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Brighton Evening Argus, 11 March 1947
Gave Men Lift -- They Left Him In His Pants
Prison And Birching Sentence On Soldiers
HOW a motorist who gave a lift to two soldiers on Boxing Day was knocked down, threatened with a pair of scissors and then forced to strip to his underpants was described to Mr. Justice Brynne at the Sussex Assizes at Lewes to-day, when the two men, John Wilkinson, 33 and Eric Temperton, 23, who had pleaded guilty to robbery with violence, were each sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment and six strokes with the birch.
According to Mr. Anthony Harmsworth (prosecuting) the two men were in the Crow and Gate public house at Poundgate on 26th December when Mr. William Henderson, an Essex veterinary surgeon, called there.
All three got into conversation and had drinks together, and then Mr. Henderson gave the accused a lift in his car.
Wanted His Money
At Maresfield, Mr. Henderson stopped the car and they all got out.
It was alleged that the men then said they wanted his money.
Mr. Henderson gave them some small change, and Temperton said it was not enough.
Mr. Henderson then gave them £8 or £9 in notes.
Later, it was alleged Mr. Henderson was hit in the mouth and knocked down.
Temperton, kneeling on his chest, took a pair of scissors from Henderson's pocket and held them to his throat saying, "I will bump you off."
The men said they wanted the man's clothes and Mr. Henderson gave them his mackintosh. The accused said they wanted his other clothes as they were deserters and wanted civilian clothes.
Trousers Pulled Off
Henderson's jacket and trousers were pulled off and Wilkinson put them on.
Henderson ran away and went to a house in his underpants.
The police were informed of what had happened and they found the accused men standing beside Mr. Henderson's car.
Wilkinson pretended to be drunk and Temperton gave a false name.
One of the men was ultimately found asleep in a hut and the other in camp at Crowborough.
Replying to the Judge, Mr. Harmsworth said Mr. Henderson was more frightened than hurt.
Supt. Manby said there were no previous convictions against Temperton. He had, however, had a suspended sentence of three years' penal servitude imposed by a Court Martial for desertion, and was awaiting military charges of striking an officer, wounding with intent and escaping while in confinement.
Supt. Manby said there was one previous conviction against Wilkinson, who had been sentenced by a Court Martial to three years' penal servitude for desertion. He was awaiting military charges of wounding with intent and escaping while in confinement.
In reply to the Judge, Supt. Manby said the men had been drinking at the time of the offence.
Defending, Mr. O'Connor described the crime as "one of the clumsiest that could be imagined." It was due to the fact that the men were drunk.
Passing sentence of 12 months' imprisonment, with six strokes of the birch on each of the accused, the Judge said it might have been three years and twelve strokes.
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