Alleged Theft of Fowls at Conisborough

January 1901

Mexborough and Swinton Times, January 11.

Alleged theft of Fowls at Conisborough.

A miner named Albert Frost, living at Conisborough, was charged in custody with having stolen two fowls valued at six shillings, the property of Martha Grindle, of Beech Hill, Conisborough.

Mr Baddiley appeared for the prisoner.

The prosecutrix stated that at five o’clock on the evening of 31 December 1900, she fastened up her fowls, and on the following morning, when she visited the fowl house. She found the door had been forced open and two fowls taken out.

Annie Elizabeth Thomas, who lives next door but one to Frost, said she was standing at her door at midnight on the eve of the new century when she saw the prisoner and another man cross the roadway and go into the prisoner’s house. The men shortly afterwards came out. They both spoke to her about the New Year, and walked in the direction of where Mrs Grindle lived.

Sgt Brown said there were several boot marks round the premises, which were quite distinct, and which, when tested, corresponded with the impressions made by the prisoners boots.

The witness had difficulty in entering the house, but ultimately, on gaining admission, he found part of a fowl being stewed and the wing of another fowl, which have been cooked lying on the table.

After leaving the house, the witness met the prisoner, and together they returned. The prisoner made a statement, but before he could say any more his wife joined in and said “I´ve told him.” The witness then said “Don’t you speak, Mrs Frost.”

The prisoner then said, “I bought that fowl.” And Mrs Frost said, “I’ve told them your mother gave it you on Monday, and you got it from South Kirkby, and it was a brown one.”

The prisoner then made the following statement; “I – – – well know what I am talking about; I bought it off George Cocksedge, at Denaby.”

The witness then took him into the police station, and on the way the prisoner frequently made use of the words, “This will be another inspector Wakefield case for you, mind if it isn’t.” At the police station he chargedthe prisoner with having stolen two black Minorca hens, the property of George Grindle.

He replied “All right.” The witness took off the prisoner boots and examined them. It was then dark.

Next morning at nine o’clock, he went to the fowl run, and on comparing the footprint of the ground with this one in the garden he found that they corresponded in every detail with those made by the boot’s .

Constable Thompson, and the two witnesses, Mrs Grindle and Mrs Hudson were with him at the time. Before going to the fowl run he found a bit of feather sticking to the sole of one of the boots, and he called the prisoner’s attention to it.

The defence was a denial of the charge of theft.

A man named George Cocksedge said he sold a brown hen to the prisoner, whom he only knew by sight.

The prisoner was committed to take his trial at the next Quarter Sessions.

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