Mexborough and Swinton Times March 19, 1886
Cruelty To A Pony At Denaby Main.
James Meakin, a pony driver at the Denaby Main colliery, was charged with unlawfully and cruelly ill treating and torturing a horse at Denaby on March 3rd.
Defendant pleaded guilty. – Mr. H. H. Hickmott, who appeared for the colliery company, said the case was one of the most cruel character, and he would ask the Bench to deal with it in an exemplary manner.
Mr. Soar, the underviewer, was in the Montagu level in the Denaby pit, and his attention was drawn to the defendant by hearing a number of heavy thuds. He went to the spot from whence the sounds proceeded, and when he got there he saw the defendant with a pony. Defendant had in his hand a stout piece of timber (produced). Mr. Soar asked him if he had been hitting the animal with the piece of wood, and defendant said ‘Yes.’ Mr. Soar asked him if he had been hitting the animal with the piece of wood, and defendant said, ‘Because it had got my temper up.’ On being asked if the defendant did not think he would hurt the pony by striking it with the heavy piece of wood he said he did not. On being asked whether he thought the wood would hurt him the defendant said he thought it would. When the pony was taken out by the defendant in the morning it was in a perfectly sound condition, but when it came back in the afternoon its hind leg was much swollen. Since then, on account of the blows at the bottom of the leg, the place had gathered and burst. The animal had not been able to work since, and would not be able to work for a month. On its rump there were two lumps as big as a cricket ball, and on side of the pony were a number of small lumps and fresh blood.
Defendant gave no explanation of his conduct beyond that he had struck the pony while in a temper. Recently there had been a great deal of correspondence with colliery proprietors as to the manner in which ponies were treated in pits, and the Denaby colliery company thought the case was really a bad one.
Mr. Soar, underviewer at Denaby Main colliery, said on the day in question he was in the Montagu level about half-past twelve, when he heard a noise. In consequence of what he heard he went to the spot and saw the defendant there with a pony. Defendant had the piece of wood (produced) in his hand. Witness spoke to him and asked him if he had been hitting the pony with the wood, and he said he had. Witness asked him whether he thought it would hurt, and he said he did not know. In answer to a question as to whether he thought it would hurt him defendant said he thought it would.
The horsekeeper (Guest) at the colliery stated that the pony was taken out on the morning in question in a sound state. He saw the animal at three o’clock the same afternoon. Its hind legs were swollen a bit, and the leg had gathered since and it would be a month before it would be able to work again. There were some lumps on the animal’s rump about as big as a cricket ball, and on the right side there were some smaller lumps. Most considerable violence must have been used to the animal to have caused its injuries.
Defendant in answer to question as to if he had anything to say said he was very sorry for what he had done.
Defendant was sentenced to 21 days imprisonment.