DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Sort file:- Folkestone, September, 2021.

Page Updated Folkestone:- Wednesday, 29 September, 2021.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton & Jan Pedersen

Earliest 1866

Alexandra Hotel

Latest 1940

9 Harbour Street Kelly's 1899

Folkestone

Alexandra Hotel

Above photo kindly sent by Peter Russell, showing a damaged photo of the "Alexandra Hotel" from between 1934 and 1943.

 

Open on 15th September 1866 as a beer only house but wines and spirits were licensed on the 11th  October and the premises continued to at least 1940.

The hotel contained 16 bed-rooms was closed 1940 due to the war and the licence suspended in 1943. On 13th July 1949 it the licence was transferred to the "Carlton Hotel" the premises having been boarded up all that time and eventually demolished in 1950.

 

Folkestone Observer 24 August 1866.

Licensing Day.

The magistrates issued their licensing certificates on Wednesday to all established publicans who applied for them, Mr. Morford, of the Fountain, being the only pub who got a lecture, and that a not very severe one. There were seven applications for new houses, and certificates were granted for four, namely: The Rendezvous, Mr. S. Hogben (another publican lost a £10 bet over this, we hear); Alexandra, Mr. Spurrier: Raglan, Mr. Lepper; and a house in Bouverie Mews, Mr. J. B. Tolputt.

Notes: If this is the first license for the Raglan it puts the accepted date of 1864 into doubt. Also, no record of Tolputt having a license anywhere. Could this, however, be the first license for the Albion Hotel?

 

Folkestone Chronicle 25 August 1866.

Licensing Day.

A Special Sessions was held at the Town Hall on Wednesday, for the purpose of renewing old and granting new spirit licenses &c. The magistrates present were Captain Kennicott R.N., James Tolputt and A.M. Leith Esqs. There was a large attendance of publicans, some interest being excited in consequence of strong opposition being raised against the granting of several new licenses. The first business was to renew old licenses, and about 70 names were called over alphabetically.

The fifth applicant was Mr. Spurrier, for a license to the Alexandra, an hotel recently erected by him in Harbour Street, in support of which he presented a petition signed by several householders in the locality.

Mr. Boult, landlord of the Victoria in South Street, said that on the second Sunday when the notice should have been on the door he noticed that it had been removed to the window to allow the door to be painted, and he called the attention of Supt. Martin to it. Besides the house was not finished even now.

Mr. Spurrier denied this, and said the notice was not removed from the door till the 28th.

The court was then cleared for a short time, and on the re-admission of the public Captain Kennicott said the magistrates had decided on granting a license to Mr. Spurrier.

 

Southeastern Gazette 28 August 1866.

Local News.

Wednesday last was the annual licensing day, when the magistrates on the bench were Capt. Kennicott, R.N., J. Tolputt and A. M. Leith Esqrs.

All the old licenses were renewed. There were seven applications for new licences namely, Mr. Hogben for the Rendezvous, in Broad Street, (lately opened as a luncheon bar); Mr. Spurrier, for the Alexandra, in Harbour Street; Mr. Lepper, for a new house, the Raglan Tavern, in Dover Road; Mr. J. B. Tolputt, for a house in Bouverie Square; Mr. Elliott for the Gun, Cheriton- Road; Mr. Tite, for the Shakespeare, Cheriton Row; and Mr. Mullett, for the Star, in Seagate Street. The Bench granted licences to the four first-named, and refused the other applications. Mr. J. Minter presented a petition signed by all the publicans in the town against new licences, and appeared specially to oppose the granting of licences to the Rendezvous and Star.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 22 September 1866.

Advertisement.

Public Notice. The Alexandra Hotel.

Harbour Street, Folkestone, Is Now Open
For the sale of first class Pale and Burton Ales,

Truman, Hanbury & Co.'s London Ales, Porter and Stout.

 

n Thursday October 11th It Will Be Licensed For the sale of First Class Wines and Spirits.

The Hotel Department will be carried on with strict attention to the comfort of visitors, at a moderate tariff.

Bass's Bottled Ales Guinness's Bottled Stout

C.W. Spurrier, Proprietor.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 3 November 1866.

Suspected Murder Of A French Gentleman.

On Saturday morning last a report reached here of the discovery, by a coastguardsman, about half past ten on Friday night, of the body of a gentleman who had evidently been brutally murdered and left on the beach at Sandgate, near Seabrook. Information was at once given to the Station of the County Police at Seabrook, which is strange to say but a very short distance from the spot where the body was found. Notwithstanding every exertion has been used by the Police to discover the perpetrator of this foul deed, no clue up to the present moment has been obtained.

The body has been identified by Mr. C.W. Spurrier, proprietor of the Alexandra Hotel, Folkestone, as being that of a French gentleman who arrived at his house on Thursday afternoon by train from Dover, having crossed the Channel from Calais. He slept at the hotel that night, and having breakfasted next morning paid his bill and left, as he stated, to walk to the Camp at Shorncliffe to see a friend. He left in his room a railway wrapper and a travelling valise, and said in broken English that he should return to dinner. He has been traced to having been in the company of a soldier and two females in a public house in Sandgate up to half past nine on the evening of the murder, only an hour previous to the discovery of his dead body, which had received several severe blows about the face and temples. Notwithstanding it was a bright moonlight night, the tide having just begun to flow, and a gang of men had been working near the spot up to half past nine, strange to say this cowardly murder was committed without observation and without any cries for help having been heard.

He had evidently been dragged down the beach to the water's edge and there left; the body was not stiff when found. Whether his murderer or murderers committed any robbery is unknown, but there was found upon him about £4 in money, partly in silver, a silver Geneva watch with a platinum Albert chain, a latch key, and a draught letter in French upon family matters (the signature as near as can be deciphered, “Gabriel”), but affording no clue to his connections. He was about 35 to 40 years of age, 5 ft. 6 in. in height, stout built, fresh complexion, high forehead, slightly bald, brown beard and moustache. He was of respectable appearance and dressed in a dark coat, overcoat, and vest, grey tweed trousers, shirt with pink spots, and plated sleeve links, new side-spring boots (French make), white socks marked in red cotton with the initials “O.L.”, and had a cambric handkerchief with the same mark. All the clothing appeared to be nearly new. There were also found upon him several French Railway time tables, showing that he had recently been travelling in France.

An inquest on the body was opened on Saturday at Sandgate, and the jury returned an open verdict of Found Drowned! (If our information is correct, the verdict seems to us to have been one of the most extraordinary that could have been returned, as the body had not been in the water at all. Ed.)

By a singular coincidence another French gentleman, of rather eccentric habits, was staying at the same hotel, who was in possession of a considerable sum of money. Some confusion has occurred in the identity of these two individuals, it having been reported that the unfortunate gentleman who had been murdered was the one above referred to, and that he had been robbed of all his money.

 

Southeastern Gazette 6 November 1866.

Local News.

We noticed in our last week’s impression the finding of the body of a man who is supposed to have been a Frenchman, close in shore near the police station at Seabrook, under very suspicious circumstances. The deceased was a stranger to the district, and put up at the Alexandra Hotel, Folkestone, on Thursday evening week, carrying a travelling bag, just after the arrival of the South Eastern Company’s passenger steamer Napoleon III from Boulogne. He slept at the hotel that night, and next morning paid his bill, left his bag in his room, and proceeded on foot to Shorncliffe Camp, remarking in broken English that he should return to dinner. He is traced to the company of two prostitutes in the evening in a Sandgate beerhouse, where he left with them, and proceeded to a public house. At nine o’clock he left the latter house in liquor, but not decidedly drunk, and from the door of that house he cannot be traced alive. About half-past ten o’clock the same night his body was found as before stated, half in the sea and half on the shore. It was a moonlight night, the tide had just begun to flow, and a gang of men had been working on the spot down to 9.30 p.m; a coastguardsman was stationed about a hundred yards off, and the police station and barracks were barely 250 yards off the spot, the highway running between them; yet either a brutal murder was committed on the slightly sloping beach without observation, or the murder was done at a short distance and the body dragged down the beach to the water’s edge without any notice. The discovery was made at half-past 10 by four men rowing westward on a fishing expedition. The gentleman during life had received a heavy blow on the nose between the eyes, and an extraordinarily heavy blow on each temple, but life appears not to have been extinct when the body was thrown into the water. On the body was found about £4 in money (chiefly French), a silver watch with platinum watch guard, and a draft letter, in French, on family matters (the signature, as nearly as it can be deciphered, “Gabriel”), but giving to strangers in it the slightest clue to his connections. There were bruises on each side of the temples, also on the bridge of the nose, which were quite fresh and bleeding when taken from the water.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 17 November 1866.

Thursday November 15th:- Before W. Bateman Esq., Captain Kennicott R.N. and J. Tolputt Esq.

Margaret Corfield, a person connected with an itinerant rag and bone merchant, was charged with stealing a spirit measure from the Alexandra Hotel, on the previous day.

Charles William Spurrier, proprietor of the Alexandra Hotel, identified the measure produced as his property by certain dents outside, and sundry scratches inside it. The value of it was 1s.

P.C. Ovenden deposed that he was on duty in High Street on Wednesday afternoon. Just after three o'clock, from information received, he went in pursuit of prisoner, whom he found at the Dolphin Inn, Kingsbridge Street. He took her into custody on a charge of stealing from the Fountain Inn, and took her to the police station. On the way there she dropped the measure produced from under her clothes. He afterwards found this was not the measure that was stolen from the Fountain Inn, but belonged to the Alexandra Hotel.

Elizabeth Jacobs, barmaid at the Alexandra Hotel, deposed that prisoner came into the bar of the hotel between two and three o'clock on Wednesday afternoon and had a glass of ale. She was there about half an hour, but the bar was not left during that time. The pewter measures sometimes stand on the counter while in use, but she did not remember that they were there at the time, nor could she say when she had last seen the measure. She did not miss anything after prisoner left.

Prisoner stated that she took the measure from the Fountain; she did not take anything from the Alexandra, but she pleaded guilty for the purpose of being tried by the bench, and was committed for two months' hard labour.

 

Folkestone Observer 17 November 1866.

Thursday November 15th:- Before W. Bateman and James Tolputt Esqs, and Captain Kennicott R.N.

Margaret Carefield was charged with stealing a pewter spirit measure.

Charles William Spurrier, proprietor of the Alexandra Hotel, identified a small spirit pewter measure as his property, value 1s. Had seen the prisoner at his house the day before yesterday, but not on yesterday.

P.C. Ovenden was on duty a little after three o'clock yesterday afternoon in the High Street, and from information received went to the Fountain Inn in that street, when Mrs. Morford told him she had lost a pewter measure, and described the prisoner. He then went in search of her and found her in the Dolphin Inn, and took her into custody. Bringing her up to the station, prisoner dropped the measure from under her clothes in Broad Street. Witness saw it fall, and as he stooped to pick it up a gentleman stooped at the same time and picked it up and gave it to witness. Had observed all the way up High Street the uneasiness of the prisoner, as if she had something she desired to get rid of. Made enquiries and ascertained that the measure belonged to Mr. Spurrier.

Cross-examined: Prisoner was just in front of witness, not an arm's length off, when the measure was picked up. It was picked up from close to his feet.

Elizabeth Jacobs Spurrier, residing at the Alexandra Hotel, saw prisoner come into the bar of the hotel yesterday between two and three o'clock for a glass of ale. Witness served her. She was in the bar about half an hour. Witness thought she did not leave the bar at all during the time prisoner was there. When the spirit measures are being used they stand on the bar. Could say that it was Mr. Spurrier's spirit measure, but could not say whether it was on the bar yesterday. Had not discovered the loss of the measure when the policeman called, between five and six o'clock. Identified the measure.

Cross-examined: Prisoner stood at the bar some portion of the time, while calling for the beer, and afterwards sat on the form. She was certainly there half an hour. Did not remember when she last saw the measure.

Prisoner now pleaded guilty to taking the measure from Mrs. Morford's bar.

The Clerk: If you plead guilty to stealing from Mrs. Morford's, that is not guilty to stealing from Mr. Spurrier.

Prisoner: Then I must plead guilty, I suppose, to have it decided here.

She was sentenced to two months' hard labour.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 11 May 1867.

Wednesday May 8th: Before the Mayor, Captain Kennicott RN, and J. Tolputt Esq.

Charles William Spurrier was summoned for assaulting Richard Hawkes.

Prosecutor was recently employed as porter at the Alexandra Hotel, of which defendant is the landlord. On Sunday morning last between eleven and twelve o'clock, he went into the bar of the hotel with a friend who called for a pint of beer. Defendant told witness to take off his cap and waistcoat, and he did so, saying he had a right to his own sleeves which he had put in the waistcoat. Defendant then struck him seven times, and turned him out of the house. In cross-examination witness said he had been with defendant six months, and was discharged on Saturday.

Thomas Hart corroborated prosecutor's evidence.

Mr. Minter addressed the bench on behalf of defendant, and the case was dismissed.

 

Folkestone Observer 11 May 1867.

Wednesday, May 8th: Before The Mayor, Captain Kennicott R.N. and J. Tolputt Esq.

Charles William Spurrier was charged with assault.

Mr. Minter appeared for the defendant.

Richard Hawkes, lately porter at the Alexandra Hotel, said: On Sunday morning last, between 10 and 11 o'clock, I went into the bar of the Alexandra Hotel. A friend of mine was there, and called for a pint of beer. Mr. Spurrier was there, and he told me to take off my cap and waistcoat, belonging to him. I said to him “All right, old man. I'll let you know about this”. I told him I was entitled to the sleeves that I had put in, the old ones being worn out. I took the waistcoat and cap off, and Mr. Spurrier then struck me. He hit me seven times, and said he would break my jaw for me. I said “That is a pretty way to send me home on a Sunday morning, without any cap or waistcoat”. He said “Get out of my house”, and I went out.

Cross-examined: Mr. Spurrier put me out. It was between 10 and 11 on a Sunday morning. I'm sure it was not 12 o'clock. I have been living with Mr. Spurrier six or seven months. I can't say how often during that time he has given me notice to leave his service. He gave notice on Saturday night, and I said I would go at once. He did not say anything about leaving my uniform behind. I told him on Sunday morning I would bring the coat and waistcoat back if he would let me wear them home then.

Thomas Hart, mariner, said: Last Sunday morning, a little after 10, I was on the Harbour, talking to Hawkes. He asked me if I was going to have half a pint of beer. I said I didn't mind. We went together to the Alexandra, and called for a pint of half and half. Mr. Spurrier refused to draw it, and said to Hawkes “Pull off that waistcoat”. Hawkes said “All right, sir, I'll send it down after dinner”. Mr. Spurrier said “Pull it off now”, and Hawkes pulled it off. Mr. Spurrier said “Pull off that cap”, and Hawkes said “I've been a good servant to you, sir, and I shall have you”, and with that, Mr. Spurrier up with his fist and hit him, and said “You'll have me? What are you going to have? I'll break your ----- jaw”. Hawkes then put on his coat and went out.

Cross-examined: Did not see Mr. Spurrier telling Hawkes to go out, and on his refusing to go out, Mr. Spurrier put him out. Don't know that I heard Hawkes swearing on the outside. Believe I did not. It was a long sleeve waistcoat. Heard Hawkes saying “Part of these sleeves belong to me”, but did not see him tear the sleeves. My back was to him. He put the waistcoat on the counter. Did not see him attempt to tear the sleeves before he put it down.

Mr. Minter said it was a paltry case, and he thought the Bench would take no notice of the last witness, because it was given in such a loose manner. Hawkes was a servant of Mr. Spurrier, and he went on Sunday morning ostensibly to get some beer, at a time when the house should be closed. But being an hotel, a side door was open for residents and passengers, and Hawkes knowing the way of the house went to the house with his companion for the purpose of annoying him. The man was improperly in the house and Mr. Spurrier had a right to turn him out, and as he was tearing up the waistcoat, Mr. Spurrier took his clothes from Hawkes and bundled him out. Hawkes went there to make up a disturbance, and even if Mr. Spurrier did commit what in law was an assault, the Bench would say that complainant had brought what occurred upon himself, and it was a trumpery case, which they would dismiss.

The Mayor, having consulted the magistrates, said the justices considered that the evidence they had heard against Mr. Spurrier was at variance, and on the other hand the complainant ought not to have been at the Hotel on Sunday morning, that it was a very improper time for him to be there, and more than that, he went there with Mr. Spurrier's clothes on, which he had no right to wear, he having been discharged. They therefore dismissed the case.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 19 September 1868.

Monday September 14th: Before Captain Kennicott R.N. and J. Tolputt Esq.

Mary Beedel was charged on a warrant, having neglected to appear in answer to a summons, with having assaulted Mr. Spurrier on the 6th instant. Mr. Minter appeared for complainant, and Mr. Creery, of Ashford, for defendant.

Charles William Spurrier, the complainant, proprietor of the Alexandra Hotel stated that defendant went to the hotel on Tuesday week and remained until the following Sunday. On Sunday afternoon a young man went to the bar and asked for defendant, and they both went into his private sitting room. He objected, and asked them to go into the coffee or dining room, and after some persuasion she left. Soon after, in consequence of what his servant told him, he went to the dining room, where two gentlemen were at dinner, defendant being also there, and without saying anything to him, she rose from the table and threw a knife at him, using at the same time a foul epithet, saying she would stab him in the heart. Witness left the room and sent for Superintendent Martin.

Cross-examined: In the evening I took defendant by her arms and turned her out of doors. We both fell. I have received a letter from defendant's solicitor claiming £500 damages.

Sarah Wright, chambermaid and waitress in the employ of Mr. Spurrier, was called. She said she was waiting in the dining room on the 6th instant, and when defendant went into the room, she began to swear at her, so that she was obliged to fetch her master, and when he came into the room defendant threw a knife at him.

Examined: The gentlemen said they would not stay in the room with defendant. She got drunk and was abusing everybody.

Mr. Creery addressed the Bench, but called no witnesses, and defendant was convicted of the assault, and fined 10s., with 17s. 6d. costs, or seven days' hard labour.

 

Folkestone Observer 19 September 1868.

Saturday, September 12th: Before Captain Kennicott and Alderman Tolputt.

Mary Beedle was summoned by Charles William Spurrier for assault.

Mr. Minter for complainant.

Defendant did not appear, but a letter was put in from the Harp Hotel, Dover, in which defendant stated that she proposed coming to Folkestone as early as possible, and bring her solicitor with her to explain the case for her. She had not committed any assault upon Mr. Spurrier, but he nearly dashed her brains out by throwing her with great force on the pavement.

Mr. Minter said it was only due to Mr. Spurrier that the case should be heard, and applied for a warrant that defendant might be compelled to appear.

The application was granted.

Monday, September 14th: Before Captain Kennicott and Alderman Tolputt.

Mary Beedle was brought up on a warrant charged with assaulting Mr. Spurrier.

Mr. Minter appeared for plaintiff, and Mr. Creery, of Ashford, for defendant.

Complainant said: I am the proprietor of the Alexandra Hotel in this town. The defendant came to the hotel on Tuesday week and stayed till the following Sunday. At three o'clock on Sunday afternoon a young man came to the house and asked for her. He went up into my private sitting room with her, and I objected to it, and wished her to withdraw to one of the public rooms. After a deal of persuasion she went downstairs into the coffee room, and after remaining there about a quarter of an hour returned upstairs. She went to the dining room, where two gentlemen were waiting. In consequence of what my servant told me I went to the dining room, and on opening the door I saw the defendant standing at the table near the door. On my entrance she rose from the table and, taking a large table knife in her hand, stepped back towards the window, called me ---- villain, and swore she would stick me to the heart. (Defendant: Oh, mty God! Oh, what a wretch! Is there a God?) She immediately threw the knife at my head. It passed me and struck the frame of a picture that was hanging against the wall. I left the room immediately and sent for the Superintendent of Police.

By. Mr. Creery: I objected to her going into my sitting room with the young man. I had permitted her to use that room on previous occasions to write letters. There were two gentlemen in the dining room at the time of the assault. I have not got them as witnesses. I did not subpoena them as I did not think it necessary, as my servant saw the assault. Defendant had been dining in that room. It was a good-sized table knife she threw at me, and not a dessert knife. I was standing three or four feet from her. She threw the knife. I was going to request her to retire from the room in consequence of what the servant had told me, but not a word was spoken on either side before the knife was thrown in a direct line with my head. I did take defendant by the arms and put her out of the house; that was in the evening. She fell, and I also went down. I tripped over the luggage, and she over the step of the door. She fell on the back of her head. I applied for this summons on Thursday. I had a letter from the solicitors at Dover, claiming on behalf of the defendant £500 damages for an assault I committed upon her. I received that letter on Tuesday morning, but did not apply for the summons until Thursday. I do not know the position of the defendant, but I believe she gets her living by attending schools and teaching some artistic work.

In reply to Mr. Minter, complainant said it was in the evening when he turned defendant out of doors, and did so then in consequence of the abuse she heaped upon him.

In answer to Mr. Creery, complainant denied that there was any truth in the assertions defendant made. (Defendant excitedly “Put him on his oath! He is a lira! I wish God may strike him dead!) Complainant still said her assertions were unfounded, and defendant more emphatically than ever exclaimed “Liar! You did come into my bedroom, God strike me dead!”

Sarah Wright, complainant's servant, corroborated the statement of her master.

Mr. Creery, in replying to the case on behalf of the defendant, contended that the assault was a very trivial one, defendant having simply thrown her plate and it's contents off the table. Without imputing anything like perjury to Mr. Spurrier or his witness, he submitted that they had exaggerated a little. This was to be inferred from Mr. Spurrier's own evidence. He had told them that he received a lawyer's letter on the Tuesday, and that he took out the summons on the Thursday following, and the Bench might depend on it that had it not been for that lawyer's letter they would not have heard anything of this case. He trusted, therefore, their Worships would consider it as a trumpery matter, and if they were satisfied that an assault had been committed, impose the smallest possible penalty.

The room was cleared for a short time, and on the re-admission of the public, Captain Kennicott told defendant there was no doubt she had been guilty of a serious assault, and had Mr. Spurrier taken the proper steps the consequences might have been very serious indeed. Under the circumstances, however, the penalty would be a light one. She was fined 10s., and 17s. 6d. costs.

 

Folkestone Express 19 September 1868.

Monday, September 14th: Before Captain Kennicott R.N. and Alderman Tolputt.

Mary Beedell, a respectably dressed female, was charged with an assault. She seemed to feel her position when brought before the Bench, and was allowed a seat during the examination. Mr. Minter prosecuted, and Mr. Creery, of Ashford, assisted by Mr. Lewis, of Dover, defended.

Mr. C.W. Spurrier, proprietor of the Alexandra Hotel, Folkestone, deposed that defendant had been stopping at his hotel for about a week. On Sunday the 6th inst., at three o'clock in the afternoon, a young man called and asked for the defendant, and went upstairs. She showed him into a private room, to which witness objected and asked them to withdraw to the dining room or coffee room downstairs. The defendant objected, but afterwards went downstairs into the coffee room with the young man. After being there for about half an hour she left him and went upstairs to her bedroom. A servant shortly afterwards came to witness, and in consequence of what she said he went upstairs to the dining room and opened the door. The defendant, who was in the room sitting at a table near the door, rose from her seat and took a large table-knife, stepped back towards the window, called him by very opprobrious epithet, and said she would stab him to the heart. She then threw the knife at his head; it passed within 8 inches of it and struck a picture frame about 6 feet from the ground. He then left the room and sent for Mr. Martin, the Superintendent of the police. This was about half past four o'clock.

Cross-examined: She always paid her bills. He objected to the young man going into the room, but she showed him in. Did see something to complain of; the defendant was on the couch in an unladylike position. They were in the sitting room three minutes. She had spent about £3 during the time she stayed at the hotel. There were two gentlemen in the dining room when the assault took place; the servant was also present. Defendant had dined in that room. The knife bruised the frame. On the same evening witness took defendant and pushed her out of the house. Do not know the position defendant was in. She attends schools teaching some artistic work.

Re-examined: He went into the room in consequence of what the servant said. It was half past eight at night when they turned her out. During the intervening time she had hysterics and was raving mad.

Sarah Wright said she was in the employment of Mr. Spurrier as chamber maid and waitress. On the day mentioned she had to wait on two gentlemen who were dining in the dining room. The defendant was there and swore at her. In consequence of this she went downstairs and complained of her to Mr. Spurrier. He went up to the dining room and witness followed. Defendant took up a knife and threw it at him.

Cross-examined: She was standing just behind Mr. Spurrier. Defendant was having her dessert, and did not throw the dessert off the table, but she knocked the glasses down. Did not see her throw the knife off a plate. The picture was at the side of the door. Defendant swore at witness, and that was not the first time; she swore because she did not take her dessert up. Mr. Spurrier did not say anything to her. The gentlemen said they would not stop in the room if defendant remained there; she sometimes got “tight”.

By the Bench: She had drank half a pint of sherry and a glass of bitters previous to the dessert.

Mr. Creery said he had seldom met with such an extraordinary case as this, and was surprised that she was charged with assaulting the landlord of this hotel. She is placed in a most unfortunate position, as her mouth is shut, and it was only through him that she could represent her case to the Bench. Defendant is employed in giving lessons in artistic work, and she has been so employed in Folkestone for some time. She is now somewhat excited, but not more than any young lady would be who was locked up since Saturday. Your Worships will see there must have been some provocation. She must have had a cause, and if this is not so she must have been in a state of madness. Mr. Spurrier and this lady had no previous disturbance. According to what the last witness says she does not wait for Mr. Spurrier to say anything, but takes up a knife and throws it at his head. This lady, after spending the money, was entitled to be treated with respect by the servant. He did not impute to Mr. Spurrier or his witness perjury, but the evidence was exaggerated. Defendant took up a dessert plate and threw the knife off the plate. If there was an assault, he hoped the smallest fine would be inflicted. There was something peculiar in this case. Why did not Mr. Spurrier call the two gentlemen as witnesses?

Mr. Minter: I should be happy to adjourn the case to allow Mr. Creery to call them.

Mr. Creery: The case could have been heard here on Monday morning, and then those gentlemen could have been called. Mr. Spurrier did not say a word about the assault till he got the lawyer's letter, and he thinks he will have the first pull, and he has got it. On another occasion they may bring it before the Bench again. Why were the police not called in? The first man on the spot is the Superintendent and why is he not called, and why did Mr. Spurrier not give her into custody.

Mr. Minter: You cannot do so.

Mr. Creery would have done so himself.

The Court was then cleared; the defendant had interrupted the proceeding several times and was very much excited. After a short deliberation the doors were thrown open.

The Bench said they were sorry to see defendant here under such a charge, and had Mr. Spurrier taken steps at once the fine would have been very heavy. They had decided to fine her 10s. and 17s. 6d. costs, or seven days' imprisonment. The fine was paid.

 

Folkestone Observer 17 October 1868.

County Court.

Monday, October 12th: Before W.C. Scott Esq.

F.W. Lankester and E. Evans c C.W. Spurrier: A claim for £15 14s. 4d. brought by plaintiffs, who are tradesmen in London, against Mr. Spurrier, the landlord of the Alexandra Hotel in this town, for a quantity of spirits &c.

Mr. Minter, for defendant, admitted two items amounting to £1 19s, but denied having ordered the remainder.

Plaintiffs' traveller swore that he took the order for the whole of the things from defendant personally, and produced his pocket book in which he noted down the various items at the time the order was given.

Cross-examined: Would swear defendant gave the order for the things. Did not know that some of the things were bad. Knew defendant had been to the firm in town, but was not there at the time. Did not know whether defendant had used any of the articles or not. Defendant had complained that the articles were bad.

Defendant admitted having given the order for two items, but positively denied any further order. The articles were submitted to him, and he told the traveller distinctly they were things he did not use, and did not require them. He had not used any of the articles, except the two he ordered. He called upon the firm in London and told them that he did not order the goods, that it was a mistake on the part of their traveller, and they agreed to take them back again. Most of them were flavourings that he did not use. He was willing to pay the £1 19s. for the two items; he had touched nothing else.

His Honour said it appeared that the firm themselves were willing to take for the two items only, and it was quite impossible, after that evidence, for him to give a verdict for the whole amount. Verdict was accordingly given for £1 19s., the goods to be returned.

S. Finnis v C.W. Spurrier: A claim for £6 4s. 9d. balance of account for materials, plaintiff being a timber merchant at Dover.

Mr. Minter for defendant.

Defendant admitted the delivery of all the goods, but objected to four items of the account which were not in accordance with the prices firs given by plaintiff to defendant. An overcharge of £9 2s. 6d. was made out, that sum including a deduction for four rotten spars that were delivered. Defendant said he had worked the items out carefully according to plaintiff's own prices and found the result to be as stated.

No evidence was given to the contrary, and plaintiff was non-suited.

 

Folkestone Express 17 October 1868.

County Court.

Monday, October 12th: Before W.C. Scott Esq.

Ramsden & Co. v Spurrier: This was an action to recover £15 14s. 4d. for goods supplied to the defendant, who is landlord of the Alexandra Hotel.

Mr. Minter appeared for the defendant.

A traveller, in the employ of the plaintiffs, deposed that he took the order for the goods from the defendant, and that he forwarded the particulars in the usual course, and the goods were sent in April of this year.

Mr. Minter, for the defendant, admitted that an order had been given by defendant as to £1 19s., for which he had been always ready to pay, but as to the remainder, the defendant would distinctly deny having given the order, and the traveller in his anxiety to do business, had no doubt caused the goods to be sent in the hopes that defendant would accept them. He, however, had declined to do so, and had called on the firm in London and explained the matter, and they had agreed that their traveller should on his next journey take back the goods.

Defendant was called and examined, and having supported his solicitor's statement, His Honour decided that he was liable for £1 19s. only.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 28 November 1868.

Coroner's Inquest.

On Wednesday morning, about half past eleven o'clock, the dead body of a gentleman was cast ashore on the beach opposite the West end of the Leas. It appears that a female who was on the Undercliff footpath first saw the body, but for a long time no-one came by, so she waited till a man named Williams, of Hythe, passed, and he gave the alarm. This woman should certainly have been found, and her evidence given before the coroner. It was remarked as very singular that nothing save an eye-glass and a railway pass should be found on the deceased, when he had been staying at an hotel. The particulars will be found recorded below.

An inquest on the body was held at the Alexandra Hotel on Thursday afternoon before J, Minter Esq., and a jury.

The court having been duly opened, the coroner asked who was his first witness, and his officer replied that he had none – the police had prevented him from obtaining information. The jury accordingly waited while Mr. Eastes was sent for. Supt. Martin, who came in soon after, was asked how the matter stood, and he said he was always willing to give Morford all the information he could.

The jury then proceeded to view the body, and on their return S. Eastes, surgeon, said: About noon yesterday I was called by Williams, a coastguardsman, to the Lower Sandgate Road to see a body which had just been found on the beach, and which the jury have now viewed. I found it that of a middle-aged man. It was a few yards from the water's edge, opposite the new bathing establishment. The body was dressed, except that it had no coat or hat on. I examined the deceased. There were one or two superficial cuts over the right temple, and several abrasions of skin over the nose and forehead, as though it had been knocked against the rocks and shingle. Several pieces of shingle were up the nostrils. There were no other marks of violence, and the body presented the usual appearance of death by drowning. He had evidently been dead but a few hours, as only partial rigidity had come on. On unbuttoning the shirt I saw the name of J.V. Gibbs marked on the guernsey. The police searched the body in my presence, but only found an eye-glass in the waistcoat pocket.

William Williams, a tailor of Hythe, said he was coming into Folkestone about half past eleven on Wednesday morning, and just before he reached the Bathing Establishment a lady called his attention to the body of deceased, lying on his face on the beach, close to the water's edge, quite dead, and the clothes wet. There were several large rocks near the body.

Thomas Hunter, labourer, of South Street said he occupied a garden on the Lower Sandgate Road. About ten o'clock yesterday morning he went to the garden, and before getting there, just beyond opposite Royal Terrace, he found the hat, coat, and gloves produced, lying on one of the seats on the Undercliff footpath. In the coat he found a first class railway pass, London and South Western Railway, between Waterloo and Putney, with the name J.V. Gibbs Esq. He took them to the police station. The tide ebbed from about nine o'clock.

Alfred Stone, boots at the Paris Hotel, said deceased came to the Paris Hotel on Tuesday, about half past four. He had some cold meat, ale, and half a pint of sherry, and a cigar with port wine negus after. He then wrote a letter which witness posted. It was addressed to Mr. or Mrs. Gibbs. Deceased appeared very dull, and went to bed at ten. He got up at half past seven, paid his bill, and went out. He had no luggage with him.

P.C. Hobday said between eleven and twelve o'clock he received information of the discovery of a dead body on the beach. He sent for a doctor, and took P.C. Smith with a stretcher. Deceased was lying between the third and fourth groynes, about five yards from the water's edge. He was in charge of an officer and two men of the coastguard. Witness searched the pockets and only found an eye-glass. No money, watch, or jewellery.

Elizabeth Kennett, cook at the Paris Hotel, said deceased paid her his bill on Wednesday morning. It amounted to 3s. 6d. He gave her two half crowns, telling her to keep the change. She did not notice anything peculiar about him. She watched him go round the Clock House on to the beach. She had no reason for watching him, but often watched visitors round to the station. When deceased came down stairs he had a coat on his arm, but she could not remember whether he had one on or not. He did not carry one out of the hotel. He did not take the 5s. out of a purse.

John Lewis Rutley, gentleman, living at Stratford House, West Hill, Putney, said: Joseph Vine Gibbs, the deceased, was a tea merchant, carrying on business at Pall Mall, was my father in law. I believe his age was fifty five.

At witness's request, the inquest was adjourned to Monday, at three o'clock.

 

Folkestone Observer 28 November 1868.

Inquest.

An inquest was opened at the Alexandra Hotel on Thursday, J. Minter Esq., coroner, on the body of Mr. Joseph Vines Gibbs, tea merchant, carrying on business in Pall Mall, London.

The Coroner asked if Mr. Morford had got any witnesses.

Mr. Morford said he had heard nothing of the case. The only witness he had got was the man who had picked up the coat and hat. He had not been to the doctor's, or anywhere else, as he thought the police had got the witnesses.

The Coroner said it was a great neglect on his part in not having the witnesses there.

Superintendent Martin said he had desired the witness Williams to be in attendance. All the police had to do was to take charge of the body. He was always willing to give Morford any information if he came to him in a proper manner.

After some delay cause by waiting while Mr. S. Eastes was sent for, the following evidence was taken.

Silvester Eastes said: Yesterday afternoon I was sent for by the coastguard Williams to see a body found on the beach near the Lower Sandgate Road. It was the body I have now viewed. I drove down immediately, and found the body by the water's edge, by the new Bathing Establishment. The deceased was dressed, with the exception of his hat and coat, and was lying on his back when I saw him. I examined the deceased, and found two or three superficial cuts on the temple, and abrasions on his forehead, as if deceased had been knocked against the rocks. Several pieces of shingle were up deceased's nostrils, but no other marks were found. The deceased presented the appearance of a man whose death was caused by drowning. I should think the deceased had been dead but a few hours, as rigidity had set in. On opening the shirt he found the name “J.V. Gibbs” on the corner. The police searched the deceased and found an eyeglass in the waistcoat pocket.

William Williams said: I am a tailor and live at Hythe. I was coming into Folkestone about half past eleven o'clock yesterday morning, along the Lower Sandgate Road. A lady beckoned to me, and I went to her, and she showed me the deceased, who was lying on the beach opposite the first opening west of the new Bathing Establishment. Deceased was lying on his face close to the water's edge. I could not see a policeman, and I therefore went to the coastguard. The deceased was quite dead, and had neither hat nor coat on. There were two large rocks a little distance from him, and I think deceased had been knocking about those rocks.

Thomas Hunter said: I am a labourer and live in South Street. I occupy a garden on the Lower Sandgate Road. I walked along the path between the sea shore and the Lower Sandgate Road yesterday morning. My garden lies to the west of Royal terrace. I found the hat, coat, and gloves on a seat placed for the convenience of visitors nearly opposite Royal Terrace. I found the card in the coat pocket now produced. (A pass on the South Western Railway between London and Putney, with the name of J.V. Gibbs Esq., January 1st, 1868 to February 1st, 1869, number of contract 175, was here put in.) I heard of the gentleman being found, after I went back to dinner. After dinner I took the things to the Police Station. When I came back from the garden I did not see anybody as I came by the Lower Road. The tide was ebbing when I picked up the clothes; it was high tide at nine that morning.

Alfred Stone said: I am a porter at the Paris Hotel. I saw the deceased about half past four on Wednesday, at the door of the Paris Hotel. Deceased asked for something to eat, and he had some cold meat, half a pint of sherry, and a glass of ale. After he had partaken of this refreshment he went into the smoking room and lit a cigar, and had some port wine negus. Deceased asked me to bring him an envelope, stamp, and paper, and I did so. He gave me the letter to post about nine, and I posted it about ten. The letter was directed to Mr. or Mrs. Gibbs, and I think it was addressed to London. The deceased appeared to be very dull, and went to bed at ten o'clock. Deceased asked to be called at eight next morning, but was up at half past seven. He paid his fare to the cook, and left the hotel, during the time I was gone to the morning boat. The cook noticed that deceased went round to the beach.

A juror: Why did you notice he was in a desponding state?

Witness: He laid his head down on his hand at times, and he did not eat hardly any dinner.

P.C. John Hobday said: A little before 12 yesterday I was on duty at the Police Station. A coastguard came and requested me to go to the beach and see deceased. I sent for a doctor, and in company with P.C. Smith proceeded to the beach. Deceased was lying on the beach about five yards from the water's edge. I took possession of the body, on which searching I found in the waistcoat pocket a pair of eye glasses, which I now produce. There was no watch or money in his pockets. He had no studs in his shirt, and his pockets were full of beach. The name of J.V. Gibbs was on his flannel shirt. I stayed there until the Superintendent came down, and he had the body taken to Willis's waiting room on the beach. Mr. Lewis Rutley saw the hat, now produced, and identified it as his father-in-law's property. The maker's name in the hat was the same as deceased.

Elizabeth Kennett said: I am general servant, living at the Paris Hotel. I took up deceased's boots yesterday morning, and he told me he was going, and asked how much he had to pay. I took him his bill, which amounted to 3s 6d. He gave me two half crowns, and told me to keep the change for myself and porter. Deceased then went out, and I noticed him going round the clock house. I did not see any more of him after. Deceased took the money out of his pocket; I did not see any purse. When he came downstairs he had his coat hanging over his arm, and his gloves in his hand.

John Lewis Rutley said: I am a gentleman, and live at Stratford House, West Hill, Surrey. The deceased, Joseph Vines Gibbs, is my father-in-law. I am not certain of his age, but I think it is about 55. (The witness here asked for an adjournment, as he wished to bring another witness.)

The Coroner said it was only fair to the friends of the deceased to adjourn the inquest. The inquest was thereupon adjourned.

 

Folkestone Express 28 November 1868.

Suicide Of A Gentleman.

On Wednesday morning, as a lady was walking along the footpath between the Lower Sandgate Road and the beach, she was horrified at seeing the lifeless body of a middle-aged gentleman lying close to the sea, without his hat and coat. She informed a man that was walking towards Folkestone of the circumstance, who at once went to the Coastguard Station and gave the alarm. The deceased lay on his face and had evidently been thrown up by the waves. Dr. Eastes was called to see the body and he pronounced him to have been dead more than an hour. The body was conceyed to Willis's waiting room and searched, but the only articles found in the pockets of the deceased person were a pair of spectacles and a railway pass. The clothes, being examined, were marked “J.V. Gibbs”. A son-in-law of the deceased identified the body on Wednesday evening, and a hat, coat, and gloves found by a labourer on one of the seats were identified as the missing clothes of the deceased person.

The inquest was held on Thursday afternoon at the Alexandra Hotel before the Coroner, J. Minter Esq. A jury was sworn and proceeded to the beach to view the body.

Dr. Eastes was then sworn. He said: Yesterday I was called by Williams and a Coastguardsman to go to the Lower Sandgate Road to see the body just found on the beach, and which is the body the jury has now viewed. I went down and saw the body lying on the beach opposite the new Bathing Establishment, and only a few yards from the water's edge. It appeared to be a middle-aged gentleman, and was dressed, with the exception of having no coat or hat. I examined the deceased, and found one or two superficial cuts on the right temple, and several abrasions of the skin on the nose and forehead, as though the body had knocked against the rocks. The body presented the usual appearances of death by drowning, and I thought he must have been dead a few hours, as rigidity was only just come on. The shirt and Guernsey was marked. The police searched the body while I was there, and found an eye-glass in the waistcoat pocket.

William Williams, tailor, of Hythe, was next sworn. He said: As I was walking into Folkestone at half past eleven o'clock, along the Lower Sandgate Road, when, opposite the Bathing Establishment, a lady attracted my attention. I thought first she was calling someone else, but I went towards the beach when she pointed, and I saw the deceased lying there. The water had just left him. This was opposite the last opening before I came to the new Bathing Establishment. Deceased was lying on his face, and the water was ebbing at that time. The lady told me to make haste and find a police constable, and as I could not see one I went to the Coastguard, and afterwards to the police station. The lady said she had seen him some time before she had seen me. He had no hat or coat on. There are two rocks just below the place where he was found, and not far from the body.

Thomas Hunter, labourer, of South Street, said: I am the occupier of a garden in the Lower Sandgate Road, and I went there about ten o'clock on Wednesday. I went along the footpath, as my garden lies between the road and the beach. I turned into the path at the first opening the other side of the Bathing Establishment. About forty or fifty yards before I came to my garden I found a hat, coat, and a pair of gloves laying on a seat. I should say that the seat is nearly in a line with the Royal Terrace, on the Leas. I searched the pockets, and there found a first class railway pass of the London and South-Western Railway Company between Waterloo and Putney. It was inscribed with the name of J.V. Gibbs Esq., from January 31st, 1868 to February 2nd, 1869, contract 175. I took the things and left them in the garden. As soon as I had dinner I took them to the police station, as I heard that a body had been found without a coat or hat. I did not see anyone on the beach. I did not look particularly, as people sometimes leave their things on the seats. The tide was ebbing. It was high water, I should say, at nine o'clock.

Alfred Stone, a porter at the Paris Hotel, said: I saw deceased on Tuesday at half past four at the Paris Hotel; I received him at the door. He asked for something to eat. He had some cold meat, and then he asked to write a letter. I do not think he wrote one then. He had half a pint of sherry and a glass of ale with the meat. He then went into the coffee room and had a cigar and a port wine negus, and he asked me to bring another envelope, stamp, and writing paper. I did so, and he wrote a letter which he asked me to post. This was about nine o'clock. It was addressed to Mrs. or Mr. Gibbs. I do not know which, as I did not notice the address particularly. I think that London was the town it was directed to, but I am not certain. The deceased slept at the hotel; he went to bed at ten. I posted the letter about half past ten. He appeared rather dull, but did not make any observation. He asked to be called at eight o'clock, but he got up at half past seven. His bill amounted to 5s., and he gave me 6d. Mr. Pointer's cook noticed him go round the clock-house. She thought it rather singular that he should go to the beach at that time in the morning.

One of the jury: How came you to notice he was in a desponding state?

Witness: Because he laid his head on his hand and was looking as if in trouble.

P.C. Hobday said: From information I received about a quarter to twelve o'clock, from a coastguardsman and the witness Williams, who came to the police station while I was on duty and requested me to go to the beach, as a man was lying dead there. I sent for a doctor and went to the beach with P.C. Smith. We took the stretcher. We found the deceased lying near the stone groyne on the beach, about five yards from the water's edge. I took possession of the body and searched it, but I only found an eye-glass in his waistcoat pocket. He had no money or anything else. J.V. Gibbs was marked on his flannel shirt. Superintendent Martin came down and ordered the body to be removed to the bathing waiting room; this was about twelve o'clock. His son-in-law came to the station and identified the hat. He did not see the eye-glass.

Elizabeth Kennett, general servant at the Paris Hotel, said: The deceased paid me on Wednesday morning at twenty minutes to eight. He asked for his boots and I took them to him. He then asked “How much have I to pay?” I then got his bill and took it to him; it amounted to 3s 6d. He gave me two half crowns and told me to keep the change for myself and the porter. He then went out of the door, and I watched him go round by the clock-house, and I never saw more of him. He took the money out of his pocket; I saw no purse. I saw him the previous evening as I took the candle to him when he went to bed. He came downstairs in the morning with an overcoat on his arm and a pair of gloves in his hand. I could not tell if he had a coat on at the time or whether he was in his shirt sleeves. He had no coat on his arm when he went out.

John Lewis Rattley, gentleman, living at West Hill, Surrey, was next called. He said: The name of the deceased is Joseph Vines Gibbs. He was a wholesale tea dealer at 20, Pall Mall, London, and is my father-in-law. I should think he was about 55 years of age, or perhaps a little older. The letter he wrote was not addressed to me, and it has passed out of my possession, but if the enquiry was adjourned for a day or so some other witnesses could be produced.

The Coroner consulted the jury, and an adjournment was agreed till Monday next, at three o'clock. The body was ordered to be given up to the friends of the deceased.

 

Southeastern Gazette 30 November 1868.

Inquest.

On Wednesday morning the body of a middle-aged gentleman was found lying on the beach near the Lower Sandgate Road, and not far from the New Bathing Establishment buildings. The deceased had no hat or coat on. An alarm was given, and Dr. Eastes, who was sent for, certified that the man was dead, and had been in the water at least two hours. The body was then removed to a shed near the bathing machines, where the pockets were searched, but the only article found was a pair of spring eye-glasses. The under-clothing was marked J. V. Gibbs. Later in the day a man brought a coat, hat, and pair of gloves to the police station, stating that he had found them on a seat a little nearer Sandgate than where the body was at first discovered. In the coat pocket was found a railway pass. of the London and South Western Railway, enabling the bearer, J. V. Gibbs, Esq., to travel from the Waterloo Road station from January 31st, 1868, to February 2nd, 1869.

The inquest was held at the Alexandra Hotel on Thursday afternoon, before the coroner, J. Minter, Esq.

Dr. Eastes was the first witness called. He said he had examined the deceased, and he found no marks of violence except some superficial cuts and abrasions of the skin, which were caused by the body being thrown on the rocks, otherwise the body presented the usual appearance of a man who had come to his death by drowning.

William Williams, a tailor, of Hythe, said he was coming into Folkestone on Wednesday morning when a lady called his attention to a body lying on the beach. He at once went to the coastguard and gave the alarm, and he afterwards fetched the police and a doctor.

Thomas Hunter deposed to finding a hat, coat, and pair of gloves lying on a seat about ten o’clock on Wednesday. He gave them up to the police. He searched the pockets, and found a railway, pass in one of them.

Alfred Stone, porter at the Paris Hotel, said he was standing at the door of the hotel on Tuesday, at half-past four o’clock, when the deceased came up and asked for something to drink. He went into the smoking-room, and had some cold meat with half-a-pint of sherry. He then had a cigar and port wine negus. In the evening he gave witness a letter to post, addressed to Mrs. or Mr. Gibbs. He then had a bed at the hotel.

P.C. Hobday deposed to searching the body and finding the eye-glass in his waistcoat pocket.

Elizabeth Kennett, a general servant at the Paris Hotel, said that at twenty minutes to eight on Wednesday morning the deceased sent for his boots. She took them to him, and he asked for his bill. She got the bill and gave it to him. It amounted to 3s. 6d. He gave her 5s., and told her to keep the change. He then went out, and she watched him go round the clock house to the beach.

Mr. John Lewis Rattley, said he was a gentleman living at West Hill, Surrey. The deceased was his father-in-law. His name was Joseph Vines Gibbs, and he was a wholesale tea-dealer, of 20, Pall Mall, London, and aged about 55. He asked for an adjournment of the inquest, when the people to whom the letter was addressed would be able to be present.

The Coroner, after consulting the jury, consented to the inquisition being adjourned to Monday.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 5 December 1868.

Adjourned Inquest.

The adjourned inquest on the body of Mr. Gibbs was held on Monday, at the Alexandra Hotel, before J. Minter Esq., coroner, and a jury. Mr. Abdy, of the Northern Circuit, instructed by Messrs. Wilse & Co., of College Hill, appeared to watch the case on behalf of the friends of the deceased.

The first witness called was James Gibbs, partner of deceased as tea merchant in Pall Mall. He said he received a letter on Wednesday the 25th November, dated from Paris Hotel, containing a request to send money to the deceased, and a telegram at the same time saying “Do not send the money”. The firm had customers here, and it was not unusual for him to take a trip occasionally. There was money due to thje firm at Folkestone. When he read the letter he thought that had not been paid, and when he read the telegram that it had been paid, and deceased was not going to wail till the remittance came. The business was in a prosperous condition. Deceased had freehold property in various parts of the country, and no cause of anxiety. He was brother to the witness, was very fond of bathing, even in the winter, and had nearly lost his life by that means. He was subject to epileptic fits. He left his watch at home, because of the elections, very seldom carried much money, and never used a purse.

Joseph Johnson, clerk in the employ of deceased, deposed that when he left home on Monday he was very cheerful, and talked about giving his vote at Wandsworth and Westminster. On examining deceased he found a wound at the back of the skull.

Alfred Stone, re-called, said he made a mistake in the time deceased gave him the letter. It was seven o'clock, not nine. He then paid four shillings for his dinner, and said he thought he should leave, but came in afterwards to stay the night as the train would be so long going up.

Geo. Francis White, M.R.S.C.E., living in Charles Street, St. James' Square, said he was deceased's medical attendant, having attended him for ten years. In May last he had a fit of epilepsy, and again in August. The fits would attack him suddenly, and the family had been cautioned about it.

John Lewis Rutley, re-called, said he saw deceased at his house on Monday evening, on his birthday, when he was happy, and in his usual spirits. He was very fond of bathing, and was very likely to bathe in November. His family were rather anxious about him while he was away because of the fits, but did not tell him so. He had a fit about a month ago. He usually sat with his head resting on his hands.

Mr. Abdy then addressed the jury. He touched on the unreliable character of the evidence of the waiter at the Paris Hotel about the deceased appearing dull, as the fact of a man resting his head on his hand did not make him so, and besides that was the usual posture in which deceased sat. Then there was the fact of his sending the letter for money to return. No doubt the deceased had done as many a man might do – come out for a day's trip, and he chose Folkestone because he had been there before and found it an agreeable spot. He arrived at Folkestone and found he had not sufficient money to carry him back, and wrote for some. He was fond of bathing, and on Wednesday morning he determined to have a dip, and he chose the retired spot where the body was found. While undressing he fell down in a fit, struck the back of his head, and the waves washed over him.

Edward Warner, telegraph clerk, deposed to sending a telegram for deceased on the Wednesday morning, and that he did not seem agitated or depressed.

Mr. Abdy said no doubt the deceased thought during the night that he could not get the order paid, for what was so likely but that he should get some money from one of his customers in Folkestone. He therefore sent the telegram intending to obtain the money as soon as he could and return.

This was all the evidence and, the coroner having summed up, the jury returned a verdict that deceased fell down in a fit, and was drowned.

 

Folkestone Observer 5 December 1868.

Adjourned Inquest.

The inquest on the body of Joseph Vines Gibbs was resumed on Monday afternoon at the Alexandra Hotel.

Mr. Abdy, of the Norfolk Circuit, instructed by Messrs. Wilde, Humphrey, Wilde and Berger, solicitors, College Hill, London, appeared on behalf of the friends of the deceased, and stated that he had several witnesses, friends of the deceased, and who he thought would throw a light on this painful affair. He was greatly obliged to the jury for the attention they had hitherto shown to this case.

He called James Gibbs, who said: I am brother to deceased, and carry on business in Pall Mall, in partnership with the deceased Joseph Vines Gibbs. I received a letter from him on the 25th Nov., dated from the Paris Hotel, Folkestone. I have not the letter with me. The letter contained a request that I should send him some money, as he had none. He asked for a Post Office order for £2. At the same time I received the letter I received a telegram from deceased, the contents of which were “Do not send the money”. The letter and telegram were awaiting me at my place on business when I went on the Wednesday morning. I opened the telegram first, and was of course astonished, and did not know what it meant until I saw the letter. There were several letters there. We have several customers at Folkestone, and it was not at all remarkable for him to take a trip down to Folkestone. There was money due to the firm from some of our customers, and I was therefore not surprised on receiving the telegram, as I thought deceased might have wanted the money to be able to return more quickly. Deceased was not in difficulties; he had property in Northampton and Middlesex. The deceased had no cause for any anxiety whatever. He was exceedingly fond of bathing, and did not confine his bathing to particularly one part of the year. Deceased considered himself a more hardy man than he really was. He had been to Hasting about ten seasons in all, and constantly bathed while there. He was subject to epileptic fits. Deceased nearly lost his life at Yarmouth in the Isle of Wight. He jumped off a jetty into very deep water.

A juror: Was deceased in the habit of going out without any money in his pocket?

Witness: Yes. If deceased went into any crowd or any public place he would take all his money and valuables out of his pocket.

A juror asked if deceased was in the habit of travelling with only one thin coat on?

Witness: He considered himself a hardy man; a great deal more so than he really was. He was in the habit of going out with only one coat on, and he carried what money he had loose in his pocket. He had never seen him use a purse.

A juror: Did you notice what time the telegraph was dated from Folkestone?

Witness: I did not see any time specified. The sheet was signed and given back to the messenger.

Alfred Stone, on being re-called, said: It was only because deceased laid his head on his hand that I thought deceased was dull. He gave me the letter to post at nine, and not seven as I stated in my last evidence. He gave me 4s. for the refreshment he had had before he went to bed. He afterwards said as I had not charged for the bed he thought he should go away then. Deceased went out, but he returned and said the train would be so long before it went that he would not go that night. Deceased asked how the election was going on down here, and said he had votes for two places. There was a railway guide in the room deceased occupied. He wrote the letter before he went out.

Joseph Johnson said: I am a clerk in the employ of Dicksons, Gibbs and Sons, carrying on business in Pall Mall. Deceased was one of the partners. Saw him on Monday the 23rd November, at 12 o'clock noon. He appeared to be in the usual health, and told me that he was going home to keep his birthday, and on the day following he was going to vote at Wandsworth and Westminster. I have heard deceased speak of the customers at Folkestone, and if he went down he should give them a call. I went to the undertakers and saw the body, and the undertaker showed me a large wound on the back part of the head; there was also a large stain on the cloth produced by a discharge from that wound. Deceased was very cheerful on the Monday.

In reply to a juror, witness said he had never noticed any dullness about the deceased.

Charles Francis White said: I am a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, and live at 10, Charles Street, St. James Square, London. I am Mr. Gibbs' medical attendant, and have known him about 10 years. I first attended him professionally last May. He was suffering from a fit of epilepsy. I saw him in August last when he was suffering from the same. I have had great experience in these cases; in some cases there is warning, and in others none. When the fit is on, the patient sometimes falls backwards, and sometimes face down; the body is bent, and distortion of the features takes place. I have cautioned his family as to his state. I have never seen him distressed; before these fits came on, he was most cheerful. The fits were very sudden. In deceased's previous fits he fell backwards.

By the juror: The fits are caused by over-excitement in most cases.

John Lewis Rutley said: I saw my father-in-law the day before the day he left for Folkestone, at his own house. There was a sort of friendly gathering, as we were celebrating deceased's birthday. It was his 57th birthday, and he was very cheerful. He family of the deceased were always about him, because of the fits. Deceased often went away, and no-one knew where he went to. It was his habit to do so. I have remonstrated with him repeatedly. He was very much interested in the elections, and had spoken to me about them on the Monday. Deceased was also very fond of bathing and yachting, and fancied he was a very hardy man. I have spoken to him on several occasions of his only wearing one coat, and he would joke with me and say that he only wore one coat while I wore two. Deceased was very fond of the sea coast. Laying his head on his hand is his usual posture while he is reading or at dinner.

By the jury: It was nearly 11 when I saw him on Tuesday morning. He did not mention that he was going to Folkestone. It was about a month ago that he had the fit. I do not remember his having a fit when travelling. I have taken him home when he has had a fit of an evening when he was very ill, and he would go to town the next morning against the earnest solicitation of myself and family.

Mr. Abdy said he did not wish to take up the time and attention of the jury long, and he thanked them for the attention they had already shown to the case. There was a remark made by the witness Stone, the porter at the Paris, as to deceased's being dull simply because of his laying his head on his hand. These words thus spoken did certainly look ugly, but now the evidence proved that deceased was in the habit of sitting with his head lying on his hand, and as to his leaving the hotel after having ordered his bed, it was very natural he should do so. There was a railway guide in the room by which the deceased saw by what time the train left. It appeared that he walked round to the station, and finding that the train would be so long before it went, deceased determined to stop in the town to get the money from the customers and go in the morning; but while at the station he took the opportunity of sending off the telegram. Now, was there anything extraordinary in deceased not having any money in his pockets? There were customers in the town with money due to the firm, and as the place was a town noted for it's salubriousness, and from the fact that part of the family had visited the town before, there was certainly nothing suspicious in his coming here without money. He had been to the spot where the clothes were found, and as the place was obscured from any view from the road, and as deceased was, as he thought, a hardy man, there was nothing extraordinary in his determination to have a bathe, even in November; and it would be seen that he had had one of his fits and fallen backwards into or near the water. The undertaker had remarked about the wound on the back of the head, and it was caused, no doubt, by deceased falling in the fit. Deceased's pecuniary affairs were prosperous. He had a happy home, one of his daughters being settled in life, and the other about to be so. His friends had remonstrated with deceased in vain. He would only laugh at them, and they did not carry their remonstrance's too far for fear it would lie on his mind. The jury had traced deceased from his place of business to his home, to join a festival on his birthday, and he had left to go to the election, but then he took the freak into his head to come to Folkestone, and he probably would have returned the same night had he not, as is seen by the evidence, had to wait for so long for the train. The learned gentleman thought, as everybody would think, that the accident (for it was an accident) was caused by a fit, brought on by over-excitement at the election. He thought a verdict of death by natural causes could only be returned, but he left the case in their hands.

Mr. Abdy then called Edward Warner, who said: I am telegraph clerk at the Harbour Station, S.E.R. I received a message addressed to “James Gibbs Esq., 119, Pall Mall, London”. The message was either “Do not send the money” or “Do not send money”. The gentleman did not appear in any way agitated or distressed. He paid a shilling for the message.

The Coroner, in summing up, said the jury had heard the evidence, and it was their duty to determine how the deceased came by his death. In reading the evidence he did not think there was anything suspicious in the gentleman laying his head on his hand, and as to his appearing dull, as described by the porter, if the gentleman had not met his death in this manner there would have been no thought of it. We have clearly the contents of the letter before us, that the deceased had come to Folkestone, and intending collecting several accounts and return the same day. Then as to the fact of his bathing. There were some people who bathed all the year round. It would appear curious to inland people, but it was so. Deceased was well off in worldly affairs, had a happy home, and was most cheerful when he left home on the morning. Doubtless the over-excitement had caused him to fall backward in a fit at the place described. He therefore thought the jury had no alternative but to bring in an open verdict.

The jury, after a private discussion for half an hour, returned a verdict of Found Drowned.

Mr. Abdy then begged to thank the Coroner and jury on the part of the family of the deceased for the attention they had shown this case.

 

Folkestone Express 5 December 1868.

Adjourned Inquest On The Body Found On The Beach.

Last week we gave an account of the discovery of a body of a gentleman found on the beach on Wednesday, the 25th ult. On the following Thursday the inquest was opened at the Alexandra Hotel by the Coroner, J. Minter Esq., and the evidence adduced proved that the gentleman had slept at the Paris Hotel on the evening before the body was discovered, and he appeared quite rational, no action showing that he contemplated suicide. But on the other hand, the fact of the body, when found, being only partially dressed, and the hat and coat of the deceased being discovered on a seat at some distance from the body, led people to infer that the gentleman had committed suicide.

On the application of the son-in-law of the deceased gentleman, who identified the body as that of Mr. Joseph Vines Gibbs, a wholesale tea dealer, Pall Mall, London, the enquiry was adjourned till Monday afternoon last, when the jury reassembled at the Alexandra Hotel. The usual formalities were gone through, and all the jury being present the Coroner again opened the Court.

Mr. Abdy, of the Norfolk Circuit, instructed by a solicitor from the firm of Wilde, Humphrey, Wilde and Berger, of College Hill, London, appeared on behalf of the friends of the deceased.

Mr. James Gibbs was then sworn. He said: I am a tea dealer in Pall Mall, and was in partnership with the deceased. I received a letter from him on the 25th of November; it came by post and was dated from the Paris Hotel, Folkestone. I have not got the letter with me, as I passed it to a gentleman to show to Mrs. Gibbs, and he has mislaid it. It contained a request to send some money, as he had none, and it mentioned a Post Office Order for £2. The letter was in the deceased's handwriting. I also received a telegram at the same time, five minutes to nine in the morning, from Mr. Gibbs, and I passed that on in the same way. The telegram said “Do not send the money”. I opened the telegram before I had seen the letter, and was at a loss to account for it. I passed it on to the same person with the letter. We have several customers at Folkestone, and it was not an unusual thing for deceased to take a trip to Folkestone. There is money due to us here, and I was not surprised at his sending the telegram, as I thought perhaps he had got some of the money paid him. The deceased was in no difficulties. He has one estate in Northamptonshire and another in Middlesex. I am his brother. I know he was very fond of bathing, and when he visited Hastings in the winter he used to bathe; he was very hardy. He had visited Hastings with his family about ten seasons. Lately he had been subject to epileptic fits. He was rather rash, and nearly lost his life at Yarmouth in the Isle Of Wight. That was about 30 years ago, when he jumped from a jetty.

By the jury: He seldom travelled with valuables. On the days of the Middlesex and Westminster elections he left his watch with me, as he said he was going to the Committee Room. He took great interest in the election of Mr. Smith for Westminster. He was in the habit of travelling without an overcoat. He always thought himself very hardy. He generally carried a little money about with him loose; he never had a purse that I know of. The election in Westminster had taken place the week previous. I did not notice the time the telegraph was sent. The deceased has been in Folkestone on a visit with his family. I have been here myself, and I recommended the deceased to bring his family here.

Alfred Stone (re-called; this witness gave evidence at the previous enquiry, as to the deceased stopping at the Paris Hotel on the Tuesday night. He was examined by Mr. Abdy.): The deceased appeared dull because he rested his head on his hands. He went to bed at ten. I did not see him at all in the morning. He paid his refreshment bill to me at seven o'clock on the Tuesday evening, and said he was going to London. I made a mistake in saying the deceased gave me the letter at nine o'clock. He gave it to me about seven o'clock, and about that time he paid me 4s. for refreshment that he had had, and said “I will give the room up and go off to London again”. He afterwards returned, and said he would engage the room again, as he would have to wait so long before the train started. He then gave me the letter. He asked me how the election was getting on down here, and said he had votes for two places.

By the jury: He wrote the letter before he went out. There was a railway book in the room where he wrote the letter.

Mr. Joseph Johnson was then sworn. He said: I live in Pall Mall, and am a clerk in the firm of Dickson, Gibbs and Sons. The deceased was one of the partners in that firm. I last saw him on Monday, the 23rd of November, at twelve o'clock, at noon. He was then in his usual health, and told me he was going home to keep his birthday. He also told me he was going to vote at Wandsworth and Westminster. He has spoken to customers from Folkestone, and said when he came here he would pay them a visit. I went to the undertaker's in Long Acre, London, on Friday last and saw the body there. I noticed the marks on the face of the deceased, when the undertaker said “There is a much more severe wound on the back of the head”.

The Coroner stated that Mr. Eastes informed him of that wound, but he omitted to mention it in his evidence.

Witness: There was a very large stain on the cloth from that wound, and the man spoke as if it was a very severe wound.

By the jury: I did not observe that the deceased was dull. He was quite cheerful on that day; that was on Monday.

Mr. George Francis White deposed that he lived at 18, Charles Street, St. James's Square, and a member of the Royal College of Surgeons. I was the deceased's medical attendant, and had known him for ten years. I attended him first professionally in May last. He was labouring under a severe fit of apoplexy when I saw him. I also attended him in August last, when he was again suffering from a fit. I have had great experience in these cases. The fit comes on suddenly, but sometimes the patient may have warning some time before. The patient generally falls down backwards. There is distortion of features, and the body may be arched. I never saw the deceased depressed; he was generally vey cheerful. He did not have any warning with his fits; they came on suddenly. He did not inform me how he fell, but I should say he must have fallen backwards.

By the jury: These fits are sometimes caused by excitement.

Re-examined: He was likely to suffer suddenly. I cautioned the family on the subject.

Mr. L.J. Ruttley said: I saw my father-in-law on Monday evening, the 23rd November, at his own house; it was a family gathering. He appeared much as usual; we met to celebrate his birthday, and his age was 57. His domestic affairs are very satisfactory. We were always a little nervous while he was away, but we did not feel so much anxiety on ordinary occasions, as in travelling backwards and forwards to business he generally met friends. He used to go away from home sometimes, and I told him he may let us know where he was going. I did not like to tell him that I was afraid he might have a fit; he only laughed when I spoke to him. On the Monday I was talking to him about the election; he was very much interested in the election. He was very fond of bathing in the sea. He also thought himself very hardy and strong, and laughed at me for wearing two coats; he fancied himself very strong. He did not like anyone to give him hints about his travelling. I should not have been surprised to have heard he had a dip in the sea. It was quite a usual posture with him to rest his head on his hand and sit in that position.

