Theft of a sporting gun

Hertfordshire Mercury, 24th April 1915


At Cheshunt and Waltham Cross Petty Sessions William Ernest Edward Smith, of Goffs Oak, labourer, was charged on remand with night poaching on a field at Halstead Hill, Cheshunt, on March 30.  Smith and Arthur Joyner, of High Street, Ponders End, nursery hand, were charged on remand with being concerned together in stealing and receiving on August 31, 1913, a double-barrelled sporting gun, valued at £10, the property of Mr J. Cull, of Cheshunt.  The evidence against Smith on the night poaching charge was completed at the last court, and the further hearing of the gun case against Smith and Joyner was adjourned for the production of additional evidence for the defence.

William George Smith, of Goffs Oak, labourer, said that one day just before last Christmas he was in the Prince of Wales beerhouse when the prisoner, Smith (who was his son) said to him ‘I have bought a gun for a sovereign.’  The witness said ‘Who have you bought it of ?’ and he replied ‘Jack Joyner’.  He saw his son pay Jack Joyner two half-sovereigns.  The prisoner elected to be dealt with summarily, and pleaded not guilty.

Joyner denied that he had ever sold Smith a gun.  The Bench decided to convict and Detective-Sergt. Bishop proved convictions for game trespass against Smith, and two convictions for theft against Joyner.  The witness went on to say that Smith was a man who did little else but poaching in the district of Goffs Oak.  The Bench fined Smith 40s. or 21 days for poaching and dismissed the charge against him of being concerned in stealing the gun.  On the charge against Joyner for stealing the gun the Bench sentenced him to three months’ hard labour.

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