Theft of postage stamps - 2

Hertfordshire Mercury, 13th March 1915


At a special court at Welwyn on Friday, before Mr Roger Cunliffe (in the chair),  and Mr J.H.L. Deards, Charles Cuffley, of 45 Bath Street, Northampton, was charged on remand with the theft of one shilling’s worth of postage stamps, the property of Mr Fenwick Owen, at Digswell Hill, on February 27th.  The defendant pleaded guilty.

Frederick Stephen Chamberlain, of Brick Field Cottage, Digswell Hill, foreman for Messrs Fenwick Owen & Son, said that about 12.15 (midday) on February 27 he saw some stamps in a drawer in the office.  He went into the office about an hour later and found that some stamps were missing.  They were all halfpenny stamps.  He than went into his cottage and asked his wife if she had seen anyone about, and she told him that a man came and asked for work.  The witness then got on his bicycle and went towards Hatfield, and passed the man of whom he had had a description given to him.  The witness rode into Hatfield and gave information to the police.  Afterwards he pointed the man out, and he was taken into custody.

Mrs Haynes, wife of Henry Haynes, landlord of the Red Lion, Digswell Hill, said that at about 1 p.m. on February 27 the defendant came into the house and asked for a glass of beer.  He also asked the witness to change some postage stamps, and she changed 1 shilling’s worth of halfpenny stamps for him and handed him 10 ½d. in cash, taking 1 ½d. for the glass of beer.  The stamps she handed to the Police when they called.  Chamberlain, recalled, in reply to the question ‘How did the defendant get into your office?’ said ‘He lifted the catch of the door, and opened the drawer with the keys of the safe’.  P.C. Baker said that on the way from Hatfield to Welwyn the prisoner said ‘I expect I shall get a month for this but I don’t care if I do’.  The defendant now said that he was in the Army, and was temporarily discharged, owing to bad eyesight, last March, and his discharge papers were now produced by the Police and handed to the Bench, who sentenced him to 14 days’ hard labour.

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