Larceny of fowls

Hertfordshire Mercury, 14th August 1915


At Stevenage Petty Sessions on Thursday Samuel George Draper, of Benington, now a private in the Beds. Regiment stationed at Landguard, was summoned for stealing two fowls, the property of Arthur George Pearman, farmer, Benington, on August 7.  The defendant pleaded guilty to stealing one fowl.

According to the evidence of Mr Pearman, he had a number of fowls at his mother’s place, Kirton Hill farm.  They were locked in a fowl house.  He saw them safe on Saturday, but on Sunday two were missing and the padlock was broken off. Mrs Sarah Ellen Pearman, mother of the last witness, spoke to locking up 32 fowls on Saturday, and to seeing the padlock broken on Sunday and feathers lying about, while two hens were missing.  She identified the cooked fowl produced by the feathers.

PC Spencer, Walkern, spoke to finding the defendant at Whemstead Gate public-house at 9.30 on Sunday.  He denied taking the fowls, but later he admitted the offence, saying that he left Landguard on August 7 at about 8 a.m. and got to Hertford about 1.50 p.m..  He then rode from Hertford to Wheathampstead with Mr Young, of Benington.  Here he met his father, and after having drinks they started to walk home.

At Kirton Hill he asked his father what he had for dinner, and when he told him nothing he said he would get something.  He then went into Mr Pearman’s stockyard and took a light-coloured fowl off its perch, putting it in his father’s basket.  He met his mother at Benington and told her a fowl was in the basket.  It was through drink that he had done it.  He was on four days’ leave.

The Bench convicted, and taking into consideration that he was at present in the Army, they imposed a fine of 21 shillings, or 14 days.

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