December 1877


At the Tonbridge Petty Sessions, William Cole was charged with stealing a live, tame rabbit, valued at three shillings (£15 today), the property of Stephen Clifton, at Tudeley.

The prosecutor said that Mr Clifton kept the rabbit in a hutch in his garden and he had seen it safe there on the afternoon of the 19th but missed it the next day. The rabbit, produced in court, was his property. 

Mary Norton, the wife of a labourer, of Collier Street, Yalding, said that last Tuesday afternoon the prisoner offered her the rabbit for two shillings (£10) but she told him that she did not have two shillings and did not want it but afterwards gave him one shilling (£5) for it.

P.C. Millen, stationed at Yalding, said that he heard last Thursday that the prisoner had been offering a rabbit for sale and went and questioned him about it. He had taken him into custody where he admitted the offence. The prisoner, who pleaded guilty, was sentenced to one month's hard labour. 

(From the Kent and Sussex Courier)