Theft of a cycle lamp

Hertfordshire Mercury, 1st May 1915

Transcript

A Children’s Court was held at Ware when Thomas Hills (15) and George Barker (12), both Ware boys, were summoned for stealing a cycle lamp.

The mothers of both the boys were also present.  George Clark, of 65 High Oak Road, Ware, a milk carrier, said that on April 9 about 8.45 p.m. he cycled to East Street.  He got off his machine to go to a fish shop, and put the cycle up a yard close by with a lamp burning on it.  He was in the shop a quarter of an hour, and when he went back to the machine he missed the lamp, and had to walk home.  On the following Monday evening the witness was walking home and had a conversation with a boy named West, as a result of which he went to Barker’s home and received from the boy’s mother the lamp (produced).

He asked the lad if he knew anything about it, and he said ‘Yes, Tom Hills took it off the bicycle and gave it to me.’  P.C. Bignell said that on the 15th inst. he made inquiries respecting the lamp, and went to George Barker’s house, the Crooked Billet, Musley, and saw him in the presence of his mother.  He said he was with Hills on the date in question in East Street, when Hills took the lamp off the bicycle and gave it to him, saying ‘I don’t want it.  I have got one.’

The witness then went to Hill’s house, where he saw the defendant, who said Barker went up the yard and took the lamp off the machine and took it home.  When the witness served the summons on Barker he made quite a lark of it.  He said ‘You’ve got a bit of blue paper for me then?’  Supt Handley said that Barker’s father, who was in the Army, had called upon him, and had told him that since he had been away his lad was getting out of hand.  It was not his or his mother’s wish that he should get into such trouble.

He had twice previously been cautioned in his mother’s presence.

Hills went into the witness box and stated that Barker took the lamp from the machine, blew it out, and took it home.  The witness denied that he either touched the bicycle or the lamp.  He saw Barker on the following day with the lamp on his machine.  Barker also went into the witness box and adhered to the statement which he made to the Police Constable.  He admitted taking the lamp home.  The Chairman said both boys deserved a good birching, but they would now be put under the supervision of the Probation Officer for two years.

At the suggestion of the bench the lads were shown the birch by the police.

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