Mexborough & Swinton Times – January 5
Smart Detective Work at Denaby
At Doncaster, yesterday, Harold Logan, a Denaby pit corporal, pleaded not guilty to stealing eight fowls, valued at £3 10s, the property of John Henry Brookbank, of Balby Street, Denaby.
Superintendent Minty said that the prosecutor had an allotment garden at the rear of North Cliff Club at Denaby. On January 5th there were 23 fowls in the fowl house on the allotment. On the following morning, when prosecutor visited the fowl house he found that the padlock and another lock had been forced. There were feathers scattered about and eight fowls had been taken away. One was also lying dead in the run.
A trail of feathers went across the garden and crags, and was traced to within a few yards of the prisoner´s home. About six yards from the fowlhouse there was a footprint, which, after being examined by the police, was carefully covered over. The police visited the home of the prisoner at night and found the house in darkness.
Sitting round the fire, however, in one of the rooms, were certain members of the family, busily engaged in burning black feather´s. Prisoner handed over to the police a pair of shoes which were found to be covered with earth, exactly similar to that in the field which had been crossed by the prisoner.
Police-Sergeant Elliot, of Conisborough, said that when charged, prisoner said, “you can do what you like. You have got to prove it is me. Search the house and you will find no fowls”.
Mr. Nicholson, on behalf of the prisoner, said Logan´s father had kept fowls for some years, and at Christmas eight were killed. The feathers discovered belonged to these fowls.
Prisoner completely denied the allegations. He said he came home on the night in question at about 11 o´clock.
Ernest Logan, father of the prisoner, of Boarden Lane, Conisborough, said his daughter was sweeping up after dinner in the pantry and found the feathers discovered by the police. A black fowl, he said, had been mauled by the cat.
In sending Logan to prison for one month, the presiding Magistrate (Mr. F. Ogley) pointed out that the offence was a particularly mean one, and but for his otherwise good character prisoner would not have got off so lightly.
There had been numerous complaints about this practice in the district, and special praise was due to the police for the manner in which they had traced this case.