OVERTON (Peet) v. MOODY Jfr. Mellor, Q.C., and Jfr. Boden were for the plaintiff, and Serjt Miller for the defendant.
The action was one of trespass, the defendant having broken a fence at Skegness on the property occupied the plaintiff.
It appeared that it is common for the occupiers and owners of land near the sea-side to open coal-yards, upon which those who unladen coal deposit it, and certain sum per chaldron is charged for the use of the land.
Sea shingle is deposited in the same way.
For access to the yards, there are roads across the land, and these it seemed are often used by fishermen when they afford a short cut down to the sea.
In this case, one of these roads over private property had been stopped up, and the defendant took down the obstructing fence.
The evidence went to show that the road used to locked up, that a certain sum was charged for the deposit of the coal and shingle on the land, and certain sum for the use of the road in carrying it away; that the fishermen made presents of fish to the owners or occupiers; and therefore their use of these roads was often permitted, was proved that people had been turned back and refused the use of these roads.
The Judge said it was a great pity that a poor fisherman was not better employed than in incurring expense in such a case as this.
He tried just such case when at Lincoln before.
It was to be regretted that the poor fellow should be brought here to try a case in which he could have no interest.
It was then consented that the plaintiff should take verdict for 1s., and forego the costs.— The Judge: ” What is he fighting for, and what would he gain if he succeeded This poor man stands forward as the champion of the public,”— Verdict for the plaintiff—damages.
Source: Stamford Mercury – Friday 04 March 1853