A ‘POSSUM IN A POLICE COURT
JAMES PAGET was summoned at Worship-street Police-court on Wednesday for detaining an opossum belonging to James Williams. The defendant admitted that he had kept the animal, and produced a large rat-trap, in which he had caught it. He said he had caught it in his house after it had been running about at night, frightening his wife and damaging his property, and he thought he had a right to be paid for the damage it had done. Mr. Cooke said he could sue for the damage, but must give up the animal. The defendant then offered the complainant the animal, but insisted that it should be taken out of the trap, which he refused to lend to carry it home in. The complainant objected to take the animal out with his hands, as there was danger that it would escape into the Court. Mr. Cooke then said that the defendant would have been justified in destroying the animal when he caught it, and the complainant could not have complained. If he would keep half-wild, strange animals, he must take better care of them. He made an order for its return to the complainant, and said the defendant must take it home and safely deliver it.
The Illustrated Police News, Saturday 16 September 1876