'Fowl' play

Hertfordshire Mercury, 16th January 1916


Warren Wilkes had been summoned for stealing a fowl.

PC Field, together with Inspector Moles and another officer, had gone to Hillside Farm, Gt Amwell, where they had seen footmarks on the ground, fresh marks on a gate, and further footmarks close to a hen coop.  The officer then looked in the harness room, but heard someone moving in the hay loft above.  When challenged, the person above ran down the steps from the loft, out of the harness room, and across the farm yard.  With the constable in pursuit, he reached the scullery before he was apprehended.

On investigation, a fowl was found in a truss of hay in the hay loft.  When questioned, the defendant said that he had seen the fowl sitting on a cart, had caught and killed it, and had decided to pluck it.  The defendant was taken to Ware Police Station where he pleaded not guilty.  He said that he had been acting under the instruction of the farm owner to kill 6 ducks and 15 cockerels.

The defendant then made allegations about the police, saying that each had requested a “Christmas box”.  He said that PC Field had struck him on the jaw, but when Supt Handley asked him if he recalled throwing his head against the wall of the police cell on a few occasions, he confirmed that, yes, he had.

The Chairman of the Bench said that the defendant had not improved his case by making untrue allegations against the police “..which everyone knew were perfectly false”.  He fined the defendant a guinea.

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