TUESDAY, JANUARY 20
(Before J. JAMESON, J. THOMPSON, W. HARRISON, W. H. PARKIN, jun., and J. E. HASELL, Esqrs.
AN IRRECLAIMABLE. - JOHN POLLARD, drover, who has frequently appeared before the Bench in various characters, was summoned for being drunk and disorderly in King-street, on the 16th of January. In his absence, he was fined 40s. and costs, in default one month's imprisonment with hard labour.
INEBRIATES. - JOHN GRAY, for being drunk and kicking at the door of the Duke's Head Inn, at half-past eleven o'clock on the night of the 9th inst., was fined 12s. and costs, in default to be imprisoned for seven days with hard labour.
For being drunk at Holme Wrangle on the 13th inst., THOMAS WILLIAMSON was ordered to pay 13s. including costs, in default the same alternative.
EXTENSIVE ROBBERIES BY AN HOTEL COOK.
MARY NICHOLSON, an elderly, single woman, of Penrith was brought up in custody charged with stealing on Saturday, the 17th inst., several pieces of meat, three loaves of bread, two cakes, and about half-a-pound of tea, of the value of 7s. 6d.
MR. JAMES WAGSTAFF, on being examined, said - I am landlord of the Crown Hotel, Penrith. For some time I have had suspicions that some one was dispsing of my property without my knowledge or sanction. The prisoner entered my service as cook about the middle of September, and since that time, some one has been purloining food from my premises, and the deficiency has gone on increasing from time to time.
I missed pieces of meat, and loaves and cakes of bread out of the larder, sometimes more than once a week, and last week the thefts were so frequent, that they were apparent to any one; but I was so unwell that I could not watch for a sufficiently long time to detect any one.
On Friday, a person came, but the bar-maid being about, the woman left without getting anything. Concluding that this person would come again on Saturday, I kept a look-out; but instead of the visitor of Friday making her appearance, another woman came to see the cook who accompanied the woman to the larder. The woman was about leaving the premises, and observing, as she passed me at the side door, that she appeared rather bulky, I asked her if she had anything that did not belong to her. She replied that she had not.
MR. JAMESON - What was the woman's name ?
WITNESS; - I would rather withhold that at present, as to state it now might interfere with the ends of justice. When the woman denied that she had anything which did not belong to her, I insisted upon seeing whether or not she was telling the truth. I accordingly took her into a room of the hotel, and told her it was no use attempting to deceive me.
She then produced a loaf, two cakes, and two pieces of mutton. I asked her to tell me what she had given the cook for the articles, and showing me a 4**** bottle, she said she had given her that full of gin. She added that the cook insisted upon her taking the things because she had kindly given her the little drop of gin.
After she gave me her name, I let her go; but I retained the articles, which I put into the cupboard out of sight. This was about seven o'clock in the evening. About half an hour afterwards, knowing that there was another woman with the prisoner, I sent for the police. I kept a watch, and presently saw the prisoner and MARGARET WILSON, her niece, come out of the larder, and proceed in the direction of the gateway; but seeing me standing at the door, they stopped. I remained there about five minutes, the prisoner and the other woman standing near me the whole of the time.
When INSPECTOR BERTRAM arrived I went up to them, and asked prisoner who the woman was that was with her. She replied that it was her niece. I asked the woman if she had anything about her that belonged to me. Both the prisoner and her niece replied that she had not. On saying that I should insist upon seeing, they both objected. I then took them into the hotel and introduced them to the inspector. The niece had a basket which contained mutton, beef, bread, and tea, and she also had a loaf under her arm. The niece then said it was no use; she would acknowledge that her aunt had given her the articles. The prisoner, he believed did not say a word.
INSPECTOR BERTRAM gave evidence as to finding a loaf of bread, a piece of cooked mutton, a piece of uncooked beef, a piece of ham, and a cannister containing about half a pound of tea, in a basket the woman was carrying, and a loaf under her arm. He then took the prisoner into custody.
The prisoner, after being cautioned in the usual way, pleaded guilty.
MARGARET WILSON, prisoner's niece, was then charged with receiving the articles found in her possession, well knowing them to have been stolen.
MR. WAGSTAFF said he would prefer to withdraw the charge against the younger prisoner, who was married and had four children, but he thought an example should be made of the elder one.
The Bench, after a short consultation, said the elder prisoner had pleaded guilty to robbing her master whose confidence she had abused and betrayed. It was possible that offences of this kind might prevail and perhaps did prevail amongst the community at large, and the magistrates felt bound to mark their sense of the crime that had been committed, by passing a sentence that would have some effect.
The sentence was that MARGARET NICHOLSON be committed to Carlisle Gaol for five calendar months with hard labour.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 20