Conisborough Couple’s Unfortunate Experience – Tales of a Windowcleaner

January 1925

Mexborough & Swinton Times, January 31st, 1925

Conisborough Couple’s Unfortunate Experience

Charles Edwrad Kirk, alias Gray, was charged at the Doncaster West Riding Police Court, on Monday, with obtaining 12s by false pretences from Alice Wood, and £3 10s. from her husband, Alfred Wood, of Conisbrough.

Supt. Minty explained that the Woods lived at 47, Athelstone Road, Conisbrough, and had known prisoner since the beginning of November, when he was engaged by Wood as a window cleaner and went to live with them.

Some weeks later prisoner left the house one morning with Wood for Doncaster and later returned and told Mrs. Wood that her husband had sent him to get as much money as she could. She gave him 12s and he said it would be all right and that she would have it back at the weekend, though he said it was not as much as he hoped to get. Mrs. Wood had not seen him since.

Evidence in accordance with this statement was given by Mrs. Wood, and Alfred Wood said he was a master window cleaner. He made a verbal agreement with the prisoner on Nov. 4, that he should come into the business with him as a partner.

On Nov. 23 he and prisoner went to Doncaster together by train and when they got there he let him have £3 10s., prisoner saying that he was going to Worksop as he had £400 coming to him, which he was going to see a firm of solicitor about. He did not give him permission to get money from his wife. He had not prisoner since.

In reply to prisoner prosecutor admitted that he had to pawn something to raise the £3 10s.

P.c. Howard said that on Jan 24 he received prisoner in custody from Leeds City Police, and cautioned and charged him. Prisoner pleaded ‘guilty to having money but not false pretences’ and on the second charge he said he ‘pleaded guilty to having the money if you call that false pretence.’

Prisoner made a long statement in the court of which he said he had not been getting any wages from Wood. On Nov. 4 he and another man in search of work called at the Woods’ house. Wood gave them each 6d. and something to eat and said he would give them work and pay them according to what they did. For a time they slept in the stable and he got 4s. For three days work. Eventually they went to live in the house, but he was not given any money, only food and cigarettes, The woman who passed as the prisoner’s wife came to live with him.

Prisoner went on to declare that Wood told him on the day in question to go to his wife for some money, and further said that Wood got him a ticket to go to Coinsbrough.

In reply to Supt. Minty prisoner admitted that he went to Leeds under the name of Shelton because he knew the police were after him for maintenance arrears. Prisoner pleaded for leniency. He had an army pension and after he had ‘done his time’ he would pay the money back.

Recalled, Wood said he knew this man as Kirk, who said his father was a farmer at Harrogate. Supt. Minty said prisoner had been convicted three times for small offences, and he was wanted by the Pontefract policy for a much more serious crime.

Prisoner was committed to prison for two months and the Chairman advised Wood to be more careful whom he employed or took into his house in the future.