EVESHAM. – EXTRAORDINARY CASE OF ARSON.
TAYLOR, Thomas, 36, a decently-attired person, described in the calendar as a butcher and farmer, was arraigned on three indictments charging him with setting fire to stacks of wheat and straw at Badsey and Wickhamford, on 3rd and 4th December last.
The prosecution was not able to offer any evidence tending directly to fix the guilt of the accused, other facts of a circumstantial character would lead to a conviction. The first fire was at Mr. Applebee’s farm (at the Silk Mills) at about seven in the evening of 3rd December. Half an hour later a second blaze was found on the premises of Mr. Wilson. These were extinguished when a third blaze occurred at Mr. Taylor’s at Wickhamford (the prisoner’s uncle). The accused had publicly stated his determination to burn the village from one end to the other. Numerous witnesses gave evidence at to the whereabouts of Taylor at the time of the fires, his drunken condition and his various threats. The jury returned a verdict of “Not guilty” after a case which lasted nearly seven hours. The judge warned Taylor about his future life and the necessity of reforming his drunken habits. The full report covered two and a half columns in the newspaper.