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United Kingdom: The birching of adult men for robbery with violence

APPENDIX A



MINUTES OF TRIALS AT THE CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT (London), 1901

(Public Record Office, PCOM1/153)

Wednesday 20 November 1901

Before Mr Common Sergeant

CASE 32
GEORGE WILLIAM BOWKER (31), WILLIAM SMITH (22), JAMES COWLEY (21) AND HENRY PRICE (20)

CHARGE: Robbery with violence on Abraham Finkelstein and stealing a bag, 3 forks, 2 spoons, a hammer and 2 chisels his property.

All the accused were alleged to have struck violent blows on Finkelstein whilst trying to rob him of his bag on Bedford Street, near Aldgate Street, Mile End.

A police officer testified that after he had been charged Bowker said "This means a bashing, the man that flogs me won't live another day".

Another policeman said that when arresting Bowker on suspicion of being concerned in the robbery he had said "Highway robbery means a flogging, don't let them take me for this boys".

SENTENCE: GUILTY

Price pleaded guilty to a conviction of Felony at Clerkenwell in September 1900. Another conviction was proved against him.

SMITH: Eight months' hard labour

COWLEY: Twelve months' hard labour

BOWKER AND PRICE: twelve months' hard labour and Eighteen strokes each with the birch.

Author's note: The Calendar of Prisoners in P.R.O., H.O.140/210 states that Bowker was a "labourer" and had no previous convictions. Price's previous convictions were 8 calendar months' imprisonment imposed at the North London Sessions on 4 September 1900 for stealing tea, and one summary conviction for unlawful possession.



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