By the jury: I saw him last on Monday evening at eleven o'clock. I did not see him at all on Tuesday. He would not mention to me his coming to Folkestone. He had a fit about a month ago. When he had those fits he used to recover in a most wonderful manner. He went off to town on the following morning, and he may have had a fit while travelling.

Edward Warner said: I am a telegraph clerk, employed by the South Eastern railway Company. I received a message at five minutes past eight from Mr. Gibbs, a gentleman; that was on Wednesday. It was addressed, I think, to 119, Pall Mall, to James Gibbs. The message was “Do not send the money”, the word “not” being underlined.

By the jury: He did not appear depressed at the time, and he only said “How much is a message to London?”. I said 1s., and he paid me. I did not see any more money in his possession. He signed the message.

Mr. Abdy asked to address the jury, as they must be aware the interest the friends of the deceased would feel in this matter. He wished to draw attention to one or two remarks made by the waiter, who said he appeared dull because he rested his head on his hand, but it had been proved that was the way he usually sat. Again, the waiter said he went out; well, there is really nothing in that. He had sent the letter for money, and he altered his mind and sent the telegram. His leaving his watch and valuables was nothing out of the way, as he used to do that. “Why did he come to Folkestone? “ was a very reasonable question, but he (the learned counsel) should imagine it was because he had customers here, and because Folkestone was a very agreeable spot for anyone to come to who took a trip from London. He came, and did not think he had come without money till he arrived here. He had been to the spot where the body of the deceased was found, and it was not at all improbable that the deceased would have a bathe on that morning. He could not choose a more secluded or better spot for that purpose. While bathing he had a fit, and falling, struck the back of his head on a stone. The undertaker was struck with the extensive nature of that wound. They had heard that the deceased had every comfort, with his children in a good position round him. His pecuniary affairs were everything a man could require. A relation also took care that the subject of fits should not be brought before him, and that would be the reason that it would not do to press the matter of his travelling unattended. The deceased was talking of his birthday on the Monday, and the celebration that was going to be held. He left with cheerfulness, and went the following morning to vote, and afterwards, like many persons would do, came down here for a change, and to see if he could meet with friends. When he came here he found he had not money enough to carry him back; he then wrote the letter, but thinking, perhaps, during the night, that there would be some delay before he got the post office order, he thought he would get some money from one of his customers. He then sent the telegram to countermand the order, and being fond of bathing he went to have a dip, was overcome by a fit, and the waves washed him away.

The Coroner then reviewed the evidence. He said he did not attach much importance to the evidence of the porter concerning the deceased appearing dull as most probably, if the gentleman had not been found dead, he would not have taken any notice of it. The jury must look to the whole actions of the deceased, and his actions appeared to be those of a man of business, and the statement of the learned counsel concerning the telegram appears very feasible, that he may have drawn a little on one of his customers here, which would account for countermanding the request sent in the letter. It appears it was nothing unusual for the deceased to come here, and in our town, although it may appear strange to people living inland, it is nothing unusual for people to bathe all year round. He did not know if they noticed it when viewing the body, that the features were drawn on one side. It was for them to return a verdict, but there did not appear any reason why the deceased should deprive himself of life.

The room was then cleared. When the public was admitted, the foreman said the jury had unanimously agreed “That the deceased, Joseph Vines Gibbs, was found drowned, and the jury were of opinion from the evidence adduced that the deceased fell down in a fit”.

Mr. Abdy thanked the Coroner and jury on the part of the friends of the deceased for the attention they had given to the case.

 

Southeastern Gazette 7 December 1868.

Inquest.

The adjourned inquest on the body of a gentleman found on the beach near the Lower Sandgate Road, was resumed, before J. Minter, Esq., at the Alexandra Hotel, on Monday afternoon. Mr. Abdy, of the Norfolk circuit, appeared on behalf of the family of the deceased. Mr. Abdy examined the witnesses he produced, and before the proceedings commenced he made a request that the witness, Alfred Stone, should be recalled.

Mr. Janies Gibbs, of Pall Mall, said he was in partnership with the late Mr. Gibbs, the deceased. He received a letter from him on Nov. 25th. It came by post, and was dated from the Paris Hotel, Folkestone. It contained a request that he should send some money to Mr. J.V. Gibbs at that address, as he had none, and the sum mentioned was £2. It was in the deceased’s hand-writing. Witness also received a telegram at the same time from Mr. Gibbs, which said, “Do not send the money.” He opened the telegram first, and passed it on with the letter. The firm he belonged to had several customers at Folkestone, and there was some money due to them. He was not surprised at deceased sending the telegram, as he thought he might have got some of that money. The deceased was in no difficulties; he had an estate in Northamptonshire, and another in Middlesex. Witness was his brother. He was very fond of bathing, and when he visited Hastings he often bathed in the winter. He had lately been subject to fits.

By the jury: He seldom travelled with valuables or with an extra coat. He always thought himself hardy. He generally carried a little money about loose in his pocket; never saw him with a purse. He had visited Folkestone previously.

Mr. J. Johnson deposed that he was a clerk in the firm of Dickson; Gibbs, and Sons, wholesale tea dealers, of Pall Mall. The deceased was one of the partners, and he last saw him on Monday, Nov. 23rd, at twelve o’clock, when he said he was going away to keep his birthday, and he was going to vote at Wandsworth and Westminster. Remembered his speaking to a customer from Folkestone, and he said when he went there he, should pay him a visit. Witness went to the undertaker’s at Long Acre, London, and saw the body of deceased, Noticed the marks on the face. The undertaker answered “There is a much more severe wound on the back of the head”. The wound caused a large stain in the cloth on which the head rested. The man spoke as if it was a very severe wound. The deceased was quite cheerful on the Monday.

Alfred Stone, the porter, recalled, said he thought the deceased gentleman appeared dull because he rested his head on his hands. The deceased, on Tuesday evening, about seven o’clock, said he would give up his bedroom and go to London He asked for his bill, which he paid, and went out. He returned shortly after and said he would re-engage the room as he found there would be no train for some time. He then gave witness the letter to post. He asked how the election got on down at Folkestone, and said he had voted for two places.

Mr. G. Francis White, sworn, said he was a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, and the medical attendant of the deceased, whom he had known for some years. He attended him first professionally in May last, when he was labouring under a severe fit of apoplexy. He had another fit in August. The fits sometimes came on suddenly. Deceased was subject to sudden attacks. He cautioned the family that the deceased was likely to fall down suddenly.

Mr. J. L. Ruttley was re-examined. He deposed that he saw the deceased, who was his father-in-law, on the Monday evening, at his own house. He was celebrating his 57th birthday, and had a family gathering. He appeared in his usual health. His domestic affairs were in a very satisfactory state. They were always a little anxious during his absence. He used to go away from home, and they told him he might let them know where he was going, but he only laughed. They did not like to tell him their anxiety about the fits. . He was very much interested in the election. He was fond of bathing, and was a good swimmer. He thought himself hardy and strong, and used to laugh at witness for wearing two coats. Witness would not have been surprised to hear that he had taken a bath in the sea when he was at the sea-side. His usual posture was to sit with his head resting on his hands; he often sat like that.

By the jury: Witness parted with him on Monday night at eleven o’clock. Deceased would not mention to him about going to Folkestone. He had a fit about a month ago, and he used to recover from them in a most wonderful manner.

Mr. Abdy then addressed the jury.

A juryman requested that the telegraph clerk should be sent for.

Edward Warner, sworn, said he was a telegraph clerk on the South Eastern Railway. On Wednesday morning, November 25th, he received a message at five minutes to eight from Mr. Gibbs. The message was, “Do not send the money.” He did not appear depressed at the tune, and only asked how much a message would be to London.

The coroner then read the evidence and commented on the most important points in it. The room was then cleared, and after a short consultation, the jury returned a verdict to the effect “That the deceased was found drowned, and the jury are of opinion that he fell down in a fit.”

 

Folkestone Chronicle 26 December 1868.

Police.

At the Borough Police Court yesterday William Fairall pleaded guilty to a charge of wilful and malicious damage, in breaking a pane of glass at the Alexandra Hotel, in consequence of a grudge he bore against Mr. Spurrier, and he was committed for 21 days' hard labour at Petworth gaol.

 

Southeastern Gazette 28 March 1870.

Local News.

On Wednesday afternoon some person abstracted a handful of silver from the till of the “Alexandra” Hotel (Mr. Spurrier being from home) by reaching over the counter of the bar. The perpetrators have not been discovered.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 5 November 1870.

Inquest.

An inquest was held on Tuesday morning last at the Alexandra Inn before J. Minter Esq, coroner of the borough, on the body of a full grown male child, found in the Lower Sandgate Road on Saturday morning last.

William Stewart, a journeyman baker, sworn, said he was walking along the lower part of the Sandgate Road on Saturday morning when he observed a brown paper parcel lying by the side of the road. He immediately opened the parcel, which he found contained the body of a male child. He lost no time in communicating with the police into whose custody he delivered the body of deceased.

P.C. Sharp deposed to being sent for, and received from last witness the body and what was picked up with it. The child was wrapped in a copy of the Times newspaper of October 30th, 1870. It was further enveloped outside in brown paper, which had a string tied round it.

D. Bateman, sworn, said he was sent for to examine the body of the deceased, and saw the child at the police station on Saturday morning. On examination he could discover no marks of violence of any description on the body. He afterwards made a post mortem examination; the lungs of the deceased were fully inflated and he could not undertake to say the cause of death.

The Coroner having summed up the evidence given, and briefly commented on the facts of the case, said the jury must be guided by the medical evidence. They had elicited no facts giving positive proof of the cause of death, and in the absence of such proof the only verdict that could be consistently returned was an open one. The jury considered for a few moments, and returned a verdict in accordance with the Coroner's suggestion.

 

Folkestone Express 5 November 1870.

Inquest.

On Saturday morning last the body of an infant was picked up by a butcher in the Lower Sandgate Road, about 100 yards to the west of the Bathing Establishment. The body was wrapped in a newspaper, and a piece if brown paper which was tied with twine. Information having been given to the police, they conveyed the parcel to the old police station, High Street.

An inquest was held at the Alexandra Hotel, Harbour Street, on Tuesday morning, before the coroner, J. Minter Esq. and a jury.

The first witness was William Stewart, who said: I am a butcher, living at Sandgate, in the employ of Mr. Woodman. On Saturday last, about 11 o'clock in the morning, I was going to Sandgate, along the Lower Road, when I saw a parcel lying on the side of the road, and on examination I found it contained the body of a child, wrapped in a newspaper and then covered with a piece of brown paper and tied with a string. I asked a man passing to inform the police.

P.C. Sharpe deposed to receiving the child from the last witness. The newspaper was a copy of The Times, dated the 3rd of October, 1870.

Mr. W. Bateman, surgeon, said he was called to see the child. It was a newly-born male child and of full size. There were no marks of violence about it to account for death. He had made a post mortem examination and found the lungs were fully inflated; no doubt it had breathed, and there was no appearance to account for death. It was his opinion the child was born alive, but it was impossible to say if it had a separate existence. Supposing it to have been born alive it would die of neglect.

Mr. Martin, superintendent of the police, said the police had made every enquiry, but so far were unsuccessful.

The Coroner summed up the evidence, when the jury returned an open verdict of Found Dead.

 

Southeastern Gazette 5 November 1870.

Inquest.

An inquest was held on Tuesday, at the Alexandra Hotel, by the Coroner, J. Minter Esq., on the body of an infant found on Sunday last near the Bathing Establishment.

The child had breathed, but the doctor could not decide whether or not it had had a separate existence; the cause of death was no doubt neglect at birth. The body was wrapped in a copy of The Times newspaper of the 13th October last.

The jury returned a verdict of “Found Dead”.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 11 March 1871.

Inquest.

An inquest was held at the Alexandra Hotel on Monday morning last before the Coroner (Mr. Minter), and a jury, of whom Mr. Brown was chosen foreman, on the body of a young man named Elliott, 18 years of age, and who, when he met his death, was in the employ of the South Eastern Railway Company. From the evidence adduced, it appears that on Thursday, the 23rd of February, the deceased went home and complained of being ill in consequence of some injuries received. Dr. Bateman was sent for, and after a week of much suffering, he died on Thursday, March 2nd. Jacob Spicer, wharfinger, in the employ of the Company, said the unfortunate young man was engaged in coal tipping on Thursday, February 23rd, along with others, when he stood beside a truck, and another coming along, he was jammed between the two. With all possible haste he was rescued from his perilous position and taken home. Deceased was very prone to put himself in danger, and had had several narrow escapes. Dr. Bateman stated that death arose entirely from internal injuries arising from this accident. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental Death”.

 

Southeastern Gazette 11 March 1871.

Inquest.

An inquest was held at the Alexandra Hotel, on Monday last, on the body of Thomas Elliott, who was fatally injured (crushed between the buffers of two trucks) while employed as a tipper of coal for the S.E.R. company, on the 23rd ult. After hearing tha evidence, which showed that deceased was killed through his own carelessness, the jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death”.

 

Folkestone Express 9 May 1874.

Monday, May 4th: Before J. Kelcey and R.W. Boarer Esqs.
Margaret Clark, who said she was a laundress, surrendered on bail on a charge of being drunk and using obscene language.

Prisoner said: I was not drunk. If I had used obscene language, it was requisite. I had been at work all day, and had been taking clothes home.

P.C. Ovenden said: I was sent for on Saturday night about half past eleven, to go to the Alexandra Hotel. When I got there I found prisoner and a crowd of people in front of the hotel. Mr. Spurrier requested me to remove her from the front of his house, having previously ejected her. I advised her to go away quietly. Making use of bad language, she refused to do so. I then took hold of her and forcibly removed her. She then made use of very bad language. She was drunk; there is no doubt of that. She was not staggering drunk, but no-one would have used the language she did if sober. She knew what she was about. I procured assistance and locked her up. She had her bonnet off and her sleeves tucked up above the elbow.

Prisoner: That is how I get my living.

Witness continued: I merely caught hold of her arm, and she resisted me and struck me. My hat warded the blow off, so I did not think it proper to press the charge of assault.

Prisoner said: I was working very hard all day till ten o'clock at night, when I went with another woman to take some clothes home. When we had done so we went to have a glass of beer at the Aleandra. Three people were sitting under the window, who, of course, were picked parties. Mr. Spurrier came out mad drunk and handled me very roughly.

The Bench to Ovenden: Was Mr. Spurrier drunk?

Ovenden: No, he was quite sober.Prisoner continued: The three persons made some observations which were not proper, and no doubt I retaliated. Ovenden had no business to handle me as he did. Mrs. Spurrier said to her husband “Charlie, don't you interfere with the woman”.

Prisoner was fined 5s. and 4s. 6d. costs for using bad language. The amount was paid.

 

Folkestone Express 20 June 1874.

Wednesday, June 17th: Before J. Tolputt Esq.

A dirty, unkempt fellow, who gave the convenient name of John Smith, and who appeared in the dock innocent of soap, shirt and vest, was charged with begging and also with being drunk.

P.C. Hogben gave an account of the fellow's proceedings, which were as follows: At half past eight on Tuesday night he saw prisoner coming down Dover Street, and accosted a Provost Corporal, telling him the “bobby” has been watching him all the evening, and that he was going to watch the “bobby”. He then went to the Royal George and laid a tract on the counter and asked someone to buy it, and refused to go away unless something was given to him, which was done. Thence he went to the True Briton and offered a coastguardsman a tract, and received a coin. Thence to the Alexandra Hotel, and then followed two gentlemen with a tract in his hand and rolled against them, and they told him they would punish him if he did not go away. He then followed some gentlemen coming from the Pavilion. Hogben, thinking the fellow had enjoyed his game long enough, asked him if he had a certificate for hawking, and he said a gentleman had given him the tracts to get a living with when he came out of a London hospital, and that he had a wife and two children. Prisoner was worse for drink, and he was run in.

Tenpence halfpenny and a bundle of religious tracts were found on prisoner, who begged hard to be let off, promising never to visit Folkestone again. He was sent to Dover for fourteen days' hard labour.

 

Folkestone Express 9 January 1875.

Wednesday, January 6th: Before The Mayor, Col. De Crespigny, Dr. Bateman, J. Kelcey, R.W. Boarer and J. Tolputt Esqs.

Jane Pellitt was charged on remand of having obtained certain groceries by false pretences from J.B. Spinks, Guildhall Street, on the 24th ultimo. The depositions taken on Monday having been read over, a consultation took place between the members of the Bench. Prisoner was cautioned, and said she didn't wish to say anything, only that she was guilty.

Prisoner was then committed for trial at the next Quarter Sessions, Mr. Andrews being bound over to prosecute. He objected to do so, but was told that as he had taken out the summons he must do so.

A further charge was then laid against the prisoner of having obtained also by means of false pretences 1½ lbs. of cheese, 2 lbs. of prunes and 2 ozs. of peel, value 1s 8½d., the property of George Daniels, grocer, Beach Street, on the 19th and 23rd ult.

John Daniels, prosecutor's brother, said he was in prosecutor's employ, and knew the prisoner, who had been in the habit of coming to his employer's shop for goods for Mr. Spurrier, of the Alexandra Hotel. On the 19th ult. witness served her with 1½ lbs. of cheese for Mr. Spurrier. She gave Mr. Spurrier's name. Witness gave it to her. On the 23rd she again came in, saying she wanted “2 lbs. of prunes and 2 ozs. of peel for Mr. Spurrier”. Witness served her. Would not have trusted her had he not understood the goods were for Mr. Spurrier.

Mr. C.W. Spurrier, of the Alexandra Hotel, Harbour Street, said the prisoner was formerly employed by him as a domestic servant, but left his service early in November. Did not send her to Mr. Daniels' either on the 19th or 23rd ult., not did she bring him any goods on those days. Witness added that he had had several applications for money for goods procured by prisoner. On Monday evening witness received a bill for the articles in question from prosecutor, and then gave information to the police superintendent.

In answer to the charge prisoner said that the witness Daniels did not serve her with the cheese, and that she asked for a pound of cheese but was given 1½ lbs. She had no witnesses to call.

Prisoner was then committed to the Quarter Sessions for trial on this charge also.

A third charge had been preferred against the prisoner by Mr. Summers, but this was withdrawn.

 

Folkestone Express 30 January 1875.

Quarter Sessions.

Thursday, January 28th: Before J.J. Lonsdale Esq.

Jane Pellett, 16, domestic servant, imperfectly educated, was indicted for having obtained by false pretences 1¼ lbs. of cheese, 2 lbs. of prunes, and 2 ozs. of candied peel, value 1s. 8½d., the property of George Daniels, on the 19th and 23rd December.

A second count charged her with obtaining by false pretences 12 oranges, 1 quart of chestnuts and 1 lb. lump sugar, value 1s 2½d., the property of James Reeves Spinks, on the 24th December.

Prisoner pleaded Guilty to both charges, and in reply to the Recorder said she had no witnesses to speak to her character.

Superintendent Wilshere stated, in answer to the Recorder, that he had received information of 12 or 13 similar charges against prisoner, who had been identified in several cases.

Mr. Edward Simmons, the Governor of the Dover Gaol, said prisoner had been well behaved when in gaol, and appeared to feel her position acutely. If she continued to conduct herself aright during her term of imprisonment he hoped, with the help of the Chaplain, to get her some employment after it's expiry.

The Recorder said taking into consideration prisoner's youth he should sentence her to a light term. She would be sentenced to two calendar months' imprisonment for the false pretences to Mr. Spinks, and two similar sentences in each of the other cases of fraud upon Mr. Daniels, making in all six months' imprisonment.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 6 February 1875.

Inquest.

An inquest was held at the Alexandra Hotel on Thursday evening last, on the body of Mrs. Erridge, the wife of Mr. Pickford's clerk, who died under the most painful circumstances on Thursday morning last. Sarah Hall, who nursed the deceased, stated that deceased told he she had missed her footing on the plank as she was leaving the Belgian boat, and thus fell underneath the vessel onto the gridiron. Dr. Mercer stated that deceased had received such violent injuries to her spine that she could not possibly recover. The evidence of John Henry Marsh and Robert Hall only confirmed these sad particulars, and the jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death.

 

Folkestone Express 6 February 1875.

Inquest.

An inquest was held at the Alexandra Hotel on Thursday evening before John Minter Esq., Borough Coroner, upon the body of Ellen Herridge, wife of a clerk at Messrs. Pickford's office, The Stade, Radnor Street, who died in consequence of injuries received under the circumstances detailed below. It will be remembered that the facts of the accident were fully reported at the time.

Mrs. Hall, nurse, of Radnor Street, said: I recognise the body as that of Ellen, the wife of Frederick Herridge, agent for Messrs. Pickford. Deceased was 39 years of age. While nursing her witness heard deceased say that the heel of her foot caught the plank when going from the coal hulk when going on board a Belgian steamboat lying in the harbour. She said she was going to call her little boy from on board. Witness was sensible to the last, and died at a quarter past six that (Thursday) morning.

Mr. Richard Mercer, surgeon, stated that on Thursday the 21st ult., he saw deceased about seven o'clock p.m. He found her suffering from a very severe injury to the spine, and on subsequent examination discovered a fracture about the sixth or seventh bone from the top of the column. There was complete paralysis both of motion and sensation below the seat of the injury. The sternum or chest bone was also fractured. Witness did not think she could last two hours, but she rallied under the use of stimulants, and to his astonishment survived to that morning. On the Thursday evening deceased was incoherent in speech and did not know she had had a fall. When witness saw her deceased was sober. On a subsequent occasion, when sensible, deceased said she slipped when crossing a plank. The injuries were such as would result from a fall. There was no hope from the first. Death was only a question of time.

John Henry Marsh, a baker's boy, aged 14, said on Thursday week, about four in the afternoon, he was near the harbour. He saw Mrs. Herridge on the hulk, looking at the steamboat. She put one foot on the plank, when she fell over on to the ground. A Belgian sailor was standing about a foot off Mrs. Herridge when she fell over. He seemed to be waiting to follow her across the plank. Directly she fell, he helloed to the men below scraping the ship, which was on the gridiron. Witness could not understand what the man said.

A Juror: The man probably spoke Flemish.

To another Juror: I was on the bridge, near the hulk. I don't know why Mrs. Herridge fell, except she might be “swimmy-headed”.

Robert Hall, fisherman's son, 13, said he was under the railway close to the hulk on Thursday afternoon week. He heard a noise, and turning round, saw Mrs. Herridge close by on the ground. Witness then ran away. (Laughter) He afterwards saw some men pick her up.

The son was proffered to show why his mother was going on board, but the jury said they did not need to hear further evidence.

The Jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 20 March 1875.

Wednesday, March 17th: Before The Mayor, Col. De Crespigny, R.W. Boarer, J. Tolputt, and W. Bateman Esqs.

Hobson Wright Lebutt was summoned for wilfully damaging a ladder, the property of Charles W. Spurrier, on the 13th inst.

Mr. Minter appeared for defendant.

The defendant was also charged with stealing a cask and a pair of trousers, of the value of 21s., at the same time.

The Bench, having heard the evidence, dismissed both cases.

Notes: Lebutt was licensee of the Royal George and Spurrier the Alexandra Hotel.

 

Folkestone Express 20 March 1875.

Wednesday, March 17th: Before The Mayor, Col. De Crespigny, R.W. Boarer, J. Tolputt and W. Bateman Esqs.

Hobson Wright Le Butt, of the Royal George Hotel, was charged with wilfully and maliciously damaging a ladder, the property of Charles William Spurrier, of the Alexandra Hotel on the 18th inst. Mr. Minter appeared for defendant.

Prosecutor deposed that at half past six p.m. on Saturday evening he was in his bedroom at the back of the house, and heard someone moving some casks. He saw it was Mr. Le Butt, and thinking that he was moving his own casks took no further notice of it. On Sunday morning he missed a ladder which lay partly on his own ground and partly on that belonging to the Royal George. He afterwards found a broken piece of the ladder by the back door of the Royal George; the other part he had seen in the back premises of the same hotel. The value of the ladder was 15s.

Cross-examined by Mr. Minter: I believe defendant is landlord of the Royal George. Had not been unfortunate with his ladder; had often lent it to defendant. Had had no dispute with Mr. Groves, the late landlord. Had not asked defendant for the ladder on account of his state; he considered he would not have done it if he had been sober. He considered he was a dangerous man.

Mr. Minter: And therefore you want to get rid of him.

The Bench dismissed the case without calling on Mr. Minter for his defence.

Mr. Minter: You ought to be obliged to us for taking care of your ladder. You can have it on application.

Mr. Spurrier: Very well, my next action will be in the county court.

Mr. Minter applied for a certificate of dismissal to bar further proceedings, but as the charge was not one of felony, the Magistrates did not grant it.

The same defendant was next charged with stealing a cask and pair of trousers, value 21s., at the same time from the same prosecutor. Mr. Minter again defended.

Mr. Spurrier said on Saturday he had a 36 gallon cask, belonging to Messrs. Truman, Hanbury and Co., standing on ground at the back of his house. He saw it at 5 p.m. At 6.30 he saw defendant moving some casks, and at seven o'clock he found the cask in question was gone. He saw the cask on Sunday in Mr. Le Butt's back building. Prosecutor also lost a pair of trousers hanging on a line on defendant's land, and he also found these in this building. He could identify them.

By Mr. Minter: I laid the information and knew that I was swearing that defendant feloniously took these. I did not, as a neighbour and hotel keeper, think it well to ask him for it. The cask stood on the right of way, but on one side, so that defendant could have passed.

The trousers – a very small pair of knickerbockers – were produced by Mr. Le Butt, to the amusement of the Court.

Mr. Minter addressed the Court for the defence, saying he was sorry Mr. Spurrier had allowed his temper to get the better of him and bring forward this charge. He saw that he had not taken the usual course of apprehending the supposed thief under a warrant, but had summoned Mr. Le Butt to answer this trumpery charge. The fact was Mr. Le Butt had suffered depredations on a fowl house, and locked up all the loose property in the yard.

The Mayor said the Magistrates had unanimously decided to dismiss the case.

Applause was expressed in Court at the decision, but this was instantly suppressed.

The parties then left the Court. Miss Spurrier took up the offending pair of breeks left by Mr. Le Butt, and retired with her father.

 

Southeastern Gazette 22 March 1875.

Local News.

At the Borough Petty Sessions, on Wednesday, Hobson Wright Le Butt, landlord of the Royal George Hotel, was charged with wilful damage to a ladder worth 15s., belonging to Mr. C. Spurrier, of the Alexandra Hotel.

On March 13th, plaintiff saw defendant moving some casks in a yard common to both hotels. The next morning he discovered that the ladder had been broken and placed in an out-house belonging to Le Butt. He could swear to one of the spokes produced.

Cross-examined by Mr. Minter, who defended, plaintiff said there was no mark on the spoke by which he identified it.

The Mayor said that the Bench would not trouble Mr. Minter, but dismiss the summons. Mr. Spurrier said he should go to the county court for a remedy.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 5 June 1875.

A most extraordinary case of mistaken identity occurred on Tuesday morning last. A coastguardsman discovered a body in the water just beyond the toll house in the Lower Sandgate Road. It was that of a young man, respectably attired, and several at once identified the corpse as that of George Hopley, who at one time was waiter at the Paris. On breaking the news to Hopley's father, the young man was found alive, and came back to Folkestone. The resemblance is very marked. Deceased is deformed in one of his fingers near the nail, and Hopley has a similar peculiarity. On his person was found a copy of Uncle Tom's Cabin, and inside of which was the name in pencil, “Harry Renshaw, Dean Street, Lincoln”. The Superintendent has written to make enquiries in that place, but no information can be gleaned. A photograph of the body has been taken, and the peaceful expression of the face, almost a smile on the mouth, is most striking. Evidently the young man, according to his hands, has done very little laborious work. Absurd rumours were afloat as to a betting book being found on him, which suggested the cause of suicide, but this altogether is one of those stories which imaginative persons are so fond of circulating.

An inquest on the body was held at the Alexandra Hotel on Tuesday evening, before John Minter Esq., Coroner.

John Sharp, gardener, deposed to seeing the body, and drawing the attention of the coastguard to it.

John Fitzgillon, a coastguardsman stationed at Folkestone, deposed: Just before five o'clock I was coming from my house at Sandgate, to perform my duties at Folkestone, and when hear the toll house on the Lower Sandgate Road the last witness called me from the top of the cliff. I walked down the beach in the direction Sharp pointed, and saw the body just seen by the jury. It was quite cold, and lying on it's back, with the head towards the eastward (the harbour), about fifteen yards below last water mark. He was fully dressed, except that he had no hat. The tide was high between seven and eight last night, and between eleven and twelve that night it would have receded to where the body lay. There were rocks to the seaward, but none ashore of the body. I commenced the motions for restoring animation, but the state of the body showed me the man was quite dead. With the help of the last witness I drew the body above high water mark and searched the pockets. We found in them the articles produced – a copy of Uncle Tom's Cabin containing the name twice written in pencil “Harry Renshaw, Dean Street, Lincoln”, a bunch of keys, a handkerchief, a penny, and two half pence, which I delivered to the police. From the appearance of the body and the “little dock” that he had made in the beach by the rolling it had received from the waves, I believe the body had not been moved after it was dead, nor had it been in the water very long before we found it.

Dr. Bateman stated that from an examination he had made, he believed that death came by drowning.

Supt. Wilshere produced some studs and gold plated sleeve links which he had removed from the shirt.

The Coroner summed up, showing that there was no evidence as to how deceased came by his death, and the jury returned a verdict of Found Drowned.

 

Folkestone Express 5 June 1875.

Inquest.

Early on Tuesday morning the body of an unknown man was found between tides on the beach, just beyond the toll-house on the Lower Sandgate Road, by a coastguardsman and a gardener. The body was fully dressed (with the exception of a hat) in good clothes, but had but three halfpence in the pockets. The corpse was taken to the tan house at the back of the fishmarket pending identification. While it lay there several persons who saw it recognised in it the body of a man named George Hopley, who at one time was a porter at the London and Paris Hotel, and more recently a railway ticket collector at Dover. A messenger was sent to Dover to break the intelligence to the young man's friends, but returned bringing with him the supposed drowned man that he might lend his assistance in identifying it. Even then the resemblance was so great that those standing by remarked that if Hopley was not then present they should still consider it his body. In consequence of the false scent on which persons were thus put, a travelling copy of “Uncle Tom's Cabin”, in which was pencilled the name Harry Frenshaw, Deane Street, Lincoln, was overlooked till late in the day. A gentleman living not a hundred yards from the Manor Road was also recognised in the body, but, like the ticket collector, he proved still to be alive and able to speak for himself. It was surmised that deceased was a betting man and that he had committed suicide, possibly in consequence of losses at the Derby, by making into the sea at high tide on Monday night, but these suppositions had necessarily no solid foundation to rest upon.

An inquest was held on the body at six o'clock on Tuesday evening at the Alexandra Hotel before Mr. J. Minter, Coroner for the Borough, and a jury.

John Sharp, gardener, said: I live in the Bayle, lodging at the Red Lion public house. This morning about half past four o'clock I was walking on the cliff, and when near the half way toll gate saw something near the edge of the beach. I drew the attention of a coastguardsman named John Fitzgibbon to it, and we went down and found it was the body of an unknown man – the one that has just been viewed by the jury.

John Fitzgibbon, a coastguardsman stationed at Folkestone, deposed: Just before five o'clock I was coming from my house at Sandgate to perform my duties at Folkestone, and when near the toll house on the Lower Sandgate Road, the last witness called me from the top of the cliff. I walked down the beach in the direction Sharp pointed and saw the body just seen by the jury. It was quite cold and lying on it's back, with the head towards the eastward (the harbour) about fifteen yards below the last high water mark. He was fully dressed, except that he had no hat. The tide was high between seven and eight last night, and between eleven and twelve that night it would have receded to where the body lay. There were rocks to seaward, but none ashore of the body. I commenced the motions for restoring animation, but the state of the body showed me the man was quite dead. With the help of the last witness I drew the body above high water mark, and searched the pockets. We found in them the articles produced – a copy of “Uncle Tom's Cabin” containing the name twice written in pencil, Harry Frenshaw, Deane Street, Lincoln, a bunch of keys, a handkerchief, a penny, and two halfpence, which I delivered to the police. From the appearance of the body and the “little dock” that had been made in the beach by the rolling it received from the waves, I believe the body had not been moved after it was dead, not had it been in the water very long before we found it.

Mr. W. Bateman, surgeon, said he saw the body of the deceased at the tan house between seven and eight o'clock. He examined the body externally, but found no marks of violence. From the air bubbles on the mouth and nostrils and the pinched appearance of the features, death appeared to have arisen from drowning. He believed that the body had only been in the water a few hours. The body appeared to be that of a young man of about two or three-and-twenty.

In reply to a juror: The body could not have floated over any rocks that lie to seaward. The “little dock” described by the last witness would indicate that the man had not been far in the water when he was drowned.

Superintendent Wilshere produced some gold-plated sleeve links and studs removed from deceased's shirts. The body was dressed in a tweed suit of olive green. There was no mark upon the clothing by which identification could be established. Witness had had the body photographed.

In answer to a juror, witness said he had not telegraphed to the address in the book because till within a short time of the inquest he had been on a wrong scent as to the identity.

The Coroner asked whether the jury considered they had sufficient evidence as to the cause of death, or would they adjourn for further evidence? It was almost certain from the doctor's evidence that the deceased met with his death by drowning, but they could not tell whether he fell into the sea during a fit, whether he drowned himself, or if he was pushed in. Even if they met another day and evidence was adduced as to who he was, and even supposing it was stated that he left home in an unsound state of mind, that would not render the cause of death absolutely certain.

After a brief consultation the jury returned an open verdict of Found Drowned.

 

Folkestone Express 10 July 1875.

Local News.

There can no longer be any doubt as to the fate of the four young men and young ladies employed as shop assistants, and of the boatman who left Dover harbour in the pleasure boat Vivid on the evening of the 16th June. It will be remembered that great alarm was created in that town by the non-return of the party, and that the suspense deepened to almost certainty when the empty and rudderless boat washed ashore next morning. During the week all the bodies of the missing persons have been seen, and four out of the five recovered, and inquests duly held thereon.

The first instance of recovery was that of Miss Laney. The facts brought out at the inquest on the body will be found recorded in our sixth page amongst the Dover news. The body of Frank Hogben was towed into Hythe on Monday, and an inquest was held on it before Mr. William Smith, coroner for the borough, when a verdict of “found drowned” was returned. On the same evening, the body of Ladd, the boatman, was picked up off Dover and brought into the port. On Sunday some fishermen from Folkestone saw the body of Miss Coleman, the second young lady, but were not successful in grappling with it. On Wednesday it was again seen, somewhat nearer Dungeness, but a rope could not be thrown on it.

On Thursday morning the last and fifth body, that of Edward Hogben, the younger brother of the other young man who perished by this accident, was seen floating off the Folkestone Harbour, about a mile from the shore. It was brought ashore by the boatmen who observed it, who were just in the act of taking provisions to a ship, and after four hours' towing was got within the piers, and removed to the tan house on the East Quay. It was in an advanced state of decomposition from the length of time it had laid in the water.

An inquest was held before John Minter Esq., Coroner for the Borough, on the body, at the Alexandra Hotel on Thursday evening.

Mr. Edward Hogben, landlord of the Ship Hotel, Faversham, identified the body lying at this house as that of his son, Edward, aged eighteen. Deceased was employed at Messrs. Killick and Back's, Market Place, Dover. Witness recognised a watch, bunch of keys, and other articles, which had been shown to him by P.S. Reynolds as those that had belonged to his son, Edward.

John Davidson, boatman, North Street, found the body when in a hovelling boat, about a mile and a quarter off Folkestone. He picked it up, and towed it into the harbour, and put it in the tan house. They saw it about half past ten a.m. that morning.

Police Sergeant Reynolds deposed to searching the body at the tan house, and to finding upon it a watch (which had stopped at half past nine). Two bunches of keys, a purse of money, tobacco pipe, case and pouch, a knife, and handkerchief marked Hogben, which he had shown to deceased's father.

The jury returned a verdict of Found Drowned.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 27 November 1875.

The inmates of the Alexandra Hotel, having for some time heard melodious sounds issuing from behind a wall in one of the rooms in the house, they were certain from what they heard and observed, that a singing mouse had taken up it's residence on the premises. The noise proceeding from the mouse resembled the chirping or singing of a canary. Several traps were set, and eventually the mouse was caught. This valuable prize was at once placed in a squirrel-shaped cage, but although it sang so freely in the air of freedom, confinement seems to depress it's spirits, and it's vocal organs have not been so powerfully manifested as hitherto. Mr. Knatchbull-Hugessen has brought out another book of Fairy Tales, and we recommend the owner of this valuable acquisition to send it to him, and perhaps we might have a charming story entitled “The Folkestone Singing Mouse”, or if there is to be a Pantomime this Christmas, it's originators could not have a more taking title. We understand that Mr. Spurrier will most likely offer what he esteems as a great rarity either to the Zoological Society or to the Brighton Aquarium.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 25 December 1875.

Auction Advertisement.

Folkestone. The Alexandra Hotel. Close to The Harbour.

The most substantially built Freehold Premises, fully licensed, so well known as the Alexandra Hotel, Folkestone. A well frequented house. The premises are most substantially built of handsome elevation, and are complete with every comfort and convenience.

Mr. Herbert Bean will sell the above by Auction, at the Auction Mart, Token House Yard, Lothbury, E.C., on Tuesday, January 11th, 1876, at 2 o'clock precisely.

 

Folkestone Express 12 August 1876.

Wednesday, August 9th: Before The Mayor, General Cannon, Alderman Caister, J. Tolputt, J. Clark, and R.W. Boarer Esqs.

Transfer of License:

Temporary authority to sell was granted to Mrs. Spurrier of the Alexandra Hotel.

 

Folkestone Express 19 January 1878.

Friday, 11th January: Before J. Kelcey and R.W. Boarer Esqs., General Armstrong, and Captain Fletcher.

Edward Attwood, a tramp, who had arrived in the town from Dover, was charged on his own confession with stealing a half crown and a florin, the property of Mrs. Caroline Spurrier, of the Alexandra Hotel. Mrs. Spurrier declined to prosecute and prisoner was therefore discharged.

 

Folkestone Express 14 September 1878.

Saturday, August 7th: Before The Mayor, Alderman Caister, and Captain Carter.

Philmon Tyas appeared to a summons charging him with assaulting Esther Caroline Dickson.

Complainant, the wife of John Dickson, of Woodin Street, Cornwall Road, Lambeth, said defendant was her brother. On Wednesday, the 4th September, she was in Folkestone, and saw her brother in the Alexandra Hotel, in the private bar. She was having a glass of ale with her sister.Defendant came to the door, and drank a glass of ale which her sister handed to him. He then asked her when she was going home, and she replied “By the excursion train”. He afterwards called her a liar because she knew nothing of some woman he wanted to find, and struck her a severe blow on the forehead, and knocked her down in the road, blacking her eye. When she got up he struck her again.

P.C. Keeler said he saw what took place. The last witness was beating the defendant on the back with her umbrella. She was helloing and drunk. She slapped defendant's face several times, and rushed at him as he was going away. He was going to take her into custody, but her sister took her away. He reported the case to the Sergeant.

Annie Weatherhead, sister of the complainant, said she was with her sister at the Alexandra Hotel. Her brother and sister went to the door and talked together. She saw her sister on the ground, and pucked her up, but she did not know if she was knocked down or whether she fell. The complainant was not drunk, and she told her defendant knocked her down.

In reply to defendant, Mrs. Weatherhead said she did not ask him to go and fetch complainant out of the Paris Hotel before tea. She saw het take a Mr. Franks into the hotel and treat him.

The Bench considered the assault proved, and as there were several previous convictions against him, the defendant was fined 40s. and 11s. costs, or one month's hard labour.

 

Folkestone Express 23 November 1878.

Wednesday, November 20th: Before Colonel De Crespigny, Capt. Carter, W.J. Jeffreason, J. Clark, and James Kelcey Esqs.

Caroline Spurrier, of the Alexandra Hotel, was summoned for keeping her house open for the sale of liquor during prohibited hours on Friday the 15th inst. Mr. Mowll, of Dover, appeared for the defendant, who pleaded Not Guilty.

Supt. Wilshere deposed: At ten minutes past twelve in the early morning of the 15th of November I saw a light in the public parlour at the Alexandra Hotel. I knocked four or five times, and after waiting about three minutes I was admitted. The place was then in darkness. I called for a light and someone lit the gas in the passage. Then I saw there were some people in the room sitting at the table, and there were a number of glasses on a centre table, some of which contained liquor. I told defendant I should report the case and apply for a summons against her. She replied “Don't do that, they are all good friends to you”.

Mr. Mowll said he considered he had no case to answer. It had not been proved that the house was open, and it had been held by Justice Mellor that the Magistrates must be satisfied that the house was open for the purpose of sale, of which there was no evidence in that case.

The Magistrates' Clerk (Mr. Bradley) said there had been three or four decisions to show that it was not necessary for a door to be opened after closing time in order to obtain a conviction.

Mr. Mowll said the Act of Parliament specially provided for that because it contained a clause which expressly stated “for the purposes of sale” – either an actual sale must be proved, or the house must be open for the purpose of sale. There was nothing in the Act of Parliament which said that at eleven o'clock a landlord should close his house, and it was perfectly competent for persons to remain in his house so long as he did not supply them with any liquor whatever, and there must be some special circumstances in order to justify the Bench in deciding that there was a sale after eleven o'clock. He quoted a case stated by the Magistrates of Maidstone for the opinion of the Court of Queen's Bench to decide whether in certain circumstances the Magistrates were justified in convicting. A policeman had entered this house in the Boxley Road at half past eleven on Sunday. There were two lodgers in the parlour, and on going to a closet at the rear of the house the policeman found two men who lived in the neighbourhood, one of them having in his hand a pot of freshly drawn beer. There was evidence of beer having been recently drawn, and the Court decided that it was a proper conviction. But in this case there was not any evidence of sale, and there was nothing for him to address the Bench upon.

The Magistrates retired for a short time, and on their return Colonel De Crespigny said they were of opinion that there was a case to answer.

Mr. Mowll then said he should call Mrs. Spurrier as a witness, as he was entitled to do under the provisions of the Act. She would tell them that these persons were in the house long before eleven o'clock, and that there was no sale of any liquor of any description whatever after that hour, and upon the evidence and upon the merits of the case he should confidently ask the Bench to dismiss it. The Superintendent said there were seven or eight glasses on the table, but there were only three persons in the room. He did not pretend to carry his case further than that, or to say that there was any beer, any wine, or other refreshment sold after eleven.

He called Mrs. Caroline Spurrier, who said: I am proprietress of the Alexandra Hotel. On the night in question the house was locked up when the Superintendent called. In my coffee room there were three gentlemen. They came in about half past eight. I closed the house at eleven. I did not supply the gentlemen with any liquor after eleven.

Mr. Bradley: Why did you put out the lights? – I did not do it. I had no idea the lights were out. It must have been done by one of those in the room.

Colonel De Crespigny said the Bench had come to the conclusion to dismiss the case.

Summonses had also been issued against the persons who were found in the house.

Mr. Mowll, in asking the Bench not to deal with these cases, said he had advised his client that whether she was acting legally or not in allowing persons to remain in her house, she was acting indiscreetly. He knew that the spirit of the Licensing Act must be carried out, and that when eleven o'clock came all the people in the house must leave. He could give the Bench Mrs. Spurrier's assurance that henceforth the Bench would not again be troubled by a summons of that description. He did not think, after the evidence which had been given by one of the persons that the Bench would convict them, because they would one and all say that no liquor was drawn after eleven.

The Magistrates' Clerk said the Bench had no power in the matter, but the Superintendent could withdraw the summonses.

The Superintendent said as far as he was concerned he would comply with Mr. Mowll's request, but he was sure it would not meet with the approbation of the authorities from whom he received his instructions.

Mr. Mowll said an intimation from the Bench would justify the Superintendent in withdrawing.

The Bench thought he might do so if he felt disposed.

The Superintendent said he could not do so without first communicating with the Watch Committee.

Mr. Mowll: Have you received instruction from the Watch Committee to prosecute?

The Superintendent: I have received general instructions to prosecute in cases where houses are found open after hours.

Mr. Jeffreason: The Bench think there will be no impropriety, but they do not advise the Superintendent at all.

Mr. Mowll then said he should ask the Bench to adjourn the case, but immediately afterwards determined to let it go on.

Superintendent Wilshere gave similar evidence to that in the last case, and the Bench considered that there was no doubt the defendants had contravened the Act, and rendered themselves liable to fines of 40s., but they reduced the penalty to 2s. 6d. each and costs.

 

Southeastern Gazette 23 November 1878.

Local News.

On Wednesday Caroline Spurrier, the landlady of the Alexandra Hotel, was summoned for keeping her house open during prohibited hours on Friday, the 15th inst. She pleaded not guilty.

Mr. W. Mowll appeared for the defence, and argued that no offence had been committed. The superintendent had admitted that the door was fastened when he visited the house, and, no evidence had been adduced to prove that any sale had taken place after the hour of closing. As far as the persons found in the house were concerned, there was wording in the Act which compelled a landlord to close his house at 11 o’clock, but a man who went in before closing time could stay as long as he liked afterwards, provided no refreshments were served to him.

The Bench dismissed the case.

John Trevener, Frederick Kelly, and John Jones were summoned for being found on licensed premises during prohibited hours, and were fined in the mitigated penalty of 2s. 6d. and costs.

 

Folkestone Express 11 January 1879.

Saturday, January 4th: Before The Mayor, Alderman Caister, General Armstrong, R.W. Boarer and W.J. Jeffreason Esqs.

Richard Spearpoint, charged with being found drunk at the Alexandra Hotel at a quarter to twelve on New Year's Eve, pleaded Guilty, and was fined 1s. and 8s. costs, or seven days' hard labour.

 

Folkestone Express 20 January 1883.

Saturday, January 13th: Before The Mayor, Colonel De Crespigny, and J. Holden Esq.

The license of the Alexandra Hotel was transferred from Mr. Satchell to Mrs. Spurrier.

Note: No mention of Satchell in More Bastions.

 

Southeastern Gazette 11 June 1883.

Local News.

At the Police Court on Saturday, Caroline Spurrier of the Alexandra Hotel, was charged with opening her house during prohibited hours on the 3rd inst., and John Baker, John Ross, A. Tolputt, H. Beer, W. Gosling, A. Latham and William Bird, were charged with being on licensed premises during prohibited hours. Mr. Minter appeared for Mrs. Spurrier, she being unable to attend through illness.

Police Sergeants Ovenden and Pay stated that they visited the Alexandra Hotel just after twelve o’clock on Sunday night, entering by the back door. They there found Baker and Beer along with two females. The men stated that they had just come ashore. Inside the house were found the other defendants. Bird said he had stayed to supper, but the others made no reply when the police asked why they were there.

Mr. Minter addressed the Bench on behalf of his client, and called Henry Spurrier, son of Mrs. Spurrier, who said he heard a knock at the back door, and on opening it Baker and Beer walked in, bringing a stone bottle and a can which they had had during the day. He did not draw them any beer. Mr. Ross was lodging at the hotel.

William Hearnshaw Bailey, merchant, 13, King Street, Snow Hill, and Blackfriars, London, son-in-law of Mrs. Spurrier, stated that since Mrs. Spurrier’s accident his wife had attended her mother, and he came down certain days to superintend the business. He brought down some salmon and asked Ross, Tolputt, Gosling, Bird and Latham to supper on Sunday night. Ross was a permanent lodger.

The Bench fined Mrs. Spurrier £2 10s., costs 12s., or one month’s imprisonment, but said her licence would not be endorsed. The summons against Ross was dismissed, but the other defendants were each fined 5s., casts 8s., or seven days’ imprisonment. The fines were paid.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 16 June 1883.

Saturday, June 9th: Before W. Carter Esq., Ald, Caister, and Messrs. Holden and Fitness.

Corline Spurrier, of the Alexandra Hotel, was charged with opening her house during prohibited hours on the 3rd instant, and J. Baker, J. Ross, A. Tolputt, H. Beer, W. Gosling, A. Latham, and W. Bird were charged with being on licensed premises during prohibited hours.

Mr. Minter appeared for Mrs. Spurrier, she being unable to attend through illness.

Police sergeants Ovenden and Pay stated that they visited the Alexandra Hotel just after twelve o'clock on Sunday night, entering by the back door. They there found Baker and Beer, along with two females. The men stated that they had just come ashore. Inside the house were found the other defendants. Bird said he had stayed to supper, but the others made no reply when the police asked why they were there.

Mr. Minter addressed the Bench on behalf of his client, arguing that the defendants, with the exception of Baker and Beer, were the guests of Mr. Bailey, the landlady's son-in-law, who had invited them to supper. Beer and Baker came into the house, but were not served, and he reminded the Bench of the youth of the son left in charge, who no doubt committed an indiscretion by admitting them, and he contended there was no case whatever against Ross, who used the hotel as his home when not at sea. He called Henry Spurrier, son of Mrs. Spurrier, who said he heard a knock at the back door, and on opening it Baker and Beer walked in, bringing a stone bottle and a can which they had during the day. He did not draw them any beer. Mr. Ross was lodging at the hotel.

William Earnshaw Bailey, merchant, 13, King Street, Snow Hill and Blackfriars, London, son-in-law of Mrs. Spurrier, stated that since Mrs. Spurrier's accident his wife had attended to her mother, and he came down certain days to superintend the business. He brought down some salmon, and asked Ross, Tolputt, Gosling, Bird, and Latham to supper on Sunday night. Ross was a permanent lodger.

The Bench fined Mrs. Spurrier £2 10s., costs 12s., or one month's imprisonment, but said her license would not be endorsed. The summons against Ross was dismissed, but the other defendants were each fined 5s., costs 8s., or seven days' imprisonment. The fines were paid.

 

Folkestone Express 16 June 1883.

Saturday, June 9th: Before Captain Carter, Alderman Caister, J. Holden and J. Fitness Esqs.

Caroline Spurrier, landlady of the Alexandra Hotel, was summoned for keeping her house open for the sale of liquor during prohibited hours, and John Baker, Wm. Ross, Arthur Tolputt, Henry Beer, Wm. Gosling, Albert Latham and William Bird for being on the premises during prohibited hours on Sunday morning, the 3rd inst. Mr. Minter appeared for all the defendants.

A medical certificate was put in that Mrs. Spurrier was suffering from a broken ankle, had been in bed for five weeks, and was unable to appear. Mr. Minter wished the case to be heard in her absence.

Sergeant Ovenden said: On Sunday morning, the 3rd inst., at 20 minutes past 12, I visited the Alexandra Hotel in company with Sergeant Pay. We entered the hotel by the back door, which was opened by Master Spurrier. On going into the passage, close by the back door, John Baker and Henry Beer and two females were standing. I asked them what they were doing there on licensed premises. They replied “We have just come ashore”. I took their names and addresses, and while I was doing so the females left by the front door. I then went into the back room, where I found the defendant Arthur Tolputt. I asked him why he was there during prohibited hours. He replied “I am going to stop here tonight”. On the table there was a jug and two glasses of malt liquor. I told him I should report it. I then went into the front parlour where Sergeant Pay had previously gone. I spoke to Pay in the presence of Latham, Gosling, Ross and Bird. I asked him whether he had taken the names of the defendants. He said he had. There was a jug on the table, and a small quantity of malt liquor in some glasses. I did not look into the jug. In reply to something that was said, I said we had our duty to perform, and must do it. I know all the defendants, except Mr. Ross, as residents of the town.

Cross-examined: I did not ask the four I have mentioned why they were there. Baker and Beer did not look as if they had just come ashore. Mr. Tolputt had not his shoes off. I do not know that Mr. Ross lives at the Alexandra. I found him there when I served the summons, and I have been told that he is living there now.

By the Bench: Ross gave his address as on board the steamship Eborall.

By Mr. Minter: He said he belonged to the steamship Eborall.

Sergeant Pay said at 10 minutes past 12 he saw the defendants Baker and Beer and two females go into the passage towards the back door of the Alexandra Hotel. He corroborated Sergeant Ovenden's statement as to subsequently visiting the house. He asked Latham, Ross, Gosling and Bird to account for being on licensed premises. Mr. Bird replied that he had stayed to supper; the others made no reply.

Mr. Minter said on behalf of Mrs. Spurrier he would deal first with the two men, Baker and Beer, because if the Bench held that their presence there was an opening of the house for the sale of intoxicating liquors which would justify the Bench in convicting Mrs. Spurrier, then he should contend that it was an offence which would be met by a very small fine indeed. They had heard that Mrs. Spurrier had been in bed five weeks, but still, of course, she was responsible for her servants, but he asked the Bench to take into consideration the position in which she was placed. Baker and Beer were customers, and had been to the house during the day, or the day before, and taken away with them some beer in cans, and taken it to sea with them, and on their return on Saturday night they merely called at the house and left the cans. They had nothing to drink, and therefore he did not think that could be considered an opening of the house for the sale of liquor. Then, with regard to Ross, he was a permanent lodger, and although he was a seaman, he was perfectly entitled to take up his abode at an hotel if he chose. He was actually served with the summons whilst having his breakfast in the hotel. As to the other four defendants, they were there by invitation by Mrs. Spurrier, through her son-in-law, who had brought down a salmon from London, which they had been asked to partake of for supper. That, of course, there was nothing in the law to prevent. He thought, looking at all the circumstances, the Bench would dismiss the whole of the summonses.

He called Harry Spurrier, who said Baker and Beer had brought back a stone bottle and a can. They had no liquor of any kind. Mr. Ross was a lodger, and had been staying at the hotel for three months.

Captain Carter: You say Baker and Beer came to return cans belonging to the house. What induced you to let them come into the house?

Witness: The back door was not locked, and they walked in. I took the cans and they were just going out again when Sergt. Ovenden and Sergt. Pay walked in. I had shut the back door but not locked it.

William E. Bailey, who affirmed instead of taking the usual oath, said he was a merchant, carrying on business at 13, King Street, Snowhill, and 54 and 55, Blackfriars Road, London, and was son-in-law of the defendant Mrs. Spurrier. His wife came down to Folkestone to wait upon her mother when she met with an accident four or five weeks since, and he had been almost constantly with her the last fortnight. On aturday afternoon he brought a salmon down from London and invited the five defendants as Mrs. Spurrier's guests to partake of it. Mr. Ross was a permanent lodger, and slept there that night.

Captain Carter: You say you came down from London on Saturday afternoon. Where did you find the five defendants to invite them to supper?

Witness: They all came “straggling” in at different times. There was no formal invitation sent. I invited them as they dropped in.

Captain Carter: Mr. Minter gave us to understand there was a formal invitation.

Mr. Minter: No “cards”, sir. (Laughter) It is not usual in the position of life in which the defendants are. It is different in some circles, Captain Carter.

Witness replied indignantly that he considered his position in life quite equal to that of any of the magistrates.

Captain carter, in announcing the decision of the Bench, said, with regard to Mrs. Spurrier, they found the case was proved against her. They could not do otherwise, although unfortunately she was not able to look after the house. Still, she was the responsible person, and the Bench would fine her £2 10s. and 12s. costs, levyable by distress, and in default, one month's imprisonment. With regard to the ther defendants, excepting Ross (his case being dismissed, it having been proved that he was a lodger), the Bench considered they were Guilty of the offence with which they were charged, and they would be fined 5s., and 8s. costs, or seven days' imprisonment.

 

Folkestone Express 8 December 1883.

Wednesday, December 5th: Before General Armstrong, Captain Fletcher, Captain Crowe, and F. Boykett Esq.

Caroline Spurrier, landlady of the Alexanrda Hotel, Harbour Street, was summoned for selling intoxicating liquor during prohibited hours on the 25th November, and Walter Richard Green, Henry Moody, John Henry Trevenan, and Captain Ross were summoned for being on licensed premises at the same time and place.

Mr. Minter appeared for Mrs. Spurrier and Messrs. Green, Moody and Trevenan, who pleaded Not Guilty.

Captain Ross, who was undefended, pleaded Guilty.

P.C. Harman said that about 12.30 a.m. on Sunday morning, November 25th, he was on duty in Harbour Street with Sergeant Pay. They went to the back of the Alexandra Hotel and heard some people inside talking. Whilst they were there a man went and rapped on the door. Mrs. Spurrier opened the door about half way, and he went forward to get into the house. He had some difficulty to get in, in consequence of Mrs. Spurrier pushing the door, but when inside he went into a small room, and there saw Messrs. Moody, Green, Ross and Trevenan sitting round a table. There were four glasses on the table, some containing intoxicating liquor. Sergeant Pay asked if the could account for being on licensed premises during prohibited hours. None of them replied except Trevenan, who said he had engaged No. 12 Bedroom for that night, in consequence of his having lost the latch key of his lodgings. He told Mrs. Spurrier that she would be reported for keeping her house open, and she said they were all her friends.

Cross-examined by Mr. Minter: I have seen passengers come from the station from the late trains and the night boats and go into the house. The man named Kennedy, who knocked at the door, keeps a fried fish shop in the same street. He said “It's me, Mrs. Spurrier. I want you to lend me some coals in the morning”. When I got inside there were no lights except in the little room. Mr. Trevenan did not tell me that he slept there the previous night, at least I did not understand him to say so. I did not watch to see if he did stay there that night.

P.S. Pay corroborated the last witness.

Cross-examined by Mr. Minter: I know the room where defendants were to be Mrs. Spurrier's private sitting room. She did not open the door for the purpose of admitting Kennedy.

By the Bench: I have seen people drinking in this room before this occasion.

Mr. Minter then addressed the Bench, and called for the defence William Spree, boots at the Alexandra Hotel, who said he knew Mr. Trevenan, who had slept at the hotel on the 24th, 25th and 26th.

John Henry Trevenan said he slept at the Alexandra Hotel on the 24th, 25th and 26th November. He paid for his bed.

Henry Monro Moody said he had been doing work for Mrs. Spurrier at her house and cottage, and on the evening in question he went to see her on business, and invited Green to go with him. On their arrival they were invited into Mrs. Spurrier's room. They were there as private guests. Trevenan came in whilst they were sitting in the room.

By the Bench: We went there about half past ten and had some drink, which we paid for. The drink we had after that we did not pay for.

The Bench consulted for some time, and then the Chairman announced that they considered the case proved. Mrs. Spurrier would be fined £3 and 12s. costs, or one month's imprisonment. There could be no doubt that Mr. Moody and Mr. Green were present, but the Bench had endeavoured to attach as little importance to their guilt as possible. They would be fined 5s. and 8s. costs. Mr. Trevenan they acquitted, and Captain Ross was fined 10s. and 8s. costs.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 30 August 1884.

Annual Licensing Meeting.

The annual granting of public house and other refreshment licenses took place on Wednesday morning in the Session House, before The Mayor and other Magistrates. The whole of the licenses were granted without comment, except in the cases of the Alexandra Inn (sic) and an off beer license to a man named Smith.

Supt. Taylor informed the Bench that in the former case two serious convictions had been recorded, and in the latter, one. As the Alexandra bore an indifferent character, the Bench held the license over till the adjourned transfer day, on the 24th Sept. Smith's license was granted with a caution.

 

Folkestone Express 30 August 1884.

The annual licensing meeting was held on Wednesday. The magistrates present were The Mayor, Captain Carter, J. Clark Esq., and Alderman Caister.

All the old licences were renewed, with the exception of that of the Alexandra Hotel, with regard to which Superintendent Taylor called attention to the fact that there were several convictions against the house. On the 9th January, 1883, the landlady was fined 50s. and costs, and on the 5th December, 1883, £3 and costs.

In reply to the Magistrates' Clerk as to the mode in which the house was conducted now, the Superintendent said it was very indifferent. He had not given Mrs. Spurrier any notice because he thought she would attend, and that a caution from the Bench would have the effect of making her more careful. The granting of the licence was adjourned.

 

Folkestone News 30 August 1884.

Wednesday, August 27th: Before The Mayor, Capt. Fletcher, J. Clark Esq., and Aldermen Sherwood and Caister.

Licensing Day.

This being the annual licensing day, the holders of licenses in the district applied for renewals, which were granted without opposition except in the cases mentioned below.

Upon Mrs. Spurrier of the Alexandra making application, Supt. Taylor called the attention of the Bench to the circumstance that there were several convictions against the landlady, and that on the 9th of June, 1883, she was fined for opening during prohibited hours, and on the following 6th of December was fined £3 for a similar offence.

Mr. Bradley: What is the character of the house now? That is the question.

Supt. Taylor said it was very indifferent, but he had not given notice of opposition to the application.

The application was adjourned till Sept. 4th, adjourned licensing day.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 27 September 1884.

Wednesday, September 24th.

Wednesday was an adjourned licensing day. Mrs. Spurrier, of the Alexandra Hotel, whose license was adjourned at the last licensing day, attended, and her license being granted, was cautioned by the Mayor as to the manner in which the house should be conducted in future, as two convictions had taken place there.

 

Folkestone Express 27 September 1884.

Wednesday, September 24th: Before The Mayor, Alderman Caister, Dr. Bateman, Captain Carter, J. Holden, J. Clark and J. Fitness Esqs.


Adjourned Licensing Meeting.

Mrs. Spurrier appeared in support of the renewal of her licence for the Alexandra Hotel.

The Mayor said that the Bench, after consideration, had decided to renew the licence, but at the same time advised the applicant to look well after her house in the future.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 30 May 1885.

Saturday, May 23rd: Before The Mayor, General Armstrong, F.W. Boykett Esq., and Alderman Hoad.

Thomas Seaby, 20, sailor, was charged with stealing a gold watch and Albert chain, the property of Mr. White, on the 2nd of March last. It appears that the prisoner was a seaman on board the Impetuous, and met the prosecutor outside the Alexandra Hotel. He pleaded Guilty, and in defence made the following statement, which was not disputed by the prosecutor:

On the 1st of March I saw Mr. White in Tontine Street. He asked me if I was a mason. I said “No”. He said “I think you are”, and he incited me home with him and asked me if I would have a liquor. I said I did not mind, and went home with him, and drank together a bottle of rum. I had too much to drink, and saw the watch and chain. It was a great temptation to me, and I took it. It was nearly 3 o'clock in the morning of the 2nd of March before I got back on board my ship.

Prisoner also said he had been two and a half years on board the ship.

The Mayor, in passing sentence, said they would take into account the temptation to which the prisoner had been exposed, and sentenced him to one month's imprisonment.

 

Folkestone Express 30 May 1885.

Saturday, April 23rd: Before The Mayor, Alderman Hoad and General Armstrong C.B.

Thomas Seaby was charged with having stolen a watch and guard, value £20, the property of Nicholas White.

Prosecutor, living in Pavilion Road, Folkestone, said: On the 2nd March last I was at the Alexandra Hotel in the evening. I don't remember what time I left. When I went in the house I had my watch and chain with me. Next morning I missed it.

Daniel Purcell, police constable in the Southampton Borough Police Force, said: In consequence of information received from Supt. Taylor of Folkestone I went on board the brigantine Impetuous, of Guernsey, lying at the Phoenix Wharf. That was on Thursday, the 21st. I found the prisoner on board the ship, working as a seaman. I asked him if his name was “Cockney Tom”. He said “Yes”. I said “I have got a warrant for your apprehension, and I want you to go to your berth”. I followed him to his berth, and told him I had a warrant for his apprehension for stealing a watch at Folkestone. I said nothing about the chain. He made no reply. As I was in the act of searching the berth the captain came down into the forecastle. The captain said “I am very sorry to lose him. I would as soon lose myself”. He said “I have got a gold watch belonging to him. He gave it to me to keep for him. I don't believe that's the one for he's had it some time”. In answer to that prisoner said You are vey kind, captain. No doubt I got the blame, but I didn't have all to do with it”. The captain said “It appears you know something about it”. The captain then left the forecastle, and the prisoner tied up his clothes and went on deck. The captain brought up the watch from his cabin, and was going to hand it to me, but I told him to hand it to the prisoner. He handed it to prisoner, who said he hadn't got a pocket to put it in, and handed it to me. I asked him if it was his, and he said it was. I then took him to the police station, and he was charged by the sergeant on duty in my presence. He made no reply. The watch produced is the one prisoner gave to me. Prisoner was afterwards given into the custody of Sergt. Harman, of Folkestone.

Mr. White identified the watch as his property. He had had it for six months. He did not know the number, but the first figure was a “2”. It was an “improved chronograph”. There was a gold Albert attached to the watch – long links connected by three short ones, 18 carat gold.

Sergt. Harman said he received the prisoner in custody at Southampton on Friday. Prisoner was charged by Supt. Tailor, and he replied “Correct”.

Nicholas Hodge, a seaman employed at Folkestone Harbour, produced a log book of the vessels entering and leaving. The Impetuous, of Guernsey, entered the harbour on the 19th February, and sailed on the 16th March.

Prisoner pleaded Guilty, and said the watch was not lost at the Alexandra Hotel. He appeared reluctant to make any further statement, but on being asked i he wished to say anything which might induce the Bench to mitigate the punishment he said: On the night of the 1st March, about half past twelve o'clock, I was coming down Tontine Street, and met Mr. White. He said to me “Are you a mason?” I said “No”. He said “I believe you are a mason”. He had been drinking, and had a stick with him. He asked me if I would accompany him home. I went with him, and carried his stick and assisted him home. When we got there he drew me inside and asked if I would have a liquor with him. I said I didn't mind. He produced a bottle of rum and we drank it. By that time he had fallen asleep, drunk, and I was not very far from being drunk. I saw the watch; it was a great temptation, and I took it. Half an hour after I would have been glad to return it.

The Mayor: Do you wish to say anything about the chain?

