ISABEL IRVING.
1st April 1913
Reference Numbert19130401-29
VerdictGuilty > unknown
SentenceImprisonment > hard labour

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IRVING, Isabel (age refused) . Unlawfully and maliciously damaging certain glass windows, the property of the Roneo Company, Ltd., to an amount exceeding £5.

Mr. J. Wells Thatcher prosecuted.

HENRY KING , inspector on the Great Western Railway. On March 14, at 11.15 a.m., I was walking on the south side of Holborn towards the city when I saw prisoner produce a hammer from her coat and smash a window of the Roneo Company. She then broke a second one. A commissionaire came out of the shop and caught hold of her, and she swung round and smashed a third one.

CHARLES SWEETMAN , commissionaire employed by the Roneo Company, 5 to 11, Holborn. On March 14, at 11.10 a.m., I was on duty inside the building. I heard a noise of glass being smashed. I turned and saw prisoner break two windows. I rushed from the shop and took the hammer from her, detained her, and handed her over to the police.

GEORGE EDWARD MORASTON , secretary, Roneo Company. I was called out by last witness. The value of the broken windows is about £60.

Police-constable ROBERT STAGG, 380 B. Prisoner was given into my custody by Sweetman, who also handed me the hammer produced. Before the charge was read at the police station, prisoner said, "I am a suffragette."

ISABEL IRVING (prisoner, not on oath). I wish to say that what I did I did with a motive. My motive was pure. I did not do it unlawfully, because I am not within the law. You may think I am, but I am not legally. I am a woman and voteless, and no attention is paid to women except to punish them. If you wish to punish women you must first of all give them the same privileges that you enjoy before you mete out the same punishment as you would to men who have got privileges

that we do not have. So long as we are without the constitution, we will continue those so-called outrages until you think fit to listen to our demand. (Prisoner complained of the treatment she had received at the police station after her arrest, and that her lady friends had been kept out of the court.)

Detective-Sergeant SAMUEL CROCKER. I was at the police station when prisoner was searched. She was searched by a wardress to ascertain if she had any implement that she could do damage with or inflict injury on herself. I have never heard of a woman being stripped in the presence of men at the station.

Sub-Inspector SIDNEY BUCKLE, City Police. I was in charge when prisoner was brought into the station. It is usual to search prisoners to see if they have any incriminating documents or implements. I sent for the female searcher, resident at Snow Hill, and directed that prisoner should be taken out to the back and searched in the usual way by the female searcher.

MARY JANE FARNDELL , female searcher at Snow Hill Police Station. Prisoner refused to be searched. No male persons were there. I said I should have to call in the station officer if she did not allow me. After a time she allowed me to search her. I did not ask her to strip. I said, "Take your things off."

Verdict, Guilty.

Sentence: Six months' hard labour.


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