Liability of Special Constables

Hertfordshire Mercury, 8th May 1915


At Stevenage Petty Sessions on Thursday, Alfred Cannon, dealer, of Little Wymondley, was summoned at the instance of Supt Reed with that he, being a Special Constable, did neglect his duty and fail to parade at Little Wymondley on April 5.  The defendant pleaded not guilty.

Leonard Moss, Little Wymondley, deposed that he was squad leader under Mr Middlemist.  The defendant was a Special Constable, and on April 2 the witness warned him to parade on Monday, April 4, at 6 o’clock.  The defendant fully understood the order, as he replied ‘All right.’  The witness paraded for duty but the defendant was absent.  About 7 o’clock the same evening the witness saw the defendant, and he told him he had been a journey and could not get back in time.  The defendant was driving at the time.

Mr W.S. Middlemist, sub-section leader for Wymondley and Graveley, stated that he instructed the last witness to order a parade at Wymondley for April 4.  The witness attended but the defendant did not appear.  The witness wrote to the defendant asking for an explanation, but he had given none up to the present.

In reply to the Bench the defendant said he meant to be home in time, but could not manage it.  He really meant to be on duty, but had gone to Buntingford that day.

The Bench, having decided to convict, Mr Middlemist, in reply to Supt Reed, stated that this was the second time the defendant had offended, the previous time being February 23, when the witness attended a point at 9.30 and found the defendant absent.  The witness reported the matter to Major St Ledger, who wrote to the defendant asking for an explanation, and he replied that he had been to Buntingford.

To Supt Reed: ‘That explanation was accepted, and he promised not to offend again.’

After consultation the Bench ordered the defendant to pay a fine of £2.

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