Alleged Bicycle Theft.

January 1899

Sheffield Independent – Tuesday 10 January 1899

Alleged Bicycle Theft.

Yesterday, at the Doncaster West Riding Police Court, George Chant, labourer, Doncaster, was brought up on remand charged with stealing a bicycle, the properly of Wilfrid Varley, of Barnsley, at Conisbro’, on Good Friday.

Prosecutor said that on Good Friday he went to Conisbro’ on his bicycle, and arrived there about two o’clock. His machine was a road racer, and he left it at Mrs. Piper’s, near Conisbro’ Station. Mrs. Piper herself received the machine, and he received the check (produced). The machine was put in the garden, and Mrs. Piper said she would put it right afterwards.

He went back for his bicycle about 8.45, and presented the check to the boy, who brought him an old machine. When he found his machine was not there he went to Sergeant Brown, who came clown and examined the machines then in Mrs. Pipers possession. His machine had been altered a good deal.  The handle bar, seat pillar, and gear wheel had all been changed. He could identify the machine owing to a slight bulge on the top bar near the handles. He bought it new from the Cycle Supply Company, Barnsley, and the name of the maker, which was on both the middle and front tubes, had since been enamelled over. He paid £15 for the machine.

From the statement of Mrs. Piper’s son it appeared that the machine was taken away by a young man who presented a cheek which Mrs. Piper made out, and bore a number corresponding with that on the machine. He thought it possible two checks had been made out with the same number on. They had 70 or 80 machines left, at their place that day.

Stephen Flowitt dreposed to buying a machine from the prisoner, who was in his father’s employ, for £7 in May last. A day or two later prisoner took another machine and asked witness to exchange the former one for it, and witness took the new one and handed over to prisoner the first one he received.

John Temple deposed to buying a machine of the prisoner in December for £5. Prisoner assured him the bicycle was his.

John Flowitt said that he sold prisoner the old machine left at Conisbro  by prisoner for £3. which he received in in- clalments.

Mr. J. W. Brown, a member of the firm of Messrs. W. E. Clark and Co., bicycle makers, Doncaster. said that, he had examined the new machine thoroughly, and found it had been enamelled but had not been stoved. The saddle tube was not the one that had been sold with the machine. The transfer on the front tube, bearing the machine’s maker, had been completely scratched off and enamelled over, and the transfer on the centre tube had been partially erased. The original number stamped underneath the bottom bracket had been hammered down, and two figures substituted.

Prisoner, who had nothing to say, was committed to take his trial at the next West Riding Quarter Sessions, bail being allowed, himself in £20, and two sureties of £10 each.