Breaking and entering repetitively clearly doesn't pay

Hertfordshire Mercury, 13th April 1918


At Herts Quarter Sessions, George Clues (45), a fireman, was charged with breaking and entering the office of the Bishop’s Stortford Industrial Co-operative Society and stealing six pennyworth of postage stamps, and further with having in his possession a jemmy on 31st March.

He pleaded guilty.

Mr J.H. Murphy, for the prosecution, said that at 3.30 a.m. on Easter Sunday, there being no air raid on, a Constable patrolling found the defendant ‘taking cover’ outside a jeweller’s shop.  He went through the defendant’s clothing and found a jemmy in his possession.  He also had a pair of cotton gloves which were useful for preventing the detection of finger prints.  There were also some stamps on the defendant.

The policeman took the defendant to the Police Station and, on Monday morning, he was remanded by one of the Justices.

On the Tuesday morning when the shops were opened, it was found that at some time after Saturday night these premises had been broken into with violence and the marks were identical with the implement found on the defendant.  Stamps were missed from the premises.  Mr Murphy read out a long list of previous convictions, several for shop breaking.

Mr St John Morrow, for the defence, said that in view of the defendant’s record, it was difficult to put his case in a favourable light, but he called attention to the fact that his last conviction was in 1915, and that since then he had endeavoured to lead an honest life.

A sentence of 12 months’ hard labour was imposed.

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