Is it worth it for a bit of lino ?

Hertfordshire Mercury, 18th May 1918


At Hertford Borough Sessions, on the Thursday, James Upchurch of Brewhouse Lane was summoned for stealing a quantity of linoleum, the property of Mrs Martha Cartledge, valued at 30 shillings.  Mrs Cartledge, of Queens Road, said that a roll of linoleum was placed in the summer house about 6 weeks ago.  On 3rd May, Charles Smith, one of Mr Morris’ men, came to put the linoleum down, and it was missing.

The defendant had worked about half a day for her at Queens Road, about a fortnight ago, trimming some trees, and he would have had access to the shed.  Charles Smith stated that the linoleum had been prepared for laying in the hall of Mrs Cartledge’s house, and he had stored it in the summer house. It had been cut since he had last seen it.

Police Sergeant Hadder said that, on 13th May, he had seen the defendant at the Cranbourne Arms, St Andrews Street.  He called him out, but the defendant denied all knowledge of the linoleum or even going near the summer-house.  He gave the witness permission to search his lodgings, which he then did.  He said that he was glad that the matter was cleared up as far as he was concerned as he knew nothing about it.  The witness then went to the Temperance Hotel, Old Cross, and there saw Mrs Lowe who assisted in the management with her sister, Mrs Leatherland, and there saw the linoleum (produced) laid down in the bar and the kitchen.  The witness took possession of it.  In consequence of what Mrs Lowe had told him, the witness went to see Upchurch again and informed him that he had found the roll of linoleum, and would charge him with stealing it.

Miss Hilda Lowe said that the defendant had been employed to do odd jobs at the Temperance Hotel. On 4th May, he had brought a roll of linoleum which he said was for sale.  He asked 10 shillings for it, which the witness’ sister agreed to pay.

The defendant elected to have the case heard summarily, and pleaded not guilty.  He said that he went to the hotel for his dinner when he saw a man who asked him to buy the linoleum.  He then went back and saw Mrs Leatherland, and told her that he had the linoleum for sale and asked her to pay 10 shillings for it, which she agreed to pay. He took the money out to the man who gave him 2 shillings for his trouble.

The Chairman asked “Who was the man?”, and the defendant replied “God knows.  He had a white apron on”.

A fine of 50 shillings was imposed in default of 1 month’s imprisonment.

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