1872: Damaging a Lock Gate at Calne

From the Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette, 18th April 1872.
Calne, Petty Sessions, Monday April 15th.

Edward Jefferies, a boatman of Wootton Bassett, was charged with travelling a boat on the Wilts and Berks Canal, on Sunday the 31st March, and also with wilfully damaging a padlock with which the lock gate was fastened open so as to prevent travelling.

After hearing the evidence in both cases at considerable length, the Bench told the defendant there seemed some little doubt in the case of breaking the lock. The penalty for travelling on Sunday would be £2, including costs, and if he had been convicted of breaking the lock, the lowest penalty would have been £3.

The defendant had a narrow escape of a fine of £5. He pleaded inability to pay the fine at once, and was allowed 14 days, when in the event of his not complying with the order, he will be imprisoned for one month.