Charles Kitchener, a repeat offender

Herts and Essex Observer, 1918

Charles Kitchener, 27, a discharged soldier from New Town, Bishop’s Stortford appeared in Court more than once in 1918, according to the Herts and Essex Observer.

On August 16th, PC Bennett was called to a disturbance in Castle Street at 9.50 p.m. and on going there was informed that Kitchener had been assaulting his wife, who appeared to have been bruised all over her face. Kitchener was still using disgusting language in the street He said he got excited and couldn’t help it. He had been wounded in the back and leg. The Chairman of the Bench said he must restrain himself.

In reply to the Bench he said he had a pension of 11 shillings a week and was able to do some work. The Chairman said taking into consideration the defendant’s bad health they would let him off with a caution but they hoped it would be a warning to him.

On October 13th Kitchener assaulted George Goodall, a private of the West Yorks Regiment. Goodall said that about 9.15pm he was standing in South Street, talking to a friend, when Kitchener came up to him with a dog. Goodall was kicking his feet together to keep them warm and the dog barked at him. Kitchener said to him “Can’t you keep your feet still” and Goodall said “Yes, but I can move them if I like.”

Kitchener said he had been a soldier and that Goodall was a soldier and asked him to go out into the road and fight. Goodall refused and was grabbed by the coat and pulled into the middle of the pavement. Goodall moved away and said “Good night.” However, Kitchener pulled him back and struck him deliberately in the mouth, knocking him out. A Sergeant of the Police then came up. PS Megaughey said he heard someone shouting “Fetch the police!” and on arriving at the scene found Goodall lying unconscious on the ground, bleeding from the mouth. The police officer picked him up and asked what was the matter but he couldn’t speak. Kitchener said “I struck him. I have been out at the front fighting the Germans and when I see anyone I must hit him ! PS Megaughey said that he had hit Goodall in a dangerous position and might have killed him. Kitchener had had some beer but was not drunk. He had nothing to say and no reason to give.

The Chairman of the Bench said that when Kitchener was last before the Court, he told them that he had been to the local VAD Hospital and denied assistance. On that occasion the Chairman went to the VAD Hospital after the Court had risen and was told that no discharged soldier had ever been denied treatment there, so Kitchener had been lying. Kitchener said that he had been wounded in the stomach and legs.The Chairman said that he had a bad record and in the ordinary way they would have sent him to prison but as he had now got a good job they would impose a fine of £2.

This page was added on 30/07/2014.

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