Prisoner: The chain is at Middlesboro.

Supt. Taylor said they knew all about the chain.

The Mayor said the Bench, taking into consideration the good character the captain of the vessel gave him, and also the behaviour of the prosecutor in inducing him to go home with him and making him intoxicated, and the temptation that was placed in his way, for which the prosecutor was very much to blame, would only sentence the prisoner to one month's hard labour, and the Bench hoped he would be careful not to get into similar trouble again.

 

Folkestone Express 18 September 1886.

Local News.

The landlady of the Alexandra Hotel had her cashbox stolen on Saturday evening. It contained upwards of £50 in gold, silver and notes, and a number of articles of jewellery, and was kept in a cupboard. Suspicion attaches to two men who had been staying at the hotel for two or three days, and who disappeared simultaneously with the cashbox, which has since been found in a hedge on the Dover Road, thus intimating that the thieves went to Dover with their booty, and probably got across to Calais by the night boat. Information was at once given to the police, and telegrams were despatched to various places giving descriptions of the two men, but they appear to have got safely away.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 25 September 1886.

Saturday, September 16th: Before The Mayor, Aldermen Sherwood and Caister, J. Holden and J. Fitness Esqs.

Henry Vye and George Toomes were charged with committing a breach of the peace.

P.S. Harman said that he was on duty in Harbour Street the previous Saturday night, when he saw a crowd of people in front of the Alexandra Hotel. He saw Vye strike Toomes and they fell on the ground together.

P.C. Lilley corroborated.

They were ordered to pay the costs and be bound over in their own recognisances to keep the peace for three months.

 

Folkestone Express 25 September 1886.

Saturday, September 18th: Before The Mayor, Alderman Sherwood, J. Holden and J. Fitness Esqs.

Henry Vye and Henry Toms were charged with causing a breach of the peace in Harbour Street on the previous Saturday evening.

Sergeant Harman said he saw a crowd of people at about 11.30 in front of the Alexandra Hotel. Vye took of his coat, and Toms and he commenced fighting. Vye was knocked down. The street was in an uproar for a quarter of an hour.

The Bench ordered both defendants to enter into recognisances to keep the peace for three months, and to pay the costs, 7s. 6d. each. Toms declined to be bound over.

 

Folkestone News 25 September 1886.

Saturday, September 18th: Before The Mayor, Aldermen Caister and Sherwood, J. Fitness and J. Holden Esqs.

Harry Vye and Harry Toms were charged with a breach of the peace and summoned to show cause why they should not severally be bound over.

Sergeant Harman said that on Saturday night at half past eleven he saw defendants in Harbour Street in front of the Alexandra Hotel, where there was a crowd round them. Vye pulled off his coat, and he and Toms commenced to fight. Toms knocked Vye down, and they were afterwards both on the ground together. Toms afterwards made a disturbance in front of his own house, No. 5, Harbour Street, and it being a common occurrence he wanted the defendants bound over to prevent it in future.

P.C. Lilley corroborated.

Defendant Toms said it was altogether a mistake of the police. He went to part Vye and his brother in a friendly way, and there was no fight at all.

The Mayor said they must be bound over, each in £10, their own surety, and pay 7s. 6d. costs each.

 

Holbein's Visitors' List 23 November 1887.

Saturday, 19th November.

There was a larger attendance than usual of the (otherwise) unemployed on Saturday morning at the Police Court in anticipation of a case which was, however, postponed. The Magistrates present were Captain Carter (in the chair), John Hoad Esq., Alderman Sherwood, John Holden Esq., John Fitness Esq., and Major Penfold.

A clerk from the office of Mr. Minter, solicitor, said that he was instructed to apply for an adjournment until next Saturday of the cases against Mrs. Spurrier, Mr. Arthur Tolputt, and Mr. C. Wilson. It was impossible for Mr. Minter to be present that day, and as he was instructed to defend in all three cases, it was most important that they should be adjourned.

In reply to the Chairman, Superintendent Taylor said that it was a police prosecution, but he had no objection to the adjournment.

To be heard on Saturday next.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 26 November 1887.

Saturday, November 19th: Before Captain Carter, Alderman Sherwood, Major Penfold, J. Holden, J. Hoad, and J. Fitness Esqs.

Mrs. Spurrier was summoned for selling intoxicating liquors at the Alexandra Hotel on the previous day.

A clerk from Mr. Minter's office attended and asked that the case might be adjourned for a week.

The Magistrates granted an adjournment until today (Saturday).

 

Folkestone Express 26 November 1887.

Saturday, November 19th: Before Capt. Carter, Alderman Sherwood, J. Holden, S. Penfold and J. Hoad Esqs.

Caroline Spurrier was summoned for having her house open for the sale of liquor during prohibited hours.

An application was made for adjournment for a week, and it was granted.

 

Holbein's Visitors' List 30 November 1887.

Saturday, November 26th:

Crowded Court on Saturday morning. Always is crowded when there is a prospect of someone getting an extra dose of “corrective discipline”. Human nature is a queer thing, anyway.

But it is no part of my business to moralize. Let us jot.

The Magistrates present were H.W. Poole Esq. (in the chair), W. Wightwick Esq., and Surgeon-General Gilborne. Alderman Sherwood was on the Bench during a portion of the hearing of the first case, but took no part in the adjudication.

Mrs. Spurrier was charged with keeping her licensed premises, to wit, the Alexandra Hotel, open during prohibited hours, and on a second summons, with permitting drunkenness on the said premises on the said date. Mr. Minter appeared for the defence.

P.C. Dawson said that he was on duty with P.C. Lilley at thebottom of High Street about two o'clock on the morning of the 12th. He heard voices coming from the direction of the Alexandra, and accompanied by Lilley went to the hotel. Outside the door he found a youth about 16 who was very drunk and was vomiting very much. He was not able to stand. Witness tried the front door and found that it was not locked. He went into the room on the right of the entrance and found two strange gentlemen there, and Mr. Arthur Tolputt, Mr. Sidney Wilson, and Mrs. Spurrier. There were five or six glasses there, two of which contained liquor, and Mr. Tolputt was in the act of drinking when witness went in. Witness spoke to the two strangers and asked who was in charge of the boy outside. One of them said “I am”, and witness then said he had better look after him or he should have to do so. He asked if they had travellers' tickets and they produced three from London to Paris. I then turned to Mr. Tolputt, when Mrs. Spurrier said “They are stopping here”. Witness replied “I see they are at present”. He then came out of the house and reported the matter to the Superintendent and to Sergeant Butcher. Saw Mrs. Spurrier's daughter outside the front door. Remained outside the house until 2.35, when Tolputt and Wilson left. Was speaking to Sergeant Butcher at the time they left. They went through South Street and up High Street. Witness returned to the hotel and saw that the lights were all put out and the front door locked. That was at 2.55.

Cross-examined by Mr. Minter: I know that Mrs. Spurrier keeps the house open at night for the accommodation of travellers coming by the boat train. I don't know much about the house as I have not had that beat for over three years. As a matter of fact the boat train should have arrived at 12.30, bit I cannot say whether it was late. I have no doubt that the two strangers and the boy were going away by the boat that leaves at 5 a.m. I was not told that the boy was vomiting because he had smoked a cigar, and, not being used to it, it had made him ill. I did not make any charge against Mrs. Spurrier's daughter for being there after hours because I had no idea she was the married daughter. Knew that Mrs. Spurrier had a married daughter or daughters, but did not know that the lady I saw was one of them. Mr. Tolputt had not his boots off. That I swear most positively. I stood close to him and took particular notice. Could not see Wilson's feet as he was standing at the other side of the table. I am quite certain that the boy was drunk, but of course I do not know whether he had anything to drink at the Alexandra.

P.C. Lilley gave corroborative evidence. In cross-examination he said that he did not know what became of the boy except that one of the strangers came and took him away. Nothing was said to him about a cigar. He was not aware that Tolputt has a room in the hotel. He had often seen him there at two or three in the morning, but that was two years ago when he used to lodge there. He only knew by report that Mr. Tolputt did not live there now.

P.S. Butcher proved the service of the summons and in cross-examination by Mr. Minter said that he knew as a matter of fact that Mr. Tolputt used to live there. When he saw him with Wilson on the date in question it was about 2.40. He should say that they were both sober.

This concluded the evidence for the prosecution.

Mr. Minter said that before calling witnesses he should put it to the Bench that there was not a tittle of evidence to support the charge of permitting drunkenness. He should like the instructions of the Bench on that point before going any further.

The Chairman: Don't proceed with that matter.

Mr. Minter: Very well, your Worships. The charge is withdrawn, and if I may say so, very properly withdrawn. Then my duty becomes light, because I only have to answer the charge of keeping open during prohibited hours. I don't conceal from myself that there is one difficulty I have to meet, and that is the fact that Mrs. Spurrier has twice before been convicted of a similar offence, but with all respect I should urge that the Bench should dismiss that entirely from their minds and act only on the evidence which has been and will be laid before you. What is the evidence? I need hardly say that it is a very difficult thing to conduct a public house or hotel without falling into some of the traps which are set. There are many persons who try to get in at all hours, on all sorts of pretences, and there are bona fide travellers who are entitled to go in. Fortunately the evidence of the police officers themselves disposes of the charge, for they admit that the three strangers were bona fide travellers, and produced tickets from London to Paris. Mrs. Spurrier has for the last twenty years kept her house open for the accommodation of travellers coming by the boat train, and there is no doubt that she has a perfect right to do so. The charge of permitting drunkenness has been dismissed, but I would just refer to it to say that this whole prosecution is the result of overzealousness on the part of the Superintendent of Police, who evidently said to himself “This charge of permitting drunkenness will help to bolster up and colour up the other part of the case, and even if I don't get a conviction on that charge it will influence the minds of the Bench and a penalty will be imposed”. What I have got to meet is the charge of supplying Tolputt and Wilson during prohibited hours. But as a matter of fact they would prove that Mr. Tolputt was a lodger in the house, and that Mr. Wilson was there as his invited guest to spend the night with him. Even the police sergeant admitted that he knew Mr. Tolputt was a lodger in the house.

The Superintendent of Police: Excuse me; he said that he knew he had lived there some time ago.

Mr. Minter: No, Sir, I shall not excuse you. I don't want you to address any remarks to me, or to interfere in any way.

The Superintendent: This is a police prosecution and I am the prosecutor.

Mr. Minter: Then if you have anything to say, address yourself to the Bench, and not to me. I put it to the Bench that Sergeant Butcher distinctly said, in answer to my question, that he knew Mr. Tolputt was a lodger at the hotel. It is all very well for the police to come here and make charges against people, but we have had a fair sample of police evidence all over the country lately. The fact is that the Superintendent has been spurred into activity by things which have been said and have been reported in the papers, suggesting that he does not do his duty. I don't agree with that statement, for I think we have an excellent officer. But just because of a little outside clamour, he must not pounce on my client or any other person and move heaven and earth to get a conviction. It comes to this: Do we live in a free country or do we not? Is it a crime for Mr. Tolputt to have two or three residences or to invite a friend to spend the night with him? Because Mr. Tolputt chooses to be erratic in his movements, is that a reason why Mrs. Spurrier should be dragged here on a charge of breaking the law? There is no police law in the Kingdom to prevent a man coming out from his lodgings at three o'clock in the morning, or from bringing his friend with him. Mr. Tolputt hires a room at the hotel, and, as I shall prove to you presently, he has slept there over three hundred times in the last two years. Whether the proceedings of Mr. Tolputt and his friend are exactly wise is not a matter for the Bench. You have nothing to do with their morals, and no right to interfere with their freedom of action. I shal now call witnesses who shall prove to you that Mrs. Spurrier is not guilty of the offence which is charged against her.

Arthur Tolputt, examined by Mr. Minter, said: I am of no occupation. I rent a room at the Alexandra and have done so for the last three years. About two years ago I lived there altogether. Have since changed about a good deal, but have always kept the room and paid for it, and I can sleep there whenever I like. Sidney Wilson is a companion of mine, and I often invite him to sleep with me at the Alexandra. I did so on the 12th instant. During the last three months we have slept together about two or three times a week. Wilson has not been there since the 12th. We went in about five minutes to eleven, took off our boots and went up to bed. We partly undressed, but hearing some fellows come into the hotel we altered our minds and went downstairs again. Wilson was partly undressed as well as myself. The strangers were jockeys who were going to Paris and we sat a long time and talked with them about horses and racing. The boy certainly had no drink in the house. I gave him a cigar – rather a strong one, perhaps – it was an Intimidad. When the strangers left Mrs. Spurrier locked up the house and went up to bed. Wilson and I got halfway upstairs and then we thought we wouldn't go to bed at all, but would go for a stroll and then go and see the fellows off by the boat. I asked Mrs. Spurrier for the key,, but she said she wouldn't trust us with the key, and if we went out she wouldn't come down and let us in again. She advised us to go on to bed. I told the Boots before he left for the night to go up to my other lodgings the first thing in the morning and bring me a clean shirt.

By the Chairman: I pay rent for the room all the year round, and have the sole right to use it whenever I like.

By the Clerk: The men were going by the boat at 5.30, and they had to sit round at the station and wait. That was why they stayed so long at the Alexandra, because they didn't want to be out in the cold.

Sidney Wilson corroborated the evidence given by Mr. Tolputt, and swore positively that they had both taken their boots off.

Frank Rogers (Boots at the Alexandra) said that when he left the hotel at 11.15 Mr. Tolputt and Mr. Wilson were there, and they had both taken their boots off. Mr. Tolputt told witness to fetch him a shirt and tie from 10, Gloucester Place, as he should want them in the morning. He had been at the Alexandra about eight weeks, and during that time Mr. Tolputt had always had a room there. When he went for the boots next morning he found they were not there. He spoke to Mrs. Spurrier about it, and she said that as the gentlemen had gone there was no need for him to go to Gloucester Place.

Ada Helmore said that she was the wife of George Helmore, and daughter of Mrs. Spurrier. She did not live at the hotel, but was there on a visit on the 12th. She knew that Mr. Tolputt had a room at the hotel, and he came in with Mr. Wilson about eleven o'clock that night for the purpose of sleeping there. The servants had gone to bed and she lit a candle for them herself. They went to bed, but she came downstairs again and stayed there until the other gentlemen came. After they went we locked the bar and the front door and went to bed. She afterwards heard Mr. Tolputt asking her mother for the key, but she refused it and said she would not go down again. As they were determined to go out witness went down and undid the door for them.

Mrs. Spurrier was then called and gave evidence to the same effect. In reply to Mr. Minter, witness said that Tolputt and Wilson were quite sober – in fact they had never been more sober. (Laughter)

Mr. Minter: I only asked you about the 12th. Don't go into any other days, please. (Laughter)

The witness said that for 21 years she had sat up for the purpose of accommodating passengers by the last train, and her husband had done so before her. The boy had some supper at the hotel, but certainly nothing to drink. She saw Mr. Tolputt hand the cigars round and the boy took one, although his friend advised him not to smoke. He became very sick and she said “Take him to the front door – that will do him good”. Her daughter took him into the air and asked if she should fetch him a glass of water.

Is it a fact you were asked by Mr. Tolputt for a key?

Yes. He said “Madame, we're going out and I want the key”.

Did you let him have it? – Certainly not. Give him the key indeed! When they were determined to go out I called my daughter and she let them out. Mr. Tolputt has slept at the house three or four times since the 12th.

By Mr. Wightwick: He pays me 6s. a week for the room whether he uses it or not. He pays me every Saturday. The room is his to come and go as he likes, and there are a good many of his things there. The ordinary price of a room for a single night would be 2s. 6d., or rather more if it was a large room.

The Chairman said that the Bench were unanimously of opinion that defendant was Guilty of the charge, and she would be fined £5 and 16s. costs. They had very seriously considered whether it was not their duty to endorse the licence, but had decided that on that occasion they would not do so. But if the defendant appeared before them again the licence would certainly be endorsed, and she knew what that meant.

Mr. Minter: With great respect to the Bench, we shall appeal, and I should be glad if the Bench would give me the grounds on which they have arrived at their decision. Did thye punish Mrs. Spurrier on account of the three bona fide travellers in the house, or –

The Chairman: We have given our decision, and have no more to say.

Mr. Minter: But we are criminals, and surely we are entitled to know whether you mean by your decision to brand the five respectable witnesses I have called before you as conspirators and perjurers.

No answer was returned and the next case was called.

Arthur Tolputt and Sidney Wilson were charged with being on licensed premises during prohibited hours on the 12th of November.

The evidence was exactly the same as in the last case, and Mr. Minter (on behalf of the defendants) said that he was quite willing to facilitate matters by having the depositions read over. This having been done, Mr. Minter said he would only detain the Bench a very few minutes. The matter was a most serious one, for the Bench had disregarded the evidence of five respectable witnesses – witnesses as much entitled to credence as any person in that court. If they did not mean to brand them as perjurers, what was the meaning of their decision? He should show them how that decision would operate in the case of Mr. Tolputt. He and his friend would sleep in the same room that night, and he gave the Superintendent notice of that publicly. If what had been done so far was right it was the duty of the Superintendent to bring them before the Bench again and again, and it would be the duty of the Bench to punish them again and again, and so they might go on ad infinitum. One of the Magistrates had asked what sum was paid by Mr. Tolputt and what sum was charged for rooms by the night. But surely the Bench were not going to adopt a theory like that. Mr. Tolputt engaged the room for a permanency, whether he used it or not, and Mrs. Spurrier charged what she thought proper, as she had an undoubted right to do. If the Bench convicted the defendants they would be stamping five respectable people as deliberate perjurers, for it meant that and nothing else. Surely they were not going to say that simply because it was a public house case. He said, with all respect, that the matter amounted to a farce, but the responsibility rested with the Bench, and he must leave the matter in their hands.

The Chairman, after consultation with his colleagues and the Clerk, said: Mr. Arthur Tolputt, with regard to the charge against you, the Bench has rather a doubt whether you are a bona fide lodger or whether you are not seeking to evade the law. However, there is the doubt, and as is usual in all cases of doubt, we give you the benefit of it. The case against you will be dismissed.

As regards the case against Wilson, there is not the slightest doubt that he was on licensed premises during prohibited hours, and we shall therefore fine him 20s. and 12s. costs, or in default fourteen days' imprisonment.

The money was immediately paid.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 3 December 1887.

Saturday, November 26th: Before Major Poole, Surgeon Major Gilbourne, Alderman Banks and W. Wightwick Esq.

Mrs. Spurrier was summoned for having, on the 12th November, kept her house, the Alexandra Hotel, open at a prohibited hour, and that she did also, on the same occasion, encourage drunkenness upon her licensed premises.

Mr. Minter appeared for the defendant, who pleaded Not Guilty.

P.C. Dawson was the first witness called. He stated that on the night in question he was on duty with P.C. Lilley in the neighbourhood of the Alexandra Hotel about two o'clock. He heard the sound of voices proceeding from the Alexandra Hotel, in consequence of which he and Lilley went across to the hotel and listened. When they got up to the house they observed a lad, of about 16 years of age, standing outside, vomiting, and, to all appearances, drunk. Witness tried the front door of the hotel; it was not locked. Leaving Lilley outside with the boy, witness went in and entered a room on the right hand side of the passage. He there found two gentlemen who were strangers to him; also Mr. Arthur Tolputt, Mr. Sidney Wilson and Mrs. Spurrier. There were five or six glasses on the table. They had contained liquor, and when witness entered, Tolputt was in the act of drinking. Spoke to the strange gentlemen and asked them who was in charge of the boy outside. One of them answered “I am”, and witness told him he had better go outside and take care of him, or else he would have to take him into custody. Having heard that they were travellers, witness asked him whether he had any tickets about him. He answered in the affirmative and produced two – one for the boy and the other for himself. He then asked the other strange gentleman if he had a ticket, and he produced one immediately. All the tickets were from London to Paris. When witness commenced to speak to Tolputt and Wilson with respect to them being on the premises, Mrs. Spurrier interrupted and said they were two gentlemen who were staying at her hotel. Witness then went outside and reported the circumstances to Sergeant Butcher.

In cross-examination by Mr. Bradley, the Magistrates' Clerk, the witness proceeded to state that no-one followed him out of the house. He only saw Mrs. Spurrier's daughter standing outside the door. Witness remained outside the house until 2.35, when he saw Tolputt and Wilson leave. He was speaking to Sergeant Butcher at the time. Witness followed them through the passage in South Street and saw them go up High Street. The last person who left the hotel was at five minutes to three. No-one entered the house until six o'clock in the morning.

Cross-examined by Mr. Minter: Had heard that Mrs. Spurrier kept her house open for the reception of passengers who arrived by the night train and waited to go over by the early morning boat. There was a late train at Folkestone between twelve and half past. Did not notice one about a quarter to one o'clock. The boat left for Boulogne about half past five in the morning. Had no doubt that the strange gentlemen that he saw were passengers by that boat. They did not tell witness that the boy who was vomiting outside the house was doing so in consequence of having smoked a cigar which was too strong for him, and not being accustomed to smoking, it had made him sick. Would swear that. Aw Mrs. Spurrier's daughter outside the door. The reason why witness did not complain of her being there was because she lived there. Considered she had more right there than the defendants. When witness saw Tolputt he did not have his boots off. Would swear it. Could not see Wilson's feet; he was sitting the other side of the table. It was five minutes past two o'clock at that time. On his oath he would swear that Tolputt had his boots on. Did not know Mr. Tolputt had a room at the Alexandra Hotel. Was not accustomed to that beat. Had only been on it once before for three years. Knew very little about the house. Would not take Tolputt and Wilson to be drunk.

By Mr. Bradley: They had the appearance of people who had been drinking. Knew where Tolputt lived.

P.C. Lilley deposed to being in company with the last witness on the night in question, and also to seeing the boy outside of the Alexandra Hotel vomiting. Witness would have taken him to be very drunk. Dawson tried the door and as it was unfastened he entered, leaving witness outside. Witness took charge of the boy until Dawson came out with a man, who took the boy in. Stayed there until five minutes to three, and saw Tolputt and Wilson leave. They went through South Street and up High Street.

By Mr. Minter: Did not know where the boy went to; the man took hold of him. They did not tell him that the boy had been smoking and had made himself sick. Did not go into the house. Had been on that beat several times. Did not know Mr. Tolputt had a room at the hotel. He had seen Mr. Tolputt in the house before, more especially three years ago.

Sergeant Butcher here proved having served the summons on Tolputt &c.. In answer to Mr. Minter, said he knew that Mr. Tolputt used to live at the Alexandra Hotel.

This was the case for the prosecution.

Mr. Minter then addressed the Bench, and, in a very able defence said, as regarded the charge of permitting drunkenness on the premises, he considered it had absolutely failed, there being no evidence whatever in it's support. He supposed the Bench would dispose of that case first.

After a short consultation, Major Poole said that the Bench had decided not to proceed with that case and it would be dismissed.

Mr. Minter then proceeded to state that he wished to be fair, and would tell them that the defendant had been convicted twice before. As regarded the boy outside the house, it was a fact that someone had given him a cigar, which he smoked, and it had made him ill. The hotel was open to travellers every night. As regarded Tolputt and Wilson, they had a perfect right there. Sergeant Butcher had told them that he knew Tolputt hired a room and lived there.

Supt. Taylor said the Sergeant did not say anything of the kind.

Mr. Minter said it was nothing to do with the Superintendent what he said. He would not be interrupted by him.

Supt. Taylor remarked that he was the prosecutor in this case.

Mr. Minter: Then address yourself to the Bench.

Supt. Taylor: Then I will do so. I say Sergeant Butcher did not say Mr. Tolputt lived at the hotel.

Mr. Minter, having further addressed the Bench at some considerable length, concluded by saying that if the Magistrates convicted Mrs. Spurrier they would mean that those witnesses who had given evidence that day had conspired together to commit perjury.

Arthur Tolputt was then called, and stated that he was of no occupation. He had a room at Mrs. Spurrier's hotel, and had it for about three years. Some three years ago he lived there altogether. Since then he had changed about, but still retained his room at the Alexandra. Wilson was his companion. He invited him to spent the night at the hotel with him on the 12th of November. For the last three months Wilson had slept at the hotel with him on an average of two or three times a week, and occasionally before – not very often. He still had a room at the hotel. Had occupied it several times since the 12th of November. He went into the hotel on the night in question with Wilson about five minutes to eleven. Soon after they got in, witness took off his boots and went upstairs and partly undressed. Upon hearing some people come in, he and Wilson went downstairs and had a talk to them. He gave the boy a cigar; it was a strong one and made him sick. When the men went, Mrs. Spurrier locked up, and afterwards he asked her for the key of the front door. He told her he was going to see those fellows off by the boat. She said “If you go out you shall not come in again”. She would not come down with the key. One of the girls came down and let them out. Before the “Boots” left the hotel he told him to go to his other lodging and fetch him a clean shirt and neck tie. That was about ten minutes past eleven.

In answer to Major Poole, the witness said he paid rent for the room and could go there when he liked.

By Mr. Bradley: Paid his rent by the week. His lodgings were at 10, Gloucester Terrace.

Sidney Wilson, who stated that he was of no occupation, deposed that he was the friend of Mr. Arthur Tolputt, who had had a room at the Alexandra Hotel for upwards of three years. Witness had been in the habit of staying there with him. Went there on the 12th of November by his friend's invitation. They both went to their room soon after they got in, and if it had not been for the men coming in they would have gone to bed. After the men had gone, he and Tolputt thought they would go and see them off. Heard Tolputt ask for the key, which he was refused. He said he wanted to go down to the harbour. She advised them to go to bed, but they had determined to go out, and did so.

By the Clerk: They both took their boots off upstairs, and put them on again when they went out.

Frank Rogers stated that he was “boots” at the Alexandra Hotel. He saw Tolputt and Wilson there on the 12th November. Witness left about quarter past eleven o'clock. Both their boots were off then, and Tolputt asked him to go up to Gloucester Terrace and fetch him a clean shirt for the morning. Witness had been at the hotel for eight weeks, and Tolputt had had the room ever since he had been there. Did not fetch the shirt the next morning because Mrs. Spurrier told him that Mr. Tolputt had gone.

By the Clerk: Tolputt slept at the hotel two or three times a week.

Mrs. Ada Helmore, a married daughter of Mrs. Spurrier, said she was staying at the hotel as a visitor on the 12th of November. Knew Mr. Tolputt had a room at her mother's hotel. On the night in question he came in for the purpose of staying there. The servants had gone to bed and she lighted the candles herself. Mr. Tolputt had his friend, Mr. Wilson, with him. It was soon after 11. They had taken their boots off, and went downstairs again when they heard some travellers come in, who had arrived by the midnight train.

Mrs. Spurrier stated that she kept the Alexandra Hotel. Mr. Tolputt had a room at her house. He had had it for three years. He was in the habit of having Wilson to stay there with him. On the night of the 12th inst. he came to her house for the purpose of staying there with Wilson. They took their shoes off, and went up to bed soon after 11. They were quite sober. Witness sat up for the last train to receive travellers going over by boat. She had done so for the past 21 years. On this occasion three travellers came. They were going to Paris. The boy did not get anything to drink in her house. When Tolputt came downstairs she saw him give the boy a cigar. It seemed too strong for him, and as he came over very pale, witness told them to take him out of the front door to the air, as it might do him some good, and witness's daughter took him out. When the travellers went, witness locked up the house and went upstairs to bed. When she got upstairs she heard Tolputt say “Madame, I want the key of the front door”. Witness said if he went out she would not let him come in again. Tolputt had slept at her house two or three times since the occurrence.

By the Clerk: Tolputt came to the house about 11 o'clock with Wilson. They went to bed soon after, but came down again. Did not know whether they had anything to drink – they might have had a glass of ale. Tolputt paid her six shillings every week for the use of the room.

After about ten minutes' consultation with the Clerk and the other Magistrates, Major Poole said the Bench were unanimously of opinion that the defendant was Guilty of the offence, and she would be fined £5 and 16s. costs, or, in default, one month's imprisonment. He would like to add that they had been considering whether it was not their duty to endorse the licence. If she ever came before them again the licence would be endorsed.

Mr. Minter thought the judgement was somewhat extraordinary. He would like to ask them the reason for their judgement.

Major Poole said the Bench were perfectly justified in giving their judgement. Mr. Minter could take any course he liked.

Mr. Minter said he should appeal, by the wish of his client.

Arthur Tolputt and Sidney Wilson were then summoned for being on the premises on teh 12th November during prohibited hours.

At the suggestion of Mr. Bradley the evidence in the former case was read over, instead of repeating it.

Mr. Wightwick (to Mrs. Spurrier): What is the price generally charged for a single bed at your house?

Mrs. Spurrier: Half a crown, and sometimes a little more.

Mr. Wightwick: You say you sometimes let a bed for more than 2s. 6d.?

Mrs. Spurrier: Yes.

In addressing the Bench for the defence, Mr. Minter said if the Bench convicted the defendants they would mean that those five witnesses were guilty of conspiring together for perjury. Did they say that? Mr. Tolputt and Mr. Wilson were going to sleep at the Alexandra Hotel that night. They would occupy the same room that night, and if the Bench convicted the defendants it would be the duty of the Superintendent of Police to go there and bring them up again. The fact of the matter was the Bench said “You, Mr. Tolputt, shall not go there at all, and you, Mr. Wilson, shall not accompany him”. There was the evidence before them. They were charged with being on licensed premises at a prohibited hour, not being bona fide travellers or lodgers, but the evidence showed clearly that Tolputt was a lodger, and who was to prevent him taking a friend with him to his room if he chose to do so? One of the Magistrates had asked what price was charged for the room. Surely they were not trying to make out that Mrs. Spurrier was telling a lie because she said she let the room to Mr. Tolputt for 6s. a week and charged another person 2s. 6d. a night more? Surely such a decision never would be given. Again he would remind them that Tolputt and Wilson would occupy the room that night, and, if they were guilty of the charge brought against them, it was the duty of the police to bring them up again next Monday.

Major Poole said as regarded the charge against Tolputt the Bench entertained some little doubt as to whether he really was the occupier of the room, and, as the Bench always did, they would give him the benefit of the doubt and dismiss the charge against him, but they had agreed that Wilson was Guilty, and he would be fined £1 and 12s. costs, or 14 days' imprisonment.

The money was paid, and the case then terminated.

 

Folkestone Express 3 December 1887.

Saturday, November 26th: Before H.W. Poole Esq., Surgeon General Gilbourne, and W. Wightwick Esq.

Caroline Spurrier of the Alexandra Hotel was summoned for having her house open during prohibited hours on the 12th November, and also with permitting drunkenness in the house on the same day.

Mr. Minter appeared for the defendant.

P.C. Dawson said: About two o'clock on the 12th November I was on duty with P.C. Lilley at the bottom of High Street, and heard voices in the direction of the Alexandra Hotel. We went to the hotel. We found a youth, 15 or 16 years of age, outside. He was very drunk, and vomiting. He could not stand. We tried the front door of the hotel. It was not locked. I went inside, and in a room on the right I found two strange gentlemen, Mr. Arthur Tolputt and Mr. Wilson, and Mrs. Spurrier. There were five or six glasses on the table. Two of them contained liquor, and Mr. Tolputt was in the act of drinking when I went in. I spoke to the two strangers and asked who was in charge of the boy outside. One of them said “I am”. I told him he had better go outside and take charge of him, or I should be obliged to do so. I asked him if they had tickets, as I understood them to be travellers. He produced two from London to Paris. The other gentleman also produced a ticket. I was turning to Tolputt and Wilson, and Mrs. Spurrier said “They are stopping here”. I said “I see they are at present”. I saw Mrs. Spurrier's daughter at the door. I remained outside until twenty five minutes to three, when Tolputt and Wilson left. I was talking to Sergt. Butcher when they left. They went up High Street. I afterwards returned to the front of the Alexandra, and remained there until all lights were out at five minutes to three.

Cross-examined: I have heard that Mrs. Spurrier keeps her house open for travellers coming down and going over by the night boat. The last train down that night came down between twelve and half past.The boat left at 5.30. I have no doubt that the two gentlemen and the boy were travellers. They did not tell me the boy was sick in consequence of having tried to smoke a cigar. Nothing of the sort was said. I left the boy in charge of Lilley. I did not know Mrs. Spurrier's daughter was married. Mr. Tolputt had not got his shoes off. Wilson was on the other side of the table. I am sure Tolputt's boots were on. I do not know that Tolputt has a room at the Alexandra. I had only been on that beat once before. Wilson and Tolputt had the appearance of having been drinking, but they were not drunk.

By the Clerk: They had the appearance of having been drinking. Mr. Wilson, I understand, lives at Clifton Gardens. Mr. Tolputt, I believe, resides at the East Kent Arms.

P.C. Lilley gave corroborative evidence.

Cross-examined: The boy was taken into the house. They did not tell me he had been smoking a cigar, and got sick. I have been several times on this beat. I did not know that Mr. Tolputt had a room at the Alexandra. About two years ago I saw him there at two o'clock in the morning. I knew he was living there then.

Sergeant Butcher said he served the summons upon Tolputt in the street.

Cross-examined. I know he used to lodge at the Alexandra. I saw him with Wilson on this particular night.

The Bench decided that there was no evidence to support the charge of permitting drunkenness.

Mr. Minter said he did not wish to conceal the fact that Mrs. Spurrier had been twice convicted of a similar offence, but he appealed to the Bench to dismiss that knowledge from their minds in dealing with that case. He referred to the pitfalls and difficulties which beset publicans, no matter how carefully they conducted the business, and went on to say that Mrs. Spurrier had been in the habit of keeping open for passengers for the night boats for 20 years. He contended that the case of the boy was only introduced by the police to give colour and bolster up the case. He supposed the Superintendent had been spurred into a little activity by what he had seen in the paper with regard to his not having done his duty. They had, he said, had pretty good examples all over the county of police evidence. He admitted that the Superintendent was an excellent officer, and believed that he did do his duty. With regard to Mr. Tolputt, he urged that he was living at the Alexandra and had a perfect right to do so, and to have a friend there to see him.

He called Arthur Tolputt, who said he had had a room at Mrs. Spurrier's permanently for about three years. Two years ago he exclusively lived there. Since then he had moved from place to place, but still kept his room. Sidney Wilson was a companion of his, and frequently slept with him. He invited him there on the 12th November. Within the last three months he and Wilson had slept there two or three times a week. He still kept the room, and had slept there twice since the 12th inst. On the 12th November they went in about ten minutes to eleven. He took off his boots upstairs, and partly undressed. Wilson went upstairs with him, and they were going to bed. Hearing the people come in, they went downstairs again, and had a long talk with them. They were jockeys. The boy had nothing to drink in the house that he saw. He gave him a cigar. He and Wilson did not go to bed again. The men left about a quarter to three. He and Wilson went out. Before going out he asked Mrs. Spurrier for the key of the front door. She refused to let him have it, and said if they went out they should not come in again. Before he went to bed, he told the boots to go to his lodgings and get a clean shirt and necktie for the morning. They did not go to the boat.

By the Bench: I pay rent for the room all year round. I pay by the week.

By Mr. Bradley: I have lodgings at 10, Gloucester Terrace. The men left at a quarter past three. The boat started about half past five. They were going to wait at the harbour.

Sidney Wilson said he knew that Tolputt had a room at the Alexandra. On the 12th he went there with the purpose of staying the night with him. It was a fact that they took off their boots to go to bed, but altered their minds and came down again.

By the Clerk: We both put our boots on again before we came down.

Frank Rogers, boots at the Alexandra, said when he left at a quarter past eleven both Tolputt and Wilson had their boots off. Tolputt told him to go to 10, Gloucester Terrace and get him a clean shirt for the morning. Mr. Tolputt had slept there three or four times a week sometimes.

Ada Helmore, daughter of Mrs. Spurrier, said she was staying at the Alexandra Hotel on the 12th November. She knew Mr. Tolputt had a room there and that he came there on the 12th with Wilson to sleep. She lit the candle. They took off their boots before they went upstairs. When the travellers came in Wilson and Tolputt came down again.

The defendant then gave evidence. She said Mr. Tolputt had had a room at her house for more than three years. Wilson very often stayed with him. On the 12th November he went there for the purpose of staying. They took off their boots and went up to bed. They were quite sober – never more so. (Laughter) She always sat up for travellers by the late train. The police knew it was her custom. The boy had not been drinking. Mr. Tolputt gave him a cigar and it made him sick. She sent him to the front door with her daughter.

By the Clerk: Tolputt pays me 6s. a week. He generally pays every Saturday.

The Chairman (Mr. Poole) said: The Bench are unanimously of opinion that you are Guilty of the offence with which you are charged – of keeping your house open during prohibited hours. We shall on this occasion fine you £5 and 14s. costs, levyable by distress, or a month's imprisonment. I should also add that we have very seriously considered whether it was not our duty to endorse your licence, but we thought this time we would not. Of course, you will perfectly understand that if you appear again before the magistrates your licence will be endorsed, and I do not need to tell you what the consequence of that will be.

Mr. Minter, having consulted with his client, said, with great respect to the Bench, he should appeal against the decision, and asked the Bench whether they would state the exact ground on which they had based their decision.

The Magistrates declined to do this, telling Mr. Minter he must take whatever course of action he thought fit.

Arthur Tolputt and Sidney Wilson were charged with being on licensed premises, the Alexandra Hotel, not being either lodgers or bona fide travellers, during prohibited hours.

Mr. Minter, before the case was gone into, again addressed the Bench. He said it was something very serious to find the Bench, if he was correct in his opinion, determining to disregard the evidence of five witnesses against whose respectability he knew nothing. Were they going to convict Mrs. Spurrier, those two young men, and Mrs. Spurrier's daughter of having deliberately conspired together to commit perjury? If they were not prepared to say that, they must dismiss the case. He pointed out that if the did convict the defendants, to be consistent they must do the same next week, and warned the Superintendent that Mr. Tolputt would be at the Alexandra that night with Mr. Wilson, and he must summon them, and the Bench must go on convicting them ad infinitum. Surely they had no right to say a man should not live where he liked.

The evidence having been read over, the Chairman said the Bench, with regard to Mr. Tolputt, had doubts whether or not he was evading the law or whether he was a bona fide lodger, and, as they always did in cases of that kind, they gave the defendant the benefit of the doubt, and dismissed him. With regard to Wilson, they had not the slightest doubt that he was Guilty, and he would be fined 20s., and 12s. costs.

 

Holbein's Visitors' List 22 February 1888.

Local News.

On Monday evening, while the Salvation Army was passing, the large lamp outside the new Prince Albert Hotel fell with a crash on the pavement. This is the second large lamp that has fallen in Folkestone; the last one was that outside the Alexandra Hotel about two years ago. For my part I shall carefully avoid walking under these things in future. It's not worth the risk.

 

Folkestone Express 14 June 1890.

Auction Notice.

Preliminary. Folkestone.

To Brewers, Licensed Victuallers, and Others.

Messrs. John Hart Bridges and Sons are favoured with instructions from the owner to Sell by Auction.

At the Rose Hotel, Folkestone, on Tuesday, July 8th, 1890, at Three o'clock prompt, that Important Freehold Wine and Spirit Establishment

Known as The Alexandra Hotel, prominently placed in close proximity to the Harbour, Pier, and Station (with possession on completion of purchase)

Further particulars will appear next week.

Auction Offices: 20, Hart Street, Bloomsbury Square.

 

Folkestone Express 21 June 1890.

Auction Advertisement.

Folkestone. To Brewers and Hotel Proprietors.

Improving Freehold Investment in Fully-licensed Premises, with possession on completion of purchase.

John Hart Bridges & Sons will sell by Auction at the Rose Hotel, Folkestone, on Tuesday, July 8th, 1890, at Three o'clock prompt, the exceedingly valuable Freehold Property, known as the Alexandra Hotel.

Situate at the approach to the beach, and having a commanding frontage at the corner of Harbour Street and Beach Street, at close proximity to the junction of several important thoroughfares, and immediately facing the Harbour, Quay and Station, now and for many years past in the occupation of Mrs. Campbell.

N.B. The Auctioneers beg to draw attention to this genuine property. It's position for business is quite unique, and to Brewers it affords an opportunity of securing a beer trade of importance, in addition to an adequate rental, whilst to an intending proprietor it offers the now rare chance of acquiring a compact Free hotel with an exceptionally profitable counter trade.

Particulars and Conditions of Sale may be had of H.B. Bradley Esq., Solicitor, Folkestone; at the Alexandra Hotel and place of Sale; and at the Auctioneers, 20, Hart Street, Bloomsbury Square, W.C.

Note: Who was Mrs. Campbell?

 

Folkestone Express 12 July 1890.

Local News.

Sale of the Alexandra Hotel: This well known hotel was offered for sale on Tuesday afternoon by Messrs. John Hart Bridges and Sons, at the Rose Hotel. The first bid was £1,500, and the property was knocked down to a Mr. Spurrier at £2,000.

 

Folkestone Express 23 August 1890.

Saturday, August 16th: Before The Mayor, Capt. Carter, Aldermen Pledge and Dunk, J. Fitness, J. Clark, and W.G. Herbert Esqs.

Stephen Barton was charged with being drunk and disorderly in Harbour Street on the 10th of August.

P.C. Dunster said the defendant, with several others, was near the Alexandra Hotel, very drunk. He asked defendant to go away, but he declined, and asked his companions to go to the back of the Alexandra to get a drink. He used bad language and refused to go away with his companions. He told witness he had been in public houses many a night playing nap with the Superintendent and the Sergeants.

Defendant replied that this was “a pack of lies”. He told Dunster he was drunk in the Granville, and Dunster replied that he was a “----fop”. He denied that he was drunk; the constable was more drunk than he was.

Sergeant Butcher said he saw the defendant in Tontine Street at ten minutes to eleven, being led home drunk by two young men. Defendant pushed one of the men against him.

Defendant conducted himself in a most unseemly manner, accused the police of misconduct and card playing.

There were two recent convictions against the defendant, and he was fined 10s. and 10s. costs. The Bench refused to allow time for payment, and he was removed to the cells.

 

Folkestone Express 28 May 1892.

Wednesday, May 25th: Before The Mayor, W.G. Herbert and W. Wightwick Esqs.

Temporary authority was granted to Mr. J.C. Brice, late of Peckham, to sell at the Alexandra Hotel.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 20 August 1892.

Saturday, August 13th: Before Aldermen Sherwood, Dunk, and Pledge, Councillor Holden and Mr. J. Fitness.

John C. Brice, landlord of the Alexandra Hotel, was charged with unlawfully keeping his premises open at 10.20 on the morning of Sunday, July 31st.

Defendant pleaded Guilty, and Mr. Haines, who appeared for him, asked that he might be leniently dealt with, as he was unacquainted with the persons whom he served.

P.C. Lawrence said he visited the house of the defendant at 20 past ten on the day named. The front door was open, and he saw several men standing in the bar, drinking. Defendant told witness he was very sorry for what had occurred. The back door of the house was inadvertently left open, and the men walked in. He served them with three pints of beer.

The Bench took into consideration the explanation, and imposed a fine of 50s., and 9s. costs.

The defendant said he would take care the offence did not occur again.

 

Folkestone Express 20 August 1892.

Saturday, August 13th: Before Aldermen Sherwood, Dunk and Pledge, J. Holden and J. Fitness Esqs.

John Chidwell Brice, landlord of the Alexandra Hotel, was summoned for having his house open during prohibited hours on Sunday. He pleaded Guilty.

Mr. Haines appeared for the defendant, and said it was admitted there were three persons in the house. There were several excursionists about, and he asked most of them whether they were bona fide travellers, but unfortunately did not ask the three. There was no concealment, and when the police went in he at once admitted that he served the men. The defendant had a 21 years' lease of the house, and a conviction would be a most serious matter.

P.C. Lawrence said he visited the defendant's house at twenty minutes past ten and saw a man drinking. The front door was open, and he went in. The man, whom he knew as a resident in Folkestone, made for the back door. There were two other Folkestone men there drinking. Defendant told him the men said they were travellers.

The Bench took a lenient view of the case and fined defendant 50s. and 9s. costs.

 

Folkestone Herald 20 August 1892.

Police Court Jottings.

Landlords – we mean of public houses, not territorial magnates – should take a warning from the case of Chidwell Brice, of the Alexandra Hotel, who was summoned by the police for selling drink during prohibited hours on the Sunday.

He did not deny the breach of the Licensing Act, but pleaded that on the occasion there were a large number of travellers about, of whom he made the requisite enquiry whether they were or were not travellers, but the three men in question came in, and in the hurry of business he forgot to put the same interrogation to them.

Mr. Haines, who appeared for him, asked for leniency, and this the Magistrates exhibited by inflicting a fine of 50s. with 9s. costs.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 27 August 1892.

Saturday, August 20th: Before Alderman Banks and Messrs. W.G. Herbert and W. Wightwick.

Frank Care, Frank Lester, and Edwin Bliss were summoned for being on licensed premises during prohibited hours on the 31st July. They were in the Alexandra Hotel. All pleaded Guilty to the charge.

P.C. Lawrence deposed that he saw the defendant Bliss drinking a glass of beer in the hotel on the day named – a Sunday – at 10.20 in the morning. He also saw the other two defendants with glasses in their hands, near the back door.

Mr. Wightwick asked if the licence of the landlord had been endorsed.

Mr. Andrews replied “No, sir”.

Mr. Wightwick: Then it ought to have been.

The Chairman wished it to be known that in the future the Bench intended to increase the fines in these cases. Instead of 5s. the defendants would be fined 10s., and in future cases this amount would probably be doubled. The costs were 9s.

Wednesday, August 24th: Before Mr. J. Clark, Alderman Pledge, Councillor Holden, and Messrs. J. Fitness, J. Boykett, H.W. Poole and W. Wightwick.

Annual Licensing Session.

Folkestone Clergymen on Licensing.

Mr. A.H. Gardner said he had been instructed by the Church of England Temperance Society, not in any spirit of antagonism towards the Bench, but in order that they might know the Society's views upon the subject, to put before them a resolution, passed the other day at the Vestry of the Parish Church, the Rev. M. Woodward presiding. The resolution was to the effect that the clergymen representing the various churches in the town, respectfully asked the Bench not to grant any new licenses, except to private hotels and restaurants, such to be used for bona fide customers, and not for bars, etc. He also added that he was particularly urged to ask the Bench not to grant any additional licenses to grocers, as such licenses were fraught with very mischievous consequences, inasmuch as they held out great temptations to women. Mr. Gardner stated that the clergymen further added that the meeting also desired the Bench to consider the propriety of refusing the renewal of the licenses of those persons who had been convicted during the past year, and, in conclusion, they pointed out the great preponderance of public houses east of Alexandra Gardens over those west of the Gardens.

The Bench then proceeded with the renewal of the licenses.

Adjournments.

The Superintendent of Police having reported that convictions for offences against the Licensing Act had been obtained against the following in the course of the past year, the Bench decided to refer their applications for renewals to the Adjourned Session, Wednesday, September 28th: Chidwell Brice, Alexandra Hotel; Burgess, Folkestone Cutter; A. Mutton, Warren Inn; Laslett, Wonder Tavern; Weatherhead, Cinque Ports Arms; and Halliday, Wheatsheaf Inn.

 

Folkestone Express 27 August 1892.

Wednesday, August 24th: Before J. Clark, Alderman Pledge, W. Wightwick, J. Fitness, J. Holden, H.W. Poole, and F. Boykett Esqs.

Annual Licensing Day.

Mr. A.H. Gardner said he had been instructed by the Church of England Temperance Society, presided over by the Vicar of Folkestone, to appear before the justices. He did not do so in any spirit of dictation to the Bench, but that they might see the views of the Society upon the subject, and he would put in a resolution passed the other day at a meeting held in the vestry, asking the justices not to grant any new licenses, except to private hotels or restaurants. It also particularly urged that grocer's licenses were peculiarly fraught with mischief as giving great facilities to women. They also thought that the number of licenses, of which there were 82, should be reduced, especially where there had been convictions for violation of the law. They did not specially single out any particular houses, but they thought when there had been recent convictions, they might refuse the renewal of licenses to such houses. Further they especially called attention to the preponderance in the number of houses at the lower end of the town – there were 79 east of Alexandra Gardens, while there were only three on the west. Mr. Gardner also referred to the fact that the magistrates last year refused to renew in English counties 117 licenses, and in boroughs as many as 101.

Adjourned Applications.

The applications in respect of the Folkestone Cutter, the Alexandra, the Wheatsheaf, the Warren, the Wonder, and the Cinque Ports Arms, where there had been convictions for breaches of the law, were ordered to stand over until the adjourned licensing day, Wednesday the 28th of September.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 1 October 1892.

Adjourned Licensing Session.

The Adjourned Licensing Session for the Borough was held at the police Court on Wednesday morning, on which occasion considerable interest was evinced in the proceedings by reason of the fact that the renewal of the licenses of several well known and old established houses in the town was opposed by the Superintendent of Police, acting under the direction of the Licensing Committee of the Bench.

The Magistrates present were Mr. J. Clarke, Alderman Pledge, Councillor Holden, and Messrs. H.W. Poole and J. Wightwick.

Mr. Martyn Mowll, of Dover, appeared to support the objections of the police, and Mr. J. Minter and Mr. Hall, severally, appeared on behalf of the claimants.

At the opening of the Court, the Chairman said, before the business commenced he wished to make one announcement. It referred to something which had been done in other towns, and which the Committee thought it best to do in Folkestone. It was the opinion of the Committee that there were too many licensed houses in Folkestone, and they therefore suggested that the owners of the houses should talk the matter over amongst themselves, and agree as to which houses it would be best to close. If nothing was done before the next Licensing Session, the Committee would be obliged to suppress some of the licensed houses themselves. But if the owners would talk the matter over amongst themselves and agree upon the houses to be closed it would save a great difficulty.

The Alexandra Hotel.

John C. Brice, the tenant of the above, made application for the renewal of his licence.

Mr. Mowll stated that he appeared to support the Superintendent of Police, under the instructions of the Watch Committee. The police had given notice of objection to the renewal of this licence on the following grounds: (1) That the claimant was convicted on the 13th August of opening the above premises for the sale of intoxicating liquors during prohibited hours on the 31st July last; (2) That the licensed premises were not required for the accommodation of the public. Mr. Mowll pointed out that in no less than five out of the six cases in which the Superintendent had given notice of opposition, the tenants of the houses had been convicted for the same offence, viz., Sunday trading. The Bench would, therefore, see from this fact that Sunday trading was a class of offence which required to be suppressed.

With regard to the second ground of objection, he might point out that within 85 paces of the Alexandra Hotel there were no less than 13 other houses. This fact spoke for itself without any observation from him.

Sergeant Dawson proved the service of the notice of objection, and Sergeant Swift deposed to measuring the distances between the Alexandra and other public houses in the neighbourhood.

Mr. Wightwick asked if the other houses mentioned were within 85 inches of the Alexandra.

Mr. Mowll: No, sir, paces!

Mr. Minter opposed the objection, showing that when the claimant committed the offence of which he had been convicted he was almost a stranger to the town and the inhabitants, and therefore was unable to distinguish between a resident and a traveller, and he rebutted the assertion that the house was not required by the fact that the trade of the house had steadily increased ever since the claimant had occupied it. He pointed out that when the claimant was convicted the Bench did not think the offence serious enough to endorse the licence, and this being so, he thought it was a piece of presumption on the part of the Superintendent to apply to the Bench to refuse the licence.

Mr. Mowll asked Mr. Minter to read the notice of objection.

Mr. Minter (reading): “By Order of the Justices”. Surely that did not issue from the Bench. He did not understand that they wished to adjudge the case, and even if they had caused the notice of objection to be issued, he was perfectly certain the Bench would give the matter an impartial consideration. He cordially agreed with what the Chairman said with regard to a reduction of the number of the licensed houses in the town, and he had no doubt at all that the owners would take warning, and next year voluntarily offer to make a reduction, so at to relieve the Bench from the onus of having to take away the licenses themselves. But he contended that the Alexandra was required, and under these circumstances he trusted the Bench would grant the renewal.

The Magistrates briefly conferred together, after which the Chairman said the Bench had decided to renew the licence, but they wished the claimant to understand that it rested with him, as to the manner in which he conducted the house, whether it would be renewed on a future occasion.

The claimant promised to attend to this.

 

Folkestone Express 1 October 1892.

Wednesday, September 28th: Before J. Clark, J. Holden, W. Wightwick, H.W. Poole, and J. Pledge Esqs.

This was the adjourned licensing day, and Mr. J. Clark said: Before the business commences I want to make an announcement. It has been done in other places, and we consider the same should be done here. It is the unanimous opinion of the licensing committee that there are far too many licensed houses in Folkestone, and they would suggest to the owners of houses that they should talk it over amongst themselves and agree as to which houses it would be best to drop. If nothing is done between now and next licensing day, the magistrates will be obliged to suppress some of the houses in the town. So if the owners would talk it over among themselves which houses it would be best to drop, it would save us great difficulty.

The Alexandra Hotel.

Mr. Brice applied for a renewal of the licence of this house. Mr. Minter supported the application, and Martin Mowll opposed.

Mr. Mowll said there were two grounds for opposition; one that the holder of the licence had been convicted for selling beer on Sunday, and the second, that the licensed premises were not required for the accommodation of the public. He said there were no less than half a dozen notices of opposition which the Superintendent had served, and it was a lamentable circumstance that in five out of six of them the tenants of the houses had been convicted for the same offence, namely, Sunday trading.

Mr. Minter objected to Mr. Mowll putting on the back of his client something about somebody else.

Mr. Mowll said he did not, but it was necessary for him to say it then, in order that he might not have to keep on repeating himself. As to the second ground of opposition, he said there were within 85 paces no less than 13 other licensed houses. That fact spoke for itself without any observation from him. He then proceeded to call evidence.

Mr. Minter admitted the conviction, the formal register being put in of the fine of 50s. and costs.

P.C. Lawrence put in a list of the various distances of the public houses from the Alexandra Hotel.

Mr. Wightwick: Is that inches? (Laughter) – No, yards.

Mr. Minter submitted that there were no grounds for refusing to renew the licence. The house was known to the Bench and was of very considerable size. Mr. Brice took a lease in April, at £130 a year, for 21 years. He was formerly a draper, and at the time of his conviction he had been there three months, so that he was a stranger, and at Bank Holiday time three men called, who he thought were strangers, and they were served with a pint of beer each. The Bench thought the fine of 50s. was sufficient. It was, he thought, a piece of presumption on the pat of the Superintendent, because if the Bench had thought the case merited it, they would have endorsed the licence.

Mr. Mowll referred Mr. Minter to the notice on the objection, “By direction of the justices”. (Laughter)

Mr. Holden: Not this committee.

Mr. Bradley: In all these cases notices of opposition were directed to be served.

Mr. Minter said the applicant had been convicted and fined, and he was sure the Bench would not stultify themselves by saying the man was not entitled to a renewal of his licence. Every right thinking man would cordially agree with what had fallen from the chairman as to the reduction of licenses, and he hoped the owners would voluntarily agree to a reduction in order that some might be taken away to the benefit of those that remained. It might be that some of those other houses within so many inches of the Alexandra were not required, but it was clear that the Alexandra was required by the fact that the trade had considerably increased. The house was conducted admirably in every aspect, and he was instructed to challenge any statement to the contrary.

The Bench decided to renew the licence, but said it would rest with him in future to see that the house was properly conducted.

 

Folkestone Herald 1 October 1892.

Police Court Jottings.

Considerable interest was manifested on Wednesday in the proceedings at the adjourned Licensing Meeting for the Borough as the Licensing Committee had instructed the police to serve notices of six objections. Mr. Mowll, of Dover, appeared to support the police in their opposition by instruction of the Watch Committee.

The Chairman, Mr. J. Clark, at the outset said it had been suggested that the same plan adopted elsewhere should be pursued there. It was the unanimous opinion of the Licensing Committee that there were too many licensed houses in Folkestone and they would suggest that the owners of licensed houses should talk it over among themselves and agree, before the next annual meeting, which houses should be dropped out. The Licensing Committee felt compelled to suppress some of the houses in the town, and if the owners would carry out that suggestion it would do away with a great difficulty and relieve the Magistrates of an invidious task.

The licence of the Alexandra Hotel (tenant J.C. Brice) was first objected to by Mr. Mowll on account of a recent conviction for Sunday trading, and secondly on the ground that it was not needed for the accommodation of the public. Mr. Minter appeared for the tenant, and pointed out that if the Bench refused to renew the licence, they would be stultifying a previous decision where the tenant was convicted, and it was decided not to endorse the licence. He agreed that the number of licensed houses required to be reduced, and he had no doubt the owners would follow the suggestions of the Magistrates, and so release them of the onus of having to take away any licenses.

The Bench decided to grant the renewal, but warned the landlord that any future renewal would, in a great measure, depend upon the way in which he conducted his house.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 19 May 1894.

Local News.

We regret to have to announce the almost sudden demise of Mr. C.J. Brice, the well known proprietor of the Alexandra Hotel, Harbour Street. The sad event occurred on Monday morning about six o'clock. The deceased gentleman, it may be remembered, broke his leg some three or four months ago, and he had never quite recovered from the shock. On Sunday morning he was seized with a stroke of paralysis on the left side, rendering him quite unconscious, in which state he continued until his death. Mr. Brice, who was much liked by those who knew him for his genial and unostentatious disposition, had been in business in the town about two years, and was deservedly respected. He leaves a widow and a family.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 7 June 1895.

Local News.

At the Borough Police Court on Wednesday the licence of the Alexandra Hotel was transferred to Mr. Hertslet, son of Sir William Hertslet.

 

Folkestone Express 8 June 1895.

Wednesday, June 5th: Before C.J. Pursey and W. Wightwick Esqs.

The licence of the Alexandra Hotel was transferred to Mr. B. Hartslet.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 5 September 1896.

Thursday, September 3rd: Before Messrs. J. Fitness, J. Pledge, and Col. Fynmore.

Edward Charles Plaistow was charged with obtaining £8 by means of false pretences from Gerald Spencer Hertslet on August 21st.

Prosecutor stated that he was in partnership with his brother as proprietors of the Alexandra Hotel, Harbour Street. He had known prisoner as a customer for about six weeks. He came into the bar on 21st August about half past seven in the evening. He asked witness to change a cheque for him. He said he was staying with Mr. Kemp, who would change it, but that he had no banking account. Witness agreed to change the cheque. Prisoner drew a cheque on the London Bank, signing it Edward Charles Plaistow. The endorsement in the cheque was in the handwriting of witness's brother and partner. He gave prisoner £6 10s. in change, all he had at the time, and the balance on the Sunday. Prisoner said the cheque was all right. Prisoner had a banking account at the National Provincial Bank in his brother's name. Witness received the cheque from his brother on 26th, and saw it was endorsed “Account Closed”. On 24th August, prisoner asked witness to cash another cheque, but he told him the other had not gone through, and of course he would not cash another until that was cleared. Witness knew prisoner was lodging at 17, Dover Street.

Prisoner was remanded until Wednesday next.

 

Folkestone Express 5 September 1896.

Thursday, September 3rd: Before J. Fitness, J. Pledge, and R.J. Fynmore Esqs.

Edmund Charles Cranston was charged with obtaining £8 by means of false pretences from Mr. Hertslet, of the Alexandra Hotel.

Prosecutor said he was in business with his brother. Prisoner, who he knew as a customer for six weeks, went to the bar of the hotel about half past seven in the evening on August 21st, and asked witness to change a cheque for him. He said he was staying with Mr. Kemp, who would have cashed it, but he had not a banking account. Witness then cashed the cheque, which prisoner drew, and it was endorsed by witness's brother, E.C. Hertslet. He gave prisoner £6 10s. – all the change he had at the time, and the balance on Sunday, the 23rd, when he said the cheque was all right. It was paid into his brother's account at the National Provincial Bank, and returned and handed to witness by his brother on the 26th, endorsed “Account Closed”. On the 24th August, before the cheque was returned, prisoner went to the hotel and asked witness to cash another cheque, but he declined, as the other one had not gone through. He knew prisoner was lodging at 17, Dover Street.

Remanded till Wednesday.

 

Folkestone Herald 5 September 1896.

Police Court Report.

Edward Charles Plaistow, giving a London address, was charged on Thursday morning (Mr. Fitness presiding) with having by false pretences obtained £8 from Gerald Spencer Hertslett on the 21st August. The prisoner lodged at the Alexandra Hotel, Harbour Street, of which prosecutor and his brother are proprietors. On the day named prisoner asked prosecutor to cash him a cheque for £8, saying that Mr. Kemp, with whom he had been lodging, would have changed it, but he had no banking account. Prosecutor ultimately cashed the cheque, handing over £6 10s. to prisoner in the evening, and £1 10s. next morning, prisoner saying that the cheque was all right. On being presented at the National Provincial Bank it was returned, the account having been closed.

Remanded for a week.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 12 September 1896.

Wednesday, September 9th: Before Messrs. J. Fitness, T.J. Vaughan, J.R. Davy, J. Pledge, and J. Salter, and Colonel Fynmore.

Edward Charles Cranston was brought up on remand charged with obtaining by false pretences the sum of £8 from Bernard Hertslet. He was further charged with obtaining £5 from Harry Jordan. The cases were heard together.

The evidence of Mr. Hertslet was read over, as already reported. He now said when he gave prisoner change for the cheque, some of it was in Postal Orders and a bank cheque.

George Edward Chandos Davies, cashier at the Folkestone branch of the National Provincial Bank, said Mr. Hertslet was a customer of the bank. He paid in the cheque produced on Aug. 22nd. It was sent to the clearing house and returned on Aug. 26th, marked “Account Closed”.

Harry Jordan, landlord of the South Foreland Hotel, said he had known prisoner as a customer since the last season on and off. On 21st August he came into his house and asked if he would cash him a cheque for £5. Witness said he would if he had money enough to meet it. He replied “That's alright, Mr. Jordan, you need not be afraid of that”. He asked for pen and ink, and pulled out his cheque book and wrote a cheque (produced) for £5, drawn on a Huntingdon Bank. Witness endorsed the cheque, and paid it to a customer, a tradesman in the town. It was returned through their bank marked “Account Closed”. It was paid to Salmon and Gluckstein. Witness saw the prisoner, and asked him what he meant by giving a cheque when he had no money to meet it. He replied “That will be all right, Mr. Jordan, you need not trouble about that. My sister has plenty of money – she keeps an hotel. I'll wire to her”. Witness accompanied him to the telegraph office, and then he sent a telegram in his (Witness's) presence. Witness had not received his money.

Samuel Elliott Armstrong said he was a clerk in the bank of Messrs. Vesey and Co., of Huntingdon. They formerly had a customer named Edward Cranston. He recognised the prisoner as that man. He produced a copy of prisoner's account. The account was opened May 5th, 1894, and £414 10s. was paid in. Thirty cheques were issued to him. This account was closed May 25th, 1895. No other cheques except those produced had been presented for payment. Thirty eight cheques in all were drawn by prisoner. There had not been a second issue of cheques so far as witness knew.

By Mr. Davy: The cheques produced were issued to prisoner's sister.

Harry Frederick Carpenter, clerk in Lloyd's Bank, Folkestone, said they had customers named Salmon and Gluckstein. They paid in the cheque (produced) for £5 on 22nd August. It was returned marked “Account Closed”

Prisoner, who said he had nothing to say, was committed for trial at the next Quarter Sessions for the Borough.

 

Folkestone Express 12 September 1896.

Wednesday, September 9th: Before J. Fitness, J.R. Davy, T.J. Vaughan, J. Pledge, R.J. Fynmore, and W. Salter Esqs.

Edmund Charles Cranston was charged on remand with obtaining £8 from Mr. Hertslet by false pretences.

Gerald Spencer Hertslet's evidence, given on the last occasion, was read over. It will be remembered that it was to the effect that he cashed a cheque for prisoner for £8, which was returned marked “Account Closed”. He added that the money he gave prisoner included two or three postal notes, a bank cheque for 10s., and the balance in gold.

George Edward Chandos Davis, cashier at the National Provincial Bank, said Mr. Bernard Carr Hertslet, a customer at the bank, paid the cheque produced into his account on the 22nd August, and it was passed through the Clearing House in the usual way. On the 26th it was returned endorsed “Account Closed”.

Henry Phillips Jordan, landlord of the South Foreland, Seagate Street, said he had known prisoner since last season as a customer. On the 21st August he went to the house about three o'clock in the afternoon, and asked if he would cash a cheque for £5. He said he would if it was all right, and he (prisoner) had money enough to meet it. Prisoner said “Oh, that's all right – you need not be afraid of that”. He asked for pen and ink and took out a cheque book and filled up the cheque produced for £5. (This cheque was on a bank at Huntingdon.) Witness endorsed it, and paid it away to Salmon and Gluckstein, in the town, in the evening. It was returned to Salmon and Gluckstein, who took it back to him. It was marked “Account Closed”. He paid the £5, and afterwards saw prisoner, whome he asked what he meant by giving him a cheque when he had no money to meet it. Prisoner replied “That'll be all right, Mr. Jordan; you need not trouble about that. My sister has got plenty of money. She keeps an hotel, and I'll wire to her”. They went together to the telegraph office, and prisoner wired to his sister. The money had not been paid. He parted with his money believing the cheque was good for the amount for which it was written.

Sam Elliott Armstrong, clerk in the bank of Messrs. Vesey and Co., Huntingdon, said the bank had once had a customer named Edward Charles Cranston, and he recognised prisoner as the man. He produced a copy of the prisoner's account in the Bank books. The account was opened May 5th, 1894, and £414 10s. was paid in. A book of 30 cheques was issued to him. The account was closed May 25th, 1895. He could not say positively whether notice was given to prisoner of its being closed, but undoubtedly it was given. Thirty eight cheques had been drawn. He did not think a second cheque book was issued to prisoner. (The cheques produced were not taken from the book first issued to him.) Witness said the cheques were taken from a book issued to prisoner's sister, who had an account at the Bank.

