Cruelty to Pit Ponies at Denaby – Heavy Fine for 12 Year Old

January 1887

Mexborough and Swinton Times January 14, 1887

Cruelty to Pit Ponies at Denaby

George Gee, a pony driver, appeared on a remand in answer to a charge of cruelty to Pit Ponies at Denaby Main Colliery early in last month.

The case had been before a magistrate on two previous occasions, defendant being kept in custody for a week and then liberated on bail.

The evidence had been concluded on the last hearing, but the magistrate took time for their decision and to make enquiries as to the character of the defendant.

Mr Pawson now represented the defendant, and said so far as the cruelty was concern he had no answer whatever. No doubt somebody else was somewhat to blame besides a lad, but he was not going to say because that was so Gee was the less guilty. But the defendant was a very little lad only just over 12 years of age. He had already been in custody a week, and he asked the Bench not to send him to prison. This was the first time we had been in trouble, and there was no saint against his character. The parents must necessarily have to pay something in addition to what the boy had already suffered, and he (Mr Pawson) asked the magistrates to deal as leniently with him as possible.

The Chairman said that since the defendant was there the magistrates had made enquiries into his character and they found that his intellect was not quite so good as it ought to be. It was, however, strong enough for him to know that he was doing wrong in the cruelty he practiced upon the ponies. He had been imprisoned for a week, and the Bench hoped that it would be a warning to him, and that he would not practice such cruelty again. They hoped that it will not only be a warning to the defendant, but also to other lads in the pit.

They would fine the defendant 50 shillings, including costs, or in default of payment one month’s imprisonment with hard labour.