Chesterfield Outrage - Miners Charged with Maiming Animals

Atrocious conduct by three Chesterfield miners was alleged at Derby Assizes to-day (Wednesday) when Patrick Connolly (37), John Diskin (27), and Patrick Flaherty (28), were charged with maiming seven pigs and killing a dog, the property of Martha Mills, licensee of the Fountain Inn, Saltergate, Chesterfield.

It was alleged that, visiting pigsties on Brimington-road on the night of May 24, they killed a dog which had been chained to its kennel by passing a pick through its body four times, stabbing it in the head, and then pinning it to the ground, partly cut off the ear of one pig, and inflicted one slash each on two other pigs. These animals, together with four others, which were found dazed and weak, were subsequently slaughtered. Examination of the carcases showed that four of the pigs had been stabbed all over the body. A hayfork with one prong badly bent and a large pocket-knife were discovered in the sties, which latter were besmeared with blood.

The chief witness for the prosecution was a labourer named Shaw, who declared that, attracted by squeal, he went to the sties with two other men, and climbing the wall saw prisoners, all three of whom he had known for several years. At that time Diskin was "jabbing" at the dog kennel, in which the dog was howling.

An alibi was set up in defence, prisoners swearing that they were at home when the crime was committed, and calling relatives and friends in support of the assertion.

Prisoners were found guilty, and were each sentenced to three years' penal servitude, Mr Justice Avery remarking that it was a most brutal and revolting case of cruelty.

The Derby Daily Telegraph, Wednesday June 22nd 1921

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