At Welwyn Petty Sessions on Friday, George Paternoster, and John Anderson, both labourers of Digswell, pleaded not guilty to trespassing in the daytime in search of conies on November 28. Ernest Faulkner, a gamekeeper, of Cole Green, said that at 4.15 p.m. he was in a field near the highway and standing near a hedge, when he saw Paternoster in the field setting wires. This would be about a quarter of a mile from the road near the Black Fan. Lord Desborough had the right of shooting there. Paternoster set two wires.
The witness spoke to him, and he said he was having a stroll and doing nothing, and had not set any wires. The witness searched him and found four wires on him, a catapult, and three stones. The witness had watched the wires from behind a hedge. Anderson was also searched, but he had nothing on him. There was nothing in the snares. Paternoster said he did not set the wires, and Anderson said he had nothing on him. There was a footpath in the field, and they were only a short distance from it.
P.c. Bennett , of Panshanger Park, said he was with the last witness at the time named. He saw the two defendants come out of Mr Lyle’s field and go into Mr Titmuss’ field. Anderson went and cut some pegs out of the hedge and took them to Paternoster, and Paternoster fixed them to the wires. Paternoster was looking about the field when the witness and the keeper were watching them. When the gamekeeper searched the men they were about 200 yards from the footpath and about 500 yards from the road.
Both defendants now denied any knowledge of the snares, but were convicted and fined 5s. each.