Taunton Courier 12 Jul 1899 Taunton Police Court Isaac HAWKINS Taskmaster at Workhouse Cruelty to a Mare James OATEN

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Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser Wednesday 12 Jul 1899
Page 5 Column 5 & 6


WEDNESDAY. - Before Mr. W. G. MARSHALL (in the chair), Alderman W. POTTER (ex-mayor), and Mr. R. BRUFORD.

OBSCENE LANGUAGE. - Edward MacDONALD, a fish dealer, of Taunton, was charged with using obscene language in Fore-street, Taunton, on the 24th ult. - Defendant pleaded not guilty. - Mr. J. C. PREW gave evidence to the effect that the defendant, without the slightest provocation, used the most obscene language towards him while witness was standing on the steps of the Corn Exchange. Witness never heard such language as that used by the defendant, and he was asked by several gentlemen to proceed against him. - The Bench regarded the case as a serious one, and fined defendant 10s and 6s costs.

DISORDERLY WOMEN. - Rose PENNY, of Taunton, pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly in High-street, Taunton on the 21st ult. - P.C. STEWART stated the facts, and as this was defendant's first offence the case was dismissed on payment of the costs, 2s 6d. - Kate MERRICK, also of Taunton, was charged with a like offence at the same time and place, but she did not appear, and a fine of 1s and 7s costs was imposed.

DISMISSED. - Henry MERRICK, of Taunton, was charged on a warrant with assaulting his wife, Kate MERRICK, the defendant in the previous case, but as she did not appear defendant was discharged.

WORKING HORSE WHILST UNFIT. - George Henry PERRY, carter, of Staple Fitzpaine, pleaded guilty to ill-treating a mare, by working it while in an unfit condition on the 22nd ult. - P.C. PITMAN stated that he saw the defendant driving a horse and cart in Taunton, and noticing that the animal appeared to be in pain, he stopped and examined it, with the result that he found, a large wound under the collar. - Fined 1s and 5s costs.

- Richard BRYANT, carter, of Taunton, and Charles COLLARD, haulier, of Taunton, were charged, the former with working, and the latter with causing to be worked, a horse while in an unfit condition on the 27th ult. - Both defendants pleaded guilty. - Inspector ADAMS, R.S.P.C.A., stated that he saw the defendant BRYANT in St. James's-street on the date named, in charge of a horse and rick cart. The horse was very lame. He afterwards saw COLLARD, who told him he had only recently bought the horse. Witness did not press the case. - BRYANT was fined 2s 6d, including costs, and COLLARD 1s and 5s costs.

WIFE ASSAULT. - Andrew SYLVESTER, labourer, of Taunton, pleaded guilty to assaulting his wife on the 3rd inst., and she asked the magistrates to bind defendant over to keep the peace. - Complainant said defendant frequently knocked her about, and he had on several occasions threatened to “do” for her. He had been previously convicted for a like offence. - He was now fined 10s and 5s costs, and was bound over to keep the peace for 12 months, himself in £10, and another surety in £5.

THURSDAY. - Before the ex-Mayor (Alderman W. POTTER) and Mr. R. BRUFORD.

A REFRACTORY PAUPER. - George PAYNE, an inmate of the Taunton Workhouse, pleaded not guilty to a charge of refusing to do his allotted task on the previous day. - Mr. S. R. CHAPMAN, Acting-Workhouse Master, stated that prisoner was told to work the pump, but he refused to do so. He was accordingly examined by the doctor, who certified that he was capable of doing any work that might be set him to do. - Isaac HAWKINS, taskmaster at the Workhouse, said that the only reason prisoner gave for refusing to do his task was that he could not do the work. - Prisoner was sentenced to 14 days' hard labour.

THREE MONTHS' HARD FOR INDECENCY. - John BROWN, carpenter, of Union Gate, Taunton, was charged with indecently behaving himself in Holway-road, Taunton, in the presence of several little girls on the 4th inst. - Prisoner pleaded not guilty. - Supt. DURHAM stated that the prisoner had repeatedly behaved himself in the manner complained of during the past few weeks, while as long ago as last year he insulted one of the little girls who now gave evidence. - Three children were called in support of the charge, all of whom were scholars at the British School. - P.C. BARTRUM heard of prisoners conduct, and a complaint was subsequently made to the Superintendent, who ordered a warrant to be issued for the prisoner's arrest. - Prisoner denied the offence, but the magistrates considered the case proved, and sentenced him to three months' hard labour.

WIFE ASSAULT. - Henry WEBB, labourer, of Princes-street, Taunton, pleaded guilty to assaulting and beating his wife, Mary Jane WEBB, on the 3rd inst., and she asked the magistrates to bind the defendant over to keep the peace. - Complainant stated that her husband was constantly assaulting her, and at one time, owing to his ill-treatment, she had to be wrapped in wadding and bandages. On Monday night last he came home the worse for drink, and he then, without the slightest provocation, struck her in the face and again in the mouth, in addition to which he threatened to “do” for her before the night was out. He seldom brought her home any money, and if she did not work herself she would starve. - Prisoner was fined 10s and 9s 6d costs for the assault, and was bound over to keep the peace for 12 months, himself in £5 and two other sureties in a like amount.

