Give him the sack !

Hertfordshire Mercury, 16th December 1916



At Ware Police Court, Private David George Goodman of the Army Service Corps, at Ware Station, was charged with stealing five sacks, to the value of 7 shillings and 6 pence, the property of the Secretary of State for War.  Lt A W Impey, in charge of the depot, prosecuted.

Staff Sergeant Whiteman, also of the ASC, and also engaged at the forage stores at Ware Station, said that on December 6th., at 4.30 p.m., he had had Goodman under observation and had dismissed his other men for the day.  He had found that a bag that he had placed in a certain position had gone missing and, as some other bags had also been reported as missing, for a number of weeks, he had his suspicions.  He followed and overtook Goodman who then produced a bag from under his coat.  The Staff Sergeant reported the matter to Lt Impey and, at 7.30 p.m., four more bags were shown him by a Police Sergeant.

Police Sergeant Firth stated that at 6.30 p.m. on 6th December he had gone to the house of Mrs Emma Matthews, of Mount Street, and had there found three sacks used as floor coverings and one as a window blind.  At 8.30 that evening he arrested Goodman who, in response to the charge, said “I’ll say nothing.  I’ll defend myself.  If other people take stuff can I make a charge against them ?”  On 8th December, Firth recovered two more sacks.  Goodman had billeted at Mrs Matthews’ house.  Sgt Impey, cross-examining Mrs Matthews who had been called as a witness, asked her how she had got the bags.  She said that Goodman had asked if she could do with any.  She didn’t know they had been stolen, and she had given Goodman two pence for them.

Mrs Charville, of the Malakoff Public House, said that her little boy had come home with his apron torn, and that a soldier had told him that he would get him a bag to make him an apron, which he did, and she had given the soldier three pence for two sacks.

Supt Handley reported that Goodman had joined up in 1915, and was 46 years of age.  He had been a fancy leather worker, and had a good character.

The Bench said that they had decided to convict and thus a fine of 30 shillings was imposed.

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