Milk ‘of poor quality’ was allegedly sold

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1913 Court

At the Borough Police Court today, Edmund Leng, 149, Victoria Road, was summoned for having sold to James Bastiman, inspector of nuisances, on June 9th, one pint of milk which was not of the nature, substance, and quality 

Mr Bastiman gave evidence as to his buying the milk from the defendant’s son in Gladstone Road.

Mr J Whitfield, who appeared for the defendant, said that the Board of Agriculture’s standard or percentage of solids, not fat, was 8.5, and the percentage of fat, according to the standard, was 3; in this case the percentage of fat was 2.89, only .11 below the standard. The percentage of solids was 7.72, only .78 below the 8.5 standard. The Board of Agriculture recognised that milk below the standard may not necessarily have been tampered with, and if the defendant could prove that the milk, as he sold it, was as it came from the cow, he could claim to be dismissed.

The milk in question had been procured from four different sources – from small farmers in the district. The milk taken from the four farmers he placed in one large churn. The defendant had not taken the milk he got at Seamer indoors; he had met his son in Seamer Road, and had given him the milk to sell, and had not the opportunity to tamper with it.

John Halder, Seamer, said he had supplied milk to Mr Leng for a number of years. The cows were milked in his presence, and as far as he was concerned it came direct from the cow. At present his cows were being fed on soft turnips, and he thought that this and the time of the year were 
responsible for the quality of the milk. Similar evidence was also given by Messrs. Henry Smith Atkinson, Wood, and Taylor, Seamer.

The defendant, in the box, said that he put the milk into a large 50 gallon churn, and he supplied the milk to his son on Seamer Road exactly in the condition it was supplied to him (the defendant). There was no milk in his son’s can to which the milk was added.

Charles Leng, son of defendant, also gave evidence.

Mr Bastiman, in the box, said that he met defendant in Westborough, and he asked witness how the sample had turned out. Witness replied “badly”. The defendant said that milk was scarce and they had to get it from anywhere in reply to a question put by witness. The defendant said he was sorry and hoped he (Mr Bastiman) would do his best and get him off.

Defendant denied making this statement.

The Chairman said that from the analysis Mr Bastiman was fully justified in the action he had taken, but there was the fact that the evidence for the defence was uncontradicted and the magistrates would dismiss the case.