Thefts of Harness

Saffron Walden Weekly News Fri 03 Aug 1900

In Cambs., Essex, Herts, & Suffolk.


At the Saffron Walden Divisional Petty Sessions on Tuesday, before Major Biscoe (in the chair), Messrs. J. Bell (Mayor), E. R. Gibson, and E. Taylor, Charles Savill (25), formerly of Curl's Farm, Clavering, and Thomas Jacobs, formerly of West Wickham, Cambs., and who at the time of their apprehension were residing at 41 Denham Road, West Hampstead, were brought up in custody, on remand, charged with staking a set of cob harness, collars, riding bridle, riding saddle, bits, cushion, pair of stirrups, rug, roller, girth etc., valued at £8.18s., the property of Arthur Perry, farmer, Clanver End, Wenden, Saffron Walden, on the 16th or 17th June.

Arthur Perry, farmer, Wenden, stated that he was at Clavering on the night of the 16th June, in consequence of his house being under repair. On that evening, at about six o'clock, he saw some harness in a nag's stable at Clanver End, and also some in the adjoining place, where corn was kept. The stable as closed, but not locked. The adjoining place was not closed, as the door was broken. There was no communication between the two places. On the morning of the 17th, about ten o'clock, when on the way to his farm, he received certain information from Fred Law, a man in his employ. He at once went to the stable, and found the harness and other articles missing. He gave information to the police at Saffron Walden, and on Monday, the 16th July, he was sent for by Superintendent Pryke. At Saffron Walden Police Station he was shown some harness, stirrups, and other articles, which he identified as some of the property he had lost. On the 17th July he accompanied Superintendent Pryke to Hampstead, and called on Jesse Andrews, a harness maker there, and identified a pair of stirrup leathers, girths, riding saddle, and rein and bridle, as a further part of the property he had lost. Witness then went to a repository, and was shown a set of cob harness complete, which he also identified as his property. he ha know recovered all the property he had missed. he valued the whole at £8.18s.

Superintendent Pryke, of Saffron Walden, stated that on Sunday, 17th July, at 11.45 a.m., he received a report from the last witness that the whole of the harness enumerated in the charge had been stolen from his farm. From inquiries made, and from information received, he arranged with Superintendent Everett and Superintendent Foster to accompany them to London on the 14th July, which he did. They went to the West Hampstead Police Station, and obtained the assistance of Detective-Sergeant Loder and Detective Andrews. After some inquiry they all went to 21, Dynham-road, close by. He knocked at the door, which was answered by a woman, who said she was Mrs. Savill. he told her who they were, and their business. they all enter the house, and in front of them there saw the prisoner Savill, who was in bed, and apparently asleep. Witness awoke him, and shortly afterwards Detective Loder brought the prisoner Jacobs in. The men were told of the stealing of harness and fowls from Essex, Cambridgeshire, Herts, and Suffolk, and that they were suspected of being concerned in the robberies, and that they would be arrested on suspicion. Savill made no reply. Jacobs said, "I never stole any harness in my life." Witness found a quantity of harness and a number of dead fowls in the house. He found the stirrup straps, stirrups and bit (produced) in the kitchen. He asked Savill for the key of the stable, which he gave him. He asked him where the stable was, and he replied, "No. 8, Ersby Mews, close by." Witness then removed prisoners to Hampstead Police Station. Afterwards, in company with the detectives, he went to the Mews, and found a cart, with plate (produced) attached to it. They entered No. 8 stable, and among other harness found the collar produced, and also the horse cloth. He secured a van, and removed the harness to Dynham-road, and loaded the other harness. Whilst there the woman, who said she was Mrs. Savill (and had since said her name was Catherine Hobbs) gave him the horse roller, which she took from some clothes. When at the Police Station he had prisoners brought out, and having cautioned them, charged them with stealing the harness from Mr. Perry's. Savill said, "I was short of horse food, and sent him (Jacobs) round the farm. When he returned he brought about a peck of corn, a rug, and horse roller." The prisoners and the property were afterwards conveyed to Saffron Walden. On the 16th July he was present when Mr. Perry picked out the collar and other articles belonging to him. The same evening Savill said to him, "If you let Tom come in here with me, and give us a smoke, I will tell you what I did with Perry's harness." Witness said, "All right." Savill then said, "About three weeks ago I sold them for 17s. 6d. at Ward's Repository, Paddington." Witness afterwards saw Jacobs, who said, "I have been wanting to see you, as I want to tell you where I sold Perry's saddle and bridle; I sold it about three weeks ago for 40s. to Mr. Andrews, harness make, Hampstead.

At this point the prisoner were asked to plead. Both pleaded guilty, and the Bench decided to deal with the case summarily.

Superintendent Pryke said since being in custody prisoners had rendered every assistance in recovering other stolen property.

There were no previous convictions recorded against prisoners.

The Chairman said it was a serious case, and the Bench must impose the full penalty, which would be six months' imprisonment with hard labour each.

Mr. Perry desired to express his satisfaction at the way in which Superintendent Pryke had followed up the case.

The Chairman concurred.

At the same Court, Frederick Bentley (42), labourer, Chickney, was charged with sealing two pairs of boots, value 12s. 10d., the property of Messrs. Holland and Barrett, at Henham, on the 28th July.

Robert Bonfield, manager to Messrs. Holland and Barrett, said on the evening in question he went in pursuit of prisoner, who rushed for a gate, and he saw him throw a boot into a cornfield. he asked him where the boots were gone to, and how many pairs he had got, and he replied, "Two pairs." Prisoner wen to the shop for a peck of maise.

P.C. Whiting stated that he saw the last witness in.a field. He told witness. that the prisoner had stolen two pairs of boots. Witness hunted the barley field, and found the two boots (produced). Bentley afterwards said he would take the other boots to the shop in the morning. He also said he was sorry, and hoped it would be made light for him.

Prisoner was committed toga for one month, with hard labour.

Prisoner: Can't I pay? It is harvest time, you know. This will be a job if I have to do a month for this.

-Prisoner was removed to the cells.