1918 court: Boys plead guilty to burglary at cottage

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At the Scarborough Children’s Court today two boys, 14, and 10 years of age respectively, were charged with breaking and entering No.7, Coastguard Cottages and stealing various articles value 9s 6d between the 1st of August and the 28th of August. An older brother of the younger boy (and who had to appear on another charge of larceny having pleaded guilty previously) was also charged with stealing other articles from the same house.

They pleaded guilty.

The Chief Constable said No.7, Coastguard Cottages was furnished, but unoccupied. By some means the two first mentioned boys forced an entrance, disturbed the drawers and took certain articles. The elder of these two boys only admitted taking a halfpenny. The other older boy admitted stealing a fountain pen and handkerchiefs. Although the fact could not be definitely established the theft was probably committed after he had been charged with a previous offence, but before he had been brought before the magistrates.

In reply to the charges defendants had nothing to say, and the Mayor said it was an extraordinary thing that the boys should do such things and then give no explanation of their conduct. They were all old enough to know better.

Before retiring to consider their verdict the magistrates also heard further facts with regard to the first charge against one of the boys and whose case had been adjourned.

The boy had been in a naval institution but had been brought away by his mother and he could not go back. The father was hoping to get him in as a drummer in the army but had taken no steps in view of the second charge preferred against him pending the magistrates’ decision.

Addressing the boy, who had pleaded guilty to two charges, the Mayor (Mr CC Graham) said the magistrates had decided it was necessary to send him away to be under strict supervision. He would have to go to a reformatory until he was 19 years of age, and he would have to pay 7s 6d towards the costs, but in order to find a suitable home the boy would be remanded in the custody of his father for a week. The magistrates considered he was very largely the cause of his younger brother going astray and through him the cause of the other boy going wrong too.

Taking into consideration defendant’s brother’s age, the magistrates ordered him to be placed under the Probation Officer for twelve months and pay 5s towards to costs.

The other boy was bound over for twelve months to come up if called upon and pay 2s 6d towards the costs.

The magistrates on the bench were the Mayor (Mr CC Graham), Mr W Sayner, and Mr G Rowntree.