Sunday, 22 January 2017

Soldier Theft from Bedford Dairy

Ref: Z1306/10/5/2, M. Flood & Son, St. Cuthbert's Dairy,, 1911 (Bedfordshire Archives & Records Service)
Monday 22nd January 1917: At the Bedford Borough Sessions, John Whelan, a soldier, was charged on remand with stealing from the dairy at 69 Bower Street a portion of the cash till and the sum of £2 from Harry Flood. Mrs Susannah Flood testified that the soldier came into her son’s shop and asked her to fetch him a cup of tea, which her daughter-in-law made. The soldier downed two cups and asked for a third, which he paid for. By this time, Mrs Susannah Flood was on her own and when she returned with a third cup, the soldier was no-where to be seen and the till drawer had disappeared. Mrs Alice Flood, wife of Harry Flood, corroborated that she had left the shop, leaving her mother-in-law with the soldier drinking tea. She next identified Whelan at an identity parade of soldiers living at 28 Goldington Road. A witness residing at 115 Bower Street testified to hearing a noise in the passageway at the side of her house on the day in question, where she and her son later found the discarded till drawer. A police officer found some half-crowns in Whelan’s pockets following the identity parade and charged him with stealing.

Company Quarter-Master Skaine testified that Whelan’s pay was 3s 6d per week and that he had last been paid on the 10th January. Whelan denied the charges and pledged to pay for his own defence at the trial, rather than apply under the Poor Prisoners’ Defence Act as advised by the court.

Source: Bedford Record 23/1/1917

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