Harry Frederick Carpenter, cashier in Lloyd's Bank, said the cheque produced was paid into the Bank by Salmon and Gluckstein on the 22nd of August, and it was returned on the 26th marked “Account Closed”

Prisoner was then formally charged with obtaining money by false pretences both from Mr. Hertslet and Mr. Jordan, and in answer said he had nothing to say.

He was committed for trial at the Quarter Sessions.

 

Folkestone Herald 12 September 1896.

Police Court Report.

On Wednesday – Mr. Fitness presiding – Edmund Charles Cranston was charged on remand with having, by false pretences, obtained £8 from Gerald Spencer Hertslett, in the 21st August. It will be remembered that the prisoner lodged at the Alexandra Hotel, Harbour Street, of which prosecutor and his brother are the proprietors. On the day in question the prisoner asked the prosecutor to cash him a cheque for £8, which prosecutor at length did, prisoner saying the cheque was all right. When presented at the National Provincial Bank the cheque was returned, the account having been closed.

Mr. H.P. Jordan, of the South Foreland, Seagate Street, gave evidence as to the prisoner having been a customer. On the 21st ult. he asked witness to cash a cheque for £5, which he did, after asking prisoner if it was all right. He paid it to Salmon and Gluckstein, Folkestone, who afterwards returned it to him, marked “Account Closed”. Prisoner said his sister would pay the money, but it had not been paid.

The Bench committed prisoner for trial at the next Quarter Sessions.

 

Folkestone Visitors' List 14 October 1896.

The Court of Quarter Sessions was held on Monday. Mr. Lewis Coward was the Recorder.

There were two counts against Cranston, who presented “cheques” to two tradesmen in Folkestone, and who had no means to meet them. Such gentlemen do “show up” now and again, perhaps in order to remind foolish tradesmen of what the List has reminded them over and over again.

The prisoner was charged with having received money by false pretences, or in other words, with having presented cheques and “got the cash” on account of cheques which had no backbone – that is to say, there was no money in the bank to meet them.

And he committed the crime in such a simple way. He merely presented his cheques and got his “change”. After all that has been stated regarding persons changing cheques and postal orders, it is difficult to conceive who is most to blame, the person who passes the cheques, or the one who accepts it. Locally we have given warnings so often that we cannot sympathise with the losers.

It would, perhaps, be out of place were we to criticise the Recorder's sentence, but Mr. Lewis Coward has in this case erred on the side of leniency, if at all. Three months on each count against Cranston was not an excessive sentence against a man who deliberately represented that he was a man of means, and had not even an account at the bank. But the learned Recorder, we have no doubt, took the view we have taken all along in cases of the kind, and if tradesmen cannot bear in mind what the Bench and the Press have hitherto taught them, perhaps they will learn by experience. It is said that experience is the best schoolmaster.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 17 October 1896.

Quarter Sessions.

Monday, October 11th: Before J.C. Lewis Coward Esq.

The Grand Jury having found a true bill on two indictments, Edmund Charles Cranston, 25, imperfectly educated, described as a trimmer, was first indicted for unlawfully obtaining by false pretences, from Gerald Spencer Hertslet, a cheque, value 10s., three postal orders, £1 each, and £4 10s. in cash, on Aug. 21st. He pleaded Guilty.

Mr. Matthew, who appeared to prosecute, briefly went over the facts of the case, which we fully reported at the time.

Prisoner was then indicted for obtaining the sum of £5 from Henry Phillips Jordan on the same day. Mr. Bowles prosecuted. Prisoner pleaded Guilty to this charge also.

Superintendent Taylor said the prisoner was connected with very respectable people in St. Neots, where his mother formerly kept an hotel. He was first apprenticed to an ironmonger, but was lazy, and would not work. His mother then sent him to America for two years in the hope he would alter. On his return he was employed as an engineer's trimmer. At his mother's death he received £400. He was in Folkestone twelve months ago, and that was how he was known. None of his relatives were present, as they would have nothing to do with him. He had tired their patience out. He was in very bad health.

The Recorder told the prisoner unless he pulled up he would find himself in a very awkward position. He had had a very good chance. He (the Recorder) saw by prisoner's pass book that in less than a year he had expended the £400. He knew perfectly well when he gave the cheques that he had no money to meet them. He would be sentenced to three months' hard labour on each charge, the terms not to run concurrently.

 

Folkestone Express 17 October 1896.

Quarter Sessions.

Monday, October 12th: Before John Charles Lewis Coward Esq.

dmund Charles Cranston, 25, was indicted for obtaining by false pretences from Gerald Spencer Hertslet a banker's cheque, value 10s., and three postal money orders for the payment of 20s. each, and the sum of £4 10s. in money, the money and goods of the said Gerald Spencer Hertslet and another, with intent to defraud, on 21st August, 1896, at Folkestone. He was further indicted for obtaining by false pretences the sum of £5 in money from Henry Phillips Jordan with intent to defraud, on the day, year and place last before written. He pleaded Guilty.

It will be remembered that the prisoner induced the prosecutors to cash cheques for him, and when they were presented it was discovered that the account was closed, and had been for a long time.

Superintendent Taylor, in answer to the Recorder, said the prisoner was connected with some very respectable people in St. Neots. His mother formerly kept a large hotel there. Prisoner had been apprenticed to a trade, but was lazy, and would not follow it, and his mother sent him to America, but when he came back he was just the same as ever. He was then employed as a coach trimmer. At the death of his mother about £400 came to him, with which he opened an account at the Bank. He appeared to have lived on that money ever since. He was down at Folkestone twelve months ago, and that was how he came to know the Alexandra and Mr. Jordan's house.

The Recorder: Is he quite right in his mind?

Superintendent Taylor: I think so. He is in very bad health, I must say.

The Recorder: Any relatives here?

Superintendent Taylor: No, sir. They will not have anything to do with him. They are people in good positions, but he has tired their patience out.

The Recorder, in addressing the prisoner, said he had pleaded Guilty to an offence which the law regarded as a serious one for a man 25 years of age. If he did not pull himself up short, he would find himself in a very awkward place at some time or other in his life. He appeared to have had a good chance, which he had thrown away. His Bank book showed that less than two years ago he had over £400, and on the 25th of May last his account was balanced, and he drew out £2 4s. 9d. – the very last farthing, and he knew perfectly well there was not a farthing left. Yet he defrauded those tradesmen by drawing cheques while he had not a penny piece to meet them. The sentence of the Court was that he be imprisoned for three months with hard labour – the sentences not to run concurrently – that would be six months hard labour.

The Court then rose, the proceedings having lasted just an hour.

 

Folkestone Herald 17 October 1896.

Quarter Sessions.

Monday, October 11th: Before J.C. Lewis Coward Esq.

Edmund Charles Cranston, aged 25, of imperfect education, described as a trimmer, was indicted for unlawfully obtaining by false pretences, from Gerald Spencer Hertslet, a bankers' cheque, value 10s., and three postal money orders for the payment of 20s. each, and the sum of £4 10s. in money, the monies and goods of the said Gerald Spencer Hertslet and another, with intent to defraud, on 21st August, at Folkestone, and also for unlawfully obtaining by false pretences the sum of £5 from Henry Phillips Jordan, with intent to defraud, on the same day at Folkestone.

Mr. Matthew prosecuted in the first case, and Mr. Bowles on the other. The prisoner pleaded Guilty to both charges.

Mr. Matthew said the prisoner stayed at the Alexandra Hotel, kept by Mr. Hertslet and his brother,, and Mr. Hertslet cashed a cheque on a bank at Huntingdon for £8, and it was afterwards found that the prisoner's account at the bank was closed.

Mr. Bowles said in the second case, Mr. Jordan, proprietor of the South Foreland, cashed the cheque, the prisoner having been a customer of his. Mr. Jordan first asked whether prisoner had an account at the bank, and prisoner said it was all right.

Mr. John Taylor, Superintendent of the Borough Police, said that the prisoner was connected with some very respectable people at St. Neots. His mother kept a large hotel, and the prisoner was apprenticed to an ironmonger, but he was lazy and did not get on, so he was sent to America, but when he came back he was the same, and turned his mind to coach trimming. On the death of his mother £400 came to him, and he then opened an account at the bank. He appeared to be living on it ever since,, and he was at Folkestone 12 months before. He seemed to be in his right mind, but was in bad health. His relations would have nothing more to do with him.

The Recorder said the prisoner had pleaded Guilty to a very serious offence. He appeared to have a good chance of pulling up, which he had thrown away. On My 25th last there was only a balance at the bank of 4s. 9d. to the prisoner's credit, and notice was given to him, so he knew perfectly well when he drew the cheques that he was defrauding these tradesmen. He would be imprisoned on each of the two indictments to three months with hard labour, the sentences not to run concurrently.

 

Folkestone Up To Date 17 October 1896.

Quarter Sessions.

Monday: Before John Charles Lewis Coward Esq.

Edmund Charles Cranston, 25, was indicted for obtaining by false pretences from Gerald Spencer Hertslet a bankers' cheque, value 10s., and three postal orders for the payment of 20s. each, and the sum of £4 10s. in money, the money and goods of the said Gerald Spencer Herslet and another, with intent to defraud, on 21st August, 1896, at Folkestone. He was further indicted for obtaining by false pretences the sum of £5 in money from Henry Phillips Jordan with intent to defraud “on the day, year and place last before written”. He pleaded Guilty.

It will be remembered that the prisoner induced the prosecutors to cash cheques for him, and when they were presented it was discovered that the account was closed and had been for a long time.

Superintendent Taylor, in answer to the Recorder, said the prisoner was connected with some very respectable people at St. Neots. His mother formerly kept a large hotel there. Prisoner had been apprenticed to a trade, but was lazy and would not follow it, and his mother sent him to America, but when he came back he was just the same as ever. He was then employed as a coal trimmer (sic). At the death of his mother about £400 came to him, with which he opened an account at the bank. He appeared to have lived on that money ever since. He was down at Folkestone twelve months ago, and that was how he came to know the Alexandra and Mr. Jordan's house.

The Recorder: Is he quite right in his mind?

Superintendent Taylor: I think so. He is in very bad health, I must say.

The Recorder: Any relatives here?

Superintendent Taylor: No, sir. They will; not have anything to do with him. They are people in good positions, but he has tired their patience out.

The Recorder, in addressing the prisoner, said he had pleaded guilty to an offence which the law regarded as a serious one, and it was a serious one for a man 25 years of age, If he did not pull himself up short, he would find himself in a very awkward place at some time or other in his life. He appeared to have had a good chance, which he had thrown away. His bank book showed that less than two years ago he had over £400, and on the 25th of May last his account was balanced, and he drew out £2 4s. 9d. – the very last farthing – and he knew perfectly well there was not a farthing left. Yet he defrauded those tradesmen by drawing cheques while he had not a penny piece to meet them. The sentence of the Court was that he be imprisoned for three months with hard labour – the sentences not to run concurrently – that would be six months' hard labour.

 

Sandgate Weekly News 17 October 1896.

Quarter Sessions.

Monday: Before J.C, Lewis Coward Esq.

Edward Charles Cranston, described as a trimmer, was indicted for unlawfully obtaining by false pretences from Gerald Spencer Hertslet, a cheque, value 10s., three postal orders, £1 each, and £4 10s. in cash, on August 21st, and for obtaining the sum of £5 from Henry Phillips Jordan by false pretences on the same day. Prisoner pleaded Guilty, and was sentenced to three months' hard labour on each charge, the terms not to run concurrently.

 

Southeastern Gazette 20 October 1896.

Quarter Sessions.

The Borough Quarter Sessions were held at the Town Hail on the 12th inst. before the Recorder (Mr. J. C. Lewis Coward).

Edmund Charles Cranston was indicted for obtaining, by false pretences, from Gerald Spencer Hertsed the sum of £6, and from Henry Philip Jordan £5 with intent to defraud.

Prisoner, who pleaded guilty, was sentenced to three months’ hard labour for each offence, the sentences not to run concurrently.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 26 December 1896.

Saturday, December 19th: Before Mr. W.G. Herbert and General Gwyn.

The licence of the Alexandra Hotel was temporarily transferred to Mr. Crackwell (sic) from Mr. Hertslet.

Note: This date is at variance with More Bastions.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 23 January 1897.

Local News.

On Wednesday Mr. Trapnell was granted the transfer of the licence of the Alexandra Hotel.

 

Folkestone Express 25 February 1899.

Saturday, February 18th: Before The Mayor, J. Holden, T.J. Vaughan, G. Spurgen, and J. Hoad Esqs.

Mr. Arthur Thorp applied for temporary authority at the Alexandra Hotel, which was granted.

 

Folkestone Express 11 March 1899.

Wednesday, March 8th: Before J. Fitness and C.J. Pursey Esqs.

The licence of the Alexandra Hotel was transferred to Mr. Arthur Thorp from Mr. Trapnell.

 

Folkestone Herald 11 March 1899.

Folkestone Police Court.

On Monday, transfer was granted Mr. Thorpe (Alexandra).

 

Folkestone Up To Date 11 March 1899.

Friday, March 10th: Before J. Fitness Esq., Col. Hamilton, and W.G. Herbert, W. Wightwick, and C.J. Pursey Esqs.

The following licence was transferred:

Alexandra Hotel, to Mr. Thorp from Mr. Trapnell.

 

From the Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate and Cheriton Herald, Saturday 16 September, 1899.

EXCERPTS FROM A SHORT TALK WITH MR. JOHN HEALEY.

Mr. Healey had a long connection with the South Eastern Railway Company's local carpenter's shop, and had worked for 57 years in one employment.

(The above paper published an article containing some of his memories, parts of which I have copied below:- Paul Skelton)

Mr. Healey lives in Beach Street, almost opposite the "Alexandra Hotel." Old Folkestonians will remember the house as a spirits vault. Although the exterior is unpretentious, the interior is roomy and cosy. The premises were kept many years ago by one "Bobby Poole" - a regular old sea dog.

 

Folkestone Express 20 January 1900.

Local News.

On Thursday morning, about six o'clock, a fire was discovered in the bar of the Alexandra Hotel. The alarm was given to the fireman on duty, and the firemen were summoned by maroon signal, which probably startled a good many people. In a remarkably short space of time the brigade were on the spot, and the blaze was extinguished by means of chemicals before much damage was done, the counter being considerably burnt.

 

Folkestone Express 4 August 1900.

Wednesday, August 1st: Before Capt. Carter, W. Wightwick, J. Fitness, J. Pledge, C.J. Pursey and W.G. Herbert Esqs.

Mr. G.W. Haines appeared for Mr. Walter Barns and applied for a temporary authority for the Alexandra Hotel. Granted.

 

Folkestone Express 15 September 1900.

Wednesday, September 12th: Before J. Fitness, J. Pledge, W. Wightwick, and J. Stainer Esqs.

A transfer of licence of the Alexandra Hotel was granted to Walter Barnes, who was represented by Mr. G.W. Haines.

 

Folkestone Herald 15 September 1900.

Folkestone Police Court.

On Monday, transfer was granted to the following: Mr. Walter Barnes for the Alexandra Hotel.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 17 October 1903.

Wednesday, October 14th: Before Mr. W. Wightwick, Lieut. Colonel Hamilton, Mr. C.J. Pursey and Mr. G.I. Swoffer.

Application for the transfer of licences of licensed premises was granted for the Alexandra Hotel.

 

Folkestone Express 17 October 1903.

Wednesday, October 14th: Before Lieut. Col. Hamilton, W. Wightwick, G.I. Swoffer and C.J. Pursey Esqs.

The following licence was transferred: - The Alexandra Hotel, from Walter Barnes to John Edward Barber.

 

Folkestone Herald 17 October 1903.

Wednesday, October 14th: Before Messrs. W. Wightwick, G.I. Swoffer, C.J. Pursey, and Lieut. Colonel Hamilton.

Licence was transferred as follows: Alexandra Hotel, from Walter Barnes to Edward Barnel.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 8 July 1905.

Monday, July 3rd: Before Alderman T.J. Vaughan and Lieut. Col. Westropp.

Frederick Holmes, a man with a shuffling, shifty appearance, whose face is familiar to the Bench, was charged with being drunk and disorderly in Harbour Street on Saturday evening.

P.C. Leonard Johnson said that Holmes was ejected from the Alexandra Hotel. The man was drunk, and used most filthy language. Prisoner came up to witness, and said “I want your number, you ----“. After causing a great commotion prisoner was taken into custody.

Called upon as to whether he had anything to say in his defence, prisoner said he was excited, and proceeded to make a number of groundless charges against the constable. He strongly denied using obscene language.

Sergt. Osborne said that the man was very drunk when brought to the station, and made use of filthy language.

Prisoner: I did not swear. You are a false speaking man.

The Chief Constable: You are only making the case worse. You swore when you were in my office.

Alderman Vaughan (to prisoner): The less you say the better for you. Is anything known about the prisoner?

The Chief Constable: He has not been charged with drunkenness before, but there are three or four other convictions. The last was for an indecent assault upon a young girl, for which he was sentenced to six months' hard labour.

Prisoner was fined 5s. with 5s. 6d. costs, or seven days'.

 

Folkestone Express 8 July 1905.

Monday, July 3rd: Before Alderman Vaughan and Lieut. Col. Westropp.

Frederick Holmes was charged with being drunk and disorderly in Harbour Street on Saturday night.

P.C. Leonard Johnson said about 9.30 on Saturday night he was called to the Alexandra Hotel in Harbour Street, where he saw the prisoner being ejected from the hotel. He was drunk and very excitable. He requested him to go away quietly, but he refused, and caught hold of witness by the shoulder and said he wanted his number. He continued to use obscene language, and a large crowd of people assembled. Witness eventually took him into custody.

P.S. Osborne said when the prisoner was brought into the station he was drunk, and used very bad language.

The Chief Constable said there were three or four convictions against the prisoner, the last being in August of last year.

Fined 5s. and 5s. 6d. costs or seven days' hard labour.

 

Folkestone Express 2 November 1907.

Monday, October 28th: Before The Mayor, Aldermen Spurgen and Vaughan, Lieut. Col. Fynmore and R.G. Wood Esq.

Charles Cullen pleaded Guilty to being drunk and disorderly on Saturday evening in Harbour Street.

P.C. Sharpe said about 6.50 on Saturday evening he was at the bottom of High Street, when he saw the prisoner, drunk. He was flourishing a bottle (produced) in his right hand. He (witness) requested him to go away, but he went into the Alexandra Hotel. He was, however, ejected from there, and when in the street again he used very bad language. He therefore took him into custody.

Prisoner said he had been in the army 156 days, and when in South Africa he was shot close to the brain, and in support of his statement he held his head down so that the Magistrates could see a hole at the top of it. He denied using bad language.

The Chief Constable said the prisoner was an army pensioner.

The Chairman said the Magistrates had decided to deal leniently with the prisoner, and he would be fined 3s. 6d. and the costs would be remitted.

 

Folkestone Express 13 June 1908.

Monday, June 8th: Before Alderman Vaughan, Lieut. Colonel Fynmore, and Messrs. T. Ames and C. Jenner.

George Herbert Rycroft was charged with wilfully breaking a plate glass window at the Alexandra Hotel, the property of John Edwards Barber.

Florence Kosh, barmaid at the Alexandra Hotel, said at about a quarter past seven on Saturday evening she was standing at the hotel entrance when she noticed the prisoner pass. He had a piece of stone in his right hand. She saw him raise his hand and throw the stone produced at the saloon bar window, which was broken. A boy picked up the stone and handed it to her. Mr. Barber, the landlord, came out and caught the prisoner.

John Edwards Barber, the landlord of the hotel, said he was on the premises on Saturday evening. He was sitting in the saloon bar, and on hearing the smash of glass and seeing the window broken he ran out and caught the prisoner. He took Rycroft into the hotel. The damage done amounted to between £7 and £8. The glass was five sixteenths of an inch in thickness, and the window was about 6 ft. high and 5 ft. broad.

P.C. Watson said at five minutes past seven he was called to the Alexandra Hotel, where he saw Mr. Barber, who told him in the prisoner's presence that he (Rycroft) had broken the window, and he wished to give him into custody. He brought him to the police station, and on charging him he replied “I should not have done it, only I felt hungry”.

Prisoner, who appeared to be rather strange in his manner, had nothing to say, and he was committed to the Quarter Sessions, bail being offered, himself in £20 and one surety of £20.

 

Folkestone Herald 13 June 1908.

Monday, June 8th: Before Alderman S. Penfold, Lieut. Col. R.J. Fynmore, Councillor C. Jenner, and Mr. T. Ames.

George Herbert Rycott was charged with wilfully breaking a plate glass window at the Alexandra Hotel on Saturday evening.

Florence Kosh, barmaid at teh Alexandra Hotel, said that at about seven o'clock on Saturday evening she was standing at the entrance of the Alexandra Hotel, when she noticed prisoner, who was standing on the pathway, in front of the hotel entrance. He had a piece of stone in his right hand. She saw him raise his hand and throw the stone, which broke the saloon bar window. A boy picked up the stone and gave it to witness, who afterwards handed it to the police. The landlord then came.

John Edwards Barber, landlord of the Alexandra Hotel, said that at a quarter past seven on Saturday evening he heard a crash of glass. He immediately ran out and caught the prisoner, who was going towards the fishmarket, took him back to the hotel, detained him there, and sent for the police. Witness did not see him throw the stone. The amount of damage done was between seven and eight pounds.

Chairman: What was the size and thickness of the glass?

Witness: 5/10th of an inch plate glass, and roughly it was six feet high and five feet broad.

P.C. Watson said that at about five past seven on Saturday night, from information received, he went to the Alexandra Hotel, where he saw Mr. Barber. He stated, in the prisoner's presence, that Rycott had broken the plate glass window in the saloon bar, and that he wished to give him into custody. He examined the window and found it was broken. He took the prisoner to the police station and charged him with wilfully breaking the window. Prisoner replied that he would not have done it, only he felt hungry.

Prisoner was committed for trial at the Quarter Sessions.

 

Folkestone Daily News 4 July 1908.

Saturday, July 4th: Before J.C. Lewis Coward Esq.

George Herbert Rycroft pleaded Not Guilty to wilfully damaging a plate glass window on the 6th June.

Florence Kosh, a barmaid at the Alexandra Hotel, said she saw the prisoner come along with a piece of stone in his right hand, which he threw through the window of the saloon bar.

John Edward Barber said when he heard the smash he went out and saw the prisoner making his was towards the Fishmarket. He went after him and held him till a policeman arrived.

P.C. Watson proved the arrest, and said the prisoner replied “I wouldn't have done it, only I was hungry”.

Prisoner said he tried to throw the stone over, and it went through thye window. It was a pure accident.

The Chief Constable said there was a long list of convictions against the prisoner.

The jury brought in a verdict of Guilty, and he was sentenced to three months' hard labour.

 

Folkestone Express 11 July 1908.

Quarter Sessions.

Saturday, July 4th: Before J.C. Lewis Coward Esq.

George Herbert Rycroft, a porter, was charged with breaking a plate glass window in the Alexandra Hotel, the property of Mr. John Edwards Barber, and doing damage to the extent of £7 8s. 6d. on June 6th. When asked to plead he said it was done by accident – a plea on Not Guilty. Mr. Dickens prosecuted.

The evidence of Miss Kosh, a barmaid in the employ of Mr. Barber, showed that the man deliberately stood on the pavement and threw a stone through the window.

Mr. Barber stated that he was sitting in the hotel directly under the window when he heard the smash of a window. He ran out of the hotel and arrested him while walking sharply away from the hotel. It required considerable force to break the window. He had heard the man had been asking for food. If he had come to his place he would have got it.

The Recorder: A very good advertisement. I shall know where to come.

Mr. Dickens: Can we all come?

Mr. Barber: Yes.

The Recorder: I will bear it in mind. Gentlemen of the jury, I hope you won't forget what he says.

P.C. Watson gave evidence of arrest.

The prisoner said he did not throw the stone with the intention of breaking the window. He meant to throw it to the top of the roof.

The Chief Constable said since 1906 the prisoner had been convicted at Worthing, Romsey, Chichester, and Hunts. Assizes for felony, and at Boston for an assault on a woman.

The Recorder warned the prisoner as to his future behaviour, and advised him not to come before that Court again. He would have to go to prison for three months' hard labour.

 

Folkestone Herald 11 July 1908.

Quarter Sessions.

Saturday, July 4th: Before J.C. Lewis Coward Esq.

George Henry Rycroft was indicted for unlawfully and maliciously breaking a plate glass window, the property of John Edwards Barber, and doing damage to the extent of £7 8s. 6d. Prisoner pleaded Not Guilty. Mr. Dickens appeared on behalf of the Crown.

Florence Kosh, a barmaid at the Alexandra Tavern (sic), said she knew the prisoner, whom, on the evening of the 6th June, she saw coming along the road, carrying a stone in his hand. Prisoner raised his hand, and she thought he was going to throw it at her, so she stepped back. He threw it through the second window of the saloon bar. He threw it wilfully.

John Edwards Barber, landlord of the Alexandra Tavern, said that he was sitting in the hotel when he heard a smash of glass, so he went out and arrested the prisoner, and, with assistance, took him to the police station. The window was five sixteenths of an inch thick, and was 6ft. by 5ft. The damage was over £5.

he Recorder: Are you insured?

Witness: All right, you need not emphasise the damage. Continuing, witness said that there had been a couple of gentlemen staying at the hotel, and prisoner had been asking them for coppers. If he had gone to witness's house for it, he would have got it.

The Recorder: A very good advertisement for the Alexandra Hotel, Beach Street. (Laughter) I will bear it in mind.

Mr. Dickens: Can we all come? (Laughter)

Witness: If you are hard up. (Laughter)

The Recorder: Gentlemen, we will bear it in mind.

P.C. Watson proved arresting the prisoner, who said “I would not have done it, only I was hungry”.

Prisoner, in defence, said that the window was not broken wilfully. He caught hold of a stone, and tried to throw it over to reach the top of the roof.

Prisoner was found Guilty.

Chief Constable Reeve said that prisoner was evidently a tramp, and at Folkestone nothing was known of him. He had, however, other convictions against him in several parts of the country.

Prisoner assumed a somewhat indifferent air, and the Recorder asked if he was in his right mind.

The Chief Constable: Yes, I think so. He is one of that class of men who is quite as comfortable in prison as out.

The Recorder, in addressing the prisoner, said that he had admitted that he had committed the offence because he was hungry, but it could not be taken into consideration, and he wanted to point out to prisoner that if he did not mind what he was about, he would find himself undergoing a very long term of imprisonment in one of His Majesty's gaols. He was only 22 years of age, and yet he had been convicted no less than five times. He was getting on towards that stage which was known as the habitual criminal, and he would find that stage would be very unpleasant to him. He would go to prison for three months with hard labour.

 

Folkestone Express 1 August 1908.

Local News.

One of the prisoners sentenced at the recent Quarter Sessions – George Herbert Rycroft, for breaking a window at the Alexandra Hotel – applied for leave to appeal against his sentence of three months' hard labour, but the higher court this week has decided not to grant an appeal in the case, so the sentence remains.

 

Folkestone Herald 1 August 1908.

Local News.

An application by George Henry Rycroft, who was convicted at the last Quarter Sessions for breaking a plate glass window at the Alexandra Hotel, that he should be given a trial in the Court of Criminal Appeal, has been disallowed by the Home Secretary.

 

Folkestone Daily News 20 November 1908.

Friday, November 20th: Before Messrs. Banks, Stainer, Swoffer, Fynmore, Vaughan, Ames, Carpenter, and Herbert.

Ernest J.S.S. Fazan was charged with stealing a pair of field glasses.

John Edward Barber, proprietor of the Alexandra Hotel, said he knew the prisoner well. On the 18th of July last he stopped at the hotel for a few days. He left, and returned about the 20th July. He was in the habit of borrowing witness's field glasses, which were always kept in a leather case behind the bar. On the 15th of August prisoner left without paying his bill, and also took the glasses with him. Witness put the matter in the hands of the police, and a few days later accompanied a constable to Dover, where he was shown the glasses at a pawnbroker's shop. They bore his name on them, and he valued them at £4.

Florence Kosh deposed that she was a barmaid at the Alexandra Hotel. On the 5th August he was in the bar and asked her for the field glasses, saying Mr. Barber had given him permission to have them. She handed them to him and he went out, and she had not seen him since.

Robert Wood said he was a pawnbroker, of 10, Snargate Street, Dover. The prisoner came to his shop on the 6th August and pledged the glasses and case. Witness advanced him 7s. 6d. on them.

Detective Burniston said he apprehended the prisoner at Canterbury yesterday, and charged him with stealing the glasses. He replied “I am very sorry. I did not take them with a felonious intent”. At Folkestone he was formally charged, and he made no reply. A pawn ticket was found on him, dated August 6th, 1908.

Prisoner pleaded Not Guilty, and said before this charge was preferred against him he wrote a letter to Mr. Barber telling him the predicament he (prisoner) was in. He had also made a declaration on his own behalf to the Chairman and other gentlemen on the Bench, which he wrote on the 19th last. He had also placed with the declaration a letter he had received from his parents.

He was committed to the Quarter Sessions, bail being allowed, himself in £20 and two sureties of £10.

 

Folkestone Herald 21 November 1908.

Friday, November 20th: Before The Mayor, Lieut. Col. Fynmore, Alderman T.J. Vaughan, Messrs. G.I. Swoffer, J. Stainer, W.C. Carpenter, W.G. Herbert, and T. Ames.

Ernest Jas. Seymour Fazan was charged on a warrant with stealing a pair of field glasses and a case. Mr. De Wet prosecuted.

John Edward Barber, landlord of the Alexandra Hotel, Harbour Street, said that he knew the prisoner by the name of Fazan In July, prisoner was living at the hotel, and while there he asked witness for the loan of his field glasses. Invariably the glasses were kept behind the bar in the case. Witness told him to return them on his arrival at the hotel each day he had them. Witness first of all missed the glasses on the 5th August. Prisoner left the hotel on that day owing witness some money. He had given witness no notice that he was going to leave. Witness put the matter into the hands of the police, and a few days later went with the police to Dover to see a pawnbroker (Mr. Wood), who showed him the glasses (produced), which witness identified as his glasses. His name was on the glasses and on the case. He valued the glasses at £4.

Florence Kosh, barmaid at the Alexandra Hotel, said that on the 5th August she saw Fazan in the office adjoining the bar. He was standing there, so witness asked him what he wanted. He replied “I want the glasses”. She asked him if Mr. Barber had given him permission to have the glasses, and prisoner replied in the affirmative. Witness gave him the glasses. He never returned to the hotel.

Robert Wood, a pawnbroker, of 10, Snargate Street, stated that on the 6th August the glasses and leather case were brought to him by prisoner. Witness had the counterfoil of the ticket, and that corresponded with the ticket (produced). Seven shillings and sixpence was advanced on the glasses. Witness was in the shop at the time, but witness's wife actually transacted the loan.

Detective Sergt. Burniston said that at 9 a.m. the previous day he apprehended the prisoner at Canterbury, and charged him with stealing the field glasses. He replied “I am very sorry. I did not take them with a felonious intent”. In his possession was a pawn ticket, No. 9393, dated August 6th, 1908, bearing the name of R. Wood, and also the word “glasses”. On the 14th November Mr. Wood handed the glasses and case (produced).

Prisoner pleaded Not Guilty. He said that before that charge was preferred against him he wrote a letter to Mr. John Barber telling him of the predicament he was in; he produced the letter and asked the Magistrates to read it. He also made a declaration to the Chairman, and the other gentlemen on the Bench, which he wrote the previous day. Also he put with the declaration a letter which he received from his parents, and which he wished the Magistrates to see.

These letters were read by the Magistrates, who committed prisoner for trial at the Quarter Sessions, bail being offered.

 

Folkestone Express 28 November 1908.

Friday, November 20th: Before Alderman Banks, Lieut. Col. Fynmore, Alderman Vaughan, and Messrs. W.G. Herbert, J. Stainer, G.I. Swoffer, and T. Ames.

Ernest J.S.S. Fazan was charged with stealing, whilst a bailee, a pair of field glasses in a leather case. Mr. De Wet prosecuted.

John Edward Barber, the landlord of the Alexandra Hotel, Harbour Street, said he knew the prisoner, who went by the name of Fazan. On July 18th prisoner was at his hotel, and remained there for a few days. He returned about July 30th. Two or three days after he came he asked prosecutor to lend him his field glasses, which he invariably kept behind the bar in a case. He gave him permission to have them, but told him he was to return them each day he came into the hotel. On August 5th the prisoner left the hotel, owing him some money, and later he missed the glasses. He had given witness no notice that he was going to leave. In consequence of police enquiries at Dover a few days after, witness went to see Mr. Wood, a pawnbroker there, who showed him the glasses and case produced, which he identified as his property. He valued the field glasses and case at £4.

Florence Kosh, a barmaid in the employ of Mr. Barber, said she knew the prisoner. On August 5th she remembered seeing Fazan in the office behind the bar. She asked him what he wanted, and he replied “I want the glasses”. She asked him if Mr. Barber had given him permission to have them, and he said “Oh, yes”. She gave him the field glasses in the case.

Robert Wood, pawnbroker, of 10, Snargate Street, Dover, said on August 6th the field glasses and leather case were pledged with him by the prisoner, and the counterfoil corresponded with the ticket produced. His wife advanced 7s. 6d. for the glasses.

Det. Sergt. Burniston said at 9 a.m. the previous day he arrested the prisoner at Canterbury, charging him with stealing the glasses in the case whilst bailee. After reading the warrant over to him, the prisoner replied “I am very sorry. I did not take them with a felonious intent”. Later he brought him to Folkestone police station, where he was formally charged and made no reply. In his possession was found the pawnticket produced, which corresponded with the counterfoil produced by Mr. Wood.

Mr. De Wet asked the Magistrates to deal with the prisoner summarily, subject to his plea.

Prisoner pleaded Not Guilty, and further said that before the charge was preferred against him he wrote a letter to Mr. John Barber, telling him the predicament he was in, and he asked the Magistrates to read the letter. He had also made a declaration on his behalf to the Chairman and other gentlemen on the Bench, and which he wrote the previous day. He wished the Magistrates to see a letter he had received from his parents.

The letters were read by the Clerk to the Magistrates, but he said they were irrelevant to the charge.

The Magistrates, as the prisoner pleaded Not Guilty, had no course open to them but to send him for trial at the next Quarter Sessions, and bail was offered, himself in £20, and two sureties of £20 each.

 

Folkestone Daily News 4 January 1909.

Quarter Sessions.

Monday, January 4th: Before J.C. Lewis Coward Esq.

Ernest James Seymour Fazan was charged with stealing a pair of field glasses, the property of John Edwards Barber.

Mr. Matthew prosecuted, and said the prisoner admitted taking the glasses, but not with any felonious intent. The prisoner, however, had pawned them, which was itself dishonest.

The prosecutor said the prisoner was in the habit of borrowing the glasses, but on the last occasion he did not return them, so witness informed the police.

Prisoner said he had £80 when he went to prosecutor's house, so he was not short of money. They went to the Dover Pageant together, and were on intimate terms with each other. He produced a long letter which he wrote to Mr. Barber from Canterbury prison.

Miss Kosh gave evidence as to the prisoner borrowing the glasses.

Mr. Wood, a pawnbroker, of Dover, deposed that the prisoner pawned the glasses with him.

Detective Burniston proved the arrest.

Prisoner gave evidence on oath, and denied that he had any felonious intent. If he had, he would not have given his proper name and address. He had spent over £4 with Mr. Barber and his friends at the Pageant, and left himself penniless.

The Recorder briefly went over the evidence, and said the letter written by the prisoner while in prison did show to some extent that he meant to redeem the glasses. The point the jury had to decide, however, was whether the prisoner had any felonious intent.

The jury returned a verdict of Not Guilty, which was greeted with applause by those in Court.

 

Folkestone Express 9 January 1909.

Quarter Sessions.

Monday, January 4th: Before J.C. Lewis Coward Esq.

Ernest James Seymour Slater Fagan, described as a seaman, was indicted for that he, being the bailee of a certain leather case containing field glasses of the value of £4, the property of John Edwards Barber, converting them to his own use and stole them, on August 5th. Prisoner pleaded Not Guilty.

Mt. T. Matthew (instructed by Mr. De Wet) prosecuted, and in opening the case said that prisoner did not deny taking the glasses, but contended that he took them honestly.

John Barber, the landlord of the Alexandra Hotel, said he knew the prisoner and he had stayed at his hotel for a few days from July 18th last. He went away and returned on July 30th, and during his stay he was in the habit of borrowing witness's field glasses, which were presented to him by his commanding officer when he went to South Africa. The instruction given to the prisoner was to hand the glasses back each day to the young lady behind the bar. On August 5th the prisoner left the house and took the glasses with him. He, at that time, owed him 17/6 for his lodgings. As he did not return in a few days, he gave information to the police, with whom he went to Dover a few days later, and saw the field glasses at Mr. Wood's the pawnbroker.

Florence Kosh, a barmaid in the last witness's employ, gave evidence of handing the glasses to the prisoner.

Robert Wood, pawnbroker, of 10, Snargate Street, Dover, said on August 6th the glasses were pledged by the prisoner with him. He valued the glasses at £1 1s. and the case at 3s.

Mrs. Wood said she effected the transaction with the prisoner, to whom she gave 7/6 for the glasses and counterfoil of the ticket. The man told her that the glasses were his property.

Detective Sergeant Burniston deposed to arresting prisoner on a warrant at Canterbury.

A letter was read by the prisoner, which he sent to Mr. Barber when in prison, stating that he would get the glasses when he came out again, and he further said that he did not know at that time there was a warrant out for his arrest.

Prisoner went into the box, and said if he had any guilty intention he would not have used his own name. He ran short of money, and thought he was pledging the glasses only for a day, as he expected he could get money from his people. It was his intention to redeem the glasses when he came out of prison.

During cross-examination by Mr. Matthew, the prisoner said he had borrowed money from the Chief Constable of Deal, which he had repaid.

The Recorder: That is very high testimony to the police.

In a written statement, the prisoner repeated what he had said in the witness box. He also asked the jury to take into consideration the fact that he had been in prison six weeks awaiting trial, and appealed to them to instruct the Police Court Missionary to assist him, as he had very little money.

The jury returned a verdict of Not Guilty, which was received with loud applause from the public portion of the Court.

Fagan was therefore discharged.

The Recorder ordered that on payment of 3/9 to the pawnbroker Mr. Barber could have his glasses back.

 

Folkestone Herald 9 January 1909.

Quarter Sessions.

Monday, January 4th: Before J.C. Lewis Coward Esq.

Ernest James Seymour Slater Fazan was indicted for stealing, on the 5th August, 1908, one leather case, containing a pair of field glasses, of the value of £4, the goods of John Edwards Barber. Prisoner pleaded Not Guilty. Mr. T. Matthew prosecuted.

John Barber, proprietor of the Alexandra Hotel, Harbour Street, said that the prisoner was in the habit of staying at his hotel. On the 30th July he arrived for a few days, after being away for a few days. While he was staying at the hotel, prisoner had permission to borrow a pair of field glasses. He valued them at £4. They were presented to him by his commanding officer on his going to South Africa. On the case was the name Regimental Sergt. Major Barber, 9th Battalion, Imperial Yeomanry. Defendant left on the 5th August, owing a bill for 17s. 6d. On the next day witness got a letter from him stating that he would not be back till the following day, as he was “staying with the Pageant piece”. The letter concluded “It is all right”. As prisoner did not appear, witness gave information to the police, but he afterwards learned that the glasses had been pawned at Mr. Wood's shop.

Prisoner, in defence, produced a letter sent by him from Canterbury gaol, stating to Mr. Barber that the presentation binoculars were in safe keeping. He would have written before, but one had to be in prison for two months before that could be done. He hoped that Mr. Barber would not condemn him, as the crime he committed was unintentional, for he was not likely to jeopardise his future for a paltry wristlet watch and 37s. 6d., in connection with which he had since got into trouble. Since he had been in gaol he had been discharged from the Reserve. He would be penniless, and in addition he had lost the respect of his friends, who knew of his disgrace. He said that he would write further when he was released. He asked for his bill, which he hoped he would be able to forward as well as the binoculars.

Robert Wood, pawnbroker, of Dover, proved taking the glasses into pawn for 7s. 6d.

Prisoner, on oath, maintained that when he pawned the glasses it was not with any felonious intent. The day before he went to the Dover Pageant and spent out. He expected to get some means sent to him from some relatives. He pledged the glasses for one day only as he thought. The consequence was that the following day he was placed in a big predicament. He wrote to some people, some friends Mr. Barber had introduced him to, and to whom he had lent some money, but they did not reply. The consequence was he did not have a penny. From there he went to Tunbridge Wells, where he was well known and respected. He borrowed money in small sums here and there, and he got himself into disgrace. He was accused of stealing a watch. They let him have a watch valued at 13s. 6d. and he sold it for 5s., so they charged him with stealing it. He pleaded Guilty, and there was no question of it, and he got three months' hard labour. He had been unable to redeem the pledge as he had not the money to get the glasses out. He asked the jury to believe that he had not taken them with any felonious intent.

The jury returned a verdict of Not guilty, and the prisoner was discharged.

 

Folkestone Daily News 28 February 1912.

Wednesday, February 28th: Before Messrs. Herbert, Leggett, Swoffer, Fynmore, Boyd, and Stainer.

Charles Brown, a respectably dressed man of good appearance, was charged for the ninth time with being drunk and disorderly in Harbour Street on Monday afternoon.

He is a resident of the West End and seems to have these periodical outbreaks. He was convicted three times last year, and on the last occasion was fined 20s. and costs, with the promise of imprisonment without the option if he came again.

P.C. Kennett preferred the charge. He had been called to the Alexandra Hotel to eject the defendant, who was drunk. Defendant became very violent, a weakness which seems to be very prevalent with Kennett's clients. He caused a crowd to assemble, refused to comply with Kennett's requests to go away, and eventually that energetic officer, with the assistance of a colleague, took him into custody.

Brown said he was sorry, and that was all he could say.

The Chairman lectured him on the enormity of his crime, and pointed out how he was likely to jeopardise the interests of licensed victuallers, and inflicted a penalty of 40s. and 9s. 6d. costs.

Defendant's wife paid the fine.

 

Folkestone Express 2 March 1912.

Wednesday, February 28th: Before W.G. Herbert, J. Stainer, G.I. Swoffer and G. Boyd Esqs., Lieut. Col. Fynmore, and Major Leggett.

Charles Brown was charged with being drunk and disorderly. He pleaded Guilty.

P.C. Kennett said at 4.30 the previous day he was asked by the landlord to eject the prisoner from the Alexandra Hotel. After some difficulty he did so, but when outside the prisoner wanted to fight, and started to shout and swear, causing a large crowd of people to assemble. With the assistance of P.C. Sales witness brought him to the police station.

Brown said he was very sorry.

The Chief Constable said there were eight convictions for drunkenness against prisoner, three being in last year. He appeared very often, and by his conduct he was likely to injure the licensed premises in which he had been misbehaving himself. Publicans had enough to do to keep order without being troubled by such men as him. He would be fined 40s. and 4s. 6d. costs, or one month's hard labour.

 

Folkestone Herald 2 March 1912.

Wednesday, February 28th: Before Mr. W.G. Herbert, Lieut. Col. Fynmore, Major Leggett, Messrs. J. Stainer, G.I. Swoffer and G. Boyd.

Charles Brown, charged with being drunk and disorderly on the previous day, pleaded Guilty.

P.C. Kennett said at about 4.30 the previous afternoon he was requested by the landlord of the Alexandra Hotel to eject prisoner from the premises. Witness had some difficulty in doing so. When outside prisoner wanted to fight, started to shout and swear, and caused a crowd to collect. He said he would not go away from the hotel until he had had another drink. Finally, with the assistance of P.S. Sales, prisoner was brought to the police station.

Accused said he could only say he was very sorry for it.

The Chief Constable said there were eight previous convictions against prisoner, three being during the last year. On the last occasion he was fined 20s. and costs.

The Chairman said it was a disgraceful thing to see a man in prisoner's position in the Court. Publicans had enough to do without keeping people such as prisoner in order. He would be fined 40s. and 4s. 6d. costs, or one month's imprisonment.

 

Folkestone Express 12 July 1913.

Tuesday, July 8th: Before J. Stainer Esq., Major Leggett, R.J. Linton, G.I. Swoffer, G. Boyd, W.J. Harrison, and E.T. Morrison Esqs.

Jane Golding Dunn was charged with being drunk and disorderly the previous night in South Street. She pleaded Not Guilty.

P.C. Weller said at 10.15 p.m. he was in South Street, where he saw the prisoner. She was drunk and shouting. She refused to go away, and caused a crowd to assemble, so he took her into custody.

Prisoner said she went to see her husband, who was staying at his sister's in South Street. She had been in the workhouse for a month, and only came out that day. She found her husband in the Alexandra public bar.

The Chief Constable (Mr. Reeve) said there were ten previous convictions against the prisoner, the last being in September, 1911.

Fined 5s. and 4s. 6d. costs, and in default of payment she went down for seven days' hard labour.

 

Folkestone Express 21 August 1915.

Wednesday, August 18th: Before Lieut. Col. Fynmore, Alderman Jenner, G.I. Swoffer, R.J. Linton, G. Boyd and H.C. Kirke Esqs.

Mr. G.W. Haines applied on behalf of Mrs. Barber, the widow of the late Mr. J.E. Barber, for temporary authority to sell at the Alexandra Hotel, the licence of which was held by her husband.

The application was granted.

 

Folkestone Herald 21 August 1915.

Wednesday, August 18th: Before Lieut. Col. R.J. Fynmore, Mr. G.I. Swoffer, Mr. R.J. Linton, Councillor G. Boyd, Alderman C. Jenner, and Mr. H. Kirke.

Mrs. Barber, the widow of the late Councillor Barber, applied for the temporary transfer of the licence of the Alexandra Hotel to herself. Mr. G.W. Haines appeared for the applicant.

The transfer was granted.

 

Folkestone Express 9 October 1915.

Local News.

At the Police Court on Wednesday licence was transferred as follows: The Alexandra Hotel, from the late Councillor J.E. Barber to the widow.

 

Folkestone Herald 9 October 1915.

Wednesday, October 6th: Before Mr. E.T. Ward, Mr. G.I. Swoffer, Lieut. Col. R.J. Fynmore, Mr. R.J. Linton, and Col. G.P. Owen.

The licence of the Alexandra Hotel was transferred from the name of the late Councillor Barber to his widow.

 

Folkestone Express 2 November 1918.

Local News.

The Magistrates on Tuesday temporarily transferred the licence of the Alexandra Hotel from Mrs. Barber, the widow of Councillor Barber, to Mr. Stiff, of Dover.

 

Folkestone Herald 2 November 1918.

Local News.

On Tuesday the Magistrates sanctioned the transfer of the licence of the Alexandra Hotel from Mrs. Barber (widow of the late Councillor J. Barber) to Mr. Harry Stiff, who is well-known both at Dover and Hythe.

 

Folkestone Express 16 November 1918.

Local News.

At a special licensing sessions at the Police Court on Wednesday the following licence was transferred: The Alexandra, from Mrs. Barber to Mr. F.E. Steff.

 

Folkestone Express 24 July 1920.

Local News.

The Borough Magistrates on Tuesday sanctioned the following temporary transfer of licence: Alexandra Hotel, from Mr. Step (sic) to Mr. W.R. Taylor.

 

Folkestone Herald 24 July 1920.

Local News.

At the Folkestone Petty Sessions on Tuesday, the licence of the Alexandra Hotel, Bridge Street, was temporarily transferred from Mr. Harry Edward Steff to Mr. Wm. Robert Taylor.

 

Folkestone Express 28 August 1920.

Wednesday, August 25th: Before Councillor Boyd, Councillor Harrison, Rev. Epworth Thompson, Col. Owen, Mr. W.R. Boughton, and Mr. Blamey.

The following transfer of licence was granted: The Alexandra Hotel, from Mr. Steff to Mr. W.R. Taylor.

 

Folkestone Express 9 October 1920.

Local News.

At the Folkestone Police Court on Tuesday morning a summons against William Robert Taylor, the landlord of the Alexandra Hotel, Beach Street, for allowing consumption on the premises after ten p.m. was adjourned until today (Friday) on the application f Mr. Mowll (Dover), who will appear for Mr. Taylor.

 

Folkestone Herald 9 October 1920.

Friday, October 8th: Before Col. G.P. Owen and other Magistrates.

William Robert Taylor, of the Alexandra Hotel, Beach Street, was summoned for allowing the consumption of intoxicating liquor on his premises after ten o'clock at night. Mr. A.K. Mowll appeared for the defendant, who pleaded Guilty.

Inspector Sales stated at 12.45 a.m. on the 28th September he was in Harbour Street with P.C. Butler. Hearing a piano being played and singing in the Alexandra Hotel he rang the bell, and the door was opened by the landlord. He said to him “Who have you on the premises?”, and he replied “A few friends”. Witness asked if they were staying at the hotel, and defendant replied “Not all of them”. He further stated that he was just giving a little party to a friend who was leaving the town the next day. Witness asked him if he had notified the police, and defendant said “No, is it necessary?” Witness said it was not necessary, but that it might prevent inconvenience. He then went with P.C. Butler to a room on the first floor. There he saw eleven men and a number of women, and on the table there were bottles of spirits and glasses which had contained beer. Some of the glasses contained liquor. Witness asked if they were all staying in the hotel, and some of them replied “No, not all of us”. One said “We are the guests of the landlord, and we have been invited here”. Whilst he was taking the names of those present, one man, named Every, drank some liquor, wishing witness good health. He took the names and said to the landlord “You don't deny liquor is being consumed?”, and he said “No, that is what they came here for”. Witness told him that he would submit a report, and defendant said “I am very, very sorry if anything is wrong. I was just giving a private party to a friend who is leaving the town tomorrow”.

In reply to Mr. Mowll, witness said everything was quite open.

Mr. Mowll said defendant had pleaded Guilty because in his view he had committed a technical offence under the regulations. He was wrongly under the impression that he was entitled, as he was under the old licensing laws, to have this supper party. He asked the Bench, if they were satisfied that defendant had made a mistake, to dismiss the summons. Defendant had held a licence in London for nine years.

The Chairman said defendant should have been aware of the regulations. He would be fined £10.

Mr. Mowll: I take it you don't wish that to affect his holding the licence?

The Chairman: We cannot say that. It is the opinion of the Bench that it is a very serious matter.

 

Folkestone Express 16 October 1920.

Friday, October 8th: Before Colonel Owen, Alderman Jenner, the Rev. Epworth Thompson, Mr. L.G.A. Collins, and Capt. Griffin.

William Robert Taylor, the licensee of the Alexandra Hotel, Beach Street, was summoned for allowing intoxicating liquor to be consumed on his premises at 12.45 a.m. on the 28th September. Mr. A.K. Mowll (Canterbury) appeared for defendant, and pleaded Guilty.

Inspector Sales said at 12.45 on the morning of the 28th September he was in Harbour Street, in company with P.C. Butler, when he heard singing, and a piano being played in the Alexandra Hotel. He rang the bell and the door was opened by Mr. Taylor. He said to the landlord “Who have you on your premises?” and he replied “A few friends”. Witness said “Are they staying in the hotel?” and Mr. Taylor said “No, not all of them. I am just giving a little private party to a friend who is leaving the town tomorrow”. Witness asked him if he had notified the police, and he replied “No; is it necessary?” Witness said “I will see your friends”. In a room upstairs he saw eleven men and a number of women. On a table there was a number of beer and several spirit bottles, some containing liquor, and a number of glasses, some of those also containing liquor. He said to those present “Are you gentlemen all staying in the hotel?”, and some replied “No, not all of us”, and one said “We are guests of the landlord, invited here to a party”. He was taking their names when one of those present drank beer from a tankard, at the same time wishing him good health. (Laughter) He took the names and left the room with the landlord, to whom he said “You don't deny liquor is being consumed?”, and he said “That is what they are here for, and they also have sandwiches”. He told Taylor he would have to submit a report and he replied “I am very very sorry if anything is wrong. I am giving a farewell party to a friend who is leaving tomorrow”.

Cross-examined by Mr. Mowll: Usually the Chief Constable was notified and proper police advice was given.

Mr. Mowll addressed the Magistrates, and said the defendant had pleaded Guilty to the summons because, in his view, however technical the offence may be, he had committed an offence under D.O.R.A. He was wrongly under the impression that he was entitled, as he was entitled under the licensing laws, to have this party, and that the regulations did not apply in this case. Everything was done perfectly above board. Music was heard, and the police were welcomed in. There was no shuffling of glasses to get rid the beer, and even one of the guests drank the health of the inspector, and wished him good luck whilst they were there, and the police seized upon that unfortunate man, who was the person who had landed the licensee there that day. What they had to consider was whether it was not a case where a bona fide mistake had been made on the part of the licensee. He did not know it was necessary to communicate with the Chief Constable on the matter. He asked the Magistrates to dismiss the case on the payment of costs. He had only held this licence for nine weeks.

Defendant said he had held a licence in London for nine years.

The Chairman said defendant should have known the Liquor Control Orders were still in force. He would be fined £10.

Mr. Mowll: You don't think it ought to affect his licence?

The Chairman: I cannot say that. In the opinion of the Bench it is a very serious matter.

Mr. Mowll: You don't know whether the regulations are still in force or not.

 

Folkestone Express 5 February 1921.

Local News.

On Tuesday morning at the Police Court the following temporary transfer was granted: Alexandra Hotel, Beach Street, to Mr. C.N. Tapsall, Sandwich.

 

Folkestone Express 12 February 1921.

Annual Licensing Sessions.

Wednesday, February 9th: Before The Mayor, Alderman Sir S. Penfold, Alderman Pepper, Rev. H. Epworth Thompson, Councillor Miss I. Weston, Miss Hunt, Councillor Boyd, Mr. Swoffer, Mr. Blamey, Councillor Boughton, Councillor Hollands, Councillor Stace, and Colonel Owen.

The Chief Constable (Mr. H. Reeve) presented his annual report as follows:- I have the honour to report that there are at present within your jurisdiction 114 places licensed for the sale of intoxicating liquor by retail, viz.: Full licences 71, beer on 7, beer off 6, beer and spirit dealers 15, grocers etc. off 6, confectioners wine on 3, and chemists wine off 6. This is an increase of one full licence compared with the return submitted last year, a licence having been granted to the Grand Hotel at the adjourned licensing meeting held on 10th March last. This gives an average according to the Census of 1911 of one licence to every 293 persons, or one on licence to every 429 persons. Thirteen of the licences have been transferred during the past year. Three occasional licences have been granted to licence holders to sell drink on special occasions elsewhere than on their licensed premises, and 36 extensions of hours have been granted to licence holders when dinners, etc., were being held on their licensed premises. Two licence holders have been convicted during the year, viz.: The licensee of the Prince Albert Hotel was fined £10 and costs on 28th August for selling beer at a price exceeding the maximum price under the Beer (Prices and Descriptions) Order. The licensee of the Alexandra Hotel was fined £10 on 5th October for allowing the consumption of intoxicating liquor on his licensed premises after 10 p.m., contrary to the Order of the Liquor Control Board. During the year ended 31st December last 37 persons (28 males and 9 females) were proceeded against for drunkenness; 27 were convicted and 10 were discharged after being cautioned by the Bench In the preceding year 46 persons were proceeded against for drunkenness, of whom 34 were convicted and 12 discharged. Twelve clubs where intoxicating liquor is supplied are registered under the Act. This is an increase of one since last year's report. Proceedings have been taken against the steward of one of the registered clubs for allowing consumption of intoxicating liquor after 10 p.m., but the case was dismissed on the payment of costs. There are 24 premises licensed for music and dancing, one for music only, and two for public billiard playing. As a result of the reports received from my officers, who have made numerous visits at irregular intervals to the licensed premises and places of entertainment, I am able to report that the houses generally have been conducted in a satisfactory manner.

The Mayor said it was a great source of satisfaction to the Bench that Mr. Reeve had been able to make a report so favourable as the one he had submitted, especially in respect to the last paragraph. It was also a great source of satisfaction to the Bench to know that the charges for drunkenness were less during 1920 than during 1919. Forty six persons were proceeded against in 1919, and 37 in 1920, showing a decrease of 9. The Magistrates had reason to believe from the report that the licensed houses during the past year, in the main, had been well conducted.

Mr. Reeve: Yes, sir.

The Mayor said the Bench recognised that the licensees had a difficult task to perform. There were many Acts of Parliament and Orders from different Boards which they had to adhere to and carry out. Speaking personally, he preferred to see himself the Continental cafe system, which would be a much easier system to carry out than their public house system, and he did not know why it had not been tried in this country. He hoped some day someone would make the experiment. At the Continental cafes they saw any amount of people having a pleasant time and social intercourse, and taking their wines or coffee, and spending a very happy time. They had to deal with the English system, but he hoped that some day the Continental system would be tried, and that it would be a success on this side. He hoped that during the coming year the licensees would exercise the same caution and vigilance as they had during the past, and that cases of drunkenness would continue to decrease annually. All the licences would be renewed with the exception of the Prince Albert. The licence of the Alexandra Hotel had passed into fresh hands since the conviction, and that would be renewed from that day. The Prince Albert would be referred back to the adjourned meeting.

The adjourned sessions were fixed for the 9th March.

 

Folkestone Herald 12 February 1921.

Annual Licensing Sessions.

Wednesday, February 9th: Before The Mayor, Sir Stephen Penfold, Mr. G.I. Swoffer, Councillor G. Boyd, Colonel G.P. Owen, Councillor A. Stace, Alderman A.E. Pepper, the Rev. H. Epworth Thompson, Mr. J.H. Blamey, Councillor W.H. Boughton, Councillor W. Hollands, Miss A.M. Hunt, and Councillor Miss E.I. Weston.

The report of the Chief Constable (Mr. H. Reeve) was read. (See Folkestone Express for details).

The Mayor said it was a great source of satisfaction to the Bench that the Chief Constable had been able to make a report so favourable, especially the last paragraph, where it was stated that all licensed houses had been conducted in a satisfactory manner. It was also a great source of satisfaction to the Bench that charges of drunkenness were less in 1920 than in the preceding year. Forty six persons were proceeded against in 1919, and thirty seven in 1920, showing a decrease of nine. That was satisfactory. They had reason to believe, from the report, that all licensed houses had been well conducted. The licensees had a difficult task, because there were so many Acts of Parliament and Orders to which they had to adhere and carry out. Speaking personally, he would prefer to see the Continental cafe system, as it would be much easier to carry out than the public house system. He did not know why it could not be tried in this country, and he hoped somebody would try to introduce it some day. On the Continent they saw any amount of people having a pleasant time, having wine or coffee or whatever they wanted, and going home afterwards none the worse for it. Anyhow they had got their own system in this country, and they had got to take it as they found it. He hoped the licensees would exercise the same vigilance this year as they had exercised in the past, and that drunkenness would show a decrease. The Licensing Committee had had the report before them, and with the exception of the Alexandra Hotel and the Prince Albert Hotel, the whole of the licences would be renewed. The Alexandra Hotel had passed into fresh hands since the conviction, and the licence would be renewed that morning. The Prince Albert Hotel licence would be referred back to the adjourned meeting next month.

The licence of the Alexandra Hotel, Bridge Street (sic) was permanently transferred to Mr. C.H. Tapsell, whilst the Packet Boat Inn, Radnor Street, was transferred to Mr. J. Twigg.

The date of the Adjourned Licensing Sessions was fixed for Wednesday, March 9th.

 

Folkestone Express 25 November 1922.

Local News.

The following transfer of licence was granted at the Folkestone Police Court on Wednesday morning: The Alexandra Hotel, from Mr. C.H. Tapsall to Mr. John Edmund Fortune, of Ramsgate.

Note: This is at variance with More Bastions.

 

Folkestone Herald 25 November 1922.

Local News.

At the Folkestone Police Court on Tuesday (Mr. G.I. Swoffer in the chair), the licence of the Alexandra Hotel was transferred from Mr. Tapsall to Mr. John Edmund Fortune.

Note: This is at variance with More Bastions.

 

Folkestone Express 13 January 1923.

Local News.

At the Police Court on Wednesday the following licence was transferred: The Alexandra Hotel, from Mr. C.H. Tapsell to Mr. J.E. Fortune.

 

Folkestone Express 20 July 1929.

Local News.

On Wednesday at the Folkestone Police Court several applications were made for music and dancing licences. The magistrates on the Bench wore Col. G.P. Owen, Mr. J.T. Blamey, Dr. W.W. Nuttall, Miss A.M. Hunt, Alderman T.S. Franks, Mr. F Seager, and Mr. W. Smith.

Mr. Cork, of the George the Third, Fenchurch Street, and Mr Fortune, of the Alexandra Hotel, both applied for a music licence in respect of their premises. They said they intended to have portable wireless receiving sets and they desired to use them at times during the hours of opening.

The Chairman said the licences would be granted.

 

Folkestone Express 11 October 1930.

Wednesday 8th October: Before Alderman R.G. Wood, Miss A.M. Hunt, Mr. F. Seager, Mr. G.I. Swoffer, and Mr. W. Smith.

Stanley Arthur Bishop made application for the transfer of the licence of the Alexandra Hotel, Beach Street, from John Edmund Fortune.

The Magistrates' Clerk said a protection order had been granted to Mr. Bishop and he now asked for the transfer.

Chief Inspector Pittock said the police in London knew of no reason why the licence should not be granted. The applicant was a man of good character. He had been a builder.

Applicant said he had been in the building trade at Woolwich and Romford. He had been living in Brentford and working at Romford.

The Bench granted the application.

A licence for a wireless installation was also granted.

 

Folkestone Herald 11 October 1930.

Wednesday, October 8th: Before Alderman R.G. Wood, Mr. G.I. Swoffer, Miss A.M. Hunt, Mr. F. Seager, and Mr. W. Smith.

Stanley Arthur Bishop applied for the transfer of the licence of the Alexandra Hotel, Beach Street, Folkestone, from John Edward Fortune to himself. He was a builder, and had lived in Brentford.

The application was granted. The Bench also granted an application for a licence for a wireless installation on the premises.

 

Folkestone Express 14 March 1931.

Adjourned Licensing Sessions.

On Wednesday, at the Folkestone Adjourned Licensing Sessions, the music and dancing licences were again granted, after the question had been adjourned for a month, it being explained by Alderman Wood that the conditions of the licences allowed vocal and instrumental music to be given during certain hours on Sunday.

The Magistrates on the Bench were Alderman R.G. Wood, The Mayor, Col. G.P. Owen, Mr. J.H. Blamey, Mr. F. Seager, Alderman A.E. Pepper, Mr. W. Griffin, Eng. Rear Admiral L.J. Stephens, Alderman A. Castle, and Miss A.M. Hunt.

The licences of the Bouverie Arms and Alexandra Hotel were transferred to new tenants.

 

Folkestone Express 11 March 1933.

Adjourned Licensing Sessions.

Wednesday, March 8th: Before Alderman R.G. Wood, Dr. W.W. Nuttall, Mr. J.H. Blamey, Miss A.M. Hunt, Alderman T.S. Franks, Mr. W. Smith, Eng. Read Admiral L.J. Stephens, and Mr. S.B. Corser.

The licence of the Alexandra Hotel was transferred to Mr. F.J.E. May.

 

Folkestone Express 19 May 1934.

Inquest.

On Wednesday Mr. G.W. Haines, the Folkestone Coroner, investigated at an inquest at the Folkestone Town Hall the circumstances of the death of Mrs. B.M. May, the wife of the licensee of the Alexandra Hotel, Harbour Street, and who died early on Monday morning at the Royal Victoria Hospital, where she had been taken some days after falling downstairs on March 2nd with a broken kneecap. She was treated at home by herself and her husband, but it was not until Dr. Dodgson was called in that she became an in-patient of the Hospital. An operation was performed on the leg, and at the beginning of this month septicaemia set in, and this ultimately resulted in her leg having to be amputated. She, however, became worse and died.

Mr. Francis Joseph Edwin May, the licence holder of the Alexandra Hotel, Harbour Street, said his wife was 42 years of age. They had been at the hotel just over twelve months. On March 2nd his wife brought a cup of tea down to him from the kitchen at about 7.30 a.m. She went upstairs and he got up and went down into the bar. He came upstairs about 8.30 a.m., and she was then sitting on the steps leading to the kitchen. He asked her what was the matter, and she replied “I have come a cropper” or words to that effect. He helped her downstairs to her bedroom and persuaded her to get into bed. She said “I have hurt my leg”. He looked at it to see if there were any bones broken, and it hurt her when she bent it. She got into bed and he placed hot fomentations on it and she said it eased it. They continued that treatment for a fortnight and painted the leg with iodine. The leg was swollen at the start, but the swelling gradually went down. He ultimately called in Dr. Dodgson, who came to see her and said it was a hospital case. His wife was removed by the ambulance to the Hospital. She told him at the time of the accident that she tripped on the stairs, and he noticed that one of the wooden stair rods was out of place.

