Wm Yorath – Sheep Stealing

14th April 1877

Alleged Extensive Sheep Stealing

Wm. Yorath, a farmer who lives at Goytre was charged with stealing 20 sheep, the property of Benjamin James, Llanover Upper, and two belonging to John James of Goytre.

The sheep having been missed, Pc Allen, stationed at Llanover, made enquiries and traced the flock to Cardiff. There he recovered 13 alive and accounted for eight carcasses, but one sheep was not traced. Yorath, who is an elderly man, was then taken into custody.

Prisoner was remanded until today (Friday) when there will be a special petty sessions to hear the case.


21st April 1877

Sheep Stealing

William Yorath was charges with stealing 20 sheep, the property of Benjamin James, parish of Llanover Upper, and two sheep, the property of John James, parish of Goytre.

Mr Greenway appeared for the defence.

Benjamin James deposed that he was a farmer, living in the parish of Llanover Upper; on the 1st instant he missed sheep from the mountain near Blaenafon; he lost 20 sheep; from information he received he went to Cardiff and there found 13 sheep in the possession of Richard Dare, butcher; 13 of these belonged to the prosecutor and 2 to his brother; they were the same sheep he had missed from the mountain;

Pc Allen had showed prosecutor 7 skins from the sheep Friday (same day) and he identified 6 of them belonging to his sheep and one to his brother; the skins belonging to the sheep he had missed off the mountain.

Cross examined by Mr Greenway: John James was his brother-in-law; prosecutor owned 200 sheep and John 50; they ran together on the mountain; He last saw the sheep on the mountain to count them on the 25th March; the sheep had wandered sometimes but generally came back, all the 150 sheep that prosecutor owned were not on the mountain, some were down on the “flat”; his brother and prosecutor marked their sheep “BJ”.but his brother’s punch holes were different.

John James, Goytre, deposed that he saw the sheep safe on the mountain on the 25th March; on April the 1st he missed them; two of the sheep brought to him by his brother he knew as his; there was another sheep missing; the skin of which he recognised amongst those shown to him by P.c. Allen;

Henry Johns, son of a farmer living at Goytre, deposed that he remembered March 25th between 8 and 9 o’clock, on that night he saw prisoner come out of a wood near the New Barn Farm, and going onto the turnpike road; he had a flock of sheep with him; he did not count them; prisoner told him he was taking them to Mr James’s, Goytre House,; there was a good flock but he did not count them; prisoner lived on a little farm near witness’s; the sheep were going in the direction of Goytre House.

John Williams deposed he lived between the Half-way and Nightingale in the parish of Goytre; on Friday March 30th between 5.30 and 5.45 am he saw prisoner driving a flock of sheep along the road; understood them to be mountain sheep; prisoner was going towards Pontypool and he walked with him as far as Mamhilad; prisoner said he was driving them to Usk Road; he had them past Mr James’s house.

Richard Dare, butcher, Cardiff said that on 31st ult he bought 21 sheep off prisoner; he sold 3 and killed 5 himself; paid £14 for the sheep; gave Mr Blaiberg the Jew £11 and handed the balance £3 to the prisoner; before he bought the sheep he asked young Blaiberg he if knew the prisoner and he said “yes, he knowed the gentleman and it was alright and he, (witness) was to tell Newman, the detective it was alright.”

Sold the skins to Messrs Hall, Reynolds & Co., fellmongers, Cardiff, sold 3 of the sheep to Mr Wynne, butcher and the remaining 13 were put late in the field, and handed over to Pc Allen when he came to witness.

Cross-examined by Mr Greenway: Knew Blaiberg by sight; and that was quite enough for witness; went to Blaiberg first because prisoner said Blaiberg had a bill of sale on his property and that the sheep were to be sold on account to pay him money of this bill;

Understood that £11 was £5 interest for last month and £6 for this month; gave the £3 balance to the prisoner; and he handed back 1s for luck; the skins produced by the policeman bore his mark.

Charles Wynne, butcher, Cardiff deposed that he bought 3 sheep off the last witness; the skins now produced he could swear to.

James Davies, in the employ of Messrs Hall, Reynolds & Co., said that the skins produced and handed over to the police were received by him from Richard Dare.

Henry Lyndley, foreman to Messrs Hall, Reynolds & Co., gave corroborative evidence.

Ebenezer Hales, foreman to Mr Ballard, fellmonger, proved that certain skins which he had handed over to the policeman had been sold to him by Wynne.


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