And a Happy Christmas to you two !

Hertfordshire Mercury, 22nd January 1916


At Petty Sessions, Samuel North, 72, a labourer, was charged with trespassing on the land of Sir Evelyn de la Rue, at Welwyn, on December 12th.  He was also charged with the killing of two pheasants.  To the first charge he pleaded not guilty, but to the second charge he pleaded guilty.

The gamekeeper for the landlord advised the Bench that on the morning of the 12th., he had set out to inspect pheasant cages that he had set in The Ride at Harmer Green.  He had been going through the wood when he had seen the defendant taking two pheasants out of the cages.  The gamekeeper had told the defendant that he had no business on the land and, when asked what he had intended to do with the birds, the defendant had said that he had wanted them for his Christmas dinner. The gamekeeper had known the defendant, a woodman, for many years.  He had been carrying the two birds in his hand.  Both the birds were dead.

The defendant had handed over both birds, saying “I’m an old age pensioner, having been laid up for some time.  I have been down The Ride many times, have been in the neighbourhood for about forty years, but have never seen pheasant traps in The Ride before”.

The Bench were unsympathetic.  They imposed a fine of 10 shillings.

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