Thomas Stanley, gipsy, was charged with stealing fowls on the 10th September last in the parish of Broadclyst, the property of Richard Saunders, of that place. Farmer, Mr. Friend, Exeter, appeared for defendant.
Prosecutor missed six fowls early in the morning of the day in question, which were safe on the previous evening. Near his house a party of gipsies encamped on the 9th and left on the 10th. He went to the spot and saw feathers resembling those on the fowls he had missed, and also bones of the fowls. Prosecutor proceeded quickly to Cullompton and informed the police, who fell in with the three vans on the Mullerton-road, about two miles from Cullompton.
When the police were seen, defendant ran away as fast as he could, followed by Sergeant Charley, and was seen to throw a parcel over the hedge, which proved to contain four dead fowls with their heads off, legs off, and plucked. The bodies were about the size of four of the six fowls he had lost. The three vans were searched, but nothing incriminating was found, and Richard Stanley, uncle of the defendant, had been charged with participation in the offence, tried at Exeter, and acquitted.
Since that time, defendant has been at large until last Friday week, when he was apprehended at Brent and released on bail, to appear that day. Prosecutor - as the bodies of the fowls have long since decomposed - could not identify them, and the prisoner was discharged.
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Western Times - Friday, 27th March 1885
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