A man who preferred to go to prison

Hertfordshire Mercury, 14th December 1907


At the Ware Police Court on Tuesday morning, before Mr A. L. Ashwell ( in the chair) and Mr H.P. Croft, a labourer giving the name of Ernest Crisp, of no fixed abode, was charged with doing wilful damage to the door of the casual ward of the Ware Workhouse on December 9th. The defendant pleaded guilty.

Mr H.D. Meech, the Master of the Workhouse, stated that the defendant was admitted to the casual ward on Saturday night, and on Monday morning was given the usual task to perform. Witness had occasion to go to the casual ward during the morning and found that the door of the cell where the defendant had been at work was broken, damage having been done to the value of 12 shillings. As the defendant could not give a satisfactory reason for having damaged the door, he was given into custody.

PC Bolden stated that when the defendant was in the cell at the Police Station he admitted having previously been convicted for similar offences four times, besides once for assaulting a porter.

Defendant told the Bench that he would rather go to prison than to the Workhouse, as he was treated better in prison.

The Magistrates sentenced him to three months’ hard labour, and he expressed his gratitude by saying “Thank you, gentlemen”.

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