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CHESHIRE QUARTER SESSION.,S. « BlR HORATIO LLOYD AND THE PRO- BATION ACT. The general Quarter Sessions for the county of Chester were opened at Chester Castle on Monday. Sir Horatio Lloyd presided, and among the magistrates present were Lord Arthur Grosvenor, Colonel France-Hayhurst, Mr. H. C. Yates, Mr. John Thompson, Capt. Wynne Griffith, the Hon. Cecil T. Parker, Colonial Dixon, Mr. R. T. Richardson, Mr. Harry Barnston, Mr. John M. I rost, Mr. Raffles Bulley, Mr. H. E. Wilbraham, Colonel Evans-Lloyd, Mr. J. S. MacNeill, Mr. 1. Davics, Mr. W. L. Williams, Mr. George Gar- fit, Mr. Evan Langley, Mr. C. Bell, Mr. E. R. Massie, Mr. C. 13. Davies, etc. In his charge to tho Grand Jury, the Chair- man said there. were considerably more prisoners than there wore a year ago. At that time there were only seven prisoneis, whereas that day there were 17. A year ago 17 represented the whole number of prisoners at Chester and Knutsford. Sir Horatio re- ferred to the Criminal Appeal Act and the Probation of Offenders Act. He said the former measure was absolutely now to English law. It did not como operation until April 18th, and in as much as it depended largely for its working cn rules, which tho Lord Chief Justice and a committee were about to issue, it would be idle to speculate on the effect which the Act would have. As to the Probation of Offenders Act, there was ono provision to which lie could refer with great satisfaction. It enabled the courts of summary jurisdiction to abstain from convict- ing a prisoner if by reason of his previous good character, or any extenuating circum- etanoes, they thought it desirable not to con- vict, although the facts warranted a convic- tion. They could relearo tho offender on re- cognizances, and he would 00 subject then at the discretion of the court to the overlooking cf a probation officer. He, personally, was glad that the obligation to convict had been taken away. Ho had known instances of young boys even, who had been convicted technically of some offence, which probably a great many might have been inclined to do in their youth, and the fact of a conviction having bc-en recorded against them had been detrimental to them in Their after lives. Not only could it be brought against them, but it had a tendency to diminish their self-respect. The Act was a new and very beneficial phase in the administration of criminal law. A probation officer had to bo appointed by each of the standing joint committees in the coun- ties, and they would fix the remuneration of that officer. According to the rules issued by the Secretary of State he would have very wide and extensive powers, and it would have to depend largely upon the way those duties were discharged whether tho Act was in that rctrpoct successful. Although he had the greatest possible respect for the police as a body, they were like everybody eleo occasion- ally subject to frailty and perhaps indiscre- tion in tho discharge of duty. Everybody was subject to that. Ho had known cases where in former times, when prisoners had been placed under police supervision, it had been detrimental to preoners; the prisoner was too lY.'Uoh locked after in fact;and the fact that he was a marked man and looked after by the 1 police became known to employers, and how- ever anxious a man might be to redeem his own character, it had been to some extent detrimental to him. The benefit of the now Act would largely depend upon the class cf men chosen as probation offiocrs, and the ut- most reliance would havo to be placed upon their discretion. ALLEGED TRAGEDY AND A PROBLEM. A respectably-attired woman named Mrs. Emma Elizabeth Ferns, of Liscard, entered the witness-box and made an application to the Bench. She said that she was the mother of Ethel Ferns, in consequence of whoeo non- appearance at the last Quarter Sessions on a charge of theft of jewellery applicant had had her recognizances of £50 estreated. She asked to be let off her liability, explaining that she had rea&on to believe that ner daughter bad committed suicide. She had received a letter which had been written by her daughter to a man in London. It commenced :—"When this letter reaches you I shall be no more. You cannot possibly imagine what I have gone through this last day or two." A subsequent passage of the letter spoko of "life not being -woitli living." Closely questioned by the Chairman, witness r,aid every possible search had been made for her daughter, and she had heard nothing at all. Tho Court decided to suspend the order against, applicant, and the Chairman expla:ned that it would not be levied against her except upon a fresh, order from tho Chairman of the Court. The CI I air man mentioned that there was an- other point. The police were in possession of tho jewellery alleged to have been stolen, and prosecutrix was anxious to have it returned. Ho did not think the Court oould make an order to that effcct except on conviction. He was fortified in his opinion by another member of the Bench ( Mess), who suggested that prosecutrix should bring an action in the County Court against the police. (Laughter.) COUNTY BUSINESS, The following were appointed a Visiting 1 Committee for H.M. Prison at Knutiz-fo,rd:- Earl Egerton of Tatton, Captain Anson, Messrs. R. H. Joynoon, W. Long, E. G. Ley- oester, H. 0. YateB, G. Rooke, H. Cawley, Bulkeley Allen, J. H. Milne, H. Bratt, and H. A. Birley.