Dr. A.C. Saunders, resident House Surgeon at the Royal Victoria Hospital, said deceased was admitted on March 19th. She was X rayed, and it was found that there was a transverse fracture of the left kneecap. She was operated on the next day. On March 25th they noticed the wound was infected. The knee was not swollen much, but on opening it there was an old blood clot and some fluid. The infection became rapidly worse, and ultimately she died on May 14th. She developed septicaemia at the beginning of May, and on May 11th, following a blood transfusion, they amputated her leg. Her condition, which was such that a blood transfusion was necessary, remained satisfactory for the next two days, and then on the evening of May 13th she became worse, and died at 4 a.m. the following morning from septicaemia. She was not of robust health, but generally poor health would leave her more open to that infection. She told him she fell downstairs.

The Coroner returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence.

 

Folkestone Herald 19 May 1934.

Inquest.

An inquest was held by the Folkestone Coroner (Mr. G.W. Haines) at the Town Hall on Wednesday on Mrs. Bertha Mary May, 42, the wife of a Folkestone licensee, who died at the Royal Victoria Hospital after an operation.

Francis Joseph Edwin May, the licensee of the Alexandra Hotel, Harbour Street, identified the body as that of his wife. Witness said he had held the licence of the Alexandra Hotel since February 28th, 1933. They had been married 18 months. On the morning of March 2nd his wife brought him a cup of tea from the kitchen, which was upstairs. She went upstairs again, and he went down to the bar to clean up. When he came up about 8.30 a.m. his wife was sitting on the steps leading to the kitchen. He asked her what was the matter, and she said “I have come a “cropper””, or words to that effect. He helped her down the stairs and she laid on the bed. He persuaded her to get into bed. She said that she had hurt her leg. He looked at it to see if there was any bone broken. It hurt her when she bent the leg. She got into bed, and he put a hot fomentation on it, which she said eased the pain. He continued doing that for a fortnight, and also painted it with iodine. The swelling gradually went down. His wife did not get up during that time. Subsequently he called in Dr. Dodgson, who said it was a case for the hospital, and his wife was removed there by ambulance.

The Coroner: Did she tell you how she did it? – She told me at the time that she tripped on the stairs. I noticed that one of the stair rods was out of place.

DR. A.C. Saunders, resident House Surgeon at the Royal Victoria Hospital, said deceased was admitted on March 19th. An X-ray examination showed a transverse fracture of the left patella (kneecap). An operation was performed the next day. On March 25th it was noted that the wound was infected. The septic trouble increased and Mrs. May died on May 14th. Witness said on May 11th a blood transfusion was carried out, and deceased's condition improved so that six hours later the leg was amputated. Her condition remained satisfactory for the next few days, but on the evening of May 13th her condition became worse and she died at 4 a.m. on May 14th from septicaemia.

The Coroner: What was her general health condition? Was it such as to render her more susceptible to this condition being set up? – She was not in robust health; an average poor type of general health.

Did she make any statement to you about how it happened? – She told me she had fallen down the stairs.

The Coroner returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence.

 

Folkestone Express 12 January 1935.

Local News.

Richard Thomas Sibley, of 4, St. John's Church Road, came before the Folkestone Police Court on Tuesday, summoned for consuming intoxicating liquor at the Alexandra Hotel, Folkestone, at 11.15 p.m. on December 22nd, and Francis J.E. May, the licensee, was summoned for aiding and abetting. Mr. B.H. Bonniface appeared for both the defendants, and pleaded Not Guilty.

On that day, the Saturday before Christmas, there was an extension of hours until 11 p.m., which had been granted by the Magistrates.

The Magistrates present were Mr. R.G. Wood, Judge H. Terrell, Alderman J.W. Stainer, Mr. L.G.A. Collins, Eng. Rear Admiral L.J. Stephens, and Alderman W. Hollands.

After a lengthy hearing the Bench dismissed the case.

Inspector Rowe said he was on duty outside the Alexandra Hotel at 11.15 p.m. with P.S. Butcher, and looking through the window he saw a number of persons in the saloon bar. He tried the door, which was locked. He then shook the door, and the licensee's son appeared, unfastened and opened the door, which was either locked or bolted. With P.S. Butcher, he went into the saloon and saw four persons. The defendant Sibley was sitting on a chair with his back to the entrance to the saloon bar. His wife, Mrs. Sibley, was alongside him. The licensee was standing with his back towards the serving counter on the public side, and there was a fourth person present, Mrs. Kay, the housekeeper to the licensee. On the counter by Sibley was a pint glass half full of ale, which witness could tell by the colour, and near the defendant May was also a pint glass half full of ale. He did not taste what was in the glass, but he was satisfied it was ale, usually called bitter. As he entered the door he saw Sibley take a drink from the glass he had alongside him. He had not observed the witness at that time as he had his back to him. He (witness) said to the licensee “Who are these people here?” and he explained that Sibley was employed to play the piano and wash glasses. His wife was with him, and the other lady was the housekeeper. Witness told him the time was 11.15 p.m., checking the time with P.S. Butcher before going into the house. He told Sibley he would be reported for consuming intoxicating liquor after permitted hours, and Sibley replied “I hope you make a case of it”. He did not deny there was beer in the glass. He (witness) told the licensee he would be reported, and he said “All right”. Sibley then said he had been at the piano for half an hour; they could not expect him to play and drink too. He (the Inspector) was of opinion that May was under the influence of drink, if not drunk, and the defendant Sibley also had had enough to drink.

Mr. Bonniface objected to the form of the last question put to the witness, and said the matter should be restricted to the defence which was in front of them. Those questions could be nothing but prejudiced.

Answering Mr. Bonniface, defending, Inspector Rowe said there was a fire burning in the saloon bar, but he did not notice a kettle on the fire. Besides the two glasses he saw there were also a number of glasses which had been washed up and turned upside down. He did not know that the person described as the licensee's son was employed in the business, but he knew Mrs. Kay was also employed as a barmaid. There were three bars.

Apparently, said Mr. Bonniface, the licensee and his employees had just finished work. Everything was washed up at 11.15?

Witness: Yes. The bar was not fully lighted; in fact, bar keepers usually dropped their lights immediately the people went out.

P.S. Butcher said that on December 22nd he and Inspector Rowe were outside the Alexandra Hotel. He noticed some people in the saloon bar through two of the blinds of the windows. The bar was not exceptionally well lit. The Inspector went to the entrance of the hotel, pushed the bell-push, and tried the door, which did not yield. After the Inspector had shaken the door, someone came. Witness went in with the Inspector, and the nearest person to them as they entered was Sibley, seated with his back half-turned to them. His wife was standing adjacent to him, and the housekeeper was sitting on a table at the far side of the bar. The licensee was on the public side of the bar, facing them. As they entered the bar Sibley took a drink from a glass which was on the counter containing bitter. He noticed another glass containing bitter adjacent to where the landlord was standing. He also noticed another glass to the left of Sibley which was a quarter full of stout. He heard the Inspector speak to the licensee and the explanation given by him, and also Sibley, who said “I hope you make a case of it”. Sibley later said “I have been playing the piano all the evening; the drink has been standing there. I cannot drink and play too”. He heard what the Inspector said to the licensee, who said “All right”.

Mr. Bonniface: You could see the figures in the bar. How long do you think it was between the time you first knocked at the door and when you were let in?

Witness: About a minute.

People had time to have drunk their beer if they wanted to hide anything? – Yes.

You agree the licensee told you Sibley was employed there? – Yes.

Mr. Bonniface said that summons was taken out under Section Four of the Licensing Act. People who were not customers, under Section Five of the Act, were allowed intoxicating liquors at certain hours as private friends, and this man (Sibley) was an employee, who came under the same provisions as private friends.

Sibley said he had been working in the bar from 7 p.m., having been collecting glasses and putting them on the counter. There was a lot of glasses and they soon got broken. He had been doing this for six months, on Fridays and Saturdays when they were busy. Witness was paid a shilling a day, with a drink and supper. On that particular evening he also played the piano when the work eased off a bit. He watched points and kept an eye on things. He remembered the licensee call time at ten minutes to eleven, and he went to the door with the idea of getting the troops out. There were a lot of soldiers there that night. Everybody was off the premises by 11. Witness came round and collected the glasses and went behind the counter and washed them. Eddie, who was Mrs. Kay's son, and Mrs. Kay were also working there. At ten minutes to eleven the licensee told witness to go up and get the shilling and have his drink. The kettle was on, and there were generally some sandwiches left which he had for his supper, but they were all gone and the “governor” was going to send out for some fish and chips. The reason his wife was there was that she forgot about the extension and came down to see where witness was. She had a drink in the first part of the evening. He was paid his 1s. that night, and worked after the customers had gone, clearing glasses.

In answer to the Chief Constable (Mr. A.S. Beesley), the defendant said he had no regular employment and he had been paid 2s. a week by the licensee for the last six months. The place was packed between 7 and 10 on Friday and Saturday nights, full enough to be uncomfortable. Mrs. Kay, her son Eddie, and the licensee were continually serving between 7 and 10 p.m. Witness had no National Health Insurance book or unemployment card. His employer did not buy anything for him. He got a supper there when he wanted it. He got no dole, but was a pensioner getting £2 a week.

Francis J. May, the licensee, said he employed Sibley to keep an eye on the glasses passed up to the counter and if necessary give help in washing them up. Sibley was an ex-serviceman and he liked to put something in his way, so he gave him a shilling and supper, and rather than see sandwiches wasted he gave them to him. After 11 on the night in question Sibley cleared away the tables and washed glasses up. At a quarter to eleven witness said “Go up and get your drink now and get fixed up as I am going to call time by ten to eleven”, as he wanted to clear the house, which was full. He thought it was necessary to employ Sibley, as he had lost several things. “One week”, he said, “I lost nine wine glasses and five ash trays”, and he had had him for six months at weekends.

The Chief Constable: Are there some Saturdays in the last six months when you have not paid him?

May: I have no recollection of not having paid him.

Proceeding, he said that evening the sandwiches were all eaten and he was sending a boy out to get some fish and chips when the officers arrived. A busy evening was when they got forty or fifty in and for the sake of a shilling he thought he would get somebody in to help – a man who would be glad to earn it.

The Chief Constable told Mr. May that on Saturday, November 17th, he had 56 people in his house at 8.20 p.m., and on June 23rd, a Saturday, he had 35 at 9.35. Did it require four people to handle them?

Defendant said there was no hard and fast rule for Sibley; he came in when he liked.

The Bench dismissed the case, as stated.

 

Folkestone Herald 12 January 1935.

Local News.

Francis D.E. May, licensee of the Alexandra Hotel, Harbour Street, Folkestone, and Richard Thomas Sibley, of St. John's Church Road, Folkestone, were summoned at Folkestone Petty Sessions on Tuesday for alleged breaches of the Licensing Act. Sibley was summoned for consuming intoxicating liquor, namely ale, at the Alexandra Hotel, on December 22nd, during non-permitted hours, and May for aiding and abetting him.

The Clerk (Mr. C. Rootes) stated that 10 p.m. was the usual closing time, but on this occasion an extension had been granted by the Bench to 11 p.m., and the alleged offence occurred at 11.15 p.m.

Mr. R.G. Wood was in the chair, and the other Magistrates were Alderman W. Hollands, Alderman J.W. Stainer, Engineer Rear Admiral L.J. Stephens, Mr. W.R. Boughton, and Judge H. Terrell, K.C.

After hearing evidence the Magistrates dismissed the case against both defendants.

Mr. B.H. Bonniface defended in both cases, and entered a plea of Not Guilty.

Det. Insp. Rowe said he was on duty outside the Alexandra Hotel at 11.15 p.m. on December 22nd, in company with Police Sgt. Butcher. The Alexandra Hotel was situated on the corner of Beach Street and Harbour Street. He looked through a window, and in the saloon bar he saw a number of persons. He tried the door and it was locked. He then shook the door and the licensee's son came to the door, unfastened and opened it. It was fastened by either a lock or a bolt. He went into the saloon bar with Police Sgt. Butcher, and there saw four persons, including the defendant Sibley, who was sitting in a chair with his back to the entrance to the saloon bar. His wife, Mrs. Sibley, was beside him. The licensee was standing with his back against the serving counter, on the public side of the counter, and the fourth person was Mrs. Kay, the housekeeper to the licensee. On the counter near Sibley was a pint glass half full of ale.

The Chief Constable (Mr. A.S. Beesley): How do you know it was ale? – I know the colour of ale.

Det. Insp. Rowe, continuing, said near May was also a pint glass half full of ale.

The Chief Constable: Have you any doubt as to what was in these glasses? – I didn't taste it, sir, but I certify it was ale, usually called bitter.

Continuing, the witness said as he entered the bar he saw Sibley take a drink from the glass which was beside him.

The Chief Constable: Had Sibley observed you at that time? – No, he had his back to us as we came in.

Det. Insp. Rowe said he asked the licensee “Who are these people here?” and he explained Sibley was employed there to play the piano and wash glasses. His wife, Mrs. Sibley, was with him, and the other lady was his housekeeper. He told the licensee the time was 11.15.

The Chief Constable: By what were you going? – My watch. I checked my watch by Sgt. Butcher's before we went into the house.

Was your watch correct? – Yes.

Did you produce it to the licensee? – Yes.

Mr. Bonniface said there would be no question of time.

Continuing, Det. Insp. Rowe said he told Sibley he would report him for consuming intoxicating liquor, having first indicated the bitter in the glass, during non-permitted hours, and he replied “I hope you make a case of it”. He told the licensee he would be reported, and he replied “All right”.

The Chief Constable: Did you make it clear what he was being reported for? – Yes.

Sibley then said, Det. Insp. Rowe continued, “I had it on the piano for half an hour. You cannot expect me to play and drink too”.

The Chief Constable: What was the condition of the defendants? – May was under the influence of drink, but he was not drunk. Sibley had also had enough to drink.

Mr. Bonniface: I do object to that question. Hat question can be nothing else but prejudice. If the licensee had been under the influence of drink, my friend has his remedy in another summons. These questions should be restricted to the summons in front of you. I consider it has been put in for nothing else than prejudice.

In reply to cross-examination by Mr. Bonniface, Det. Insp. Rowe said this had occurred in the saloon bar, where there was a fire burning, but he did not notice a kettle on it.

Mr. Bonniface: In addition to two glasses you say you saw, were there also a number of glasses which had been washed up and turned upside down on the counter? – I saw some there, but they appeared to be dry.

And turned upside down to drain? – Yes.

The person you have described as the licensee's son, is he employed in the business? – I don't know.

Do you know Mrs. Kay is also employed in the business as a barmaid in addition to being housekeeper? – Yes.

How many bars are there? – Three.

Apparently, on the face of it, as you looked round the licensee and his employees had just finished their day's work? – Yes.

Everything was washed up at 11.15? – Yes. The bar wasn't fully lighted.

Licensees often drop their lights when people go out? – Yes.

Mr. Bonniface: There is nothing unusual in that.

Sgt. Butcher said he was with Insp. Rowe outside the Alexandra Hotel, when he noticed some people apparently standing in the saloon bar. He corroborated the evidence given by Det. Insp. Rowe.

Cross-examined by Mr. Bonniface, he said there were no curtains up at the window.

By going up to the windows you could see there were people there? – You could just see figures.

How long do you think it was between when you first rattled the door and the time you were let in? – A minute.

Plenty of time for people to have drunk their beer? – Yes, plenty.

If they had wanted to hide anything, plenty of time to do that? – Yes.

Addressing the Bench, Mr. Bonniface submitted that Sibley was within the provisions of Section five of the Act. That summons, he said, had been taken under Section four, but Section five allowed people, who were not customers, to have intoxicating liquor during non-permitted hours. What he proposed to do was to prove to them that Sibley was not a customer, but an employee, and therefore came under the provisions as provided in the Section.

Richard Thomas Sibley, of St. John's Church Road, Folkestone, said he was in the bar of the Alexandra Hotel at 11.15 on the night in question. He had been at the Alexandra since 7 o'clock that evening. Firstly he had been collecting glasses up and washing them up on the counter. That stopped them from accumulating, and was necessary because if there was a lot of people in the bar the glasses soon got broken. It was an arrangement between himself and the licensee that he should do that, and he had been doing that for six months when they were busy. He always did it on Fridays and Saturdays. The licensee paid him 1s., and he was allowed to have a drink, and sometimes his supper.

Mr. Bonniface: On this particular evening, you say during the first part of the evening you had been handing up the glasses. What other work had you done there? – When it eased off a bit, played the piano.

But as far as work was concerned, what else did you do? – I watched points and kept my eye on things.

Do you remember the licensee calling time? – He came and told me he was going to call time at 10.50.

Did he give you any instructions? – As soon as he called “Time”, I went to the door.

What was that with an idea of doing? – Getting the troops out.

That was part of your work? – I understand that.

What time were they out by? – Everybody was off the premises by 11 o'clock.

What did you do then? – I collected up the glasses, went round behind the counter, sluiced them and turned them upside down to drain.

Was there anybody else working in the bar? – Eddie and a lady.

Who do you mean by “a lady”? – Mrs. Kay.

Mr. Bonniface stated Eddie was Mrs. Kay's son, and not the licensee's son, as the police had stated.

What happened when you finished your work? – He told me I could get my 1s., and have a drink. I did so.

What about your supper? – The kettle was on. I generally had sandwiches, but there weren't any left, so the licensee was going to send for some fish and chips.

Why was your wife there? –She had forgotten about the hour's extension and came down to see where I was.

She did not have any drink at all? – She had one in the first part of the evening, but not at that time.

And you say you were paid 1s. for your work that night? – Yes.

And you worked after the customers had gone? – Yes.

The glasses the Inspector said he saw turned upside down? – Those were the ones I did.

Cross-examined by the Chief Constable, Sibley said he had no regular employment.

During the last six months how many shillings have you collected? – Only weekends.

Regularly, 2s. every weekend, for six months? – Yes.

Do you swear that? – Yes.

Will you tell the Bench how many people there are during the hours of 7 till 10 on a Saturday night? – The place is packed usually.

And Friday night? – It is full enough to be uncomfortable.

Is it as full on Friday as Saturday? – Mostly Friday is the best night.

Does Mrs. Kay serve as a barmaid? – Yes.

And Eddie? – Yes.

Is the licensee usually on the premises? – Yes.

How many bars are there? – I have only seen two.

Do you think the licensee, a barmaid and a boy could manage the bar without paying you 1s. a week? – No, not serving as well.

You say three persons, serving there from 7 till 10, haven't the time to collect glasses? – Yes.

Have you a National Health Insurance book? – No.

An unemployed insurance card? – No.

Doesn't your so-called employer pay anything for these two things for you? – No.

How often do you get a supper? – When I want it.

Did you want one badly on December 22nd? – I have it if I feel I want it.

How do you exist on 2s. a week? – On my pension of £2 a week.

Surely you pass up those glasses casually as other customers do when they are in a bar? – No.

Have you seen other customers pass their glasses up? – Only in civility.

Have you been in the house on other occasions? – Yes.

Do you pass the glasses up then? – I might do it out of civility.

If you did, would you expect a drink for it? – Yes.

Mr. Bonniface: You don't suggest you do it because you get a drink? – No.

Francis D.E. May, the licensee of the Alexandra, said he employed Sibley to keep an eye on the glasses, to pass them up to the counter, and if necessary give a hand with washing them. Sibley was a disabled ex-Service man and he liked to put a little thing in his way. He generally paid him 1s. and also gave him a supper, and if he did not eat it there he took it away with him. Witness generally had a lot of sandwiches left over and instead of wasting them he gave them to Sibley. That night he had none left over at all, in fact he had not had enough. After 11 o'clock Sibley had cleared the tables, and then he went round and washed the glasses. He was paid. At 10.45 he (witness) went round to the counter and he whispered to Sibley to go up and get his drink as he was going to call “Time” at 10.50 to have it all clear by 11 o'clock, as it was so full.

Mr. Bonniface: Is it necessary for you to have someone there? – Very. I have lost a lot of glasses and have had a lot of things stolen. One week I lost nine wine glasses and five ash trays.

How long have you employed Sibley? – For six months, weekends.

He has always done this particular work? – Yes.

On this particular night, December 22nd? – Yes.

It was not unusual; in fact it has been usual for the last six months for him to be so employed? – Yes.

Cross-examined by the Chief Constable, May stated he made a practice every Friday and Saturday of giving Sibley 1s.

Not necessarily always? – Yes, when he does the work.

Are there some Saturdays during the last six months when you have not paid him? – I have no recollection.

Do you generally give him something to eat? – Yes. Left over sandwiches. Sometimes he wants them, sometimes he doesn't, and sometimes he takes them away.

Do you provide him with any other sort of meal if there are no sandwiches? – It is about the first time there have been none.

You had been eaten out? – Yes, I was sending out for some fish and chips when the officers arrived.

What do you call a busy evening, when it becomes necessary to employ four people? – When there are about 40 to 50 in, and it is awkward going round the counter to collect glasses. I would sooner pay 1s. and get someone to do it.

Do you really think it is necessary to enter into a contract with this man for 2s. a week to pick up these glasses? – Yes, I do think it is necessary when I lose so many.

Mr. R.G. Wood: Did you engage him to come at any set time? – No, he comes in when he likes.

The defendants were dismissed as stated, the Chairman of the Magistrates adding, “We take the view that under the Clause you mention this should be the exception”.

 

Folkestone Herald 11 January 1936.

Local News.

The Folkestone Magistrates on Wednesday granted permission for slight alterations to be made to the Alexandra Hotel.

 

Folkestone Herald 28 May 1938.

Local News.

Hidden by bushes in a coppice between Caesar’s Camp and Sugar Loaf hill, a young Folkestone woman was found dead on Thursday evening. The cause of death is believed to have been strangulation, and yesterday the Folkestone Police called in New Scotland Yard to assist them in their enquiries. It was officially stated last night that the woman was Mrs. Phyllis Butcher, aged 22, who had resided in the town for some years, living apart from her husband.

The discovery of the body was made shortly after 6 o’clock on Thursday evening by Kenneth G. Andrews, a 16 year old boy living in Ethelbert Road. He was playing about among the bushes at the foot of the hills between Holy Well and Caesar's Camp when he saw what he thought was a woman sleeping. As she did not move, however, when he spoke and touched her he realised that something was wrong and he ran back to his home and informed his father.

The police were communicated with and the Chief Constable (Mr A. S. Beesley), who was attending a Masonic function at the time, was informed. He immediately left for the scene of the tragedy and on arriving there took charge of the investigations.

Chief Inspector W. Hollands and the Police Surgeon, Dr. W.C.P. Barrett, were also summoned, and the latter made an examination of the body on the spot. He formed the opinion that the cause of death was strangulation. The body was lying on its back with the face upwards. The whole of the body was covered with a blue stuffed coat, presumed by the police to be the dead woman’s property. Throughout the night the police continued their investigations and when the Chief Constable and other senior officers left some time later, other officers were left on guard. Photographs were taken of the body and the place where it was found before the body was removed in an ambulance to the mortuary at the Cemetery.

Yesterday the Chief Constable called j in the help of New Scotland Yard and Chief Inspector W. Parker and a detective sergeant arrived in the town shortly before noon. There was no evidence of a struggle having taken place at the spot where the body was found, and the possibility of the woman having been brought there from somewhere else after death was not rejected from the line of enquiry followed by the police. The period the body had lain there was also closely investigated and the opinion formed that some hours had elapsed since death when young Andrews made his discovery. The clothing was damp and rain had fallen heavily up to early Thursday morning. Although some distance from the string of paths which run along the foot of the hills, access to the place from either Crete Road West or Hill Road would not be impossible. A field separates Hill Road from the spot, and the distance from the road is over 300 yards. This would be the more likely method of approach if a person were carrying someone.

The Chief Constable made an appeal through the Press last night asking anyone who had lodged Mrs. Butcher during the past week to get into touch with the Folkestone Police at once.

The official description of the woman is as follows: “Aged 22, height 5 feet 3 inches. Hair brown and bleached, more flaxen than brown; slim build. Dressed in a dark green frock with a scarf of similar material which was tied tightly round the neck. Blue shoes, no stockings or hat, and a blue coat which was covering the body”. Enquiries which have been made show that the woman was last seen alive on Monday evening in Folkestone. Since then the police have no trace of her movements. The police state that they have a number of lines of enquiry which are being closely followed up.

Although the name of the woman is given as Mrs. Butcher, it is believed that she had used other names, including “Mrs. Spears”.
It is believed that she was employed at a Folkestone hotel as a day cleaner last summer. The manager of the hotel said the woman was a good worker and appeared to be of a good type. “I had no complaint at all to make about her work”, he said. “She worked here most of the summer.”

Kenneth Andrews told the "Folkestone Herald” last night that he left his house at about 5.20 p.m. on Thursday and cycled up towards Caesar’s Camp. “I then walked and crawled through trees and bushes” he said, “at the bottom of the Caesar’s Camp looking for nests. I crossed a stream and as I crawled through a bush I noticed what appeared to be a bundle. I took a closer look and saw that it was a girl’s head, and part of her leg was also showing. I shouted and touched the head with the stick but nothing happened. I then went home and told my father who fetched a policeman”.

Mr. John Andrew, the father, said he had been at that spot that afternoon and must have been within a few yards of the body.

“I didn’t notice anything” he added, “as it is a place that one could only crawl into”.

 

Folkestone Express 4 June 1938.

Local News.

Where did Mrs. Phyllis May Spiers, aged 22 years, the Folkestone woman found strangled not far from Holy Well in a small coppice at the foot of the hills on Thursday night in last week, stay on the Monday and Tuesday nights previous to her murder? That is a point upon which the Folkestone Police desire to have information from anyone who can assist them. Mr. A.S. Beesley, the Chief Constable, last night said: It is of the utmost importance that people knowing where Mrs. Spiers stayed on either of these nights should communicate with us immediately, without them waiting for the Police to call on them. It certainly would he assisting the interests of justice if anyone with information of use to the Police would get into touch with them immediately.

The body of Mrs. Spiers, a married woman separated from her husband, and a foster child of Mrs. Minter, who formerly lived at a lodging house in Radnor Street, was first discovered by Kenneth George Andrews, a sixteen year old youth residing with his parents in Ethelbert Road. He was looking for birds’ nests at the time, when he saw what appeared to be a bundle. Looking closer, he saw that a portion of a woman’s head and leg were showing. He immediately proceeded to his home and informed his father, who at once found the constable on the beat, and particulars of the discovery were telephoned to Police headquarters.

Mr. Beesley, the Chief Constable, was immediately informed and he, accompanied by Chief Inspector Hollands, Dr. W.C.P. Barrett and Det. Constable Bates, the Coroner's Officer, were speedily at the scene. They found amongst the bushes the body of a woman completely covered with her blue coat, lying on her back with her head down the sloping ground.

Dr. Barrett made an examination, and gave it as his opinion that the woman had been strangled by her green scarf which had been knotted tightly round her throat.

The body was subsequently removed to the mortuary, where a long and careful examination was made by the Chief Constable, who took charge of the case, and the Police Surgeon.

The C.I. Department worked throughout the night trying to establish her identity and making numerous other enquiries. It was clear from the first examination by Dr. Barrett that the woman had been lying where she was found at least 24 hours. Before it was taken away photographs were taken of it and the surrounding land. An intensive search for possible clues was at once commenced by detectives of the Folkestone Force.

Early on Friday morning the Chief Con stable decided to seek the assistance of Scotland Yard, and a few hours later Det. Inspector Parker and Det. Sergt. Scarsdon, from the Yard, arrived and began investigations in conjunction with the Chief Constable and his officers. There were no signs of a struggle at the place where the body was found, and thf fact that the clothing was very wet showed that it was there on the Wednesday night when there was heavy rain.

The Chief Constable, Det. Inspector Parker, and numerous officers have ceaselessly and energetically carried out investigations from the time they began them. As a result it has been established that the murder occurred about fifty feet distant from the place where Mrs. Spiers’ body was found. She had been passing in the name of Butcher for some time in Folkestone, where she had been employed at hotels and cafes.

On the Saturday previous to her death she went to a house in Garden Road, where she engaged a room, telling the landlady that her name was Minter, and that she had come from Tooting to take up a position as a waitress at a cafe on the lower sea front. She brought no luggage with her, and slept at the house on Saturday and Sunday nights. On Monday morning she left the house, apparently to go to her work, after arranging with the landlady to meet her so that she could take her to the pictures. The landlady kept the appointment, but Mrs. Spiers did not, and she did not see her again. When the landlady returned to her home she noticed that a "man without a hat and wearing a light mackintosh was apparently waiting outside. On Monday morning Mrs. Spiers walked along the Marine Promenade, for she had her photograph taken as she was doing so. From that time there seems to be no connected story of her movements. It is stated that she was seen on Tuesday night with a tall man wearing a mackintosh. So far as is known she was last seen alive on Wednesday at about a quarter to twelve in a Sandgate Road shop, and therefore the probable time of her death was between noon and three o’clock on Wednesday in last week.

The enquiries of the Police have been of a very extensive character, and have extended over a wide area of the country. Mrs. Spiers attended many dances in the district, and was known to many men, not only in Folkestone, but in the military camps at Shorncliffe and the R.A.F. at Hawkinge. Over sixty men have been interrogated by the Police, and the processes of elimination is still proceeding. The men include soldiers, airmen and civilians.

On Saturday night, a report was received from the Sandwich district that a man who had been stopped in a country lane by a Kent County police officer and questioned had stated that he had come from Folkestone and that he admitted he was responsible for the murder of Mrs. Spiers. Mr. Beesley and Det.Insp. Parker, and other officers without delay motored over to Sandwich, but on questioning the man they quickly came to the conclusion that he had had nothing to do with the crime.

A section of the Force had arranged to visit Epsom to see the Derby, but in view of the crime the immediately cancelled the arrangements.

Under Inspector Heastie a number of officers, in plain clothes, have made a house-to-house visit in the Cheriton, Morehall, Foord and the surrounding streets and roads, and the East Cliff districts, and have shown a photograph of Mrs. Spiers to the occupiers. They have also asked if she was known or had stayed there. Mr. Beesley, asked last (Thursday) night if that had brought any results, replied “It has brought some crumbs of useful information”.

On Wednesday, Dr. Bernard Spilsbury, who has assisted in the unravelling of many murders, came to Folkestone at the request of the Chief Constable, and he, in company with Dr. Barrett, the Police Surgeon, and the Chief Constable, conducted a long examination of the body of the murdered woman at the mortuary. A large number of exhibits which have been collected in the investigations have ai.so been seat to London for examination by Dr. Roche Lynch, the Home Office expert.

It was at one time thought that the theft of a Harley Davidson motor cycle from a Folkestone garage during Tuesday night or Wednesday morning had some connection with the crime, and the police of the whole of the country were asked to try and trace it, but that has now been ruled out by the officers engaged in the case.

The cause of Mrs. Spiers’ death was not by asphyxiation, but the scarf having been tied so tightly the flow of blood through the carotid artery was snapped, and so her death must have been instantaneous.

The inquest was opened on Monday afternoon at the Folkestone Town Hall. Mr. G.W. Haines, the Borough Coroner, sat with a jury of ten. There was a large attendance of the public. Only three witnesses gave evidence, and the enquiry was then adjourned to July 8th.

The Chief Constable (Mr. A.S. Beesley) was the first witness. He said at 7.15 p.m. on Thursday he was called to a spot in a small coppice or wood, and was accompanied by the Coroner’s Officer. At the foot of the hill to the north of Folkestone between Caesar’s Camp and Sugar Loaf Hill he saw a woman lying on her back covered pretty well from head to foot with a woman’s blue coat. The photograph produced was as she was found.

This photograph was handed to the members of the jury to examine.

The Chief Constable, continuing, said the woman was lying on a slight decline with the head downwards. The lower portions of both legs were exposed from a point about half-way below the knee. She had no stockings, but she wore a pair of low-heeled shoes. Her face and head were covered, but a portion of her back hair, which was flaxen in colour, was exposed, and was lying straight out behind the body. “I moved the coat”, Mr. Beesley continued, “and exposed the face and felt it. The face was quite cold, but soft to the touch. It was of good colour and in fact quite natural. I formed the opinion she was dead. Her nose was swollen and discoloured and blood was oozing from the left nostril. I completely removed the coat and found she was she was lying on her back with her arms and legs flexed, her knees drawn. She was wearing a pair of panties, which just covered her thighs. They were in good condition, but badly torn, especially at the back. Her green frock was pulled or dragged right up, back and front, level to her breasts, leaving the whole of the breasts and body bare. Very extensive bleeding scratches led from her legs right up to the thighs. They were especially numerous on the front. There were deep indentations on the lower part of the body made by pressure of the earth and dry pieces of twig and briar upon which she was lying. All clothing was saturated with rain, except the back of the dress, which was dry. The photographs put in were taken at once”.

The jury were also handed these photographs to examine.

Dr. W.C.P. Barrett, the Police Surgeon, said he saw the body in the coppice where it was found. The woman was dead. He had since made a post mortem examination. There was a long bruise measuring four inches on the left arm. There were two large spots, dark in colour, on the chest. There were scratches on the left collar bone and there were multiple scratches on the lowerr limbs right up to the groin, but mainly on the front, but with quite a few on the back. There was a deep indentation right around the neck, front and back. The stomach contained ten small lumps of potato and brownish fluid resembling soup. The bruises and scratches were definitely ante-mortem. Death was due to strangulation caused by pressure on the main arteries to the head. Rigor mortis had set in and the limbs were rigid. The face was of a natural colour. His opinion was that she had not been dead longer than two days. Death might have occurred under that time. There was no sign of putrification.

The Coroner: There must have been considerable pressure to stop the flow of blood?

Witness: No. I tried it on myself last night and it is surprising how little pressure is needed to make you feel faint.

Arthur Charles Spiers, 29, Sidney Road. Bexhill-on-Sea, said he was 27 years of age and was a milk roundsman. He was formerly in the Army, stationed at Shorncliffe. When in the Army he became acquainted with the deceased and knew her as Phyllis Minter. They were married on April 11th, 1932, at the Folkestone Register Office. On January 25th, 1933, his wife gave birth to a daughter, who was in his custody. He returned to Bexhill and got work there. On April 13th, 1934, his wife left him with the baby, following a quarrel over a letter she had received. He tried to patch it up once or twice. He last saw her alive three years and ten months ago at Hastings. In November last he applied for a Poor Persons divorce. He did not know where she was living. His application for divorce was based on desertion. She was 16 years and five months old when he married her. He visited the Folkestone mortuary on Friday afternoon and identified the body as that of his wife. He could not say whether she followed any occupation.

The Coroner said he did not propose to take any further evidence.

The Chief Constable: My application is that you should adjourn the enquiry for at least a month.

The Coroner: I will adjourn the inquest until 8th July at 2.30 p.m. The police have many enquiries to make, and the jury will have to come again.

 

Folkestone Herald 4 June 1938.

Local News.

The inquest on Mrs. Phyllis M. Spiers, who was found strangled near Caesar’s Camp last week, was opened at the Town Hall, Folkestone, on Monday afternoon by the Borough Coroner (Mr. G.W. Haines) and after three witnesses had been called, the enquiry was adjourned until Friday, July 8th.

There were a number of members of the general public in the body of the court to listen to the proceedings, which lasted less than an hour.

The Chief Constable (Mr. A.S. Beesley) sat at a table with the Police Surgeon (Dr. W.C.P. Barrett) and Det. Sergt. Skarsdon, one of the Scotland Yard officers assisting the local police.

The Chief Constable was the first witness. “At 7.15 p.m. on Thursday last”, he said, “I was called by my chief Inspector to a small coppice or wood. I was accompanied by the Coroner’s officer. At the foot of the hills to the north of Folkestone, between Caesar’s Camp and Sugar Loaf Hill, I saw a woman lying on her back covered pretty well from head to foot with a blue coat”.

The Chief Constable handed to the Coroner a photograph showing the dead woman as she was found. The photograph was shown to the members of the jury.

The Chief Constable, continuing, said “She was lying on a slight incline with her head downwards, the lower portion of both legs being exposed from a point about half way below the knee. She had no stockings, but was wearing a pair of low-heeled shoes. Her face and head were covered, but a portion of her back hair, which was flaxen in colour, was exposed and lying straight out behind the body. I moved the coat and exposed the face and felt it. The face was quite cold, but soft to the touch. It was a very good colour and in fact quite natural. I formed the opinion that she was dead. Her nose was swollen and discoloured, and blood was oozing from the left nostril. I completely removed the coat and found that she was lying on her back with her arms and legs flexed, her knees being drawn up, and the right ankle crossed over the left ankle”.

Describing the dead woman’s clothing, the Chief Constable said an undergarment was badly torn. “She had on a green frock, pulled or dragged right up. There were very extensive bleeding scratches leading from her legs up to the thighs. They were especially numerous on the front. There were deep indentations on the lower part of the back of the body, made by pressure on the earth and dry pieces of twig and briar on which she was lying. All the clothing was saturated i with rain except the back of the dress, which was dry. Between the back of the dress and the shoulders were maiiy pieces -of dry twig, brambles, dry earth and grass”. “Around her neck”, continued the Chief Constable, “was an old green spotted scarf. It was wound twice round and tied twice exceedingly tightly, so tight that the whole of the scarf round the neck was sunk into the indentation made. I caused it to be cut with a penknife on the opposite side of the knot. There were no signs of a struggle at this spot. The grass was not trampled, and the brambles were not broken”. The Chief Constable added that the photographs which he had produced were taken at the time of the finding of the body.

Dr. W.C.P. Barrett, the Police Surgeon, said he saw the body at the spot where it was found. “I have since made a post mortem examination”, added the doctor, “and I found the nose flattened and exuding blood. There was a long bruise measuring four inches on the inner side of the left arm. There were two bruises on the chest. There were multiple bramble scratches on the lower limbs, these being more on the front than the back, but there were quite a few on the back. There was a deep indentation right round the whole of the neck”.

The Coroner: Would you say the bramble scratches and bruises were ante-mortem?

Witness: Definitely.

Continuing, Dr. Barrett said death was due to strangulation caused by pressure on the main arteries to the head.

The Coroner: How long do you think deceased had been dead?

Dr. Barrett: Two days or under.

The Coroner: Not longer?

Witness: No, there was no sign of putrefaction.

The Coroner: Considerable pressure would be necessary to stop the flow of blood, I suppose?

Witness: No, I tried last night in bed and was surprised how little pressure was needed to make you feel faint. It was surprising.

Arthur Charles Spiers, 29, Sidney Street, Bexhill-on-Sea, who stated he was 27 and a milk roundsman, said he was formerly in the Army and stationed at Shorncliffe Camp. He said that he became acquainted with the deceased and knew her as Phyllis Minter. They were subsequently married at the Folkestone Registry Office on April 11th, 1932. On January 25th, 1933, his wife gave birth to a daughter, who was now in his custody. He returned to Bexhill after the marriage and got work there. On April 13th, 1934, his wife left him, leaving the baby. They had quarrelled before as a result of a letter she had received. Witness said they had tried to patch up the quarrel once or twice.

The Coroner: When did you last see her alive?

Witness: Three years and ten months ago at Hastings.

The Coroner: You have never seen her since?

Witness: No, sir.

The Coroner: In November last you applied for a poor person’s divorce? – Yes.

Did you know where she was living? – No.

A solicitor found it out for you? – That is so.

The Coroner: Your application for divorce was based on desertion?

The husband: That's right, sir.

The Coroner: How old was she when you married her?

The husband: Sixteen years and five months.

Witness said he visited the Folkestone mortuary on Friday afternoon and he there identified the body as that of his wife.

The Coroner: Do you know whether she followed any occupation after leaving you?

Witness: I could not tell you.

At this stage the inquest was adjourned.

The Chief Constable said he would like an adjournment for at least a month.

Adjourning the inquest until July 8th at 2.30 p.m., the Coroner said the police had many enquiries to make and he was afraid the jury would have to come again.

Local News.

Sir Bernard Spilsbury, the eminent pathologist, was called in by the Chief Constable of Folkestone (Mr. A.S. Beesley) this week to assist in the investigations into the death of Mrs. Phyllis Spiers, the 22 year old Folkestone woman who was found strangled between Caesar’s Camp and Sugar Loaf Hill on Thursday last week. The inquest on the dead woman was opened at the Town Hall, Folkestone, on Monday afternoon, and after three witnesses had been called, including the husband of the deceased, the enquiry was adjourned until Friday, July 8th.

The Folkestone Police, assisted by Scotland Yard officers, have continued their enquiries, working day and night during the past week, and a large number of clues have been followed up and many persons questioned.

The steps taken by the police to trace the movements of the dead woman during the last 48 hours of her life have included a door-to-door call at every house in certain districts of the town, ten plain clothes officers under Inspector Haestie having carried out this task.

A start was made at Cheriton and Morehall on Monday, followed by a comb out in the Foord district.
The officers have shown a photograph of Mrs. Spiers to householders in the hope of obtaining information which may give them an important clue.

During the weekend a young soldier in the 1st Royal Berkshire Regiment, who had moved to Aldershot from Shorncliffe earlier in the week, was among those questioned at police headquarters by the Chief Constable and Chief Inspector W. Parker, of Scotland Yard. The soldier afterwards returned to Aldershot to rejoin other members of his unit who had gone there to prepare for the Aldershot tattoo.

A report appeared on Saturday that an unclothed man had chased two young Folkestone women on the hills near the spot where Mrs. Spiers’s body was found and there was a suggestion that there might be some link with the crime, but the Chief Constable informed the Folkestone Herald that there was no truth in the report.

The exact place where the woman had been strangled has been established; it was stated to be not more than 30 feet from the spot where the body was found concealed by undergrowth. Further, the opinion was was formed that the woman had met her death probably between noon and 3 p.m. on Wednesday of last week. Statements had been made that between Monday and Wednesday Mrs. Spiers had been seen in the town, one witness placing the time as late as 11.50 a.m. on Wednesday.

Mrs. M. Wright, living in the Black Bull district, also gave valuable information to the police, for she was able to show where Mrs. Soiers had spent the previous weekend. Mrs. Wright stated that the woman had called at her house on the Saturday morning and engaged a room. She described herself as a waitress and gave her name as Miss Phyllis Minter, stating that she had just arrived from Tooting. She said that she had come to take a job in the town. Before leaving the house on Monday morning about 10.30 the woman arranged to meet Mrs. Wright in the evening to go with her to a cinema, but that appointment was not kept.

By Sunday evening the Chief Constable stated that statements had been taken from between 40 and 50 persons, and the work of questioning was continued on the subsequent days.

Late on Saturday night a report was received that a man was detained at Sandwich after making a statement confessing to the crime.

The Chief Constable and Chief Inspector Parker immediately went to Sandwich, but after questioning the man they were satisfied that he knew nothing of the murder. The man, who had been stopped by a police constable on his beat, had said that he had come from Folkestone and was responsible for the crime.

Another possible link was the disappearance of an old motor cycle combination from a lock-up garage in the town. Messages were flashed to all police forces asking for news of this machine, which had been stolen from the garage between Tuesday night and early Wednesday afternoon of last week.

No line of enquiry has been overlooked by the police and in an effort to establish where Mrs. Spiers ate a few hours before she met her death calls were made at cafes and restaurants.

Sir Bernard Spilsbury was called in by the Chief Constable on Wednesday, and he arrived at Folkestone later. Sir Bernard went to the mortuary at the Cheriton Road cemetery where he carried out a post-mortem examination on the dead woman. During the examination, part of which was carried out during a violent thunderstorm, the Chief Constable and Chief Inspector Parker were present. Later the eminent pathologist returned to London. A large number of exhibits were also sent to Dr. Roche Lynch, the Home Office expert, on Thursday.

Last night the Chief Constable stated that the line of enquiry had been considerably narrowed down and was more pronounced.

With reference to his appeal the previous week for information as to where Mrs. Spiers slept on the Monday and Tuesday, Mr. Beesley said a number of people had made statements, but none as to where she had dept. Either this information is being withheld, or Mrs. Spiers slept out on these two nights, possibly in one of the huts which are being erected on the Kent Agricultural Show ground at the back of the golf links.

The funeral of Mrs. Spiers took place quietly on Thursday morning at the Folkestone Cemetery at Hawkinge. The Vicar of Folkestone (Rev. Canon Hyla Holden) officiated. Only near relatives of the deceased attended. Wreaths were received as follows: With deepest sympathy, from your heartbroken Arthur; with deepest sympathy, “Mum”; in fond remembrance of Phyllis, from Aunt Rose, Dorothy and Iris; in loving memory, from all at Bexhill; with sincere sympathy, from her pals at the Alexandra Hotel; with sincere sympathy, Mr. and Mrs. J. Mockridge and Johnny.

The Chief Constable's Appeal.

Do you know where Mrs. Spiers stayed on Monday and Tuesday nights of last week? If you can help, communicate at once with the police.

The Chief Constable of Folkestone on Thursday evening said “It is of the utmost importance that anyone who can tell us where the dead woman stayed on the Monday or Tuesday nights before her death should communicate with me without waiting to be called upon”.

 

Folkestone Express 11 June 1938.

Local News.

The murder of Mrs. Phyllis May Spiers, aged 22, a Folkestone woman living apart from her husband, is still unsolved, but the police are not relaxing in their efforts to find the person responsible for her death by strangulation on Wednesday, May 25th.

It will be remembered that her dead body was found not far from Holy Well at the foot of Caesar's Camp on the evening of Thursday, May 26th, and since then the police have prosecuted their enquiries unceasingly and vigorously.

Mr. A.S. Beesley, the Chief Constable, from the time the dead woman was found, took control immediately of the case, and Chief Inspector Parker and Det. Sergt. Scarsdon from Scotland Yard arrived the following day, and have had a big share of the investigations which have been carried on since it was evident that Mrs. Spiers had been murdered.

The appeal made by the Chief Constable last week for anyone who could give information concerning the dead woman resulted in a number of people coming forward, and some of the details which they supplied were undoubtedly of assistance to the officers engaged in the case. Chief Inspector Parker and the C.I.D. staff of the Folkestone Police Force working under him have interviewed quite a number of people every day. On Tuesday Chief Inspector Parker visited Scotland Yard in order to report progress to headquarters there, and he also saw Dr. Roche Lynch, the Home Office expert, with whom he conferred as to the result of his analysis of certain exhibits forwarded to him last week.

Mr. A.S. Beesley, the Chief Constable, has issued the following appeal to people to assist the Police: At about 6.10 p.m. on 26th May, 1938, a girl known as Phyllis Spiers, alias Butcher, Osborn and Wall, aged 22 years, 5ft. 5ins., eyes blue, hair bleached, medium build; Dress: full length belted blue overcoat, green frock, blue leather shoes, no hat or stockings, was found murdered at a spot known as Caesar’s Camp, Hill Road, Folkestone. It is earnestly desired to trace a woman who was in her company shortly before 12 noon on Wednesday, 25th May, 1938, at Woolworth’s Stores, Sandgate Road, Folkestone. The woman is known to have purchased a packet of grease-proof paper. It is of the utmost importance that this woman should communicate with the Chief Constable, the Town Hall, Folkestone, or with any Police Station at the earliest possible moment.

It is clear that the movements of the dead woman prior to noon on the day she met her death should be known as fully as possible, and if it is possible for any person to shed any light upon them it is their duty to get into communications with the police at once. Another direction in which great assistance can be rendered to the police is in supplying any information regarding Mrs. Spiers' whereabouts on the Monday and Tuesday nights before the day on which she was murdered. That she was in Folkestone on those two nights is known, and it is hoped that information as to where she slept then will be forthcoming.

The police, it is thought, have now decided that the theft of the Harley Davidson motorcycle from a Folkestone garage, and which they asked the police in all parts of the country to assist them tracing, had no connection with the crime.

The appeal of the Chief Constable published on Wednesday resulted in some people coming forward, as a result of which a few fresh facts came to the knowledge of the police.

 

Folkestone Herald 11 June 1938.

Local News.

During the week the Chief Constable (Mr A.S. Beesley) made a further appeal in connection with the murder of Mrs. Phyllis Spiers, who was found strangled with her own green scarf near Caesar’s Camp on Thursday, May 26th.

The police announced that it was important that they should get into touch with a woman who was seen in Mrs. Spiers’s company in Woolworth’s Stores, Sandgate Road, Folkestone, on Wednesday, May 25th, probably only a few hours before she met her death.

The statement as issued by the Chief Constable was as follows: At about 6.10 p.m. on May 26th, 1938, a girl known as Phyllis Spiers, alias Butcher, Osborn and Wall, aged 22 years, 5 feet 5 inches, eyes blue, hair bleached, medium build; dressed in full length belted blue overcoat, green frock and blue leather shoes, no hat or stockings, was found murdered at a spot known as Caesar’s Camp, Hill Road, Folkestone.

It is earnestly desired to trace a woman who was in her company shortly before 12 noon on Wednesday, May 25th, 1938, at Woolworth’s Stores, Sandgate Road, Folkestone. The woman is known to have purchased a packet of greaseproof paper. It is of the utmost importance that this woman should communicate with the Chief Constable, the Town Hall, Folkestone, or any police .station at the earliest possible moment.

This statement was issued on Tuesday night following a visit to London by Chief Inspector W. Parker, of Scotland Yard, who with Det. Sergt. Skarsdon, also of Scotland Yard, are assisting the Folkestone police in their enquiries. Inspector Parker had a consultation in London with Dr. Roche Lynch, the Home Office analyst, to whom a number of exhibits had been forwarded the week before for examination. During the past week statements have been taken from further people at Folkestone police headquarters and every line of enquiry has been carefully followed up.

Wednesday’s appeal brought to the Police Station several persons who were able to give information to the police, but where the dead woman slept on the Monday and Tuesday nights before her death still remains a mystery.

The police regard every piece of information as useful and any assistance that can be given should be offered without delay.

 

Folkestone Express 18 June 1938.

Local News.

The Folkestone Police, assisted by Chief Inspector Parker and Det. Sergt. Scarsdon, of Scotland Yard, are actively pursuing enquiries concerning the murder of Mrs. Phyllis May Spiers, aged 22, the Folkestone woman who was found strangled at the foot of Caesar's Camp on the evening of May 26th. They have interviewed a number of people who came forward as a result of the appeal made by Mr. A.S. Beesley, the Chief Constable, last week, and several fresh facts regarding the mystery have come to light.

 

Folkestone Herald 18 June 1938.

Local News.

Following a further week of investigations, Chief Inspector W. Parker and Detective Sergeant Skarsdon, of Scotland Yard, who have been working on the Folkestone strangled woman case with the Folkestone Police, visited Scotland Yard on Thursday. After consultations there, the Yard officers returned to Folkestone last night. During their visit to London they were also in conference with Dr. Roche Lynch, the Home Office analyst.

The Folkestone Herald understands that the police enquiries have not yet been completed in connection with the death of Mrs. Phyllis Spiers.

During the week further persons have made statements and have been questioned at the Folkestone Police headquarters by the Chief Constable (Mr. A.S. Beesley) and other officers assisting him.

 

Folkestone Express 25 June 1938.

Local News.

The Folkestone Police, with the assistance of Chief Inspector Parker and Det. Sergt. Scardon, of Scotland Yard, are still proceeding with their enquiries concerning the murder of Mrs. Phyllis May Spiers, the 22 year old Folkestone married woman found strangled on May 26th near Caesar's Camp.

On Friday in last week Chief Inspector Parker and Det. Sergt. Scardon were at Scotland Yard, where they were in consultation with Dr. Roche Lynch, the Home Office expert, and other officers at the Yard. Returning to Folkestone, they have since been actively engaged on the case, and no efforts are being spared by the Chief Constable (Mr. A.S. Beesley), the Scotland Yard officers, and the C.I.D. staff of the Folkestone Police to solve the mystery of Mrs. Spiers' death.

 

Folkestone Herald 25 June 1938.

Local News.

After continuing their investigations during the past week into the death of Mrs. Phyllis Spiers, the 22 year old Folkestone woman, who was found strangled near Caesar’s Camp on Thursday, May 26th last, the two Scotland Yard officers who were called in the day after the discovery of the crime again visited London on Thursday.

There is good reason to believe that the police enquiries will be brought to a conclusion within the next few days.

 

Folkestone Express 2 July 1938.

Local News.

On Saturday, just over a month after the body of Mrs. Phyllis May Spiers, aged 22, a Folkestone woman, had been found at the foot of Caesar’s Camp, to the north of Folkestone, Mr. A. S. Beesley, the Chief Constable, charged a Folkestone labourer, William Whiting, aged 38, giving as his address a lodging-house in Dover Street, with the wilful murder of the woman.

The dead woman was found amongst some bushes, and she had a green scarf tied round her neck, on the evening of May 26th. Since that day the Chief Constable, Chief Inspector Parker, and Det.Sergt. Skardon, of Scotland Yard, and the Folkestone Police, have been carrying out Investigations concerning the woman’s death. The accused man is a widower, and has three children. He is particularly well known in the east area of Folkestone. The Chief Constable saw him in his office on Saturday and charged him. Later he was again charged in the Police Station and then placed in the cells.

Whiting was placed in the dock at the Police Court on Monday. He was charged that on or about 23rd May of this year at Folkestone he feloniously and with malice aforethought wilfully murdered Phyllis May Spiers.

The Court was crowded to its utmost extent, and the doors had to be closed, many people being unable to gain admission.

The magistrates were Councillor R.G. Wood, Alderman G. Spurgen, Mr. L.G.A. Collins, Judge H. Terrell, K.C., Mrs. A.M. Saunders and Alderman J.W. Stainer.

At the Court officials’ table, in addition to the Clerk (Mr. C. Rootes) and the Chief Constable (Mr. A.S. Beesley), there were also seated Chief Inspector Parker and Det.-Sergt. Skardon, of Scotland Yard, who had been conducting investigations into the case.

The Chief Constable said it was a case in which, as the magistrates were aware, the assistance of the Director of Public Prosecutions was to be sought, therefore that morning he proposed only to give evidence of arrest, and then ask for a remand until Tuesday. It was a formal remand, because he was sure that the Director would not be ready by that time. They would need, he was afraid, a further remand.

The Magistrates’ Clerk (Mr. C. Rootes): You have, of course, made many enquiries?

The Chief Constable: There are a very large number of witnesses to be called before you.

The Chief Constable, giving evidence, said at 12.34 p.m. on June 25th he saw the prisoner in his office. He said to him “You know who I am? I am the Chief Constable of Folkestone”. Whiting replied “Yes, sir”. Proceeding, he said: “I said ‘William Whiting, I am going to arrest and formally charge you with the murder of Phyllis May Spiers on or about Monday, 23rd May, 1938, and you will be taken before the Court on that charge. I must caution you that you need not say anything unless you wish, but whatever you say will be taken down in writing and may be given in evidence. Have you anything to say?’ Whiting replied 'I do not wish to say anything. I am not guilty’”. At 1.20 p.m. the same day, continued Mr. Beesley, Whiting was formally charged by the Station officer, P.S. Butcher, with the offence. He was cautioned, and replied “I have nothing to say”. Whiting was then searched and taken to the cells.

The Clerk: Nothing was found upon him to which you wish to refer?

The Chief Constable: No.

Whiting said he did not wish to ask the Chief Constable any questions.

The Chairman said they would appoint somebody to conduct Whiting’s defence.

The Clerk: A solicitor will be assigned to conduct your defence.

The Chairman (to Whiting): You are remanded in custody until tomorrow week (Tuesday).

The prisoner was then hurried out of the dock, and without looking at the people in the Court Whiting proceeded to the Police Station below.

 

Folkestone Herald 2 July 1938.

Local News.

William Whiting, 38, a labourer, of Dover Street, Folkestone, was detained and charged on Saturday with the murder of Mrs. Phyllis May Spiers, 22 year old Folkestone woman, who was found dead in a coppice near the foot of Caesar’s Camp, Folkestone, on the evening of Thursday, May 26th. A green scarf was tied tightly round the dead woman’s neck and at the inquest death was stated to have been caused by strangulation. Whiting was brought before the Magistrates on Monday morning and after evidence of arrest had been given he was remanded until next Tuesday.

The Magistrates: Councillor R.G. Wood presided and there were also sitting Alderman G. Spurgen, Mr. L.G.A. Collins, Alderman J.W. Stainer, Mrs. R.L.T. Saunders and Judge H. Terrell, K.C.

The charge read over to Whiting was that “on or about 23rd May of this year at Folkestone feloniously with malice aforethought he murdered Phyllis May Spiers”. Chief Inspector W. Parker and Det. Sergt. Skardon, of Scotland Yard, who had assisted the local police with the enquiries since the day following the finding of Mrs. Spiers’s body, were both present in court. A large crowd which had gathered outside rushed into the court room when the public part of the court was opened. Many were unable to gain admittance.

The Chief Constable of Folkestone (Mr. A.S. Beesley) said, as the Magistrates were aware, the assistance of the Director of Public Prosecutions would have to be sought and therefore he only proposed to offer evidence of arrest that morning and then ask for a remand until Tuesday of next week. It would be a formal remand because he was quite sure the Director of Public Prosecutions would not be ready by that time to proceed with the case.

The Clerk (Mr. C. Rootes): You have made many enquiries and taken many statements?

The Chief Constable: Yes, and there are a large number of witnesses to be called.

The Chief Constable then gave evidence. He said that on Saturday he saw Whiting in his office and said to him “You know who I am; I am the Chief Constable of Folkestone”. Whiting replied “Yes, sir”. He then said: “William Whiting, I am going to arrest and formally charge you with the murder of Phyllis May Spiers on or about Monday, 23rd May, 1938, and you will be taken before the Court on that charge. I must caution you that you need not say anything unless you wish, but whatever you say will be taken down in writing and may be given in evidence. Have you anything to say?” Witness said Whiting replied “I do not wish to say anything. I am not guilty”. Later Whiting was formally charged in his presence by the station sergeant and he then replied “I have nothing to say”. He was then searched in witness’s presence and taken to the cells.

The Clerk: Was anything found on him to which you wish to refer? – No.

Whiting said he had no questions to put to the Chief Constable.

Remanding Whiting until Tuesday of next week, the Chairman said they would appoint somebody to defend him.

The Clerk (to Whiting): A solicitor will be assigned to conduct your defence.

Whiting was then taken below.

 

Folkestone Express 9 July 1938.

Local News.

When William Whiting (38), a labours, of Dover Street, Folkestone. charged with the wilful murder of Mrs. Phyllis May Spiers, appeared before the Folkestone magistrates on Tuesday, he was represented by Mr. Lloyd Bunco, a Folkestone solicitor. Whiting had been remanded eight days before, and the short time he was before the magistrates on Tuesday was taken up with formalities. He was ultimately remanded in custody until next Monday, when it is possible that the case might be opened and some evidence taken.

The public portion of the Court was crowded, many people having waited since 9 a.m. in the rain. There was a large crowd outside the Town Hall half- an-hour before the case was due to commence. One of the women who occupied leading places in the queue fainted, and was taken into the Town Hall, where she received attention.

The Magistrates were Courcillor R.G. Wood, Alderman G. Spurgen, Mr. L.G. . Collins, Mrs. Saunders and Alderman J.W. Stainer.

The Chief Constable (Mr. A.S. Beesley) said he was asking for another remand. He understood the Director of Public Prosecutions would be ready on Wednesday in next week.

The Magistrates’ Clerk (Mr. C. Rootes) said he did not think that was the most convenient day. He thought it would be bettor perhaps to remand the prisoner until Tuesday, unless the Director could commence on Monday. Continuing, he said he thought it would be better perhaps to commence the case the week commencing 18th July, and then it could be taken from day to day if so desired. They had to consider the justices available - the justices who started the case had to be available.

The Chairman, in reply to a query by Mr. Bunce, said the justices had decided that counsel should defend the prisoner.

The Chairman said Whiting would be.

The Chairman, in reply to a query by Mr. Bunce, said the Justices had decided that counsel should defend the prisoner.

The Chairman said Whiting would be remanded until Monday.

Whiting: I have an application to make. Can I have my letters and photos in possession of the police?

The Clerk: I do not think the magistrates have any power over that.

The Chief Constable said they were personal to Whiting, and he thought he would have no difficulty in complying with the request.

 

Folkestone Herald 9 July 1938.

Local News.

The inquest of Mrs. Phyllis May Spiers, who was found dead near Caesar’s Camp, Folkestone, on May 26th with a green scarf tied tightly round her neck, was further adjourned at the resumed inquest at the Town Hall, Folkestone, yesterday.

The Coroner (Mr. G. W. Haines) told the jury that under section 20 of the Coroners' Amendment Act, 1927, where a person was charged with murder they had to adjourn the inquest until the completion of the criminal proceedings. He therefore proposed further to adjourn the inquest until October 31st. It might be that the jury might not have to come again. The Coroner mentioned that a man had been charged before the police court with murder. Mr. Lloyd Bunce, solicitor, was present during the brief proceedings.

Local News.

William Whiting, 38, a labourer, of Dover Street, Folkestone, was again remanded, when he appeared ai the Folkestone Police Court on Tuesday charged with the murder, on or about May 23rd last, of Phyllis May Spiers. Mrs. Spiers, a 22 year old Folkestone woman, was found dead at the foot of the hills near Caesar’s Camp on the evening of May 26th.

Councillor R.G. Wood again presided on the Bench, and sitting with him were Alderman G. Spurgen, Mr. L.G.A. Collins, Alderman J.W. Stainer and Mrs. R.L.T. Saunders.

When the case was called Whiting did not appear immediately from the cells and the Clerk (Mr. C. Rootes) said prisoner was now represented by Mr. Lloyd Bunce and no doubt the delay was caused by Mr. Bunce interviewing him.
After Whiting had been brought into the court, the Chief Constable (Mr. A.S. Beesley) said as he told the Magistrates last week be would ask for a further remand that day. He understood that the Director of Public Prosecutions would be ready by Wednesday of next week to proceed with the case.

The Clerk said he did not think that was the most convenient date for the Magistrates.

The Chief Constable said it might be possible to start the case on the Tuesday and then remand for a further week.

The Clerk: To the week beginning July 18th and then take the case during the week from day to day. The Clerk added that they had to consider the question of the Justices being available.

Mr. Bunce said he gathered the Justices were agreeable to Whiting being represented by counsel in that court.

The Chairman said they had given a certificate to that effect.

Whiting was then remanded until Monday next.

Prisoner asked if he could have his letters and photos which were in the possession of the police.

The Clerk: I am afraid that is not a matter for the Justices to decide.

The Chief Constable said they were personal and he did not think he would have any difficulty in complying with the request.

 

Folkestone Express 16 July 1938.

Local News.

When the case against William Whiting, aged 38, a labourer, of Dover Street, charged with the wilful murder on or about May 23rd of Mrs. Phyllis May Spiers, a Folkestone, woman, was opened the Folkestone Police Court on Monday, Mr. B.H. Waddy prosecuting on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions, said “The motive, to put it in one word, was revenge”. Mrs. Spiers was found strangled at the foot of Caesar’s Camp on the 26th May, her body being almost completely covered by her coat.

Whiting had been twice formally remanded, and the whole of Monday was occupied in hearing Mr. Waddy’s opening, and five witnesses, two of whom were Sir Bernard Spilsbury and Dr. Roche Lynch. The Magistrates, after a sitting of close upon five hours, again remanded Whiting until Monday next when the case will be continued on the following days until all the evidence is heard.

There was a large number of exhibits in connection with the case, and they included framed portions of a tree and a rough fence which had attached to it barbed wire. The large framed exhibit was placed on the side of the magisterial bench.

The Magistrates were Mr. R.G. Wood, Alderman G. Spurgen, Mr. L.G.A. Collins, Alderman J.W. Stainer and Mrs. A.M. Saunders.

Mr. B. H. Waddy and Mr. F. Donal-Barry, barristers, appeared to prosecute on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions, and Mr. J. Stuart Daniel (instructed by Mr. Lloyd Bunce) represented Whiting. Seated at the table with the officials were Chief Inspector Parker, and Det. Sergt. Skardon, of Scotland Yard, who have been engaged with the Chief Constable (Mr. A.S. Beesley) and the Folkestone Police in the inquiries in connection with the case.

There was another large attendance of the public in the Court, but not so large as on Whiting’s two previous appearances.

Whiting was provided with a chair in the dock, but at first he said he did not require it, and stood during the opening statement by the prosecuting counsel and the hearing of the earlier evidence

Mr. Waddy said he was instructed to prosecute. Before he opened the facts of the case he wanted to say he had in Court two gentlemen who would be witnesses, Chief Inspector Parker and Det. Sergt. Skardon. Chief Inspector Parker was in charge of the case, and it was absolutely necessary that he should be there to instruct him. With regard to Det. Sergt. Skardon he would be most useful to him in handling and producing the numerous exhibits he would have to put in. He suggested that he should remain in Court except when Chief Inspector Parker was giving evidence. No other witnesses were in Court.

Mr. Stuart Daniel said he did not object to that.

