Street Betting at Denaby – Greengrocer Heavily Fined

July 1923

Mexborough & Swinton Times, July 7

Street Betting at Denaby

Greengrocer Heavily Fined

“A Put-up Job ”

A smart fine was inflicted by the Doncaster West Riding magistrates on Tuesday, on Albert Sagar, a Conisborough bookmaker, who was charged with street betting at Denaby on June 20.

P.c. Easton said that at 10.30 on Wednesday morning, June 20, he and Sergt. Elliott concealed themselves in Doncaster road, New Conisborough, and kept observation on defendant´s premises, which consisted of a small greengrocer´s shop, about 70 yards distant.

About 10.50 defendant came out of his shop and took up a position on the footpath in front of his window. At 11 o´clock a girl, who had been reading a sporting paper went up to him and gave defendant something after which he entered something in a pocket book. About 11.5 a man went up to him and gave him a slip of paper and something else, which he took out of his trouser pocket.

Defendant retained them in his hands and went into the shop. Just then a policeman in uniform came along the street, and defendant did not come out of the shop again till 11.50, when he resumed his old position in front of the window. From noon to one o´clock 19 men and 3 women went to him. At 12.20 a man went to him and gave him a sporting paper and something else, which appeared to be a coin.

The miners commenced to come home from work, and witness did not see the defendant in the street again. He left his place of concealment about 1.20, and at 1.40 they went to the defendant, who was in his shop. As they went in a miner, who had preceded them went hurriedly out without making a purchase. Defendant was examining a sporting paper with a pencil in one hand. When told he would be reported for street betting he replied “What Me? You can search me now”. As they left the shop, defendant called out, “Half a minute. Don´t report me. Give us a chance”. A few minutes later he called to the sergeant ” I hope you´ll not report me. I am giving this job up now. I´m skint”.

George Precious said he was in defendant´s shop on the morning in question and defendant did not leave the shop at all. No betting transactions took place. Wm. Danford, miner, Denaby, said that on June 20 he went to defendant´s shop twice during the morning. The second time he stayed there three-quarters of an hour, the defendant did not leave the shop. There was no betting and racing was not talked about. Defendant would not have a sporting paper in the shop.

Answering Inspector Hodgson, witness said he knew the defendant had taken bets years ago, but he told witness two years ago that he would never take another bet.

Mr. L. H. Brittain (Rotherham), defending, submitted that it was a very unsatisfactory case. He suggested that it was a “put-up job”, and that there was a very grave doubt. He asked that the case should be dismissed.

Inspector Hodgson said there were 18 previous convictions, including fines of £3 and £10 in 1919 for street betting.

The chairman (Mr. G. B. Shiffner) said the defendant had a very bad record, he was fined £10 the last time. He would be fined £15 this time.

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