-Mr. T. Raffles Bulley was appointed an additional justice of the peace under the Lunacy Act for the Wirral Petty Sessional Division. TRIALS OF PRISONERS. Before Mr. H. C. Yates and other magistrates. CHESTER THIEF SENTENCED. Minnie Crawford (32), a Chester woman, pleaded guilty to three charges of stealing a jardiniere, the property of John Barber, of Newton, on 2nd October; an earthenware pedestal, the property of John William Rose at Newton on the 10th September; and cer- tain articles of clothing, the property of Jane Large, at Hoole, on the 2nd September. Mr. D. A. V. Colt-Williams, who appeared for the prosecution, stated that since she was committed for trial on these charges and let out on bail, prisoner had committed another offence in Chester, for which she had been committed for trial at the forthcoming City Quarter Sessions. Detective-Inspector Hocle stated that prisoner was the wife of a. labourer at the Hydraulic Engineering Works at Chester. During the time she had been committing these robberies she had been staying at the house of a man in Hoole, her practice being to remain in his house during the night and com- mit robberies in the morning on her way back to Chester There was no doubt that she had been paying more attention to that man than to her husband. In addition to the present charges there were at least seven or eight other cases in which prisoner might have been prosecuted. Dtetcetivs-Sergeant Crewe, of the Chester Oity Police, said prisoner generally pledged what she had stolen. The Chairman said prisoner was a thoroughly bad character, having since 1896 undergone varying terms of imprisonment for larceny. In consideration of the fact that nothing was known against her sinco 1904, she would be sent to prison for six calendar months with haird labour. ROBBERY AT CREWE. Four young men belonging to West Brom- wicli, named Alfred Bines, Wm. Taylor, Thos. Paddock and Georgo Jones, pleaded guilty to breaking and entering th" shop of t,hc Kedoma. Dairy Co., Ltd., and stealing the sum of 8s. 7d., between 24th and 25th Oct. They were further charged with breaking and entering the office of Nathaniel Soragg at Crewe, and stealing a pair of spectacles and case, a tin of coffee, a tea car;, a. towel and other &i tic!c<3, between the 24th and 25th Oct.—Taylor was sentenced to two years' p2na1 servitude, and the other prisoners to twelve months' imprisonment. UNEMPLOYMENT NO EXCUSE. Charles Brown (30), a waiter, pleaded guilty "feo breaking and entering the dwclling-houee of Michael Macnamara, and stealing a gold watch, three rings and other articles, at Liacard on tho lotb pleaded tihof, he committed the robbery under sore temptation, as he was practic-ally starving at tho time, hav- ing been unable to get employment. Ho was sentenced to four months' imprisonment, WHITCHURCH MAN'S FRAUD. A REMARKABLE HOAX. Edwin Pace (27), labourer, pleaded guilty to obtaining the sum of 12s. 7d. by false pietenceo from William Challinor, at Marbury on the 10th and 11th December. Mr. Trevor Lloyd ap- peared for the prosecution. Prisoner obtained the money from Challinor, a farm servant, by means of a daring hoax. He wrote him a letter purporting to be from Challinor's mother, ask- ing him to give prisoner 7s. for her, announcing the approaching marriage of his aunt, that his "Dad" was going to be beet man, also that his "Dad" had bought him (William) a new suit of clothes for the wedding. Tho letter was signed "Your loving mo'.her." Challinor, believing this letter was really from, his mother, went to his mistress and got 7s. from her, that amount being owing to him for wages. He addressed it to Paco, wnJl subsequently received another letter, this also purporting to be from his mother, and commencing "My d-car Son," ac- knowledging receipt of tfce 7s., and speaking of fresh arrangements in regard to the wedding. Challinor found out the hoax, and a warrant was obtained. The poliae evidence as to prisoner's antece- dents shewed that lie w&j a native of Whit- chuich. In 1904 lie joined tho Cheshire Rcgi- ment, and was subsequently dismissed from the Army for an offence at Whitchurch. A good situation was afterwards obtained for him in Whitchurch, but he lost this, and was shortly afterwards apprehended on a charge of killing a calf and selling tho carcase. Prisoner, who was a habitual loafer, was maintained by his wife, a respectable, hard-working woman. Prisoner was sentenced to nine months' im- prisonment. EXPERT BICYCLE THIEF. Albert Edward Nelson (27), ship's cook, was charged with stealing a bicycle, belonging to William Holyoak, cycle dealer, in Hoole, on the 26th March, and a bicycle belonging to Joshua Tidger, cycle dealer, Lower Bebington, r on the some day. Prisoner, who at first pleaded not guilty, afterwards withdrew his plea and admitted both offences.