Police Search House at Takeley

Herts and Essex Observer - January 6th 1931


Saturday, January 6, 1931

Alleged Stolen Property Found

Two Men Charged

Waltham Hall, Takeley, was the scene of an intensive search by police officers last Friday afternoon. Stolen property was believed to be in the house, and after a sergeant and constable has been refused admission, a search warrant was obtained by Inspector Mussett, of Dunmow.

At the conclusion of the search a police car made several journeys between the house and Dunmow Police Station, to where a quantity of articles were taken.

On Saturday morning two men appeared at a Special Court in Dunmow, before Mr. T. W. King (in the chair) and Mr. G. W. Lowe.

They were Walter Samuel Buck, draughtsman, of Waltham Hall, Takeley, and Lesley Gaterell, baker, of The Close, Dunmow.

They were charged with being concerned together in the breaking into the house of Mr. Gordon Tyler Day, at Bambers Green, Takeley, on December 26th, and stealing a quantity of articles together to the value of £47

The articles enumerated in the charge were: A double-barrelled gun, a number of cartridges, a barometer, lamp, silver cup, silver salver, fancy silver butter dish with glass container, diamond tie-pin, silver ink-pot, four onyx buttons, black enamelled torch, pair of men's Wellington boots, pair of shoes, a pail and 100 eggs.

Buck and Gaterell were further charged with receiving the above articles.



Superintendent Hyde said Mr. Day's house at Bambers Green was broken into during the evening of Boxing Day, and the property which formed the subject of the charges against Buck and Gaterell was stolen. Inquiries were made by the police, and on the previous day (Friday) Sergeant Snell and P-c. Foreman went to the house occupied by Buck and at which Gaterell was a lodger.

The officers saw Buck's wife, who refused them admission to the house. In consequence a search warrant was obtained, and Inspector Mussett and other officers went to the house and made a search. In the roof they found a sunken recess about 9 feet deep. In the recess was a large quantity of property.

"Part of this property is the subject of the present charge," Superintendent Hyde said, "and the rest will form the subject of other charges covering a period from about April to December this year." He mentioned this, the superintendent added, in order that the importance of the charge might be appreciated.

Inspector Mussett said that following a report from P-c. Foreman he sent him with Sergeant Snell to Waltham Hall, Takeley. Later that afternoon a search warrant was obtained.



"I went to Waltham Hall and joined Inspector Sutton. Sergeant Snell, P-c. Foreman and Detective Clayton," the Inspector said, "and after some delay we were admitted to the house. I spoke to Mrs. Buck, and told Lateral, who was at the house, that I should detain him during the search. At 6 o'clock Sergeant Snell, who was in the roof, said he had found some of the stolen property. I arrested Gaterell, cautioned him, and took him to Dunmow Police Station, where he was detained.

"I returned to Waltham Hall, and assisted in recovering the property we had found. At 8.20 that evening I saw Buck detained at Waltham Hall by P-c. Chapman and Detective Claxton. I told him we had reason to believe that a large quantity of property we had found in the house had been stolen, and that I should arrest him on a charge of being concerned with Gaterell in braking into Mr. Day's house and stealing a quantity of articles. I cautioned him and he replied, 'Right-o.' He was taken to Dunmow Police Station."

Later the same evening, Buck and Gaterell were formally charged. In reply to the house-breaking charge Buck said, "Not guilty," and in reply to the charge of receiving, "I received some but had no knowledge it had been stolen."

Gaterell, in reply to the charge of house-breaking, said, "The best thing I can see is to own up. I took them." In answer to the charge of receiving, Gaterell said, "I asked Mr. Buck if he minded my keeping a few things there. I did not tell him what they were. I moved them into the roof when everybody was in bed."

On this evidence, Superintendent Hyde asked for a remand in custody. He would be able to proceed a little further, with additional evidence, on the following Wednesday, he said.

Buck and Gaterell were remanded in custody until Wednesday.


Evidence at Adjourned Hearing

At the adjourned hearing, at Dunmow Petty Sessions on Wednesday, the two men appeared before Capt. L. A. Cranmer Byng (chairman), Mrs. Ross, Col. T. Gibbons, D.S.O., Messrs. W. Hasler, T. W. King, S. Lean, G. W. Lowe, J. H. Matthews and E. G. Wright.

The prisoners entered the dock handcuffed to one another, but at the chairman's request the handcuffs were unlocked.

Gordon Tyler Day, of Bambers Green, Takeley, said that on December 26th he left his house about 3 p.m. and returned about 11 p.m. A communication was made to him by the maid and in consequence of what she said he made an examination of the premises. Articles which were missing comprised a silver cup, a silver-plated spirit kettle and lamp, a silver-plated butter dish, a silver ink pot, a silver salver, a barometer, a thermometer, a double barrel .410 gun, a pair of gum boots, a special constable's truncheon, two sets of hairbrushes and cases, onyx dress buttons, small green stones, a diamond pin, a gold jewelled pin, some .410 cartridges, a coloured portrait of his grandfather, a pair of ankle shoes, a bucket containing about five score of eggs, a handkerchief, a battery lamp, a military brooch and two war medals. He valued the property at about £47. He identified all the property, except the bucket, as his.

The accused Buck: Are you sure that the property produced includes all you have lost?
Witness: No.

Upon this evidence Superintendent Hyde asked for a further remand.

The accused Buck applied for bail.

Superintendent Hyde objected to bail being allowed. He said property found in this man's house covered numerous robberies since last March.

Buck: Of which I know nothing.

Superintendent Hyde (continuing): the Bench will therefore appreciate the gravity of the charge against him. If bail is granted it should be something very substantial.

The Bench retired, and on their return informed Buck that his application for bail was refused.

Both men were remanded in custody until Wednesday next.