serving in France whilst Percy was living at home. On the day in question, she said that Percy had come home from work, had had his tea, and was then preparing to go out without paying anything towards his keep. He had had a 10 shilling note in his hand and, when she had asked him for it, he had struck her in the eye, knocked her down, and had kicked her on the head. She still had the marks on her face.
The defendant said that when he went home and asked his mother where his tea was, she had said “Wait until it’s ready”. He said that when he was going to get washed he saw his mother trying to steal the 10 shilling note. He had pushed her away and she had fallen on the sofa. When asked if he had given her a black eye, he said “I never kicked her. She was hitting me and I pushed her away to protect myself”.
Supt Handley confirmed to the Bench that Percy had been convicted of stealing vegetables in 1910, of throwing stones in 1913, and indecent assault last year. On several occasions there had been complaints that he had been assaulting his mother. When constables had been sent to the house, the defendant had told them that he did not care for any policeman and that he would ‘serve’ them in the same way.
The Chairman said that this was a very serious matter and that, having already been brought before the Bench and put on probation, he did not feel that the penalty then given had had the desired effect. He went on to say that the boy had done the worst thing he could have done to his mother. He said that his fellow magistrates had advised him that when Mrs Parsell had applied for the summons a fortnight earlier she had borne very bad marks upon her face. He said it had been a trifling cause for him to strike his mother just because his tea had not been ready when he had got home. For this offence, therefore, he was sentenced to 21 days imprisonment with hard labour. The Bench would have given a longer sentence but had decided to restrict it to 21 days because of his age.