Youths’ haul included postcards and a novel!

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1913 Police Court

The story of a constable’s smart arrest of three youths alleged to have broken into a newspaper kiosk on the North Side as related at the North Riding Police Court before Mr F Baker, Mr Yarborough Anderson, the Rev TG Little, and Dr Dale, at Scarborough today. The prisoners were of no fixed abode, and named George Williams (20), George Driver (18), and Henry Martin (17), all of whom it appeared failed to realise fully the serious nature of the charge brought against them, namely one of having broken into the lock-up shop of George Wray, stationer, on the North Side, and having stolen goods to the value of 15s 10d between September 11th and September 12th.

Miss Eliza Folkard, 8, North Street, said she was in charge of the kiosk, and on September 11th she locked up the shop, putting the shutters up as usual. On the following morning, in consequence of what she was told, she accompanied the police inspector, PC Almond and Mr Wray to the premises. When the shutter was taken off they found a pane of glass missing in the left-hand corner of the door. They examined the shop and found things very much disarranged. At the back of the door they found two empty boxes of cigarettes, and an empty pencil box. They subsequently discovered that 16 boxes of wax matches were missing, and also nine boxes of cigarettes, two dozen lead pencils, four dozen picture postcards, and a shilling novel.

PC Almond, stationed at Falsgrave, in giving evidence as to the arrest, stated that between twelve and half-past twelve on the morning of the 12th inst. he was on duty at Burniston Road, near the North Cliff golf pavilion, when he heard someone coming up the road from Peasholm Park. He got behind a telegraph pole, and waited for them coming along, when he got hold of them.

In reply to the Magistrates’ Clerk (Mr HE Donner) the witness said he did not know who they were when he heard them coming. They were talking and he heard a whisper, “Shut up! Shut up!” or something like that. This made him suspicious.

When they arrived opposite to where he was he stepped out on to the road and stopped them and he asked them where they were going. He noticed that their pockets were bulky. In reply they said they were going to Whitby, he asked them what they had in their pockets, and they eventually produced two packets of cigarettes each, he asked them where they had got them and they said they had been given to them by a young man on the Esplanade, “near the skating rink.” Witness requested the three youths to accompany him, saying to them, “I will show you the nearest way to Whitby.” Witness took them to the kiosk, but apparently nothing had been interfered with. He had visited the place about three-quarters of an hour previously, but found all apparently secure. He (the constable) was not satisfied, however, and he accompanied them to the Falsgrave Police Station, he detained them on suspicion. Ultimately, however, they produced the articles named, with the exception of three packets of cigarettes and three boxes of matches. They admitted they had broken into the kiosk. They said, “If you go along the way we came you will find two more packets which we have dropped.” The witness afterwards picked up three packets of matches. A piece of steel was found in their possession, and Williams said he had used it to take the window out. He said he had tried to pick the lock with it. The constable on later examination found the lock secure. When charged, Williams replied, “Yes that’s right, I got through the window and the others stood outside, and we divided the stuff amongst us.” The other two also replied, “That’s right.”

Asked as to what he had to say in his defence, Williams, in reply to the Magistrates’ Clerk said, “If we had known he was taking us to the police station instead of showing us the nearest way to Whitby, we should not have been here now.”

Mr Wray publicly thanked Inspector Boynton for the vigilance shown over his property, and also congratulated PC Almond for the smartness with which he had effected the arrest and he hoped it would be brought before the superior officers.

The Chairman, “We congratulate you on the way you arrested prisoners, and you acted very wisely in taking them to the police station as you did.”

The accused were committed to take their trial at the next Quarter Sessions at Northallerton.