From the Deal, Walmer, and Sandwich Mercury,
29 May, 1872. 1d.
CRUELTY TO A CAT
William Machie a lad about 14 or 15 years of age, was summoned, upon
the information of Supt. Parker, for cruelly ill-treating and torturing
a cat at Deal on the 23rd inst.
James Sidders, landlord of the "Sir John Falstaff," public-house,
Lower Street, deposed: Between ten and eleven o'clock on Sunday night
last I was standing on my doorsteps talking to a man and his wife who
were just leaving my house, when I saw someone come round the corner
with a dog, and the dog caught a cat which was there. I sung out to the
person, "Oh! you brute; you should not do that;" and the man I was
talking to ran after the person who had the dog. (The witness
subsequently explained that he called out to the person in consequence
of hearing him clap his hands to set the dog after the cat. He did not
know the person who had the dog.)
In answer to the defendant, Mr. Sidders said he did not see him set
the dog at the cat.
Stephen Solly was next sworn. He said: On Sunday night I was in Lower
Street about 10.30 in company with a friend. As I was turning up Water
Street I saw someone with a dog, and he clapped his hands and said,
"Catch hold of it." I went up the street a little way, and as I came
back I saw a young man, whom I had previously noticed, running up Water
Street after someone else, but I don't know who it was - I could not see
as it was dark. The boy who was being chased ran into Mr. Mackie's. He
had on a white gabardine or jacket. (The Supt. Here said the witness had
told him that the boy was William Mackie, and upon Clerk questioning the
witness he said it was the defendant. He added that he did not see any
cat at the time the defendant clapped his hands, but he did see one
lying in the road afterwards with a piece out of its back. The Supt.
also said the witness voluntarily informed him who the person was who
had the dog, but Solly now stated that the police first asked him what
he knew of the transaction. Mr. W. Conley, who said he had been asked to
attend the Court by defendant's father, who was away at sea, considered
that the latter fact lessoned the value of the witness's evidence.)
In defence, Defendant said: I did not mean the dog to kill the cat,
only to chase it. The dog was a greyhound. I think the cat belonged to
Mrs. Barnes. I was out giving the dog a run before going to bed.
In answer to the Mayor, the Supt said he saw the cat some little time
after the occurrence, and he ordered it to be killed as its back was
broken and it was otherwise much injured. The Supt also stated, in
answer to another question, that he believed this was not the first
complaint that had been made against the defendant, as Mr. Sidders and
Mrs. Barnes had said they had heard he had done something similar
Both the parties referred to were present, and upon being questioned,
Mrs. Barnes said she had merely heard some boys who used her shop say
that this was not the defendant's first offence, and Mr. Sidders said he
personally knew nothing of the matter.
Mr. Ricard, the head master of the Wesleyan Day School, spoke to the
defendant's general character, the latter having been in the school some
three years, and stated that he had never known him to be guilty of a
cruel act in the playground.
The Magistrates deliberated for a short time, when the Mayor
announced that they had decided, under all the circumstances, not to
record a conviction against the defendant, but to let him off by payment
of the costs and the summons, in all, 12s. 6d.
The money was at once paid.