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Isle of Man Weekly Times, Douglas, 3 August 1956
Eight Liverpool Boys Before Court on Pilfering Charges
Caught the Boat Feeling Sore
Boys Birched by Order of Magistrates
Two Liverpool boys received the birch on Tuesday afternoon, an hour before they caught the return steamer at the end of a camping holiday. Six other youths, all members of the "gang", were given fines of 10s by the magistrates at a Juvenile Court which sat in Douglas, presided over by Mr T.G. Bridson.
The eight youths had been convicted of petty pilfering of a money box, wallets, toys, sweets, and wristlet watch straps from shops in Douglas, Ramsey and Peel, or with receiving the goods knowing them to have been stolen.
One of the offenders, aged 14½, stole on two occasions and asked for three other offences to be taken into consideration. He had previously been convicted in Liverpool of larceny. This defendant was awarded four strokes. The other boy who got the birch -- two strokes -- admitted to stealing a wallet and asked for two other cases of theft of sweets, a cap and a wallet to be taken into consideration.
The six other defendants received very strong admonitions from Mr T.G. Bridson, who told them that the Bench was disgusted that they should come over to the Island to steal. Some of the bigger boys should have set an example to their juniors, and others had tried to put the blame on their friends. In one case a boy had not only stolen from local shops but had also stolen a wallet from his companion, which the latter had in turn pilfered. "It is usually considered that there is honour among thieves," he added, "but this does not apply with you."
The court had been adjourned from the morning, owing to the absence of two magistrates to make up the Bench. At the adjournment Chief Inspector Cringle stated that the boys were due to return to Liverpool on the 4 p.m. boat. However, the charge sheet was dealt with by 3.30 p.m. and the camp official, who was present in court, shepherded his charges from the building to catch the steamer.
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