Charge of indecency

Hertfordshire Mercury, 3rd April 1915


At Hatfield Petty Sessions, before Messrs T Basset (in the Chair), J. Lloyd and C.W. Gaussen, Cecil Wood, a youth of 16, living at Hatfield Hyde, was charged with indecent behaviour on March 22nd, and pleaded guilty.  Mrs Mary Ann Hale, an elderly woman, gave evidence, and Supt Sullivan, in answer to the Bench, said that nothing was known of the defendant, as he had only recently come to the district from Buntingford.

The defendant’s father said the lad had been very well behaved previously.  He had been at work, had always brought his money home, and been a very good boy in the home.  This affair had so upset his mother that she was ill.  He had been working at the Stud Farm and earning 10 shillings a week.

The witness worked for Mr James Peart, and before Christmas lived at Cumberlow Green, Buntingford.  P.c. Handley stated that when he charged the boy and arrested him he at first denied having committed the offence, but afterwards admitted it.  The Chairman said that if the defendant had been younger he would have been given the birch, and if he had been a little older the Magistrates would have sent him to prison, but they did not want to make a gaol-bird of one so young.

However he must understand that he could not continue such disgraceful conduct without being punished, and if it occurred again he would get into very serious trouble.  He would this time be bound over for six months and ordered to report himself once a month to the Probation Officer.

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