Taunton Courier 12 Oct 1927 Taunton Police Court includes to join the army John Clement CRIDLAND of 11 Cleveland Street Taunton

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Taunton Courier. Bristol and Exeter Journal, and Western Advertiser Wednesday 12 Oct 1927

Page 4 Column 4 and 5






WEDNESDAY. Before:- The Mayor (Councillor Howard WESTLAKE) in the chair, Alderman F. W. PENNY, W. G. POTTER, and Mr. R. B. QUICK.


An application was made by Edith CULVERWELL, married woman, of Taunton, for maintenance arrears from her husband, Frederick CULVERWELL, of Sun Cottage, Canal-road, Taunton.

The Clerk to the Court (Mr. E. B. KITE) explained that the case was adjourned from the previous week in order that evidence might be brought bearing on the question, and whether the house in which the couple were living was injurious to the health of their child.

Mrs. CULVERWELL gave evidence that whilst living in Sun Cottage the baby had an outbreak of “spots,” but admitted, in answer to her husband, that there had been similar outbreaks when staying at Bath and other places.

Ernest BELFIELD, assistant Sanitary Inspector, said that the room in which the parents and the child were sleeping was only large enough, judged by the usual standard, for one adult and one child. It was therefore overcrowded and so injurious to the health of the child.

Replying to defendant, witness said there was no complaint to make of the house itself.

Defendant: You don't think the child would be unhealthy for staying there? - No, apart from the overcrowding.


Defendant, on oath, opened by saying “This is rather a regrettable case.” For five months his wife and he lived comfortably at Sun Cottage, then, all of a sudden, he was told they must leave the house. He told his wife that if she took another house he would not be responsible. She now paid 10s 6d a week – exactly the same as they paid at Sun Cottage, but without gas and coal included as was in the last case. “I maintain,” he concluded “I am not responsible for her maintenance now she has left me.”

Cross-examined by Mr. Geoffrey CLARKE (Messrs. Clarke, Willmott & Clarke) defendant said he was earning 10s a week. My wife, he added, says I am addicted to drink.

Mr. CLARKE: You can get work. - I can't. As my wife gives me that character, would you employ me?

Mr. CLARKE: It is all according if you did your work well. You say you can't get employment? - Not unless you give me a berth. I was in the lawyer's office in '84

The Mayor said the Bench would like to suggest that defendant and his wife should talk the matter over and try to come to some amicable arrangement. Failing that, defendant would have to pay £1 a week to her maintenance.

Defendant: I quite agree, but I don't see how I can pay a £1 if I am not in employment.

Defendant was ordered to pay the costs, 8s.


Charles Leo PEXTON, of 9, Victoria-road, Leicester, was charged with causing uneccessary <sic> obstruction of the highway in Church Square by leaving his motor-car thereon.

Superintendent J. CHAPMAN explained that the police had had considerable trouble because of cars left in Church Square. They had tried to stop the practice of leaving them in other places than the parking places by giving cautions: the Council had also issued notices, but neither seemed to have had the desired effect.

P.C. F. WHITE said he found defendant's car partially blocking the entrance to St. Mary's Vicarage and the Churchyard. That was at 12.20. He kept the car under observation until 5.30, when the owner was still absent. At 1 p.m. a lady driver who wanted to get to Colonel WOODHOUSE's residence, through the Churchyard, had to leave her car in the Square owing to the obstruction.

Defendant was fined £1 and ordered to pay 2s costs.


Similar charges were also preferred against four other car-owners. James Francis BROUGHTOM, of Yeabridge, South Petherton, was represented by Mr. Geoffrey P. CLARKE (Messrs. Clarke, Willmott, & Clarke), who entered a plea of not guilty.

P.C. F. WHITE said he found defendant's car in Church-square at 12.20. It was outside the white line and blocking the entrance to the Vicarage and the churchyard. At 1 p.m. defendant's wife came to the car and then explained that her husband was attending a National Farmers' Union meeting. She said she would fetch him, but although witness waited a quarter of an hour Mr. BROUGHTON did not appear. The car had been moved by 2.45 when he again visited the square.

Mr. CLARKE submitted that as soon as possible the car, which was left in the position stated because the parking-place was full, was moved from causing an obstruction. - A fine of £1 and costs (2s) was imposed.


Wm. H. BLAKE, of Bridge, South Petherton, was also represented by Mr. CLARKE.

He pleaded guilty.

