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John Meads 2016
Chapel-goers Aquitted

Baptist chapel
The Baptist Chapel where the accused
practised for the Sunday School anniversary

Kettering Petty Sessions Wednesday, June 12 from the Northampton Mercury 16 June 1861

Burton Lattimer -  Charles Fox and John Stokes, respectable looking youths, were charged with having on Sunday evening the 9th inst. wilfully done certain damage to an un-tenanted dwelling house belonging to Mr Harper by throwing stones on the roof

Thomas Burnaby said he was a carpenter and joiner residing at Burton Lattimer.  About a quarter past eight on Sunday night last he saw the two defendants throwing stones onto the roof of a house belonging to Mr Harper, now standing empty.  It was sufficiently light for him to identify defendants, and was sure they were throwing stones where he had stated. 
William Linnell said he was a farmer at Burton Lattimer and agent for Mr Harper.  The house in question he had put in repairs and the tiles were put on in thorough order last week.  On Monday morning he found the tiles much broken.  The workmen about the premises told him there was a scuttle-full of stones on the ground, which had fallen from the roof of the house.  Should imagine the damage done to the tiles was at least four shillings.  Several panes in the windows were also broken.

Defendants said they were perfectly innocent of the charge, and would bring a witness to prove them so.  William Neil said that about five on Sunday afternoon last, as he stood by his door, Stokes and Fox came up to him, and they all three went to the Baptist Chapel together.  After evening service they stayed to practice singing pieces for the forthcoming Sunday School anniversary, until about a quarter to nine, and was sure they did not leave chapel until that time.  When they left chapel they went for a walk together, and about nine all three went home.

The Magistrates said they always made a point of giving the defendant the benefit of a doubt, and they should therefore, discharge the defendants.

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