Persistent Pilfering – Conisborough Woman’s Black Record

March 1927

Mexborough and Swinton Times March 18, 1927

Persistent Pilfering
Conisborough Woman’s Black Record

Summing up in a case at Doncaster on Tuesday, where Annie Mabel Wilson, a married woman, aged 25 of Conisborough, was charged with stealing two purses, cash and rings, the Chairman, Mr GE Cook Yarborough said:

“You know what your record is. It started as long ago as 1911, when you would be about 10 years old. You were then bound over for six months for stealing a purse. In 1913 you stole another purse with cash, and were bound over for 12 months. You were then given two chances, then in 1916 you stole cash from a till, and were sent to a reformatory school for five years. That appeared to have very little effect, In 1920 you stole a hat and two hat pins and were sent back to reformatory. In 1922 you stole two coats and a pair of shoes and went to the Borstal Institution for three years. Borstal generally reforms people of your sort, but it apparently had no effect on your character. You had not been out a year before you were before this court again for stealing a purse from a person, you were bound over for six months, and here you are again, for another two convictions of a similar kind.

It is impossible for us to give you another chance. The public have got to be protected from women like you, and you will go to prison for three months on one charge and three months on the other, the sentences to run concurrently.”

The charges against her were that she stole a purse containing two gold rings, and £2 5s 6d, belonging to Julia Rownsley, on February 28, and another purse containing £2 4s 4d, the property of Margaret Forsyth, the wife of a policeman.

PC Forsyth said that on March 12 he was in the Mexborough Market Place, in company with his wife, who was shopping. He was in plain clothes. His wife was watching a rug making demonstration, and he noticed a person standing behind his wife and acting suspiciously. He saw the person stoop down a pick her purse out of the basket. Prisoner attempted to walk away, but witness touched her on her shoulder, and also touched his wife. Prisoner threw the purse on the floor. Later after the arrest, and at the police station, she said, “I am sorry, I hope none of your money is missing.”

Inspector Lumb said there had been a lot of pilfering at Mexborough. On the first charge, Julia Rownsley was in the marketplace in February 28 when she missed a black leather purse from her pocket. In the purse were two gold rings and prisoner was afterwards found wearing one.

Mr Frank Allen, for the defence, pleaded for leniency for the sake of her husband and a nine-month-old child.

Prisoner, in the witness box, denied strongly taking the purse belong from Mrs Forsyth, and she said that in the police station there were a lot of constables, who said, “Tell the truth, or we will put you in a dark room and keep you there for a week.”