Theft of a bicycle at Hemel Hempstead

Hertfordshire Mercury, 8th September 1907


John Collis, 27, a carpenter, was indicted for stealing a bicycle, valued at £3, belonging to John William Franklin of Hemel Hempstead, on September 8th 1907.

Mr R Walker, who appeared for the prosecution, said that the bicycle belonged to Mr Franklin, a grocer of Hemel Hempstead.  At 9 o’clock on Friday, September 6th, the prisoner had gone to Mr Franklin’s house, knowing that he kept a bicycle, and asked for the loan of it to go to Watford to see his sister who was ill.  Mr Franklin let the prisoner have the machine, but the prisoner said that he might not return on the same day, but agreed to pay for the hire of it.  The bicycle was sold on September 16th for 10 shillings at King’s Langley.  When arrested, the prisoner said that he had had an accident with the machine and, as he could not afford for it to be repaired, he had sold it.

His Lordship asked if there was any truth in the statement that the prisoner had had an accident ?

Mr Walker said he had the cycle-maker present who had bought the machine.  Thomas Munt, the cycle-maker, said that he had bought the bicycle on September 16th for 12 shillings.  It looked as if the prisoner had had an accident with it, as the back tyre was gone and the pedals were broken about.

Supt Frogley said he understood that the prisoner had been discharged from the Navy the previous April as a consequence of a conviction for an offence to which he had pleaded guilty.  He had been in the Navy for 12 years.

His Lordship said the prisoner had a lamentable history during the last twelve months. He had been sent to prison in April, and again in November and, as soon as he came out of gaol, he was arrested for a further offence committed between April and November.  The prisoner was sentenced to 2 months’ hard labour.

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