Burglary Plot – Timely Discovery in Denaby Pawn Shop

January 1935

Mexborough and Swinton Times January 4, 1935

Burglary Plot
Timely Discovery in Denaby Pawn Shop
Conisborough Youth’s Connivance

A Conisborough youth and two Doncaster men were sent to prison at Doncaster on Wednesday following an escapade in Messrs David Haigh’s pawn broking shop at Denaby. The accused were John Reynolds (18), shop assistant, Denaby Avenue, Conisborough, Lewis Edward Christmas (20), bus driver, Robert Road, Doncaster and Martin Coleman (18), Porter, Young Street Doncaster

Superintendent Huddleston said Reynolds was employed at the shop as an assistant and was approached by the defendant with a view to getting information about the money usually kept in the safe over the weekend

By the conversation it was suggested that Reynolds should let one of the men into the shop and conceal him during business hours. Reynolds apparently arranged to do this and one of them was concealed in the shop

Before closing the shop the manager found one of the men in the storeroom and that man told him what arrangements had been made. The manager sent for Reynolds who admitted that they were going to try and break open the safe. The other man was also apprehended. When cautioned and charge Reynolds said: “I am sorry. I suppose I shall get the sack” Coleman said, “I have been a fool,” and Christmas said, “I can see now how daft we have been.”

Statements that the prisoners had made were putting. The statement signed by Reynolds stated that friends from Halifax came to his house and talked about breaking into shops. He thought that they were joking until they told him some of their experiences. The men from Halifax would have done the job on December 8 but there were Council housebreaking on December 7

In the statement signed by Christmas because of the sentence: “Coleman took me to Conisborough when he introduced me to the boy who works in the shop. He said there was plenty of cash in the shop.

Coleman statements contained the phrases “The man from Halifax said they would give others some of the money and we would go to London with it. I didn’t want to do anything of this kind. He forced me to go or I would not have gone. I have been out of work a long time. He gave me the Castor oil, the axle and the gloves to hold. We ran out of the shop when the police came and I was caught.”

The Clerk (Mr EW Pettifer) said he had some difficulty in reading statements and in making them sense.

The Clerk then asked the prisoners how they came into the case after the Halifax men and dropped out and Christmas said Coleman told him where there was some easy money. Coleman said the Halifax men came to Reynolds house and held a revolver under his nose said they would blow their brains out as they did not do what they were told.