Vanished Purse – A Shipley Shopping Sequel.

July 1919

Shipley Times and Express – Friday 25 July 1919

Vanished Purse.

A Shipley Shopping Sequel.

Violet May Ward, aged 18, a mill hand, of Denaby Main, was charged at the Bradford West Riding Police Court Monday with the theft of a purse containing 15s. 3id., the property of Lily Ross, wife of Joseph Ross, painter, 14, Hudson Street, Shipley, on the I8th inst.

Mrs. Ross stated that 7.15 p.m. on Friday she went to Mrs. Lacy’s shop, Kirkgate. Shipley, accompanied by Mrs. Mowatt. While examining some stockings she placed her purse, containing 15s. the counter. The accused was standing close to her. Witness missed her purse, and Mowatt said to her, that girl has got it.” The girl denied this, and Mrs. Mowatt then said that she had seen the girl take the purse from the counter and put it up her sleeve. On this the girl offered to be searched.

Mrs. Burnett, who was with the accused, searched her, but did not examine her sleeves. At the police station, and in the presence Inspector Foulkes; witness searched the accused and found the purse in her right pocket. The accused then said that there were two girls going out she went in, and that they must have taken the purse.

The accused now pleaded not guilty.

Annie Elizabeth Mowatt of, 10, Spur Road. Shipley, corroborated the evidence of Mrs. Ross. The Chairman (“Mr. ,J. G. Mowatt): If you saw the girl putting this purse up her sleeve, why didn’t you search her at the time?

Witness: I was taken aback by it.

Accused: She didn’t say the purse was up my sleeve.

Selina. Burnett, wife of Joseph Burnett, of 23, Queen Street, Shipley, said that the accused had lodged with her the last three weeks. On the day in question she and the accused went to the shop. There they saw Mrs. Ross, who shortly after said she had lost her purse, and Mowatt said that the accused had taken it.

The girl said. “Will no one search me?” and witnessed examined her pockets, “but did not find the purse. They went to the police station with Mrs. Mowatt and Mrs. Ross, and when the accused was searched the purse was found in her pocket. It was not possible for anyone place the purse in the girl’s pocket between the shop and the police station. Witness did not hear Mrs. Mowatt say that the purse was the girl’s sleeve.

Inspector Foulkes said that on the accused entering the police station he saw the purse in her jacket, but he did not think it was the subject of the charge. When Mrs. Ross searched the accused the purse was claimed Mrs. Ross. The accused, however, still denied taking the purse.

The accused told the magistrates that she could not account for the purse being in her pocket, she had never touched it.

The mother of the girl said that she had been no trouble to her. It was the first time the girl had been away from her home Denaby Main. The mother admitted that the girl had left home without permission to work in a mill at Shipley, and that she look 10s, of her brother’s money, which, however, she returned at the week-end.

The Chairman said the magistrates felt it was a very sad case. The accused would be bound over to be of good behaviour for twelve months in the sum of £5.