1915 Court:

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At the North Riding Police Court held in Scarborough, before Mr F Baker (presiding), Alderman WH Fowler and Messrs AH Rudguard, Yarborough Anderson, AM Daniel, HJE Marsden, and HH Illingworth, Joseph Agar (16), labourer, of Scarborough, was charged with stealing 12 golf balls, valued at 6s 9d, the property of John James Berry, at the township of Scalby.

John James Berry, 28, Albemarle Crescent, jeweller, said he was a member of the North Cliff Golf Club and that he left the balls in a box there on November 14. On November 21 he found several missing, between 12 to 15 as near as he could say. Those produced, five in number, he identified as his property. The box was left unlocked, and the door of the room was usually open during the daytime. He could identify some of the golf balls shown to him by Inspector Boynton as his property.

By Mr Yarborough Anderson: He identified the balls by the mark “R.P.” (repaint) which was put on by the dealer, and by the make.

Robert Walker, 30, Greensfield Road, professional to the South Cliff Golf Club, said the prisoner came to him during the latter part of last week.

Offering golf balls for sale, he said that he found them on the North Cliff Golf Course. The witness eventually bought them, afterwards mixing them among others. He purchased 22.

On Wednesday he handed those produced to the Inspector. He picked a certain number out, which he was practically certain he had bought from the boy, and these included those produced.

By Mr Yarborough Anderson: “He gave 3s 6d for the 22. He put them with another hundred. How did you know those that you picked out?” “I can remember balls by sight – by their general appearance.”

Continuing, he said that all the balls in the box, together with those he had bought from the box, had been used. Inspector Boynton said he saw prisoner at 10.30am on Wednesday. He was cautioned and charged with the offence and replied: “Yes, I took them from the box. But I didn’t go specially to steal them.

“I was there and saw them and couldn’t resist the temptation to steal them.”

Shortly afterwards he said he had sold them to Mr Walker. Prisoner had nothing to say.

Inspector Boynton said the boy has been a caddy at the club at one time. Mrs Agar said she had never had any trouble with him before.

Inspector Boynton said he must say that the boy was very truthful when he saw him, telling him everything about the offence. That was not often the case.

The chairman said the magistrates had decided to deal very leniently with prisoner. He would be bound over in his own recognisances of £5 and his mother in £10, to be of good behaviour for twelve months. He was making a very bad beginning, continued the chairman, and must remember that if he came there again he would not be dealt with so leniently.