Clara Payne

Victim of Theft, 16th January 1899

Not Proven.— Roland Smith (14), travelling gypsy, no fixed abode, was brought up in custody charged with stealing a watch and chain, value £2 2s., at Desborough on Jan. 16th.

—Clara Payne, wife of James Payne, dealer of Desborough, stated that on Monday her watch and chain were on the shelf in the kitchen. Between 10 and 11 in the morning prisoner came to the house to sell rugs. Witness declined to purchase, and prisoner left. Witness subsequently left the house for a few minutes, and on returning witness found prisoner in the kitchen against the table. Subsequently she missed the watch and chain, and followed the prisoner up the street, He denied taking the watch and chain.

Henry Vines, a shoe finisher, Desborough, deposed to seeing the prisoner go into the complainant's house during the absence of the prosecutrix.

—P.S. Thomas deposed to arresting the prisoner in the street at Desborough. Prisoner denied taking the watch, and invited witness to search him He had been unable to trace the watch, as there were several hawkers in the parish at the time.

—Prisoner pleaded not guilty, and the Chairman said that the evidence was not sufficiently string to convict, and the case would be dismissed.

 Northampton Mercury, Friday 20 January 1899