Thursday Flashback

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At the Scarborough Police Court today, Arthur Bartholomew (24), tailor, 18, Herbert Place, Meanwood Road, Leeds, was charged, whilst being a suspected person, with loitering in the North Eastern Railway Station with intent to commit a felony on September 7th.

Prisoner was a clean shaven, thin, well-dressed man.

Mr Wm. Wilson, retired farmer, at present staying at Scarborough, said on Saturday morning he was going to Malton, and as the front part of the train was full, he went to the rear, and was getting into a compartment when he felt a rush behind him, someone put a hand in his pocket and quickly pulled it out again. Witness said to himself, “Well, he has got it” (laughter). He stepped back and saw two men walking away, one being prisoner. He followed, and one man stopped, and the other went on. Prisoner went to a carriage - a first class one - and witness told a porter how he had lost his purse, and pointed out prisoner. The purse contained half a sovereign.

By Mr GB Parker, solicitor, who appeared for prisoner: Witness could not swear which man took his purse.

Witness did not remember saying he thought it was prisoner. Witness stated that he only wanted his purse.

Mr Parker: Did he deny taking it?

Mr Wilson: Of course he did (laughter).

Continuing, witness said that he asked a porter to look after the man whilst he brought a policeman. In the meantime the train went. The policeman did, witness believed, search him.

There was a railway carriage key found on him. Prisoner expressed willingness to be searched.

Philip Theasby, railway porter, Springbank, said he saw prisoner “with a pal”.

Witness saw prisoner “put his hand in Mr Wilson’s right hand pocket and then put it in his own”. Mr Wilson exclaimed that his purse had gone, and pointing out the two men he said to witness: “Those are they; get after them”. Prisoner proceeded to a first class railway carriage, but had had time to dispose of the purse before then.

By Mr Parker: Witness thought the other man was prisoner’s “pal”. He saw prisoner pull his hand out of Mr Wilson’s pocket and slip it quickly into his overcoat pocket.

There was a lot of people about at the time. Witness did not see him part with the purse, and it was not found upon him.

The Chief Constable: But you saw him take his hand out of Mr Wilson’s pocket, and he had time to dispose of it between going from the third to the first class carriage?

Witness: Yes.

A visitor named James Warmby, Market Street, New Mills, near Stockport, said he was getting into a carriage when he felt someone just touch him near his pocket, and he found directly after that his purse had gone. Looking round he saw prisoner. The latter did not get into the compartment. He had one foot on the step, but he turned round and remarking, although there were only three people in the carriage, that there wasn’t room, he went off. Witness saw him just after with another man.

Putting his bag on the rack, witness felt in his pocket and found his purse had gone. In it were two half-sovereigns and some silver, together with 
his railway ticket to New 
Mills.

Prisoner was the only man near, the only man who could have stolen the purse. In the waiting room prisoner threatened him.

The Chief Constable said that in 1902 at Leeds, the prisoner had been sentenced to five in years in a reformatory in 1907 at Leeds for loitering, four weeks; in 1907 at Ripon for loitering, 28 days; at Preston Sessions, attempting to pick pockets, nine months; as George Brown, at Wakefield, for housebreaking, 18 months; as George Brown at Otley, 
under the Prevention of Crimes Act, six months; as George Brown, twice at Leeds, one month, and three months, for loitering; and on April 22nd last at Derby, three months for loitering.

The magistrates sent him to prison for three months.