Notable Events In Week Twentynine

Ian Curley

South Mymms Police Box, Metropolitan Police, At The Side Of The A1 On The Border With Hertfordshire.

Hertfordshire Police Historical Society

This Week In History

Friday 19th July 1901

Herts & Cambs. Reporter & Royston Crow
At the Watford County Court on Monday last before His Honour, Judge Sir Alfred Marten, K.C., and a jury, an important case was heard in which the plaintiff, Herbert Axom, was a late member of the Hertfordshire Constabulary, and the defendant was Colonel Henry S. Danniell, Chief Constable for the County.
The action was for £5O for alleged wrongful dismissal, and there was a remarkable array of witnesses chiefly drawn from the police force; amongst whom the case had created a large amount of interest. Mr. H. W. Lathom, of Luton, appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr. R. D. Muir appeared for the Chief Constable. Mr. Lathom said the plaintiff joined the force on July 12th of last year.

On May 16th last at races held at Beech Bottom near Harpenden the plaintiff and other constables were drafted for duty on the race course. At St. Albans, Axom, with nine or ten other constables, went to the North Western Hotel for a drink before starling to walk to the racecourse. The ten had five quarts of beer between them, and at a house on the road they called and had less, and that was all the drink they had before arriving at the racecourse. During the races Axom had one of the free pints of beer allowed to the police in the police tent and then was sent by Supt. Reynolds to do certain duty. After shifting him about to different parts of the course the Superintendent instructed Sergeant O’Connor to take Axom to the tent, saying he was the worse for drink. On the following morning Axorn at Watford received a telephone message from Col. Daniell ordering him to give in his clothes. He did so and received the balance of pay due to him and was no longer a member of the force.

On Sunday he received an order to give an explanation of what had taken place, but as he had been dismissed he refused to do so. He then received a letter to go on Monday but declined to go. Later he went and saw Col. Daniell at Supt. Wood’s office and the Chief Constable tried to persuade him to go on duty again, and as he did not do so Col. Daniell told him he was dismissed.

Mr. Muir submitted that such a claim could not be made against Col. Daniell as such an action could only be brought against the employer and not an agent. His second contention was that under the Borough and County Police Act the question of engaging or dismissing a constable was entirely in the hands of the Chief Constable. It was quite clear that the constable was a servant of the Standing Joint Committee.

His Honour held that the defence raised by Mr. Muir was good. It was quite clear that the defendant was simply a servant of the Standing Joint Committee. The defendant was possessed of certain statutory powers as Chief Constable, but what he did was as an agent of the Standing Joint Committee. As to the second ground of defence there was no stipulation in the Statute that any notice should be given by the Chief Constable or any other person. The words used in the section with regard to the dismissal of men were “at his pleasure,” and he thought these words meant absolutely without notice. He therefore gave judgment for the defendant with costs.

Saturday 28 July 1883

Herts Advertiser
The Constabulary. A notice has been issued, giving formal intimation of the fact, that from the 2lst inst. the headquarters and reserve of the Hertfordshire Constabulary, and the office of the Chief Constable of the county, are transferred to the new buildings at Hatfield.

Friday 20 July 1917

Cambridge Independent Press
PICKING UP A PEKINGESE. Astonishing Plea by London Motor Driver.
At the Newmarket (Combs.) Police Court Tuesday, James Cole, motor lorry driver, and Violet May Cole, his wife, of 12. Regent’s Place. Westminster, were charged with stealing a Pekingese dog, value £5. the property of Mrs. Ellen Curtis, of Six Mile Bottom. on June 21st, 1917. The male defendant pleaded, “I not guilty of stealing, but I picked the dog up.’’ His wife repeated this. The male defendant was wearing a discharge badge, having served seven years in the King’s Royal Rifles, from which he had been invalided. Mrs. Ellen Curtis, wife of Robert Curtis, blacksmith, of Six Mile Bottom, who appeared in court carrying the dog in her arms, gave evidence that on the morning of Thursday, June 21st, her Pekingese dog was running about the highway of the London Road in front of the house. Somebody told her that the dog been picked up by a lady in motor lorry and taken away. She went to the Postmaster at Six Mile Bottom. Mr. Thurgood, who telephoned to the Bottisham, Royston. and Bishop Stortford Police Stations, asking them to look out for the car. She saw the dog again at Royston Police Station at 5 o’clock in the afternoon of the same day, Thursday the 21st. The dog was worth £5. She knew nothing of the defendants.

