Attempt to find a Scapegoat

March 1917

Attempt to Find a Scapegoat

A young Denaby Collier, Harry Mangham, was charged in custody at the Doncaster West riding court on Friday, with stealing 8 one pound Treasury notes belonging to Joseph Henry Taylor, a greengrocer trading as H Hall and Son Denaby.

It was stated in evidence that on Saturday afternoon the prosecutor was engaged at the local market Hall,his family assisting him. The house was in consequence locked up.

He kept valuable documents and money in a tin box in the bedroom, placing it under the bed. The box was locked with a padlock, and the bedroom was also locked. On December 15 he placed 50 £1 Treasury notes in a wallet and put it in the Hat box, which he in turn placed under the bed. In another wallethe placed 5 one pound notes, and a smaller box with £22 in gold, which he placed in the box and put under the bed.

The following Saturday morning he examined the box and found the contents were all right. Later the family went to the market, but afterwards, from something said to him, he went to his home, which is in Alexander buildings, and found it had been broken into, an entrance having been effected through a window. On going upstairs he found the padlock on the bedroom door had been smashed, and inside the room found the box, which has also been broken and the contest spread around about the floor. The wallet which are contained the 50 notes was on the floor , but the notes had disappeared.

Enquiries led to the arrest of the prison. It appeared that on December 16 prisoner was in the Denaby Main hotel with a man named Mills and said to the latter “I know where there is a snip.”Milnes told him he did not what he meant, but Mangham asked him to go with him, going out at the same time by the back door to Balby Street, where he asked Milnes to wait until he came back. Milnes waited about 5 min, and as theprisoner did not return he went back to the hotel.

Half an hour Mangham reappeared and showed Milnes a number of Treasury notes, which he took from his cap. There were said Milnes eight or nine. He (Milnes) asked where he got them from, but prisoner made no reply. Milnes said “I could do with one or two of them,” and prisoner smiled, but did not give him any. They stayed in the hotel until a quarter of an hour to turning out time, and then Milnes went straight home. Shortly afterwards prisoner came to the house and pulling the notes out, put them on the table. He gave Milnes four and kept the others himself. Milnes asked him what they were for, and prisoner replied “Go on, you’re all right: you have no shifts in.”

The two met the following day in the hotel and Milnes said he again asked a prisoner where he got the note from, and he replied “Tha s all right: they come from “one eye”. (Prosecutor has one eye injured) there was a good deal of talk about the robbery in the village, and the previous Wednesday prisoner came to Milnes house at night and asked him to own up to it, adding that he would see him all right. Milnes replied “yes” but he told the court now he did not mean it. His wife objected to taking the blame.

Evidence to this effect was given by Lena Milnes of Wadworth Street who said the prisoner came to their house and said to her husband “Jack, will you take the blame for it?” Her husband said he would and prisoner then said “it’s no use us both going down when one can do it.” He also added that he could get witnesses to say where he was on the night of the robbery. He further said he would give “witness” a standing wage to keep her and the children, and would see that she had it. She, however, replied “No, I will work my fingers through to the bone to keep me and my children rather than he shall take the blame.”

The prisoner who now pleaded guilty, alleged that he, Milnes, and another man carried out the robbery. He got £26.

Superintendent Minty said there was nothing known against the prisoner. He had been in the Army, but they could make nothing of him.

He was committed for four months.