Poaching for a living

Hertfordshire Mercury, 12th February 1916

Transcript

At Cheshunt Petty Sessions, William Ernest Edward Smith of Goffs Oak, was summoned for assaulting a boy named Owen Tarbuck on 16th January, and further for unlawfully and wilfully wounding a pigeon, value 2 shillings, the property of Rose York of Goffs Oak.

Rose York said that, on the morning of 16th January, she had been in her garden and had seen the defendant fetch a gun and shoot one of her pigeons that had settled on the roof of the Wheelwrights Arms.  The pigeon was wounded, but died later.  Alfred Wilkinson, a stockman, confirmed to the Bench that he had seen Smith shoot the pigeon.

Owen Tarbuck, a grandson of Rose York, said that, on the afternoon of the same day, he had been returning home when the defendant had stopped him and asked who had said that he had shot the pigeon.  The witness said to the defendant that he had seen him, from his kitchen window, shoot the pigeon.  The defendant, Smith, then ‘bashed’ Tarbuck on the head and rendered him unconscious.

When questioned, the defendant said that Tarbuck had often jeered at him about another case in which he (Smith) had been convicted, and so he decided to hit him.  Previous convictions against Smith were shown, by Inspector Rayner, who also said that Smith got his living by poaching, and only occasionally did a day’s work.

For the assault, the Bench sentenced Smith to 2 months’ hard labour, and for the shooting of the pigeon he was sentenced to a fine of 40 shillings, both sentences to run concurrently.

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