Penal servitude sentence

Hertfordshire Mercury, 13th February 1931

Transcript

Walter Francis Moore , 36 , described as a canvasser , was charged with abominable offences against young lads at East Barnet . He pleaded guilty to two of the minor charges of indecency .

Detective Inspector Sandles gave the prisoner’s history , which showed that for similar offences he was sentenced to seven years’ penal servitude at Leeds in 1924 , and was liberated on licence last April .

Mr Seaton , who appeared for the prisoner , said it was difficult to say anything in favour of such a man , but he asked the Judge to take into account that he could not be normal , though not insane . During the war the prisoner was twice struck by shrapnel and was buried alive , narrowly escaping death . In 1923 his wife was killed by a bus , and in 1924 he became unbalanced , and as a result was sent to penal servitude . The prisoner pleaded to his Lordship to be merciful .

Mr Justice McCardie said that he had listened to all that had been said in extenuation of this horrible crime , and about prisoner’s army injuries . Those injuries had nothing to do with this case .  The prisoner could easily obviate polluting the minds of young boys if he so desired . Punishment by imprisonment had more than one object  – it was meant to punish , it was meant to reform , though he doubted if ever  the prisoner would reform – but imprisonment was also intended to protect young boys from such terrible acts of pollution as the prisoner had been  guilty of ; acts which  not only destroyed young boys clean lives , but also polluted manhood .

In sentencing the prisoner to three years’ penal servitude , he warned him that if he ever came to Assizes again on such a charge , and he was the Judge, he should inflict a far longer sentence , for there was nothing he was more desirous of stamping out than these foul and appalling offences against the boyhood of this country .

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