A Strange Story from Conisborough

September 1892

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Friday 02 September 1892

A Strange Story from Conisborough

George Woodhead, labourer, was charged with having stolen one or more coal bags belonging to George Appleyard of Conisborough.

The prosecutor said the prisoner, on 6th of August was engaged at his farm. He identified one of the missing bags, and had not given prisoner permission to take it.

On Monday he was shown some bags by the police at Rotherham, and several more of his bags were missing. He saw the prisoner at Rotherham. He said he did not take the bags but that a fellow workmen did, and that the man put them in his basket in his way home, and that was how they got to his house.

Prisoner: You have known me for 16 or 17 years. Did you ever know me to do any harm? You have only known me as a hard-working man.

Prosecutor: You have never been on the premises before.

Prisoner: You know my character.

PC Cattley said he received the prisoner into his custody at Rotherham, from the borough police, and charged him with stealing the bags from Mr Appleyard and he said “I did not take them.”

The prisoner pleaded that he had a man and his wife and child living with him in lodgings. This man had one of the missing bags and something in it but he did not know what. He was at Mr Appleyards’. Because he did not pay for the lodgings my missus said to him: “If you don’t pay any money you will have to go.” I thought I would not disturb the man at the time because his child died and he had to apply to the parish for a coffin. When the child had been put nicely out of the way by missis said to the man, “You will have to take notice and get another place.” On Wednesday he said to me, “I will do thee one before I go.” I said I did not know what he meant and he said, “You have no more sense than a goose.” He also said that I should hear about it that day week.

On Monday last when I came home, Smedley had been about some bags and he had taken some of mine. He said I had been taking some bags. I denied this and said he could search the house if he liked. I said I did not know that I had one belonging to anyone but myself. He said he had been informed that I had and I said he could look and see. Suddenly he said the bags were under the bed foot. I said “if you know where they are you can fetch them” and he went to the place and found them.

That showed plainly he knew where he had put them. The reason the man was told to leave was because he owed me about £5 for victuals and clothing.

Superintendent Blake said the man seemed telling a straight tale.

The prisoner was remanded until Saturday, bail in the sum of £10 being allowed.