Mexborough times, July 4, 1914.
Conisbrough men charged.
“A miniature racecourse.”
William E. Butcher, miner; William Hinchcliffe, bookmaker; Sam Clark, miner of new Conisbrough, were summoned for Street betting at New Conisbrough on June 17; and John Charles Butler, miner, new Conisbrough, was summoned for aiding and abetting.
Superintendent Minty said that considerable complaints had been received from the Conisbrough district in regard to Street betting, and as a result the police took up a position on June 17, and watched a certain place at Conisbrough and saw what appeared to be almost a miniature racecourse. Three men were booking, and a considerable amount of business was being done, while scouts were watching out. On the following day the police were able to effect the arrest of the man Butcher, who had been before the court once before this month.
PC Grant said that 11:20 AM on Wednesday he was on duty in plain clothes, in company with PC Knowles, concealed in an empty house, 43. Blythe Street, New Conisbrough. They saw Butcher, Hinchcliffe and Clark take up their stand in the back of Loversall Street, which joined the back of Blythe Street. 12 other men came up and commenced to act as touts. Butler then tried the door of the house, where witness and the other constables were concealed, and remained at the house all the afternoon. From 11:30 AM until 1:30 PM, witness kept observation of the three bookmakers, and during that time he saw 120 men, 30 women, and 15 girls approach the bookmakers. They handed the bookmakers slips and money. At about 1:35 PM a young man, dressed in a blue suit, came up, and all the slips were placed in a handkerchief. He put the handkerchief under his coat and disappeared down Loversall Street.
PUNCH AND NUTTER
PC Knowles corroborated, and said that at 11:25 AM on Thursday he saw Butler and Hinchcliffe take up their stand in the back of Loversall Street. Nine men were acting as touts, one of which was Butler. Between 11:30 AM and 12:50 PM, 11 women, three girls and one boy approached Butler and Hinchcliffe, and handed them slips and money. At 12:50 PM witness and Grant rushed them. Witness was out of the house and got up to Butcher before he saw him. Butcher shouted “Punch and Nutter” (meaning two of the defendants). Witness caught him in Firbeck Street. He took him to the police station, and found in his possession £1 10 shillings in gold, £5 18s 3d in silver and 3/11 in coppers. He had also in this possession 22 betting slips, scribbling tablets which bore reference to 66 horses running that day at Ascot, 25 postcards, on which were entries relating to 54 sums of money for paying on the previous day’s race. He had also a sporting paper. Butler was continually walking up and down the street and if anyone strange came along, he would give the signal to the bookmakers, who then disappeared into some houses. Clark was there up to 3:35 PM. In reply to Mr Alan witness said he was certain the defendants were there.
For the defence Mr Allen said that all the men except Butcher would say they were not engaged in either betting or aiding and abetting. He contended that it was impossible for the officers to see coins exchanging hands at such a distance away.
All the defendants went into the witness box and declared that that they went to work on the days in question. Reply to Supt minty Hinchcliffe said he was a bookmaker´s clerk.
Butcher said that none of the other men were guilty.
Considerable time was occupied in deciding the cases, but eventually the Chairman announced that the Bench had resolved to believe the evidence of the police and not the evidence of the defendants. Butcher, he said, was on 14 June fined five pounds and costs, and he would now have to pay £10 and the costs, 7/6 or one month in the first case , and in the second case he would be fined £15 and the costs 4/6 or two months, the sentences to run consecutively.
This was Hinchcliffe’s third offence for Street betting. In the first case he would be fined five pounds and the costs, 8/6 or one month, and in the second case £15 and costs, or in default one months, the sentences to run consecutively.
Clark would be fined 40 shillings and costs or 14 days.
There were many convictions years Butler, but nothing for street betting. He would be fined 20 shillings and the costs, 8/6 or 14 days, in each case.