Burglary At Hoddesdon Co-op - (Edited Excerpts)

Hertfordshire Mercury 2nd January 1931



Ryan was then charged with being concerned with others in breaking into the Co-operative Stores at Hoddesdon and stealing goods to the value of £43 .

John Smithurst , of Rushy Mead , Keyser’s Estate , Broxbourne , manager of the Co-operative clothing and drapery department ,  stated that on Saturday , December 6 ,  he locked up the premises , but on Monday morning found the premises had been broken into from the rear , the place was in complete disorder , and £43 worth of goods was missing .

Sidney Charles Ivory ,manager of the Grocery Department , stated that when he visited the stores on the Sunday afternoon they were all right , but on Monday morning the place was in disorder and tobacco and other things were  missing .

Herbert William Wilson , who delivers milk , stated that when he got to Hoddeson on December 8 he found the premises had been broken into and a quantity of clothing was lying about the yard .

Sergt. Sermons , of Hoddesdon , gave evidence as to finding the premises broken open . He found some potted ham and tongue glasses had been opened and emptied , and on the glasses there were finger-prints , which he had submitted to Scotland Yard .

Prisoner : The other fellow broke in ; I did n’t . I was outside.

The Magistrates’ Clerk : Then you are as bad as he was , if you were there and were party to it.

Supt . Farrow proved taking the prisoner Ryan’s finger prints and forwarding them to Scotland Yard .

Detective-Inspector Harold Parrot , of the Finger Print Department , Scotland Yard , proved the prisoner’s finger prints were identical with the finger prints on the ham and tongue glass  jar at the Co-operative Stores produced by Sergt. Sermons . He had been in the finger print department for over 14 years , and his experience showed that no two finger prints of different persons were alike . Judging from these photographs  produced he had no doubt that the finger prints on the glass jar found at the Hoddesdon Co-operative  Stores were the finger prints of Ryan .

Miss Betty Olive Warren , of Hoddesdon , stated that’s she was in Amwell Street , Hoddesdon, on Sunday , December 7 , and saw two men look through the Co-operative observation hole in the shutters and then view the back of the premises . The prisoner Ryan was one of the men.

P.C. Harmsworth , of Wormley , stated that he was in Nazeing Road , Broxbourne at midnight on December 7 , approaching the station ,  when he met two men with parcels . They said they were returning to their boat and were carrying their spare clothes . They had both been drinking . He identified Ryan as one of the men .

George Thomas Groves  , a shunter on the railway , stated that at 1 o’clock in the morning on December 8 two men came to the Porters’ Room , stayed until 2 o’clock , and went by the 2.11 a.m. train to Stratford . Ryan was one of the men . They both had parcels of clothing .

Albert James Bradford of Brixton , clerk in the Patents Office , said he knew the prisoner , who had on December 4 shown him some drawings connected with a patent. The prisoner knew his address , which was written on a piece of paper  found in the prisoner’s coat ,  left behind at Hoddesdon Co-operative Stores .

Inspector Sharpe stated that he took possession of the new clothes prisoner was wearing , and which were afterwards identified as part of the stolen clothes from Hoddesdon . He the described the identification of the prisoner by witnesses who had been called .

Prisoner ; I might as well get it over . I was the chap that done it , but I did n’t go inside . I was keeping look out . I want my suit back , I paid a £1 for it . I admit the shirt and other things belong to the Co-op .

He was committed for trial on this charge as well as the other .

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