South Yorkshire Times, June 18th, 1955
Left Family at Conisbrough.
Seaman Told: ‘Find Work or Go to Prison.’
A Trawler hand whose wife collected £46 5s., National Assistance after he had left her, was given the choice at Doncaster West Riding Magistrates’ Court, last Thursday of finding work locally or going to prison.
The chairman (Mr. S. T. Firth) said ‘It is not in the nature of a threat. It is for you to think what is the best thing to do for your wife and children.’
Arthur Moore (34) trawler hand, of no fixed address, was accused of neglecting his two children aged two and five in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering. He pleaded guilty and was put on probation for two years on the condition that he found work locally and helped to maintain his wife and children.
Mr. W. F. Bracewell, prosecuting, for the N.S.P.C.C., said that on March 11th, Moore left his wife and children at Old Road, Conisbrough, without saying where he was going. While he had been away she had been paid £46 5s., National Assistance. She said the monotony of home life made him leave.
Moore, he added, wrote to his sister from Hull asking for some money saying he was serving on a ship.
The chairman said: ‘You don’t strike me as being an unintelligent man. The Bench are giving you the chance of obtaining the best paid employment you can in this area and be in a position to contribute to the upkeep of your wife and children. If you don’t, we have only one alternative and that is to send you to prison.’
Moore said he would get a job in Doncaster pit.
But his wife told the magistrates: ‘He won’t keep his promise. I can’t trust him any more.’
The chairman replied: ‘If you don’t do this, the police will collect you and it won’t matter whether you are on a trawler in Greenland or Iceland.’