Damaging growing crops

Hertfordshire Mercury, 21st August 1915


At Ware Petty Sessions, George Barker (12) , of the Crooked Billet, Ware, was charged with damaging growing wheat, the property of Mrs Effie Westbrook, of Trinity Farm, Ware, on July 27, and doing damage to the amount of £3. The defendant pleaded guilty, and his grand-mother said there were a lot more boys with him at the time, and she did not see why he should suffer for the lot.

PC Harwood said that he inspected the damage done, and about 30 poles of the corn were lying down.  The defendant and a number of other boys did the damage by playing hide-and-seek in the wheat.  Mrs Westbrook said the defendant was the ringleader of the boys who did the damage.  She had cautioned him before; and in the interest of others in that neighbourhood she thought the boy should be made an example of.

Supt Handley said he was repeatedly receiving complaints of damage done by boys in the neighbourhood.  A number of them had been cautioned, but it did not seem to do much good.  Mr Andrews, probation officer, said the defendant was placed under his supervision about three months ago.  There was some improvement, but he was a boy easily led.  He hoped the Bench would still let him help the boy.

The Bench decided that the defendant should still remain on probation, and fined him 10 shillings and 10 shillings damage, and he was severely reprimanded by the Chairman.

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