At Herts Quarter Sessions, William James Sale (19), a soldier, pleaded guilty to stealing a mare, trap and harness, the property of Edward Pigg, jun., and a pair of boots, the property of Thomas Holland, at Furneaux Pelham, on 4th February.
Mr J.H. Murphy, for the prosecution, said that Mr Pigg and his wife came home on the evening of 4th February at 11.00 p.m., and Holland took the horse and trap to the stable and locked them up. Two men, who he believed to be soldiers, spoke to Holland, wishing him “Good night”. The following morning, the horse, the trap and the harness were missing, and also a pair of boots and a hat. The police eventually traced the horse and trap which had been turned loose in a lane near the Buckinghamshire border. The prisoner was arrested at Little Missenden, 6 miles away. He was found to have discarded part of his military clothing which he had thrown into a hedge, and there also were found 2 stolen rugs.
The prisoner’s defence was that he had been drinking with a civilian, and he did not know how he came to be in the trap. There was no desire on the part of the prosecution to press the case for punishment as the man’s Regiment was willing to take him back.
Lt. H.J. West, of the Bedfordshire Regiment, gave the defendant a good character reference and said he had been wounded in the leg and had had trench fever. He had joined the army at the age of 17 years 6 months, enlisting on 22nd August 1914. The Regiment would take him back.
The Chairman said that, on consideration, they would take a lenient view of the case. The defendant was bound over to come up for judgement if called upon.