Yorkshire Evening Post – Monday 08 December 1919
Conisbrough Miner Sentenced at Leeds Assizes
At the Leeds Assizes, today, before Mr. Justice Lawrence, John Smith, miner, was indicted for robbery with violence from the person of Michael Duffy of a silver albert and silver watch.
Mr. Bromley, who prosecuted, said the prosecutor was miner living at Rotherham. He had been to Conisborough, and was walking home at 10 p.m. when the prisoner came up and said he would walk with him and his friend. After going half mile he tripped Duffy up, snatched his and chain, and ran away.
When seen some days afterwards by the police, the prisoner said, “I am beaten; I will give in. You will find the watch and chain in a tin box in my house.” The police found them as he had said.
Smith, for whom Mr. Coddington appeared, said he had been drinking all night, and seeing the watch on the ground, picked up and ran away.
In summing up, his Lordship said the whole party appeared to have had too much to drink and had been falling about like skittles. The circumstances were not those of highway robbery, but the jury might find Smith guilty of larceny.
The jury did so, and in sentencing him to two months’ hard labour, his Lordship told the prisoner that though he might have taken the watch as a result of drinking, he had had four days before the police came in which to return it.