Cruelty to a Pony at Denaby Main

March 1897

Mexborough and Swinton Times March 12, 1897

Cruelty to a Pony at Denaby Main.

At the Rotherham West Riding Police Court on Monday morning, before Mr H. W. Verelst and Mr F. Hall, Pharest Benton, 101, Doncaster Road, Denaby, employed as a driver at the Denaby Main colliery, was charged with cruelly ill treating a pony at Denaby Main on the 16th February.

Mr H. H. Hickmott prosecuted, and stated that wounds were found on both hind legs of the pony and gross cruelty must have been inflicted. There was also a lump about the size of an egg at the top of the ponies tail.

John Guest, horse keeper at the colliery, said the pony in question was known as “Major.” On 16 February it went out to work two shifts. It would go out for the first time about 6 o’clock in the morning. He saw the pony on the morning of the 17th ult., and found it had been severely injured. There were 20 marks on the leg and about 10 on the other. The hind legs were raw in places, and there was a lump on the top of its tail.

Defendant, in presence of witness, said to Mr Soar, “I think thou has got thy knife into me”

Before witness examined the pony must have been stabled some time. The night Porter told witness to go and look at the pony. It had to be kept up a fortnight there was no old so that all about it that he notice. He remembered that a report had been made that there had been a large fall of dirt on the pony. He thought the injury on the tale had been done by it being struck

They had 142 ponies in the pit, and he was sure “Major” was in good condition. it would be left in the pass by during the chance of shifts.

James Humphries, Corporal at the mine, said that on 16 February he was acting as morning corporal. He examined the ponies to see if the shoes were on. He examined the pony “Major” at 2 o’clock. His legs were all right. There were four other ponies there.

William Soar, under manager, said that on 17 February, Guest made a report to him, in consequence of which he went and saw the pony “Major.” The evidence given as to the condition of the animal was correct. He asked the defendant to examine the pony and he replied that the injuries had been there about seven years. In his opinion the wounds could not have been caused by another horse. They were quite fresh.

Charles Raynor and William Westwood also gave evidence, the latter stating that he saw the defendant kick the horse several times on the hocks.

For the defence. James Benton, brother of the defendant, said he remembered the date in question. He knew the pony “Major” and saw it as he left work. There were other ponies about and a full corve near to it. He remembered seeing a driver named Brammer “sledging” away at the horse with a seven or 8 pound hammer on 5 February. A large fall of the occurred and must have caught the pony.

James Heath, a miner working at the same pit, calibrated. Asked why he had not reported it. Witness said he wouldn’t have got into trouble with the other lads and men. It was not part of his duty. He should think the pony was struck about 12 times. Witness took the hammer off Brammer.

Mr Verelst asked whether when the horses were left to feed there was not someone left in charge of them. – Mr Hickmott: no not for about ¼ of an hour.

Mr Verelst said the bench were agreed that the defendant had kicked the pony. But were not agreed as to the amount of cruelty that had been committed. He would be fined 7s 6d and costs