Petty sessions

Hertfordshire Mercury, 26th May 1906


Petty Sessions, Tuesday – Before F. A. Delme-Radcliffe, Esq (in the chair); William Ransom, Esq; and W. F. Harrison, Esq.
Charles Johnson, a labourer, described as of no fixed abode, was charged with being drunk and disorderly on the highway at Hitchin on May 15th, and also with stealing half-a-pound of tobacco, of the value of 2s. 8d., the property of Mr John Valentine, on the same day. He pleaded guilty to both charges. Last week the man was before the Court on a charge of being drunk and disorderly. Mr George Passingham, who prosecuted, said Johnson went into Mr Valentine’s shop and took half a pound of tobacco from a jar on the counter. A little while later he went to the surgery of Mr Grellet and caused a disturbance. The man was very drunk. It was a case, Mr Passingham urged, for severe punishment.

Evidence was given by Mr Valentine and Mr W. P. Grellet, a surgeon, both who said Johnson told them he wanted to be locked up, and said that in order to gain this end he would steal something. Johnson said he owed his downfall to drink, but as he should think of this before taking drink he must put up with the consequences. He was sent to prison for one month; seven days in default of paying the fine imposed last week, seven days for being drunk and disorderly, and a fortnight for the theft.
Edmund Bigg and Mary Ann Bigg, husband and wife, of the labouring classes, were charged with using bad language on the highway at Kimpton on May 12th. The former was fined 5 shillings and the latter 2s. 6d.
Charles Clark and James Lee, boys of eleven or twelve, were charged with stealing two plough wheels, the property of Mr John Cannon a market gardener, at Hitchin, on May 5th. They pleaded guilty. It seemed that the wheels were taken from the plough while it was in a lavender field, and that Clark offered them for sale to Mr Joseph Wilson, iron merchant; he refused to buy them, as he was not satisfied with the account given of their possession. Afterwards Clark threw them into the horse-pond, where they were found by the Police. It was ordered that Clark, who had been convicted before, have six strokes of the birch, and Lee four strokes.
Frederick Conquest, labourer, of Whitwell, admitted being drunk on the highway there on May 13th, and was fined 5 shillings.
Levi Lines, labourer, of Luton, was charged with an offence under the Poaching Prevention Act at Paul’s Walden on May 6th. William Allen who had been summoned for aiding and abetting Lines, did not appear. Five partridge eggs were found in Line’s possession on his being searched on the highway by P. C. Wade. There were 61 previous convictions recorded against Lines, and he was fined £3 and costs, with a month’s imprisonment in default. A warrant was issued for the arrest of Allen.

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