Hide Articles List

8 articles on this Page



LLANDOVERY PETTY SESSIONS. FRIDAY. Before Mr Edward Jones, Velinire (in the chair), Messrs R. Campbell Davys, Neuadd £ ™r' George Jones, Ystrad; and -telhamThursby Pelham. Numerically, the session was a very light one. The charge list contained only a few cases, but one of these was very important and interesting. So much so, indeed, that it served to attract persons from all directions for miles around to the court house. A very large crowd of people had gathered before 12 o'clock, the hour at which the proceed- ings opened. The crush inside was so great that a few squares in one of the windows were smashed by the elbowing of persons, who in trying to obtain better "coigns of vantage," climbed up the window sills. The else under notice was that of trespass by night, the defendants being Thomas Jones and David Davie?, both hailing from Llangadock Mr H. Alfred Thomas prosecuted on behalf of Mr Vaughan Pryse Rice, and Mr J. W. Nicholas Llandilo, defended two of the offenders With re- gard to the third, who has absconded since the common of the offence, he had received no instruc: iom. By mutual consent the charges agains the two present only were, therefore, pro- ceeded with. In opening the case, Mr Thomas said the de- fendants were charged under 9 George IV., c. 69, with night poaching on land belonging to Mr Vaughan Pryse Rice. The worst of all offences was poaching by night with guns. He urged that they could only be suppressed by punishment by imprisonment, as fines could easily be got up by subscription. The absence of violence did not in any way diminish the seriousness of the offence. Mr Nicholas said defendants could not be charged with night poaching under the present section, which created a particular distinction between the offence with which they were charged, "trespass by night" and "niht poaching. The first witness examined was John Jones, a gamekeeper in the employ of His Honour Judge Bishop, Dolgarreg. He said he resided at Cnwc, in the parish of Mothvey. On the 21th December last he was on duty at 2 o'clock in the morning at Cnwc, in company with one William Lands, a game- keeper at LIwynybrain. He heard shooting in the direction of Glassallt-ucha Farm. They then went down to the turnpike road. They stopped thr-re about half an hour, when they heard shooting in the wood of Glassalt-ucha Farm. They went alone the turnpike load to the corener of the wood from where they heard shooting, walking and talking. Witness and his companion then went up in the direction of Gla=sallt-ncha Farm, and stood on the hede, about 30 yards from the turnpike road I about half an hour. After that they looked into the wood, and subsequently saw three men there The men came towards them at the bottom of the wood. They first identified. John Jones, Glassallt- fawr, by bis talk in the wood. The three men came up towards witnesses within nine yards of where they stood. They then noticed another, a man with a white muffler round his neck, and a black hat on his head. John Jones raised his gun, and shot a pheasant, which dropped in the brambles] and within about nine yards of them. John Jones then lit two matches to looked for it. They then had a clear full face view of them, and recognised John Johnes and Thomas Jones. The two matches lighted them up very clearly. They did not know the other man. He wore a brown coat and cap with a poke in front, and round behind something after the style worn by sailors. The three men then went up the wood together, and witnesses looked at them through the hedge, and obtained a very good view of them. Witnesses then conferred together as to the best way to get round them, and decided to go up the way leading to Gla?sallt-ucha, as they knew John Jones would draw towards his bed in the loft where he slept. They went up, and called Mr Morgan, the tenant, down, and told him that there was shooting the wood. Accom- panied by Mr Morgan they went in the direction of the loft, where John slept. They stopped about 15 yards from the loft, and went a little out of the way. The three of them stopped there about 20 minutes. At the end of that time the three de- fendants came up from the wood. After they had come on a little, Mr Morgan said, »I can't assist you; John, my servant, is with them." Mr Nicholas having objected to witness intro- ducing the absent defendant's name into the evidence, The Chairman observed—Leave out the name of John Jones as much as possible. Continuing, the witness said—We then remained by the farm. The three men came up from the direction of the wood. John Jones carried some- thing on his arm, and the other man, whom wo did not carried something in a bag on his back. We could not see that Thomas Jones, Trehelig, had anything. They went tow ards the place where John slept. John went to the loft and the others went away. They passed witne-ses at a distance of about 8 or 10 yards. They were able to recognize Juhu Jones, the servant of Glassallt- ucha, and Thomas Jones. Witnesses went on quietly after them, but John reached the loft before they reached him. At Mr Thomas's request the witness here pointed how the latter, who was in court. They were the same men as he had seen in the wood. Cross-examined—Is Mr Morgan here to-day, Mr Jones?—I believe he is. Is he a witness with you? —He is not a witness with me, but he can do as he likes. Ask him that question ? You called his attention to the shooting in Glassallt-issa ? Yes, after knocking him up. Did he recognise one of these people as his servant? (laughter and applause, which were Immediately silenced). Did he admit to you that one of these people was his servant?