A Railway Porter Yielding to Temptation

Magnet (London) –17 July 1882


James Perratt, 32, a porter in the employ of the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway Company, was charged with opening a carpet bag at the Willow-walk goods station, and stealing therefrom a silk handkerchief, value 3s. –It appeared from the evidence of a constable in the service of the railway company that he was on duty in the goods station on the morning of the 3d, just after a train had arrived from Portsmouth. The train had been unloaded, and a large carpet bag was lying on the platform, about to be forwarded to Pontypool. The prisoner went up to it, and after looking about, he forced the top open at the side, and took something from it of a bright red colour and placed it under his apron. Witness went up to him and asked him what he was doing with the carpet-bag. He replied that he had not touched it. Witness lifted his apron and found the silk handkerchief in his possession. He at first said it was his property, but afterwards he said, “I took it from the bag ; it’s the first time I ever took anything.” Witness took him into the office, and he was given into custody. –Mr. Slade asked if anything else had been abstracted from the complainant’s bag? –Inspector Wright replied in the negative. –In answer to further questions he said the prisoner had been in the company’s service about six months, and had hitherto borne a good character. –The prisoner pleaded guilty, and begged his worship to be merciful to him, as it was his first offence. The handkerchief was partly out of the bag, and the temptation was too much for him. –Mr. Slade sentenced him to three months’ hard labour.

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