Jersey Weekly Post, St Helier, 13 May 1939
Before J.E. Pinel, Esq., Magistrate
THURSDAY, MAY 4TH, 1939.
Judge's Humane Sentence
No Prison, but the Birch
The birch was ordered to-day for a young thief and forger when
Elias Alfred Le Cornu, 16, St. John,was charged by Centenier P.G. Coutanche, of St. Ouen, with having during the morning of Saturday, April 29th, 1939, or about that time, illegally entered a house at Grantex, St. Ouen, occupied by Mrs Louisa Morin, widow of Mr Alfred Le Breuilly, and stolen therefrom a cheque, No. D426102, drawn on April 29th, 1939, by Mr Edward John Egré on the local branch of Lloyds Bank for the sum of £6. 5s. and payable to L. Le Breuilly ....; also on the said date, April 29th, 1939, criminally and deliberately presented the said cheque to the said branch of the said bank ... and with having thus fraudulently obtained the sum of £6. 5s. ....
P.C. Shenton said he was detailed to assist the Centenier. He questioned the lad, who at first denied the theft, but later, in the presence of his father, admitted it and stated he had paid £2. 4s. 6d as deposit on a suit at the Fifty Shilling Tailors, and that he had £3 in notes in his room. The suit and notes had been recovered.
The Magistrate: It is a nice suit. He might have gone to the football match if he had not been caught.
Mr C.R. Leach, manager of the Fifty Shilling Tailors, said accused paid for a suit at the shop on Saturday. If the suit was undamaged it could be taken back and the money refunded.
Mr E. Le Cornu, accused's father, said his son had not worked for five or six weeks. Accused was the eldest of three; his mother was dead. Witness had had no complaints previously as to the lad's conduct.
Counsel: My client's father is willing for the case to be dealt with before this Court and that his son have any punishment you think fit; but my client himself has other ideas and would sooner go before the Royal Court.
The Magistrate: He has the pluck to steal a cheque, therefore he ought to have the pluck to take the punishment.
After consultation, counsel said his client agreed to accept the Magistrate's decision.
"Le Cornu", said the Magistrate, "there is a clear case of forgery against you and some years ago that would have meant a term of years' imprisonment. ... I am loath to send a lad like you to gaol, and the best thing I can do is order you 24 strokes of the birch. You will only have 12 now, but 12 will be held in reserve for if you commit yourself again. ... I have ordered similar punishment for others, and it has proved salutary in all cases except one."
Accused was then removed to undergo his punishment.
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