Police disgracefully obstructed in their duty.

Hertfordshire Mercury, 17th November 1900


At Ware Petty Sessions on Tuesday, William Cox, a colt-breaker from Kibes Lane, Ware, Frederick Middleton, labourer, also from Kibes Lane; and Frederick Smith, a stone mason from Musley Hill, Ware were charged with obstructing the police whilst in the execution of their duty on 3 November 1900.  Only Cox pleaded guilty.

Sergt. Jaquest said that on the night in question he and his colleagues P.Cs. Butler and Firth were taking a Margaret Goodey to the police station in Ware, and they were surrounded by a crowd of people.  Middleton pushed P.C. Butler to one side and tried to get the woman away.  Cox also took Sergt. Jaquest’s arm and demanded, “with very bad language”, that he leave the woman alone.  Sergt. Jaquest sent for a fly to take the woman to the station, but as he was trying to get her into the vehicle Smith kept shutting the door.  The scene was described as “most disgraceful” and delayed the police for three quarters of an hour.

Smith and Middleton told the Bench that they were trying to assist the police and had “no intention whatever” of interfering with them in their course of duty.

It transpired that there were nine previous convictions against Cox for similar offences and he was fined £1 including costs. The bench concluded that Middleton and Smith had been very indiscreet in their conduct, but dismissed them with a caution as to their future behaviour

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