Mr. Waddy said on Thursday, the 26th May, somewhere about six o'clock in the afternoon, a Folkestone youth was birds’ nesting in a coppice at the foot of Castle Hill near Caesar’s Camp. Hidden in the undergrowth in that coppice he found the dead body of Phyllis May Spiers. He would call before them a body of medical evidence and other witnesses, who would tell them what was the condition and what was found in the immediate locality, and the evidence would, he thought, lead them to the conclusion that this girl met her death on May 23rd, which was a Monday, and that she met her death in this wav. She was rendered unconscious by blows in the fact and she was strangled bv hands, manual strangulation, that after her death there was put round her throat and tied tightly a green scarf with white spots on it twice round her neck, pulled tight and knotted. There were one or two possible reasons for tying that green scarf round the girl’s throat. One possibly was that the person who did it desired to make assurance doubly sure and make quite sure she died. The other possibility, which was one which would have to be considered, was that that scarf was put round her throat in the hopes that it might lead to the belief that the girl committed suicide by tying it round her throat herself. If the girl’s death, which in the view of the prosecution, took place in a little clearing in the coppice, which was visible up the hill, her body was dragged by the feet for some thirty feet or ten yards to the place where it was ultimately found. It was dragged down hill; it is quite steep, and through a barrier or an obstruction which existed between the place between the little clearing where, in the view of the prosecution, she died and the place where the body was found, that obstruction was a very rough obstruction and consisted of dead branches which were roughly fastened to a leaning post by means of barbed wire. Eventually it would appear that it was probably there to guard a bog which was at the foot of the hill to which cattle might possibly get. A great deal of importance might attach to that obstruction. That barrier had a gap in it through which it was possible for anyone to go. The obstruction was by the side of the side of the Court, and the Magistrates would see it had been framed. “You will see”,-Mr. Waddy proceeded, “there is a stout post leaning to the left and there are a number of branches, and you can see upon them some pieces of rusted barbed wire. As you look at that you will imagine that the ground you are on is a little higher and that from the other side it goes down hill. Again, the case for the prosecution is that the body of this girl was dragged by the murderer feet first through the gap, the murderer coming backwards on hands and knees. There will be given in evidence, certain evidence of a comb, certain hairs, and so on, but what is of great importance as far as that gap is concerned is that there is a piece of barbed wire to the right-hand side, which, if you were coming through the gap backwards on your hands and knees, would be about where your left shoulder would come. We are right in thinking that, if the murderer dragged the body through on his hands and knees there would be every likelihood that the point of that barbed wire would probably catch in the clothing which covered his left shoulder. Some ten yards below that point where the body was found, and opposite the body, was the girl’s handbag. In the girl’s handbag was a torn piece of a black and white scarf, quite different to the scarf knotted round her neck. The rest of that scarf had vanished. That piece of scarf was a portion of the scarf which we shall prove was given to her by a man friend, and she was wearing it on the morning she met her death. It would appear probable after her death her assailant tied her own scarf round her neck and in pulling it tight possibly ripped the end off. He then probably put the green scarf round her neck and put her own scarf in her handbag. Having put it in position he was minded to get rid of the torn scarf and took it out of the handbag again, but left behind the little bit, which he may not have noticed. Another feature of the handbag was that there was riot found in it a little green purse which, it would be proved to the magistrates, was owned and carried by her. It would appear probable the assailant, in taking out the major portion of the torn scarf, took out the green purse as well, and might have put them in his pocket”. Those were the deductions that he (Mr. Waddy) thought might be drawn from the evidence which would be called before them.

As to what was found at the site of the murder one had got to see in what way that evidence pointed to the accused as being the man who commuted the murder. “The first pointer”, he continued, “which points to the accused as having committed the murder is the evidence that on the afternoon of May 23rd he walked with this girl from somewhere in the centre of the town up over the golf links and right across it. There is a road from the right leading to the scene of the crime. So far I am in a position to say that the accused has made a statement in which his own story is that on the afternoon of May 23rd he walked with this girl over the golf course.The next pointer is that on May 31st they came into possession of everything he had on him. He was wearing a jacket. That jacket just over the left shoulder has a right angle tear, torn upwards. The evidence will be that the tear is exactly the type of tear that would he made by the barbed wire in that obstruction if he were going through the obstruction backwards. A police officer went through that gap later, and his jacket was torn in exactly the same spot. In one of the accused’s jacket pockets there were certain hairs, and I am calling evidence to show that those hairs were exactly the same as those which came from the head of the dead girl. In addition to a comb there was found in his possession a lady’s little green zip-fastener purse which was similar to one the dead girl carried in her bag. That is really another pointer. The third pointer which is perhaps more important than any of the others is the scarf which was tied round the girl’s neck. It is a very distinctive scarf. It is a green one with white spots upon it. According to what the prisoner told the police he has never had one like it and that it is not his”.

He (Mr. Waddy) thought he might call before them a host of witnesses of every kind who would tell them that they had seen Whiting wearing this green scarf with the white spots, and that he was wearing it as recently as May 20th. If that scarf is his, how came it tied tightly round the neck of the dead girl? In public houses the accused, in unguarded moments, had made remarks which were only consistent with an admission that he had strangled a blonde girl, and that the dead girl was a girl who had had her hair bleached. They would hear not one, hut several witnesses, who would speak to similar remarks. As the Bench were aware, there was no burden upon the Crown to prove motive for a crime like this, but, of course, if the Crown is in possession of evidence which points to a motive for such a crime the Crown lays such evidence before the Court. In this case they are in possession of evidence which would be laid before the Court pointing to the motive for this man murdering this girl. The motive, in a word, is revenge. Whiting knew and was for some time associated with a young woman named Rose Woodbridge. They lived together for a period, and parted shortly before Christmas last. She left him. There could be no doubt that he was not only, and was still, infatuated with Rose Woodbridge, but his mind was filled with an obsession of resentment against the person who came between him and Rose Woodbridge and caused that separation. Evidence will be called before the Court to show what his feelings were with regard to Rose Woodbridge arid what his feelings were towards the person, whoever it might have been, who caused him to lose Rose Woodbridge”. There would also be evidence before them, both from witnesses, and again on his own statement, to show that he firmly believed that Phyllis May Spiers, the girl who was murdered, was the person who had caused his separation from Rose Woodbridge.“The prosecution say”, Mr. Wadcly, continuing, said “that here is a man who hated Phyllis for what she had done, or what he thought she had done, in parting him from the woman with whom he was in love”. The only other matter he had to mention was that the accused was arrested on June 26th, and that when he was arrested and charged he said “I am not guilty”.

Arthur Charles Spiers, 29, Sidney Street, Bexhill-on-Sea, a milk roundsman, said he was shown the dead body of a woman at the mortuary. That woman was his wife, Mrs. Phyllis May Spiers, aged 22 years. His wife was the woman on the left of the photograph produced. He also recognised his wife in the second and third photographs produced. He was married to his wife on the 11th April, 1932. Her name then was Phyllis May Minter. They lived together for some time, parting on the 13th April, 1934. He last saw her alive about four years ago at Hastings, after she had left him. He had recently commenced divorce proceedings against her.

Kenneth George Andrews, 23, Ethelbert Road. Folkestone, a roundsman said on Thursday, 26th May, after he had finished work he went up to Caesar’s Camp and into a coppice at the foot of the hill to get birds’ eggs. He started hunting for eggs and while there he saw something that looked like a bundle. He thought that that was approximately about six o’clock in the evening. He looked at the bundle and saw that it was a woman laying there, covered over with what looked like a dark green coat. He could just see the hair and part of the naked leg sticking out. He shouted, thinking there might be someone asleep, and touched the bundle with a stick. He then realised that it was riot a sleeping person. He went, away from the place and a little later spoke to a police officer. Some little time after tie was taken in a car back to the place with Chief Inspector Hollands and Det. Con. Bates and took them to the spot. The body was in the same position.

Chief Inspector Hollands said at about 6.20 p.m. on the 26th May he received a telephone message and in consequence went with the last witness and Det. Con. Bates to the foot of the hills between Caesar’s Camp and Sugar Loaf Hill. The lad took them to a spot where a body was lying. The first photograph in the book showed a view of the coppice looking towards Sugar Loaf Hill. The second showed a view of the coppice from the hill above. About the centre of the picture there was a clearing. He found the body near the foot of a big tree shown in the picture. Picture No 12 in the book showed the body as he first saw it. The last photograph in the book showed where the body was found after it ha been removed. The branches-of trees ear the spot to some extent overhung, but did not completely cover it overhead. Later on the same evening the coat was removed from the body and photograph No. 13 showed the position of the body with the coat off. The next photograph showed the appearance of the body from the other side after the coat had been removed. Photograph 14 also showed a lady’s handbag. When he first went there he lifted the coat from off the face and smelt putrifaction. She was quite cold, her arms were stiff, slightly bent, her fingers were half clenched; nothing in the hands and they were stiff. The legs were covered in scratches going in all directions, and these were fresh and unhealed. He noticed her hair was drawn out straight from beyond the head. Her head was pointing towards the field and was slightly downhill. Her face was quite a normal colour and her tongue was slightly protruding between her teeth. Blood issued from the left nostril when he moved her head. The coat that was over the body was sodden wet. There was heavy rain on Wednesday, 25th, and on Tuesday it rained a little between 1.30 and 2.30 p.m. It was fine in the morning on Wednesday, the rain being in the afternoon, and Monday was fine. He noticed that there was a little dirt splashed on the hands of the body, as though from heavy rain. The handbag showed rain, marks and the ground all round showed signs of heavy rain. Her frock was pulled up above the level of the breasts in front and right up to the shoulder blades at the back. Dry brumbies and leaves were in the clothing at the back and they were quite dry. She was wearing a pair of knickers, which were torn badly, and appeared to be a new pair. In all the clothing were brambles and leaves, which were also dry. He noticed the girl’s shoes, which were damp, but had no mud on them, and there was not any mud on her clothing. The body and clothing gave every appearance of the body having been dragged along by the feet while lying on the back. The ground underneath the body was dry when it was turned over. In the glade where she was lying there was no sign of a struggle and near where she was lying there was a rough footpath, rising sharply from her head towards Caesar’s Camp. The ground of the path was chalky and it was slightly damp. At the top of the footpath there was a barrier across it. The branches (produced) was the barrier. Round the neck of the body was a green spotted scarf (produced). The scarf was twisted round the neck twice and knotted as in the exhibit. The knot was on the right of the windpipe and was very tight indeed.

At this stage the Court adjourned for lunch.

Mr. Waddy, on resuming, said he wished to ask that Dr. Barrett, the Police Surgeon, should be present in Court when Sir Bernard Spilsbury and Dr. Roche Lynch gave evidence.

Mr. Stuart Daniel said he objected to that. Dr. Barrett made the first examination and it seemed that the opinion of the cause of death might have been changed since then.

The Chairman said the magistrates did not see why Dr. Barrett should not remain in Court.

Sir Bernard Henry Spilsbury. hon. pathologist to the Home Office, said that on the afternoon of Wednesday, 1st June, he made a post mortem examination at tie Folkestone mortuary on the body of a woman. She was a well nourished woman, about 5ft. 4½ins. in height. Death stiffening was absent. There was no lividity in the face or lips and no tiny haemmorhages on the eyes or the skin of the face. He saw the mark of the ligature which encircled the neck at the level of the larynx. It was pale and there was no injury of the skin beneath it. It was about one and a quarter inches broad in front, three quarters of an inch broad at the side and slightly more than an inch broad at the back. Sir Bernard Spilsbury then described a number of external bruises he found on the face, including the jaw. Along the left collar bone, immediately above the inner end of the right collar bone, on the outer side of the right upper arm, on the inner side of the same limb, on the inner side of the right forearm, on the front of the left shoulder, on the upper part of the front of the arm, on the outer side of the right hip and on the thigh.

There were many scratches in the skin, distributed widely, through the right hip and on both thighs and legs, and others on the back of the trunk up to the lower part of the shoulders. There were also scratches on the back of the right forearm, one on the front of the left forearm one across the knuckles of the left hand. In addition he also found the following bruises, which were not visible on the surface, but were visible on cutting through the skin. There was considerable area of bruising of the spine in the lower dorsal region and a bruise one inch in diameter at the same level and one and a half inches to the right. There was a bruise one inch in diameter to the right of the spine in the upper dorsal region. On internal examination there was a small bruise on the upper part of the back of the neck and another on the left side of the forehead. The skull and the brain, with its covering and blood vessels, were healthy and free from injury. On dissecting the neck there was bruising of the left sterno mastoid muscle at its lower end. There was also slight bruising of the corresponding muscle on the right side at the lower end and bruising of the left muscle higher up at the level of the lower jaw. There was a bruise at the upper side of the left main cartilage of the larynx and bruising on either side of that cartilage at the same level. There was slight bruising behind the larynx and there was bruising along the upper edge of the same cartilage which extended upwards. The bone was free from injury. The inner surface of the larynx and trachea was reddened. The tonsils and the glands in the upper part of the neck were very congested, and other organs in the body generally were congested but healthy, and the blood throughout the body was fluid and dark in colour. The mark of the ligature which he found was consistent with the scarf (produced) having been tied tightly round the neck. The deceased was a perfectly healthy woman. The general changes of death from asphyxia were present, namely, the congested organs and the dark fluid condition of the blood. The asphyxia was not produced by the scarf which was found tied tightly round the neck when the body was found.

Mr. Waddy: If it had been tied tightly round the neck during life what would have been the condition?

Sir Bernard Spilsbury: The face would have been very livid and there would have been tiny haemorrhages in the whites of the eyes and the skin of the face. The face must have been livid after death as long as the ligature remained in position.

What conclusion do you come to as to when the ligature was applied? - It was applied after death.

The bruising, he continued, on the left side at the back of the larynx indicated that death was due to strangulation by the hand. The absence of bruising and abrasions on the skin of the neck suggested that deceased had been rendered unconscious before she was strangled. If a woman was conscious while being strangled she would be likely to struggle violently. The number and distribution of the bruises over the body indicated that the deceased received a number of blows and some of these bruises, and especially those on the face, might have rendered her unconscious. Some of the smaller bruises on the arms might have been produced by forcible restraint and others on the back of the neck and front by her being pressed firmly on rough ground during the course of the struggle. The bruises were all recent and of the same age and were produced shortly before death.

Mr. Waddy: Will you speak as to the possibility of death having been produced by suicide?

Sir Bernard Spilsbury: It is quite out of the question. Proceeding, he said with regard to the scratches on the body they were consistent with the body having been dragged over and through brambles. Assuming that the body was found in a coppice on May 26th and which was not fully exposed to the sun and assuming that there was an odour of putrifaction when the body was found and that rigor mortis was passing off, it was a strong presumption that death occurred not less than three days before she was found. It would be consistent with her meeting her death on the afternoon of May 23rd.

Cross-examined by Mr. Stuart Daniel, Sir Bernard Spilsbury said the absence of putrifaction might mean that the woman had been dead anything short of three or four days. The death from the stopping of an artery would not account for all the signs he found.

Dr. G. Roche Lynch, official analyst to the Home Office, said that he received the jacket (produced) from Chief Inspector Parker and examined it. At the back of the garment, eight inches from the top seam and three inches from the left side seam, then was a tear. The two parts of the tear formed a right angle, the point of which was directed down and towards the right. The fabric of the garment had been torn and not cut. In his opinion, the tear had been produced by some rigid, round, sharp-pointed article perforating the fabric and whilst in that position the jacket had been moved obliquely downward and to the right, so that one part of the tear was directed upwards and the other to the left away from the point of entrance. The tear was in the cloth of the jacket only, the lining being undamaged. A tear of that type was almost invariably produced when such a garment was caught in barbed wire, but, of course, a similar sharp-pointed article, if firmly pressed, could cause similar damage. In the photograph (produced) of a man with a coat which was torn, the coat was torn in the same position as the enlarged photograph of the tear (produced). Looking at the point of the barbed wire in the lower part of the exhibit (produced), if a man went through the gap backwards the point of the barb could produce the tear which he found. He received from Chief Inspector Parker two tubes of semi-liquid material, which appeared to be the stomach contents, which, with the exception of small lumps of fat, showed almost complete digestion. Assuming that those stomach contents were taken from the deceased the condition of them would indicate that some hours had elapsed since the taking of the last meal. On the 8th July he received from Det. Sergt. Skardon a packet of a certain butter. The tow kinds of fat that were found in the stomach and the butter showed a general similarity. He had examined the green spotted scarf (produced) and observed from one end of the scarf signs of wear. At one end, in places, there appeared to be impressions in the fabric. There was a very slight sign of wear in the other side and three small holes. He saw the pair of braces (produced) and the marks on one end of the scarf could have been made by the teeth of the clip of the braces if the end of the scarf had been pushed in between the clip and the brace material. If a man wore the scarf round his neck the tails of the scarf would have reached to the clip of the braces. The marks could not have been caused by a second pair of braces (produced), which also belonged to the prisoner. He had received some hairs from Chief Inspector Parker. The hairs bearing certain numbers closely resembled the hairs in slide No. 124. He thought that they were probably from the same head. Two of the hairs came from the inside pocket of the jacket and closely resembled those in the slide, No. 124.

The Chairman announced that Whiting would be remanded until Monday.

 

Folkestone Herald 16 July 1938.

Local News.

The case against William Whiting, 38 years old Folkestone labourer, who is charged with the murder of Phyllis May Spiers, aged 22, of Folkestone, who was found dead at the foot of the hills near Caesar’s Camp on Thursday, May 26th, was opened by the Crown at the Folkestone Police Court on Monday.

Whiting was making his third appearance before the Magistrates, and after an all-day sitting the hearing was adjourned until next Monday, when further evidence will be taken.

Prosecuting for the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr. B. H. Waddy, in his opening, suggested revenge as a motive. Among the witnesses called last Monday were Sir Bernard Spilsbury and Dr. Roche Lynch.

Mr. B. H. Waddy prosecuted for the Director of Public Prosecutions with Mr. F. Donal-Barry, of the Director’s department, while Mr. J. Stuart Daniel, instructed by Mr. H. Lloyd Bunce, representing Whiting.

The case was heard by Councillor R.G. Wood (presiding), Alderman G. Spurgen, Mr. L.G.A. Collins, Alderman J.W. Stainer and Mrs. R.L.T. Saunders.

A large number of exhibits were in court. The public part of the court was again crowded, some of those present having waited over two hours to obtain admittance.

Opening the case, Mr. Waddy said he was instructed by the Director of Public Prosecutions to prosecute Whiting, who was charged with having murdered a young woman named Phyllis May Spiers on or about May 23rd last. At the present moment he had m court two gentlemen who would be witnesses, Chief Inspector Parker and Det. Sergt. Skardon. Chief Inspector Parker was in charge of the case and he thought it was absolutely necessary that he should be present in court. With regard to Det. Sergt. Skardon, he would be most useful to him (Mr. Waddy) in handling and producing numerous exhibits and he would suggest that he also remained in court.

Mr. Daniel said he did not object.

Mr. Waddy said on Thursday, May 26th, somewhere about 6 o’clock in the evening a Folkestone youth was birds’ nesting in a coppice at the foot of Castle Hill near Caesar’s Camp, when hidden in the undergrowth of the coppice he found the dead body of Phyllis May Spiers. “I shall call before you a body of medical evidence and other witnesses who will tell you what was the condition of that body”, continued Mr. Waddy, “and what was found in the immediate locality of the body. That evidence should, I think, lead you to this conclusion - that the girl met her death on May 23rd which was a Monday; that she met her death in this way - she was rendered unconscious by blows in the face and she was then strangled by hand, manual strangulation. Then, after her death, there was put round her throat and tied tightly a green scarf with white spots on it. It was put twice round her neck, pulled and knotted, but that was done after death. There are one or two possible reasons for tying the green scarf round the girl’s throat. One possibility is that the person who did it desired to make assurance doubly sure and make sure that she died. The other possibility, one which will have to be considered, is that it was put round her throat in the hope that it might lead to the belief that the girl had committed suicide by tying it round her throat herself”. Mr. Waddy, continuing, said after the girl’s death, which, in the view of the prosecution, took place in a little clearing in this coppice which was visible to anyone up the hill, her body was dragged by the feet some 30 feet to the place where it was ultimately found. It was dragged down quite a steep hill and through a barrier or obstruction which existed between the place where they said she died and the place her body was found. That obstruction was a very rough obstruction and consisted of dead branches which were roughly fastened to a leaning post by pieces of barbed wire. Mr. Waddy said that he would show photographs and a plan of the place. The obstruction, he added, was probably put there to guard a bog which was at the foot of the hill and to which cattle might get. A great deal of importance might attach to the obstruction. Mr. Waddy said on one side of the court the Magistrates would see the obstruction referred to framed. There was a stout post and to the left there was a number of branches and they could see upon them some pieces of old rusted barbed wire. As they looked at it, and if they imagined the ground they were on was higher and that from the other side it went downhill again, the case for the prosecution was that this girl was dragged feet first through the gap, the murderer going backwards on his hands and knees. There would be given in evidence certain finds which were made in the locality. For instance there was a comb, certain hairs, and so on. What was of great importance so far as the gap he had mentioned was concerned was that there was a piece of barbed wire on the right hand side which if a person were going through backwards on their hands and knees would be just about where one’s left shoulder would come. If prosecution were right in thinking that the murderer dragged the body through the gap, there would be every likelihood of a part of that barbed wire catching in the clothing which covered his left shoulder. Some ten yards below the opening the body was found. Beside the body was a girl’s handbag and in it was a torn piece of a black and white scarf, quite different from the one found knotted round her neck. The rest of the scarf had vanished. It was a scarf which had been given to her by a man friend and she was wearing it on the very morning that she met her death. It was a comparatively flimsy thing and it would appear probable that after her death her assailant tied the dead woman’s own scarf round her neck and in pulling it tight possibly ripped the end off. The suggestion was that he then put the green scarf round her neck and stuffed the torn scarf into her handbag, but after placing the handbag by the body he was minded to get rid of the tom scarf and took it out of the handbag again, leaving behind the little piece which he might not have noticed. Another important feature of the handbag was that there was not found in it a little green purse which this girl owned and carried, continued Mr. Waddy. It would appear probable that the assailant in taking out the major portion of the torn scarf possibly took out the green purse as well and may have put both in his pocket. Those were deductions which he thought might be drawn from the evidence which would be called before them as to what was found on the scene of the murder. One had then got to see in what way that evidence pointed to the accused as being the man who committed the murder. Witnesses would fall into groups and he would try as far as he could to call them according to the groups they fell into. The first pointer, which pointed to the accused as having been the man who committed the murder, was evidence that on May 23rd Whiting walked with this girl from somewhere in the centre of the town to the golf links and across those links. Not only would he be in a position to call witnesses to say that they saw Whiting on that part of the walk, but Whiting himself had made a statement in which he said that on that afternoon he walked with the dead girl to and over the golf course. When he got to the end of the golf links, if he and the girl turned right it would lead them to the foot of the other hill (Caesar’s Camp) where there was a stile. If one got over the stile and walked 200 or 300 yards along the foot of the hill they came to the coppice where the body was found. Mr. Waddy said he would call a witness who would say that he saw these two go up that road, losing them to view just by the bend where the stile was. The next pointer which pointed to Whiting was a body of evidence which would deal with his clothing. On May 31st the police came into possession of everything Whiting had on him. Included in the clothing was a jacket, and just over the left shoulder blade of that jacket was a right-angled tear tom upwards, and the evidence would be that the tear was exactly the type of tear which would be made on the barb of the wire in the obstruction if he were going through it backwards. One interesting piece of evidence which corroborated that view would be this. During the course of the investigations a police officer went through the gap backwards and his jacket was tom open by the barbed wire. They would see both jackets and see that the tears were similar and in similar places. The case for the prosecution would be that the tear which was found on prisoner’s jacket on May 31st was exactly consistent with it having been made by the point of that barbed wire. Further, a more detailed examination of the coat showed that in one of the jacket pockets there were certain hairs. He was calling evidence to say that those hairs were exactly the same as the hairs from the head of the dead girl. The significance of that was in connection with what he had already told them about the tom scarf, the portion of which was found in the handbag. If they were right in thinking the dead woman’s own scarf was used and torn, and then placed in her handbag afterwards to be removed in order to get rid of it and stuffed in the man’s pocket, they would be likely to find in the man’s pocket some of the girl’s hairs. There was also found in Whiting’s possession what was odd for a man to carry - a lady’s small green zip fastened purse which a witness would say was exactly the same as the dead girl used to own and carry. The suggestion was that possibly it came out of her handbag at the same time as the piece of her own scarf and got into the murderer’s possession. The third pointer, which was perhaps more important than any of the others, was the scarf which was round the dead girl’s neck. It was a very distinctive scarf, a green one with white spots on it, and according to what prisoner told the police he had never had it. Further, he said that he had never had one like it and it was not his. But he (Mr. Waddy) would be calling before them, he thought he might describe them as a host of witnesses, who would tell them that they had seen Whiting frequently wearing the green scarf with the white spots and that he was seen wearing it as recently as May 20th, three days before he was seen in the company of this girl. If that scarf were his, how came it to be tied tightly round the neck of the dead girl?

Mr. Waddy said so far he had been telling them of those things which had been found which pointed to Whiting being the murderer. There was another branch of evidence in respect of which he would call witnesses and they would say that after the body had been found the accused, in unguarded moments in public houses, had made remarks to them which were only consistent with an admission that he had strangled a blonde girl. The dead girl had had her hair bleached. They were remarks made in unguarded moments. That was the major point of the evidence. As they knew, there was no burden on the Crown to prove a motive in a crime like that, but in that case they were in possession of evidence pointing to a motive for Whiting murdering this girl. This motive, to put it in one word, was revenge. The accused knew and was for some time associating with a young woman named Rose Woodridge. They lived together for a period but parted shortly before last Christmas. The girl left Whiting. There could be no doubt that he was, and still was, infatuated with Rose Woodridge and his mind was filled with an obsession of resentment against the person who came between him and this woman and caused that separation.

Evidence would be called to show quite clearly what accused’s feelings were with regard to Rose Woodridge and what his feelings were to the person who caused him to lose her. There would also be evidence before them both from witnesses and Whiting’s own statement to show that he firmly believed Mrs. Spiers was the person who had caused his separation from Rose Woodridge. The prosecution said here was a man who hated Phyllis May Spiers for what she had done, or he thought she had done, in parting him from the woman with whom he was in love. It only remained for him to say that after Whiting had been arrested on June 25th and charged he said “I am not guilty”.

The first witness was Arthur Charles Spiers, 29, Sydney Street, Bexhill-on-Sea, a milk roundsman, who said that on May 27th he went to the mortuary at Folkestone and there saw the body of a woman whom he identified as his wife. She was 22 years old. Witness then identified his wife in three photographs. Two were of his wife with another woman and one with a man. He added that they were married on April 11th, 1932 and his wife’s name was then Phyllis May Minter. They lived together for some time, but parted on April 13th, 1934. He last saw her alive about four years ago at Hastings by an appointment. That was after she had left him. He had recently commenced divorce proceedings against her.

Mr. Daniel reserved his cross-examination.

Kenneth George Andrews, 23, Ethelbert Read, Folkestone, said on Thursday, May 26th, after he had finished work he went to Caesar’s Camp and entered a coppice at the foot of the hill. He was looking for birds’ eggs. “I was looking for eggs in the coppice and while I was there I saw something that looked like a bundle”, continued witness. “It must have been 6 p.m. I went to look at the bundle and after I had had a good look I saw it was a woman. The body was covered over with a dark green coat. I could see the hair and a leg sticking out from underneath the coat. I shouted as I thought it might be somebody asleep, and touched it with a stick, but did not interfere with the position of the body. I then realised it was not a sleeping person and went away from the place. A little later that evening I spoke to a police officer. I was taken in a car back to the place with Inspector Hollands and Det. Constable Bates, and took them to the spot where I had found the woman”.

Mr. Daniel again reserved his cross-examination.

Chief Inspector W. Hollands said at about 6.30 p.m. on May 26th he received a telephone message. In consequence he went in a car and picked up the last witness and Det. Constable Bates, the Coroner’s Officer. He then went to a coppice at the foot of the hills between Caesar’s Camp and Sugar Loaf Hill. After entering the coppice Andrews took him to the spot where there was a body lying. Witness then examined a series of photographs of the place where the body was found. The first was a view of the coppice looking towards Sugar Loaf Hill, the next a view of the coppice from the hill above. About the centre of the coppice, said witness, there was a clearing where a figure could be seen lying. He found the body in line with a tree shown on the left but further down the bank. Witness said photograph No. 12 showed the appearance of the body as he first found it and was taken a little later the same evening. Photograph No. 15 showed the place where the body was found after it had been removed. Overhead the branches to some extent overhung the glade but did not completely cover it. Witness said later that same evening the coat was removed from the body and photograph No. 13 showed the appearance of the body with the coat off. The next photograph showed the appearance of the body from the other side after the coat had been removed. It also showed lying near the girl's right hand a lady's handbag which he found there. “When I first went there I lifted the coat off the face and immediately smelt that the body was putrefying”, witness continued. “She weas quite cold, her arms were quite stiff and slightly bent and her fingers were half clenched and there was nothing in the hands. The legs were covered in scratches going in all directions. The scratches were fresh and unhealed. The hair was dragged down beyond the head. If the body had been in an upright position the hair would have been above her head. The head was pointing towards the fields and slightly downhill. Her face was a normal colour and was turned to the right. The tongue was slightly protruding and just showing between the teeth”. Witness said the condition of the coat was sodden and wet. There had been some heavy rain on Wednesday, May 21st and it rained a little on Tuesday between 1.30 and 2.30 p.m. On the Monday (May 23rd) the weather had been fine. He noticed that there was a little dirt splashed up on the hands as if from heavy rain. There were also rain marks on the handbag. The ground all round the body showed signs of heavy rain. Dry bramble and leaves were in the clothing at the back. The shoes were damp, but there was no mud on them. Nor was there any mud on her clothing. The condition of the body and clothing gave the appearance that it had been dragged along by the feet while lying on the back. The ground underneath the body was dry. There was no sign of a struggle in the glade where she had been lying. Near where she was lying there was a rough footpath rising from the spot towards Caesar's Camp. The ground of the footpath was a chalky clay and when they found the body it was damp. Towards th top of the footpath there was a barrier of branches and barbed wire as produced in Court. A green spotted scarf (produced) was found around the neck. The scarf was twisted twice round the neck and knotted twice. The knot was on the right of the wind pipe. The scarf was tied very tightly.

Mr. Waddy said he proposed calling Sir Bernard Spilsbury and Dr. Roche Lynch, and he would like Dr. Barrett, the local Police Surgeon, to be present in court while they were giving their evidence.

Mr. Daniel said he objected. Dr. Barrett made the first examination and it seemed that the opinion as to the cause of death might have been slightly changed since then.

The Clerk (Mr. C. Rootes) said it was very difficult to come to any decision without knowing what any of the witnesses were going to say. The Bench were in the dark.

The Chairman (Councillor R.G. Wood) said the Magistrates saw no reason for excluding Dr. Barrett from the Court during the hearing of the evidence.

Sir Bernard Spilsbury, Honorary Pathologist to the Home Office, who then went into the witness box, said on June 1st he made a post mortem examination at the borough mortuary on the body of a oman pointed out to him by Dr. Barrett. He saw the marks of a ligature which encircled the neck at the level of the larynx. It was pale and there was no injury of the skin beneath it. It was about one and a quarter inches broad at the front, three-quarters of an inch broad at the side and slightly more than an inch broad at the back. Sir Bernard then gave evidence of external injuries, which included a bruise across the bridge of the nose, two bruises on the right side of the forehead close to the scalp, a bruise one and a half inches long over the right low7er jaw, midway between the point of the chin and the angle of the jaw. He said there were also two bruises each about one and a quarter inches long and a third of an inch apart along the left collar bone. On dissection those bruises were more extensive than was apparent on the surface and involved the muscles immediately above and below the collar bone. Another bruise was also found immediately above the inner end of the right collar bone. There was a bruise half an inch in diameter on the outer side of the right upper arm, and two similar bruises on the inner side. There was a long bruise on the inner side of the right forearm about halfway down. Witness gave evidence of other bruises and scratches, which Sir Bernard said were distributed widely over the right hip and both sides and legs; also others on the back of the trunk up to the lower part of the shoulders. There were also scratches on the back of the right forearm, and one across the knuckles of the left hand. He added that he found other bruises which were not visible on the surface. The green scarf was produced and Sir Bernard said the mark of the ligature he found was consistent with the scarf produced having been tied tightly round the neck. Sir Bernard said the deceased was a perfectly healthy woman. The general changes of death from asphyxia were present, mainly the congested condition of the organs and the dark and fluid condition of the blood. The asphyxia was not produced by the scarf which was tied tightly round the neck when the body was found.

Mr. Waddy: If it had been tied round the neck during life what would have been the condition of the face?

Sir Bernard: The face would have been livid and there would have been tiny haemorrhages in the whites of the eyes and the skin of the face. The face must have been livid after death as long as the ligature remained in position.

Mr. Waddy: What conclusions do you draw as to when the ligature was applied?

Sir Bernard: It was applied after death. Continuing, witness said the bruising on the left side at the back of the larynx indicated that death was due to strangulation by the hand. The absence of bruising and abrasions on the skin of the neck suggested that deceased had been rendered unconscious before she was strangled.

Mr. Waddy: If a woman were conscious when she was being strangled by hand would she be likely to struggle violently? - Yes.

Sir Bernard said the number and distribution of bruises over the body indicated that deceased received a number of blows and some of these, especially those on the face, might have rendered her unconscious. Some of the smaller bruises on the arm, added witness, might have been produced by forcible restraint and others on the back of the neck and trunk by having been pressed firmly on a rough ground in the course of a struggle. The bruises were all recent and of a same age, and were produced shortly before death.

Mr. Waddy: Can you speak as to the possibility of death having been produced by suicide?

Sir Bernard: It is quite out of the question.

Continuing, witness said the scratches could be accounted for if the body were dragged through and over brambles to the place where it was found. It was a strong presumption that death occurred not fewer than three days before the body was found: it might have been longer. Assuming certain facts, it would be consistent to presume that death took place on the afternoon of May 23rd.

Cross-examined by Mr. Stuart Daniel, Sir Bernard said the absence of purification might mean that deceased had been dead anything short of three or four days. Death by the stopping of an artery would not account for all the signs that he found.

Dr. Roche Lynch, official analyst to the Home Office, said the jacket produced he received from Chief Inspector Parker. At the back of it eight inches from the left side seam there was a tear. The two points of the tear formed a right angle, the point of which was directed downwards and towards the right. The fabric had been torn and not cut. In his opinion the tear had been produced by some rigid, rounded and sharp pointed article, perforating the fabric, and whilst in that position the jacket had been moved downwards and to the right, so that one point of the tear was directed upwards and the other to the left away from the point of entrance. The tear was in the cloth of the jacket only, the lining being undamaged. A tear of that type was almost invariably produced when such a garment was caught in barbed wire, but of course any similar sharp-pointed article, if firmly fixed, could cause similar damage.

A photograph of a man wearing a coat was put in.

Dr. Roche Lynch said there was a tear in the coat of the man in a similar position to the one in the jacket produced. Dr. Lynch next examined the exhibit in court consisting of branches of a dead tree, a post and barbed wire, referred to as “The obstruction” in counsel’s opening speech. Witness said looking at the front of the exhibit he saw towards the right-hand side a piece of barbed wire going round a bough and at the lowest point there was a barb. If a man wearing the jacket he had seen were to go through the gap backwards the point of the barb could cause the tear that he found. Continuing, Dr. Roche Lynch said he received from Inspector Parker two tubes of semi-liquid material, which appeared to be stomach contents. With the exception of small lumps of fat they showed almost complete digestion.

Assuming the stomach contents were taken from the deceased the condition would show that some hours had elapsed since the last meal had been taken. The lumps of fat were butter fat. On July 8th he received from Det. Sergt. Skardon a packet of Blue Label butter. The lumps of fat and the butter showed a general similarity. On one end of the green spotted scarf there were some signs of wear and in places there appeared to be impressions in the fabric. There was a slight sign of wear on the other side and three small holes. A pair of braces were produced and Dr. Roche Lynch said the marks on the bottom of one end of the scarf could have been produced by the teeth of the clip of the braces.

Mr. Waddy said that point of evidence indicated that the green scarf was a scarf probably worn by a man, who tucked the ends of it through his brace buckle. He was going to prove that those braces belonged to Whiting. He would also produce another pair of braces belonging to the prisoner which could not have made those marks.

Dr. Roche Lynch said the pair of braces attached to the trousers produced could not have made the marks on the scarf. Dr. Roche Lynch gave evidence of receiving from Chief Inspector Parker on two different occasions envelopes containing hairs. One contained some hairs which had been subjected to some sort of bleaching process, and the other envelope contained three hairs. Witness said there was also a number of hairs which he himself took off the jacket which was sent to him for examination. Two of the hairs came from inside the left hand pocket of the jacket and they had certain characteristics which were observed in the bleached hair.

At this stage the hearing was adjourned until next Monday.

 

Folkestone Express 23 July 1938.

Local News.

Two days of this week, so far, have been occupied at the Folkestone Police Court in hearing the evidence against William Whiting, 38, a Folkestone labourer, charged with the wilful murder of Mrs. Phyllis May Spiers, aged 22, the Folkestone woman, on or about May 23rd last.

Last week, when Whiting appeared before the Court, Mr. B.H. Waddy, who appeared together with Mr. J. Donal-Barry, for the Director of Public Prosecutions, opened the case, a number of witnesses, including Sir Bernard Spilsbury and Dr. Roche Lynch, were called.

Whiting appeared in the dock on Monday, and the chief evidence was that given by Chief Inspector Parker, who presented two statements alleged to have been made by the accused. One was of exceptional length, and it was stated that it occupied 2¾ hours to make. The second was only very short, and in the course of it Whiting was alleged to have said that Mrs Sniers had told him that she was going to do herself in, and when he asked her how she was going to do it said “Strangle myself with a scarf round my neck”. The statement also mentioned that she was wearing a green scarf round her neck. The hearing proceeded on Tuesday, and when the case was re-opened, Mr. Waddy first told the Court that one of the witnesses he proposed to call was in Hospital, unconscious and dangerously ill. When all the other witnesses had been heard, Mr. Waddy said that he understood the witness, whose name was Wanstall, would be well enough to attend the Court on Friday, when the case for the prosecution could be concluded. The magistrates thereupon remanded Whiting until to-day (Friday).

The Magistrates were Councillor R.G. Wood, Alderman G. Spurgen, Mr. L.G.A. Collins, Alderman J.W. Stainer and Mrs. A.M. Saunders.

The Court was held in the large hall of the Town Hall, and when the hearing of the evidence was resumed on Monday the balcony was crowded with the general public.

Whiting was provided with a chair in the dock, but for the major portion of the clay be remained standing, and it was very rare that he spoke to his counsel, Mr. J. Stuart Daniel, who was instructed by Mr. Lloyd Bunce.

Dr. William Claude Percy Barrett, Police Surgeon, said on Thursday, 26th May, he went to the coppice near the foot of Caesar’s Camp, where he saw the dead body of a woman. He saw a green scarf with white spots (produced) around the woman’s neck. It was round the neck twice and tied tightly with the knot pressing on the right side of the neck. It was close under the chin and above the larynx. He saw it cut and removed from the neck. The colour of the woman's face was natural, and the expression on it was peaceful. There was no blueness of the face, and the tongue was just between the teeth. It was not injured. The nose was bruised and there was blood exuding from both nostrils. It was consistent with a blow on the nose shortly before death. Rigor mortis was definitely present. He did not make a thorough examination in the coppice. The lower jaw and the fingers were stiff. When they turned the body over there were scratches on the left shoulder blade, and the position of the hair and clothing gave the impression that the body bad be on dragged by the feet. Dr. Barrett, proceeding, said later in the evening he conducted a post-mortem examination in the Folkestone mortuary. On examining the body he noticed a smell of putrifaction. All the joints were affected by rigor mortis. The head, shoulders and the hips were stiff, but they were movable. This he attributed to the body having been moved to the glade. Rigor mortis was usually complete in from ten to eighteen hours after death. The usual time was ten to twelve hours. Rigor mortis usually lasted for 48 to 72 hours. The length of rigor mortis depended on climatic conditions. Under cool conditions it lasted longer and was slower in its onset. Continuing, Dr. Barrett said there was a bruise on the lower jaw, three on the forehead, three on the inside of the right arm, one three inches in length on the inner side of the left arm, and two immediately below the collar bone. There were other bruises not evident at the time. During the post-mortem examination he found two collections of fly eggs on the body. Fly eggs were laid as soon as the body putrified. At a temperature of about 50 degrees Fahr. such eggs would take about three days to hatch. At about 8 p.m. on May 27th he saw the body again. He found, by testing, that rigor mortis had disappeared, and the body was limp. He also took the contents of the stomach at that examination. Witness said he showed the body to Sir Bernard Spilsbury on June 1st, and was present when he made his examination.

Mr. Waddy: What is your opinion as to the cause of death?

Dr. Barrett: Strangulation caused by compression of the carotid arteries, causing immediate death.

Having regard to the dissection of the neck, what is your present opinion? - Having regard to what I have seen since I think death was due to pressure on the arteries rather than obstruction of the air passages.

In all the circumstances, what do you say about how long before the time that you saw the body on the evening of May 26th do you think death took place? - At least two, or probably three, days.

Witness was cross-examined about the evidence he gave at the inquest and the opinion he expressed then as to the length of time the woman had been dead.

Mr. Stuart Daniel, referring to the evidence given at the inquest, read: "The deceased had, in my opinion, been dead not longer than two days” - you said that on oath?

Witness: Yes.

Later, witness said he could not remember what he said, but if counsel had it in writing he would admit it. Continuing, witness said the scratch on the left shoulder blade was caused after death.

Mr. Daniel: Were all the others, in your opinion, incurred before death?

Witness: Quite definitely.

As to the cause of death, do you disagree with Sir Bernard Spilsbury? - I do disagree with Bernard Spilsbury. In my opinion it was caused by the tightening of the ligature.

Mr. Stanley Seymour Harrison, a photographer, of Tontine Street, Folkestone, gave evidence of the photographs he had taken of the body in the coppice and also of others taken when a tailor’s dummy was used in connection with the obstruction, consisting of branches of trees and a portion of the fence.

Mr. Bertram Harry Bonniface, Deputy Borough Coroner, said he had in his possession a report made by Dr. Barrett to the Coroner of the post-mortem examination on a woman unknown and put in at the inquest.

Dr. Barrett, re-called by Mr. Waddy for re-examination, said the report produced was the report he made to the Coroner.

Det. Inspector James O’Brien, of New Scotland Yard, gave evidence of taking photographs of a green scarf, a pair of braces, and a handkerchief. One of the photographs showed holes in the green scarf made by the clip of the braces.

Mr. Robert Henry Bird, a photographer employed by a firm known as Holiday Snaps, said the photograph of Mrs. Spiers produced was taken on the promenade near the Royal Victoria Pier at approximately 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 21st.

Mr. Alfred James Carter, of Ramsgate, a photographer employed by the same firm, said lie took the photographs produced near the Zig-Zag Cafe on Saturday, 21st May. It was a photograph of Mrs. Spiers. The other photograph of Mrs. Spiers was taken on Monday, 23rd May, at about 11.30 to 12 a.m., judging by the shadows. He noticed that she was wearing a scarf - it might have been a lined or spotted scarf.

Mr. Geoffrey Poole, Borough Surveyor’s assistant at Folkestone, produced a plan of the coppice where the body of Mrs. Spiers was found.

Mr. Douglas S. Moncrieff, 23, Guildhall Street, Folkestone, in charge of the meteorological department of Folkestone, said on 23rd May the maximum temperature was 64 degrees Fahr. and the minimum 42 degrees Fahr. The minimum grass temperature was 36 degrees. There was no rainfall. On Tuesday, 24th May, the maximum temperature was 63 degrees, and the minimum 44. There was no rainfall recorded at 10 a.m., but at 6 p.m. there was 0.01 inches recorded. On Wednesday, 25th May, the maximum temperature was 59 degrees Fahr. and the minimum 48 degrees. There was a fall of rain of less than .005 inches at 10 a.m., and at 6 p.m. .3 inches of rain. On Thursday, May 26th, the maximum ternoerature was 61 degrees, and the minimum 46 degrees. The rainfall at 10 a.m. was .02 inches, and at 6 p.m. nil.

Cross-examined by Mr. Stuart Daniel, witness said there was no rainfall on Sunday, May 22nd.

At this stage the Court adjourned for lunch.

When the case was resumed, Mr. Stuart Daniel said he had a short application to make on behalf of the prisoner, who complained that he had not been given anything to drink since breakfast time.

The Chief Constable (Mr. A.S. Beesley) said he did not know whether it was intoxicating liquor, but if it was anything else it could be prepared for him.

Mr. Stuart Daniel: He is asking for a pint of beer.

The Clerk said that was not possible as it was intoxicating drink.

The Chairman said it was not really a matter for them to deal with.

Det. Con. Bates, the Coroner’s Officer, said he went to the coppice at the foot of Caesar’s Camp, where be saw the body of the dead woman. There was a smell of putrifaction. He saw the fly eggs, and collected them in a glass tube, which be placed in a drawer at the Police Station. He examined it from time to time, and on Sunday, 29th, at 9.30 a.m. be found that the eggs had hatched, and the grubs were crawling. The approximate temperature of the office was 50 degrees Fahr. Continuing, witness said he showed the body of the woman to Mr. Spiers, to a Mr. Santer and Mr. Wanstall. On 31st May, in the evening, he took the prisoner to an outfitter in Folkestone and purchased him a complete change of clothing. He changed into the new clothing at the Police Station, and witness took possession of all the clothing he had been wearing.

He was wearing a trilby hat, trousers and braces, and a jacket with a tear. These he produced. The green zip-fastener purse (produced) was found in the left-hand pocket of the jacket.

Mr. Waddy pointed out that was the pocket from which Dr. Roche Lynch had said he had taken certain hairs.

Mrs. Bernice Katherine Hegarty, 18, Mead Road, Folkestone, said she had known Mrs. Spiers as “Phyllis Minter” for about 3½ years. She recognised the handbag which she knew belonged to the murdered woman. She had a green purse which was something like the one produced. Witness could not say whether it was the same one. She remembered the murdered woman wearing a scarf, a plaid sort of thing with a white and black fringe. The piece of material produced was exactly like the scarf the murdered woman used to wear. She had never seen Phyllis wearing a green spotted scarf like the one produced.

Mr. Daniel: When was the last time you saw Phyllis?

Witness: On the Saturday before she was found.

Det. Sergt. Johnson said that on the evening of the 26th May he went to the coppice at the base of Caesar’s Camp. He took possession of the handbag (produced). He examined the contents of the bag, and found the piece of scarf (produced) in the bag. On the 27th May he made a search round the site and found a comb with one end broken off. He examined the ground between the spot where he found the comb and the barrier. The ground had the appearance of having had a heavy object dragged over it in the direction of the barrier. Near the spot where he found the comb he found a long hair, which he put in an envelope. One hair was taken from inside the collar of the coat covering the body. Another hair was taken from under the left lapel of the coat, and another from the right lapel of the coat. He also found a hair on the bramble over the body. He took a hair off the fence post which formed part of an exhibit. In another envelope he placed three hairs from the prisoner’s hat. He took some hairs from the head of the deceased woman at the mortuary and placed them in an envelope. On the 11th July last, in the presence of prisoner’s solicitor, he took four hairs from the prisoner’s head. On the 31st May he went to the common lodging-house at 50, Dover Street. He then obtained from the deputy a suitcase full of property. He showed them to the prisoner. Amongst the things were some photographs which prisoner intimated he would like. He found a blue and white pair of braces in the case. There was no scarf at all. He handed all the property to Chief Inspector Parker. On the 7th July he purchased half a pound of a certain make of butter and sent it to Chief Inspector Parker.

Robert John Read, 50, Dover Street, Folkestone, said he was the deputy of the lodging-house in Dover Street. He had known Whiting well for six to eight years. Prisoner had stayed at the house and was in and out of the house about two months ago. He kept a daily record of the men who stayed in the lodging- house. On the 23rd, 24th, 25th and 26th of May Whiting was booked to stay the night. He was occupying bed No. 25. He had a suitcase under his bed, which he handed to a police officer. He could not remember the date, but it was about the end of the week. There was an old bus driver’s coat over the bed.

Mr. Stuart Daniel: Were there any braces lying about?

Witness: I don’t remember any.

There was a certain amount of stuff lying about belonging to various people? - Yes, various articles.

If you find things lying about, and you do not know to whom they belong, do you put them in his suitcase? - Yes, I do if the man has one.

I suppose things sometimes get into a muddle? Yes, they pretty often get into a muddle.

Chief Inspector W. Parker, New Scotland Yard, said on May 27th he went to the coppice with Det. Sergt. Skardon. They went again the following morning and examined the clearing. From the state of the ground it was quite clear that some heavy object had been dragged to the obstruction in the pathway. He saw the prisoner at the Folkestone Police Station on May 30th. He was accompanied by Det. Sergt. Skardon. He said “We are police officers from London making enquiries concerning Phyllis May Spiers who was found dead on May 26th at Caesar’s Camp. I believe you knew her.” He replied “Yes.” Witness then said “I desire you to tell me all you know about this woman and your association with her”. Whiting replied “I will tell you what I know”.

Mr. Daniel questioned Det. Inspector Parker about the circumstances and the conditions when a statement was taken from Whiting.

Mr. Daniel: What was the time when you first came in contact with him?

Det.-Inspector Parker: About ten o’clock at night.

Do you know how long he had been in the Police Station then? - No, I do not.

Would you be surprised to know that he had been there since 7.30? - No, I should not be surprised.

What time did he leave that evening? - I finished with him somewhere about two o’clock in the morning, but, of course, there were interruptions in between. I had to see other people, and he had his storv to tell me, and his statement was taken after.

Are you sure it was not later than that? - No.

It was exactly two o’clock? - Yes.

Did you make him strip at this interview?

The Magistrates’ Clerk: At what stage, in the course of making the statement?

Witness: After the statement had been taken from him in writing.

Mr. Daniel: At what time between ten and two was the statement taken?

Det.-Inspector Parker: He commenced to tell me his story about ten o’clock or shortly after, and I should think the statement was commenced round about eleven o’clock.

How long did it take to get it down? - About 2¾ hours. It was written down carefully and very slowly.

Did he sign it immediately? - After the statement had been read over to him.

Whiting: You never read it over to me.

Mr. Daniel: Are you sure it was read over to him?

Det. Inspector Parker: I am positive.

Did you say “Now sign here and walk out a free man.”? - No, I certainly did not.

Did you say anything of that sort? - No.

Was anything of that sort said to the prisoner in your presence? - No.

Did he have anything to drink during this time? - Whilst I was there, no.

You were there all the time? - During the time I have mentioned.

Whiting, in his statement, said: “I am a widower, my wife died on 3rd May, 1936. She was strangled by George Arthur Bryant, who was afterwards executed at Wandsworth. I was at the time of her death living apart from my wife. I had three children by her. My wife left me in 1935.” Later, went on the statement, he lived in Dover with a Mrs. Woodbridge. She left him in November, 1937, after her mother received a letter from a landlord in Folkestone saying that her daughter was drinking in public houses. While he was living with Mrs. Woodbridge a young girl, who Mrs. Woodbridge said was named Phyllis Minter, came to see her. In his statement Whiting said he met the murdered woman on Monday, May 23rd at about 12.30 p.m., and they went to the Globe public house on The Bayle. They stayed for about ten minutes. While they were there she said she could get married again. “I said ‘Can you?’” continued Whiting’s statement, “and read the divorce papers. She said ‘Why don’t you marry me and let’s go back to Dover?’” The statement then went on to describe how Whiting and the girl went to the golf links. “We sat down on the grass”, it continued, “when she pulled out something wrapped in brown paper. Some stitches and a ring, a little bone ring. She said they were stitches which had been taken out of her operation. We were both thinking. I don't know what was the matter with her that day. She was not cheerful. She did not speak much. I believe there was something worrying her. I have seen her like it at Dover when she came in staring at me. I cannot say what was on her mind. Perhaps it was because she was down and out. I said nothing to upset her”. Continuing, the statement described how they made their way to Cherry Garden Lane and into Cheriton Road, after crossing the golf links. “I told her that I worshipped Rose”, it continued. “I said 'If Rose does not come back I shall never settle down again'. I did not see Phyllis at all on Tuesday. Phyllis and I did not discuss living together before last Monday”.

Continuing his evidence, Chief Inspector Parker said he examined the prisoner's body, and there were no scratches on it. He was wearing a blue cloth jacket. At the back of the jacket, at the point of the left shoulder blade, there was a right angle tear. Witness asked him where he tore his jacket, and he replied “I don't know where or when I did it”. He showed him the green scarf and asked him if he recognised it. He replied “I have never seen it before. I have not worn a scarf myself for a long while, and I have never had one like that”. At about 11.15 p.m. on June 1st he, together with Det. Sergt. Skardon. saw ihe prisoner and went through the statement up to the point where he referred to sitting on the grass on the golf course on May 23rd. Whiting then made a statement which witness immediately instructed Sergt. Skardon to write down. Witness said to the prisoner after the statement had been taken “Would you care for this statement which you have just made to be taken down in writing?” He replied “Yes, it is quite true”. The prisoner was taken to the Chief Constable’s office, where he was cautioned, and the statement was read to him from Det. Sergt. Skardon’s notebook. The statement was as follows: “When we went on to the golf course on the Monday, the day I have already told you about, I mean when I was with Phyllis and when we were sitting on the grass, she was very quiet, and I said ‘What is the matter?’ She said ‘I am fed up and I am going to do myself in’. I said ‘How are you going to do it?’ and she said ‘Strangle myself with a scarf round my neck’. She was wearing a green spotted scarf. After we got up and walked across the golf links. She was very quiet and kept saying she was fed up. I have not seen her since that Monday, 22nd May, 1938.” “I might tell you that she was partly the cause of Rose Woodbridge leaving me”, the statement concluded. Describing how the last sentence of the statement came out, witness said before Whiting made the last part of the statement there was some delay. He was very quiet and he appeared to be thinking very deeply.

The case was at this stage adjourned until the following day.

Before the evidence for the prosecution was continued on Tuesday Mr. Waddy referred to a witness who was unconscious and in Hospital. He said one of the witnesses he proposed to call that day was in Hospital dangerously ill. An officer was waiting to see if he regained consciousness, and if he did it might be necessary to take an examination of the witness at the Hospital, which was permissible under the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1867. It was important, he continued, that if a witness was ill and not likely to recover that it should be done. The Court would adjourn to the Hospital.

The Chairman of the Magistrates: It is very unfortunate.

Mr. Wadcly: I understand it was only this morning that the witness was admitted to the Hospital unconscious.

When the day’s proceedings were brought to a close, Mr. Waddy said he could have completed all the evidence had it not been for the unfortunate illness of the witness, Wanstall, who was still in Hospital. He was told that Wanstall was expected to be there to give evidence on Friday.

It is understood that a man named Frederick Wanstall, of Invicta Road, an employee of the Folkestone Golf Club, was found unconscious at the edge of a pond on the golf links on Tuesday morning. His clothing was wet, and he was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital, where he was detained.

Chief Inspector Parker went into the box for the purpose of Mr. Stuart Daniel continuing his cross-examination.

Mr. Stuart Daniel: Why did you read through his statement?

Witness: I was endeavouring to test the accuracy of his statement.

During the interview was it you that first mentioned suicide? - No.

Det. Sergt. Skardon? - No.

Det. Sergt. Skardon, New Scotland Yard, said on the afternoon of 27th May, 1938, he went with Chief Inspector Parker to a coppice near Caesar’s Camp. It was raining heavily at the time. He noticed a clearing to the west of the barrier which was an exhibit. There were signs as if some heavy object had been dragged towards the barrier from a spot about ten to fifteen feet away. He was present when the statement was made by Whiting. Prisoner was wearing a blue jacket which had a right-angle tear. Chief Inspector Parker said “Where did you tear your jacket?” and be replied "I don’t know where or when I did it”. He saw Chief Inspector Pinker produce the scarf and said “Do you recognise the scarf?” Whiting said “I have never seen it before. I have not worn a scarf myself for a long while, and I have never had one like that”. On the 1st June he was present throughout the interview in which the second statement was made. On the fourth June he posed for the photograph (produced). On the 8th June he posed for a second photograph. He went through the barrier backwards, the only practical way, wearing a blue tunic. He tore his tunic on the barb of wire which he saw in the exhibit. He tore it on the left shoulder blade. That tear was quite accidental though he Knew there was a barb there and there was a chance of tearing it.

Mr. Stuart Daniel: You have seen both these tears, have you?

Witness: Yes.

They are quite a different shape? - 'Yes, they are different materials.

The weave in the two coats runs at the same angle from the shoulder? - Yes.

Was it not you or Inspector Parker who first suggested suicide? - No.

Did you say to the prisoner “He is trying to help you”? - No.

Pte. Harold Wall, of the 1st Bn. Royal Berkshire Regiment, stationed at Shorncliffe, said that he recognised a girl in the photograph (produced) as Phyllis Butcher. He met her first about last March. He became friendly with her, and they lived together as man and wife from about 15th to the 19th May in Sandgate. In the photograph he saw that Phyllis was wearing a scarf. It was his scarf. The piece of scarf (produced) was part of his scarf. On two sides it was plain and on the other two a sort of fringe. He had the fringe cut off and the ends bound over. One side of the material produced showed where it had been bound over. He last saw her on the 19th May, and he left the scarf behind him. He went to Aldershot. He had never seen the green scarf (produced) in Phyllis’ possession.

Mr. John Joseph Hearst, 100, Joyes Road, Folkestone, manager of Messrs. Hepworth’s, Folkestone, said they stocked a similar scarf to the one produced. They stocked them from October, 1936, to November, 1937. He might have had them in stock after that date, but could not say definitely. They were definitely again in stock from October, 1937, to February or March, 1938.

Mr. Stuart Daniel: It’s a very common type of scarf isn’t it?

Witness: Yes.

Mr. Joseph Charles Kember, 4, Shakespeare Road, Dover, employed at the Folkestone Employment Exchange, said he knew the prisoner by sight, and had interviewed him in connection with his duties. He last sent him to work on the 19th April to the Esplanade Hotel. He noticed he was wearing round his neck a scarf or neckerchief. It was dark green with white spots. The green scarf (produced) was very similar to the one he wore. It was tied at the left-hand side of the throat. He would think that it was wound twice round the neck and then tied. It appeared to be in a reef knot. He saw him wearing the scarf on the 21st April. On the 16th to 20th May, to the best of his recollection, Whiting was wearing the scarf. That was the last time he saw him wearing the scarf. He next saw him on the 30th May, but he could not say whether he was wearing a scarf at all.

P.C. Pearce, Dover Borough Police, said on the 9th April last the prisoner was in his charge at Dover for about three-quarters of an hour. He noticed that he was wearing a bottle green scarf with dirty white spots around his neck. The green scarf (produced) was very similar to the one that lie saw. The scarf was wound round prisoner's neck twice and tied in a small knot on the left-hand side of his neck.

Mr. Stuart Daniel: I want to get it quite clear it was not in connection with any criminal offence that he was in your charge?

Witness: No.

Mr. John McKinnon Taylor, 24, Walton Gardens, Folkestone, a clerk in the Folkestone Employment Exchange, said that he knew the prisoner by sight. He went on leave on the 21st May and returned on the 30th May. He last saw the accused on Friday, the 20th May, before he went on leave. On that occasion Whiting was wearing a green scarf with white spots round his neck quite similar to the one produced. He had frequently seen him wearing the green scarf. He saw the prisoner on the 30th May, and he was not wearing any scarf then, and he had never seen him wearing a scarf since that date.

Mrs. A.M. Wright, of 9, Garden Road, Folkestone, said she recognised Mrs. Spiers in the photograph. She came to her house on Saturday, 21st May, and witness let her a room in the name of Phyllis Minter, She stayed in the house on Saturday night, and on the Sunday night, and witness took her bread and butter and tea into her room on Monday morning. She used a certain kind of butter. On Monday morning witness went out with Phyllis, and they walked into the town. They did some shopping and left each other at 10.25 a.m., when witness caught a bus in Sandgate Road. She had not seen Mrs. Spiers since, but she had an appointment to meet her at the Lido at 7.45 p.m. on the Monday. Witness kept the appointment, but Mrs. Spiers did not arrive. Witness went home and waited for Mrs. Spiers. The comb produced belonged to Mrs. Spiers. She saw it on the chest of drawers by the side of her bed. As far as she could see Phyllis did not have a green scarf similar to the one produced.

Mr. Hubert Pynaert, a waiter at the Royal Pavilion Hotel, said he first saw Mrs. Spiers at the hotel, where she was working, about a year ago. He had only seen her once this year, on May 23rd, at 9.40 a.m., and he was with her until 12.30 p.m. During that time they walked by the beach. She was wearing a dark scarf with light lines in it. The piece of material produced was similar to the scarf.

Mr. Charles Leonard Varrier, of 13, New Street, Folkestone, said he knew the prisoner and Mrs. Spiers. He knew her as the “Minter girl”. He last saw her on May 23rd at about 1.30 p.m. or 1.40 p.m. on the corner of New Street. He saw Whiting come out of a shop and go over to her. They both turned the corner of Bradstone Road together.

Mrs. Lilian Maude Varrier, wife of the previous witness, said she knew the prisoner. She saw him on Monday, May 23rd. He went to the corner of Bradstone Road and New Street, where he met a girl wearing a long blue coat.

Mrs. Norah Laws, of 68, Foord Road, said she knew the dead woman as Mrs. Butcher. She came to her house on a Thursday in May and took a room. She stayed for two nights, Thursday and Friday nights. She left without paying witness. Continuing, witness said she saw Mrs. Spiers the following Monday at dinner time. She was with a man. Mrs. Spiers ran after her and spoke to her. She saw Mrs. Spiers and the man cross over by the Foord baths. That was the last she saw of her.

Mr. William David Marsh, of 18, Clarence Street, Folkestone, a Folkestone Corporation employee, said he had to do some repair work to paving stones in Radnor Park Avenue, opposite the Peter Pan Pool. On Monday, May 23rd, he saw Whiting and a woman pass, going in the direction of the golf links. He did not know the woman.

William J. Harbird, of 23. Allendale Street, Folkestone, a gardener, employed at 7, Julian Road, said he saw Whiting in Radnor Park Avenue either on May 23rd or 24th with a woman. They were going towards the golf links. The woman was wearing a blue coat and was hatless. He recognised the young lady in the photograph produced.

Mr. Harry James Santer, of 5, Pavilion Road, Folkestone, a groundsman employed by the Folkestone Golf Club, said on June 1st he was shown the dead body of a young woman. He had seen her before on May 23rd at about 1.20 p.m. on the beach road at the Folkestone golf links. Whiting was with her. He saw the girl sit down on the bank and Whiting standing about nine feet away from her. He noticed that the girl was very red under the eyes, and it appeared to him as if she had been crying.

Mr. Waddy said the next witness he wanted to call was the one in the Hospital.

Mrs. Florence Thompson, of 19, Hamilton Road, Dover, said she knew the dead woman, Phyllis, and Whiting. She had noticed that the prisoner wore a green scarf similar to the one produced. She had seen him wearing the scarf at Dover on several occasions. Once, when she came over to Folkestone she saw Whiting at the Guildhall Hotel a day or two before May 30th. She went to various places, and eventually to the South Foreland public house with Whiting. Witness mentioned she knew a girl called Rose. Whiting told her that he thought a lot of Rose, and he did not know the reason why she left him. Witness said she happened to mention Phyllis' name in Jordan's public house, and Whiting said “If you don't keep your mouth shut I will put you on the spot”. Witness said it was a shame Phyllis was murdered, as she was a decent girl. Whiting asked her how she would like a scarf round her neck. “He said 'You can do a murder without finding the print marks or the foot marks'”, continued witness. “I said 'No, it would not pay you to'”, added witness.

Mr. Robert William Weatherhead, of 35, Darlington Street, Folkestone, said he knew Whiting well. He remembered a “noisy” evening at the Guildhall public house on a Friday about 23rd or 24th June. Whiting was in the saloon bar and came round to the public bar and played a game of darts with witness as his partner. Whiting was abusive to the landlord, and witness tried to pacify him. Whiting tucked up his sleeves and rushed towards the counter. Witness tried to pull him back, and he said “You ----. I will serve you the same as I served the blondie”.

Mr. Daniel: I think I will have an objection to this evidence.

Mr. Waddy: How can there be any objection?

Witness said that Whiting had had one or two drinks.

Mr. Daniel said he did object to the evidence. It was not admissible against him unless it amounted to a confession or admission of facts which tended to prove that he committed the crime. Taken at its worst, the evidence amounted to nothing more than the admission of a violent act on an unspecified person.

The Chairman of the Magistrates said they did not find any grounds on which they could object to the evidence going in.

Mr. William W.H. Hall, of 16, Great Fenchurch Street, Folkestone, said he had seen Whiting with Rose Milton (Mrs. Woodbridge) at the Elham Institution. Whiting stayed with witness in March for about two weeks. He said he wished he was back with Rose, and if she ever wanted to, he was willing to start a home. Witness knew they had been living together. Whiting used to talk about her a lot. Whiting wore a green scarf with white spots on it. He wore it twice round his neck and tucked inside his jersey.

Mrs. Daisy E.C. Hall, wife of the last witness, said Whiting seemed very upset that Rose had left him, and blamed the girl’s mother. She did the prisoner’s washing, and she remembered that he had a green scarf with white spots on it.

Cross-examined, witness agreed that Whiting had only one pair of braces.

Mrs. Elvey Flynn, of 21, Fenchurch Street, Folkestone, said she knew the murdered woman as Phyllis Minter. She also knew Rose Milton, Whiting and Mr. and Mrs. Hall.

Whiting asked her on one occasion if she had seen Rose. She replied she had not seen her since the time she came out of the pictures. He said “Have you said anything to her?” and she replied “No”. He then asked her if she knew anyone who had, and did she think Phyllis had said anything? He said if he did find out anybody who did tell her anything he would strangle them. Witness noted that the prisoner wore a green scarf with white spots on it. The scarf produced was the scarf. She had seen him put it on. He knotted it in front and twisted each end round his braces.

