The Taunton Courier 12 Jan 1921 Taunton County Petty Sessions

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Newspaper Articles

The Taunton Courier, Bristol and Exeter Journal and Western Advertiser. Wednesday 12 Jan 1921
Page 6 Column 6 and 7


SATURDAY. - Before M. WYNDHAM W. SLADE (in the chair), Lieut.-Colonel W. Marwood ELTON, Messrs. A. E. EASTWOOD, C. TITE, John WHITE, F. S. COPLESTON, and F. A. JARMAN.


On the application of Mr. T. BROOMHEAD, the license of the Star Inn, Thurloxton, was permanently transferred from Edward E. PORTER to Edward William RUCK, of Tiverton. - Mr. F. W. WILLMOTT (CLARKE & Co.) applied for a permanent transfer of the license of the Nag's Head Inn, Thornfalcon, from Abraham HURFORD to Thomas F. JONES, and the application was granted.


Charles Frederick TOTTLE, a private in the Royal Marines at Plymouth, and a native of Wellington, was summoned for riding a bicycle to the danger of the public at Norton Fitzwarren on the 13th December. - He pleased not guilty. - Charles WEAVER, insurance agent, of Trull, stated that on December 13th, about 4.30 in the afternoon, he was, in the company with Mr. Herbert HARPER, cycling towards Taunton. When they were approaching the foot of Burn's Hill the defendant came riding round the corner at a very fast rate, cycling on the wrong side of the road. Seeing that it was impossible to get out of the way, witness jammed on his brakes, with a view to jumping off his machine, but before he could do so TOTTLE rode into him, and he was thrown to the ground, being dazed for several minutes. When spoken to defendant became very abusive, and used bad language. Witness estimated that defendant was riding from 15 to 20 miles an hour, and seemed to have the machine out of control. Witness thought that defendant was under the influence of drink at the time, and before he came round the corner he did not sound his bell. - Herbert HARPER, insurance superintendent, of 7, Chester-terrace, Chard, gave corroborative evidence. - Defendant, on oath, said he had been visiting a naval friend near Bishop's Lydeard. When he got to Burns' Hill he saw one of the two men zig-zagging up the hill, and he tried to pass them, but failed to do so. After the collision he picked up his bicycle, which was unhurt, showing that he was not going fast, his pace not being more than eight miles an hour. - The Bench fined defendant £1, with costs of the witnesses and service of the summons.


Patrick EUSTACE, labourer, Stoke St. Gregory, was fined 7s 6d for riding a bicycle without sufficient lights at North Curry on the 5th November.

Wilfred LEWIS, labourer, Bishop's Hull, did not answer a summons for a like offence at Bishop's Hull, and he was fined 7s 6d.

Frank RUCKLEY, a blacksmith, of North Curry, pleased guilty to a similar offence at North Curry, pleaded guilty to a similar offence at North Curry on the 11th December. - Fined 7s 6d.

Jack DERHAM, labourer, North Curry, was also ordered to pay 7s 6d for a like offence on the 5th December.

John Henry BENNETT, shepherd, of West Monkton, pleaded guilty to a similar offence on the 27th December. - Fined 10s.

Reginald GUEST, railway porter, Creech St. Michael, was fined 10s for cycling without lights.

Clarence Meade HALLETT, farmer, Isle Brewers, was summoned for driving a motor-lorry without proper lights at 10.15 p.m. on the 11th December. - P.C. GOWRING gave the facts, and the defendant was ordered to pay 10s.


Sidney PAVEY, moulder, of 4, Tangier, Taunton, was summoned for having in his possession certain firearms, viz., a revolver, not being the holder of a firearms certificate, at Pitminster on the 12th December. - Mr. F. W. WILLMOTT appeared for the defendant, and pleaded guilty. - P.C. CROSS stated that on the Sunday in question, at twelve noon, he was at Cotlake, when he heard a shot in a lane, and on going there he saw defendant. He asked him who fired the shot, and defendant handed him the revolver produced and seven rounds of ammunition. Witness asked defendant if he had registered for carrying firearms, and he replied that he had not. - Mr. WILLMOTT addressed the Bench, and said during the war defendant was a sergeant-major in the 5th Somersets, and did yeoman service in India and Palestine. He came home with this revolver as a souvenir, and, unfortunately, he was not aware that it was necessary to have a certificate before he could possess a firearm. The Order only came out on the 1st November. He (Mr. WILLMOTT) did not think that the police wished to press the case, but would be satisfied if publicity was given to these new regulations. Having regard to the defendant's excellent service to his country, and the fact that it was the first case of the kind that had come before the Court, he asked the Bench to dismiss the summons on payment of costs. - The magistrates agreed to this course, but intimated that if any similar cases came before the Court they would inflict a fine.


