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Joseph Emmerson charged with killing a duck (1875)

The Bury and Norwich Post, and Suffolk Herald.

July 20, 1875.

CHARGE OF KILLING A DUCK. - Two little boys, about ten years of age, named Robert Coates and Joseph Emerson, of Fornham All Saints, were charged with wilfully killing a duck, the property of Mr Robert Raynbird, of Hengrave, by throwing a stone at it, on the 11th inst. - The lads, who appeared with their mothers, in answer to the charge pleaded guilty. - In reply to the Bench, the prosecutor said he should not have brought the case forward only he had so frequently lost ducks in this manner, and only about a month since he had killed one in the same way. The defendants were employed by a gang-master, and he thought perhaps they might have been led on by older boys to commit the act. He did not think they were old enough to go to work, and ought to be at school. - The mothers of the boys said there was no school in the parish, and they had tried in vain to get the boys into a school in the town. - The Chairman said the Bench were obliged to take notice of a case of this sort, for it was one of sheer mischief. The sentence of the Court was that each of them receive three strokes of the birch rod, which the Bench hoped would be sufficient punishment to deter them from committing a similar offence again.

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