A stolen rug

Hertfordshire Mercury, 9th January 1931


Theft of a motoring rug

Capt. J. Orton, of British Instructional Films Ltd, figured in a case in which Frederick William Winter, of 130 Broadwater Road, Welwyn Garden City, pleaded not guilty to stealing and receiving a motoring rug on December 19 last.

The rug, which was produced in Court, was identified by Capt. Orton as belonging to him. The witness stated that at 9 p.m. on December 19  he left his car outside the Welwyn Theatre in the car park there, and the rug was left on the front seat. He valued it at five guineas.

P.C. Childs, stationed at Welwyn Garden City, said that in consequence of information received he obtained a warrant, and in company with P.S. Stapleton, searched the house of the prisoner on December 3. The rug was found on a bed lying under the counterpane. When told he would be taken into custody, Winter replied  ”I can soon account for the rug.  I brought it one night off a tramp near the Stores.”  Later Winter was charged with stealing and receiving the rug, and said he was innocent of both charges.

In a statement to the Bench , the prisoner denied that he told the witness he had brought it off a tramp. The man, he said was more like a commercial traveller.  He had walked home with the rug over his arm and took no steps to hide it,  although he had plenty of opportunities if he had wanted to.  It was all done in the open.  It was only when he had brought it home and discovered it was a very good rug that he had his doubts.

Prisoner stated that he had held a Scotland Yard licence as a motor driver, and had been driving for 16 years, and held a clean sheet. A conviction might mean that he would lose it.

After retiring,  the Court found Winter guilty, and bound him over for 12 months.

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