Tales from way back when…


(A look at some of the stories that made the news ‘back-in-the-day’ with CLIFFORD STANLEY) 

Stole Mr. Alicock’s charcoal

GEORGETOWN, Wed., May 10 – Fitzgerald Gordon, a man with a variety of convictions,  was sent up for two months hard labour by Magistrate A.V. Crane, LLB., yesterday when he was found guilty at the City Magistrate’s Court  of the larceny of a bag of charcoal, the property of Mr. Wreford Alicock, well known launch owner and businessman of the City.
Gordon pleaded not guilty to the charge brought by the Police, who were represented by District Supt. L.F. Edmonds.
Mr. Allicock said he left the City for Wismar on Friday, leaving the bag of charcoal on Messrs. M.P. Comacho’s wharf , and on his  return on Monday morning, the charcoal was not there.
Gordon’s story was that a ‘red man’ he did not know had asked him to remove the charcoal from the wharf to the office; this he did and afterwards found himself a prisoner.
The charcoal, valued at 60 cents, was up to yesterday undiscovered.
(The Daily Chronicle: May 12, 1939)

Finder not compelled to seek owner of lost valuables
GEORGETOWN, Fri., May 12 – Holding that it was impossible to draw the conclusion that the gold and diamond brooch missed by Mrs. E. Seedorf on January 16 had been stolen from her house, and finding that it was lost, City Magistrate Mr. A.V.Crane, LL.B., at the City Magistrate Court yesterday, acquitted Roy Medas and Newburn Hutton, two young men charged with the theft of the brooch valued at $90.
Giving decision, the Magistrate said:
“The defendants were charged before me a week ago with unlawful possession of a gold and diamond brooch, reasonably suspected to have been unlawfully obtained. There was no clue to the ownership of the property and I gave directions that public notice be given in the Press to endeavour to find the owner.
“On that occasion, the defendant, Roy Medas alleged that Newburn Hutton, the other defendant, had given him the brooch to pledge, and Hutton admitted that. Up to his first appearance in Court, Hutton had given two different accounts of his possession, namely, that the brooch belonged to his sister, and that he had found it on the mudflat outside Bookers # 1 Wharf.
“The brooch has now been claimed by Mrs. Eugenie Seedorf, following the press notice, and both defendants have been charged with larceny of the brooch.

Almost a certainty that the brooch was lost
“The evidence of Mrs. Seaford is that Mrs. Seedorf went out on January 16, 1939, and most probably had the brooch on her, for immediately on her return home, it was missed from her apparel, and the chauffeur was sent out to make a search for it.
“The circumstances under which the brooch had disappeared point almost certainly to its having being lost whilst the Lady was out somewhere between Oronoque Street, Bourda, Parade Street, Kingston, and her own house in Main Street.
“It is impossible to draw the conclusion that it had been stolen from the house. The defendant, Hutton, now gives a third version of his possession, namely, that he found the brooch at Main and Holmes Streets.
“Even though Hutton had lied and given different accounts of his possession, the Court is bound to examine the circumstances to determine whether they point to a loss or theft. I find that the brooch had been lost.
“In any case, the doctrine of recent possession of an article like a brooch, which goes from hand to hand, most readily cannot apply.

Finder not bound to find owner
“On a charge of larceny of goods lost, the question is whether there is evidence to show that the prisoner, at the time he found and appropriated the goods, believed that he could have found the owner. R Vs Glyde (1968) L.R.I.C.C.R. 139;- R Vs. Deanes  (1869) LL Cox, 227, In  R. Vs Dixon, 1865, 25 L.J.M.C. 39.
“It was held that the finder was not bound to take active steps to find the owner. This is the common law of England and it is applicable in B.G. The Larceny Act, 1916, Sec. 1 (2) (1) (d) however defines the expression “takes” to include obtaining possession by finding, where at the time of the finding, the finder believes that the owner can be discovered by taking reasonable steps.
“This provision has, however, not been adopted in this country, and no question therefore arises whether the defendant, Hutton, believed that the owner could have been discovered by taking reasonable steps.

Pledging not larceny in law
“Persons of the defendant’s type, on finding anything, usually make tracks straight away for the pawnshop, without in the least considering the question of ownership. Attempting to pledge the property is not in itself larceny in law. I accept the evidence that the brooch is the property of Mrs. Seedorf, and order that it be restored to her.
The defendants are discharged.”
(The Daily Chronicle: May 12, 1939)

(Clifford Stanley can be reached to discuss any of the foregoing articles at cliffantony@gmail.com or by telephone: 657-2043)