A Hoddesdon theft

Hertfordshire Mercury, 28th August 1926


George M. Barton (21), a grocer’s assistant, of no fixed abode,  was charged with stealing an attaché case and its contents,  together valued at £ 9  2s. 9d , the property of George Henry Willesden, a grocer’s assistant, of 67 Amwell Street, Hoddesdon.

Complainant said that on Thursday , August 12 , they went to the Coffee Tavern , in High Street , Hoddesdon. The prisoner was lodging in the next room to witness.  On August 14 witness changed his lodgings and left this attaché case and its contents at the foot of the stairs. It contained a camera, a suit of clothes, and other articles to the value of £9 2s. 9d. Witness left the case at 12.30 p.m. , and missed it when he called at 10 o’clock that evening. He informed the Police and on August 15 his case was brought back and prisoner was charged. Prisoner elected to be dealt with summarily and pleaded guilty.

Annie Winnell, Coffee Tavern, Hoddesdon, said on August 14 prisoner took his own attaché case and Willesden’s away .

PS A. Camp, Hoddesdon, said that on August 15 he saw the prisoner at the New River Bridge, Stanstead Abbots.  Prisoner admitted that he was at the Coffee Tavern, Hoddesdon until Saturday.  When charged at the Police Station he said,   ” There in nothing to say until the proceedings. They would have been returned but I was unable to keep the appointment.”   When his property was searched a pawn ticket relating to the camera was found and the witness recovered the camera from a Tottenham pawnbroker.  The attaché case and other property was also found.

Prisoner said when he took the attaché case away he intended to return it .

Supt West said prisoner was bound over only a month ago for stealing a cycle at Wealdstone and a warrant had been issued by the Probation Officer for his arrest for breach of recognizances.  Prisoner had also stolen a suit-case from a hotel in London and money from residents there.  The suit he was wearing had been handed to him to be cleaned, but he stole it and the money to pay for it. The Wealdstone Bench asked that this should be taken into consideration.

The Wealdstone Probation Officer said that on July 20 the prisoner was bound over for stealing a bicycle and placed on probation for one year. Witness got him into a home and he stayed there one week. A friend then got him work in a hotel in Bedford Place.  He was there until August 13 when he left, taking a quantity of clothing as described.  He did not wish to be hard, but he must state that through prisoners behaviour ten hotels had been closed to them as a means of employment for probationers.

The Chairman said this was a very mean theft.  Prisoner had had every chance, and the Bench would take into consideration his record. He would be sentenced to six months’ hard labour.


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