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Boy steals 42 pairs of stockings to buy sweets

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At the Scarborough Children’s Court before Mr George Rowntree (in the chair), Alderman Ascough, Mr W Saynor and Mr Servington Savery, a twelve-year-old boy was charged with breaking into 118 North Marine Road on the 28th May and stealing 42 pairs of old stockings and six jars value 4s, the property of Mary Melton and he was further charged with stealing a quantity of coal value 5s, the property of Edith Elvidge, Royal Avenue, between the 6th and 18th of May. He pleaded guilty to both charges.

Detective-Sergeant Yeoman said 118 North Marine Road, was left furnished in September 1916 and had been visited periodically since to do certain cleaning. The boy admitted breaking a window in the gallery and entering the house taking away the stockings and jars and selling them to a second-hand dealer for 3s 3d. The daughter of the second-hand dealer had some doubt about the stockings being the property of the boy’s mother and the lad brought a younger brother back with him to confirm his statement that all was in order.

Asked what he did with the money he said “spent it on goodies”.

In the second case, defendant’s mother sent him to fetch two bags of coal from a coal merchant and gave him 3s. Instead of going to the coal merchant he went to Alma Square where Miss Elvidge had formerly resided and filled the bags there, keeping the money and spending it in sweets and going to the pictures.

The father of the boy said he had been in the army and was discharged in March last. He had no trouble with him when he was at home. He had plenty to eat and he could not account for his conduct.

Mr Underwood, secretary of the Scarborough Education Committee, said the report of the headmaster of the school which defendant attended, went to show that the boy was more tractable when the father was away than when he was at home.

The father resented this report and said he had only kept the boy at home once after the headmaster had declined to let the boy leave school early to fetch coal.

Defendant had been previously bound over for stealing cigarettes in 1916 and the magistrates, after retiring, decided to adjourn the case for a week so that enquiries could made as to a suitable school to which the boy could be sent.

Defendant’s father showed some temper when the magistrates gave their decision and he objected to their warning of the younger boy for going with the defendant to the second-hand dealer and making an untruthful statement.