Two sacks of sawn-up timber were produced at Ware Court on Tuesday , when Norman W. J. Gale (23) , labourer , of 16 Coanwood Cottages , Wareside , was alleged to have stolen a length of wood , valued at £3 , belonging to Wareside Parish Council , between December 2 and 5 .
He was fined £1 and ordered to pay £3 compensation to Wareside Parish Council . Gale also had to pay 10 shillings costs and was given a month in which to find the money .
Inspector Palmer said that a plank measuring 16 feet by 11inches. and 4 inches thick was part of a foot-bridge over a dyke known as Nimney Bourne , just off the road leading from Wareside to Bakers End.
The bridge was erected about seven years ago for the convenience of people going along a footpath from Wareside to Cook’s Farm , Wareside .
During the autumn , said the Inspector , the dyke overflowed after a torrential downpour and the planks were carried downstream for 40 or 50 yards .
On December 2nd, a member of the Parish Council saw two planks beside the stream and was taking steps to have the bridge re-erected , but on December 5 one plank was missing .
Inquiries were made by P.c. Thorne , who called at Gale’s house and found him sawing wood.
When he told Gales that he was making inquiries about a missing plank accused replied ” Yes, I saw it lying there and I thought it was no good “
Told he would be prosecuted he said ” It is no use me lying about it “
Inspector Palmer added that the plank of was Columbia pine and its true value was 5 shillings 6d to 6 shillings a foot , but a nominal value of £3 had been put on it .
Gale said he thought the plank had floated more than 40 yards downstream.