At Pickering Police Court on Monday Mrs Annie Anderson, residing at School House Hill, was charged by Superintendent Calvert with having stolen an umbrella from the Co-Operative Stores, Pickering, on November 16th, 1914.
Superintendent Calvert briefly outlined the case.
Mrs Topham said that about 4pm on November 16th last she went into the Co-Operative Stores at Pickering to buy some goods. The weather was showery, and she had taken her umbrella with her. She “stood this down” until she took out her purse to pay for the goods. After this she went home, and after a time she missed her umbrella. On going back to the Stores for it about a quarter to five she found it was gone. About two months after this she gave information to the police. She identified the umbrella produced as her property.
Sidney Bowd, assistant at the Co-Operative Stores, stated that about 3.45pm on November 16th Mrs Anderson called at the stores and asked for some goods, and after being supplied with these she left the shop. Mrs Topham was in the shop at the same time, and had an umbrella with her. This she put at the end of the show case. After being away from the shop about a quarter of an hour Mrs Anderson returned and said “I have just come back for my umbrella,” and witness said “All right Mrs Anderson, I suppose this is yours?” She then took the umbrella and left the shop without making any reply.
Replying to defendant, witness said “I gave the umbrella back on November 16th, and not on December 12th.”
PC Pearson, Thornton Dale, said that on Saturday February 12th, he went to defendant’s house, and told her that he was making inquiries about an umbrella that was missing from the Co-Operative Stores at Pickering and she replied “Yes, I have an umbrella that does not belong to me. I got it at the Stores at Pickering.
“I lost one there and the manager gave me this one in its place.” On Thursday March 4th, he served a summons on the defendant charging her with stealing an umbrella, valued at 7s 11d from the Co-Operative Stores at Pickering, the property of Mary Topham, on November 16th, 1914.
Mr HH Anderson, manager of the Co-Operative Stores, then went into the box, and stated that he knew the defendant. He never at any time gave her an umbrella, and had never been asked for one by her.
By witness: The handwriting in the book (produced) was his. He could swear that he had never given an umbrella to anyone in the Stores.
The defendant, in evidence, said that she was at the Stores on December 12th, and called for some groceries she had ordered two days previously. She left her umbrella with her oil can in the shop. When she called for these she asked the manager if he had seen anything of her umbrella as it was not there. He gave her the umbrella produced. She did not notice it was not hers it until she got home. She was not there on November 16th paying an account shown by the Co-operative books. This was paid by her daughter.
The Bench decided to record a conviction and the Chairman said they were satisfied that a clear case had been made out on the evidence given. This was the first offence and defendant would be let off with a fine of 10s and costs.
She was allowed a fortnight in which to pay.