Clement PAVEY and Sidney PAVEY, father and son, the latter the defendant in the last case, were summoned for trespassing upon land in the possession and occupation of Henry HURFORD in search of game and conies at Pitminster on the 12th December. - Mr. F. W. WILLMOTT appeared for the defendants, who pleaded not guilty. - Wm. WILLIAMS, a bailiff (who had laid the information in the case), said there had been Sunday morning poaching in the lane in question for some time, and someone complained to the police, who happened to catch these two men, although (witness added) he did not think they were regular poachers. - P.C. CROSS deposed that on Sunday, the 12th December, at 12 noon, he was at Cotlake, in the parish of Pitminster, in company with P.C. FISH. Witness heard the report of a firearm in an old road or lane that led from Cotlake to Kibbear. He went into the lane, when he saw the two defendants. There was a terrier dog there working a rabbit's hole in the bank, and Clement PAVEY was pulling the branches back over the hole. He asked them what they were doing there, and he felt Clement PAVEY's pocket, asking him if he had any rabbits, and he replied “No; I am trying to catch one for dinner.” He asked him if they had a right to catch rabbits there, and he replied “No.” It was at that time that he took the revolver from Sidney PAVEY. - P.C. FISH gave corroborative evidence. - Mr. WILLMOTT contended that he had no case to answer. The Act under which the proceedings were taken was the Poaching Prevention Act, and under that Act WILLIAMS was not the proper person to lay the information, which must be done by a police constable. - The Magistrates' Clerk (Mr. E. T. ALMS) said the defendants were summoned for game trespass, but Mr. WILLMOTT quoted from the summons with a view to showing that defendants were “suspected of being on land in search of game.” He further argued that defendants were not trespassers, as it was admitted that there was right-of-way through this lane. - The Chairman said the Bench thought the summons was properly laid, and they over-ruled Mr. WILLMOTT's contention, but they did not think that the prosecution had made out a case of trespass in pursuit of game. Defendants had no guns, nets, or ferrets with which to catch rabbits, and the Bench therefore gave them the benefit of the doubt and dismissed the case.


Frank ZEISBERGER, labourer, and Edward PARTINGTON, both of West Monkton, were charged with having on the 18th ult. stolen a quantity of wood, value 2s 6d, the property of Captain E. H. Mortimer LUCOCK. - Mr. F. W. CLARKE, for the defendants, pleaded guilty. - P.C. CHINN stated that when in company with P.C. ENGLAND on the morning of December 18th he saw the defendants enter the shrubbery of Captain LUCOCK's residence. They returned carrying some pieces of wood, and when stopped and questioned they said it was only odd firewood. ZEISBERGER said he was helping to carry the wood to PARTINGTON's house, and was very sorry he had had anything to do with it. - Captain Henry Edward Mortimer LUCOCK also gave evidence, stating that he had not given the men permission to take the wood. He expressed the hope that the Bench would deal leniently with the defendants. - Mr. CLARKE described defendants as men of good character. ZEISBERGER was of Austrian nationality, but had lived in this country the greater part of his life. - Deputy Chief Constable BROWN said there was noting known against the defendants. - The Bench bound defendants over for twelve months in the sum of £10 each, the Chairman remarking that they took this course having regard to the good character of the men, and to the fact that it did not appear a really serious attempt to steal.



Leonard BADCOCK, a young gardener, of Sidmouth, was charged with having on the 4th ult., stolen a quantity of cigarettes, value 8s 8d, the property of Walter DOBLE, of the York Hotel, Churchinford. - He pleaded guilty.

Walter DOBLE gave evidence to the effect that on the date in question he took twenty packets of cigarettes from the bar to the kitchen. That evening a char-a-banc party of footballers arrived, and remained at the house about half an hour. After their departure witness missed the cigarettes. The next day he gave information to the police.

