The Watford hotel robbery - a clean slate

Hertfordshire Advertiser, January 1917


In the case of Gerald Arthur Luther Lester Inglis (32), and Henry Horace Facer (29), pugilist who were committed to the last Quarter Sessions on a charge of burglary in the dwelling house of Emma Ellen Train and stealing a 1.5 gallon jar of whisky and other articles at Watford on July 9th 1915. Facer, on that occasion did not appear and the jury disagreed when the case against Inglis had been heard.

Inglis alone appeared on this occasion as at the previous Session. Mr J H Murphy appeared for the prosecution and Mr Fortune for the defence.

Mr Murphy pointed out that on the evidence Inglis could only be charged with receiving stolen goods. The other prisoner (Facer) was said to have joined the Army, but as to that there was no great certainty except that he was not available at the moment. Inglis had been put in peril on the last occasion and unless the Court thought he ought to proceed with the charge of receiving he was inclined not to proceed.

It was stated by an Inspector of Police from Watford that he had made every possible inquiry of the regiment into which the father of Facer said he had gone but no trace of him could be found: he was never known to have been in the regiment.

Lord Verulam suggested that Facer might have been enlisted in another name.

Charles Seth Facer, father of the absent man, said he could tell the court nothing of his son’s moments since he was committed for trial by the Magistrates. He stated his son was wounded in Mesopotamia and came home discharged by the Army. That was twelve months ago before the alleged offence was committed. He was in the Royal Horse Artillery. He was out in India at the time war broke out. He was on the Reserve and belonged to the Calcutta Police. He got better and was called up by the Medical Board and was passed for service again. He re-enlisted and was sent out to France. He had not heard of him. Witness produced envelopes which he said were letters received from him in France. He had not seen his son since July nor heard from him personally.

Mr Murphy said in the circumstances, having regard that he was serving and had been wounded and recently been serving again he said they ought to ask for the case to be kept over. Therefore, he proposed to offer no evidence against him.

Fortune, on behalf of the defence said he was obliged to Mr Murphy for the course he had taken. This would be a warning to the accused to be careful as to those with whom he associated in the future.

The Chairman thereupon directed the jury to return a formal verdict of not guilty which was done and Inglis was at once discharged.

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