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1851: Hidden guns found in a ditch are clues in the late Haywards Heath Burglary

Brighton Gazette - Thursday 09 January 1851


The Late Hayward’s Heath Burglary.

—Something like a clue seems to have been discovered to this affair. Last week, as some men were digging sand near River’s Wood, close by the viaduct, they found three guns, hid in a ditch, which appeared to have been there some time. One of them, a double barrel, has been owned by Mr Pannett as that stolen from the house of the Misses Kennard; and it is supposed that the others were the same that the burglars were armed with.

Ouse Valley viaduct near River's Wood where guns were hidden (c2020)

From what has come to light it seems that the gang of Copthorne, two of whom were apprehended by Pocock, and afterwards rescued in a desperate affray, are the fellows who committed the burglary. It may be fresh in the memory of many that Pocock was seriously injured in the affray, and that the fellow who assisted at the rescue was afterwards apprehended in Surrey and committed to Lewes Gaol, where he is awaiting his trial. Police-officer Kitchenham always insisted that the gang took the direction in which these guns were found, and that he was right on the trail he followed into the neighbourhood of Copthorne. It seems now probable that he was; and it is to be hoped that this discovery the of the guns may lead to the detection of the offenders. 

Mr Penfold, of Old Mill Farm, Cuckfield, has since identified one of the guns that stolen from his house. 

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