Theft of a £40 diamond ring

Hertfordshire Mercury, 11th September 1915

Transcript

At Cheshunt Petty Sessions Edith Judd, aged 14, of High Road, Wormley, was charged with stealing a diamond ring, value £40, on July 15, the property of Clara Tongue.  Arthur R. Tongue, of Manor Farm, Wormley, farmer, said that on August 21 he missed the diamond ring (produced) from the jewel drawer in a dressing table in his mother’s bedroom.  He had last seen the ring some weeks previously.  He spoke to the defendant, who had been in his employ as a day girl, about the loss, and she ultimately said: ‘I took it and was going to take it home and show it to my grandmother, and bring it back the next day.  I had a hole in my pocket and I lost it on the way home.’  The ring belonged to his mother, and was valued at £40.

P.c. Pearman, of Wormley, deposed to seeing the defendant respecting the ring.  She said: ‘I did take it.  About a month ago I was dusting a bedroom and in a drawer of the dressing table I saw the ring in a case, which I took to show my grandmother.  I had a hole in my pocket and I lost it on the way.’  The witness told her he was not satisfied with her story, and she said: ‘You will have to go a long way for it.  I gave it to a man named Walter, a bargeman, when we went on a Sunday School treat to Rye House.  The ring dropped out of my handkerchief, and he said if I didn’t give it to him he would throw my hat in the water.’  Walter Goodey, of Walton Road, Ware, a barge builder, stated that on July 15 he was on a barge, and took some children from Cheshunt to Rye House.  The defendant spoke to him at Rye House and he noticed she had two rings on her finger, and he asked her if she got them from a 6d. bazaar.  She replied that the rings were not any good, and he asked her to give him one of them.  She said: ‘If you can get it off you can have it.’  He tried, but could not get the ring off.  On the return journey to Cheshunt she took the ring (produced) off her finger and gave it to him.  When he got home he gave it to his wife, who wore it for some time.

The Clerk (Mr F. C. E. Jessop) : ‘She evidently did not know what a valuable present you were giving her.’  (Laughter)

The witness added that his wife took the ring to a jeweller’s, and on ascertaining the value he gave the ring up to his master and it was eventually handed to the police.

Supt Handley deposed to receiving the ring from the employer of the last witness.

The defendant pleaded guilty, and said she did not know the value of the ring when she took it.  The defendant’s grandfather said he was very sorry for what had happened.  The defendant had always been a very good girl.

The probation Officer (Mr H. J. Andrews) said he was willing to keep an eye on the girl, and if necessary to find a home in which she might be placed.

The case was adjourned for a fortnight to enable Mr Andrews to do as he suggested.

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