Mexborough and Swinton Times December 16, 1905
Young Conisborough Thieves.
Two Conisborough schoolboys, named Samuel (10) and Thomas Wagstaffe (13), were charged in custody with having stolen 16lbs weight of coal, the property of Harry Reid, Conisborough, on the previous Thursday.
Sarah Anne Reid, the wife of the prosecutor, said in consequence of finding the lock of the coal house broken one morning, she with some of the neighbours kept a watch. On Thursday morning at 7:15 am she saw the prisoner’s leaving the coal house, after having put some coal into a bag.
When she went towards them they ran away, but Samuel was caught by a man named Samuel Hawarth.
The coal place had been broken into three times during the week, and coal had been missed. They valued the coal produced at 3d
Andrew Hawarth, a miner, residing at Conisborough, said between 6.30 and 7 o’clock on Friday morning he was in his house, when on going out he saw the two prisoners in the coal house with a bag containing coal produced. They were just filling it. He caught hold of both prisoners, took the coal from them, and handed them over to Mr. Reid.
C. Lund said about 8 a.m. on the previous morning he was sent for, and he examined the lock of the coal house, and found it broken. He apprehended the prisoner’s at 9.30 at Conisborough. When he charged them with stealing the coal. Thomas replied “I never touched it,” and Samuel replied “my mother sent us on to get some coal.”
The prisoners pleaded not guilty.
Thomas was ordered to receive six strokes with the birch rod and Samuel four.