PC Ebenezer Buss was on duty in East Barnet on 26th March 1891. Acting upon instructions he received, he stopped a pony and cart he had spotted at 6.30 p.m. driven by a George Curzons.
“Before you go any further I want to see what you’ve got in your cart”.
The PC was allowed to search the cart and discovered a sack of oats, covered by other sacks. This was what he had been looking for.
“You will have to come with me to the station.”
“Very well”, came the reply, “but I don’t see what you want to take me to the station for – can’t I square you?”
Unsurprisingly, PC Ebenezer Buss rejected the offer of a bribe and took Curzons to the station where the owner of the oats, a Mr Bramley, identified the oats as his own and confirmed Mr Curzons had no right to them and that he would be charged.
Curzons protested that he had bunged them in with all the other sacks off the floor of Mr Bramley’s barn that he was clearing but despite the oats being worth only 2 shillings and sixpence he was found guilty summarily by the judge and ordered to pay a fine of 22 shillings and costs of 18 shillings, and failing that a month’s hard labour