Langport and Somerton Herald 09 Sep 1922 Ilminster Petty Sessions inc SAINT BAKER WARR South Petherton Cornelius Cornelius Shepton Beauchamp PRING Ilton

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Langport and Somerton Herald. Taunton, Yeovil, Bridgwater, Martock, and South Petherton News, and Western Counties' Advertiser. Saturday 09 Sep 1922

Page 6 Column 1 and 2


Friday of last week. - Before Mr. J. C. ALLEN (in the chair), Colonel A. V. H. VAUGHAN LEE, Mr. H. H. SHEPHERD, Mr. L. HEPWORTH, Mr. J. S. PRENTICE, and Mr. F. F. ADAMS.



Herbert SAINT, Albert SAINT and Leonard BAKER, of Pitway, South Petherton, were summoned for stealing apples, valued 1s., from an orchard at South Petherton, in the occupation of Geo. WILLY, of Coles's Farm.

P.C. GREGORY said that on July 16th, at 8.30 p.m., in consequence of several complaints received, he went to Pitway. In an orchard there he saw the three defendants picking apples from a tree. When they saw him they ran away. He followed and caught Herbert SAINT, and from him took 22 apples. The two others threw the apples they had to the ground as they ran away. He later saw these two defendants.

All the lads pleaded guilty, and Supt. CHAPMAN said that nothing was known against them previously.

Prosecutor said that he had had a great deal of damage done in recent years to the fences and trees through apple stealing. He was sorry that it was these three youngsters who were caught, for much of the damage had been done by older boys. He hoped the Bench would deal with the defendants leniently. All three defendants were bound over to be of good behaviour for 12 months and placed under the Probation Officer. The parents were also bound in the sum of £5 and ordered to pay the Court fees, 5s. in each case.



Edward BAKER, labourer, of South Petherton, who did not appear, but wrote a letter to the Bench that he was talking to himself at the time, was fined 5s. for using indecent language at South Petherton.

Mrs. Jane WHITE, of Pitway, South Petherton, said defendant addressed the “obedient' language towards her. It was not the first time it had occurred.

Cornelius CORNELIUS, market gardener, of Shepton Beauchamp, was similarly summoned.

Defendant failed to appear, but his wife wrote that “it was only a family affair after all.”

P.C. FISHER proved the case, and said that defendant was in his bedroom at the time. Looking out of the window he remarked to witness, “You will hear more of it if you stay longer.”

Twelve previous convictions, three for similar offences, were proved.

A fine of 10s. was imposed.


Albert JAMES, a stoker, of 2, Listers Hill, Ilminster, was summoned for coming from land where he had been in search of game in the parish of Ilminster Without.

He pleaded guilty.

From the defendant, who was caught by P.C. GANGE, two rabbits, 10 snares, and four stakes were recovered.


Jane Elizabeth PRING (18), of the Cross Keys Ilton, was charged with stealing a lady's skirt, valued £1, the property of Alice Matilda WHITE, of Ditton Street, Ilminster.

Prosecutrix said the prisoner was in her employ from November last until August. After PRING had left her service prosecutrix missed the skirt (produced) and gave information to the police. She was certain she did not give the skirt to the prisoner, although the latter said she did.

P.C. GANGE said on Saturday, August 12th, he saw the prisoner at Ilton, and, after cautioning her, told her enquiries were being made respecting a skirt stolen from Mrs. WHITE's some time between June 24th and August 10th. She replied, “Oh, I haven't got the skirt.” P.S. WHITTER, who was also present, asked prisoner if she was willing for the house to be searched. She then replied, “I have got an old blue skirt Mrs. WHITE gave me.” This she produced, and it was later identified by Mrs. WHITE. When charged, prisoner replied: “I am not guilty.”

Prisoner, sworn, said that she understood Mrs. WHITE gave her the skirt. She now admitted, however, it was her mistake.

Re-called by the Chairman, Mrs. WHITE said she would solemnly swear on her otah [sic] that she never gave the skirt to the girl, or ever mentioned the skirt to her.

Prisoner was bound over in the sum of £5 to be of good behaviour for twelve months, and also placed on probation.



Geoffrey Harris MITCHELL, of 5, Marine Terrace, Seaton, was summoned for riding a motor-cycle to the danger of the public at Seavington.

Defendant, who pleaded not guilty, was represented by Mr. Ivor JONES, of Taunton.

