James Arnott of the 12th East Surrey Regiment was charged with stealing three blankets and a tea cosy, value 15s 6d. He had originally given his name to the court as James Harrison.
The prisoner had come to Glebe Cottages, Hatfield, on 12th January asking for board and lodging for three days. This was agreed. He had breakfast, slept till noon, went out, and returned at 10 p.m. He had supper and went to bed. Mrs Roberts, however, the wife of the owner, heard him moving around his room. She came out of her room, asked him to be quiet, and then returned to her bed. 5 or 10 minutes later, she heard someone going downstairs. On going down, she found that the prisoner had left the house. She went for the police. On returning home, she found that three blankets, and one tea cosy, were missing. She later identified the man then held at the police station.
PC Spencer said that, on investigating after the receipt of information, he had gone to Hertford railway station where he had seen the defendant approximately 100 yards north of the platform, talking to a guard. He told the defendant that he was investigating the matter of stolen blankets and, on searching the defendant, the Constable found not just the three blankets but also 2 gentlemen’s watches, 1 ladies’ watch, a pair of ladies’ shoes, 4 latch-keys, 1 magnifying glass, 1 pair of spectacles, 1 razor, 1 x £1 note, 5 x 10s notes, and 7s 1d in cash. The prisoner had smelt strongly of drink.
The magistrates remanded the prisoner in custody.