SATURDAY. - Before Colonel MEADE-KING (in the chair), Colonel HELYAR, Major BARRETT, Mr. W. G. MARSHALL, and MR. R. BRUFORD.

OCCASIONAL LICENSE FOR THE HORSE SHOW. - Application was made on behalf of Mr. Imlah HEWYS, of the Hope and Anchor Hotel, Bristol, for an occasional license to sell Excisable drinks, &c., on the field where the Horse Show is to be held on Thursday in Taunton. - A letter was read from the Superintendent of the Police at Bristol offering no objection to the application, and the Bench granted it.

NON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE. - Joseph ADAMS, of Creech St. Michael, did not appear on a summons for not sending his stepson, Frank THORNE, to school. - Mr. MEDWAY, the school attendance officer, proved that the boy had only made six out of a possible 46 attendances. - P.C. OSMOND proved the service of the summons. - The Bench made an order for the boy to attend Creech St. Michael School, and ordered defendant to pay 5s costs.

CRUELTY TO A MARE. - James OATEN, a carter, was summoned for cruelly beating and ill-treating a mare on the 21st ult. at Pyrland Farm, Kingston. - Mr. C. P. CLARKE appeared for the defendant, and pleaded not guilty. - George HITCHCOCK, farmer, of Pyrland Farm, stated that the defendant had been in his employ as a carter. On the day in question, while taking a cart-load of manure across a field for drilling purposes, witness noticed him kick the mare three times in the near fore leg. He went to the defendant and asked him why he had done this, and he replied that if the mare ran against him he would knock her down again, or him (witness) either. Witness further said that defendant was in the habit of punching the animal on the nose, instead of using the whip. - By Mr. CLARKE: Witness admitted that he had not taken out the summons until defendant had summoned him for wages. Defendant never told him that the mare, which was between two and three years old, was unmanageable. Witness attributed the man's conduct to his bad temper. When he spoke to him about it defendant threw down his tools and told witness to drive the animal himself. - George LOCK, a cowman in the employ of prosecutor, corroborated as to hearing the defendant say he would knock the mare down if she ran against him again, or the master either. - Mr. C. P. CLARKE, in defence, contended that the summons was an abuse of the process of the Court, as prosecutor had admitted that had he not have been summoned by his former employee for his wages he would not have taken out the summons. He submitted that no Bench of Magistrates would commit a defendant when evidence which must bring bias and animus was brought forward under such circumstances. - Defendant gave evidence on his own behalf, and denied that he kicked the mare. He said he only knocked it with the side of his foot because she was going too fast. - The Chairman, after a few seconds' consultation with his colleagues, said that the Bench were of opinion that too much stress must not be laid on the motive of complainant in bringing this case before the Court. - There were, no doubt, a good many cases of cruelty going on throughout the country which were never brought to light at all, and they should be. There was no doubt the defendant did violently kick the mare, and he had been guilty of brutal ill-treatment. - Fined 2s 6d and costs, 10s 6d in all.

LAZY TRAMPS AT THE WORKHOUSE. - Michael JEFFERY, a young fellow, on tramp, was charged on remand from the previous day with having, whilst an inmate in the casual ward of the Taunton Workhouse, unlawfully left the Workhouse before he was entitled to discharge himself from it. - Prisoner pleaded guilty. - Mr. S. R. CHAPMAN, acting-master of the Workhouse, said the prisoner was admitted to the casual ward on the previous Thursday evening, and on the following morning he was put to his task by the taskmaster. The taskmaster had scarcely turned his back to attend to the other tramps, when the prisoner ran away and climbed over the garden wall, which was six feet high from the inside, and dropped ten feet on the other side. He (Mr. CHAPMAN) was informed of the occurrence, and, having been given a description of the man, he took his machine and rode out on the Bridgwater-road, where he saw the prisoner and passed him. He rode to West Monkton and informed P.C. WHITE of the facts, and then rode towards Taunton again, and saw the prisoner at the Bathpool Inn, where he intercepted him. After a while P.C. WHITE arrived, and took the man into custody. There had been several complaints lately about tramps leaving the Workhouse in this way. The prisoner had had supper, breakfast, and shelter, and he (Mr. CHAPMAN) asked the Bench, under the circumstances, to inflict the full penalty upon the prisoner. - The magistrates sentenced prisoner to seven days' imprisonment with hard labour. – John WILLIAMS, a tramp, was charged with having that morning refused to do his allotted task. - Prisoner pleaded guilty. - Mr. CHAPMAN said the taskmaster told him that the prisoner refused to work, and he (Mr. CHAPMAN) went to the man himself, but he absolutely refused to do his allotted task. - Seven days' hard labour.

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