Keeping open licensed premises

Hertfordshire Mercury, 30th October 1915


At Hertford County Sessions on Saturday, John William Smalley, of the Salisbury Crest Inn, Essendon, was summoned for keeping open his licensed premises to a member of His Majesty’s forces after the hour of 9 p.m., on September 30, contrary to the Defence of the Realm Regulations.  He pleaded guilty.  P.c. Arthur Smith stated that on Thursday, September 30 at 10.50 p.m., he saw the defendant come out of his licensed premises with a soldier.  The witness spoke to him about it, and asked the soldier if he had a permit, and he said ‘Yes’.  He fumbled about in his pockets, but could not find it, and he then said that he could go on licensed premises when he liked.  The witness told him that it was against regulations, and that he could not be there after 9 p.m.

He reminded Mr Smalley that he had been served with a copy of the Order, and knew all about it.  Mr Smalley said: ‘This soldier is a friend of mine and I asked him to come in.  I can have friends in my own house and I don’t care for the police or the Government as regards that’.  Supt Pear said he reported this case to the Deputy Chief Constable, and he communicated with the military authorities.  The witness then received an order to prosecute.  A copy of the Order had been served on every licence holder in the district, including the defendant.  The defendant said: ‘This soldier was a friend of mine before joining the colours, and, being on leave on September 30, he came into my house in the late afternoon.  He and I went out together and we got back to Essendon at about 9.30.  I asked him to have some supper with me and he went into my private parlour.  From there I went up the road with him and we met the policeman, and I told him exactly as I am telling you.  It was purely hospitality on my part and I had no wish to break any regulations.  I am sorry if a mistake was made.  The soldier was never in my bar or smoke room.’  The Chairman: ‘Who was the soldier?’  The defendant: ‘The son-in-law of the late Mr Foxall, of Essendon.’  The Chairman: ‘Of course the whole of your premises are licensed, and if he was in your parlour you are still liable.’  The defendant: ‘But there is only one exit.’  P.c. Smith: ‘They had both been drinking that night, but I could not prove they had the drink in the defendant’s house.’  The Chairman: ‘The Bench have considered this case carefully.  As a publican you know perfectly well your responsibilities in this matter.  These laws are made and it is the duty of the Police and the Magistrates to see that they are carried out.   You knew perfectly well what you were doing.  You laid yourself open to a penalty of £100 or six months’ imprisonment, but as this is the first case of the kind  that has come before the Bench in this district we feel inclined to deal leniently with you.  You will be fined £1 and the costs, which amount to 4s..’

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