West Briton, 20 October 1843


JOSEPH COCKING, 34, was charged with having stolen an iron crock and an earthenware tea-pot, at Calstock, on the 29th of August, the articles being, with others, under distress, for a balance of GBP2.10s.10d. for rent, due from the prisoner to prosecutor, RICHARD DOIDGE. The case having been heard, Mr. BENNALLACK for the prisoner, objected to the form of the indictment, on the ground that there was no proof of ownership in the party whose property the articles were alleged to be. The indictment contained two counts; one laying the property in the prosecutor, as landlord; the other, in the constable who made the levy. Mr. Bennallack contended that the property, although seized under the distraint, remained in the tenant until the sale took place, and therefore not being in the custody of the law, the indictment could not be sustained. The Court determined that the objection was fatal, and directed an Acquittal