Letter of the law - petty sessions

Hertfordshire Mercury, 29th September 1906



William Henry Knowles, a tailor, of Hatfield, was charged on remand with stealing a registered letter containing £9 15s.11d. at Hatfield on September 8th, and Walter Smalley, of Hatfield, was now also charged with the same offence.

Mr D.A. Stroud appeared to prosecute for the Postmaster General. The evidence given at the previous hearings was read over. P.C. Young now stated that he apprehended Smalley at 7.15 p.m. on Monday last in consequence of a statement made by Knowles. He read this statement to him and Smalley replied “I never had no money, I never had a ha’penny”.

Henry Hooper, Viaduct Villas, Park Street, stated that on September 8th he saw the two prisoners at about 7 a.m. together in the road. Smalley was looking over the other’s shoulder and Knowles was looking at some papers. Knowles dropped something and picked it up and put it in his pocket. Smalley denied that he had anything to do with the letter, and said he knew nothing about it at all. Smalley was discharged. Knowles elected to have the case settled at once and pleaded guilty, and added “I found the letter and the money I had is in the hands of the police; the other £5 is in the hands of Walter Smalley”.

In consideration of Knowles having been in prison some little time, The Bench sentenced him to 14 days’ hard labour.


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