P.C. FISHER said that on Saturday, July 29th, at 1.45 p.m., he was on duty at Seavington, when he saw the defendant driving a motor-cycle at a most terrific rate. He held up his hand to the defendant to stop, but he rode on. Defendant was going well over 35 miles an hour, and was passing through the village of Seavington at the time. There was a good amount of traffic about, and concealed and dangerous crossings were near by.

By Mr. JONES: He was on plain clothes duty and “out for a case,” by the instructions of the Superintendent of the Police. His only means of judging the speed was the rate the motor-cycle was coming towards him.

Supt. CHAPMAN: You were asked by Mr. JONES why you were there. What was the reason?

Witness: Because of there having been so many complaints.

John ROWSELL, a smith, of Seavington, said that on the day in question he was at the Volunteer Inn at Seavington, and he saw the motor-cycle pass by. He should think it was going at least 40 miles an hour. In his opinion the speed was dangerous to the public. No notice whatever was taken of the police-constable's signal to stop.

By Mr. JONES: It was the noise that made him consider the motor cyclist was going fast.

Francis BURROUGHS, able seaman, who said he was with the witness ROWSELL at the Volunteer Inn, gave corroborative evidence.

Mr. JONES said that it was an erroneous and false method to jud e [sic] the speed by the exhaust note. All the witnesses had said their judging of the speed was largely influenced by the noise made. The defendant would tell them that he was not aware that he was called upon to stop.

Defendant said that he knew the road in question very well. When he entered the village there was another motor-cyclist in front of him, and this machine was making much more noise. When he saw a man in the road endeavour to stop the motor-cyclist in front he slowed down and passed on. He had no idea that the man was a policeman, or either that he was calling upon him to stop. He was not driving in a manner dangerous to the public. The pace was quite reasonable, and he had his machine perfectly under control.

Fining the defendant £5 and £2 12s. 6d. costs, the Chairman said the Bench were absolutely convinced that de endant [sic] was driving at a dangerous speed, considering the circumstances of the case, not only the traffic that was there, but the traffic that might have been there. If defendant came there again for a similar offence he would be sent to gaol.

Harry G. Chappelle BEST, farm bailiff, of Barrington Court; Wm. C. H. KIRKLAND, of East Street, Ilminster, motor mechanic; and Charles G. H. KIRKLAND general mechanic, of East Street, Ilminster, were all similarly summoned, and they pleaded not guilty.

Mr. Ivor JONES represented defendants.

George Edwin HOWELL, stationmaster of Ilminster, said that on Sunday, July 30th, he was on the road leading from Cricket Malherbie to Ilminster. He was with his wife, son, a lady friend, and Mr. James BAKER. Suddenly his attention was attra cted [sic] by a noise, and then three motor-cyclists rounded the corner and passed by. He co sidered [sic] all three were travelling at 40 miles an hour. He had never before seen anything going so fast on the public highway. Defendants were evidently getting the last ounce out of their machines.

Mr. JONES: 40 miles an hour! I should think they were getting the last ounce out of them.

The witness added that one of the machines had the trail stand down.

James Burrough BAKER, who was with the last witness, gave it as his opinion that the pace of the defendants was from 40 to 50 miles an hour. He had had considerable experience of motor-driving. Had anything been coming out of Mooland [sic] Lane there would have been a smash.

Mr. JONES: Are you a very nervous person?

Witness: Not naturally. - Did you give up motoring because of your nerves – I should not care to be on the road with one now. - Have you ever slept with a revolver under your pillow? - I have. Has that anything to do with this case?

Mr. JONES: It has. You are making a mos [sic] serious charge against these men.

Witness: It is time someone came forward.

People who pay rates and taxes should not have their lives endangered on the road.

Tom HOSKINS, of Dowlish Ford, said that on the evening in question he was cycling from his home to Ilminster when defendants passed him. He was [sic] considered they were going 40 miles an hour. It was a road that was much frequented on Sundays.

By Mr. JONES: It was the noise that first attracted him.

Corroborative evidence was given by Mrs. CRABB, of 8, New Buildings, Dowlish Ford, and Edith COCKRAM and Lily Daisy TUTCHER, also of Dowlish Ford.

Mr. JONES submitted that the evidence was exaggerated right the way through, and was the emanation of a lively imagination. It would be impossible to drive a motor-cycle with a trail-stand down at the rate suggested.

