At seven o’clock, on Friday 2nd May 1873, William Bell, a shepherd, employed by David Jones, a butcher trading from Wrexham High Street, went to check on the flock of sheep kept in a field in Rhosddu, Wrexham.
He saw John Penlington, of Chester Street, Wrexham bent over a ewe. William Bell asked John Penlington what he was doing. John Penlington replied that he thought that the ewe was either dead or dying.
William Bell then noticed that John Penlington had a knife in his hand and that there was a lot of blood. When William Bell picked up the ewe, he found that it was bleeding. It had been cut in two places under the left ear.
William Bell told John Penlington that he had no right to be in the field. John Penlington then confessed to William Bell telling him that it was his first offence and that he hoped that he would forgive him.
William Bell took John Penlington to the home of David Jones, the owner of the ewe. David Jones accused John Penlington of “sticking” (stabbing) the ewe. John Penlington again pleaded for forgiveness, and also again said that it was his first offence, and that he would never do it again.
On Monday 5th May 1873, John Penlington appeared before the Wrexham Court charged with sheep stealing. He was fined £4 13s 6d and 6s 6d costs, or alternatively, he had the option of serving two months imprisonment with hard labour.
Source: Victorian Criminal Cases: The Wrexham Area ©2013 Wayne Piotr Cronin-Wojdat of Historical Gems.