Did the shame of stealing 6 eggs lead to the attempted suicide ?

Hertfordshire Mercury, 20th April 1918


At Hatfield Petty Sessions, Eleanor Chalkley (46), a domestic servant, of Ashwell, formerly in the employ of Mr T.W. Bennett of Gordon House, Fore Street, Hatfield, as a cook, was summoned for stealing eggs belonging to her employer.

Superintendent Peck said that he had used a report from the Superintendent of Police at Hitchin advising that the defendant had cut her throat on Sunday and that it would be 5 or 6 weeks before she would be able to come into Court.  Mr G. Passingham, a solicitor of Hitchin, said that he was instructed to appear on behalf of this woman, and late on the Sunday a message reached him from the police that his client had attempted suicide.

Mr Bennett said that he did not wish to press the case, and asked the magistrate to allow him to withdraw it.  The Clerk said “You offer no evidence?”, and Mr Bennett replied “No.”  One of the Magistrates asked “Have we the power?”.  After deliberating privately, the Chairman announced that the case would adjourned until 13th May.

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