‘Theft from neighbour most despicable’ – says Magistrate
Hertfordshire Mercury, 13th April 1951
” I am taking a more lenient view than perhaps I should because I want to give you the opportunity to pull yourself together and to go straight from now on . You will go to prison for six months . ” said acting chairman Col Foster-Greenwood at Much Hadham Magistrates’ Court on Saturday , to Harold Cornell , a 35 year-old factory hand of The Elms , Wareside.
Cornell pleaded guilty to stealing at Much Hadham on March 24 , one coat , valued at £7 , and one pair of gloves , valued at 10 shillings , the property of Evelyn M. Jordan ; one coat , valued at £7 10 shillings , the property of Angela Spurr ; stealing one lady’s coat valued at £4 , the property of Ellen Larsen .
Miss Angela Spurr , of 34 Beaconsfield Road , Hatfield , said she attended a dance in the Village Hall , Much Hadham , on March 24 . She put her coat in the cloakroom , and when she went for it at midnight it had gone .
Evidence of their leaving their coats in the cloakroom and then finding them missing after the dance was given by Miss Ellen Lilli Larsen , of Brands Farm , Much Hadham , and Miss Evelyn Mary Jordan , of Riverside , Waterford .
P.c. G. Brain said he interviewed defendant , who at first denied any knowledge of the coats , but later he said he was in the village on the night . He waited about outside the Village Hall , walked through the village , and then caught a bus to Wareside.
Subsequently , Cornell made a statement in which he said that he took three coats ” for a joke ” . He then caught a bus to Wareside .The statement added ” I put them behind a hedge and have not seen them since . “
P.c. Brain said one coat was found abandoned in Kettle Green Lane , Much Hadham .
Inspector B. Childs said Cornell had one previous conviction , for larceny . Cornell was also asking for another case to be taken into consideration – the case of stealing clothing from Reeves Green Cottage , Wareside , between October 11 and 15 , 1950 .
In sentencing Cornell , Col Foster-Greenwood said , ” Larceny from your neighbours is the most despicable offence . Honesty between neighbours is the basis of law and order in this country of which England is so proud . “