Innocent reason for Cloughton station visit

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1914 court

At the North Riding Police Court at Scarborough, before Mr F Baker (in the chair) and Mr J Hall, Frederick Phillips, painter, Scarborough, was charged with having been on enclosed premises, viz., the Cloughton Railway Station, on October 18th, for an unlawful purpose.

Prisoner said he was not guilty.

PC Chisholm said he had watched prisoner at Cloughton Station. He tried the office door, then a sweemeat automatic machine, and then came towards the station-master’s house. Seeing witness he made off, however, witness followed him to Burniston and went to him, whereupon he assumed a fighting attitude and wanted to fight. In company with PC Bowes he arrested prisoner, who, when charged, said he would reserve his defence.

Prisoner asked several questions, chiefly about the time of the occurrence.

Mildred Proctor, daughter of the station master, spoke as to having heard an automatic machine used. PC Chisholm had called before six o’clock, enquiring about prisoner.

Prisoner said he had walked out with a friend, and they had met a soldier on the way. He had gone down to the station to see if there was a train to Whitby on behalf of his friend. It occurred to him that there was no Sunday traffic when he got through the gates, and he immediately turned about. It was a trumped up charge to convict an innocent man. The constable had belaboured him with a stick when he came up to him.

George Lomas, a private in the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, said they had all three gone down to the station, and prisoner went into the station.

Prisoner, questioning witness, said Lomas went into a public house alone as they thought he would stand a better chance of being served, “We followed a little later. As a matter of fact, we doubled round the back of the place to make them think we had come from Robin Hood’s Bay, doing a flank movement.”

Prisoner said the police had tried to foist up that case against him, and according to the evidence signally failed. There had been a wrong construction placed upon his visit to the station - totally wrong altogether. It was broad daylight at the time. He went in a perfectly legitimate manner and returned the same. It was light when he subsequently went into a public house. The charge was an aftermath. Probably, if when the policeman followed him he had seen him go into other public houses, he would have been there that day on a charge of drunkenness.

The Chairman said there was not sufficient evidence to convict and the case would be dismissed.

George Lomas, witness in the above case, was subsequently charged with being a deserter.

Inspector Boynton said he had received certain information on his way to the police station, and prisoner had admitted being a deserter from the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry station at Sutton on Hull. He asked for prisoner to be remanded to await an escort, and this was granted.