—After he knew him when they were passing. Have you asked him to come here ? Just look at me, don't look that way? (Witness was looking at the bench at the time). ° Mr Thomas objecting to this lino of cross- examination. Mr Nishohs remarked—I may t'll you he is Bubpoouaed and he is here. Cross-examination continued—You lay the infor- mation, don't you MI Jones?—Yes, part of it. Mr Nicholas-Altogether do you not? You arc John Jones, of Dolgan-eg? Are you not that gentleman? Yes. (Witness here added that William Lands laid it as well). What has it got to do with you? It was not your land. Who told you to lay information ?—Mr Pryse. Mr Pryse or Mr Pryse Rice? Which ?—Mr Pryse Riel", He told you to lay information P Is it upon his instructions, or, if not, upon whose instructions do you come here to lay information for trespassin" on lands for which you are not keeper ?—He told me if I found anything out of place on his land to go on with my work. That is not an answer to my q iestion. Has he instructed you to lay information in this matter?— Yes. Mr Nicholas—I have a reason for asking this question. Why did his own keeper not lay the information? Canyon give a leason for that ?—I can't answer that question. I suppose on this night it was perfectly light, Mr Jones, of Dolgarreg?—Yes. ° So light that you could sen whether 0 man wore iw.hir ,muffler on his neck and black hat, or whether he wore a brown coat and poked cap? (laughter and applause) Quite lightf sir The matches lighted us. 0 matches lighted us. 0 The Chairman If this goes on the court will be cleared. Cross-examination continued—Was it by the ordinary light or the match light that you were able to unko out this distinction?—Between the light of the matches, the snow on the ground, and the moon. Was it only after the matches were lighted that you were able to make out these distinctions?— Attcr the matches were lighted we had a clear VI w n V rfaces- fpw <fm>nn ?".fp°se ^e matches were only lit for a lew seconds ? r,„n„ „ Mnnr m T nf> enough for us to know them. JNow Mi John Jones, of Djl^arre*. do you a particular or was it because of the shoXg t'ougot up°S L UP SCOres of ti,ues before. P thaf1 all"alon <* J().nes~^ou.t repeat liis uame like au al°ug. It is very msultinu- wasTthXL^T ie?uined-Wit„ess said he not -0 L i -S0lng out at niSht- He aid (witness Inlf oc°asiOD. They were at 12 o'clock Thev "ennti the otner keeper) near the Ciiwc. tnakhic* foi tt' i !om lbat hour till 2 o'clock, hear o-i lllghoyt land> so tbat they could •Glas-illt' i du'ec,I0n3- Tl'ey heard shooting in sioc,k- uw«», ■heard iie distance from where they shots inVi° U\[*lssa"t-issa to where they heard A boa t h, u c h;l« was from 200 to 300 yards, heard .an. hour elapsed between the time they heard i -m Gifuallt-i3sa and the time they •abonf l Vp Gla'!lllt"uchEl- Witness retrained "alf an hour in the bottom and half an hour he top. Witness was not in the wood at all ut on the hedge that joins it. The two men whom he alleged shot the pheasant were about nine yards inside the wood when he recognised them. There was a little thin under wood at this spot. Witness remained in Glasallt while the other keeper went to inform P.O. James. He recognised the men before P.C. James told him. Mr Nicholas—You have made a very different statement to somebody. Cross-examined—He did not tell the head game- keeper of Llwynybrain that he did not recognise them till P.C. James told him who the men in the Castle Hotel were. Mr Nicholas here read a paragraph from the Justice of the Peace," and enquired of the wit- ness if that embodied the statement he had made to Mr Thomas, whether Mr Thomas had read it to him, and if so, was he aware that ndvice had been asked for on the case in that paper. Mr Thomas objected to the question, holding that Mr Nicholas had no right to ask as to what had passed in the office, the informant being his client. Cross examined—It was about 3 o'clock when they heard shots in Glasallt-ucha. He could only swear to David Davies as one of the men he saw in the wood by his clothes. John had hid three phea- sants in his bed. Recalled by the Bench, witness said he did not see guns with either of the defendants when he saw them last. Corroborative evidence was given by Win. Lands, the other keeper referred to. He left Keeper Jones at Glasallt, and went in pursuit of two of the defendants in the direction of Llangadock. They were not in sight when he left Glasallt. He next saw two men on the turnpike road a good distance off. There are some curves in the road, but not there. When he catne out to the road that j leads to Glasallt-issa he lost sight of them, and crossed the fields to the house of P.C. James, and crossed the fields to the house of P.C. James, and gave him a description of them. He accompanied P.C. James to Llangadock and watched at the back door of the Castle Hotel, while P.C. James entered at the front. Thomas Jones and David Davies subsequently came out, passed him, and wished him good night. P.C. James, stationed at Llangadock, said that on the 21th December last, in consequence of information he received from William Land, a gamekeeper in the employ of Mr Vaughan Pryse, he visited the Castle Hotel at 5.33 a.m. He was admitted by the landlady. When he got into the kitchen he saw Thomas Jones, one of the defen- dants, sitting down near the fireplace in the kitchen. On a settle near the kitchen door he noticed something bulky under a coat. He removed the coat, which the landtady said belonged to her son. He then saw a sack. On examining it he found it contained two double-barrelled guns and. four pheasants. Bjth guns and pheasants were wet. Mr Campbell-Davys—Were the pheasants warm? P.C. James—Both were warm. On