Alleged burglary at St Margaretsbury

Hertfordshire Mercury, 15th May 1915


At Ware Petty Sessions Joseph William Blackwell (28), of 63 Arlington Road, Camden Town, was charged with burglary at the residence of Mr Septimus Croft, St Margaretsbury, on May 7.

Inspector Moles said that on Saturday, the 8th inst., about 7.30 a.m., he received certain information, in consequence of which he went to St Margaretsbury and examined the downstairs portion of the house, which had been entered and was in great disorder.  He found the building had been apparently entered by windows in the drawing room and dining room.  At noon the same day he was handed by Supt Handley a small book (produced), and he made inquiries and traced the ownership of the book.  He went to London and arrested the defendant at 3 Arlington Street, Camden Town.  On his person he found a small Georgian scent box (produced) among other things.  On a bicycle in the house was a brown bag (produced) containing a chisel and other things.  The defendant made no reply to the charge.

PC Field said that on May 8 at 7.15 a.m. he received information that a robbery had been committed at St Margaretsbury.  Later in the morning he went to St Margaret’s Church, and found a window on the west side of the church had been broken, and a small wooden missionary box, which was broken open, was lying on the ground.  On a further search near the window he found a small note book containing certain entries, which he handed to Supt Handley.

Mr Septimus Croft said that the maids reported to him about 6.45 a.m. on Saturday morning that the rooms were in disorder.  He went down and found a robbery had been committed.  The writing tables and drawers had been opened and papers were lying about the room, and certain articles had been stolen.  He missed the little silver Georgian box, which was kept in the drawing room.

The  defendant said the only way he could account for the book being lost was that he had lent his suit to a chap on Friday at dinner time, who said he was going into the country to seek a situation.  The bag belonged to him, but the things in it did not.  The little box he bought on the Sunday, together with the other things.  There were two bicycles, both of which he bought.

Supt Handley said: ‘If the defendant gives me the name of the person he lent the suit to and bought the things of I will make inquiries’.

The defendant said: ‘George Robinson, of Rowton House’.

The Chairman asked: ‘You don’t know him?’ and the defendant replied: ‘Not a great deal’.  The Chairman said: ‘And you lent him your suit?’.  The defendant replied: ‘In that suit I must have left my pocket book’.

On the application of Supt Handley, the defendant was remanded for a week.

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