Traveller guilty of embezzlement

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1913 Police Court

At the Borough Police Court this morning before the Mayor (Mr AM Daniel) in the chair, Alderman Rowntree and Mr AJ Tugwell, a case in which James Albert Shaw (42), traveller, 18, Moorland Road, was charged on warrant with embezzling three several sums of 7s, 7s, and 12s 8d in money received by him for his master Edward Wallis, 6 and 7 Newborough, between February 16th and March 4th, came up for hearing.

Prisoner, who was not defended, pleaded guilty, and asked that the case be dealt with summarily.

Mr Claude Royle, who appeared for the prosecution, said that the prosecutors were Messrs Wallis and Blakeley. The facts of the charge were that about November, 1911, prisoner entered the employ of the prosecutors, and continued in their employ until the 8th of March, he having received a week’s notice on the 1st inst. During the course of his duties he had to go round soliciting orders, and incidentally he had to collect money. The charge against him was that he had received on behalf of his employers three separate sums of money - 7s on February 17th; 7s on February 24th; and 12s, 3d on March 3rd, which were paid to him by Miss Flint, 64, Tennyson Avenue. It was always, proceeded Mr Royle, an unpleasant duty for employers to prosecute, but it was impossible in a large firm such as he was representing for an offence of that description to be winked at. On the grounds of commercial morality they had to prosecute. Prisoner went out for orders on Tuesdays and Thursdays, paid in money on Thursdays, and went out again on Saturdays. The sums mentioned in the charge did not constitute the full amount of the deficiency. The full amount of the deficiency was about £12. When prisoner had received his notice from Messrs Wallis and Blakeley he had said he was sorry and offered to make up the money.

Mr Edward Wallis corroborated the statements of Mr Royle. As far as he had ascertained the deficiency in the prisoner’s money was about £12. That was from January, but prisoner had brought in money in January which he had collected in November.

Prisoner asked questions as to the terms of his engagement which, however, did not bear on the case. In his statement prisoner said he had had no idea of fraud. His wages had been 28s a week, and he had not even living money out of it. He had worked very hard to work up the “rounds” which he had done, and he had to spend a lot of money in “living reasonably” as representing a firm like Wallis and Blakeley’s. He had to lay money down himself to keep the rounds together. A lot of the accounts would be found to be right if they were just looked into. It was most of it due to be forthcoming if it was a matter of money. They could have the money there directly if they wanted it. In conclusion prisoner said that he was now out of work, and had a wife and two children to keep.

Detective Inspector Nawton said it was prisoner’s first appearance.

Mr Wallis, again going into the box, said that he just wished to say that it was a matter of extreme trouble to them to bring that charge. That was not the first time that prisoner had done that to them.

They felt that if they looked over the offence that time it would not be fair to themselves, to their other employees, or to their customers. They wished the Bench to be as lenient as possible.

By the Mayor: They had discovered irregularities a year ago, when they had cautioned prisoner. It was only a small amount on that occasion, and the money had been paid by him.

Prisoner: It was an oversight, as I pointed out to him then.

After a lengthy consideration the Mayor announced that the Bench considered the offence a very serious one. They were, however, most anxious, so far as it was 
possible in a charge of that 
nature, to be lenient to 
prisoner, the prosecution 
having also asked that they be so. Prisoner would be fined £2 including costs.