The birch for mischievous boys

Hertfordshire Mercury, 10th April 1915


At Cheshunt Petty Sessions Charles Cockman (12), George Howard (10), Charles Bell (9), and Reginald Pilgrim (9), all of Rye Park, were charged with stealing various articles from a dwelling-house at Rye Common, the property of Martha Bright, on March 25, of the total value of £2 12s. 6d..

Martha Bright, of 17 Whitley Road, Rye Park, said that on March 25 she was moving from 6 Hayward Road to 17 Whitley Road.  She left several articles of jewellery at Whitley Road, and on returning to the house at 7.30 missed a gun metal watch, a gold case watch, a silver pencil, ring, and albert.  The house had been ransacked, and books and various valuable things were torn and destroyed.  P.C. Angell said he was called to the house by Mrs. Bright and found traces of persons having entered the house through the kitchen windows.  He afterwards saw the defendant Charles Bell and took from him an electric torch, which Mrs. Bright said was missing.  Bell told him that it was given him by his grandmother.  He saw the boy’s grandmother, who denied giving him the torch.  Bell then began to cry, and said ‘I am not the only one, the two boys Howard and Pilgrim are in it’.  The witness ultimately got the four of the defendants together and cautioned them.  They admitted getting in the house by means of the scullery window, and that they took the things out of a chest of drawers.  The next day he saw Cockman, who admitted taking a watch, which he handed to the witness.

Mrs. Bright subsequently identified the articles which he had recovered.

The Bench ordered the boys to receive six strokes each with the birch rod.

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