The woman and the gun

Hertfordshire Mercury, 31st January 1914


At Cheshunt Petty Sessions on Wednesday, Henry Hart (72), of Flamstead End, was charged with wilfully breaking a pane of glass, value 5s., the property of Mr S.J. Barnes, Relieving Officer, of High Street, Waltham Cross, on 20th January 1914.   Mrs Barnes said that, on the day in question, the accused had called at the house and had asked for an Order for the workhouse.  She told him that her husband was away at that moment and thus asked the defendant to call back.  When he did call back, he asked to speak to the “Gov’nor” but, on being told that he had not yet returned, the defendant started to swear.  He asked her to give him the Order, but she said that she had no such authority.  He then said that he would break all the windows!

She later heard a crash of glass.  She went for a gun, ran after him, and then threatened to shoot him dead. (There was laughter in the court). The Clerk asked “Was the gun loaded?”  She replied “No, sir.”  (There was much more laughter in Court).

Police Constable Augur gave evidence of arrest.  He said that when he had charged the accused, the latter had said “I know I broke the window and I would have broken more if I had not been stopped.”  The accused said that it had been an accident, and that he was very nearly blind.

Mrs Barnes, recalled, said that the defendant had threatened to break the home up about two years previously.  He had then broken a window but she had not sought to charge him.

The Bench fined the defendant 5s or 3 days, the Magistrate taking into consideration the fact that he had been in custody already for a week.

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