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From the Sussex Express, 29th August 1903



Page 11, column 4.

At Lewes Police Court on Tuesday, before Mr W L Christie and other Justices, Charles Smith, carter, of Firle, was summoned for being drunk whilst in charge of a horse and cart at Firle on August 8th - Defendant pleaded guilty. William Weller, of Stanford Laundry, Firle, examined by Mr Lawson Lewis, who prosecuted, said he saw the defendant on the 8th August close by Middle Farm. He was in a milk cart lying across a churn fast asleep. Witness struck him with a whip when he passed him, but this had no effect on him. He did not have hold of the reins, and was not in a fit state to have charge of the horse and cart. A fine of 10 shillings was imposed.

James Pettitt, also a carter, of Firle, was summoned for a similar offence at Beddingham on the same date, and pleaded guilty. Frederick Brown, bricklayer's labourer, of Glynde, said he knew the defendant by sight. On the morning of the day in question he saw the defendant coming out of the Trevor Arms. He had a milk cart, and was all right then. Later on witness saw him coming over the bridge and he did not appear to be capable of driving. Witness did not know whether it was through drink or whether he was 'regular bad'. Witness drove him home. A fine of 10s was imposed.

George Henry Pelling, landlord of the Trevor Arms, Glynde, was summoned for permitting drunkenness on his licensed premises on the 8th August. Mr Lawson Lewis prosecuted, and Mr E M Marx (Brighton) defended.

Charles Smith, defendant in a previous case, and living at Union Cottage, Firle, said he was in Mr Wadman's employ. On Saturday, August 8th he drove the milk cart to Glynde Station. He left the milk at the station to be despatched by train about 20 past eight a.m. He then went to the coal yard and a shop and afterwards to the Trevor Arms, arriving there about 9. He left about half-past ten or eleven, and then went away homewards, arriving back to the farm about 12. Whilst in the Trevor Arms he had beer to drink; he had none at any other licensed house that day. When he got back to the farm he unharnessed the horse and then went to sleep. On their way back from the station he met a coach and someone got out and pulled the cart out of the way. In cross-examination, witness said there were several people in the house. They were served with two half gallon jars of beer to take away to the farm, and they had some in the house to drink. The beer took effect when he was on the road. He did not have any that was in the jars.

Mr Marx - Why did you leave?
Witness - Because I had had enough.
Mr Marx - Did you arrive at that conclusion or did someone else?
Witness - No, I did.
Witness also denied that he was told by Mr Pelling to 'Get off'.
Replying to Mr Lawson Lewis, he said that Mr Wadman, his employer, was away that day.

James Pettitt, also a defendant in a previous case, said he drove a milk cart to Glynde Station. Someone else drove him back (laughter). After leaving the milk at the station he went into the Trevor Arms. He was all right when he left. When he got back to the farm he put the horse in the stable and then went to sleep. He did not do any more work till 4.15 p.m. Cross-examined: Witness went into the Trevor Arms at 20 minutes to ten. Witness believed that they had altogether four quarts of beer between eight of them, in addition to the two half-gallon jars to take back to the farm. After leaving the Trevor Arms he went to the Creamery and then to the coal wharf. It was there that he was taken bad. He did not have any of the beer from the jars.

Mr Lawson Lewis - Was it the sight of the coal that suddenly overcame you? (laughter).
Witness - I don't expect so.

George Bray, employed at the coal wharf, said that Pettitt was helplessly drunk when he came to the wharf. He could not take the money from his pocket, and witness had to do it for him. Witness gave him an emetic.

Mr Lawson Lewis - Which had the desired effect.

Rev W E Dalton, Vicar of Glynde, said on the morning in question he saw a man lying in a milk cart on some coal sacks. Witness did not know whether he had had a fit or what it was; he was thoroughly incapable of speaking. Witness did not know Pettitt, and should not recognise him if he saw him. Cross-examined: Witness said this happened about half-past eleven, or it might have been twelve.

Frederick Brown repeated the evidence he gave in a previous case. Pettitt looked as if he had had a bit to drink. He rolled about on the coal and complained of pains in his inside. Cross-examined: When Smith and Pettitt left the Trevor Arms they appeared all right.

George Funnell of Alciston, also in Mr Wadman's employ, said that when Smith returned to the farm at 12.30 he was drunk. He did not work that day. Replying to Mr Marx, witness said Smith did not bring any beer back to the farm.

George Gumbrell, of Laughton, said he saw Smith and Pettitt leave the Trevor Arms. They were drunk.

P C McKeen said that the defendant told him that the two men came into the house at 9.45 and left an hour later. They had two pints of ale each, but previous to that they had two half-gallons, which they had every morning. He ordered them out as they were a bit noisy. Witness had never received a complaint before against the defendant.

This concluded the case for the prosecution.

Giving evidence on his own behalf, defendant said he had been a license holder for seven years. There was certainly nothing the matter with Smith and Pettitt when they left the premises. In cross-examination, witness said he was at work in the cellar at the time in question, but saw the two men several times. He heard singing and told them to stop. He told Mrs Pelling not to serve them again as they were noisy.

Mrs Pelling said that Smith and Pettitt came in with several others. She served four quarts of 4d between the eight. She served Pettitt before he went to the station with a half-pint of ale. Previously she served Smith and Pettitt each with half a gallon to take back to the farm. No one was drunk in the house. When the men began to make a noise Mr Pelling said they were not to have any more drink.

Amos Elphick, manager of the coal wharf at Glynde, said that when Pettitt came to the wharf he was in his usual state of health. He afterwards became very sick.

Mr Lawson Lewis - What do you think made him sick? The price you charged for the coal?

Witness - I think it was the heat.

The Bench came to the conclusion that this was a bad case, and imposed a fine of £5, with a guinea costs.

Listed under the Topic: Crime

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