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Walls damaged in 1858

Petty Sessions, Bullingdon Division: County Hall, Oxford 9 October 1858
(as reported in Jackson’s Oxford Journal for 16 October 1858)

Sunday evening’s entertainment at Headington

Arthur Pickwick, of Beef-lane; Frederick Russell, of Oriel-street; John Lambert, of Merton-street; Henry and Alfred Rockall, of Wood-street; Charles Preston, of New-street; and Thomas Lovegrove, of Saint Clement’s, seven youths from Oxford, all between 18 and 22 years of age, were summoned for wilfully damaging a wall at Headington, the property of J.M Davenport, Esq.

Mr Brunner, who appeared for the defence, expressed their regret and contrition for their conduct, and said that one or two of defendants, although of the party, did not take any active part in the commission of the offence.

It appeared that the defendants were returning home from the country on Sunday evening the 3rd instant, and had called at the Britannia public-house, upon leaving which shortly after ten o’clock, the coping of the wall adjoining the turnpike road, for the distance of 56 yards, was pushed down with sticks. All the defendants (except Preston, who did not appear) pleaded guilty, and they were convicted of a penalty of 10s. each and costs, together with the expense of repairing the wall, amounting altogether to 1l. 1s. each.

The same defendants were then charged with damaging a wall, to the extent of twelve yards, the property of James Morrell, Esq., at Headington. This wall adjoined the former, and formed a part of the property damaged by the defendants on the same evening. – The defendants pleaded guilty also in this case, and they were convicted, the fine, damage, and costs, amounting to 5s. 6s. each.

Mr Ashurst, the Chairman, in delivering judgement, said that it was a determination of the Bench to put a stop to occurrences of this kind, which were now becoming of more frequent occurrence in the suburbs of Oxford, and that on any other case being brought forward, the Bench would inflict a much more severe penalty.

We understand that summonses had been also obtained by Mr Morrell against the defendants to appear before the City Magistrates, on Tuesday the 12th instant, to answer a charge of unlawfully ringing the bell, and annoying Mr Davis, the porter at the Upper Lodge, at Headington Hill, on the same evening, but in consequence of the above convictions having taken place, and of the defendants having expressed their sorrow and regret for their unlawful conduct, Mr Morrell kindly agreed that these summonses should be withdrawn on payment of the costs.

© Stephanie Jenkins

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