Who was he? And what was he doing in Wales.
Police Notices and Court Appearances
At the Winter Assizes, Oxford Circuit, Monmouth, December 7 before Mr. Justice Willes.
"William WINGETT, 44, a ship carpenter, was charged with feloniously setting fire to a stack of oat straw, the property of Thomas POWELL, at St. Mellons, on the 5th November, 1861.
Mr. Granville SOMERSET conducted the prosecution; the prisoner was undefended by counsel.
It appeared that at 12 o'clock on the day in question the prisoner was seen coming along the high road, near which the prosecutor's stack was on fire. He was stopped and taken into custody by two men named William and James WATTS, and on his person were found some matches, and there were traces of footmarks leading across the filed from and to the stack. On the prisoner's boots there was a mixture of oat and what chaff, similar to what was lying about near the rick. On being charged with setting fire to the rick the prisoner made several contradictory statements; but there was not motive suggested for the commission of the crime. In the result, the jury found him Guilty.
Mr. Justice WILLES said it was necessary to pass a severe sentence in a case like the present, for otherwise some other wicked men, when they heard of what the prisoner had done, would go and commit similar crimes. His Lordship then sentenced the prisoner to seven years' penal servitude, and awarded the sum of 5l. to be divided between the two brothers who took the prisoner into custody as a token of his approbation of their praiseworthy conduct."
- The Times, 19th December, 1861, page 9 col d.