September 1886


Stephen Smitherman, a dealer of Crockhurst Street, Capel, was summoned for driving a horse and cart furiously on the highway so as to endanger the lives and limbs of others at Five Oak Green on August 28.

Police Officer Turner said that at 9.30 pm he saw the defendant's cart standing opposite the Kings Head with herrings for sale. Shortly afterwards Smitherman drove by at a most furious rate and a large number of people who were about the Green had to fly in all directions to get out of the way.

He drove to the Queens Head and there turned his horse round sharp. When PO Turner asked the defendant what be meant by driving about like that Smitherman used foul language and wanted to know what it had to do with the police.

On telling him that it was endangering people's lives, he said if he did not get out of the way he would drive over him. The defendant was not drunk but "excited through liquor" and then drove away at 16-18 mph, said PO Turner.

Smitherman said the horse was a Russian pony and could not do more than 6-8 mph but the court heard he had been convicted eight times before.

Smitherman was fined £3 (about £385 today) with nine shillings costs (£60). He was able to pay up on the day.

(From the Kent and Sussex Courier)