Hotel guest in court for not shading light

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1915 Court

At the Scarborough Police Court this morning before Alderman Valentine Fowler and other magistrates, Second Lieutenant Roy Shearn, 9th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment, was summoned with contravening the regulations of the Defence of the Realm Act by not effectively shading a light in a room which he occupied at the Queen’s Hotel Hydro at 11.15pm on June 18th.

Defendant admitted the offence.

PC Roper said he was on duty in North Marine Road when he saw a clear light emanating from a room on the fourth floor of the Queen’s Hotel. On proceeding there the manageress informed him that the occupant of that particular room was responsible for the light and not her. He went to the room and saw the defendant, who said he was quite aware of the regulations but thought they did not apply to lights not facing the sea.

The Chairman said the bench thought military officers would have known better. He would be fined 5s.

PC Roper repeated his evidence in a similar charge preferred against Second Lieutenant John Lewis Richard, 13th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment, who shared the room at the Queen’s Hotel with the last defendant.

A fine of 5s was imposed.

The Chief Constable said the Queen’s Hotel was in a prominent place. He hoped people staying there would be more cautious in the future. It was nothing but carelessness.

Lilian Thomas, Middle Flat, 49 West Street, was summoned for contravening the regulations of the Defence of the Realm Act by not shading a light in her window at 11pm on June 15th. Defendant pleaded guilty.

PC Tilburn said the light was in the kitchen. There was no blind on the window whatever. The lower half of the window was of fancy glass and the top of plain glass.

Mr Dixon, in whose employ the defendant is, said it was quite true what the constable alleged. The kitchen looked into a backyard and was protected by two rows from the sea. When the constable warned them some time ago he did not mention anything about the kitchen, so they thought a blind on the window was not necessary.

A fine of 2s 6d was imposed, with a hope that the defendant would be more cautious in the future.

The Chief Constable said the public must understand that he did not intend to issue warnings to them in respect of lights, public notices having already been published extensively in the newspapers.

He hoped it would be known that all lights must be obscured.