7th January 1913
Reference Numbert19130107-20
VerdictGuilty > unknown

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GAY, Louisa (24, school teacher) , unlawfully placing in a Post Office letter-box situate at Tanners Hill, Deptford, a certain deleterious fluid, and thereby injuring the said letter-box and its contents.

Mr. Forster Boulton prosecuted.

ALBERT VICTOR BRIDGE , 26, Black Hart Street, Deptford, porter. On December 17, at about 9 p.m., I saw prisoner, who was then a stranger to me, place a white packet in the Post Office letter-box at Tanners Hill, Deptford, and walk quickly away. I went up to the letter-box, and noticed a black fluid issuing from the bottom. I spoke to a constable, who told prisoner he would arrest her for pouring something into two letter-boxes. Prisoner said, "I have nothing on me." At the same time she dropped a white packet on the ground, which the constable picked up.

Cross-examined by prisoner. I was not out of employment at the time. I was five yards away from the letter-box. I did not see you pour anything into the box. You only posted the white packet; I did not see you post an ordinary envelope. I did not examine the box before you came. I could not say whether the liquid was in the box before or not. I do not remember a policeman at the police station saying to me, "You are all right for the reward." I did not know there was a reward offered by the Postmaster-General for anybody giving information which would lead to the conviction of persons committing these offences. I have not received a reward, nor applied for one, nor have I been given to understand that I shall receive one.

Police-constable THOMAS HAMLIN, 292 R. On December 17, at about 9 p.m., I was in High Street, Deptford, when Bridge made a communication to me, in consequence of which I said to prisoner, "I beg your pardon, but I want to speak to you." Bridge then said, "Constable, I have seen this woman put something into two letter-boxes, one at Tanners Hill and one at High Street." I said to prisoner, "You hear what this young man says; I must take you to the police station. Prisoner said, "I have got nothing at all on me; I went to the letter-box to post a letter to a Mrs. Edwards." Prisoner put her hand behind her ad ropped the white packet (produced) on to the pavement. I picked it up and said to her, "What is this?" She made no reply. I found it to be an unsealed envelope addressed to "the Rev. J. Jones, St. Michaels, Cardiff," and containing an uncorked bottle of black dye. I conveyed her to the police station. When charged she said, "Where is Tanners Hill? I do not know where Tanners Hill is."

To prisoner. When I stopped you, you did not say, "Why are you arresting me?"

JAMES HENRY CULLIN , postman, New Cross Post Office, Deptford. On December 17, at 9.15 p.m., I examined the letter-box on Tanners Hill, and found in it the unsealed envelope containing an uncorked bottle of dye (produced), the contents of which had run out and

damaged some of the other letters (produced). Some of the dye had oozed out of the bottom of the letter-box. The unsealed envelope was addressed to "Redmond, House of Commons."


MARGARET ELLEN EDSALL , Bramley Cottage, Purley, Surrey, at occupation. The other night I went with a friend to Tanners Hill It is a badly lighted, squalid street. The nearest lampposts to thipillar-box are seven and 12 yards away. I stood at the corner of St. John's and Tanners Hill at a spot which I have found by measurement to be five yards from the pillar-box, and watched my friend post a letter. I could see absolutely nothing but the movements of her shoulder. The aperture of the box slants upwards; I do not consider that prisoner could possibly have poured a fluid into the box, considering the aperture. I found that anybody standing five yards from the box could not possibly see anybody else pouring anything into the box. It would also be impossible to see a black liquid oozing from the bottom of the box because the base of the box is black.

Prisoner (not on oath) submitted that the case was not proved against her.

Verdict, Guilty.

(Thursday, January 9.) Sentence: Eight months' imprisonment, first division.


(Wednesday, January 8.)

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