P.C. CROCKER, of the Devon Constabulary, said he saw BADCOCK at Sidmouth Police-station on Monday, December 6th. Defendant admitted having been at the inn, and said that on his way from the kitchen, where he had been for some bread and cheese, he kicked against a parcel lying on the ground. He found it contained packets of cigarettes. These he distributed among his friends in the bar, but had subsequently collected them. He handed over eleven packets to witness. - Defendant pleaded guilty to taking the cigarettes he found in the passage, and explained that he had no intention of stealing. He did not want the cigarettes as he was a non-smoker. - The Bench reserved their decision until the conclusion of the next case.

Henry GIGG, woodman, of Sidmouth, was then charged with stealing 56lb. of sharps, value 11s 8d, the property of Walter DOBLE, of the York Hotel, Churchinford. - Wm. ALDRIDGE, carpenter, of Sidmouth, was charged with having received the sharps, well knowing them to have been stolen, and Alice CHANNON, widow, of Sidmouth, was summoned for aiding and abetting ALDRIDGE.

Walter DOBLE stated that on December 4th, half a cwt. of sharps was delivered at his house, and left in the passage facing the front door. He saw the bag there about ten o'clock when the char-a-banc party arrived. After the visitors had left witness missed the bag of sharps and later informed the police of his loss.

P.C. CROCKER said he saw Mrs. CHANNON at her home whilst making enquiries about the missing sharps. He told her that her son, William ALDRIDGE, had been seen carrying a bag of something into the house the previous night. She replied that she knew nothing about it. Later in the evening, when ALDRIDGE was home, witness again called at the house. ALDRIDGE admitted having brought the sharps there and said they were in the outhouse. Witness could not find them there, and ALDRIDGE said his mother must have taken them upstairs. The sharps were found tied up in a sheet beneath the bed in Mr. CHANNON's room. Mrs. CHANNON's explanation was that she was trying to shield her son. The following day GIGG came to the Police-station and made a voluntary statement. He said he did not take the sharps for the purpose of stealing, but to get his own back on the old man for charging so much for the bread and cheese.

All three defendants pleaded guilty. GIGG stated that the char-a-banc party had been to Wellington playing football on December 4th, and were rather elated at beating Wellington. On the return journey they stopped for a few hours at Taunton, and late in the evening they reached the York Inn, Churchinford, where they had more drink. The bag of sharps was at the door of the Inn, and without thinking what he was doing he picked it up and threw it into the char-a-banc. The reason why it was taken into Mrs. CHANNON's house was that this was the first place they stopped at on reaching Sidmouth. Mrs. CHANNON was in bed at the time, and was quite unaware of what had happened.

ALDRIDGE said the bag was left at his house and he did not even know where it came from. He intended finding out who the owner was and returning the goods.

It was reported with reference to the young men (including BADCOCK) that all three had served in the Army throughout the war, and had excellent characters.

The Chairman said the Bench had come to the conclusion that there was no felonious intent on the part of any of the defendants. What they did was in the nature of a drunken freak; they carried their folly so far as to carry off some other person's property. Taking into account their good characters and their service during the war, they would be discharged on payment of £1 each to cover costs and expenses. He was asked to point out that in many parts of the country char-a-banc parties became a great nuisance, and in some places it had been requested that roads be closed to chars-a-banc. The Bench hoped that this case would be a lesson to defendants.

Henry GIGG informed the Bench that such a thing would never happen again, as his club had passed a resolution that the team should return direct home after away matches.


Edwin MALE, farmer, of Bickenhall, was charged with having, on December 14th, ill-treated a horse by working it in an unfit state. - Inspector FISHER said defendant was the owner of a black cart mare, which had been lame from ringbone for some months. For a month previous to December 14th, the mare had not been worked, but on that date defendant hauled some coal from Hatch Beauchamp to Bickenhall. P.C. EVANS met defendant driving the mare, and had the animal sent home, because it was evidently in great pain and totally unfit for work. - Defendant said it was very slippery that morning, and the hauling was consequently difficult. The mare seemed all right at the start, having had a month's rest. The coal was being hauled free for charity. - A fine of 10s was imposed.

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<NOTES: Clarence Mead HALLETT son of Christopher Jeremiah HALLETT and Elizabeth MEAD

Edwin MALE is Henry Edwin or Edwin MALE son of Henry Edwin MALE and Elizabeth RICE, married Emma OSBORNE>