On the 25th of September, 1906 in North East England a young man named James Waters was arrested for housebreaking.
The story that appeared in the Shields Daily News is below. It should be noted that the word “prosecutrix” – a word relating to female victims who prosecute – is no longer recognised by spell-checks.
HOUSEBREAKING AT NORTH SHIELDS. ACCUSED COMMITTED FOR TRIAL.
At North Shields Police Court today, James Turnbull, alias Waters, a young man, was charged with breaking and entering the dwelling-house, no. 2 Camp Terrace, and stealing a silver serviette ring, a lady’s silver watch, a silver spoon, a ring, bracelet, and locket, the property of Eliz. Jackson.
Richard Appleby-Jackson, an articled clerk and estate agent residing at no. 2 Camp Terrace, said that on the 29th Aug. last he and the other members of the family left home and returned on the 12th Sept, finding that it had been broken into, and that a number of articles valued at £4 8s had been stolen. On the 20th inst., from what he was told, he went to the police station and there identified a serviette ring, a watch, a spoon, and other articles as the property of his mother.
Anna Ramsey, residing in Howard Street, said that while the prosecutrix was from home she kept the keys of the house. On the 4th Sept she went there for the purpose of watering the plants and found everything in order. She locked the house up before she left, everything then being secure. She returned three days later and found the house in a state of disorder.
Mary Isabel Davies, a cook in the employ of the prosecutrix, said that while her mistress was away she went to live in Bedford Street. On the 6th Sept she obtained the keys from the last witness in order to do some cleaning. She went next day, and was unable to open the front door because the chain on the inside had been put on, and she was obliged to get assistance in order to force an entrance. When she went into the house everything was in a state of disorder and she immediately informed the police.
Michael D. Hart, dealer in second-hand goods, 120 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle, stated that on the 7th inst. the prisoner came to his shop and offered to sell the locket, bracelet and ring produced, which he said belonged to his wife, and upon which he wished to raise some money, that he was out of employment. Witness gave 5s for them. Accused also offered to sell a silver serviette ring, a spoon, and a brooch, which witness declined to buy.
A watchmaker and jeweller, belonging to West Hartlepool, said that on Sept 8th the prisoner came to his shop and offered the serviette ring, photo frame and spoon for sale, saying he was “hard up”. Witness bought the articles for 4s. Later in the day he returned with a lady’s silver watch and offered to dispose of it for 10s. It was, however, defective and he accordingly declined to buy it.
Detective Radcliffe deposed to visiting the house in Camp Terrace on the 7th inst and finding the house in a state of disorder. The door leading from the front to the back of the house was fastened and he had to climb through the serving aperture in order to get to the kitchen.
Detective Inspector Thornton said that on the 14th inst. he went to West Hartlepool Police Station, where the serviette ring, spoon, photo frame, and watch were handed to him in the presence of the accused, who said they were the things he got from a house in North Shields. Witness told him there was a ring, a locket and bracelet missing from the same house. Prisoner replied that he sold them to a second-hand dealer in Pilgrim Street, Newcastle. On being charged this morning the prisoner made no reply.
Formally charged by the Clerk (Col. R. F. Kidd), prisoner had still nothing to say. He was committed for trial at the Quarter Sessions.