Mrs. Rose Cathleen Woodbridge, of the Eight Bells lodging house, King Street, Canterbury, said she knew a man named Milton, and for a time lived with him as his wife. While she was living with Milton she got to know a girl named Phyllis Minter. On 4th September, 1935, she married Mr. Woodbridge and lived with him for nearly a year. After she had separated from him she lived with the prisoner. At that time she had known Whiting for just over a year. She lived with him until a fortnight before Christmas, when she went home. She had been to the Alexandra public house, Folkestone, with Phyllis while she was living with Whiting. When she got home she told Whiting about two fellows who had asked her and Phyllis to go away with them. Whiting started to get a bit rough over it. He said “If you don't stop going about with Phyllis I shall do something wrong”. He said he would try to strangle her (Phyllis), and witness told him to be careful as walls might have ears. Later on her (witness’) mother came and took her home, and Whiting was quite upset. She had not seen him since she left him.

While Whiting lived with her he wore a green scarf with white spots round his neck. It was similar to the scarf produced. She had worn the scarf which he had said he had purchased from Hepburn’s near the Savoy Picture Theatre.

Mrs. Woodbridge, accompanied by Mr. Lloyd Bunce and Det. Segrt. Skardon, was taken out to identify the shop. When she returned she said it was Lewis and Hyland's.

Cross-examined, witness said Whiting had only one pair of braces.

Alfred James Moore, of 10, Dale Street, Chiswick, said in the early part of the year he was employed as a clerk in the Public Assistance Department at Folkestone. He had seen the prisoner on several occasions in the middle of March and he noticed that he was wearing a green scarf with white spots.

Mr. Waddy said had it not been for the unfortunate illness of an important witness he could easily have finished. He was unable to call a man named Wanstall, who was in Hospital. He was told that they expected to have Wanstall there to give evidence by Friday. It was just possible that in calling him he might have to call one more witness to fix a certain place and date.

Whiting was remanded in custody until today (Friday).

 

Folkestone Herald 23 July 1938.

Local News.

William Whiting, aged 38, a general labourer, of Folkestone, charged with the murder of Mrs. Phyllis May Spiers, a Folkestone woman, was committed to take his trial at the Central Criminal Court next September, when the case for the Crown was concluded at the Folkestone Police Court yesterday.

After two all-day sittings on Monday and Tuesday, the hearing was adjourned until yesterday owing to the illness of a witness, who was found unconscious near a pond on the golf links early on Tuesday morning. During the hearings earlier in the week the case for the prosecution had been continued, a large number of witnesses being called. On Monday two alleged statements made by Whiting to Chief Inspector W. Parker, of Scotland Yard, were read. On Tuesday witnesses gave evidence of alleged statements which had been made by the accused in local public houses on occasions since the finding of Mrs. Spiers’s body in a coppice near Caesar’s Camp, Folkestone, on the evening of Thursday, May 26th. There was much public interest in the proceedings.

The magistrates were: Councillor R.G. Wood (presiding), Alderman G. Spurgen, Mr. L.G.A. Collins, Alderman J.W. Stainer, and Mrs. R.L.T. Saunders.

Mr. Benjamin H. Waddy conducted the case for the Director of Public Prosecutions with Mr. F. Donal-Barry, and Mr. J. Stuart Daniel, instructed by Mr. H. Lloyd Bunce, defended.

Dr. William. Claude Percy Barrett, Police Surgeon, was the first witness when the case was continued on Monday. He said that on Thursday, May 26th at about 6.30 p.m. he went to a coppice at the foot of Caesars Camp. Chief Inspector Hollands was there with other officers. Witness saw there the body of a woman. There was a green scarf with white spots around the neck. It was wound around twice and tied very tightly with the knot pressing on the right side of the neck. It was above the larynx and close under the chin. The colour of the face was natural and the expression was peaceful. There was no blueness or lividity of the face. The tongue was just between the teeth and it was not injured. The nose was bruised and there was blood exuding from both nostrils. The condition of the nose was consistent with a blow shortly before death. The lower jaw was stiff when examined in the glade and the fingers were also stiff. The appearance of the scratches on the left shoulder blade and the position of the hair pointed to the fact that the body had been dragged by the feet. Later that evening witness conducted a post mortem at the Folkestone Mortuary. On entering the mortuary there was a distinct smell of putrefaction. He noticed one bruise on the lower jaw and three bruises on the forehead. There were also three distinct bruises on the inner side of the right arm, and two immediately below the collar bone, one the size of a threepenny bit and the other the size of a shilling. There were multiple other bruises which were not visible at the time. He discovered two fly eggs on the body. Fly eggs were normally laid on the flesh as soon as it putrefied. At a temperature of about 50 degrees Fahrenheit they would take about three days to hatch. On July 1st he showed the body to Sir Bernard Spilsbury and was present when he made his examination. In his (witness’s) opinion the cause of death was strangulation caused by compression of the carotid arteries causing immediate death. After what he had subsequently seen he was still of the opinion that death was due to the compression of the arteries rather than the obstruction of the air passage. Death took place at least two, and probably three days, before the evening of May 26th.

Mr. Daniel: That is quite different from the opinion you held formerly.

Dr. Barrett: I presume you are referring to the short report I made at 2 a.m. for the Coroner. I had had no time to consider it fully then.

Mr. Daniel: I have the evidence you gave at the inquest. That was not at 2 a.m.

Witness said since then other information had come to hand.

Mr. Daniel: Were not the full facts before you? - No, I don’t think so. The fly eggs had not hatched then and that was a factor that helped. Furthermore, on Saturday there were signs of putrefaction which I did not know until after the inquest. There were no such signs when I examined it.

Mr. Daniel: You found scratches on the left shoulder blade. Were they made in your opinion after or before death? - After death. The mark was not a bramble scratch. All the others occurred before death.

Mr. Daniel: I take, it as to the cause of death, you disagree with Sir Bernard Spilsbury?

Dr. Barrett said he did disagree as to the cause of death.

(At the previous hearing Sir Bernard gave the cause of death as manual strangulation.)

Stanley S. Harrison, a professional photographer, gave evidence of photographs he had taken of the place where the body was found.

Mr. Waddy said he understood that the Coroner had raised some objection as to the report made by Dr. Barrett to him being produced there. He wanted the report put in because counsel for the defence had asked about it: if necessary he would have to call the Coroner to produce the document and then put it to Dr. Barrett.

The Chairman: I should have thought he would have preferred to let you have the report.

Mr. Waddy then called Mr. Bertram Harry Bonniface, Deputy Coroner, who said he had in his possession a report made by Dr. Barrett to the Coroner with regard to his post mortem and put in at the inquest held on May 30th.

Dr. Barrett was then re-called by Mr. Waddy and asked to look at the report he made to the Coroner.

Mr. Waddy: In the last paragraph of the report you say: “Death occurred at least 48 hours before the body was found and very likely 72 hours, i.e., Monday night, May 23rd, or Tuesday night, May 24th”.

Dr. Barrett: That is so.

Mr. Daniel said his questions were in regard to the evidence Dr. Barrett gave at the inquest. He then found deceased had not been dead longer than two days.

Det. Inspector J. O’Brien, New Scotland Yard, said on July 1st he made photographs of a green scarf, a pair of braces, and a handkerchief.

Robert H. Bird, a photographer employed by Holiday Snaps, gave evidence of taking a photograph of Mrs. Spiers on Saturday, May 21st on the promenade near the Victoria Pier.

Alfred James Carter, another photographer employed by the same firm, also gave evidence of taking two pictures of deceased, one on the Saturday, May 21st, and the other on Monday, May 23rd. The second picture was taken about 11.30 to 12 o’clock near the Zig Zag cafe on the promenade. He could not describe the scarf Mrs. Spiers was wearing: it might have been a lined or spotted scarf.

Geoffrey Poole, assistant to the Borough Surveyor of Folkestone, produced a plan of the coppice and country surrounding it.

Douglas S. Moncrieff, in charge of the Meteorological Department, Folkestone, said on May 23rd there was no rainfall. At 6 p.m. on May 24th there was recorded one-hundredth of an inch of rain. On May 25th there was recorded .3 inches of rain, and at 10 a.m. on the following day .02 inches of rain.

When the hearing was resumed after lunch, Mr. Daniel said the accused had a complaint to make. He had had nothing to drink since he had been there.

The Chief Constable (Mr. A.S. Beesley) said he did not know whether it was intoxicating liquor prisoner wanted, but if it was anything else it could be prepared for him.

Mr. Daniel said the prisoner was asking for a pint of beer.

The Chairman said they could not give permission for that.

Det. Constable Bates, Coroner’s Officer, gave evidence of proceeding to the spot where the woman’s body was found. Witness said he put the fly eggs referred to by Dr. Barrett in a glass tube and left it at the Police Station. He examined the tube from time to time. At 10.30 p.m. on Saturday, May 28th there was no sign of life, but on the following morning at 9.30 a.m. he found that the eggs had hatched and the grubs were crawling. The temperature of the room was approximately 50 degrees Fahrenheit. On May 31st, in the evening, he took the prisoner to an outfitter in Folkestone and purchased for him a complete change of clothing. He then went with him to the Police Station where he changed into the new clothing. Witness took possession of all the clothing Whiting had been wearing. The hat, trousers with braces attached, and a jacket were produced. Witness said there was a tear in the jacket. The green zip-fastener purse was in the left hand pocket of the jacket.

Mr. Waddy: That was the pocket from which. Dr. Roche Lynch said he took certain hairs.

Bernice Katharine Hegarty, 18, Mead Road, Folkestone, who said that she had known Mrs. Spiers as Phyllis Minter for three and a half years, stated that she recognised the handbag produced as belonging to the dead woman. She also had a green purse. Witness could not say whether the purse produced was the one: it was something like the one Phyllis had. She had seen the dead woman wearing a scarf—a plaid sort of thing with a white and black fringe. The pieces of material (produced) were like the scarf she used to wear. Witness had never seen Phyllis wearing a scarf like the green one with white spots.

Mr. Daniel: When did you last see Phyllis?

Witness: On the Saturday before she was found.

Robert John Read, 50, Dover Street, Folkestone, said he was the deputy of a lodging house at that address. He had known Whiting well for six or eight weeks. He had known him for 15 years as a Folkestone man. He kept a daily record of the men who stayed at the house. On May 23rd Whiting was booked as having stayed there the night. He had also stayed there on May 24th, 25th and 26th. He was occupying a bed at the top of the house. He had a suitcase under his bed which witness handed to a police officer at the end of the week. Whiting had an old bus driver’s coat hanging over the bed, but practically everything he had was in the suitcase.

Cross-examined, witness said he did not put anything into the suitcase. There was often something left behind by other people when they went out and the beds were so close together that it was difficult to tell whose it was. If he found things lying about and knew to whom they belonged he put them into a suitcase.

Mr. Daniel: I suppose things sometimes get into a bit of a muddle?

Witness: Pretty often.

Mr. Daniel: Is it common for men who come to the house to have two pairs of braces? - It is seldom that the men have two suits let alone two pairs of braces.

Det. Sergeant Johnson said on the evening of May 26th he went to the coppice at the base of Caesar’s Camp. He took possession of a handbag and examined the contents. He found a piece of scarf material in the handbag.

On May 27th he made a search around the spot where the body was found during the evening. He found a comb with one broken end in the clearing. He examined the ground between the spot where he found the comb and the barrier of boughs. It had the appearance of having had a heavy object dragged over it in the direction of the barrier. He also found a long hair close to the spot where he found the comb. On May 26th witness obtained a hair from inside the collar of the coat covering the body. Another hair he found on the left lapel of the coat and he also discovered a further hair on the right lapel. He found another hair on the bramble over the body. He took a hair off the post of the barrier. He also took three hairs from inside Whiting’s hat. He obtained other hairs from the head of the deceased on June 1st at the mortuary. In the presence of prisoner’s solicitor, on July 11th, witness obtained four hairs from his head and handed those with the others to Chief Inspector Parker. On May 31st he went to a lodging house, 50, Dover Street, Folkestone, and there obtained from the deputy a suitcase of clothes, the property of the prisoner. Whiting later saw it at the Police Station and he made some remarks about some photographs which were amongst the clothes. He said he would like to have them. In that suitcase there were a pair of blue and white braces. There was no scarf in the case. Witness said on July 7th he purchased ½ lb. of Blue Label butter which he sent to Chief Inspector Parker.

Mr. Daniel did not ask any questions.

Det. Inspector William Parker, New Scotland Yard, said on May 27th he went with Det. Sergeant Skardon to the coppice near Caesar’s Camp.

He returned there on the morning of May 28th and examined the clearing. It was quite clear that some heavy object had been dragged to the obstruction in the pathway. On May 30th at 10 p.m. with Det. Sergeant Skardon he saw Whiting at the Police Station. He said to prisoner “We are police officers from London making enquiries concerning Phyllis May Spiers who was found dead on May 26th at Caesar’s Camp. I believe you knew her”. He said “Yes”. Witness then said “I desire you to tell me all you know about this woman and your association with her”. He replied “I will tell you what I know”.

Mr. Daniel: Was this the occasion when prisoner came to the Police Station from Woolworths?

Witness: I could not say.

Mr. Daniel: What time was it you came into contact with him? - About 10 o’clock at night.

Did you know how long he had been in the Police Station? - I did not.

Would you be surprised to know he had been there since 7.30? - No, I should not be surprised.

What time did he leave? - I finished with him somewhere about 2 o’clock in the morning. There were interruptions in between.

Are you sure it was not actually rather later than that? - No.

Did you make him strip at this interview? - Yes.

The Clerk (Mr. C. Rootes): At what stage?

Witness: After the statement had been taken from him.

Mr. Daniel: At what time between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. was the statement taken? - Round about 11 o’clock.

How long did it take to get the statement? - About two and three-quarter hours.

Did he sign it immediately? - After the statement had been read over to him.

You are quite sure it was read over to him? - He signed it.

Did you say “Now sign here and walk out a free man”? - No, I certainly did not.

Did you say “Sign here and you can go”? - No.

Did you say anything of that sort? - No.

Did he have anything to drink all this time? - While I was there, no.

The question whether the alleged statement was admissible was raised and the Magistrates decided that it was quite admissible.

The alleged statement was then read by Mr. Barry. It commenced: “I am a widower. My wife died on May 3rd, 1936. She was strangled by George Arthur Bryant, who was afterwards executed at Wandsworth. I was at the time of her death living apart from wife”. The statement went on to say that his (Whiting’s) wife left him in 1935. Later he had lived in Dover with a Mrs. Woodridge, who left him in November, 1937, after her mother had received a letter from a landlord in Folkestone saying that her daughter was drinking in public houses. While they (Whiting and Woodridge) were living at Dover a young girl, whom Mrs. Woodridge said was Phyllis Minter, came to see Mrs. Woodridge. Coming to Monday, May 23rd, the alleged statement described how Whiting met Mrs. Spiers about 12.30 p.m. and they went to the Globe Hotel on The Bayle. “We stayed there about 10 minutes", the alleged statement continued, “and she said she had something to show me, and she showed me some divorce papers. She said ‘I can get married again’. I said 'Can you?’ and read the divorce papers . . . She said ‘Why don’t you many me and let’s go back to Dover?’ “ The alleged statement next described how they went together to the golf links, and added “We sat down on the grass when she pulled out something wrapped in brown paper, some stitches and a ring, a little bone ring. She said that they were stitches which she had had taken out after her operation. We were both thinking. I don’t know what was the matter with her that day; she was not cheerful. She did not speak much. I believe there was something worrying her. I have seen her like it at Dover when she came in staring at me. I cannot say what she had on her mind. Perhaps it was because she was down and out. I said nothing to upset her”.

The alleged statement went on to say that they crossed the golf links and then went up Cherry Garden Lane, by the War Memorial, and into Cheriton Road. I again told her I worshipped Rose (Mrs. Woodridge)”, continued the statement. “I said if Rose does not come back I shall never settle down again”. The alleged statement next dealt with Tuesday and the Wednesday, and in it Whiting said that he did not see Phyllis on the Tuesday. It also stated that before the Monday (May 23rd) they had not discussed living together before. Continuing, witness said he examined defendant’s body and there were no scratches or injuries on it. He noticed on the defendant’s jacket at the back, at the point of the loft shoulder blade, there was a right angle tear. He said to Whiting “Where did you tear your jacket?” and he replied “I don’t know where or when I did it”. Witness said “Do you recognise this scarf?” He replied “I have never seen it before. I have not worn a scarf myself for a long while, and I have never had one like that”. About 11.15 p.m. on June 1st he saw Whiting again at the Police Station and went through the statement with him up to the point where he spoke about sitting on the grass on the golf course. Whiting then made a statement. Afterwards witness said to prisoner “Would you care for the statement you have just made to be taken down in writing?’' He said “Yes, it is quite true”. Witness then cautioned Whiting. Witness then dictated to prisoner the statement Det. Sergeant Skardon had written down.

The alleged statement was then read as follows: “When we went to the golf course on the Monday, the day I have already told you about, I mean when I was with Phyllis and when we, sat on the grass, she was very quiet and I said 'What is the matter?'” “She said 'I am fed up and I am going to do myself in.’” I said “How are you going to do it?” and she said 'Strangle myself with a scarf, round my neck’”. “She was wearing a green spotted scarf. After we got up and walked across the golf links she was very quiet and kept on saying she was fed up. I have not seen her since Monday, May 23rd. I might tell you she was partly the cause of Rose Woodridge leaving me".

Inspector Parker said before Whiting made the last part of the statement there was some delay, he was very quiet, and he appeared to be thinking very deeply The hearing was then adjourned until Tuesday.

When the hearing was continued on Tuesday morning, Mr. Waddy, prosecuting, said one of the witnesses he had proposed to call that day was in hospital dangerously ill. “We have an officer there watching to see whether this witness recovers consciousness”, he said. “I understand he is unconscious.If a message comes through that the witness recovers consciousness it will be necessary to take an examination at the hospital under the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1867. It is important if a witness were likely to recover that that should be done”.

The Chairman (Mr. R.G. Wood): The court would be adjourned during that period.

Mr. Waddy: It would be adjourned to the hospital. I understand only this morning this witness was admitted to the hospital unconscious.

Later it was stated by Mr. Waddv that he hoped the witness would able to give evidence on the Friday (yesterday).

Chief Inspector Parker was cross-examined by Mr. Daniel, who asked him how long the interview on June 1st lasted.

Inspector Parker: You mean prior to the statement?

Mr. Daniel: Yes.

Witness: About 15 minutes.

Mr. Daniel: Why did you read over the first statement? - There was some discrepancy in the dates in the first place.

You went on far beyond any question of dates in the statement? - Yes.

Why was that? - I was endeavouring to test the accuracy of his statement.

Was he then with you for some time after the statement was given that night? - No.

During the interview was it not you who first mentioned the word suicide? - No.

Did Det. Sergeant Skardon? - No.

Det. Sergeant Skardon, New Scotland Yard, was the next witness. He said on the afternoon of Friday, May 27th, he went with Chief Inspector Parker to a coppice near Caesar’s Camp. It was raining heavily at the time. He noticed a clearing to the west of the barrier (produced) and there were signs on the ground that a heavy object had been dragged towards the barrier from a spot about 10 to 15 feet away. He was present with Chief Inspector Parker on May 30th when the prisoner made his statement. He (prisoner) was then wearing a blue jacket which had a right angle tear. Witness said on June 4th he posed whilst a photograph was taken and he also did so on June 8th. On the second occasion he went through the barrier backwards dragging a tailor’s dummy. He was wearing a police serge tunic. As he went through backwards he tore the tunic on the barbed wire of the obstruction. Witness pointed out the barb on the exhibit in court. The tear was on the left shoulder blade. He knew there was a barb there and that there was a chance of tearing the tunic, but it was quite accidental.

Mr. Daniel: You did mean to tear your coat, didn’t you?

Witness: No.

You knew the barb was standing up vertically? - Yes.

Mr. Daniel: The tears are of a different shape? - Yes, but the materials are different.

The weave of the two coats runs in the same angle from the shoulder? - I had not noticed that, but I am prepared to agree.

Mr. Daniel: When the second statement was given how long was the prisoner with you?

Witness: Half an hour to three-quarters of an hour.

Mr. Daniel: Wasn’t it you or Inspector Parker who first used the word “suicide”? - No.

Pte. Harold Wall, 1st Batt. Royal Berkshire Regiment, Shomcliffe, recognised the dead woman in a photograph and said he knew her as “Phyllis Butcher”. He first met her in March of this year. He became friendly with her. They lived together from May 15th to 19th as man and wife. He recognised the scarf Phyllis was wearing in a photograph as his. The scarf was plain on two sides and on the other two had a fringe. Witness had the fringe cut off and the end bound over. He last saw Phyllis on May 19th. Witness went to Aldershot on that day and left his scarf behind. He had never seen the green scarf with white spots in Phyllis’s possession.

John Joseph Hurst, 100, Joyes Road, the manager of J. Hepworth and Son’s shop, Sandgate Road, Folkestone, said he stocked a scarf similar to the green one from October, 1936, to February, 1937, and again from October, 1937 to February or March, 1938.

Mr. Daniel: It’s a very common type of scarf?

Witness: Yes.

Charles Joseph Kimber, 4, Shakespeare Road, Dover, a clerk at the Folkestone Employment Exchange, Ingles Lane, Folkestone, said he knew prisoner by sight and had interviewed him in connection with his duties. He last sent him to a job on April 19th. He (prisoner) was wearing a scarf or neckerchief of dark green with white spots. The green scarf (produced) was very similar to the one Whiting was wearing. The scarf was tied on the left hand side of the throat. Witness thought the scarf was put round the throat twice and then tied with a reef knot. He saw Whiting again on April 21st and he was wearing the scarf then. He saw prisoner again between May 16th and 19th and to the best of his recollection Whiting was still wearing the green scarf. He saw Whiting next on May 30th but he could not see whether he was wearing a scarf then as he had on a coat.

P.C. Pearce, of the Dover Borough Police, said on April 9th prisoner was in witness’s charge at Dover for about three-quarters of an hour. He was wearing a bottle green scarf with dirty white spots. The green scarf (produced) was very similar. The scarf Whiting was wearing was wound round his neck twice and tied with a small knot on the left hand side.

Cross-examined, witness said it was not in connection with any criminal offence that Whiting was in his charge.

John McKinnan Taylor, 24. Walton Gardens, a clerk at the Folkestone Employment Exchange, said he saw Whiting on Friday, May 20th. He remembered that he was wearing a green scarf with white spots, similar to the one produced. He usually had it tied with a double knot on the left hand side. He had seen Whiting wearing the scarf on several occasions. He saw Whiting on May 30th, after witness had returned from leave, and he was not wearing any scarf then.

Mrs. Adelaide Maude Wright, 9, Garden Road, Folkestone, recognised Mrs. Spiers from a photograph and said that she knew her as Phyllis Minter. She came to witness on Saturday, May 21st and she let her a room. She stayed in the house on the Saturday and Sunday nights. She took her bread and butter and tea on the Monday morning. Witness said she used Blue Label butter. Phyllis came out with witness on the Monday morning. They did some shopping together and they left each other at 10.25 a.m. She did not see her again. She had arranged to meet Phyllis at 7.45 that evening outside the Lido. Witness kept the appointment, but Phyllis did not come. She expected her to sleep at the house that night, and she waited up for her. The comb produced belonged to Phyllis. She had not seen her with the green scarf (produced).

Hubert Pynaera, a waiter employed at the Royal Pavilion Hotel, said he first saw Mrs. Spiers at the Royal Pavilion Hotel, where she was working about a year ago. He saw her again this year, and from 10.40 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. on Monday. May 23rd, he was in her company. She was wearing a dark scarf with lighter lines in it.

Charles Leonard Varner, 13, New Street, Folkestone, said he knew deceased as the “Minter girl.” He last saw her on May 23rd at the corner of New Street about 1.30 or 1.40 p.m. He saw Whiting come out of a shop and go over to her. He saw them turn and go into Bradstone Road.

Lillian Maude Varrier, the husband of the last witness, said she saw Whiting in Philpott’s shop in New Street about 1.30 p.m. on May 23rd. He went to Bradstone Road where he met a girl.

Mrs. Norah Laws, 68, Foord Road, Folkestone, said she knew the deceased as “Miss Butcher”. She came to the house of the witness on a Thursday morning in the middle of May and she let her a room. She stayed there two nights only and left without paying. Witness again saw “Miss Butcher” on the following Monday at dinner time. She “bumped into her” at the comer of Kent Road and Bradstone Avenue. Previously a friend of hers came in and spoke to her and it was in consequence of that that she went to the corner. She was with a man, but witness did not look at the man enough to recognise him again. Mrs. Spiers ran after her and spoke to her and then crossed over Foord Road by the Baths with the man.

William. David Marsh, 18, Clarence Street, Folkestone, said he was a pavior working for the Folkestone Corporation. On Monday, May 23rd, he had some repairs to do in Radnor Park Avenue opposite the Peter Pan Pool and he finished on the following Thursday. He knew the prisoner and while he was working there he saw Whiting pass about midday on Monday. He had a woman with him and was going towards the golf links. Witness did not know the woman.

William J. Harbird, 23, Allendale Street, Folkestone, a gardener employed at 7, Julian Road, Folkestone, said he knew the last witness and Whiting. He saw Whiting in Radnor Park Avenue on either May 23rd or 24th. Whiting had a woman with him and they were going towards the golf links. The woman was not wearing a hat and had on a navy blue coat. He recognised the young lady in the photograph as the woman Whiting was with.

Harry James Santer, 5, Pavilion Road, Folkestone, a groundsman employed by the Folkestone Golf Club, said on June 1st Det. Constable Bates showed him the body of a young woman in the mortuary. He had seen her on May 23rd about 1.20 p.m. on the beach road of the Folkestone golf links. She was accompanied by Whiting. He saw the girl sit down on a bank on the grass. Whiting was standing about nine feet away. She was very red under the eyes and it appeared as though she had been crying.

Florence Thompson, 19, Hamilton Road, Dover, said she knew the young woman in a photograph as “Phyllis’’. She also knew Whiting: she had seen him wearing a green scarf similar to the one produced. She saw him wearing the scarf in Dover several times. She had seen Whiting in the Guildhall public house, Folkestone, a day or two before May 30th. Later she went to the South Foreland public house. Witness knew a girl named Rose. Whiting said he thought a lot of Rose and did not know the reason why she left him. Witness happened to mention to Whiting Phyllis’s name in another public house. She said that it was a shame she was murdered because she was a decent girl. Whiting then said “If you don’t keep your mouth shut about Phyllis I will put you on the spot”. He then asked her how she would like a scarf round her neck. He said “You could do a murder without finding the print marks or footmarks”. She said “It would not pay you to”.

Robert William Weatherhead, 35, Darlington Street, Folkestone, said he knew Whiting well. He remembered a “noisy evening” at the Guildhall public house some little time ago. Whiting was there. Witness said it was a Friday; he believed it was June 23rd or 24th. He played darts with Whiting, who got very abusive with the landlord. Witness tried to pacify Whiting. Whiting tucked up his sleeves and rushed to the counter. Witness tried to pull him back and Whiting said "You ----.I will serve you the same as I served the blondie”.

Mr. Daniel: I think I shall have an objection to this evidence.

Mr. Waddy: How can there be an objection?

Witness said Whiting had had one or two drinks.

Mr. Daniel said he objected to the evidence on the grounds that evidence of what prisoner said on other occasions was not admissible unless it amounted to a confession or an admission of the facts which tended to prove that he committed the crime. Taking it at its worst, this statement amounted to nothing more than an admission of a violent act against some unspecified person.

The Chairman said the Magistrates did not see why the evidence should not go in.

William W. H. Hall, 16, Great Fenchurch Street. Folkestone, said he had seen Whiting with Rose Milton (Mrs. Woodridge) on one occasion, at the Institution at Etchinghill. Whiting stayed with witness in March of this year for about two weeks. He said that he wished Rose was back with him and that if she ever wanted to make a home he was willing to start another one. Witness knew that they had been living together. Whiting talked about Rose a lot. Whiting wore a green scarf with white spots, exactly the same as the one produced. He wore it twice round his neck and tucked inside his jersey.

Mrs. Daisy Emily Hall, the wife of the last witness, said Whiting often spoke about Rose and blamed her (Rose’s) mother for her leaving him. She remembered that Whiting had a green scarf with white spots on it.

Cross-examined, witness said prisoner had only one pair of braces.

Elvey Flynn, 21, Great Fenchurch Street, Folkestone, said she knew the deceased as Miss Phyllis Minter. She also knew Rose Milton, Whiting and Mr. and Mrs. Hall. Whiting asked her if she had seen Rose, and she said that she had not since the time that she had seen her coming out of the pictures. He said: “Have you said anything to her” and witness said “No”. He then asked if she knew anyone who had; did she think that Phyllis had said anything; and said that if he found out anyone who did tell her anything he would strangle them. Whiting wore a green handkerchief with white spots on it round his neck. She had seen him put it on. He twisted it round his neck, knotted it in front, and put the comers of the scarf round his braces.

Rose Cathleen Woodridge, Eight Bells Lodging House, King Street, Canterbury, said she knew a man named Milton and for a time she lived with him as his wife. While she was living with Milton she got to know a girl named Phyllis Minter. She married a Mr. Woodridge on September 4th, 1935, and she lived with him not quite a year. After she separated from him she went to live with Whiting, whom she had known just a year. They lived in Dover until a fortnight before last Christmas when she went home. She knew the Alexandra public house, Folkestone, and she had gone there with Phyllis. When she got home she told Whiting that two fellows had asked her and Phyllis to go away with them. Whiting started getting a bit rough over it, and said that if she did not stop going about with Phyllis he would do something wrong - he would try to strangle her (Phyllis). Witness told him to be careful because walls might have ears. Later her (witness’s) mother took her home. Whiting was upset. She had not seen Whiting since she had left him. While Whiting was with her he wore a green scarf with white spots round his neck. The scarf was like the one produced. She had worn the scarf. Whiting said he had got the scarf from “Hepburn’s, near the Savoy Picture House”. Mrs. Woodridge was taken out of the court to see the shop and on her return said it was Lewis and Hyland’s.

Cross-examined, witness said Whiting only had one pair of braces when she was living with him.

Clifford James Moore, Ten Dials Street, Chiswick, said early this year he was employed as a clerk in the Public Assistance Department at Folkestone. He had seen Whiting on several occasions. On one occasion, in the middle of March, he noticed that prisoner was wearing a green scarf with white spots.

Mr. Waddy said but for the illness of the witness he had referred to he could have completed his case. He said that the hospital authorities expected to have Wanstall (the name of the witness) fit to give evidence by Friday. It was just possible that in calling him he might have to call one more witness.

The hearing was adjourned to yesterday.

(The witness referred, to was found early on Tuesday unconscious at the side of a pond on the golf links. His clothing was wet. He was taken to the Folkestone Hospital).

At yesterday’s hearing, when the case was continued, Whiting was committed for trial at the Central Criminal Court in London next September. The proceedings did not last more than 20 minutes. Prisoner reserved his defence and stated that he would call witnesses at his trial.

When the hearing was resumed Mr. Waddy first re-called Mr. Kimber, who, he said, was not satisfied with one of the dates he gave in his evidence. “I understand you are not satisfied with one of the dates you gave”, he said. Witness replied that that was so and said that he last sent Whiting to a job on March 19th and not April 19th.

The witness who was unable to appear on Tuesday was then called. He was Frederick Wanstall, of 17, Invicta Road, Folkestone, a groundsman employed by the Folkestone Golf Club.

Wanstall said he knew Whiting. At the beginning of June he was taken to the mortuary and shown the dead body of a girl. He had seen the girl on Monday, May 23rd, between 2 and 2.30 p.m. when he was cutting the grass of the 16th tee on the golf course. The tee was close to the road called “Cherry Garden Avenue” or the “New Road”. She was accompanied by Whiting, and they passed four or five yards from witness. They were going towards Caesar’s Camp. Witness went on with his work and then when he looked up again he saw them going up Waterworks Hill. He saw them up to the bend where they disappeared from view. Some way beyond the bend was a sort of stile, and from there there was a track going round the foot of Caesar’s Camp to Sugar Loaf Hill and the New Road.

Mr. Waddy: That is the evidence for the prosecution and upon that evidence I shall ask for prisoner to be committed for trial at the Central Criminal Court. There are no Kent Assizes for many months, but there will be a sessions of the Central Criminal Court in the early part of September.

Whiting said he reserved his defence, adding “I will call witnesses at my trial”.

The Chairman then announced that the Magistrates committed Whiting for trial at the Central Criminal Court.

Mr. Bunce (defending) asked for a defence certificate to allow for a solicitor and two counsel at the trial.

The application was granted.

 

Folkestone Express 30 July 1938.

Local News.

The evidence for the prosecution in the case known as the green scarf murder case was completed at the Folkestone Police Court on Friday, when William Whiting (38), a labourer, of Dover Street, Folkestone, charged with the murder of Mrs. Phyllis May Spiers, who was found strangled at the foot of Caesar’s Camp on May 26th, was committed for trial at the Central Criminal Court.

The case would have been completed earlier in the week, but Mr. B H. Waddy, for the prosecution, was unable to call Frederick Wanstall, an important witness, who was stated to be unconscious in the Hoyal Victoria Hospital.

First of all on Friday Mr. Waddy recalled Mr. J.C. Kember, a clerk at the Folkestone Employment Exchange, who corrected a date he gave in evidence at the previous hearing. He said he sent Whiting for a job on March 19th, and not April 19th.

Frederick Wanstall, 17, Invicta Road, Folkestone, a groundsman employed by the Folkestone Golf Club, said at the beginning of June he was taken to the mortuary and shown the dead body of a girl. He saw the girl on Monday, 23rd May, at about 2.30 p.m. Witness was cutting the 16th tee on the golf course, which was close to the road known as Cherry Garden Avenue or the New Road. The girl was accompanied by Whiting, and they passed within four or five yards of him going towards Caesar’s Camp. He went on with his work and saw the couple going up Waterworks Hill. He saw them up to the bend, when they disappeared from view.

Beyond the bend there was a stile, and by getting over it a person could follow a cow track round the foot of Caesar’s Camp to Sugar Loaf Hill and into the New Road again.

Mr. Waddy said that was the evidence he called for the prosecution, and upon that evidence he would ask the magistrates to commit the prisoner for trial at the next session at the Central Criminal Court. There was no Kent Assizes for many months. There would he a session of the Central Criminal Court in the early part of September.

The prisoner reserved his defence, and said he would call witnesses at his trial.

The Chairman (Councillor R. G. Wood) said Whiting would be committed for trial at the Central Criminal Court.

 

Folkestone Express 6 August 1938.

Local News.

We understand that Mr. St. John Hutchinson, K.C., has been retained as leading counsel to defend William Whiting, the Folkestone man charged with the murder of Mrs. Phyllis May Spiers, on his trial at the Central Criminal Court, in September.

 

Folkestone Express 10 September 1938.

Local News.

The Folkestone murder charge will open at the Old Bailey, London, on Monday, that day having been fixed after the opening of the Sessions on Tuesday. The case will, it is expected, last for at least two days.

William Whiting, a Folkestone 38 year old widower, is charged with the wilful murder of Mrs. Phyllis May Spiers, aged 22, who was found dead at the foot of Caesar’s Camp with a green scarf round her neck. It was stated at the Police Court proceedings in July that she had been strangled.

Amongst the witnesses for the prosecution will be Sir Bernard Spilsbury, Dr. Roche Lynch, Chief Inspector Parker and Det. Sergt. Skardon, two officers sent down by Scotland Yard, to carry out the investigations into the crime.

Mr. Roland Oliver, K.C., the Recorder of Folkestone, will appear for the prosecution, and Mr. St. J. Hutchinson, K.C., will be the leading counsel for the defence.

 

Folkestone Herald 10 September 1938.

Local News.

The trial of William Whiting, 38, a general labourer, of Folkestone, who was committed for trial by the Folkestone Magistrates in July on a charge of murdering Mrs. Phyllis May Spiers, a Folkestone woman, will open at the Central Criminal Court next Monday.

The Folkestone Herald understands that the Recorder of Folkestone (Mr. Roland Oliver, K.C.) will conduct the case for the Crown, and Mr. St. John Hutchinson, K.C., will lead the defence.

A large number of witnesses from Folkestone will give evidence.

 

Folkestone Express 17 September 1938.

Local News.

The Folkestone murder trial at the Old Bailey has occupied three days this week, and last (Thursday) evening, when the Court rose shortly before six o’clock, all the evidence for the prosecution and defence and the counsels’ closing speeches bad been heard. Mr. Justice Wrottesley, before whom the case is being heard, will give his summing up this (Friday) morning, and it is expected that the jury, of whom three are women, will give their verdict today.

The large number of exhibits were displayed in the Court, and the branches of a tree in a frame were placed in front of the dock. This was closely inspected by the jury on Wednesday when the Court rose for luncheon. It was alleged by the prosecution that the accused man came through the branches backwards, dragging the body of the murdered woman, and that a barb in a portion of the wire fence tore his coat on the shoulder.

The case was fixed to start on Monday, but owing to another case, which was not finished last week, occupying the greater portion of the day, it was decided that a start should not be made until the following day.

When Mrs. Rose Woodbridge was giving evidence on Wednesday the accused man cried in the dock.

The trial opened on Tuesday, when William Whiting, aged 38, a well-known Folkestone labourer, was placed in the dock on the charge of the wilful murder of Mrs. Phyllis May Spiers, aged 22, of Folkestone, on or about May 23rd, near Caesar’s Camp. She was found lying dead, covered with a coat, having apparently been strangled, on the evening of May 26th. When the charge was put to him Whiting pleaded not guilty.

Mr. Roland Oliver, K.C., the Recorder of Folkestone, and Mr. B.H. Waddy were for the prosecution, and Mr. St. J. Hutchinson, K.C., and Mr. J. Stuart Daniel appeared on Whiting’s behalf.

Mr. Roland Oliver said the object of his opening speech was to try to place the story before the jury so that they could have the general case of the prosecution. The best way, he said, was to put before the jury plans. At the top of one they would see marked three hills, forming the prominent feature of the landscape. A dotted line marked a line of thickets expanding the whole length of the foot of the hills. In places the thicket was extremely thick. Continuing, he said one way of getting to the thickets would be to go through various streets of the town. When they arrived at the golf course they walked to the left, which brought them into a road called Cherry Garden Avenue. When they got to Cherry Garden Avenue they turned to their right and went up towards Castle Hill. There was a stile which they could get over, and in that way walk along the hill side of the thicket. It was a very solitary place, and a very secluded place. The body was found some three-quarters of a mile round the thicket in the neighbourhood of Sugar Loaf Hill. She, and presumably her murderer, must have walked along that track to the secluded spot where she was murdered. It was a rough walk, and the jury would probably come to the conclusion that a man and woman would not go to such a place as that on a mere pleasure walk. Several reasons might occur to them. From that point of view it was right that they should know something about the woman. Mrs. Spiers was 22, and was married before she was 17. She lived with her husband for two years, until 1934, and then they parted, and her husband had never seen her again. “I am afraid there is no doubt that she was a young woman who was of an extremely immoral character’,’ continued Mr. Oliver. “She had affairs with a great many men, and was, therefore, a young woman who might have gone to that place with almost any type of man, certainly a good many. The prisoner knew her quite well”. Mrs. Spiers, he said, was practically destitute. She made a practice of staying a night or two at lodgings, without any luggage, and invariably disappeared without paying. The manner of her murder, explained Mr. Oliver, was apparently plainly written on the scene of the crime and on her body. She had obviously been violently attacked, probably with fists, and beaten into a state of unconsciousness before she was actually murdered. After that she had been dragged further into the thicket, because the place where she was first attacked could be seen from part of one of the hills that overlooked the thicket. The body was dragged by the murderer deeper into the thicket to a place where it could not be seen unless somebody went right into the thing. “Our case is that, the body lay there from May 23rd to the 26th”, he added. A blue coat was thrown over the body, and round the neck, tied twice and tightly knotted, was a green scarf which was one of the salient pieces of evidence in the case. Whether the scarf was tied round after or before death did not matter. Whether the scarf murdered her or bare hands, it did not matter. The murderer had to drag the body, and he, presumably, walked backwards, dragging the body by the feet. He had to go past a piece of barbed wire in an obstruction, and the jury would see that someone walking backwards dragging a body must run a considerable chance of damaging his clothing in the spikes of barbed wire. It was clear that the woman’s body had been dragged. The whole of her clothing had been torn up and filled with twigs and brambles. Her hair was pulled right out behind her head as it had been dragged along the ground. Round the woman’s neck was tied the scarf, and the members of the jury would be asked by the prosecution to say whether or not they were satisfied that the green scarf belonged to the man who murdered her. They had a quantity of evidence that she never had such a scarf herself. She was, by a curious coincidence, snap-shotted on that very day of her death, walking with another man in Folkestone, and the scarf that the photograph depicted her wearing was quite obviously nothing like the green scarf. In her handbag, when the body was discovered, was found a piece of the scarf she was wearing. Most of it had disappeared, but a little piece had been pushed in her handbag. There was conclusive evidence that she was wearing that scarf on that day, and that the green scarf was not hers, but the murderer’s. The prosecution said the murder took place on May 23rd sometime after 2.30 p.m. He was aware that there were witnesses who were coming to say that she was alive after May 23rd. The jury would have to consider very carefully their evidence when they came. They would be glad to hear that those witnesses were found by the police. So far as they could tell, he went on, the people who knew her best, people who were habitually seeing her, said that was the last day they ever saw her. They had been unable to find any place where she stopped after May 23rd. They would have in evidence that when the body was discovered there was a smell of decomposition. If she had died on May 25th or 26th that would be very unlikely. The last known meal the woman had was breakfast consisting of bread find butter on Monday, May 23rd at about nine o’clock. On the Sunday morning she bad deposited her luggage at the offices of the East Kent Road Car Company in Sandgate Road. If May 23rd was accepted as the day on which the young woman was murdered the last person she was seen alive with was the prisoner, walking in the direction of the stile that led to the scene of the crime. Mr. Oliver said Whiting had associated with a woman named Rose Woodbridge, a married woman, who left her husband in September, 1936, and went to live with the prisoner at Dover. She lived with him until somewhere about November last. Phyllis Spiers was a very close friend of Rose Woodbridge, and saw a lot of her and the prisoner at the time. Whiting did not approve of Phyllis' association with Rose. One evening Rose came home and told him she had been out with Phyllis and had met a couple of men who had asked the two of them to go and live with them. Whiting told Rose that if she did not stop sroing about with Phyllis he would do something wrong. Then he threatened he would strangle Phyllis. "Beware of Rose Woodbridge. You may not think her a very reliable sort of witness, but that does not mean she cannot tell the truth. It is for you to determine the value of these things”, added Mr. Oliver. “It was quite clear the prisoner was very fond of her. Whiting and Mrs. Woodbridge separated - her mother, I think, took her away - and this made him very jealous. He was anxious to find out who had brought about the separation. He was desperately in love with her. In a statement to the police he said he worshipped her, and in his mind Phyllis was the person really responsible for coming between them”. Concerning the green scarf, Mr. Oliver said it was probably the most reliable piece of evidence in that case Whiting had denied not only that it was not his scarf, but that he had never had a scarf like it. He has asserted that he was not wearing a scarf on the day of the murder. The prosecution had evidence that right up to the day of the murder he was wearing a similar green scarf, but that on the day of the murder he was not. Another piece of evidence, found on a post in the thicket, was a hair similar to Whiting's. On July 1st Whiting made a long statement to the police in which he said that he and Phyllis walked to the golf course and sat on the grass. Phyllis was very quiet. “I said, ‘What is the matter?' the statement proceeded She said 'I am fed up, and am going to do myself in.’ I said 'How are you going to do it?’ and she said, 'Strangle myself with a scarf round my neck.’ She was wearing a green spotted scarf.” He contended that Mrs. Spiers could not have strangled herself.

Kenneth George Andrews (16), of 23, Ethelbert Road, Folkestone, a grocer’s roundsman, said on Thursday, 26th May, fee went to a coppice at the foot of Caesar’s Camp bird-nesting. At about 6 p.m. he saw what appeared to be a bundle, but, looking closer, he saw it was a body of a woman covered with a coat. He shouted, and touched the head with & stick. He realised the woman was not sleeping, and later spoke to a police officer. He saw the body again, and it had not been interfered with.

Mr. Geoffrey Poole, an assistant in the Borough Surveyor’s office, produced a street plan of Folkestone. He said he went to the scene and took measurements of the gap and checked the position of the gap after it was framed. It was the same as it was when growing.

Cross-examined, witness said standing on the sixteenth tee of the golf course it was possible to see up Castle Hill. There was a hut connected with the Kent Agricultural Show and some trees on the corner, but it was possible to see past them.

Dr. William Claude Percy Barrett, said Stanley Seymour Harrison, a photographer, was a patient of his, and was so ill as not to be able to travel.

Mr. Roland Oliver read the deposition of Mr. Harrison’s evidence given at the Police Court proceedings.

Mr. Arthur Charles Spiers, 29, Sidney Street, Bexhill-on-Sea, a milk roundsman, said on May 27th he identified the body Of his wife, aged 22 years. In the photographs produced he recognised his wife as the young woman wearing a dark coat. They were married on April 11th, 1932, ad parted on April 13th, 1934. He last saw his wife alive in August, 1934, at Hastings. Before her death he had commenced divorce proceedings against her.

Chief Inspector Hollands said he went with the witness Andrews and the Coroner’s Officer to the coppice, where the body was found, and caused the book of photographs to be taken. The body had apparently been dragged to the place through the gap framed in Court. When he raised the coat from the body he noticed a strong smell of putrefaction. On Monday, 23rrd, it was a fine day, but on Tuesday it rained from 1.30 to 2.30 p.m. On Wednesday it rained all the afternoon. On the day when the body was found it was fine. The coat over the body was damp, and there were rain marks on the handbag. There were little pitmarks on the ground, and there were dirt marks on the woman’s hand and arms where the rain had splashed up. The ground under the body was dry. In the place where he found the body there was no sign of a struggle. Round the woman’s neck was tied the green-spotted scarf. It was twisted round twice very tightly, and knotted.

Mr. Hutchinson: Whoever it was who pulled this body through all these brambles, you would expect their coat to be very much scratched with brambles?

Witness: No.

How can you push through these sort of brambles without any mark, tear, scratch, or any result on your coat? - I went through them, and my coat did not get scratched with brambles.

Dealing with the question of the tear In the prisoner’s coat, Mr. Hutchinson asked: When the man made the experiment he knew there was a tear in the left-hand shoulder of the defendant’s coat?

Chief Inspector Hollands: Yes.

Did you think that was very much use as an experiment? When you went through you did not tear yours? - When I felt it tearing I went down and wriggled through.

Did you smell putrefaction? - Yes.

Did you see any signs of putrefaction? - No.

One man confessed he had done the murder? - Not to me.

He confessed, and police enquired into it, but took no further steps? - I do not know.

Det. Sergt. Johnson said on the evening of May 26th he saw the body at the coppice. He took possession of the handbag produced and examined its contents. He found the piece of material (produced) in the handbag. If it had been torn from a large piece he could find no trace of the larger piece. The following day he made a search of the place and found a broken comb. He examined the ground from the spot where he found the comb to the barrier, and it had the appearance of having had a heavy object dragged over it. He also found a long hair.

Mr. Roland Oliver said they had eliminated a great deal of evidence about the hairs, and they were dealing with only one or two.

Continuing, witness said he found another hair on the back of the post which formed part of the barrier. He also took three hairs from a hat, and other hairs from the head of the dead woman. On July 11th he obtained four hairs from the head of the prisoner. He handed the hairs to Chief Inspector Parker. Continuing, Det. Sergt. Johnson said he went to a common lodging-house in Dover Street on May 31st and obtained a suitcase of property from the man in charge. He found the pair of braces (produced) in the suitcase. On July 7th he purchased half a pound of butter.

Mr. Hutchinson: After you get through the gap, how far was it, to the other gap where the body was found?

Det. Sergt. Johnson: Ten or eleven yards.

It is a very low tunnel? - Not when you get through the tunnel.

Bits would catch your coat? - Possibly.

Mr. Hutchinson suggested it was impossible that the hair found on the post of the barrier had anything to do with the murder. He submitted it was a wild deduction, because anyone going through the barrier backwards could not have got into such a position to leave a hair in that spot.

Mr. Roland Oliver; It has been suggested that his head could not have touched that post. Do you agree that it could or could not have touched it?

Witness: I say it could have touched it.

Mr. Roland Oliver said he had had an opportunity of getting information from Sir Bernard Spilsbury and there was no point in the fly eggs at all and he was not calling any evidence about it.

The Coroner’s Officer, Det. Con. Bates, said at 6.30 p.m. on May 26th he went to the coppice and saw the body. There was a smell of putrefaction. He later showed the body to a Mr. Spiers, Mr. Santer and Mr. Wanstall. On May 31st he purchased a complete change of clothing for the prisoner and took possession of all the clothing Whiting was wearing. The hat, trousers, braces and jacket with the tear produced all belonged to the prisoner. A small green zip fastener purse was found in the left hand pocket of the jacket.

Mr. Hutchinson: Did you notice any signs of putrefaction?

Witness: No, but the smell was very strong.

He was not arrested until June 25th? - I think that was the date.

You will agree that the tear you have pointed out might have been caused by anything? - The tear was on the jacket when I took it from the prisoner.

You do not suggest it could only be done by barbed wire? - No.

Mr. Douglas Scott Moncrieff, in charge of the Meteorological Department at Folkestone, said on May 23rd the maximum temperature was 60 deg. F. and the minimum 42 deg. F. The minimum grass temperature was 36 deg. There was no rainfall. On the Tuesday the maximum temperature was 63 deg. F. and the minimum grass temperature was 38. There was no rainfall at 10 a.m., but at 6 p.m. there was .01 inch recorded. On the Wednesday the maximum temperature was 59 deg. and the minimum 48. There was a fair amount of rain, less than .005 inches at 10 a.m., and at 6 p.rn, .3 inch. On the Thursday the rainfall at 10 a.m. was .02 inches, and at 6 p.m. nil.

Robert John Reid, the deputy of a lodging house in Dover Street, Folkestone, said he had known the prisoner for about 19 to 20 years. He had stayed at his house for about three months. On May 23rd the prisoner spent the night at the lodging-house. He remained there until May 26th. He handed the prisoner’s suitcase to a police officer.

Mr. Hutchinson: How many men are there in the same room?

Witness: Five.

It would be quite fair to say that people’s properly gets mixed up sometimes? - Yes.

Dr. William Claude Percy Barrett said on May 26th at 7.30 p.m. he went to the coppice and saw the body. The position was consistent with the body having been dragged on its back. He did not notice any smell from the body, which was covered. At 9.10 p.m. the same night he saw the body in the mortuary, and there was a definite smell of putrefaction. He would not expect any smell from a body under the conditions present for at least three days. He would expect rigor mortis to set in after 12 to 18 hours and last from 48 to 72 hours. Of that body in those circumstances it would be 72 hours. When he saw the body in the thicket there was rigor mortis. At 8.30 p.m. on Friday, May 27th, the rigor mortis had completely gone. There were several bruises on the face and front of the body. The nose had been flattened by a violent blow. He was present when Sir Bernard Spilsbury made his examination, which revealed bruises in the neck. Dr. Barrett said he considered that the bruises were due to the ligature and death, in his view, was by garrotting with the scarf.

Mr. Oliver: How long before you saw the body do you think it likely that the woman met her death?

Witness: Forty-eight to seventy-two hours.

Mr. Hutchinson questioned witness about his report of the post-mortem examination to the Coroner.

Did you say the stomach contained ten lumps of potatoes?

Dr. Barrett: I did.

Is that correct? - Apparently no, when the lumps were put under the microscope.

And the brownish fluid? - There was a brownish fund in the stomach.

At the inquest, when you were on oath, you said “The deceased, in my opinion, had been dead not longer than two days”; what did you mean by that?

Witness: I rather expected the Coroner to take the question further, to tell you the truth.

Why did you tell him that; it must have been what you thought? – Why? Because I had heard rumours that she had been seen shopping. It seemed rattier absurd to certify somebody dead if she had been seen shopping.

Because of the chit-chat you heard you altered your opinion? - Put it that way if you like.

Are you changing your opinion because Sir Bernard Spilsbury has said anything different? - No.

You were the only one who gave evidence about this matter to the Coroner, and you said “The deceased, in my opinion, had been dead not longer than two days”, and you now tell us you did not honestly say that. Do you deny saying that? - No, I do not. I cannot swear to saying that.

Did you tell the Coroner something that is not your honest opinion on the chance of the Coroner asking you something more? - No.

Do you think that the woman was more likely to have been killed on the 24th than the 23rd? - I still think it was 23rd.

You agree that it is a matter of opinion? - Absolutely a matter of opinion.

She certainly may have been living on the 24th? - It is possible, but I do not think it is at all likely.

Supposing twelve witnesses come here and say so, would that make you think she was probably alive on the 24th? - No.

You say she died from garrotting? - I consider it so.

You know Sir Bernard Spilsbury does not agree? - I know.

You thought the scratches were caused before death, and Sir Bernard after death? - The scratches on the legs.

You agree that all these questions are matters of grave difficulty where people may honestly make a mistake? - Yes. I agree that Sir Bernard Spilsbury’s experience must be greater than mine. I have only had two cases of murder.

Sir Bernard Spilbury said he made a post-mortem examination with Dr. Barrett. He found the body was that of a well-nourished young woman. He saw the mark of the ligature round the neck and a number of external injuries on the face and body. He examined the tissues of the neck and found bruising, just such as would be caused by the grip of the hand in manual strangulation. Strangulation in some form caused her death, and in his view it was manual strangulation. He would not have expected her to have been dead for three days, but he could not say definitely within 24 hours.

Mr. Roland Oliver: Is it, in your opinion, possible that this young woman, in the circumstances in which you saw her, had committed suicide by strangling herself with the scarf?

Witness: Quite out of the question.

Mr. Hutchinson: Supposing she had had a long walk, little food, and a terrible struggle, would that bring on rigor mortis very quickly?

Sir Bernard Spilsbury: Much more quickly.

Is not putrefaction caused or stimulated by the passing of rigor mortis? - It happens to be coincidal.

Supposing rigor mortis was accelerated, would that accelerate putrefaction? - Not necessarily.

Would you go as far as to say it was impossible for her to be alive on the 24th? - I hardly think it is possible.

Dr. Roche Lynch, Senior Official Analyst to the Home Office, described the tear on the prisoner’s coat. At the apex of the tear, he said, there was a tiny round hole as though a round sharp pointed object had gone through the fabric before it had been torn. The tear must have been downwards and to the right. When the tear was made the coat would be on a man who was going backwards. Witness said he had looked at the barrier (produced), and part of the barbed wire could have made a similar tear as the one in the coat. Continuing, he said the woman’s stomach contained butter fat. The last meal was taken at least three hours before death. He was shown the green scarf. The ends of it showed signs of wear, and there were marks which could have been accounted for by the ends of the scarf being made fast in the braces produced. He compared the hairs from the girl’s head with the hair found near the comb, and they closely resembled each other. Both were bleached. The accused’s hair and the hair from the post on the barrier closely resembled each other. The hair on the post could have come from anybody who had similar hair.

Mr. Hutchinson: Did you examine the coat by any chance to see if there were any scratches? - The tear was the only item of note. Dealing with the braces Mr. Hutchinson said the braces which could have made the marks on the scarf might have been a new pair. There were no signs of them being used.

Dr. Roche Lynch said there were signs that they had been used.

Mr. Hutchinson: I am suggesting that they might be a new pair, and in any case have hardly been used at all?

Witness: They have had some wear.

People who go to common lodging-houses do not have a couple of pairs of braces? - I bow to your superior knowledge.

To leave the marks that you found, or some of the marks, it must have been worn very often in that way? - If holes had been produced in the way I mentioned they must have been worn several times, but the linear marks could be produced in twenty minutes.

Robert Henry Rird, of Margate, and Alfred James Carter, of Ramsgate, employed by a firm of holiday snaps, gave evidence of taking photographs of the murdered woman.

Bernice C. Hegarty, of Mead Road, Folkestone, said she recognised one of the women in the holiday snaps (produced) as Phyllis Minter, whom she had known for 3½ years. She spoke to Phyllis at 9.45 a.m. on Monday, and recognised the handbag (produced) as her’s. The green zip fastener purse (produced) was very like the dead woman’s purse. Continuing she said the deceased had a dark check scarf similar to the piece of material (produced), but she had never seen her wearing a green spotted scarf.

Cross-examined, witness said the purse was something like the one Phyllis had.

Mr. Hutchinson: About the scarf, you say there was a fringe on it? - There was.

When was it you last saw Phyllis? - Monday morning at about a quarter to ten.

Mr. Hutchinson pointed out that the witness said she had last seen the murdered woman on Saturday morning.

The witness then explained that she had seen her on both days.

Pte. Harold Wall, of the Royal Berkshire Regiment, stationed at Shomcliffe, said he lived with the murdered woman from May 15th to the 19th, at Sandgate. He first saw her in February or the beginning of March, and gave her the scarf somewhere about April. Originally, it had a fringe on it, hut he cut it off before he gave it to her. The piece of material produced was part of the scarf he gave to Phyllis. He had never seen her wearing the green spotted scarf. Continuing, witness said some of the letters in the suitcase (produced) were written by him to the murdered woman.

Mr. Hutchinson: What sort of place did you stay with her at?

Pte. Wall: It was a one room affair.

id either of you have any luggage? - I was living at the camp. She had no luggage.

How many days were you there? - Four days.

Mr. Hutchinson went on to question the witness about statements that were taken from him.

Was it found that you had scratches? - One on the arm.

Did not the police discover that a car had been taken from Aldershot and taken back that night, the 23rd or 24th? - I heard something about it.

You do not know the distance shown on that car was exactly the distance from Aldershot to Folkestone? - No.

Mr. Hutchinson said he was not suggesting the witness committed the murder, but he did suggest that there was just as much evidence in some ways against others as against the prisoner.

The witness said he had nothing to do with taking the car from Aldershot, and the scratches on his arm happened while he was carrying meat.

Mr. Roland Oliver: Did you leave Aldershot at all between May 19th and the date of the discovery of the body?

Pte. Wall: No.

At this stage the Court rose until the following day.

The case was resumed at 10.30 a.m. on Wednesday.

Mr. Harold Henry Parker, 73, Dover Rood, Folkestone, a Press photographer, said the previous day he took a photograph from the sixteenth tee on Folkestone golf course. It was possible to see the junction of Cherry Garden Avenue and Cherry Garden Lane and to see people going towards Caesar’s Camp over the hedge. After a fleeting glance of people walking along Cherry Garden Avenue, a person on the sixteenth tee would see them when they reached the junction of the two roads.

It was decided by both defence and prosecution to have witnesses make observations from the sixteenth tee.

Chief Inspector Hollands, re-called, said the suitcase produced he got from the East Kent Road Car Company’s office at Folkestone on June 1st. He made a list of the contents, which included a packet of letters, all addressed to Miss P. Butcher.

Mr. Ernest Edward Curtis an Inspector employed by the East Kent Road Car Company, said the blue case produced was like a case he saw on May 22nd or 23rd. On that occasion a young lady asked the next through bus to Margate and then left the office. After she had gone he noticed a dark bag there.

Pte. Harold Wall, re-called, said three of the letters produced were written by him to the murdered woman. They were addressed to Miss Phyllis Butcher, the name he knew her by.

Cross-examined, witness said he wrote the letters before May 19th, when she was in hospital. After he left her in May she gave him “G.P.O., Folkestone”, as her address.

Chief Inspector W. Parker, New Scotland Yard, said on the afternoon of May 27th, he went to the coppice near Caesar’s Camp. He supervised the framing of the barrier produced in the Court. On the side of the coppice nearer Folkestone there was an agricultural field. On May 30th, with Det. Sgt. Skardon, he interviewed the prisoner at Folkestone Police Station. He admitted that he knew the murdered woman. He said he would tell them what he knew and he made a long statement, which he made willingly. Witness said he was endeavouring to find out the prisoner’s movements for several days. The statement was read and during the course of it Whiting stated: “I am a widower, my wife died on 3rd May, 1936. She was strangled by George Arthur Bryant, who was afterwards executed at Wandsworth. I was at the time of her death living apart from my wife. I had three children by her. . . My wife left me in 1935”. Later, went on the statement, he lived in Dover with a Mrs. Woodbridge. She left him in November, 1937, after her mother received a letter from a landlord in Folkestone saying that her daughter was drinking in public houses. While he was living with Mrs. Woodbridge a young girl, who Mrs. Woodbridge said was named Phyllis Minter, came to see her. In his statement Whiting said he met the murdered woman on Monday, May 23rd, at about 12.30 p.m., and they went to the Globe public house on The Bayle. They stayed for about ten minutes. While they were there she said she could get married again. "I said ‘Can you?’”, continued Whiting’s statement, “and read the divorce papers. She said ‘Why don’t you marry me and let’s go back to Dover?' ” The statement then went on to describe how Whiting and the girl went to the golf links. “We sat down on the grass”, it continued, when she pulled out something wrapped in brown paper Some stitches and a ring, a little bone ring She said they were stitches which had been taken out of her operation. We were both thinking. I don’t know what was the matter with her that day. She was not cheerful. She did not speak much. I believe there was something worrying her. I have seen her like it at Dover when she came in staring at me. I cannot say what was on her mind. Perhaps it was because she was down and out. I said nothing to upset her”. Continuing, the statement described how they made their way to Cherry Garden Lane and into Cheriton Road, after crossing the golf links. "I told her that I worshipped Rose”, it continued, “I said ‘If Rose does not come back I shall never settle down again’. ... I did not see Phyllis at all on Tuesday. . . Phyllis and I did not discuss living together before last Monday”. Continuing, witness said after the statement had been taken the matter of the jacket was mentioned. He noticed there was a tear in the prisoner’s jacket on the left shoulder. He said “I don’t know where or when I did it." He was asked about the green spotted scarf, and be said “I have never seen it before. I have not worn a scarf myself for a long while, and I have never had one like that.” Whiting made another statement on June 1st, in which he said: “When we went on to the golf course on the Monday, thee day I have already told you about, I mean when I was with Phyllis and when we were sitting on ihe grass, she was very quiet, and I said ‘What is the matter?’ She said 'I am fed up and I am going to do myself in’. I said 'How are you going to do it?’ and she said ‘Strangle myself with a scarf round my neck’. She was wearing a green spotted scarf. After we got up and walked across the golf links. She was very quiet, and kept saying she was fed up. I have not seen her since that Monday, 23rd May, 1938. . . . I might tell you that she was partly the cause of Rose Woodbridge leaving me.” Continuing, witness said he showed the contents of the suit-case to the prisoner. The suitcase was taken from the lodging-house in Dover Street, and Whiting said the articles in the case belonged to him.

Mr. Oliver: Did you endeavour to find out in Folkestone any house at which Phyllis had slept after May 23rrd?

Witness: Yes.

Were you unsuccessful? - Yes.

Mr. Hutchinson: This man is a very uneducated man?

Witness Yes.

Why was it necessary to take a statement from him, you a trained police officer, from ten o’clock at night as you say, and I say later, until 2 in the morning? - I wanted to get as much detail on this man as possible.

Do you think that it is a usual time to take a statement fairly? - It was the most convenient time at that stage of the enquiry.

He was arrested on June 25th? - Yes.

Do you mean to say that you were in such a hurry that it had to be taken from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.? - Yes.

"Why? - There were quite a number of people waiting at the Police Station to be seen on that particular evening.

Do you think it fair? Have you not heard of it being done in third degree in other countries? - I was endeavouring to discover who perpetrated this crime.

Surely it was not necessary to take a man at 10 at night and cross-examine him till 2 a.m. Did he get into a muddle? - No.

Did not he get ready to agree to any thing you put to him? - No.

Did you ask whether he had had any food? - Yes.

Had he? - I was told he had been given refreshment.

You examined him very severely? - Yes. I asked him numerous questions.

Is not that third degree?

Judge Wrottesley: I do not know strictly what third degree means.

Mr. Hutchinson (to Chief Inspector Parker): Do you know what it means when people say third degree?

Witness: I have heard of the term, but I do not know what it means.

Chief Inspector Parker said neither he nor Det. Sergt. Skardon suggested it was a case of suicide and that if it was it would let the prisoner out.

Mr. Hutchinson: What happened was on 27th or 28th he had an interview with the Chief Constable? - Yes.

Then he had this long sojourn at the Police Station on the 30th, leaving round about three, I am suggesting, in the morning, and the next day he was taken again and his clothes were taken away from him, and the next day he was sent for again? - Yes.

Witness said there were no scratches on the prisoner’s body, and none, beyond the tear, on his coat. Continuing, witness said there were a whole lot of brambles around the branches produced.

The two nights preceding the murder she was with Mrs. Wright?

Witness: Yes.

Had you in your possession on May 30th anything like the whole of the evidence that has been called in this case? - No.

Det. Sergt. Skardon said he was present when the two statements wore taken from prisoner, and actually wrote them down. The suggestion of suicide came from the prisoner.

Mr. Oliver: Did you or Chief Inspector Parker ever put the suggestion into the prisoner’s mind about suicide?

Witness: No.

Continuing, witness said he went through the gap backwards and tore his jacket. He knew the barb of wire was there. Apart from the tear in his jacket he did not tear his clothes with the brambles as he walked about.

Cross-examined, witness said the brambles pulled at the fabric of his clothes. The tear in his coat was not very like the tear in the other coat.

