Woman’s trick to steal money from children

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1914 Police Court

At the Borough Police Court, before the Mayor (Mr CC Graham) in the chair and other magistrates, Mary Sewell, of 26, Bedford Street, appeared on several charges of having stolen various sums of money and goods from children.

Prisoner pleaded guilty to a charge of loitering in Newborough Street with intent to commit a felony on December 5th, and two charges of theft.

The Chief Constable, in outlining the facts of the case, said the first offence was committed on October 2nd when a little girl, Olwyn Mawman, aged 10, had been to pay an account at a shop in North Street. She was returning by Newborough Street and Aberdeen Walk. When at the Westborough end of Aberdeen Walk prisoner stopped her, and said “Do you know which is Victoria Road?” She then said to the girl, “Will you go on an errand for me to Albemarle Crescent, and I will give you a penny, and hold your purse while you come back?” She 
directed her to a Miss Jennings. The girl went leaving her purse with prisoner.

She could not find this Miss Jennings, and when she came back she found prisoner gone. All the charges, said the Chief Constable, were of a similar character. She would hold their money for them while she sent them on an errand.

The police officers had been looking out for this woman for some time, but it was not until the 5th of December that she was caught.

Detective Nawton saw her go up to a child in Newborough Street. The inspector heard her in conversation with two men. She went up to the child outside the George Hotel. The inspector went up to her and asked her what she wanted with the girl. Prisoner replied that she wanted her to give a message. When the inspector asked her if she knew the child, prisoner replied, “Yes, I know you by sight, don’t I dear?” The child said, “I don’t know.”

Detective Inspector Nawton gave evidence of arrest. He said when he charged prisoner she replied, “It’s no good telling lies; it’s all through poverty.”

The Chief Constable said that six years ago prisoner married a farm labourer. They went to live at Bridlington, and after that they resided at Filey. Prisoner’s husband went out to Australia, and he occasionally sent her a sovereign, but not enough to maintain her. Two years ago she took a house at Scarborough but her conduct had been very suspicious, and not very credible.

She had been charged at Bridlington in 1911 with obtaining goods by false pretences. She was then bound over.

The Mayor said the offences were of a very mean and despicable character, and she would be sent to prison for six months in the second division.

The magistrates regretted to see the state into which she had fallen.