1880 article – “A singular escapade”
The Ipswich Journal, Saturday , April 10, 1880; Issue 7834
PETTY SESSIONS REPORTS
STEALING GATE IRONS
Seth Bull, of Elmswell, an old offender residing at Elmswell, was charged with stealing part of a gate with irons attached, value 3s. 6d., at Norton on or about the 10th March, the property of James Sparke, Esq., of Bury St Edmund’s.
Mr W. Gross prosecuted.
Policeman Robert Cooper, stationed at Elmswell, said: On the 11th of March I went to defendant, in consequence of information received, and asked him if he wished to account for the irons he had sold to Mr Bloom, of Elmswell, cautioning him to be careful how he answered, because irons were lost. Defendant said, “I bought them off Marriott, of Tostock.” I then went to see my informant, Stiff, bailiff to Mr J. Addison, the tenant at New Hall, Elmswell. When I went to defendant’s house I saw part of a gate and asked him whether it was part of the gate the irons came off. The hinges which had been taken off the gate, I found at Mr Bloom’s. I showed part of the gate and iron to Stiff, and he identified them as belonging to Mr Addison. I received the irons off Mr Bloom.
George Stiff, of Norton, farm bailiff to Mr John Addison, said: In consequence of what Policeman Cooper said I went to his house, and there saw the irons now produced. They belonged to a low gate, and were evidently taken off. Part of the back of the gate, which has been sawn in two (now produced), belongs to the same gate.
Cross examined by defendant; I swear to the parts of the gate.
Robert Marriott, of Tostock, a blacksmith, said he had never bought or sold any irons to defendant. All he knew was that he came to him a few days ago and begged of him to tell the policeman who was coming that he had sold irons to him.
By defendant: I have never sold any iron or irons to you.
Robert Henry Bloom, in innkeeper living At Elmswell, said that during the latter part of February or the beginning of March be bought a gate without irons, and a few days afterwards, when trying to buy some irons that would suit, defendant came up and said “I have some irons that will suit that gate.” Witness went afterwards to defendant’s premises and bought the irons produced for 1s. Since then he had seen defendant and told him he must be a rascal to steal gate irons and sell them. Defendant said, “I had them off Marriott, of Tostock.” When he bought the gate irons the piece of wood were attached.
David Bull, of Elmswell, uncle of defendant, said he was a tailor. One day Bloom came to the house and told him he wanted the irons he had bought off defendant. He went to the defendant to tell him. The irons were then produced and given to Bloom.
The Bench convicted, and fined defendant 50s. or one month’s imprisonment, with hard labour.
Defendant was committed.
The Ipswich Journal, Saturday, July 10, 1880; Issue 7860
SUFFOLK QUARTER SESSIONS
AN UNFORTUNATE GENTLEMAN
We have another press report which no doubt precedes the one Judy located…
A singular escapade occurred here on Monday week. A respectable-looking, and apparently well-educated man, who refused to give his name, drove into Wetherden in the morning, and leaving his horse and cart there, he walked on to Elmswell, where he entered the Fox Inn, and had some refreshment. As he was leaving, a person connected with the establishment noticed that he had something under his arm, and, running into the room he had been occupying, missed a small but valuable picture that had been hanging in the room. She immediately called in aid from the Railway-station, close by, and gave chase. When the “gentleman” saw he was pursued, he threw the picture, for such it was, over the hedge. He was ultimately captured, and handed over to the police-constable, who took him to Ixworth, where he was, on Tuesday, brought before the Bench, and gave his name as George Heaton, a retired barrister. He was committed for trial at the Sessions, bail being allowed, but no evidence was offered, on the ground that he was not accountable for his actions.
Mr George Heaton, a retired barrister, was charged with having stolen an oil painting, the property of Mrs. Jemima Corner, at Elmswell, on the 28th June.
Mr Bunbury, who was instructed to prosecute, said he had to come to the conclusion, after consulting with Mr Blofeld, who appeared for the defendant, and hearing the medical evidence which was proposed to bring forward, that it was his duty to withdraw the prosecution and offer no evidence, and thus leave the July to return a verdict of not guilty He had consulted with Dr Short upon the matter, and with Dr Chevallier, and he found from the evidence they were prepared to give that it would be impossible to find the defendant guilty. He, therefore, proposed to withdraw the prosecution.
Mr Blofeld said in order that the Court should sanction this course, it would be necessary for him to show some reasons that this was the proper course to adopt. The defendant was a man of great education and considerable talent, and an accomplished linguist. He had suffered from sunstroke, from blows upon the head on many occasions, and wounds in various parts of the body in conflicts with savages, and was, in fact, a much battered man. He had been very odd for a considerable time, and last October, his relatives took steps to have him confined in a lunatic asylum.. By the entreaty of his wife, however, this course was not adopted, but since that time he had had a fall from a dog cart, and having fallen upon his head, he suffered from concussion of the brain. Dr Short saw the defendant on the day that he was committed for trial, and he would be prepared to state that he was irresponsible for his actions, although he exhibited considerable shrewdness in the questions he put, for that was a quite consistent with insanity. Dr. Chevallier and Dr. Short were both prepared to prove that the defendant was a lunatic, and a decided lunatic. This occurrence would, of course, lead to proper medical treatment, but he (Mr. Blofeld) thought the defendant would be enabled to leave the Court without a stain upon his character, or anything to annoy or pain his friends. His wife was present, and she was willing to undertake that he should be placed under proper medical superintendence until he had recovered from the aberration of mind from which he was then suffering. As to the facts of the case, Mr Blofeld said it was not necessary to go into them then, or he should have something to say upon them.
The Chairman said that no evidence being offered against the defendant to the Jury, and having heard what had been said by Mr Blofeld, it would be their duty to say that he was not guilty.
The Jury accordingly returned a verdict of not guilty, and the prisoner was discharged under the care of his friends.
The Ipswich Journal, Saturday, December 4, 1880; Issue 7902
PETTY SESSIONS REPORTS
SCHOOL BOARD PROSECUTIONS-
The following persons were summoned for not complying with the requirements of the Elementary Education Act in sending their children to school:
Albert Ashford, Wattisfield, three children: James Jarman of the same place, a grandchild; and George Farrow, Elmswell; in all of which cases adjournments were made to see whether in a month’s time the children attended regularly, and an order was made of Wm. Armstrong to send his boy to school.