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1912: Young thief to be thrashed after Shoe Club theft

Updated: Dec 3, 2023

West Sussex Gazette-Thursday 20 June 1912


In the Childrens Court at Haywards Heath Petty Sessions on Monday, Robert G. Baker, (who was wearing six large school attendance medals), and Percy V. Webber, boys, of Cuckfield, were charged with stealing 4 pounds 2 shillings and 9 pence., the money of the Cuckfield National School Shoe Club.

Arthur Thomas Rapley, assistant master, said the money was missed from boxes in a desk. Webber admitted the theft of three pounds or four pounds, saying the money had been spent in hiring bicycles, going to the picture palace, and buying sweets. Webber afterwards brought witness back a sovereign, and said he had found it in some old trousers of his.

The Old School in Cuckfield c2020

Baker told witness that he had waited outside the school while Webber got the money, also that Webber had given him half a crown. Defendants pleaded guilty.

The bench dismissed the charge against Baker under the first offenders act, on his fathers undertaking to thrash the boy. As to the boy Webber, the bench adjourned the case against him for a week to see if they could send him to the Cornwall training ship or some other suitable home. There was not the slightest doubt that he was the ringleader.

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