Sam Quarterman and Alfred Harber, privates in the 3rd/1st Herts. Regiment in the Bishop’s Stortford command, were charged at Stansted Petty Sessions on Saturday with stealing four hens, value 12s., the property of Robert Broadbent, farmer of Widdington. Mrs Broadbent said she found the door of the fowlhouse open and the lock broken, and four hens were missing. P.C. Trundle, of Newport, gave evidence of making inquiries and arresting the accused who denied the offence.
Pte. Watts, of the same regiment as the accused, said he was in bed at his billet at Newport when the defendants came to the house and offered two hens for sale at 1s. 3d. each, saying they had given a keeper 1s. each for them. The witness did not go downstairs nor see the men, but sent 2s. 6d. down to them. He sent the fowls the next day to his wife at St Albans. An officer of the regiment said both men had good characters, although Harber had recently been reported for being drunk. The defendants pleaded guilty, and elected to be dealt with summarily. They were each fined £2.
Percy Tant, a private in the 3rd Beds. Regiment, was charged with stealing five fowls, value 10s., the property of Rhoda Norton, of Clavering, on July 8. Mrs Norton said she missed the fowls from their coops in her meadow. Later in the day she went to Bishop’s Stortford, and going round the poultry market saw four of the birds lotted for sale. She gave information to the Bishop’s Stortford police. John Bayeley, carrier, of Berden, said at the accused’s request he conveyed four fowls from his home at Berden to Bishop’s Stortford poultry market and entered them in the accused’s name. The defendant was found guilty, and fined £3 7s. 8d., or one month.