Theft by a domestic servant

Hertfordshire Mercury, 1st December 1906


Alice Swallow,17, of Little Hadam, was charged with stealing a gold purse and chain, the property of Leonard Partridge, on November 15th.

Leonard Partridge, of Moat House, St Andrews Street, stated the defendant was in his employment as a domestic servant for a month and left a fortnight ago. Before she left he missed a gold purse and chain, of the value of £10. A search was made for it but it could not be found. They asked defendant to search for it, and she said she was unable to find it. He had not seen the purse and chain again until he came into Court.

George Charles Brett, assistant to Mr T.J. Connell, jeweller, Maidenhead Street, stated that on November 23rd P.S. Hadder came to the shop and made inquiries about the missing chain and purse. Ten days previously to that the defendant came to the shop and produced the purse and chain and said that Mrs Leonard Partridge had sent her to inquire whether it was gold. He tested it and told her it was gold . Defendant then went out and he did not see her again. P.S. Hadder stated on November 23rd he went to Perry Green, Little Hadham, and saw the defendant at her mother’s house. He asked about the purse and chain, and she denied all knowledge of them. She said he could search the house and she was prepared to go to Hertford to clear herself.

Witness brought her to Hertford and confronted her with the last witness at Mr Connell’s shop. She then admitted taking the purse and chain, but said she did not admit it when at home because she did not want to upset her mother. Witness returned with her to her home, and on going upstairs with her she produced the purse and chain from under a dressing table. Witness did not think the defendant’s mother knew anything about the stolen property being there.

Defendant was formally charged, and pleaded guilty. Miss Porter, from the Rescue Home at Bishop’s Stortford, said she was prepared to take charge of the defendant and give her a fresh start in life. Mr Partridge said he did not wish to press the charge, and would much rather the defendant should go with Miss Porter than be dealt with in another way. The Bench bound the defendant over for twelve months to be of good behaviour, on condition that she consented to place herself in the charge of Miss Porter. She agreed to this course, and was thereupon discharged .

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