For want of a nail

Hertfordshire Mercury 9th, November 1907


William Thompson, of 47, Cresecent Road, Waltham Cross, and  John Francis Rouchy, of Utteridge Road, Freezywater, were charged with being in possession of about 33lbs. of copper nails, gun and other metal in High Street, Waltham Cross, on October 31st.  Defendants pleaded guilty of having the metal in their possession, but denied having stolen it.

PC West said he saw the defendants with a barrow at Waltham Cross, and on asking them what it contained Thompson said “It don’t belong to me”. Witness searched the barrow and found the metal, which Thompson said he collected.

PS Finden said that when the defendants were brought into custody both denied having stolen the metal, Thompson said he collected it from barges from time to time.

William Shirley, a clerk at the Royal Gunpowder Mills, said he could not swear to the metal as being the property of the Factory, but it was identical to some there. The nails were of the same kind used at the Factory. Some old metal had been sold recently from the Factory.

By Thompson: I know you have worked for the contractor who brought old metal. Thompson gave no explanation of how he came into possession of the metal,  but said Rouchy knew nothing as to what was in the bags.

Rouchy was discharged, and Thompson was fined £2 and costs, or a month’s hard labour.

Thompson;  Thanks, I will do the month.

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