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CHARGE OF WINDOW BREAKING. POLICE COURT PROCEEDINGS. EXTRAORDINARY EVIDENCE. SON'S ALLEGATIONS. At a special sitting of the Tenby Police Court held last Saturday morning, before the Mayor (Captain D. Hughes Morgan), Messrs. J. Leach, F. N. Railton and T. Tucker, a case which aroused a good deal of public interest was heard, a father charging his son with breaking his windows, and the latter alleging ill-treatment on the parent's part. The defen- dant, who was brought up in custody, having been arrested the previous afternoon, was Gilbert Beynon (aged 21), and he was charged by his father, John Beynon, gardener, St. John's Hill, Tonby, according to the informa- tion laid, with unlawfully and maliciously breaking three panes of glass in his house, the value of same being 5s. The prisoner, who bore the mark of a recently-inflicted wound on the right cheek, which he said his father had caused by hitting him (a state- ment which the latter, under the magistrates questions, admitted as correct), pleaded not guilty, and throughout the hearing of the case closely followed the evidence, occasionally inter- jected some remark, more or less irrelevant to the point at issue. A favourite expression of his was" Half a mo," which he particularly and persistently addressed to his father, whom at the close of his evidence-in-chief, he sub- jected to a somewhat vigorous and searching cross-examination. • The Complainant, John Beynon, having been sworn, stated in the first portion of his evidence that between half-past one and three o'clock on the afternoon of the previous day (Friday) his eon Gilbert, the prisoner, came to the front of his house with a pocketful of stones, and said that if he (the witness) came out he would smash his brains out. Some little time after this the prisoner smashed three panes of glass —(Prisoner, emphatically—"Two ) by throw- ing stones, the damage of which he valued at 5s. He then sent for the police, and his son was taken in charge. He (witness) added that he was in danger of his life and could not go outside. Mr Railton asked whether this was the prisoner's first offence. Mr Beynon replied that it was not the first damage he had done. He had been obliged to have a policeman to his son before, but he had not had him arrested previous to the present occasion. He added that he could do nothing with him, as he had gone beyond his control. He was in danger of his life. This state of affairs had been going on for five weeks. Mr Leach enquired of the witness when was the last time the prisoner slept at his (the father's) house. Mr Beynon appeared to be somewhat con- fused as to when this happened, stating at first that it was Wednesday, then correcting himself and informing the Bench that Gilbert slept at home on Thursday night. The Prisoner-I was not home on Thursday night! The Complainant—No, it was Wednesday night. Mr Leach enquired whether the complainant saw the prisoner at all on Thursday. Mr Beynon replied that Gilbert came home on Thursday night about one o'clock. By Mr Railton—He did not see the prisoner at home at noon on Thursday, though he might have been there. The last time he saw him was about a quarter to one on Friday morning (midnight) he was not in bed then. In reply to a question put by the acting Justices' Clerk (Mr Lee) with regard to wit- nesses, Mr Beynon said Mr Jones, of Jubilee Cottages, was present, and saw the prisoner in the act of smashing the windows with the stones. By the Mayor—The prisoner slept home twice or thrice a week. By Mr Railton—When at home he did not behave himself in any shape or form. By the Mayor—He could not say whether his son drank j he had not seen any effects of drink. By the Clerk—There were several people outside when the affair happened, his wife and daughter amongst them. He did not call Mr Jones to give evidence, but he called his (com- plainant's) wife. F. By the Mayor—When the prisoner came home on Thursday midnight he told him he would let him in if lie would go up to bed quietly, but he refused to do so and took off his coat and commenced to fight with com- plainant. His son then took up a jug and was going to hit him with it, but he did not let him do so. In reply to further questions from the Bench, The Complainant said that the prisoner made an awful row. The jug with which he tried to hit him was an ordinary one. He managed to take it from him, and afterwards sent for the police, who came and advised him (prisoner) to go out, which he' did. Witness did not know where he went to. It was between two and three o'clock in the morning when he went out, and he saw nothing further of him until middle- day on Friday, when he heard him talking out- side between one and two. He heard his voice and went to see what was there, when the prisoner told him that if he came out he would smash his brains out. He shut the door, but the prisoner came and pounded on it, saying that if it was not opened he would smash it and the windows in. He then smashed the windows by throwing stones through them. He then sent for the police, and P.C. John arrived about an hour after the prisoner had threatened him. He gave him into custody, and he was taken to the police station, witness accom- panying him. At the police station he charged him with committing wilful damage to his windows, laying the complaint and signing it there. In reply to Mr Railton, Mr Beynon said that the prisoner last May went down to the Territorial camp, but came back in a few days or a week after, the doctor having sent him back and said there was some- thing the matter with him. He had, added the witness, had a sunstroke or something. For five or six months after that they could not get him outside the door. He was all right before he went out with the Territorials, and behaved himself pretty well, witness having no reason to complain. Two doctors had examined him