A Painter’s Grief

Although proudly confirming he had never been in court before, William Lang, a Blantyre painter seemed to have prepared and knew all about court proceedings and workings.

It was June 1908 and William was charged with having been found hopelessly drunk on the evening of Wednesday 3rd June 1908 at the tram car terminus. He immediately pled guilty in this short court case, but the transcript is interesting and made the newspaper.

Judge Simpson: “Are you in the habit of getting drunk?”

William Lang: “If I was, surely I’d be better known in here.” came the reply.

Judge Simpson: “Was there any disorder?”

Fiscal acting for William :” No, he was beyond that stage and capability.”

Judge Simpson: “It is unacceptable to be so intoxicated that one cannot walk or be aware of ones own surroundings and…”

William Lang, “Sir, if I can explain…”

Judge Simpson: “AND it is distressing for all around you to witness such debauchery, unable to rise from the pavement.”

William Lang: “I had just learned of the news of the death of my son and was upset. I am merely giving a statement of fact. If you cannot give me the benefit of the First Offenders Act, perhaps you will impose a considered, modified penalty and I have 10 shillings or so here with me today, recognising it won’t happen again.”

William was fined 5 shillings or 3 days imprisonment.

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  1. Sounds like a real and proper character!

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