Causing wilful damage doesn't pay

Hertfordshire Mercury, 9th November 1918



At Hertford County Court on 2nd November, Arthur George Archer (18) and Arthur Giblenn (16), both of Hertford, pleaded guilty to doing wilful damage to the wooden fencing round Panshanger Park and also breaking a dozen window panes in North Lodge on the Tewin Road, on Sunday 27th October.

PC Walter Frogley stated that in consequence of the enormous amount of damage being done on the Panshanger estate he received instructions to keep observation.  On the Sunday in question, he was cycling along the road near the North Lodge when he saw a large quantity of the park fencing pulled down and lying in the road and, on examining the Lodge, he found 12 panes of glass broken which had been all right earlier in the morning when he passed.  In consequence of information received, he cycled towards Hertford and overtook the two defendants on the top of Sandy Hill.  He told them that he suspected them of doing the damage and they admitted it.  There had been a great amount of damage done since the commencement of the blackberry season.

Mr G.J. Turner, the estate agent, valued the damage done to the fence at 10 shillings, and to the windows at 18 shillings.  There had been considerable damage all over the park by people in search of chestnuts and wood.  A good deal of it had been overlooked, but when wilful, wanton, damage was done as in this case it was felt that prosecutions ought to be made.

The Chairman said the defendants were quite old enough to know better than to do malicious damage of this sort.  What they really deserved was a good hiding, but as there was nothing recorded against them previously they would be let of with a fine of £1 each.  If they did such a thing again it would go very badly for them.

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