On This Day
On This Day, 9 August 1917
Thursday 9 August 1917
SCENE AT NEW STREET STATION
A RAILWAY DETECTIVE’S EXPERIENCE
James Archer Hastilow (33), screwer, 30, Lower Essex Street, was charged before Lord Ilkeston (Stipendiary), at the Birmingham Police Court today, with being in company with two other men not in custody and loitering at New Street Station for the purpose of picking pockets, and also with assaulting James Duncan, a London and North-Western Railway detective.
Duncan said he saw prisoner in company with two other men on No.3 Platform at 10.30 on Friday night. On two occasions he placed his hands on the hip pockets of men in the crowd and afterwards pass on with his companions. Finally one of the men at large, after placing his hand in another man’s hip pocket, communicated with prisoner and the other trio. The first man then placed his hand in the man’s pocket and prisoner at the same time placed his arms around the man’s waist while the third pushed from behind. Witness then caught hold of the man who had his hand in the hip pocket and the prisoner. Thereupon the former slipped his coat and struck witness on the jaw, prisoner striking him on the other side of the face. Witness, however, retained his hold on prisoner.
When charged at the station prisoner said, “You have made a mistake. I am on my own. I was on my way to Blackpool.” He had not, however, a ticket.
In reply to Mr. Philip Baker, it was stated that prisoner had £6 in his possession.
Detective Best described prisoner as a hard working man, but he would not keep away from thieves in his spare time.
The Stipendiary considered the evidence in the charge of loitering insufficient to convict, but with regard to the assault on Duncan he said there was no justification for it, and fined prisoner 60s.