Mexborough and Swinton Times March 10, 1939
Magistrates Commend Wombwell Officers
“The Bench want to compliment Sgt. Moran and P.c. Paine for the smart manner in which they have dealt with this case,” said the Chairman of the W.R. Bench at Barnsley on Wednesday in a case in which Frank Simpson (17), unemployed haulage hand, 4, Shop Row. Leeds Hill, Kippax, was charged with housebreaking and stealing £7 1s. 6d. in cash, and a purse at Wombwell.
The apprehension of prisoner, who pleaded guilty, was a sequel to the discovery by the police officers mentioned of imprints of stockinged feet on ashphalt paving outside a house in Church Street, Wombwell.
The Chairman (Mr. H. Hinchliff), further commented, “I shall be pleased if you will put the matter forward in the usual way. I think they have been very smart indeed, and saved a lot of trouble and expense.”
Police-Inspector Lambert: Thank you. I shall be pleased to pass on your remarks to the proper quarter.
Inspector Lambert said that at 10 p.m. on Friday, March 3rd, William Jones, of 6, Church Street, Wombwell, went to work at a local colliery, leaving his wife and child in the house. In a cupboard was a small leather purse containing £2 is. 6d, in cash, while in a jug in a wardrobe upstairs was £5 in Treasury notes. Later that evening Mrs. Jones left the house to go to sleep with her mother, securing all the doors and windows as she went out.
Returning from work at 6-20 the following morning, Mr. Jones entered by the back door, which was locked and found the living room in disorder. The purse with the money and also £5 from the jug were missing. The matter was reported to the police and the two officers found drawers ransacked and the contents scattered about the floor. The cellar grate had been removed and the cellar window smashed in. On further investigation the officers found imprints of stockinged feet leading from the cellar grate to 10, Church Street, Wombwell, where prisoner had been residing for some days with his brother. They asked to see the prisoner and, finding him in bed, questioned him. He denied all knowledge of the affair. Sergt. Moran noticed that a pair of socks lying at the bedside were covered with mud similar to that in the vicinity of the cellar grate.
Produced The Cash.
On being requested to get out of bed prisoner persisted in declaring his innocence and said he had never been out of bed. Later, he admitted the theft, and said, “I will show you where I hid the money. I did break into the house.” The officers then went into the back of Church Street with prisoner who brought the purse and money from underneath a pile of stones. Prisoner then said, “I have found the money for you haven’t I? I admit it.”
P.c. Paine said when they visited the house where prisoner was staying he feigned sleep. On “waking” he said, “I have been in bed all night. I know nothing about it.” Asked if he could account for his socks being covered with mud, he said “I have been running about the house in them.”
P.s. Moran said they had been talking to prisoner an hour and a quarter before he admitted the offence.
In reply to the Clerk, prisoner told the magistrates he had nothing to say.
Inspector Lambert said that on leaving school at the age of fourteen prisoner obtained employment at a colliery near Kippax. He had not worked since July, 1938, and, said the Inspector. “apparently he is a very lazy boy.” Nothing had previously been known about him.
The Bench called prisoner’s father, an elderly man, who said he was a miner, and promised to look after him.
The Chairman (to defendant): You have committed a crime for which, really and truly, you ought to go to prison. It is a very serious matter to steal in the nightime something that does not belong to you. In view of your age we don’t want to send you to prison. We want you to pull yourself together.
Prisoner was then bound over for 12 months in the sum of £5, and was told,
“We shall communicate with the Probation Officer where you live to keep an eye on you, You have just escaped prison.”