Horsehair Theft

Crime Jun 19, 2023

Taken from the Bicester Herald, 30th June 1911.

At the Oxfordshire Quarter Sessions on Tuesday, John Martin, 21, labourer; Leonard Terry, 18, labourer; and Thomas Wenman, 21, labourer, were indicted for between the 11th and 12th of May, at Kirtlington, maliciously committing injury to seven geldings, the property of Francis George Castleman, and stealing a quantity of horsehair, value six shillings; and further, between the same dates, at Upper Heyford, committing similar damage to four geldings, and a mare, and stealing a quantity of horsehair, value four shillings, the property of Mark Henry Warland.
Each of the prisoners pleaded not guilty. Mr Ernest Walsh was for the prosecution, and prisoners were not defended. After evidence had been called, the prisoner Martin told the Court that he knew nothing as to how the horsehair was obtained. He, however, sold it for them for 6s. 9d., and gave them the receipt. What he received was two packets of "Woodbines." The other two prisoners had nothing to say.
The jury returned a verdict of guilty against each of the prisoners on the first indictment. Mr Ernest Walsh said he proposed to leave the other indictment on the file, and not to proceed with it at this Court.
The Chairman said there was good reason to believe prisoners had been concerned in other transactions of this kind, but they were not going to take any notice of these now. It was a very serious offence, and Martin and Wenman would each be sentenced to three calendar months’ hard labour. With regard to Terry, the court was not going to pass judgement upon him. He would be sent to a place of detention for one year. It was not a prison, and he was not a convicted prisoner, but he would there have an opportunity of mending his ways and of living an honest life hereafter.