Throwing Stones in Fishpool Street, St Albans

From the Herts Advertiser, 25th March 1865

TRESPASSING IN SEARCH OF RABBITS

William Paul (the younger), Joshua Impey (otherwise Joshua Smith) and William Baron, of Sandridge, were charged with having, on the 2nd inst., trespassed on land of Mr William Thrale and Mr Ralph Norman Thrale in search of conies.

Mr Annesley appeared for the defendant Smith. Paul did not appear.

Police-constable Camp proved the service of the summons on Paul the younger.

Mr Jacob Reynolds: I live at Hammond 's Farm in the parish of Sandridge. On Sunday morning I saw a number of men ferreting on a bank on the farm. I came upon them, and found there were ten or twelve. Four or five I recognized, and amongst them were the defendants in this case/ I knew Paul very well by sight. He fell down in the road twice, and tied a handkerchief over his face to conceal it. I insisted on seeing his face, and he then took his handkerchief off.

Cross-examined: I was about three hundred yards off when I first saw them, and then about one hundred and fifty yards off. I recognized five in the road. Smith was one of them. I found a ferret and three nets. The ferret belongs to a man called Johnson. It might be one hundred and fifty yards off from the men when I saw them fereting. I had not seen the men together anywhere else.

William Mynall, in the service of Mr Reynolds, gave corroborative evidence. There were near a dozen men at the rabbit hole. I stayed in the road while my master went up. I afterwards saw the defendants in the road after they came out of the field.

Mr Annesley addressed the Bench for Smith, and contended that it was not proved that defendant was trespassing in the search of rabbits. The defendant was a man of good character, and had never been charged with any offence before. The defendant had not been proved to be a particibus criminis. The mere fact of finding the defendant in the company of these men without his being seen to do anything was not sufficient to justify a conviction.

Mr Smith said he had known the defendant Baron eight years, and had employed him twelve months. He gave him an excellent character.

Paul was convicted in the full penalty of 2 and 10s expenses, or two months imprisonment; and Baron and Smith were each fined 10s and 10/6 expenses, or one month's imprisonment in default

For more information on Hammonds Farm see Hammonds Farm and Eylotts, Sandridge, 19th/20th Century

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