Theft of a scythe

Hertfordshire Mercury, 14th August 1915


At Cheshunt Petty Sessions, Walter Fitzjohn, labourer, of no fixed abode, was summoned for stealing a scythe, a shaft rubstone, and a bag, on July 27, value 9 shillings, the property of Edward Childs, contractor, of Broxbourne.

The prosecutor said that on Tuesday, July 27th, he was at Manor Farm, at work, and Fitzjohn was also there.  The next day, on going to the farm, the witness missed a scythe, a rubstone, and a bag from the cart-shed.  He identified the scythe produced as his property.  Joseph Matthews, of Hertingfordbury, gave evidence that on July 30th, at 6.30 in the morning, the prisoner offered to sell him a scythe, but the witness replied that he had already got two that he would like to get rid of.

Supt Handley stated that on August 5th, at 4 p.m., the prisoner was arrested at Hertingfordbury with the scythe and rubstone in his possession.  He charged him with stealing them, and the prisoner replied  “Childs knew I had them.  I took them to cut a piece of grass for another man.  I did not steal them”.  The defendant said he had no intention of selling the scythe or of stealing it.  He simply took it to cut some grass for another man and that he had intended to return it to Mr Childs.

The defendant was fined 10 shillings, or seven days.

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