Taunton Courier 17 Jun 1863 Taunton Guildhall includes Philip MALE William HAWKINS FOURACRE and Child Murder Case Witness Mary FACEY Mother of Sarah OATEN

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Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser 17 Jun 1863
Page 6 Column 5


WEDNESDAY, June 10. Magistrates: J. R. ALLEN, W. E. SURTEES, F. B. DOVETON, Esq., and the Rev. W. J. ALLEN.

ALLEGED CRUELTY TO A DONKEY. - John BREWER, was charged with cruelty to a donkey, on the 13th May last. - Mr TAUNTON appeared on behalf the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. - The case was adjourned for further evidence.

STEALING GRASS. - George DAVIS, who is perhaps better known under the name which has lately become notorious in connection with the transactions of Philip MALE, “Gipsy George,” was charged with stealing grass growing in a field. P.C. VICARY said that on last Sunday week, he saw defendant with two boys in Stoke Lane. They had a large bag and a bundle of grass which they had just cut in Mr JACOB's field. VICARY questioned them about the grass, and one of them said that Mr JACOBS had given them leave to take it. - Mr JACOBS denied that he had given any such permission. - Convicted. Ordered to pay 10s including costs.

DAVIS was then charged with stealing hay the property of Mr William HAWKINS, of Haydon farm. He was fined £1 including costs. As he was leaving the Court he said to Mr HAWKINS, “I'll let you know another day about that false swearing,” upon which he was called back by the Court and required to enter into his own recognizances to keep the peace till the next sessions.

FURIOUS RIDING. - John SELLICK, a baker, was charged with furious riding. - Mr FOURACRE, druggist, said that on Saturday, the 30th May defendant rode past his shop very furiously, knocking down two children. - He was convicted, and ordered to pay 10s including costs.
SATURDAY, June 13. - Magistrates: J. R. ALLEN, F. W. NEWTON, R. HEDLEY, F. B. DOVETON, T. WALSH, J. M. QUANTOCK, W. BEADON, Esqrs., and Rev. W. J. ALLEN.

ALLEGED CRUELTY TO A DONKEY. - The case against John BREWER, for cruelty to a donkey, adjourned from Wednesday, was completed by calling Mr. H. D. KING, who said that the defendant never ceased flogging the animal for more than a quarter of a mile. - The bench did not convict the defendant, but cautioned him as to his future conduct.

CHARGE AGAINST A BEERHOUSE KEEPER. - Samuel Dare LOVERIDGE, beerhouse keeper, Stoke St. Gregory, was charged with keeping open his house for the sale of beer on Tuesday, the ninth of June, at a quarter past eleven, and also at twenty-five minutes past ten. - P.C. VICKERY said that on the same day a club was held at the house and at twenty-five minutes past ten he went into the house, when he found the kitchen and two other rooms full of people. There was a fiddle playing and dancing going on in the house. He saw defendant and his wife in the cellar drawing drink with large jugs. Witness asked defendant if he knew what time it was, and he said he did not, as he had been obliged to take down the clock, as it was in the way. Witness informed him the time, and desired him to stop drawing. The defendant laughed and continued drawing, and waiters carried it to different rooms. He then went away and returned to the house at a quarter past eleven, at which time there were about thirty people in the kitchen and drawing still going on. He again went to the cellar, and saw defendant in the act of bringing out a jug of beer. - P.C. SPARKES corroborated the evidence of Vickery. - The defendant called witnesses who stated that no beer was drawn after the policeman called the first time. - The defendant was convicted and fined 15s including costs, Mr ALLEN remarking that but for its being club night the penalty would have been heavier. Mr GOLDSMITH stated that this was the third time the defendant had been convicted.

UNLAWFUL FISHING. - Robert SANSOME and Abraham WYATT were charged with attempting to take fish in a private water, the property of Mr. A. B. BOND, of Orchard Portman. - SANSOME pleaded guilty, and WYAT <sic> did not appear. - A man called SOUTCOTT said that on Wednesday night he went to Orchard Portman with the two defendants. They asked him to take care of their clothes. They took off their trowsers and put on others that they had brought with them, and went down the stream. They were afterwards seen by a man who acquainted Mr Abraham BOND, son of complainant, who went to the place and saw the defendants. - The defendants were fined £1 each, including expences.

ASSAULT. - Mary Ann ASHMAN was charged with assaulting Mary COLES, of Bathpool. - The magistrates dismissed the case.


Mary GREGORY was again brought up on remand from Saturday last, charged with the wilful murder of her male child on Whit Sunday last. The Court was crowded as on the previous occasion.

Mr. T. RODHAM was present to watch the case for the prisoner.

Mary FACEY was first called and said: I am a widow living at Lyngford, in the parish of St. James's. I am the mother of the witness Sarah OATEN, and live with her. I remember the prisoner coming to lodge with Sarah OATEN, but I do not remember the day. I believe the prisoner came there on the Thursday, and was confined on the following Monday, the 11th May. She remained there till the child was a fortnight old, leaving on the evening of Whit Sunday. I left the house with her, and carried the child to the foot of the steps leading to the Railway Tap. The prisoner went up the steps with the child. She had before said she was going to Wellington, and that her sister was going to take the child. The next morning, by the eight o'clock train, as we thought, the prisoner came back, and brought with her a shawl that had been lent her. Mrs OATEN asked the prisoner how the child was, and she said, “pretty well thank you.” Sarah OATEN's husband asked what they had said about it at home, and she replied, “They were in a pretty way about it.” About ten o'clock she went away again, taking her luggage with her, but she did not say where she was going. I have not seen her since till now.

By Mr RODHAM: What was the prisoner's conduct to the child while she was with you? - She was always very fond of it.

Did she treat it as a mother ought to treat it? She did.

Mrs MARKES repeated her evidence given at the inquest.

Mrs WOOLAWAY added nothing to her former evidence. On the witness's relating the conversation with the prisoner, in which the name of the father of the child was mentioned, the magistrates consulted whether she should be asked to state the name; but they decided that the name should not be asked.

Mr RODHAM: Are you distantly related to the prisoner? - She is no relation to me whatever.

Great friendship subsists between you? - There has been no great friendship between us at all. I know her only as a servant applying for a situation.

Mr PINCHARD: How long have you known her? - Ever since I have been married.

Mr RODHAM: You know nothing about what took place after the prisoner left you? - No.

On going away, did she say what her intention was? - No.

This completed the case against the prisoner.

The prisoner, on being cautioned, made no statement, and was then committed to take his trial at the next Assizes.

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