seeing the guns he asked Thomas Jones if they belonged to him. He replied, Yes, one of them is mine.' I asked him who the other gun belonged to. He replied, "lam not bound to say, am I?" I raplied, "No, you are not." I then asked the land- lady, who came into the house with Thomas Jones. She replied "David Davies." I saw him after- wards in the kitchen, bat I did not see him when I asked the question. The landlady further observed, He might have gone out, as I see the back door has been opened by someone "-this was said in the presence of Davies-" wliilst I was opening the front door for you." Thomas Jouea then made a remark which I did not distinctly catch. I thought it was Davies has not gone out." I then saw Davies in a stooping pjsition behind a fixture in the kitchen—a sort of settle with a high back to it. I then looked round to where he was staaJing and saw cloe to him a pheasant 01 i li,, fl-or. I picked the pheasant up and put it in Ui 1 u L along with the vest. It wa3 drier than the rest, but warm like them. I asked Davies if one of the guns belonged to him. He said" Oue of them is mine." He told me the pheasant I picked up was his. I asked him the question. I then told both defendants I had been informed that there had been a good deal of shooting between 2 and 4 a.m. at Glasallt. In conse- quence of tha,t and other information I had received I was going to take possession of the gtlns and pheasants. Jones said, I beg of you not to take my gun. You can take the pheasants if you let me keep my gun." I said, "I can't do it; I must take both guns and pheasants." I toll him You may get the guns back again, I can't say." He then said, Don't say anything about it this time, for if I'll be summoned l'il be sure to lose my job, which will be worse to me than paying a fine." I replied, "I am sorry for that, but I have nothing to do, and must take them." Jones asked me how I cime to know about it. The two men were present. I told him that the Llwynybrain game- keeper had called me out of bed aud had told me that he and the Dolgarreg gamekeeper had been out watching that night, and that they had been watching them in Glassallt-isa, and that they afterwards saw them near Glasallt-ucha on the road, three of them together. Davies then said, "Well, I hope you'll not say anything about it if you can help it. You have never seen anything wrong with us before since you are here. I have never been out shooting there before, and no one will see me there again if I come out of this bother." Chairman—What did you say when he asked if you had known of anything wrong with him before? P.C. James—I made no reply to what he said. We then bad a conversation about their being on licensed premises before time, and they shortly afterwards left. I then said to Davies I had nothing to do but report the case. He turned to Jones and said, We are in for it right enough. This is a d-- of a job." David Davies was dressed in a rather dirty corduroy trousers and brown coat and cap with a poke. I got the guns here if you should like to see them. To the bench-I can't say they had been drink- ing. Cross-examined—I believe I had a right to take the guns. This was the case for the prosecution. Mr Nisholas then rose to address the bench for the defence. He reviewed the evidence at con- siderable length, and eloquently appealed to the Bench in his client's behalf. Everyone in that crowded Hall eagerly caught each word as it fell from his lips, and when he had finished his last sentence the feelings of admiration that he had raised in the breasts of his auditors was given expression to in a loud burst of applause, the sup- pression of which the sacred majesty of the law rendered instantly necessary. Throughout his speech he pleaded in as earnest a tone as if the saving of the lives of his clients depended upon his every exertion, now and again pouring forth UKSG deeply pathetic passages that remind one forcibly of Mr Nicholas as a novelist, and, despite the fact that the gentlemen in whose hands is entrusted the impartial administration of the law are by experience rendered tolerably familiar with the fervent pleadings of advocates, it was clearly evi- dent that the speech of the solicitor for the defence had not been without its impression. The Chairman intimated that they would retire to consider their decision. On their return Mr Edward Jones said—The first matter I would allude to is this: The objec- tion made to the summons with regard to the hour, in our opinion, seems to have nothing in it; and also it does not appear to us that there is anything in the note as to entering into the wood. How is it to he determined with what purpose anybody enters a wood un'ess by subsequent action '? We know that the action in this case killed the phea- sant. A strong appeal has been made to us not to send the defendants to prison. We fine them t5 each and costs, and also bind them over—them- selves in JE10 and two sureties in X5-not to be fined in this way for a year. Addressing the defendants in Welsh, he said he hoped they would not do so again. Instead of shooting a pheasant they might have shot a man. Ho pointed out that the gentle- men preserved the game, and did not go there themselves. They had no more right to kill phea- sants than a man. Mr Nicholas-I would ask you to make an order that the game or their value and the guns be returned. The policeman had no authority to take them away. The Bench held that the policeman was bound to take possession of the game. It had been proved that the game had been taken away from the wood. Mr Pelham—I think the Act says the game may be confiscated. Mr Nicholas—We have the guns then Tne Beueh absented amidst applause.