The defendant BEST said that it was absurd to suggest he was going at from 40 to 50 miles an hour with his trail-stand down. In his opinion he was going at a moderate pace at the time. He could have pulled up within the machine's length.

Supt. CHAPMAN: Can you suggest why witnesses should come here and suggest you were racing if you were going only 20 miles an hour?

BEST: I cannot. My 18 years' record goes to prove that I drive with every consideration for the public.

Supt. CHAPMAN: I am speaking of the day and time in question, and not previously.

Replying to further questions, BEST said that the stand of his machine was dragging on the road, making a noise and causing sparks.

By Mr. JONES: When a stand was dragging and bouncing along the road a speed of five miles an hour would cause sparks.

Wm. KIRKLAND said that up a hill with a stand trailing it was not possible to do anything approaching 40 miles an hour. He should say they were doing from 16 to 17 miles an hour. During the whole time there was no suspicion of accident or danger to anyone.

Supt. CHAPMAN: Have you ever been cautioned by the police for dangerous driving?

Defendant: Once, before the war.

Were you not warned by Sergt. WITTER for dangerous driving on September 7th, 1921? - I cannot remember that.

Charles KIRKLAND said that he should say the outside possible speed he touched anywhere on the hill was 19 miles an hour.

Edward PARRY, of West Street, Ilminster, who was on the road at the time, said the speed of one of the defendants was from 15 to 20 miles an hour, and the other two 10 to 15 miles an hour.

Evidence for the defence was also given by Wm. Cornelius COLES and Wm. BAKER, of Ilminster.

The case was dismissed.

Henry WARR, chauffeur, of South Petherton, was summoned for driving a motor-car to the danger of the public.

Defendant pleaded not guilty.

P.C. GANGE said that on Monday, August 14th, at 12.15 p.m., he was at the Triangle in West Street, when he suddenly heard a collision. He then saw a motor-car coming across the road towards him, and a man was hanging on to the hood projection with a bicycle hanging between his legs. From the tracks of the car it seemed that the driver was coming down West Street, towards Silver Street, when he suddenly altered his mind and turned off into High Street. Witness told defendant the speed he was driving at was much too fast, and he replied “I was not travelling more than 20 miles an hour. I pulled up within 15 yards.”

Leonard Chas. RUSSELL said that he was proceeding through West Street, in the direction of Silver Street on his bicycle on the day in question, and when he got by the Brewery Lane he heard the sounding of a motor horn. He had just passed the lane when the projection of the car caught his right shoulder, and threw him across the back mudguard with the bicycle between his legs. The car took him on almost to the telephone post in High Street. He told the driver of the car it was his fault, and he replied that he was sorry it occurred.

Charles Herbert HURLESTONE said both the motor-car and the cyclist were proceeding in the same direction. Suddenly the car swerved across the road, and the mudguard of the car caught the cyclist. Witness saw no signal given by the defendant that he was swerving across the road to go into High Street.

Wm. A. HEXT, of Ilminster, gave corroborative evidence.

Defendant, sworn, said that the man on the bicycle was going along at a good speed. He sounded his horn two or three times to endeavour to attract the cyclist's attention so that he could give him the signal as to the road he was taking. The cyclist, however, took no notice. When he thought everything was clear he swerved in High Street, but caught the bicycle. He admitted that he ought to have stopped.

Mr. H. H. HOSKINS, who was riding in defendant's car at the time, said he thought the defendant understood the cyclist was going straight along the road and not turning round.

The Chairman told defendant there was no question he was driving in an improper manner. Some people ran away with the delusion that because they sounded a horn everyone had to clear out of the road. This, however, was not the law. Motorists had to drive with care and discretion, and not put the users of the road in any danger whatever. Defendant's duty in this case was to have kept behind the cyclist until he saw which road the letter was taking.

A fine of £3 and £1 4s. costs was imposed.

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<NOTES: Some of the letters were unclear or missing in the original, in some cases, if it was obvious what they were and doesn't affect the article, I added them.

Herbert SAINT son of Peter SAINT and Laura SWAIN

Albert SAINT is George William Albert or Albert SAINT son of Peter SAINT and Laura SWAIN

Cornelius CORNELIUS son of Joseph CORNELIUS and Sarah ENGLAND, married Annie BRACEY>