Ethel May Carlton, living at Six Mile Bottom, gave evidence that the morning June 21st she was standing in her yard about 10.45. She noticed a motor lorry going towards London. She saw the car stop and a lady get out of it, go back, pick the dog in her arms and go back to the motor. The young man, who was driving, then started the motor. She could not recognise any of occupants of the motor. The male defendant, “You saw her pick up the dog, why didn’t you say who the dog belonged to. You might have said, that is Mrs. Curtis’s dog.’’ Witness, “I was not sure that it was Mrs. Curtis’s dog until something came over to me and said that it was. I thought at first that it might have jumped out of the car.” Mr. Townsend, “When you saw the motor stop you were about 40 paces from the car?” Witness, “Yes.” Mr. Townsend: “They did not stop to see if anyone owned the dog. As soon they picked the dog up they were off?” Witness, “Yes.”

PC William Ernest Sturman. of the Hertfordshire Constabulary, stationed at Royston, gave evidence that on Thursday, the 21st June, at five minutes past one, he was on duty at Royston looking out for motor lorry with a dog in it, in consequence of a telephone message received from the Postmaster of Six Mile Bottom. He stopped the lorry which was driven by the male defendant. It was a ten ton lorry. He said to defendant, “I making inquiries in respecting of a Pekingese dog that has been stolen.” The defendant produced a dog which his wife was holding in her arms. The witness asked him how he came by the dog and the defendant replied, “I saw the dog in the road and to avoid running it over I stopped and picked it up and I asked a man and woman who were passing whose it was. As there was no one else about ask, I put it in the waggon and came along.” Witness asked what the defendant was going to do with the dog. The Defendant replied, “I was going to London to give it to the police there, so as to take up any reward.” Witness said, “You must accompany me to the police station.” which the defendant did. The male prisoner gave his correct address. Witness would not be certain if there was collar on the dog. Witness afterwards remembered that the defendant called his attention to the absence of a collar on the dog.

Sergeant George Chapman, stationed at Royston, gave evidence that on Thursday the 21st, he saw the defendant and the dog at Royston Police Station, when the prisoner said he got out of the lorry and picked up the dog to avoid its being run over. Witness said. “I will detain you and the dog.” Defendant gave his correct address and was allowed to go, but the dog was retained. Magistrates retired, and returning, the Chairman of the Bench said they had decided that there would a conviction. “Was there anything known against the defendant?” Sergeant Haylock: “Nothing, sir.” Chairman of the bench. “The fine will 40s.” The Clerk, “That is against the husband. The wife is discharged.” The Defendant paid £1 down and was allowed a week to pay the rest.

21st July 1978

Lover shot in grass
A Farmhand out shooting rabbits on a June afternoon, saw the long grass move and fired both barrels of his 12-bore shotgun. Then up from the grass stood a tall curly-haired man with a brown beard – and no trousers. The man had gone into the field to make love to his girlfriend, the High Court was told on Tuesday. The force of the shots blasted his head out of his girlfriend’s lap. He is claiming damages for his injuries, being now permanently blind in one eye and scarred on the face. The farmhand denies negligence and claimed it was a “pure accident”.
(Watford Observer)

General Order No. 29/1999 21 July 1999

HQ Sports and Social Club have organised an evening of LIVE music in the HQ bar on the 22 July 1999, starting at about 8 p.m. A wide spectrum of rock, pop and blues will be performed, covering the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. We have a rockin’ band called FUZZY, along with Kate (song-bird) XXXXXX and Keith (time-warped) XXXXXX for your delight and entertainment. All Constabulary staff, their families and their friends are most welcome. ADMISSION IS ABSOLUTELY FREE.

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