Hard labour for man who stole half-crown

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1914 Police Court

Before Mr SN Smith (in the chair), Mr WS Rowntree, and Mr H Stephenson, at the Scarborough Police Court today , Wm. Hobson (54), labourer, New Model Lodging House, 
William Street, was charged with having stolen 2s 6d by means of a trick from John Young, on March 6th.

Hobson said he got the half-crown, but did not steal it.

According to the evidence. Young, an old man, who is a farm labourer, residing in Oxford Street, went into the Black Swan Hotel at 10.45 on Friday Morning to get a glass of beer. Prisoner went in, and remarked that “he had been on the beer the night before,” and that he “had been in the Aberdeen that morning and had two or three pints.” Young said he could not help that. Prisoner said he had pawned a good watch that morning for 2s, and if Young liked to get it out, he could have it. Young said he had only half a crown, “all he had in the world,” and prisoner remarked: “All right, give me the half-crown, and I’ll bring the watch with it.”

Shortly afterwards prisoner went back, and said, “I can’t get it this morning”. Young said, “Give me my money back then.” Prisoner then said: “I’ll come back again as soon as I can get it.” He then went out again, and complainant did not hear of him again.

Prisoner had pawned the watch for 2s 3d at ten o’clock on Friday morning, and at 11.55 he took it out again, paying 2s 4d. At 1.45 the next day, Saturday, prisoner went to the shop again and re-pledged the watch. When 
arrested prisoner said: “I did not steal it, it was a pure lend.”

Prisoner asked Young if he did not bargain to buy the watch for 5s, 2s 6d to be paid that day and 2s 6d the following week when he took the watch.

Young: Nothing of the kind.

By the Chief Constable: Prisoner gave him a metal chain, produced, and said that when he got the watch he could put it on.

A witness named Hodgson corroborated Young’s statement. Prisoner’s suggestion was not the truth, he said. When prisoner went out the second time he did not return until after five o’clock.

Re-called, this witness was asked if he had been in the public house from between ten and eleven in the forenoon until after five o’clock, and he answered: Yes, I was.

Prisoner had been fined for refusing to quit licensed premises, and committing damage in July.

The landlord of the public house could tell the magistrates that there had been trouble in the house before with prisoner on account of a watch, but he could not give minute details, he could only say there had been some dispute.

The magistrates sent prisoner to gaol for 21 days at hard labour.