A Highway Robbery in Saffron Walden

An intimation having been given to Superintendent Pryke of Saffron Walden, that a young girl had been molested and robbed in broad daylight on the Ashdon Road, about a mile from the town, that officer promptly set to work to investigate the matter. He telegraphed P.C. Perry of Ashdon, who furnished particulars to the following effect:-

It appears that a domestic servant, named Sophia Searle, who is out of situation, and residing at Ashdon with her friends, had occasion to go to Saffron Walden on Tuesday, and was returning to Ashdon about seven in the evening.

Her statement is that when at the bend of the road, near the chalk pit, she met a man who went towards her. On coming up he stopped her and said, "Have you any coppers?" and she replied that she had none for him. He then pulled something from the inside pocket of his coat, which had the appearance of 


and pointing it at her head, said, "If you do not give me something, I will put this through you." She became frightened, and gave him a two-shilling piece. Having secured the florin the man at once made off in the direction of Saffron Walden, and the woman went off to her house at Ashdon. She met several people on the road but did not mention the matter to them. After arriving home she told her next door neighbour. She describes her assailant as being a man from 35 to 40 years of age, and about 5ft 5in. in height. She noticed that he was pale, and that he had a dark brown moustache and whiskers. He wore a hard felt hat, shabby black vest, and dark trousers. He did not wear a tie, but collar with front, and a stud in it. His boots appeared to be in good condition.

With these particulars to hand, Supt. Pryke at once communicated with other stations in the district, and commenced a search of the town, with the result that on Wednesday evening he heard that a man answering Sophia Searle's description had been seen to leave the town by the Little Walden road, in company with another man. The Superintendent and P.C. Perry got onto their track, and found they had been seen at Linton. Here they were joined by Supt. Everest. Finding the men had gone on to Balsham they followed, but failed to come up with them, and found they had gone in the direction of Sawden. The journey was continued to that place, but without success, and it being 11 o'clock at night further search was abandoned or that day.


As we are going to press we learn that a man had been arrested on suspicion, and detained for identification by the woman.