Mexborough and Swinton Times February 1, 1908
Curious Cadeby Colliery Case
A Punctured Gauze
Noah Gedney, a Denaby dataller, was charged with a breach of colliery rule 97, in the Cadeby mine, by damaging a safety lamp, the property of the Denaby and Cadeby collieries. The date of the alleged offence was January 10th.
Mr WM Gichard prosecuted on behalf of the colliery company, and said the rule in question was framed for the purpose of meeting the circumstances of a particular district, and the presence of gas in such a district rendered it imperative that a man must be responsible for the safety of the lamp. If he were not, they would be putting a premium on carelessness. The damaged lamp, he produced in Court and the damage was shown to consists of a puncture of the gauze. He claimed that if the defendant had kept the lamp in his possession he must have known how the damage took place. It was not necessary to prove that the damage was wilful. A man must so use the lamp that he could not be damaged.
The Chairman: You know this is a criminal charge. You will have to prove that the man damaged the lamp. The wording of the section is “No man shall damage.” To go away and leave the lamp may not be the proper thing to do, but that is not the point.
Mr Gichard said he agreed, and he was going to prove that defendant was the agent of the damage. They (the Colliery Company) considered the case one of great importance, and were in communication with the Inspector of Mines and the Home Office on the subject. Proceedings had been taken at the request of the Inspector of Mines.
George Henry Atkinson and other boys employed in the lamp room at Cadeby gave evidence in support of the charge.
Thomas Holmes, the head charge man, said that no sharp implements were kept in the lamp room. At 9.30 on the morning of the 10th a boy brought him the lamp in question, and it was seen that the gauze was pricked as if by a nail or lamp hook.
Mr H.S. Witty, manager of the Cadeby Main Colliery, also gave evidence.
Gedney, speaking in his own defence, said that he knew nothing at all about the damage until it was pointed out to him. He had no idea how the gauze became punctured.
The Bench did not think that the case came within the four corners of the rules and therefore the case was dismissed.