At the Scarborough Police Court before Alderman Rowntree and Mr J Sinfield, Watson Gilbert (33), 4 Ebenezer Place, Longwestgate, was charged with having loitered in St Thomas Street, St Thomas Walk, Atlas Place, and in a passage in the vicinity for purpose of betting on July 30th.
Prisoner pleaded not guilty.
Mr J Whitfield appeared for defendant and asked for the witnesses for the prosecution to be ordered out of court.
PC Taylor said that he had seen Gilbert in Atlas Place. He had kept watch from a house, in company with PC Martin, on the defendant’s warehouse. He noticed Gilbert at 11.30 in Atlas Place. The happenings of the next hour and a half were as follows.
11.35: A man came up and gave him a piece of paper - apparently with money in it.
11.40: A man went up Atlas Place with Gilbert to his shop.
11.50: Man came out of shop.
11.55: Gilbert came out, went into the passage at the top of Atlas Place. Several men and a woman spoke to him.
12.05: Gilbert returned to his shop.
12.12: Gilbert came to the bottom of Atlas Place, and a man gave him something wrapped in paper.
12.32: Gilbert went out of Atlas Place into North Street.
12.40: Gilbert took something from a woman at the top of Atlas Place. The witness had previously seen this woman take this “something” from the man whom he knew well.
12.43: Gilbert came out of the passage.
12.45: Returned to his shop, but immediately came out again into the passage. (It was at this point explained that Gilbert’s shop was half-way up Atlas Place.)
12.50: Gilbert went down Atlas Place into his shop and back again into St Thomas Walk.
12.52: Returned to his shop and back again.
1.00: He went to the top of Atlas Place. A man gave him a piece of paper. Men and women came up and spoke to him.
1.20: Two milkmen came on the scene, and were looking at a sporting paper. One of them wrote something on a piece of paper, wrapped some money in it, and went to Atlas Place and handed it to Gilbert.
After this witness went out of house, Martin went round to cut Gilbert off if he should try to run away. As he (witness) turned into Atlas Place the cry of “police” was raised. He quickly made his way to the passage, where Gilbert was, and saw him receiving money from a man.
Two other men in the passage at the time made off. PC Martin came up and Gilbert said, “Put my coat on, Martin. I’m copped, I’ll come all right. You’re only doing it to show me up.”
In his possession was found a sum of money, part of which was in a bag. He objected to them touching it. He said they would mix up his “coal” money.
In reply to questions, PC Taylor explained that they got permission the previous day from the owner of the house to use his first floor window to watch a “bad” house.
The Chief Constable asked him if he knew him (the Chief).
Defendant: Well, I know you as the Chief Constable of the town.
The Chief: Well will you explain why you ran away when you saw me about a fortnight ago in Atlas Place – I never saw you.
The Chief: You know there is such a thing as perjury.
Gilbert then went over his statements which were this time taken down. He had received no slips that morning and taken no bets.
The Chief: Is that fat woman with the baby an agent of yours? – No, but she occasionally does little jobs.
Mr Whitfield, concluding, said that it was obvious that at this time of the year the coal trade was slack, and the men had been loitering about gossiping. If anybody had their everyday-doings narrated in a court of law like that it would sound suspicious. He asked for a dismissal.
Alderman Rowntree announced that the magistrates considered the evidence sufficient and would impose the same fine as in the case a few days previously – 50s, including costs.