Destitute Persons Act 1846/Section 4

Persons deserting their wives or children to be liable to penalties.

4.Every person who shall unlawfully and without reasonable cause for so doing desert his wife, or who shall unlawfully desert any of his children under the age of fourteen years, and shall leave such wife or children without means of support, shall for every such offence forfeit and pay any sum not exceeding five pounds for the first offence and any sum not exceeding ten pounds for a second or subsequent offence, to be recovered in a summary way. And it shall be lawful for any two Justices at their discretion to order any person so convicted also to pay towards the support of his wife or children, as the case may be, such sum of money at a rate not exceeding twenty shillings per week to such persons at such times and in such manner as the convicting Justices may direct.

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