A Stack Set on Fire by a Lad at Conisborough.

May 1880

Mexborough and Swinton Times, May 21.

A Stack Set on Fire by a Lad at Conisborough.

Joseph Warren, aged 10 years, of Conisborough, was charged with setting fire to a stack in that place, on the 8th inst., and doing damage to the amount of £10.

Charles Woolhouse, farmer, of Conisborough, stated that on the Saturday named a lad went and told him that his stack was on fire. He went to the place, got some assistance, and managed after a great deal of labour to put it out. He estimated the damage at £10.

In answer to the lad’s father, the complainant, said about a ton of hay was destroyed.

Frank Shaw (13), stated that on Saturday last he saw the prisoner and a lad named John Hallam. Hallam said his mother had given him a halfpenny, must he go and buy a box of matches. Witness told him to do as he liked. He bought some matches and divided them between witness, and prisoner. They went through the Castle yard, to the stack, and got some clover and “knobs” to smoke.

When they got to the stack, the prisoner had a fire made in the shed. Witness damped the fire out. The prisoner made two more, and witness told him if he did any more he should hit him. After that the prisoner went round the stack, which was close to the shed. After being away for about 5 min he came back and said, “Oh, there’s a fire, hark!”

Witness went round to the place, but the fire was too high for him to damp it out.

PC Morley deposed that about 8:30 AM on Monday, the 10th inst, he apprehended the prisoner, and charged him with setting fire to a stack of a hay Conisborough. He said, “Yes, I set it on fire. John Hallam gave me the matches.”

The father had no questions to ask the officer.

In answer to the charge, the prisoner said he was guilty of the offence.

The Chairman said the bench were of opinion that the prisoner was a very mischievous lad. He had done a great deal of ruin and must be imprisoned for 48 hours, then to have six strokes with the Birch Rod.

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