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WHOLESALE THEFTS. Brecon Youth Sent to Gaol. At the Brecon Borough Police Court, on Tuesday afternoon, a remarkable series of thefts by a youth was investi- gated, with the result that the defendant was sent to gaol for three months' hard labour. The magistrates sitting were the Mayor (Mr W. F. Parry deWinton), Mr David Powell, Mr J. C. B. Morris, and Mr Evan Morgan. The defendant was William Cyril Herbert, 18, an engine cleaner, of 8, Little Free street, and he was charged with stealing, between February 19th and June, from 41, .the Watton and the adjoining garage, six fishing rods, value £ 9 12s, 6d., four fishing books and contents value £ 10, and motor and cycle tools, &c., value 9.7) 17s. 6d, the property of Mr H. C. Rich, his former employer. Mr Lewis W. H. Jones appeared for the prosecution. There was quite a large collection of fishing rods, tools and other things pro- duced in the Court. Police-Sergt. John Boore stated that on Tuesday. May 27th, he received a warrant to search 8, Little Free street, Brecon, in respect to a garden spade and four fishing books missing. P.C. Hibbert went with him to the house, in the -evening. They searched the place, but failed to find anything mentioned in the warrant. Later the same evening he took defendant to the Police Station and -told him what was stated in the search warrant, and he replied, I have never stolen anything from Mr Rich, but T .have picked up some flies which Mr Rich had thrown away and left here and there." Asked what he had done with them,defendant said he gave them to boys whom he named. Witness took prisoner to see one of these lads. who said he had had some flies from Herbert and they were in a book at home. He asked witness to go to his mother for them and take the book to Mr Rich, as the book and some of the tackle belonged to him {the lad) and the rest of the tackle might belong to Mr Rich, who could identify it. Mr Rich did identify some of the tackle at the Police Station and the book was afterwards returned to the boy. Witness charged Herbert with stealing four fishmg books and contents, valued £ 10, and cautioned him, and he re- plied I know nothing about the books, I never had them." Defendant was put in the cell, and at 12-30 a.m. on May 28th, t he called witness and said I wish to make a clean breast of it:' He was cautioned in the usual way, and then made a statement, which witness took down in writing in the presence of P.C. 28 Davies, and which defendant signed. AN EXTRAORDINARY CONFESSION'. Witness read the statement, a long document. In the course of this de- fendant said that when he was in Mi- Rich's house about three months ago he yielded to sudden temptation and stole four rods and some cast books. Some of the casts he gave to two lads and the others he threw into the river and into an ash bin. He afterwards took three more fishing books and threw those away. One rod he sold for l/- and two for Ûfi each. He took some tools from the garage 12 of which he sold to a man for 1/6 also 1'8 tools which he sold to a lad for 2/ ttid a small kit of tools which he sold to a man for 2/6. Two cycle tyres and an inner tube he took and sold for 3/- to a man in Brecon. To various other people he gave flies, cigars, cartridges, spare parts, and petrol. Two other people received several motor car tyres and tubes, new and second-hand, tins of petrol on several occasions, also a back axle shaft. He also tookrid transferred to a person an entire set of lamps for a Ford car, a big pump, a powerful lifting jack, and some tools. Two horns, a bicycle lamp, and some spare parts were next mentioned. About three months ago he took f4 10s. in notes and !')/- in silver from a drawer in the kitoillen and divided the money between himself and three others. Un different other occasions he took various amounts of money and cigars. He squandered the money. He now realised what he had done, and he begged to apologise to Mr Rich and to the Police for the trouble he had given, and promised to lead a straight life, and not to associate with any bad company, which lie had been doing lately. He would do his utmost to repay Mr Rich and the girls (understood to be the prosecutor's servants) for the things he had taken from them. A number of names were mentioned in the statement. Continuing his evidence, P.S Boore related the recovery of a cycle tyre and inner tube, three fishing rods, a kit of tools, a motor pump, and a lifting jack from different people. Replying to the Clerk (Mr D. W. E. Thomas), witness said he did not recover any motor tyres those were supposed to have been taken about 18 months ago. P.C. Pearce proved receiving 16 motor tools from a man at Talyllyn. who made a voluntary statement, on May 28th. P.C. Hibbert spoke to recovering two fishing rods in Brecon on May 28th, from two men who made voluntary statements. Police-Sergt. Richards proved recover- ing a saluion rod on the 2nd inst., and a number of tools from Talyllyn on the 3rd inst. Prosecutor identified the six fishing rods and a quantity of fishing rankle pro- duced. Defendant was formerly in his employ, and recently had volunteered to rome in and cut sticks. John William Jones, garage foreman 101' prosecutor, identified the tools, &c., Produced. He stated that a Mr Phillips brought a motor cycle to the garage about the middle of April for repairs. When he came for it he reported that both tool bags had been emptied in the meantime, and witness identified some of the tools produced as Mr Phillips's pro- perty. A Mr Games brought a motor cycle in about the beginning of May. and the same evening complained of the loss of his kit of tools. This kit was in court. He believed it was about 18 months ago that defendant left Mr Rich's employ, but lie had seen him several times since. It cost the firm £ 2 lOs. to replace Mr Games's tools. Jno. Jones, of Station terrace, Cray, a cleaner employed on the Midland Railway at Brecon, gave evidence as to buying one of the fishing rods from defendant for Afterwards he heard that Billy Herbert was "in clitik (laughter)—and he told the Police that if defendant was in trouble over fishing rods he had one and wanted to give it back. Albert William Wilson, 1. Cobbs Town, Llanfihangel- Talyllyn, identified 16 of the tools produced as things he had from defendant, who tokl him they were his own fitting outfit which he no longer required, as he had left Rich's. Wit ness paid ]/- for one tool and 1/- for four others, and the rest defendant "threw in." Witness was holidaying when inquiries were made, but imme- diately on his return took the tools to the Police. The Mayor What made you take expensive things like that for a shilling i ,) apiece ? Witness He told me he had finished fitting and did not want them they were useless to him and lie wanted to get rid of them. The Mayor, to Mr Lewis Jones We have heard several other people's names mentioned. Mr Jones Defendant mentioned other people's names in that statement, but that is not evidence against them. We have been able to prove things up to a point. The Mayor But there is stuff coming back from people in responsible positions, and I don't see one of them here to make any statement. The only people we have seen so far are quite youngsters, who are more or less irresponsible and might easily accept a plausible story. Mr Lewis Jones There is a reason for what has happened. Supposing, for the sake of argument, proceedings were taken against any of these people as receivers, it would be a matter for comment to the jury if we had put them into the witness box. I have exercised my discretion as well as I could. On being formally charged the de- fendant elected to be tried by the Bench. pleaded guilty, and threw himself on the mercy of the Court. illE MAYOIl's POINTED COMMENTS. The Mayor, in passing sentence, said that defendant's behaviour had been characterised by a good deal of cunning, and he had injured a friend but his power for mischief would have been very much less if he had not been assisted by others who had taken from him things whiclMhey must have known were worth far more than the value he put upon them. In regard to the younger boys, it might be said of them that they were susceptible to a bargain and listened to a story without weighing the facts, a.nd the Bench quite saw that they could not be held responsible but in the case of those holding responsible positions, he thought the onus rested upon them as much as upon the defendant for the position he was in that day. Defendant would be sentenced to -three months' hard labour, and they hoped it was the last time lie would appear there. Defendant Can you impose a fine and I will lead a straight life and join the Army ? The Mayor We have come to our decision. His Worship added that they understood there was an application from witnesses for their expenses. The Bench would not allow expenses, except, of course, in the case of Mr Rich's foreman.

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