—Mr. R. V. Bankes, for the piosecution, mentioned that prisoner hired a bicycle from Holyoak in March last, and rode- off to Frodsliam, where he re- presented that he was a dealer in machines, and sold tiho bicycle to a man for 30s. Pritsoner had been convicted six times of stealing bicycles under similar c i in -Sup t.. Hicks stated that since his committal for trial another ohargo of bicycle stealing had been brought against him at Hyde, and he had been com- mi.ttc.d for trial at the adjourned quarter ses- sions at Knutsford. The Chairman, reviewing prisoner's record, remarked that lie appeared to be a thoroughly expert bicycle thief. His last sentence was one of thle-e years' penal servitude, with tilii'ea years' police supervision. Sentence was defeirecl until the adjourned quarter sessions. FRODSHAM MAN ACQUITTED. William Ainsworth (22), labourer, Frodsham, was indicted for feloniously receiving a gold watch dhain and a spade ace guinea, the pio- perty of Alice. Parker, at Frodsham, between Sept. 1st and Oct. 15th. Mr. R. V. Bankes ap- peared for the prosecution, the evidence shew- ing that prisoner had sold the articles to his brother for a few ponce, and the brother had sold them to a watchmaker for 27s. 6d. In the absence of cvidenco to shew how prisoner came into possession of the articles, tho jury found him not guilty, and ho was discharged. THREE YEARS FOR LARCENY. Henry McDonald, alias Ernest Holton (26), a stoker, plc-aaed guilty to stealing an overcoat and a, woollen singlet, the property of Thomas Leach, at Runcorn, on the 4ih Noveril,-er.- Mr. Oolt Williams, who piosecuied, said that the articles were hanging outside tho shop of the prosecutor, and were saen safe by the assist- ant at 9.30 in the morning. About two o'clock there was a disturbance outside, and the ar- ticles wore missed. Prisoner was apprehended, and at first denied the charge, but later made a statement before the magistrates that he snatched the overcoat. He denied taking the singlet, but an arm of the sing-let was found in his possession, and that arm fitted tho singlet which had been left on the hooks.—Deteetive- Sergt. Marshall, of Sunderland, said prisoner commenced a life of crime very young, and had made no attempt to improve himself. Tho Chairman read out prisoner's long list of previous convict when prisoner diouted, "I have heard enough of that; let it drop. I don't want it dinning in my ears every time." Prisoner was sentenced to threo years' penal servitude, and as he was removed shouted to the bench, "Good luck lo you." RAILWAY THEFTS. Selina, Peake, (43), market gardener, was sen- tenced to two months' imprisonment for a rories of theftis of goods, comprising a number of eggs and fowls, while in transit on the L. and N.-W. Railway, at Crewe, between August and November. THE REWARD OF KINDNESS. Miohaol Riley (44), labourer, was indicted for stealing a silver watdh and chain and a pair of boots, the property of James Thomas Harrison and the sum. of 3s. 6d., belonging to the L. and N.-W. Railway Co., at Crewe, on Nov. 8.— Mr. Trevor Lloyd, for the prosecution, said the (hefts weie of a mean character. Prisoner, who had been in the workhouse, called at the house of his sister, who gave him food and shelter and pressed him to stay for the night. In the room where he slept were his sister's son«, and prisoner took tho watch, and chain belonging to onie of them. He also broke open the auto- matic gas machine and extracted money. Ho had the grace to subsequently send tho ticket for the watch and chain he had pawned to their owner. Prisoner, who bore a bad record, was sen- tenced to two years' penal servitude. On leav- ing the dock he shouted to the chairman, "I wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year when it comes." ACQUITTALS. Frederick Dobson (29), groom and John Chidlow (23), plumber, were charged with stealing a horse, the property of John Prendiville, at Liscard, on the 29th of October and further with stealing a phaeton and a set of harness, the property of John Prendiville, at Liscard on the 29th October; Both were found not guilty, and were discharged,



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