Denaby Woman’s Obscene Letter: £10 Fine

December 1955

South Yorkshire Times, December 10, 1955

Please note that the names of the people in the trial  (except solicitors and chairman)  have been changed.

Denaby Woman’s Obscene Letter: £10 Fine

The full penalty of £10 was imposed by Doncaster West Riding Magistrates on Tuesday on Evelyn Wilder (29), housewife of Church Road, Denaby, for sending a postal packet which contained an obscene written publication. She pleaded not guilty.

Mr M.D.Schaffner, prosecuting, complained that “the most wicked allegation and be made against a police officer, in that he threatened a woman with prison to force her to write a statement.

“I think it unfair that my friend has not put the allegations to the police officer when he was in the witness box. You should conduct this case properly.” Said Mr Schaffner.

Mr J.H. Glover, defending, replied: “I take serious exception to the suggestion by Mr Schaffner that I am conduct in this case improperly. I’m not a psychiatrist and cannot be responsible for what my clients say in the witness box.”

Miss Glover was defending Mrs Wilder.

In a statement to the police, said Mr Schaffner, Wilder confessed to writing the letter. In court she said she did not know what she had put in the statement. She could neither read nor write and had never been to school. The police officer, she said, told she must write the statement or he would keep her in custody.

Offensive Terms

Mr Schaffner said Miss Amy Doreen Willow (30), Makin Street, Mexborough, a West Riding County Council health visitor, received by post a letter in most obscene and offensive terms.

It accused her of having an illicit association with the husband of Mrs Edna May Rose (23), Rossington Street Denaby, a friend of Wilder.

When questioned by the police Wilder said: “I’ve not written it. I cannot read or write. I suspected something between my husband and Mrs Rose. She has called at the hours when I have been out.”

Wilder was a woman of rather low intelligence. When interviewed she said she could not write a statement, but did so after little persuasion from the police, said Mr Schaffner.

Allegations Untrue

She admitted that the allegations again Miss Willow were not true.

Miss Willow said in court she did not know of the slightest reason why the letter had been sent. It had been signed in the name of Edna Rose.

Edna Rose said she knew nothing about it being written, and knew of no reason why her name should be put to the letter. She had stopped going to the Wilder sales in May.

Mr Glover asked is the reason she had stopped going to the house was because Mrs Wilder outside she was getting too friendly with her husband. She denied this.

Detective officer L.N.R.Bell said when he saw Mrs Wilder she denied writing the letter. At the police station she told him she could not write. He wrote her name and asked to copy. She did this, and then wrote other words without assistance.

Albert Edward Wilder, her labourer husband, said he had never seen his wife do any writing. “I know for a fact that my wife could not write anything approaching a letter,” he said.

Mr F.S.Newborn (chairman) after finding Wilder guilty, said the Bench would impose the full penalty of £10. They were sure enquiries had been conducted properly and that the confession was genuine.