1918 court: Trouble on the trams: man’s drunken antics

editorial image

At the Borough Police Court before Mr EH Gawne, Mr W Sayner, and Mr W Boyes, John Jennings, plumber, Manningham Lane, Bradford, was charged with having been drunk in Falsgrave Road on 21st of April, and further with committing wilful damage to the extent of £3 to a plate glass window the property of the Scarborough Tramway Company, on the same day.

He pleaded guilty to both charges at the outset, but later it transpired that he did not admit that the damage to the tramway was done wilfully, and the magistrates allowed him to withdraw his plea and the wilful damage was withdrawn on defendant promising to pay the damage.

The Chief Constable Mr H Windsor, said the evidence was not conclusive whether the man fell through the window of the tramcar or broke it. About 3.50 on Sunday afternoon PC Moore was on duty on the West Pier when he heard some noises. He heard a soldier and defendant having an argument near the lavatory. He noticed that the men had had a drink. He requested them to go away quietly, and a tramway inspector put the defendant in a tramcar. Shortly afterwards he fell out of the car, smashing a window. He was apparently trying to get at the constable.

He seemed to be angry with him for speaking to him. Defendant was put in the car again and it left the Foreshore. Defendant was apparently put out of the car in Falsgrave and at 4.50 PC Moore found him drunk and incapable. He took him in custody, and Mr Cordukes the acting manger of the Tramway Company, afterwards preferred the charge of wilful damage.

Defendant: I did not do it wilfully. He went on to explain that he had been in the Army in India for three years. When he got any drink he lost his head. He had an attack of fever in India and drink affected him. He added that he was discharged from the Army in 1916. He was quite prepared to pay the damage to the tramcar.

Mr Cordukes said he was quite willing to withdraw the charge of wilful damage if defendant paid the damage. He agreed to do so, and this charge was consequently withdrawn and in view of the fact that defendant had been on foreign service, and that he had a heavy sum to pay for damages, the magistrates fined him 5s on the charge of drunkenness.

They advised him to be more careful in future.