Colliery Prosecutions – Mexboro’ Lock-keeper & his “Deceased Friend,”

March 1912

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday 02 March 1912

Denaby Colliery Prosecutions

Mexboro’ Lock-keeper and his “Deceased Friend,”

Frederick Eyre, a lock-keeper, of Mexborough, a well-known man in the locality, was summoned at the instance of the Denaby Main Collieries Ltd, for stealing a number of articles, including a zinc bucket, two picks and shafts, two metal wedges etc, value £1 2s, the property of the Denaby Company.

Mr. W.M. Gichard explained that in consequence of something that had been said, a watchman named Witty Milner, visited the defendant’s house and discovered certain articles that belonged to the colliery.

The first article that was noticed was a zinc bucket. The watchman asked him what he was doing with that and he said “Oh, well. It will have come from across there” (pointing to the colliery sidings). The watchman asked if there was anything else, and on defendant allowing them to make a search of the premises other things were found. Defendant was again asked what he was doing with the articles and he said, “They must have come from over there.”

On the following day two police officers went again to the house and told the defendant they were suspicious that there were other things in the house belonging to the colliery company. A search was made, and other articles were found. This time 26 lead window flashings and a steel file (6ft long, used in connection with “bog” fires) were discovered.

Those articles, proceeded Mr Gichard, were not so much as one would expect a man like the defendant, a locksmith, to have in his possession, seeing that they were markd with an indication that they belonged to other persons.

Witty Milner, the watchman, deposed to visiting the defendant’s house, and first of all discovering the basket. When asked where he got it from, he said it must have come from the sidings. He added “Take it if it is yours.” Defendant gave them permission to search the house, but nothing was found. Afterwards the outhouse was visited and various articles were discovered. They all had distinguishing marks.

P.c. Rushton, Sergt. Ramsey and Mr.H.P. Smethurst, architect corroborated.

Mr Baddiley, who appeared for defendant, said he came into possession of articles in no felonious way whatever.

Eyre gave evidence on his own account, and said that a man on the opposite side of the canal called Green gave him the articles in recognition of services rendered. That friend was now dead.

The Charman said the bench believed that the defendant had stolen the articles, and he would be fined £5 inclusive.