Prisoner—Half a mo Dr. Griffiths. Prisoner was admonished by the Bench and police to keep quiet, and told that he would be given an opportunity of questioning his father on the evidence given if he desired. At first the prisoner began in the form of making a statement, but being told that he could do this later on and that at present must ask questions pure and simple, said to his father Did I break three panes of glass ? Mr Beynon—You did. Prisoner—Excuse me, I didn't. Put your eye-glasses on. Didn't you refuse to open the door the first time on Friday morning ? Witness—No, I didn't. Prisoner — Think again. Tell the truth After I came in didn't you knock me in the mouth 1 Witness—No, I didn't. Prisoner—Come on now, think again. Witness-No. Prisoner—No That's all right now. Think again. About three minutes after that didn't you strike me with the poker 1 Witness —No. Prisoner—You didn't Kiss the Holy Book Think again. That's not good enough, I want the truth. Kiss the Bible. The Mayor—He is on oath. Prisoner—But I want him to kiss the Bible. Can you (pointing to his right cheek) see this mark on my face ? Witness—Yes. Prisoner—Do you see it ? Did you do that 1 Witness—I did do that. Prisoner—There are a couple of other marks on my head which can't be seen, but it is the truth. Do you remember hammering me on the head ? Witness—I am not going to answer him. Prisoner—That is no good to me. I want a plain answer. The Mayor-He is asking you a plain ques- tion. Witness-I had to do it. Prisoner—You know as well as I do that you did. If you can remember one thing you can remember that. The Mayor-He has answered. Prisoner—That's two to me. Witness (to the Bench)—I may have knocked him on the head on Friday night. Martha Beynon, wife of the complainant, was then called, and having been sworn, said that at about ten minutes past one she was in the back kitchen getting dinner ready when her son Gilbert came to the front door, and heard him ask his father to let him come in to have his dinner, to which her husband replied Have you got the cheek to come back after behaving so badly ?" Her son answered "yes," snd began kicking the door dreadfully. When she Baw things going like that she keyed the front door because she was afraid her husband would go out and there would be a row outside. She locked Gilbert outside and her husband inside. She heard her son using very bad language outside, and say to his father that if he did not open the door he would knock his brains out. Then she heard the glass of the window upstairs coming in. There was a young man lodging with her, and it was his bedroom window which was broken. She did not go out at all, and knew nothing more about it until the police arrived. The Clerk enquired whether the prisoner had any questions to ask his mother. Prisoner-Go and have a look and see if two or three panes are out. In reply to the Bench, Mrs Beynon said that this kind of thing had been going on for about five weeks, and it frightened her very much. The boy was very cheeky, and his father lost his temper. Gilbert was all right until he came back from the Terri- torials. Prisoner (emphatically)—I am all right now I Mrs Beynou- When he came back he was very bad. Police Constable William John (19), sworn, said :—About two p.m. yesterday, December 9th, I received an urgent message from the complainant in this case respecting his son Gilbert Beynon, who was smashing the windows of his house. I immediately proceeded there, and found Gilbert Beynon outside kicking his father's door and shouting, "Come out, I will murder you, you Not another-day do you live. Open the door or else in goes the -windows with these stones." I remon- strated with him and cautioned him as to what he was doing towards his father. He replied "I will kill the-sod if he comes to the door." He had three stones in his hands, which I took from him, and which I now produce. On seeing me his father and mother came out of the house, and said We are glad you have come. For God's sake lock him up we are in danger of our lives. He will murder some of us he is mad." Prisoner (interrupting)—Not so mad, I bet a bob on that I am right enough, boy. Witness-His father pointed out to me that he had smashed three panes of glass in the upstairs window just before I arrived, valued 5s., and that he was in danger of his life, and asked me to take him into custody, which I did. I gave him to understand that he had given him into custody, and requested him to accompany me to the police station, which he did. Witness added that he could state he was called at twenty minutes past one on the morning of the same day, and explain what happened then. Sergeant Thomas (to the Bench)—If you consider it admissible evidence. The Mayor remarked that it led up to the whole story and the magistrates had better hear it. Police Constable John then told their Wor- ships that at 1.20 (midnight) on Friday he was in company with Police Constable 65, when they were fetched by the lodger to quell a row between John Beynon and his son Gilbert. The father informed them that Gilbert came into the house after midnight, and struck him and was like a madman until they arrived. They ooolod them (father and son) down and endeavoured to persuade Gilbert to try and get lodgings for the night. He did not cause any more disturbance, and then left the house and witness saw no more of him. In reply to the Mayor, Witness said Gilbert was very violent towards his father, who, however, did not strike him during the time the police were there, though he caught him by the arm two or three times. Witness added that at 5.50 the previous night (Thursday) the complainant's daughter called at the police station and called him to the house as Gilbert was acting very violently, but before he (witness) arrived the prisoner had left the house. Prisoner asked the constable whether he did not boot him when he came on the Friday. Witness—I