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1884: Fleeing Cuckfield thief bites police constable

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

West Sussex County Times - Saturday 21 June 1884


Cuckfield Petty Sessions.

On Monday, at these Sessions, before Mr. J.M.Norman (in the chair), Lieutenant-Colonel Holden Rose, Major C. W. H. Campion, Captain J. Dearden, Mr. W. H. Loder, and Mr. P. Rawson.


Henry Gasson was charged with stealing 18 hen's eggs, the property of William Burtenshaw, of Cuckfield. Prosecutor, who lived at a house on the Brighton road, said that on the night of Saturday last he left five eggs in one nest and five in another. He missed them on the Sunday morning. He then put three eggs in one nest and two in another, and on returning to the nest shortly after ten he found they were also gone. He had marked the eggs, and told P.C. Stevens of the occurrence.


Talbot c1890. Petty Sessions were held on the first floor in the building by the carriage

On the advice of the police-constable he then put two eggs in one nest and two in the other. The police-constable laid in wait, and about three o'clock he saw the prisoner coming along by the brambles with a newspaper. He saw him go to one nest, and then he put his hand down and put it back in his pocket twice. Prisoner did the same on going to other nest. When prisoner left witness got down from his hiding place and followed him along the road. Prisoner on looking round and seeing witness, "took to his heels."


On being caught prisoner made a severe struggle, and bit witness. Eggs were found in prisoner's pocket, and some of them were found to be marked like those missing. Prisoner, who pleaded guilty, was sentenced to 14 days' hard labour.

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