An Essex Justice Charged with Drunkenness

Essex County Chronicle - Friday June 3, 1898

Friday June 3, 1898


At the Colchester Borough Police-court yesterday, Capt. Edward Brett, gentleman, of Wakes Colne, a Justice of the Peace for Essex belonging to the Lexden and Winstree Bench, was summoned for being drunk while in charge of a horse and carriage in Greenstead-road, Colchester, on May 22nd.

Mr. H. W. Jones defended.

The evidence for the prosecution showed that at about six o'clock on the Sunday evening in question, defendant was stopped by some cyclists as he was driving along and was lying over the back of the seat with his head on the back board of the cart. Two men, named Halls and Johnson, having ascertained from him that he wanted to go "anywhere in High-street," drove him to the Sea Horse-yard, Halls holding him up on the way. At the yard, through being unable to sit up, he...


...and go to bed, but urged that he could drive as well as he could. A crowd assembled, and P.c. Bunker came up. He described defendant's state as "helplessly drunk," and, as he still refused to get out, the constable, for defendant's own safety, took him to the Police-station. It took him all his time, the policeman said, to hold defendant up on the way, and at the station he was got out of the cart with difficulty. Dr. Maybury, the police-surgeon, was sent for, and after putting a number of questions to defendant and getting confused answers, asked him to walk across the room. He...


...and had to be held up by policemen. In reply to the doctor he said he had not been medically attended for years and seemed to attribute his condition to being stopped by some cyclists. He smelt of drink, and the doctor gave it as his opinion that, while not in the state known as "dead drunk," he was unfit to drive. Dr. Addison, a friend of defendant's, who was sent for, also said he would not let him drive him, and defendant was eventually sent home in a cab.

In reply to Mr. Jones, Dr. Maybury said that the variety and not the quantity of stimulants taken might overwhelm a man in the open air, and if he were subject to epileptic fits he would be the more susceptible.

For the defence it was urged that Capt. Brett had lately been...


...and that on the Sunday in question he drove to Brightlingsea Hall, the residence of Mr. John Bateman, J.P., where he arrived looking unwell. At luncheon he had a share of a bottle of champagne, which was divided between three, and half a glass of port, and, instead of taking tea, had two whiskies and sodas. The suggestion was that the ride in the cold air, in his state of health, resulted in his being overcome, and Mr. Bateman stated that he showed no signs of intoxication on leaving for home.

The case was adjourned until tomorrow (Saturday) for evidence as to defendant's state of health.