moved him from the door. Prisoner-I want to know did you kick me ? Witness explained to the Bench that he moved him out of the way with his foot, but did not think that he kicked him. Prisoner said that when he was being taken to the police station he asked the constable to put the "bracelets" on him, but instead he twisted his arm about* The witness denied this. Prisoner—Why don't you tell the truth I You might as well. I want a run for my money. The Mayor-Did you twist his arm 1 Witness—No, not out of the ordinary. Prisoner asked the witness how he would like Jack Johnson to twisc his arm, and added that if he had been his weight he would not have had his coat on. Sergeant Thomas explained that the reason why the "bracelets," as the prisoner called them, were not put on, was that the constable did not want to expose him. The Clerk asked if they were going to call a doctor. Prisoner-I don't want a doctor, I am saner than you any minute. Dr. Charles Mathias was then called, and said he had examined the prisoner in June at his mother's request. He was then in a melan- cholic state with delusions as to some crime or sin he had committed. He examined him about a fortnight afterwards with Dr. Parker, the Army doctor, when he was exactly in the same melancholic state, he telling them that he was a very wicked boy. Prisoner—That's a funny job they wanted me to go to drill the other night. Dr. Mathias added that Dr. Parker wrote out a report, but he did not know what was in it. Prisoner—I'm right enough, like a two-year old. I'm right enough, there's no question about that. Sergeant Thomas iuformed the Bench that there was an elder brother of the prisoner's in Court who wished to give evidence on his behalf. It was decided to take prisoner's own state- ment first, he electing to give same on oath. Having been sworn Prisoner said that on Friday morning, about one o'clock (midnight), he and his brother Oliver came in—they had been having a lark in the Conservative Club—and as they knocked at the door their father came and said" Come in, Oliver," but lie (Gilbert) was to be locked out. He (prisoner) then told his father that if he did not let him in the windows would go in. With that his father opened the door, and he went in, and was going to unlace his boots and go to bed when his father kept chasing him about the room and getting him into corners, also driving him with his first. Prisoner told him that if he wanted to make a row he ought to get up in the morning, but he still kept on going to punch him. The only thing he (prisoner) could get to defend himself was a jug, and he picked it up because he was in a a corner. His father then picked up the poker and struck him one blow across the shoulder with it. Then he got out of the corner, when his father closed with him and hammered him for about ten minutes on the back of the head, and had his arm twisted round his muffler in such a way that he nearly choked him, and he could not get a chance. Prisoner then fell and with that down came the glass of the lamp on to the floor, a piece of which afterwards cut his finger. By this time the lodger, a man named Crisp, had come down and pulled his father off. He (Gilbert) then sat down dead beat, and about ten minutes afterwards two policemen— Mr Rees and Mr John—came, and he left the house. The Mayor—Where did you go then ? Prisoner—Am I bound to tell you ? The Mayor—No, not bound to. Prisoner, continuing, said he went home about nine o'clock on Friday morning, and had some breakfast, and then went to work. He returned about half-past one and found the door locked. He asked the lodger to open it, but he replied that he could not, as he had nothing to do with it. He then shouted out to his father to open the door and let him in to have some, dinner, but he refused. Prisoner said that if the door was not open the windows would go in. About two minutes after that his brother and sister came out, and as he was looking round somebody hit him in the eye, and he could see stars he was nearly senseless. He then took off his two coats and told them to come out for two minutes after which he went to the roadside and picked up three stones, two of which he threw at the upstairs window, breaking two panes of glass. About five minutes afterwards he went into the court of the house and asked for dinner, but they would not open the door, which he then kicked three or four times. Police Constable John then arrived on the scene and took him into custody. Mr Beynon (prisoner's father)—Did I hit you with the poker on the shoulder 1 Prisoner—Yes. Mr Beynon-Any marks there ? Prisoner—No. Mr Beynon—Didn't I say to you that you should come in if you walked up quietly to bed? Prisoner—Yes, but you didn't give me a chance. I will let no man hit me about. Mr Beynon—Did you go to bed straight when you came in ? Prisoner—No, because you would not let me. You began chasing me about. William Beynon, the prisoner's elder brother, then made a statement to the Bench. He said he had been from home for the last three years, but returned nearly every week-end. From what he had seen Gilbert had often to go with- out his food, which was his father's fault. Of course, he knew that they had both got a bit of a temper, but his father had got the worst. His brother had not had the same chance as he had he had not had so good a life at home as he had. The Bench then retired to consider their decision, and upon returning into Court, The Mayor asked prisoner's brother if he was prepared to take him away with him, to which he replied in the affirmative. His Worship then announced that the case was a very difficult one, but after very careful consideration they had decided that the prisoner must pay for the damage (5s.) to the windows, and that he be bound over in the sum of £5 to keep the peace towards his father for six months and pay the costs.


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