Theft of Timber

May 1921

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday 28 May 1921

Theft of Timber

On Tuesday at Doncaster fifteen Denaby and Conisbrough men and youths were charged with stealing a quantity of fence rails, etc., belonging to the Dearne to the Dearne Valley Railway Company, valued altogether at £7.

They were William Roberts (37), miner Luke Thorpe (19) pithand; Frederick Houldsworth (16) pony driver ; Joe Freeman (21) pit hand James Callaghan (17) pony driver; John Wigley (21) miner; John Griffin (18) pit hand; Thomas Burke (23) miner; Samuel Plant (16), Henry Cooke (17), John R Davies (18), Thomas Hinks (16), pony drivers, Conisbrough, Reuben Hodgetts (18), Herbert Lawley (17), pony driver; Benjamin Fawkes (70), pit hand, Denaby.

Mr Henry E Daniel from the Solicitor’s Department of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway company, Manchester, said the prisoners, who had been on bail, were charged with stealing 56 fence rails, the property of the Company, at Cadeby between Friday, April 1, and May 21.

On Sunday, May 15 PC Eastham visited several allotment gardens at New Conisbrough, and there saw two newly erected cart sheds and a pigsty. They were composed, he noticed, of w this ood generally used by railway companies in fencing, and he made enquiries. One of the owners told the officer that about three weeks ago some of the prisoners called upon him and offered for sale some fencing, which they said they had had given, and they had had to go up to their necks in water for it. He paid them 1/- each for three rails, and at different times he bought 16 from them at that price, and four at 9d.

The officer also saw another allotment holder, would also bought some fencing from some of the prisoners.

He could prove that 10 of the men, Roberts, Holdsworth, Freeman, Wigley, Plant, Davies, Hinks, Lawley and Fawkes and another not before the court, had disposed of the timber.

From April 1 to May 16 on the Denaby branch alone 100 fence rails had been missed, as well as nine posts, while in the mainline near Cadeby 50 rails had been missed. The rails were valued at 2/6 each.

The prisoners pleaded guilty and had nothing to say.

Roberts, against whom were 12 previous convictions, was sent to prison for three months. Houldsworth, Burke, Hodgetts, Hinks, Lawley and Fawkes, all of whom had been previously convicted were sent to jail for a month each. The rest were fined £3 each.