Stealing money from a neighbour doesn't pay

Hertfordshire Mercury, 30th March 1918

Transcript

Frederick Charles Phillips (16), of 31 Kibes Lane, Ware, was charged with stealing money belonging to Matilda Storey, on 19th March.

The complainant, who lives at 27 Kibes Lane, said that she had left her house to go and see the defendant’s mother, who lived 4 doors off.  There was a cash box on the table against the window containing 20 farthings, 3 shillings, and a number of new pennies.  She also had a 10 shilling note and three 2 shilling pieces in a cloth bag.  When she returned, the money was missing from the bag, together with 3 shillings, some pennies, and 16 farthings from the box which had been forced open.

Ethel Cockman, of 23 Kibes Lane, said that on the date in question, she had gone to Mrs Storey’s House with a basket, and the defendant answered the door and took the basket.

Police Constable Harwood said that, on 21st March, when he saw the defendant and charged him with the theft, he had denied it for some considerable time, but eventually admitted it and made a statement which the witness then read, to the effect that he had forced the box open with a gimlet.  He spent the money but could not remember where he had spent it.

The defendant was then charged and elected to be dealt with summarily, and pleaded not guilty.

Edith Phillips, sister of the defendant, made a long, rambling, statement, and the defendant then went into the box and denied on oath that he had had the money.

The Chairman said that it was a grievous thing to find a boy of 16 doing this kind of thing.  He would be fined £2 8s or, in default, 25 days imprisonment.

The defendant, as he was leaving the Court, said “I am going to make her sit up for this”.  The Bench fetched the defendant back into the Court and he was given a very severe warning, and was told what the consequences would be if he used threats.

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