Denaby Men hid from gang – “After Their Blood” – Killed Hen and Two Pigeons

June 1925

Mexborough and Swinton June 13, 1925

“After Their Blood”
Denaby Men who hid from gang
Benefit of the Doubt

Two Denaby miners, Cornelius Carmody and Michael McNicholas, who said they hid in a yard to get out of the way of a gang of which they were afraid, appeared at Doncaster on Tuesday, charged with stealing a hen and two pigeons, the property of John Dolly. Carmody said it was “drunken mischief.”

The birds were left in a hen roost and a pigeon cote on Saturday night, and locked up. The accused were afterwards seen in the yard by a police sergeant, whom they told they were hiding from a gang who were “after their blood.”. Returning later with Dolly’s son-in-law, John Hudson, the sergeant, who knew the men, believed their story, found the door of the hen roost and pigeon cote open, and underneath were the birds, dead

Mr Dolly told the magistrates that he did not think the two men would interfere with this property if there were sober, and said he did not wish to press the case.

Mr Furniss, of Rotherham, who defended, said that the two silly fellows killed the birds for a very silly reason, but one which appeared to be a very good one on that night. One of them was genuinely frightened of the gangs which infested that district, they had more drink than was good for them, and they have been told they would be waited for and followed.

They went into the yard, and found the door of the pigeon cote and the hen roost open. The birds were making a noise, and Carmody wrung their necks because they might attract the attention of the gang to the yard. They had no intention of taking the birds away. He asked the Bench to say that it was a silly drunken freak and not a theft. The men were quite willing to make restitution to the owner.

Carmody and McNicholas gave evidence supporting their solicitors statement and Mr J Brocklesby, the chairman of the magistrates, said that there was a doubt in the case of which the men would have the benefit.