P.C. F. WHITE told the Bench he found the car standing outside the old Post-office in Church-square with the rear wheels within 2 feet of the pavement. A luggage carrier at the back protruded over the footpath. He kept the car under observation until 3.35.

A similar penalty as in the last case was imposed.


Eric Harvey DAVIES, farmer, of Chaffcombe Gate, Chard, was alleged to have left his car in the middle of the square.

P.S. MANNING said he was informed that the car had been in the square since 1 p.m. He saw it at 2.15, and it was then about 11 feet from the churchyard wall. On the instruction of Supt. J. CHAPMAN the car was removed by a mechanic. When spoken to at 4 p.m., whilst driving the car through the town, defendant said “I am very sorry, sergeant. I didn't know where else to put it.”

Supt. CHAPMAN and P.C. MYERS also gave evidence, the latter remarking that there was room for another vehicle to pass between defendant's car and those parked in the proper place by the churchyard wall.

Defendant was fined £2 and costs, the Mayor, describing the case as being very much worse than the others.


Percy R. WARREN, farmer, of Lydeard St. Lawrence, also pleaded guilty.

P.C. MYERS said he saw the car outside Mr. Byard SHEPPARD's office under a notice stating parking was to be by the churchyard wall only. P.C. COMBES, whom he relieved at 3 p.m., had the car under observation from 1 p.m.

Defendant told the Bench that he was in a hurry to get to the market, and as there was no room in the parking-place he thought it would not hurt elsewhere. - Fined £1 and costs.



William Bird SPRATT, dealer, of Coal Orchard, Taunton, was charged by Arthur S. TURIER, inspector of weights and measures, with refusing to produce a spring balance for inspection, and secondly with obstructing him in the course of his duty

Defendant pleaded guilty to not producing the balance, “because I didn't have it.” He was thereupon advised to plead not guilty, which he did. He said he could not plead to the second charge because he did not understand it. This was also taken as a plea of not guilty.

Inspector TURIER said on September 23rd he head defendant in the street shouting “White rags, penny a pound.” Witness asked him where his balance was, and he said he did not have one. Witness asked him how he managed to weigh the rags, and he said he didn't – he guessed them.

Witness then saw the balance in a bag at the side of defendant's cart, and he reached for them. Defendant caught hold of his wrist, twisted it, and jumped into his cart. Witness followed him round several streets and back to his home.

SPRATT, in a statement, said he had been in business for thirty years, and he had never been stopped in such a manner before. He saw a man come from his motor-car, and, in a very similar way to the records he had read in newspapers, he put his hand in the bag in which the money was kept.

Defendant was found guilty of the first charge.

Supt. CHAPMAN stated there were a number of previous convictions. Defendant was last before the Court on August 31st, when he was fined £1 for using indecent language, and bound over for six months for using threats.

The Clerk said the fine had not yet been paid.

Respecting the second charge, witness said it was terrifying for anyone for a man to come up to them in such a manner.

He was also found guilty on this count, and was fined £1 in each case, or in default 14 days, to run consecutively. - He was ordered to pay the fine immediately, but another month's grace was allowed in respect of the former fine.


John Clement CRIDLAND (17), of 11, Cleveland-street, Taunton, was charged with failing to observe the conditions of his recognisances entered into at Taunton on May 20th.

He admitted the charge.

Supt. CHAPMAN told the Bench that defendant, with several other lads, was charged before the Court in May with a very serious offence. It was decided to give the boy another chance. Despite this, defendant had given both the police and Mr. MINETT considerable trouble. He regretted having to bring the boy before their Worships, but he felt that when everyone endeavoured to assist the lad it was up to him to help himself by accepting their advice.

Mr MINNETT explained that the conditions of defendant's probation were to be in at 7 p.m. (this was extended to 8.30 in the summer) and to report to him weekly. For the first three months he was a thoroughly good boy, but during the last four months he had only reported once. To his knowledge CRIDLAND had been out after hours twenty times. The lad was anxious to join the Army, and if the order was cancelled it would probably be possible to arrange for him to do so.

The Clerk pointed out that defendant was liable for punishment for the original offence, which was larceny.

The Bench decided to adjourn the case for a week to allow defendant to join the Army. They expressed appreciation of the way Mr. MINNETT had dealt with the case.

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<NOTES: John Clement CRIDLAND son of Charles Clement CRIDLAND and Elizabeth STAPLE>