The whisky is the cause!

Hertfordshire Mercury, 11th April 1914

Transcript

At Herts Quarter Sessions, Walter Wren (38), a labourer, was indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the house of William Lucas, and stealing a bottle of whisky, a clock, and a candle, at Hitchin, on March 8th.  He pleaded guilty.

Mr Eustace Fulton prosecuted and, in his presentation, said that a Mrs Woodcock had heard a noise, as of the smashing of glass, on the night in question and, on the searching of the area in question, the prisoner was found, in hiding, with a bottle of whisky that he was consuming.  He was taken into custody.

When His Lordship asked if there had been other things taken besides the whisky, Mr Fulton replied “Yes, my Lord, but the whisky seemed to be the thing that he was most deeply interested in at the time.”

Supt Reed said that the defendant had 19 previous convictions against him, 8 of which were for drunkenness.  He had also been previously convicted for burglary and sacrilege.  He had broken into this particular house before.

The prisoner handed in a statement in which he expressed sorrow for what he had done.  He had been walking about all that day without food and, as it was a wet night, it caused him to commit this crime.  He could not keep any work because his past ‘career’ seemed to be known.  If he got anyone to give him work when he came out, he would try and get an honest living.

The Chairman said that the prisoner had lived the past 10 years in a life of crime.  He considered it to be a matter of doubt as to whether or not the prisoner ought to be sent to penal servitude, but the Bench were willing to give him one last chance.

He would be sentenced to 18 months’ hard labour.

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