James Bolton and William Bolton, Mitcham Road, Croydon, were summoned for doing wilful damage to. the extent of £2 to a holly tree, the property of Edmund Stephenson Clarke, at Cuckfield on November 30.
Henry Upton, woodman to Mr Clarke, stated that he was proceeding to Anstye on November 30 when he heard the sound of chopping in Butler's Wood; he went into the wood, and saw a man cutting holly. He then informed the keeper of what he had seen, and the two proceeded to the wood.
On the road beside the wood they saw a lorry containing a load of holly, and beside it were three men.. One was the man witness had seen cutting the holly In the wood, and the other two were the defendants. Questioned with regard to the holly, James Botton said, 'If my man has been in the woods, here's half-a-crown to square it.'
Harry Horn, the keeper, said James Bolton denied entering the wood. On oath, James Bolton said he paid 7s. 6d. for a tree next to Butler's Wood, and 5s. for another tree some distance away. Neither he nor his son (the other defendant) went into the wood. He picked the third man up on the journey from Croydon.
The man was poor, and that was why witness offered the keeper half-a-crown, as he did not want the man to get into trouble. He did not know if the man put any holly on the lorry.
Corroborative evidence was given by William Bolton. - The Chairman said the Magistrates were of the opinion that the case was one of grave suspicion, but as the third man and the person who, it was alleged, sold holly to defendants were not there, It would be dismissed.
Mid Sussex Times, 3 January 1928
Contributed by Malcolm Davison.