Mexborough and Swinton Times September 2, 1905
Alleged Shop breaking by Conisborough Lads
A Peculiar Sequel
Two small boys from new Conisborough, named Harry Mangham and Sam Coope, were charged with shop breaking at New Conisborough, between 8 PM on the 23rd and 8 AM on the 24th August.
They pleaded not guilty.
James Gurney, a boot and shoe dealer, of Conisborough, said his lock-up shop was situated in Denaby, on Doncaster Road, where he also carried on the business of a boot repairer. It adjoined a butcher shop occupied by Messrs Nelson and son, and there was a wooden partition dividing them. On the previous Wednesday he locked the shop at 7 PM, then being then in the shop five pairs of boots, which had been brought in for repairs.
He missed the boots (produced) the next morning at 8 o’clock. The back window, a pain of plain glass had been knocked out from the outside, and entry to the shop gained in that way. There were four iron bars inside the window, and these had been removed. The winner was 2’6” and was sufficiently large for a lad to get through. The shop was upset and the tools strewn about the floor. The value of the boots was about 7 shillings. He also noticed that the partition between the shops had been broken, an opening large enough for a lad to get through having been made. He gave information to the police.
Albert Liversedge, a pawnbroker’s assistant, employed by Jonathan Whitaker at New Conisborough, residing in Main Street Mexborough, was sworn, and said that the previous afternoon the boy Mangham came into the shop about 11.50. He had with him a pair of boots (produced) and he asked a five shilling, for them in pledge. Witness did not say anything to the boy but picked the boots up and took them to Gurney, who identified them as his property. He then sent for the police.
PC Lund, stationed at New Conisborough said he received the boots (produced) from the last witness, and at the time the boy, Mangham was in the shop. After telling him he was going to take the boots, he replied (Me and Sam Coope found them up by the Crags.” He asked him where Coope was and he said “He had just run away.” He further said, “There is also a mackintosh up the Crags and if you go with us I will show you where it is.”
Afterwards he saw Coope around the corner, and they went up to the Crags where the latter showed him where the mackintosh was hidden. He then took them to the police station and charged them with stealing the boots.
Mangham replied, “I am not guilty, but we both went to try and pawn them. Coope came into the shop and asked me how much I had got on them. I told Coope they had taken them into the other shop, and Coope ran away.”
Coope replied, “I ran away because I was a bit timid.”
Both prisoners pleaded not guilty, and stated that when walking through the Crags they found the boots et cetera hidden near a bush.
Albert Dearden, Butcher, of Albert Road, Mexborough, said he managed the shop of James Nelson and Sons at New Conisborough, which adjourned that occupy by Gurney. On Wednesday last he locked up the shop between 7.30 and 8 o’clock in the evening, at the that time he left his mackintosh lying in the back part of the shop. He valued it at £2. He returned to the shop the next morning at 8.30, found that a hole from Gurney’s shop had been made in the partition. At that time he did not notice anything wrong, but missed the mackintosh the previous day (Friday).
PC Lund stated that the boy Coope shorting where the mackintosh was on the Crags. Afterwards he charged them with stealing the mackintosh, and Mangham said, “I am innocent.” Coope said “I don’t know where the shop is.”
The father of the boy Coope stated that the boys were innocent. He knew they were, and he thought the prosecution had gone plenty for enough. He could find them the person who stole the boots and the mackintosh.
The Chairman: You can find the thief?
Coope: Yes sir. I can get you the names of the men. I was told by a man that if anything was done to the lads he will speak. He knows the men took the things, and they went to the Crags and hid them in the dark, and these lads found them.
The Chairman: Why didn’t you bring the man?
Coope: He has given me the names and addresses of the men.
After some further discussion, the case was adjourned until Tuesday, the man Coope been instructed to bring this man who gave him this information.