Thursday, 19 November 2020

Public House Theft

You've probably already guessed that this is another crime posts. This time featuring a rather nasty character.

"Public House Theft
North Shields Seaman Gets
Four Months’ Hard Labour

"William Dominic Talbot Welsh (25). seaman, of 26 Washington Terrace, North Shields, appeared on remand before the magistrates at Tynemouth Police Court today charged with breaking and entering between April 10 and 11 the Artillery Arms public house in Albion Road. North Shields, and stealing £10 belonging to James Henry Tuck.

At the request of Insp. J. J. Scott, the Bench allowed the charge to be reduced to one of theft to enable the case to be dealt with summarily. Accused pleaded guilty to stealing the money.

The chairman (Aid. R. Middlemiss) said accused had a very bad record, and he would be sent to prison for four months with hard labour.

William Falconer, of Marine Terrace. North Shields, manager of the Artillery Arms, said at 11 15 p.m. on April 10 he left the premises securely fastened up. and when he returned at 8 20 am. the following morning he found they had been broken into, the cash register smashed and the sum of £10 stolen.

Det. Darling said he found that entrance had been gamed by climbing the backyard wall and breaking a window at the rear.

Following inquiries on May 1, he arrested accused in Saville Street, took him to the .Central Police Station and charged him with the breaking and entering. He replied, "I did not do it. That is all."

Inspector Scott said this was accused’s 24th appearance. He was a native of North Shields. In 1931 he was bound over at the Juvenile Court for 12 months and placed on probation for larceny, in 1932 he received six strokes of the birch for stealing, and in 1933 he was sent to an approved school for larceny.

He went to sea in 1937 and was called up for service in the R N.R. after the outbreak of war, but was discharged in 1943 on condition that he returned to the Merchant Navy.

In January last he was charged with shopbreaking and stealing ladies costumes, dresses etc., to the value of £190 This charge was reduced to larceny and he was sent to prison for three months with hard labour.

He was released from prison on March 22. His other offences included five charges o' drunkenness, three of assaulting the police and three of being an absentee from the Navy."
Shields Daily News - Tuesday 09 May 1944, page 5.

 That's quite some record. 24 court appearances at age 25 is impressive. And a whole variety of offences. Theft, violence, drunkenness and desertion. He started at a young age, too: 12.

I wonder if the police just went around to Welsh's place when a burglary was reported? One-man crime wave that he was.

Sounds like the navy was glad to be rid of him. I'd have way preferred to being in the Royal Navy to the merchant navy. Far safer. Who would want to be on an Arctic convoy? 

The Artillery Arms no linger exists. The premises are currently a curry house. There is still a pub,  Odfellows, a little further down Albion Road.

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