Theft of growing cucumbers

Hertfordshire Mercury, 5th June 1915

Transcript

At Cheshunt Petty Sessions Charles Jennings (40), a navvy, and Philip Pugh (39), carman, both of Enfield Highway, were charged with being concerned together in stealing three growing cucumbers from a greenhouse at Park Lane Nursery, Waltham Cross, on May 23.  William Charles Hayden, foreman to Mr William Hamilton, said that on Whit Sunday he was called to the Park Lane Nursery, and saw Jennings standing by a hole made in some glass in a greenhouse.  Inside the house he saw Pugh standing, and close by him were two freshly-cut cucumbers.  Two cucumber plants were also damaged.  Cross-examined by Pugh, the witness said he saw the two cucumbers actually in his hand.

Arthur Thurgood, aged 13, said that at 5.30 on Whit Sunday afternoon he was in Park Lane, and saw the two prisoners walking alongside a greenhouse belonging to Mr Hamilton.  They tried a door, but could not get in.  The witness went and gave information to Mr Hayden, and on returning saw Jennings looking into the greenhouse through a hole which had been made in the glass.  Ellen Hayden, daughter of the first witness, said that she went with her father to the nursery, and saw Pugh take a cucumber from his pocket.  P.s. Bowden gave evidence of arresting Jennings and Pugh.  He examined the greenhouse, and found a large hole in the glass and two of the plants were badly damaged.  When arrested Pugh said: ‘Well, they won’t hang us for it.  That is certain.’  The prisoners both denied that they broke the glass and stole the cucumbers.

Previous convictions were proved by Detective-Sergt. Childs against both men, the last against Jennings being in 1908.  Sergt. Caunter said Pugh was a ‘perfect pest and blackguard’ in the neighbourhood of Enfield Highway.

The Bench found the offences proved, and fined Jennings 15 shillings or 11 days.  Pugh was sentenced to one month’s hard labour, without the option of a fine.

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