A charge of stealing corn

Hertfordshire Mercury, 27th November 1915


At Hertford Borough Sessions on Friday, Henry Evans and Arthur Livings, carmen in the employ of Messrs A. McMullen & Co. Ltd., seed merchants, were charged with stealing a sack of wheat valued at 25 shillings, the property of their employers, on November 18.

PS Wright stated that at 3.30 the previous afternoon he received information that a sack of corn had been stolen from Messrs McMullen and Co.  He made inquiries, and went to the Great Northern Tavern, Cowbridge, and saw the licensee, Mr G. R. Martin, who made a statement to him.  He then went into the stable, where he saw about four bushels of mixed corn in a  tub and about another bushel in a sack.  He took possession of the corn, and now produced a sample of it.  Mr Percy Medcalf, Messrs McMullen & Co.’s manager, was with him at the time and identified the corn.  The witness later saw Evans in Fore Street and apprehended him.

When charged Evans said: ‘I am not going to be brought in alone; Livings is as bad as me.’  He afterwards saw Livings, and he made the following statement: ‘I was going up the road to dinner and Evans whistled me back.  He said: ‘Shall we have a sack of wheat and take it up to Martin’s?’  I went with him to get it out at the back of the shop and rode with him in the cart to Martin’s.  I helped him to shoot the corn into Martin’s tub.  Martin’s boy got the tub ready and told us where to put it.  I then went into the house with Evans.  Martin came out of the kitchen, and Evans told him that he had brought a sack of wheat and that it was 6 shilllings.  Martin gave me the 6 shillings and I gave Evans half of it.’  The witness then read the statement over to Evans, and he said: ‘That’s quite right.’

Mr Percy Medcalf, a director of Messrs A. McMullen and Co., stated that on the previous day he reported to the police that a sack of wheat had been stolen from the firm’s warehouse in the Wash.  He accompanied PS Wright to Martin’s, taking with him a sample of the wheat, and identified that which was in Martin’s stable.  He knew it because it had an admixture of clover seed with it.  It got mixed when the building fell in on October 13.  The warehouse was locked during the dinner hour, but he found on examination that the stable where the doors were locked had been forced out, thus giving access to the corn.  Evans had been with the firm 14 years and Livings 6.  The firm had missed a lot of stuff lately.

Mr Thomas Albert King, of 120 Bengeo Street, an assistant in the seed shop, said that he was on his way home to dinner at 1.15 and when near Mr Harry William’s shop on Old Cross he saw the defendants driving into the Great Northern Tavern yard.  Evans was driving and Livings sat on the tailboard.  There was a sack full of something lying in the bottom of the cart.  When he got back from dinner he reported the matter to Mr Medcalf.

The defendants were remanded until Thursday, bail being allowed.


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