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Judicial CP - March 1886
News of the World, London, 28 March 1886
Yesterday's Law and Police.
Boys awarded the birch.
Frank Charles Trott, 12, Thomas Lowry, 11, William Murray, 11, George Trayte, 10, Patrick Hanran, 14, and Richard Egan, the first four described as schoolboys, and the other two as errand boys, were charged with being concerned with other lads, not in custody, with breaking and entering a warehouse in London-street, Dockhead, and stealing therefrom 70 dozen boxes of wax matches, value £2.1s.6d, the property of Messrs. Lloyd and Sons.
A clerk in the employ of the prosecutors stated that the premises had been safely locked up on Wednesday night, and on going to the place next morning he found the warehouse door forced open, and a quantity of matches missing.
Detective-sergeant Brogan, M Division, stated that he received information of the robbery from the last witness, and from inquiries he made he went to the Flockton-street Schools, and there saw the boy Lowry, whom he took into custody. On telling him the charge he said "There were other boys there as well as me. I only had one package." Witness asked him who were the other boys, and he said "There are three of them in the school-room," and then pointed out Trott, Murray, and Trayte, and they were also apprehended, and when charged they said "Yes, we were there, we only had a package each. We didn't break in the door, it was two big boys named Hanran and Egan." Later on he arrested Hanran and Egan, and they at first denied any knowledge of the robbery, but afterwards confessed that they were there with the other prisoners, and pushed in the door of the warehouse.
In answer to the magistrate, prisoners, whose heads scarcely reached above the dock, pleaded Guilty, and the mothers, who were in Court, said they could not account for their boys' conduct.
Mr. Sheil said Hanran, as the oldest, was the most culpable of the lot, and had moreover told stories about the robbery. He would therefore have to go to prison for seven days, with hard labour. Lowry, Murray, and Trayte would each be sentenced to one day's imprisonment and six strokes of the birch-rod, and Trott to one day and 12 strokes of the birch. In the case of Egan, as he was at work and received a good character from his master, he would be discharged with a caution.
Later in the day the corporal punishment awarded by the magistrate was inflicted on the prisoners at the police-station, Blackman-street, and they were taken home by their mothers apparently repentant.
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