Mr. Hutchinson: There were, of course a good many brambles about?

Witness: Yes.

Anyone going where you did would get their clothes, not torn, but scratched? - Possibly, it would depend on the material.

Witness said when he went through the barrier he knew the barb was there, and that the prisoner was supposed to have torn his coat. He (witness) could not have gone through the barrier, pulling the dummy, without tearing his coat.

Mr. Hutchinson: I am suggesting that the suggestion was made to him that this might have been suicide, and that would clear him?

Witness: It was not made.

You are sure? -Quite positive.

Neither directly nor indirectly? - Neither.

Neither by hint nor suggestion? - No.

Are you quite certain of that? - Quite certain.

John Joseph Hurst, of Joyes Road, Folkestone, manager of Messrs. Hepworth. Ltd., of Folkestone, said he stocked scarves similar to the one produced from October, 1936, to February, 1937, and again from October, 1937, to February or March, 1938.

Cross-examined, witness admitted it was quite a popular scarf.

In reply to Mr. Oliver, witness said all the scarves were not green. They were in four different shades.

Mr. Joseph Charles Kember, an employment clerk at the Folkestone Employment Exchange, said he had interviewed the prisoner in connection with his duty. He last sent the prisoner on a job of work on March 19th. At the time he was wearing a green scarf with white spots. The scarf produced was similar to the scarf the prisoner was wearing. Witness said he saw the prisoner again March 21st and between the 16th and 19th May. He wore the scarf knotted on the left-hand side of the neck, and it appeared to be wound twice round his neck.

Cross-examined, witness said he could see the ends of the scarf.

P.C. Pearce, Dover Borough Police said on April 9th the accused was in his charge at Dover for something like three-quarters of an hour. He was wearing a green scarf with dirty white spots. It was wound twice round the neck and knotted on the left-hand side.

Mr. John McKinnon Taylor, 24, Walton Gardens, a clerk at the Folkestone Employment Exchange, said he went on leave on May 23rd to the following Saturday. Before he went on leave he saw the prisoner on May 20th, and he was wearing a green scarf tied with a double knot on one side. After returning from his leave he saw the prisoner on May 30th, and he was not wearing the scarf. He had not seen him wearing the scarf since. The one produced was similar to the scarf the prisoner was wearing on May 20th.

Det. Sergt. Johnson, re-called, said lie made a list of the contents of the handbag found beside the body Among the articles in the bag was a piece of a cigarette packet with the name “H. Pyneart,” printed on it in pencil.

Cross-examined, witness said there were a great many statements taken before 30th May.

Mrs. Adelaide Maude Wright, a widow, of 9, Garden Road, Folkestone, said she knew the murdered woman as Phyllis Minter. She let her a room on May 21st. On Monday, the 23rd, the woman had bread and butter and a cup of tea for breakfast. The woman had nothing more than what she stood up in. On May 23rd she went into the town with Phyllis. They went into Woolworth’s at about 10 a.m., and witness bought a roll of white paper. Phyllis was wearing a blue coat and a grey coloured scarf. She had never seen her wearing a green scarf. Phyllis had a brown comb with a piece broken off the end. She was able to pick out the girl who served in Woolworth’s.

Cross-examined, witness said Phyllis told her that she came from Tooting, and that she had a job at The Lido. She said she had left her luggage with friends, and witness was surprised when she did not return on the Monday. When witness arrived home on Monday night she saw a man without a hat and wearing a mackintosh waiting outside her house.

When the proceedings were continued in the afternoon the jury wished to know whether the barbed wire on the barrier was the same height from the ground as it was from the floor of the Court. The jury had examined the barrier during the luncheon adjournment.

Det. Sergt. Skardon said the heights were the same. According to the theory of the prosecution the murderer dragged the body downhill through the gap. The gradient was one in four.

Mr. Hubert Pyneart, a waiter employed at the Royal Pavilion Hotel, Folkestone, said he knew Mrs. Spiers by sight. A year ago she worked at the hotel. He met her on the morning of May 23rd at about 10.40 and walked with her round Folkestone. He was with her until 12.30 p.m., and during the morning walked with her in Sandgate Road. He had never walked with her before in the morning. While he was with her he wrote his name on a piece of card and gave it. to the murdered woman. Witness said the scarf Mrs. Spiers was wearing was of a dark colour, very similar to the piece of material produced.

Mr. Charles Leonard Varner, of 13, New Street, Folkestone, said he knew the accused and also the murdered woman. He knew her as Minter, and he last saw her on the Monday before her body was found. She was at the corner of New Street. He saw prisoner enter Philpott’s shop and then go over to the girl and give her a cigarette. They both went up Bradstone Road.

Cross-examined, witness said Weatherhead had not asked him to say anything about Longley.

Mrs. Lilian Maude Varrier the wife of the last witness, said on Monday, May 23rd, she saw the prisoner in Philpott’s shop at about 1.20 p.m. She saw him leave the shop and meet the murdered woman. They went together towards Bradstone Road.

Mrs. Laura Laws, of 68, Foord Road Folkestone, said she knew the murdered woman as Phyllis Butcher. She let her a room on May 18th. She stayed there on Thursday and Friday, and left without paying. Witness saw the deceased on the following Monday in Bradstone Avenue. There was a man with her, but she ran after and spoke to witness. Afterwards the deceased went back to the man, and they walked towards the Public Baths.

Cross-examined, witness said the deceased told her that she was a maid at the Longford Hotel. She had no luggage, but she said she came from London.

Mr. William David Marsh, of Clarence Road, Folkestone, a pavior employed by the Folkestone Corporation, said on Monday, May 23rd, he was working in Radnor Park Avenue, and saw the prisoner pass with a young woman. They were walking in the direction of the golf course.

Mr. William John Harbird said he saw the prisoner with a young woman by the Peter Pan’s Pool on May 23rd.

Mr. Hutchinson: At the Police Court you said it was the 23rd or 24th.

Witness: I was wrong on the dates.

Are you still certain it was not the 24th? - Yes, now.

Mr. Harry James Santer, of 5, Pavilion Road, a groundsman employed at the Folkestone golf course, said on Monday, May 23rd, at 1.35 p.m., he saw the murdered woman with the prisoner walking along the road across the golf course. The woman looked as though she had been crying.

Frederick Wanstall, of Invicta Road, Folkestone, a gardener at the Folkestone golf course, said he saw the body of a girl at the mortuary. He saw her on Monday, May 23rd, with the prisoner. When he saw them, he was cutting the 16th tee near Cherry Garden Avenue. The prisoner and the girl were walking towards Caesar’s Camp. He saw them as far as the point where the road they were walking on joined Cherry Garden Lane. The time was somewhere about two, or just after.

Mr. Hutchinson: You were not certain about the date?

Witness: Yes.

Mr. Hutchinson: What you mean is that you saw this man with some girl. You saw him walking along this lane on some day that you are not really certain. Is that what it comes to? Has it weighed on your mind very much, this case? - It has.

You did try to kill yourself because of it? - No. I do not think it was because of that. It was because I had left my wife because she had treated me unfairly.

Mr. A.S. Beesley, Chief Constable of Folkestone, said on June 25th, when he cautioned the prisoner, he said he was not guilty.

Mr. Hutchinson: On 4th June you were trying to find where Mrs. Spiers stayed on Tuesday?

Witness: Yes.

Florence Thompson, of 19, Hamilton Road, Dover, said she had a conversation with the prisoner about Phyllis. She told him that it was a shame that Phyllis was murdered. The prisoner asked her if she would like a scarf round her neck. He told her that if she did not keep her mouth shut about Phyllis he would put her on the spot. He said “You can do a murder without leaving finger prints and foot marks”. They went to three public-houses together.

Cross-examined, witness said she did not have a great deal to drink. She never got drunk.

Mr. Hutchinson : I am suggesting that this man never said this to you at all. Did he?

Witness: He did.

There was nothing to call forth this man’s anger in what you said? - I do not know.

Did he really say “You can murder without leaving linger prints or loot marks”? - Yes.

You are not a friend of his? - No.

Hardly know him? - Only by sight.

Robert William Weatherhead, of 35, Darlington Street, Folkestone, said he remembered a day when there was a row at the Guildhall public house. It must have been after May 31st. Witness took the prisoner as a partner at darts. Whiting was abusive to the landlord, who came round to put him out. The prisoner said to the landlord “I will serve you as I served the blondie”. Whiting had had enough drink to make him talk.

Mr. Hutchinson: I suggest he did not say that?

Witness: I say he did.

Percy Ernest Wootton, licensee of the Guildhall Hotel, Folkestone, said on Friday, 3rd June, there was a row, arid he had occasion to caution the prisoner, who begged him to let him stay, and he did so. He did not hear the prisoner say anything else.

Mr. William Hall, of 16, Great, Fenchurch Street, Folkestone, said he knew the murdered woman, Rose Woodbridge and the prisoner.

In March the prisoner stayed at his house for two weeks. While he was there he said if Rose was willing to come back to him he was willing to make a home for her. He said he worshipped her. In fact he often mentioned her.

Mrs. Daisy Emily Hall, wife of the previous witness, said in March the prisoner lived at her house for a time. While he was there he said he was sorry Rose had left him. He often spoke of her.

Cross-examined, witness said the prisoner did not like Mrs. Flynn, and she did not like him. She never saw the prisoner with two pairs of braces while he was at her house.

In reply to Mr. Oliver witness said Mrs. Flynn came to see her “now and again”.

Mrs. Elvey Flynn, of 21, Great Fenchurch Street, Folkestone, said she knew Rose and the prisoner. She went sometimes to Mr. and Mrs. Hall's place, and remembered the time when the prisoner was staying there. When she went there the prisoner asked her if she knew any body who told Rose Woodbridge anything about him. He said when he found out anyone who had told Rose Wood bridge anything about him he would strangle them.

Cross-examined, witness said on one occasion the prisoner jumped up and ran upstairs when she went into the house, but on another occasion he spoke to her.

Mrs. Rose Woodbridge, Eight Bells lodging-house, King Street, Canterbury said she was married on September 4th, 1935. She lived with her husband for a month or two, and after leaving him she lived with Whiting for a year, and left him a fortnight before last Christmas.
Phyllis was a great friend of hers. Whiting told her that she must stop going about with Phyllis when she told him about two fellows arranging to take them to London. Whiting said if she did not keep away from Phyllis he would do something wrong. She told him that walls had ears.

The prisoner was present when her mother took her away.

This concluded the case for the Crown.

Mr. St. John Hutchinson, in opening the case for the defence, said one of the essential points of the prosecution was that the woman was killed on May 23rd. The accused was walking with the deceased, and was seen by many people with her on that day. If the jury thought the evidence was so strong that she was undoubtedly killed on the 23rd, they would probably find Whiting guilty. Would it be possible for them to honestly say to themselves “I have no reasonable doubt that the day this woman was killed was on the 23rd May and not on the 24th”? This is a case of circumstantial evidence. Sometimes a case of circumstantial evidence could be the strongest they could have, and sometimes it could be the weakest. They could imagine sometimes it might be one of the most difficult to have to decide. He suggested that that case would be very difficult for the jury to decide. Dealing with the green scarf, Mr. Hutchinson said Whiting lied when he told the police he had never had a green scarf and that he knew nothing about it. The fact that he has told such a lie showed in no way that he was a guilty man. It was only by the help of the State that the prisoner could be defended. He was a man of no position and no education. He was taken to the Police Station. The murder was well known in Folkestone, and the jury could realise that it caused a tremendous sensation. The scarf, which he knew was his, he knew J was found on the dead woman. Was it, therefore, extraordinary for a man like that to deny the scarf was his? It was not very extraordinary for him to think if he admitted the scarf was his he was "done for”. “Looking at it from a common-sense point of view”, Mr. St. J. Hutchinson continued, “did they really think any murderer was such a fool when this woman has a scarf of her own, to deliberately take away that scarf, for that is what he must have done, and substitute it with his own scarf - leave one of his visiting cards, as it were, upon the corpse - after strangling her with his own hands deliberately take his own scarf and bind it round her throat for no apparent reason unless than for the reason to make people think she had committed suicide? He tied it like that, and no one out of Bedlam would think she had committed suicide. The prisoner was going to tell them that he gave her the green scarf. Whiting was a man who was in a desperate position, who was literally fighting for his life. What they had to ask themselves was, was the evidence of the prosecution true; were they reasonably convinced of the truth of the evidence? That was what they had to say before they acted upon the evidence of the prosecution. With regard to the evidence for the defence they had to ask themselves whether it was reasonably true. “There might he many with a motive against this unhappy girl on the flotsam and jetsam of life”, he said. “Supposing she was killed by someone else on May 24th or 25th, that she was wearing a green scarf, then the murderer would probably leave it tied round her neck. That is much more likely than that this man would”. He did not know whether the jury noticed the prisoner crying when Rose Woodbridge gave evidence and also when he (Mr. Hutchinson) was cross-examining her. His affection for her was real; perhaps a decent thing. His affection for her was now being used as evidence of motive. Of course it was not necessary to prove any motive at all, but most juries did look for some motive. The prisoner might have been annoyed with this woman, but what a gulf lay between annoyance and murder. With regard to the taking of the statements, he said, was he exaggerating when he said that that was as near third degree as they were ever likely to get in that country? The police, of course, at that time were trying to find a murderer, and they had tried to find a motive. He asked the jury if they were really going to act on that statement. They would hear from the defendant that he had nothing to do with it. People who knew her well would say they saw her on the 24th. Some would say they saw her on the 25th. Was that not going to raise a reasonable doubt in their minds? One witness was going to say she saw her with a green scarf on May 25th.

Whiting then went into the witness box, and Mr. Hutchinson’s first question to him was “Did you murder this girl?”

Whiting: No, sir.

You had lived with Mrs. Woodbridge? - Yes.

You were very fond of her? - Yes.

Are you still desperately fond of her? - Yes.

She left you, did she not? - Yes.

She was taken away by her mother? - Yes.

How much did you know Phyllis? - I did not know her hardly at all.

Had she been over to see you when you and Rose lived together? - She used to come and see Rose now and again.

When did you see Phyllis at Folkestone? - On the Friday.

The Friday before the Monday when you saw her again? – Yes.

Tell us what happened on that Friday? - I came out of the Guildhall at about ten past ten in the evening I was walking towards home, and I saw Phyllis on the corner. Continuing, Whiting said Phyllis said “Hello, Bill, do you miss Flo much?” He said “Yes, and I would like to have her back.” She told him that she was down and out and hungry. He gave her half-a-crown, for she said she had had some trouble with the Labour Exchange.

The scarf produced was his property, and he was wearing it on the Friday, when he gave it to Phyllis. She had an open-necked blouse, and she had just come out of the Savoy Picture Palace. She was cold, and asked for his scarf, which he took off and gave to her. She thanked him for it. He had no idea that Phyllis tried to take Rose from him. She was a good little soul. He next saw Phyllis on the Monday, May 23rd, at about 12.30 p.m. She was looking at some postcards in South Street. He had seen her before with the Belgian at 10.30 a.m. before going up Sandgate Road. When he saw her in South Street she asked if he was going to treat her. She said “Let’s go up to the Globe”, a public house on The Bayle. When they got to the Globe she had a brown ale, and he had a pint of beer. She then showed him some divorce papers in her handbag. She said “Why don’t you get married, Bill?” He said “I will do, but I have got to get a job first”. She said ’’Let’s go to Dover and live, and got married afterwards.” He was not in love with Phyllis, but he was alone, and wanted a home. He also wanted his daughter and eldest boy home. He told her that he would marry her, but he had to have a job first. She was not wearing his green scarf that day. From the Globe they went to the Public Library, and then into New Street, where he bought a box of matches at Philpott’s. Going along Sussex Road Phyllis met Mrs. Laws and spoke to her. When she returned he asked her where she was going, and she said “Home”. He asked her where her home was, and she said "89, Ashley Avenue”. They went along and stopped opposite the Baths to look at the pictures. She said she was going to the pictures that evening with her landlady. She then said "Come on, let’s go home”. Continuing, prisoner said they went up St. John’s Church Road and past the Hospital. She pointed to a room in the Hospital and she said she would show him something. They went along to the golf links and sat on a bank. She kept talking about getting married, and showed him some stitches and a bone ring. She said the stitches were from her operation. They then got up and walked across the golf links and got into Cherry Garden Avenue. They crossed the road and went round to the left into Cherry Garden Lane, and then into Cherry Garden Avenue again. They turned right into Cheriton Road, but she did not want him to go where she lived. A fellow went past on a motor bike, and she waved to him and he to her. She said he was one of her boys. She asked him not to come any further with her, as she did not want her landlady to see him. She kissed him and walked on. That was the last he saw of her.

Mr. Hutchinson: Did you take her up to Caesar’s Camp and along there and strangle her?

Whiting: No.

A few clays afterwards he went along to the Chief Constable. He was kept at the Police Station all that day and next night.

n May 30th he was told that Inspector Hollands wished to see him He went to the Police Station at about six o’clock. He was not given any food. Chief Inspector Parker commenced taking the statement at about eight o’clock. Before that he was kept in a room for about two hours. They then took him upstairs, where he saw Mr. Skardon, who said “Come into the torture chamber”.

Mr. Hutchinson: He was being funny?

Witness: I suppose he was?

Continuing, witness said he was asked to sit down by Chief Inspector Parker, who had entered the room with him. He made a statement, and they kept putting questions to him. They took a statement and then put him below again for about half-an-hour, and then took him back into the room. Chief Inspector Parker, Det. Sergt. Skardon and Chief Inspector Hollands were there, and they kept questioning him until about a quarter or half-past two. They never read anything out to him, but said “Just sign here and walk out a free man”. He had been at the Police Station since six o’clock, examined verbally for four hours, and then stripped and examined physically.

Mr. Hutchinson: What was in your mind at 2.20 m the morning? How were you feeling?

Whiting: I was beat.

Whiting further said he did not think that Phyllis wanted to take Rose away from him, and he had no reason to think that Phyllis was the cause of the trouble between him and Rose. He denied that the scarf was his because he had read in the paper that she was strangled with a green scarf.

With regard to the second statement, when he went into the room Chief Inspector Parker asked him to sit down. He took hold of the scarf, tied it twice round his neck and knotted it. Chief Inspector Parker said suicide could easily be done. Witness replied “No, it was not suicide. Whoever done that was the murderer”.

Continuing, Whiting said Chief Inspector Parker kept leaving the room and going into the Chief Constable’s office. When he came back he asked him whether he had made his mind up. In the intervals Det. Sergt. Skardon said “Come on, Bill, tell him. Don’t be a damn fool; he is trying to help you. You won’t have any more trouble. You will walk out a free man. We can go back to London, and our case is settled”.

Mr. Hutchinson: Did you think you would be able to walk out a free man?

Whiting: Yes.

Prisoner said Chief Inspector Parker said “You don’t know what I am. I don’t want to be rough. I am going to help you”. Det.-Sergt. Skardon kept saying “Go on, tell him. Tell him it is a case of suicide. We want our case cleared up. You were the last man seen with her; we don’t want to charge you with minder”. He handed prisoner his hat and said “Sign this and walk out”.

Mr. Hutchinson: You did sign it and walk out.

Judge Wrottesly: You had nothing to do with the wording of the statement?

Whiting: I simply said “Yes”.

They invented the story and you signed it? - Yes.

With regard to the incident in the Guildhall public house, he was singing, and the landlord caught hold of him. He (prisoner) said “I will handle you the same as you handle me outside.” He denied saying he would serve him as he served the blondie. Whiting admitted that he hated the sight of Mrs. Thompson. He denied saying he would put her on the spot, but said he told her that he loved Mrs. Woodbridge. He bought the green purse at Dover Woolworth’s before Christmas.

Mr. Hutchinson: Had you any feeling of hatred or revenge against Phyllis at all?

Whiting: No. She was a good little soul.

This concluded the examination of the prisoner, and the Court rose at twenty minutes to seven.

When the hearing was resumed yesterday (Thursday) Whiting was cross- examined by Mr. Roland Oliver.

Mr. Oliver: Will you look at the scarf - look at it carefully - is that actually your scarf?

Whiting: Yes.

When did you tell anybody that the scarf round this murdered woman’s neck was yours? - I told my counsel.

When? - Two or three days ago.

Mr. Hutchinson said he had been told before Wednesday morning.

Mr. Oliver: Two or three days ago you told your counsel that it was your scarf. You did not tell anybody before then?

Whiting: Yes.

You see the ends of your scarf are frayed as if they had been in contact with some hard object? - Yes.

Can you tell the jury how that happened to your scarf? - It was never there when I had that scarf.

You mean those frayed marks were not there at all? - They were not there.

Since you gave it to her that came about - Yes.

Did you ever put the ends of your scarf in the clip of any braces to hold it? - No.

You say you gave her that scarf on Friday, May 20th? - Yes.

You heard a landlady say she had never seen any such scarf? - Yes.

You last saw her with it when she put It round, her neck on Friday? - Yes.

You never saw that scarf again, did you, according to your case? – No.

She did not wear it on the Monday when you went for a walk with her? – No.

She was wearing a different scarf? – I did not notice.

You are a Folkestone man, aren't you? – Yes.

You know these three beehive-looking hills? – Yes.

Did you know there was a thicket along the bottom of them? - No, I never go up there.

You have never been up there in your life? - No.

Have you ever been up as far as the stile along the road called Castle Hill? - I came down that road last August, past that stile.

This girl Phyllis was a loose sort of girl? - According to what some people say.

She would have gone to a place like that with a good number of men if they had asked her, according to your knowledge of her? - Yes, she would.

You knew she would have gone with you if you had asked her? - I do not think she would.

In reply to other questions, Whiting said he loved Rose Woodbridge and he was sorry when she left him.

You thought some interfering person brought about Rose Woodbridge leaving you? - Something about a letter the landlord sent to her mother.

Were you anxious to find out who made that mischief? - No.

You never tried to find out who had done that? - No.

Would you have been angry with the person who had done that? - I would have asked them what they had done it for, that is all.

Can you tell the jury at all when your jacket got torn? It was the only jacket you wore on every day? - I never noticed it.

That purse which was in your pocket, you said you bought that before Christmas and had had it for months and months? - Yes.

A good many people might have seen you with it if it was yours? - I expect so.

Replying to a question by Mr. Justice Wrottesley, the prisoner said when he was in London he kept cigarette ends and papers in the purse. He also used it for money.

Mr. Oliver: You know Elvey Flynn?

Whiting: Yes.

Did you have any conversation with her about Rose Woodbridge? - I would not speak to her at all.

Why would you not speak to her? - Because I don’t like her. She is mischief making and always has been.

Did you never ask her if she knew anything about Rose Woodbridge, or whether anybody had made mischief about Rose Woodbridge? - No.

You said you hated and detested Florence Thompson. Is that right? - Yes.

Were you with her one afternoon in the Guildhall? - She came in there.

Were you afterwards with her in Jordan’s? - Yes.

Did you talk to her? - Yes. She asked me if I would treat her to a dinner in the South Foreland.

Did Mrs. Thompson say to you “It is a shame Phyllis has been murdered”? - She did not say anything like that.

Did you say “If you don’t keep your mouth shut about Phyllis I will put you on the spot? - No.

It is sheer invention? - Yes.

Did you say “How would you like a scarf round your neck?” - Pure invention.

Weatherhead is a friend of yours? - No friend of mine.

Is that an invention of his? - Absolutely

You never said you would serve anyone like you served the blondie? - No. There were other people in the bar.

Mr. Oliver then questioned Whiting about the long statement he had made.

Mr. Oliver; Do you say that the police wrote down things you did not say?

Whiting: Yes.

They invented things, and then you say they wrote them down, and you never said them at all? - Yes.

You gave them, no doubt, in answer to questions getting a detailed account of your movements with Phyllis on 23rd May? - Yes.

Is that part of the statement right? Did you tell them those things? - Yes.

They have written down a lot of things you have said about Mrs. Woodbridge. Did you say anything about Mrs. Woodbridge? - They put it to me that I had been living with Mrs. Woodbridge and I told them I had been living with her. They said “When you were there did a young girl named Phyllis Minter come there?” and I said “Yes”. They said “You say Phyllis was the cause of Mrs. Woodbridge leaving you?” They kept on putting that to me and I suppose I must have said “Yes”. Continuing, Whiting said he did not hear that she had been in hospital.

Can you think why the police should talk about her being in hospital? Are you sure you did not say that? - I am sure I did not.

Continuing, Whiting said he did say that he would be annoyed with anyone who led Rose astray. The police kept putting it to him and he said “Yes”. He did not say he thought Phyllis was the cause of the trouble between Rose and him.

Mr. Oliver: What the police have done, according to you, is to write down a lot you did say and put in little bits they invented themselves? - Yes.

If you wanted to get Phyllis to that thicket for immoral purposes you may have talked about marrying her and living with her? - It never entered my mind.

After saying you would marry her on the afternoon of Monday. May 23rd, and knowing where you thought she lived, 89, Ashley Avenue, did you make any attempt to see her again after that Monday? - No.

You were lonely and wanted to marry; you had arranged to marry this woman. She had told you her address where you thought she lived. How came it you never tried to find her until her body was discovered? - She said she would see me next day in the Library. She never turned up and I forgot all about her.

Did you say to the police “I am always worried since Mrs. Woodbridge left me”? - Yes.

Whiting said the statement was not read over to him and the statement “This statement has been read over to me and is true”, was put in after his signature was put on it. With regard to the second statement dealing with the question of suicide, Whiting said he did not see Phyllis wearing the green scarf on the Monday evening.

Mr. Oliver: Every word in that is a lie invented by the police?

Whiting: They kept saying it themselves.

Mr. Oliver asked Whiting to look at the scarf and said “Was that how it was when the police showed it to you?”

Whiting: Yes.

Mr. Oliver then reminded Whiting what he had said the previous day about Chief Inspector Parker tying the scarf twice round his neck, knotting it and saying “Look Bill, easy”. “You show the jury what Chief Inspector Parker did with that scarf”, added Mr. Oliver.

Whiting took the scarf, wound it twice round his neck and knotted it in the front.

Mr. Hutchinson: In this statement the police nut questions to you?

Whiting: Yes.

You say it is the answers to these questions that they put down in some instances wrong? - Yes.

Mr. Henry Allen, of 4, Margaret Street, Folkestone, a labourer, said he made a statement to the police on June 2nd. He had known the murdered woman well by sight for about eight years. He saw her on May 24th at 9.30 p.m. in Margaret Street smoking a cigarette.

Cross-examined, witness said he saw Phyllis practically every day.

Mr. John Brookes, of 4, Margaret Street, Folkestone, a labourer, said he made a statement to the police on June 2nd. He knew the murdered woman by sight and saw her on May 24th between 9.30 p.m. and 9.45 p.m. in Margaret Street, when he was with the previous witness.

Cross-examined, witness said he saw the murdered woman practically every weekend in a public-house. He did not see her every day.

Mrs. Ella Hall, of Station Cottages, Folkestone, said the police sent for her and she told them she went to Sainsbury’s on the 24th or 25th of May at about 10 a.m. She got off the bus at West Cliff Gardens and saw the murdered woman talking to two men. She said “Hello” to her.

Cross-examined, witness said she did not see Phyllis very often. She was not sure whether it was the 24th or 25th, but she knew it would not be the Monday.

Mr. Justice Wrottesley: Are you sure it was not the 17th or 18th that you saw Phyllis?

Witness: It was not as far back as that.

Miss Hilda Miller, of 28, Harvey Street Folkestone, a shop assistant at the Folkestone Woolworth’s, said the police sent for her on May 28th. She knew Phyllis by sight and last saw her on May 25th between 11.30 and 12 noon in the store. She was with another woman, who bought a roll of greaseproof paper. Phyllis was wearing a navy blue coat and a green scarf similar to the one produced. She had seen the murdered woman the day before and she was wearing the same coat. She was able to fix the dates because it was the same week the woman was murdered.

Cross-examined, witness said she did not remember the murdered woman coming with Mrs. Wright to the shop on Monday. She first knew that the murdered woman had a green scarf tied round her neck when she heard the other girls talking about it. Witness said she was serving on a counter where paper was sold.

Mr. Hutchinson: Did you notice anything about Phyllis? What drew your attention to her?

Witness: I looked at her hair.

What did you notice about her hair? - It had been dyed.

Mrs. Wright, re-called, said she recognised Miss Miller as the young lady from whom she made her purchase on the Monday at Woolworth’s.

Mr. Edward Marwood, a newsvendor, of 29. Tontine Street, Folkestone, said he was sent for by the police on May 29th. During the week previous, on the Wednesday morning, at about 9.50, he saw the murdered woman near Milky Way. She had a book in her hand. He was able to fix the time because he was going to the Labour Exchange to sign on. He had seen the girl on Monday at about 10.50 a.m. or 11 a.m. outside Wood’s, in Tontine Street. She was then talking to a big, stout lady. He had also seen her on the Sunday morning, when she asked him where the East Kent booking office was. She had a case in her hand and said she was going to Margate.

Cross-examined, witness said he saw Phyllis a good many times during a week.

Mr. Hutchinson: Are you certain after you had seen her on Sunday that you saw her on two days after?

Witness: On Monday and Wednesday.

Mr. John Henry Turner, of 8, Mill Bay, Folkestone, a newsvendor, said on May 29th he gave a statement to the police. He knew Phyllis Minter by sight and saw her on Wednesday, May 25th. He was locking the “Star” office up at about 7.45 a.m., when Phyllis said “Good morning” to him. He walked with her as far as the Shakespeare public house. He saw her again at 8.20 a.m. and she said she was waiting for her pal.

Miss Lucille Godden, of 43, Bridge Street, Folkestone, a waitress, said she was sent for by the police. She had known the murdered woman all her life. On May 22nd she saw Phyllis in the Alexandra Hotel. Phyllis said she had had a phone call from somebody and did not know who it was. She next saw Phyllis again on the Wednesday evening in Dover Road, between 10.30 and 11 at night. She saw Phyllis coming up the road on the pillion seat of a motor cycle. She was wearing a navy blue coat and green scarf, but no hat. A medium aged man was driving the motor cycle. He was wearing a light raincoat, but no hat. She was able to fix the date because on the Monday and Tuesday she went to a dance arid did not leave until 12 o’clock.

Mr. Oliver: I am going to suggest you are quite mistaken that you saw Phyllis between 10.30 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Wednesday.

Mr. Oliver: You are able to say she was dressed in a blue coat?

Witness: Yes.

And a green scarf? - Yes.

When did you first remember seeing her wearing a green scarf? - Different times I saw she was wearing a green scarf.

How long before this Wednesday had you seen her with a green scarf? - On Sunday.

Did you ever see her before with that green scarf? - I cannot remember what day.

A week before? - About that.

Did the police ask you how this woman was dressed? - Yes.

Why did you not tell them amongst other things she had a green scarf? - I thought I told them she had a green scarf on.

Has not your imagination been getting to work? - No.

In reply to a question by Mr. Justice Wrottesley, witness said she thought the scarf Phyllis was wearing was darker than the one produced.

Miss Lilian Beasley, of 37, Marshall Street, Folkestone, said she was with Miss Godden on the Wednesday when they saw Phyllis on the back of a motor cycle in Dover Road. She only saw the back of the murdered girl, but knew her because of her coat and hair.

Cross-examined, witness said she would not have seen Phyllis unless Miss Godden had said “There is Phyllis Minter”.

Mr. Charles Butler, of 23, St. John’s Street, Folkestone, a fisherman, said he had known the girl known as Phyllis Minter since she was three or four years of age. On May 27th he saw a newspaper photograph of the murdered girl. He had seen her on Wednesday, May 25th at the Dover bus stop at the top of Tontine Street. Witness said it was the 24th or the 25th when he saw the girl. She was talking to a man about six feet tall, who looked like a soldier. They appeared to be quarrelling and Phyllis looked to be on the point of crying.

Cross-examined, witness said he came ashore at about 10.05 p.m. and saw Phyllis at 10.35 p.m.

Mr. Oliver: You had just come from the sea every evening that week, including Monday?

Witness: Yes.

After the luncheon adjournment, Mr. Justice Wrottesley said that he had received a note from the jury. “If I thought it possible to do whatt is asked in accordance with the administration of justice in this country”, he said, “I would do so, but it is quite impossible. I can only say ‘No'”.

The contents of the note were not made public.

Mr. Richard Brazier, of 23, St. John’s Street, Folkestone, a platelayer, said he lodged with Butler. He had known Phyllis Minter by sight for six months at the most. Looking at the photograph (produced) witness said he could not say he knew either of the girls depicted, but he knew Rose Woodbridge. On the Tuesday he met Mr. Butler at the bottom of Tontine Street. They passed the Congregational Church and he saw a woman and man standing on the kerb having a row. The man was tall and wore a light raincoat.

Mr. Hutchinson: You would not give the defence a statement?

Witness: I have been away working for the last 16 weeks.

Did you tell everything you could remember to the police – Yes.

Did you tell them more than you could remember? - No.

Mr. Hutchinson asked leave to treat Brazier as a hostile witness and asked Mr. Justice Wrottesley to read the statement given by the witness to the police.

Mr. Justice Wrottesley said he could see no signs of hostility.

In reply to his lordship, witness said he did not recognise the man or woman ho saw at the bus stop.

Mr. Hutchinson: How do you know they were having a row?

Witness: They were arguing.

Cross-examined, witness said the incident happened on the Tuesday. He never went out on the Wednesday. He had only seen Phyllis once before.

Mr. Oliver: Is your memory a rather weak one?

Witness: No.

Mr. George Neville, of Dudley Road, Folkestone, said he had known the murdered girl for seven or eight years. He heard about her death on May 26th. He last saw her on May 25th at the bottom of Tontine Street at about 11.15 a.m. She was with two other women, and was wearing a blue coat with white spots on it and had no stockings on. He had no doubt at all that the girl was Phyllis.

Cross-examined, witness said the blue coat produced was not the coat he saw Phyllis wearing.

Mr. William Alfred Richards, of 60, Dover Street, Folkestone, a mechanic, said he had known the murdered woman ever since she was quite a small girl. On May 22nd he bought a rowing boat at Dover and on the Tuesday he rowed it from Dover to Folkestone. He reached Folkestone at 5.30 p.m. and he worked on it until about 9 p.m. The next day, Wednesday, he went to his father’s house in Foord Road, and on the way passed Phyllis by Messrs. Rye's stores at about 10.15 a.m. He had no doubt at all that the girl was Phyllis Minter.

Mr. William Knott, of 13, New Street, Folkestone, a labourer, said he knew Whiting and Weatherhead. On the Friday night, when there was a row in the Guildhall, he was in the public bar. The landlord told Whiting that if he did not keep quiet he would put him out. He heard no threats.

Cross-examined, witness said there was not a great deal of noise, although it was a bit “jangley”.

Miss Iris Horton, of 114, Buckland Avenue, Dover, employed by Messrs. Woolworth’s, at Dover, said she had been in charge of the leather counter since before September, 1937. They sold many purses like the green purse produced.

Cross-examined, witness said that it was very rare they sold such a purse to a man.

Closing the case for the defence, Mr. Hutchinson, addressing the jury, said it was a very terrible murder. A young girl on the threshold of life had been done to death very brutally. “My submission is going to be”, he continued, “that throughout this case there is not enough evidence here for you to say that the prosecution have done what they are bound to do. That is to prove to you beyond all reasonable doubt the guilt of the prisoner”. There was one point for them, he said, in that case. Had it been proved to them beyond all reasonable doubt that the girl was killed on May 23rd? If they thought the evidence was so overwhelming as to be safe to act upon, that the woman was killed on May 23rd, they would get a very long way towards proving the guilt of the prisoner. Twelve reputable people had all given evidence that they had seen the woman alive after May 23rd. If they found that those twelve people must have been mistaken, they need not attend to any other part of the case at all. Continuing, he said the prisoner denied it-was his scarf, but he was lying. There was no doubt about that. Were they surprised that he told lies about it? It was wrong for him to tell lies. It would be dangerous if people were convicted merely because they told untruths to themselves out of trouble. Dealing with the statement about suicide, Mr. Hutchinson said it was one of the most extraordinary parts of the case. They knew the prisoner made a statement to the Chief Constable, but he never made any suggestion that the murdered woman was depressed or likely to commit suicide. He then made a statement of four hours, and he never breathed that she was going to commit suicide; in fact, he said he was going to marry her. Did it not seem extraordinary that he next suddenly evolved that theory? Were not four hours taken up by this wretched man being cross-examined by a clever police officer? “Really, I do protest as strongly as I can against that form of statement”, he added. Continuing, Mr. Hutchinson said why not let the man write it himself; there was plenty of time? They kept him in the Police Station for four or five hours without food before they asked him a single question. Next day the man’s clothes were taken from him, and he was given others. The next night he was sent for again, and at 11.15 he was cross-examined again. Why on earth did that man, out of the blue, suddenly make that suggestion of suicide?

Mr. Oliver, addressing the jury, said it was the prosecution’s case that the woman was murdered on Monday, May 23rd. Since then no one could be found at whose house she had slept or in whose presence she had eaten. One suggestion came from a witness that she might have slept out. Did the jury think it at all likely that she would leave her belongings at the bus office unclaimed? When the body was found on May 26th at six o’clock it was smelling of decomposition. Did they require scientists to tell them that the girl was not living at ten o’clock the previous evening as some of those reliable witnesses say? Were they impressed by Sir Bernard Spilsbury when he said could not be alive on Wednesday? It was possible that she was alive on Tuesday, but riot probable. That she died on May 23rd was consistent with her disappearing from any house where she lived.

 

Folkestone Herald 17 September 1938.

Local News.

William Whiting (38), a labourer, of Folkestone, was found Not Guilty at the Old Bailey yesterday of the murder of Mrs. Phyllis May Spiers, whose body was found in a coppice at the bottom of Caesar's Camp, with a green scarf round the neck, on the evening of May 26th.

The trial, before Mr. Justice Wrottesley, lasted four days and at its conclusion, when the foreman of the jury announced the verdict, there was some applause in Court. This was at once suppressed by Mr. Justice Wrottesley. Whiting was discharged shortly after the jury, upon which three women served, had given their verdict.

During the trial Whiting stated that certain passages in an alleged statement to the police had not been made by him. He admitted that the green scarf found round the neck of the murdered woman was his, but said that he had given it to Mrs. Spiers some days before her body was found. Four branches of a tree were exhibited in Court. They were enclosed in a frame along the front of the dock and beside them were four suitcases.

Whiting, who pleaded Not Guilty, went into the witness box on Wednesday and in answer to his Counsel’s question “Did you murder this girl?” said in quiet tones “No, sir”. He was subjected to a lengthy cross-examination by Counsel for the prosecution.

Mr. Roland Oliver, K.C., and Mr. B.M. Waddy prosecuted, and Mr. St. John Hutchinson and Mr. J. Stuart Daniel were for the defence.

Mr. Oliver said on the evening of May 26th, a boy of 16, named Andrews, was bird-nesting in a remote thicket near Folkestone when he came across the body of a woman. The police found that she had been strangled, and, he would ask the jury to say, murdered by a man. It was a case that might cause them a good deal of anxiety. There were a great many witnesses and the case in the main was one of circumstantial evidence. It was a murder of great brutality. The woman had received the most ferocious violence from her assailant. Mr Oliver said that the path to the thicket was very rough, more like a cattle track than a path. Mrs. Spiers was 22, and was married before she was 17. She lived with her husband for two years until 1934, and then they parted and her husband had never seen her again. “I am afraid there is no doubt she was a woman of immoral habits”, continued Mr. Oliver. “She had affairs with many men and was therefore a young woman who might have gone to that place with a good many men. Whiting knew her quite well. Mrs. Spiers was practically destitute. She had twice stayed at lodgings with luggage and left without paying. The manner of her murder was fairly plainly written on the scene of the crime and on her body. She had obviously been violently attacked, perhaps with fists, and beaten into a state of unconsciousness. The murderer must have then dragged her further into the thicket. A blue coat was thrown over her, and tied and knotted tightly around her neck was a green scarf. That scarf is one of the most salient pieces of evidence in this case. Whether she was strangled by it, by the hands, or died in some other way is not known, but it was clear she was murdered. The scarf might have belonged to the murderer”. By a curious coincidence, continued Mr. Oliver, Mrs. Spiers was “snapped” on the Folkestone front on the day of her death and the scarf she was wearing was obviously nothing like the green scarf. One portion of what the prosecution said was her own scarf was found in her handbag. The rest disappeared – they might think with the murderer. It was the case for the prosecution that her death took place on May 23rd, although he understood witnesses were to be called to say they saw her after that date. If the jury accepted that date it was quite significant that the last person who was seen with her was Whiting. Mr. Oliver then came to the question of motive. Whiting, he said, had lived at Dover for about a year with a married woman named Rose Woodbridge. She was a close friend of Mrs. Spiers, and Whiting did not approve of the association. One evening when Mrs. Woodbridge came home she told Whiting she had been out with “Phyllis”, and that they met a couple of men who asked the women to live with them. That, according to Mrs. Woodbridge, made Whiting angry, and he said “If you don't stop going about with Phyllis I shall do something wrong”. He threatened he would strangle Phyllis. “Be careful of Mrs. Woodbridge’s evidence”, Mr. Oliver warned the jury. “You may not think her a very reliable sort of woman, but that does not mean she cannot tell the truth. Whiting and Mrs. Woodbridge separated - her mother, I think, took her away - and this made him very jealous. He was anxious to find out who had brought about the separation. He was desperately in love with her. In a statement to the police he said he worshipped her and in his mind Phyllis was the person really responsible for coming between them”. Mr. Oliver returned to the green scarf – “perhaps the most important piece of evidence in the case”. Whiting had denied that it was his scarf, or that he ever had one like it. The prosecution had evidence that right up to the day of the murder he was wearing a similar green scarf, but on the day of the murder he was not. Another piece of evidence, found on a post in the thicket, was a hair similar to Whiting's. On July ist Whiting made a long statement to the police, in which he said that he and Phyllis walked to the golf course and sat on the grass. Phyllis was very quiet. “I said 'What is the matter?'”, the alleged statement proceeded. She said “I am fed up and I am going to do myself in” I said “How are you going to do it?”, and she said “Strangle myself with a scarf round my neck”. She was wearing a green scarf. Mr. Oliver submitted that Mrs. Spiers could not have strangled herself; she was murdered by someone. “How could she have said to anybody 'I am going to strangle myself with a green scarf'” he concluded, “and then someone have come along and murdered her with a green scarf?”

Evidence was then called for the prosecution.

Arthur Charles Spiers, husband of the dead woman, living at Bexhill-on-Sea, said that shortly before her death he began divorce proceedings against her.

Inspector Johnson, of Folkestone, was asked by Mr. Hutchinson whether a man had confessed to the police that he had committed the crime and that the police, after making enquiries, took no further steps with regard to the man.

The officer said that he did not know. It was not a matter that he dealt with.

Dr. W. C. P. Barrett, the Folkestone police surgeon, expressed the view that the woman's death was caused by garrotting. He agreed that before the Coroner he gave his opinion that she had not been dead longer than two days when the body was found. He had heard “chit-chat” that Mrs. Spiers had been seen shopping after May 23rd. His original opinion and his present opinion were that death had taken place within two or three days.

Mr. Hutchinson: Do you know that Sir Bernard Spilsbury does not agree with your opinion about garrotting?

Dr. Barrett: Yes.

Mr. Hutchinson: You thought scratches were cause before death, and Sir Bernard after death?

Dr. Barrett: Yes.

Mr. Hutchinson: You agree that all these questions are matters of grave difficulty in which people may honestly make mistakes?

Dr. Barrett: Yes, and Sir Bernard's experience is much greater than mine. I have only had two cases of murder.

Sir Bernard Spilsbury said that he thought death was due to manual strangulation rather than garrotting with the green scarf.

Mr. Oliver: I don't think it matters whether it was manual strangulation or strangulation with a ligature. There is no doubt it was strangulation?

Sir Bernard Spilsbury: None at all.

Mr. Oliver: Is it in your opinion possible that she committed suicide by strangling herself with a scarf?

Sir Bernard Spilsbury: No, that it quite out of the question, in my view.

Replying to Mr. Hutchinson, Sir Bernard agreed that it was very difficult to fix the exact time of death. It might have been on May 23rd or May 24th.

Mr. Hutchinson: The police have told us of people who thought they saw Mrs. Spiers alive on May 25th. Could you go so far as to say she could not have been alive on the 25th?

Sir Bernard Spilsbury: I hardly think it possible.

Does that mean it is just possible, but very unlikely? – It is very difficult indeed to say.

When the case was resumed on Wednesday the jury asked if they might have an opportunity of examining more closely the tree branches which formed an exhibit.

Mr. Justice Wrottesley agreed to the request, and said they could be taken to the jury room and examined during the luncheon interval.

Chief Inspector Parker produced a long statement alleged to have been made by Whiting on May 30th. It began “I am a widower and my wife died on May 3rd, 1936. She was strangled by George Arthur Bryant, who was afterwards executed at Wandsworth. I was at the time of her death living apart from my wife. I had three children by her. She left me in December, 1935”. The alleged statement went on to tell of his association with a young married woman named Rose Woodbridge, and of Mrs. Woodbridge leaving him in November last, and added “I loved Rose, and in my mind I thought Phyllis Spiers was the cause of the trouble between us. I worshipped Rose”. On May 23rd he had a drink with Mrs. Spiers, and she showed him some divorce papers and said that she could get married again. The alleged statement continued “She asked me ‘Why don’t you marry me and let us go back to Dover?’ I said ‘I want to get married, and have some of my children home’”. They walked to the golf links. Something seemed to be worrying her, “perhaps because she was down and out. If Rose does not come back I shall never settle down again”.

Inspector Parker said that he showed a green scarf to Whiting and he declared that he had never seen it before and had never had one like it.

Later Whiting made another alleged statement, said the witness, in which he said that while on the golf links Mrs. Spiers said she would “Do herself in”. He (Whiting) asked how, and she replied “Strangle myself with a scarf round my neck”. She was wearing a green spotted scarf. Inspector Parker said that he had tried to find any place where Mrs. Spiers might have slept or taken a meal after May 23rd, but had been unsuccessful.

Mr. Hutchinson: That did not surprise you, did it? She was continually in different places?

Inspector Parker: She was a resident of Folkestone, and I expected she would have been found after May 23rd had she been alive.

Asked why the alleged statement should have taken from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., Inspector Parker said that he was endeavouring to discover the perpetrator of a crime. He agreed that he asked Whiting a good many questions.

Mr. Hutchinson: Can you tell me the difference between that and third degree methods?

Mr. Justice Wrottesley: I don’t know what third degree means.

Mr. Hutchinson: I thought a police officer would know (to Inspector Parker): Do you know?

Inspector Parker: I have heard of the term but I do not know what it means.

Mr. Hutchinson: Do you generally, when making inquiries, cross-examine a man not only on what he is saying but on statements by other people? - I did not ask him about other people’s statements. I was endeavouring to test the accuracy of his statement.

Inspector Parker agreed that there were no scratches on Whiting. There was a tear on his coat but no scratches on it. Several other men were examined by the police, he said.

Mr. Hutchinson: And there was the usual fake confession by a lunatic? – Yes.

A representative of a firm of outfitters at Folkestone said that during the winters of 1936 and 1937 his firm sold two or three dozen green scarves.

When evidence was called as to Whiting having worn a green scarf on various dates up to May 20th, Mr. Hutchinson said that it was not disputed.

The jury, during the luncheon interval, examined the tree branches and on their return discussed a point with counsel and the Judge as to the position of a piece of barbed wire.

Mrs. Wright, of Garden Road, Folkestone, said that Mrs. Spiers took a room at her house on May 21st in the name of Phyllis Minter. She had no luggage and said she came from Tooting and had a job at the Lido, Folkestone.

Mr. Hutchinson: Were you surprised she did not turn up on the night of May 23rd?

Witness: I was.

You know she has gone off before without paying? - I know that now.

Mrs. Wright added that later that night she saw a man without a hat and wearing a light mackintosh, apparently waiting outside her house.

Alfred Sidney Beesley, Chief Constable of Folkestone, agreed, in reply to Mr. Hutchinson, that in June he caused an inquiry to be made as to where Mrs. Spiers stayed on May 23rd and 24th. He explained that he had had statements that Mrs. Spiers had been seen on May 24th and he had done all he could to find out if it were correct. He could not find any place where she had stayed although she was supposed to have been seen in Folkestone.

Florence Thompson, who described herself as a friend of Mrs. Spiers, said that she had some drinks with Whiting on May 28th. “I remarked that it was a shame that Phyllis had been murdered”, she continued, “and he asked me how I would like a scarf round my neck”. “He said 'If you don’t keep your mouth shut about Phyllis, I will put you on the spot. You can do a murder without finding fingerprints or foot marks’. I said: ‘No. Wherever you go they will always trace you’”.

Mr. Oliver: What was his manner? - He was quite quiet.

Replying to Mr. Hutchinson, Mrs. Thompson said that she had come over for the day from Dover. She and Whiting went to three public houses. She had a gin and peppermint in one; a port wine and a cherry wine in another, and a port and a cocktail at the third.

Mr. Hutchinson: Were you not a little imaginative? - No. I never get drunk.

I suggest he never said this at all? - He did.

Why should he say it? - Phyllis happened to be a friend of mine.

Robert William Weatherhead, a seaman, spoke of an alleged incident in a public house. Whiting, he said, became abusive and when the landlord came round to put him out he swore and said “I will serve you the same as I served the blondie”.

Mr. Hutchinson: He had had a drink or two? – He had had enough to make him talk.

Rose Woodbridge, who said that she was living in a lodging house in Canterbury, gave evidence that she knew Phyllis Spiers as “Phyllis Minter”. Mrs. Woodbridge said she (witness) was married in September, 1935, and parted from her husband a month later. Subsequently she lived with Whiting, leaving him a fortnight before last Christmas. Phyllis Spiers lived in the same street at Dover, and they were very friendly. Mrs. Woodbridge said that one day she told Whiting about “two fellows” arranging to take her and Phyllis to London. He was very angry and said that he would do something wrong if she did not keep away from Phyllis. He did not say what he meant by it.

The Judge: What did you say? - “Walls have ears”. She added that her mother took her away from Whiting. He was there, and she gave him a reason.

Mr. Oliver: Did you hear your mother’s reason for taking you away? - No.

This concluded the case for the prosecution.

Mr. Hutchinson, opening the case for the defence, said that Whiting was a man of no education and it was only by the help of the State that he was defended. That he had lied when he said he had never had a green scarf was true but because he told a lie about that it did not show he was guilty. They could imagine his feelings when he heard that a green scarf had been found round the woman’s neck and his saying “If I admit the scarf is mine I am done for”. “Would a man be such a fool as to take away a woman’s scarf and substitute his own to strangle a woman?” asked Mr. Hutchinson. Whiting would tell the jury that, not on Monday, May 23rd but on the previous Friday, he gave Mrs. Spiers the scarf he was wearing. He did not think she was wearing it on the Monday when he went out with her. “Supposing someone else was with her - and there might be many with a motive against this unhappy girl on the Flotsam and Jetsam of life. Supposing she was killed by someone else on May 24th or May 25th, that she was then wearing a green scarf, then the murderer would probably leave it tied round her neck. That is much more likely than that this man would”. There would be evidence by people who knew her well, who would swear that they saw Mrs. Spiers on May 24th, and some on May 25th. One of them would say that she was then wearing a green scarf.

Whiting then went into the witness box.

Mr. Hutchinson’s first question to him was “Did you murder this girl?” “No, sir”, he replied quietly. Whiting said that he was a married man, and that his wife was murdered and a man named Bryant was hanged for it. He (Whiting) lived with Mrs. Woodbridge. He was very fond of her then and he was now. After Mrs. Woodbridge had left him he met Mrs. Spiers on one occasion. She asked him if he missed Rose, and he said he did, and would like her back. On May 20th she asked him for his scarf, saying that she felt cold, and he gave it to her.

Mr. Hutchinson: Had you any idea that Phyllis, wanted to take Rose away from you? - No, she was a good little soul, and would not do it.

Describing his meeting with Mrs. Spiers on May 23rrd, he said she showed him some divorce papers and said to him “Why not get married?” He said that he would marry her, but he had to get a job first.

Mr. Hutchinson: You were not in love with Phyllis? – No, but I wanted a home and my two children back. I was alone.

Whiting said that on this day Phyllis was not wearing the green scarf which he had given her. They went for a walk, and near the golf links she waved to a young man on a motorcycle, saying that he was “one of her boys”. Soon afterwards she kissed him, and they parted. That was the last he saw of her.

Mr. Hutchinson: Did you take her by Caesar’s Camp and strangle her? - No, sir.

Asked about his alleged statement, Whiting said the police officers kept asking him questions and he hardly knew what he was saying. He had denied that the green scarf was his because he had read about the scarf in the paper and he was frightened. Asked why he had suggested that Mrs. Spiers had committed suicide, Whiting replied “Inspector Parker put it to me telling me that if I told him that, I would walk out a free man - if I told him about it being a suicide with a green scarf”.

Whiting continued: “Inspector Parker said ‘Sit down, Bill’. He got the scarf, tied it twice round his neck, knotted it and said ‘Quite easy, Bill. A case of suicide. It could easily be done.’I said ‘ No, it is not suicide, whatever it was it was murder’. He kept pressing me for nearly two hours and saying ‘Have you made up your mind?’” “While he was away, Sergeant Scarden said ‘Go on Bill, tell him. Don’t be a damned fool. He is trying to help you. You will have no more trouble. You will walk out free. We will go back to London and our case is settled'”. Whiting said that Mrs. Spiers was a “happy-go-lucky girl and would not commit suicide”.

Mr. Hutchinson: Are you a friend of Mrs. Thompson?

Whiting: I hate the sight of her.

Whiting denied having said either that a murder could be done without leaving foormarks, or anything to the landlord of the public house about “Blondie”. He concluded by saying that he bore no animosity towards Phyllis.

Mr. Roland Oliver, K.C., began his cross-examination on Thursday morning. His first question to Whiting was “When did you first tell anybody the scarf round Mrs. Spiers’ neck was yours?” Whiting replied: I told my counsel two or three days ago”.

Mr. Oliver: Did you hear your counsel ask a witness yesterday about scores of scarves being sold in Folkestone? - Yes.

Mr. St. John Hutchinson said he did not wish to interrupt but in justice to the prisoner he did not want a false deduction to be made. He had been told about the scarf before yesterday, but until he had specific instructions about the matter he thought it right to put the questions about the sale of scarves.

Mr. Oliver: Two or three days ago you told your counsel it was your scarf and you had not told anyone before that. Is that right?

Whiting: Yes.

At counsel’s request Whiting took the green scarf from the cardboard box in which it had been placed as an exhibit and examined it closely. The frayed end was not there, he said, when he gave it to Mrs. Spiers.

Mr. Oliver: It has become frayed since you gave it to her? - Yes, sir.

Did you ever put the end of your scarf into the clip of your braces to hold it?

Whiting said he had not, adding “I will demonstrate how I put my scarf on, if you like, sir’'.

Mr. Oliver: You say you gave her that scarf on Friday, May 20th? - Yes.

You heard her landlady say she had never seen any such scarf in her possession? - Yes sir.

You last saw her with it round her neck on the Friday? – Yes.

She was not wearing it on the Monday when you went for a walk with her? - No, sir.

Was she wearing a different scarf? - I didn’t notice whether she had a scarf at all.

You are a Folkestone man? - Bred and born from good people at Folkestone.

Whiting said he did not know which of three hills was Caesar’s Camp.

Mr. Oliver: Did you know there was a thicket at the bottom? - No, sir. I have never been there.

Mr. Oliver: It would be a pretty lonely place in that thicket, wouldn’t it? - That I can’t say, sir.

This girl Phyllis was a loose-living sort of girl, wasn’t she? - So some people say. I can’t say.

She would have gone to a place like that with quite a number of men if they had asked her? - Yes, she would do.

She would have gone there with you if you had asked her, wouldn’t she? - Yes, I suppose so.

You knew where Ashley Avenue was. If she wanted to go home when you met her she would never have gone on to the golf links? She would have gone straight along Cheriton Road? - Not necessarily.

It would have been the ordinary way to go home? - I suppose it would.

Mr. Oliver: You were devoted to Rose Woodbridge? - Yes, I love her.

You were bitterly sorry when Rose Woodbridge left you, weren’t you? - Yes.

You thought that some interfering person was responsible for her leaving you? - There was something about a letter through her landlord sent to her mother.

You thought the landlord or someone had sent a letter to her mother, and that is why her mother took her away? - Her mother did not explain to me why she had taken her away.

Were you anxious to find out who had done that? - No, sir.

And you never tried to find out? - No, sir.

Would you have been angry with whoever did that? - I would have just told him off about it.

How many coats had you in May? - I had a jacket - you have got it - and the light grey overcoat.

You were wearing that on May 21st? - Yes, sir.

When did it get torn? - It could have got torn anytime when I was out for mushrooms in the country.

You say it is your only jacket. Can you tell the jury how long it has been torn? - I never noticed it, sir.

You bought the purse before Christmas and had it for months. A good many people must have seen you with it? - I expect so, yes, sir.

Answering the Judge, Whiting said when he was in London he used the purse for cigarette ends, papers and money.

The Judge: So you took money out of the purse to pay people? - Sometimes I used it for money and sometimes I had not much money.

Mr. Oliver: Did you ever have conversation with a woman named Flynn about Rose Woodbridge? - No conversation at all. I would not speak to her because I don’t like the woman. She is a mischief making woman - always has been.

Did you never ask her if she knew anything about Rose Woodbridge or whether anyone had made mischief about Rose? - No, sir.

Did you never ask her whether she thought Phyllis made mischief about Rose? - No, sir.

The woman Florence Thompson said you hated and detested her. Is that right? - Yes.

Were you with her one night at the Guildhall public house? - I was never with her.

In the afternoon? - The public house was full of men and she came in there.

In answer to further questions, Whiting said he was in the “South Foreland” at dinner time and was conversing with people when she asked him to treat her to a dinner.

Mr. Oliver: Did you hear there that the body of this woman who had been murdered, had been found? Did not Mrs. Thompson say to you ‘It is a shame Phyllis has been murdered’? - No.

She did not say anything like that? - No.

Did you say “If you don’t keep your mouth shut about Phyllis I will put you on the spot”? - No.

Nothing like it? - No.

Sheer invention? - Yes, sir.

Did you say “How would you like a scarf round your neck?” - It is a pure invention.

Weatherhead is a friend of yours? - No.

You never said to him anything about “serving anyone as you served the blonde?” - No.

You had had some drinks? - I had had a drink or two.

Mr. Oliver then questioned Whiting at length about his alleged statement and asked “Do you say that the police wrote down things that you did not say?” - Yes, sir.

They actually invented things and said you said them and wrote them down? - Yes.

You gave them, in answer to questions, quite a detailed account of your movements with Phyllis on May 23rd? - Yes.

Is that part of the statement, stating where you met her, where you went and what you talked about, correct? - Yes.

Whiting, answering further questions, said “The police kept on and on saying 'You say Phyllis was the cause of Rose Woodbridge leaving?’ They kept on putting that to me and I suppose I must have said 'Yes'”.

Mr. Oliver: Did you say that the first time you saw Phyllis was when you returned to Folkestone? - I don’t know, I can’t remember.

Whiting said he did not discuss the letters which led to Woodbridge leaving. He had not heard that she had been in hospital.

Later the Judge asked Whiting: You say the police put down correctly a part of the sentence and not the other. Is that right?

Whiting: Yes.

Mr. Oliver: Would you have been annoyed if Phyllis led Rose astray?

Whiting: I would certainly have been annoyed with anybody who led Rose astray.

Mr. Oliver: Did you say that? - The police kept putting that to me.

Did you tell Rose that she was not to have anything more to do with Phyllis? - I said I could not keep her in food.

Did Rose and Phyllis get drunk and were they ordered out of a public house? - They were merry but they were not ordered out.

Whiting added “I have been through so much. Part of the statement is true but it is not true that they were intoxicated”. He denied that he said that Phyllis was really responsible for coming between Rose and him.

Mr. Oliver: Having said you would marry Phyllis on Monday, May 23rd, did you make any attempt whatever to see her again? - No, sir.

You had arranged to marry this girl. She had told you her address. How is it that you never tried to find her until her body was discovered? - Because she was a girl who went with anybody.

It is not a question of what sort of girl she was, but what sort of man you are? - She said she would be at the library next day but she did not turn up and I forgot all about her.

Whiting said when he walked with Mrs. Spiers on May 23rd she was not wearing a green scarf.

Mr. Oliver: If she was not murdered that afternoon she must have had your scarf somewhere about her? - I don't know that she was murdered.

Your scarf was round her neck. If she was murdered that afternoon she must have had it somewhere about her for the murderer to have put it round her neck? - I don’t know, sir.

Mr. Hutchinson (re-examining : Why did you sign the statement? - Because the officers said it would finish their case and they were going back to London.

This concluded Whiting’s evidence and he returned to the dock.

Henry Allen, a general labourer, of Margaret Street, Folkestone said he had known Phyllis Minter by sight for eight years.

Mr. Hutchinson : It is suggested that she was murdered on May 23rd? - I saw her on May 24th at 9.30 p.m.

Allen said he fixed the date because on Tuesdays he looked after his children while his wife went to the pictures. She had just returned, and he had just come out. He was walking with Brooks in Margaret Street when they saw Phyllis. She was walking on the other side of the road smoking a cigarette. Allen continued “My friend whistled to her. She walked towards us, and I told my friend I did not want to be seen talking to her. I made a statement to the police on June 2nd”. Phyllis, he added, was a familiar figure about the streets of Folkestone. He saw her about practically every day.

John Joseph Brooks, a labourer, and lodger at Allen’s address, said he was with Allen when they saw Phyllis Minter. He knew Phyllis by sight by going in and out of public houses. Brooks added “I was going to speak to her and my landlord said ‘Don’t speak to her. If my missus comes along there will be a row'”. He did not go of his own accord to the police. They sent for him.

Mrs. Ella Hall, of Station Cottages, Folkestone, wife of a station porter at Folkestone Junction, said she saw Phyllis on May 24th or 25th when witness was going by bus to Sainsbury’s shop in Sandgate Road. Mrs. Hall said she knew that it was on the Tuesday or Wednesday that she saw Phyllis because she did not go into the town for meat on Mondays. She saw Phyllis talking to two men. Mrs. Hall said she knew her because she worked with her six or seven years. “I have no doubt that this girl was Phyllis Minter”, she said. “She said ‘Hello’ to me as I passed her, and I said ‘Hello’ back”.

Mr. Justice Wrottesley: How do you know it was not the Tuesday or Wednesday of the week before?

Mrs. Hall: Because it would be too far back.

Edward Marwood, a newsvendor, of Tontine Street, Folkestone, who made a statement to the police on May 29th, described how he saw Phyllis on the Sunday, Monday and Wednesday of the previous week, between the 23rd and 24th. On Wednesday, he said, he was walking up the “Milky Way” towards the “Bulldog steps ” when he saw her. He had known Phyllis for years and fixed the time because he was going to the Labour Exchange to sign on. He went to the .Exchange on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and on Mondays he did not go that way.

Marwood continued that he saw Phyllis on the Monday previous also, about 11 a.m. in Tontine Street when she was talking to a big, stout woman. She was not wearing a hat.

Mr. St. John Hutchinson: Did you see her the day before, on the Sunday?

Marwood replied he saw Phyllis between 9.30 and 10 a.m. She came over to West Terrace where he was selling papers and asked to be directed to a bus office because, she said, she was going to Margate to work.

John Henry Turner, of Millbay, Folkestone, another newsvendor, said he saw Phyllis Minter twice on the Wednesday morning.

Lucille Georgina Godden, a waitress, of Bridge Street, Folkestone, who said she had known Phyllis nearly all her life, described how she and a friend saw her in the Alexandra public house on the Sunday evening. A little girl called Phyllis out of the public house. She returned, borrowed the telephone book from the proprietor and said she had had a call from someone she did not know. Miss Godden said she next saw Phyllis on the Wednesday night between 10.30 and 11 o’clock in the Dover Road on the pillion seat of a motorcycle. She was dressed in a blue coat and a green scarf. She had no hat. The machine was driven by a medium aged man in a light raincoat.

Answering Mr. Oliver, Miss Godden said she was certain it was Phyllis.

Mr. Oliver: Do you know that when the body was found it was already decomposing?

Miss Godden repeated that she was certain she saw Phyllis. She saw her face in the light of a street lamp. She did not put it in her statement about the scarf because she was not asked about that. Miss Godden was shown a scarf and in answer to the Judge said that was not the scarf Phyllis was wearing on the two occasions she saw her. The scarf in Court was of a darker shade.

Lilian Beasley, of Marshall Street, Folkestone, said that while with Miss Godden she saw Phyllis in the public house on the Sunday and a girl on a motor cycle on the Wednesday. Miss Godden told her it was Phyllis. Witness saw the colour of her hair and her coat but could not see her face.

Charles Butler, a fisherman, St. John’s Street, Folkestone, who said he had known Phyllis since she was three or four, said he saw her in Tontine Street on the night of May 24th or 25th. It was recalled to his mind directly he saw her photograph. Witness added: “She was talking to a soldier about 6 feet tall and they appeared to be quarrelling. The man was in mufti but I know he was a soldier. She looked as if she was on the point of crying”.

Richard Brazier a platelayer, also of St. John s Street, said on May 24th he saw a man and woman standing on the kerb “having a row”. He was a tall man.

George Robert Neville, a motor driver, of Dudley Road, Folkestone, said he saw Phyllis, whom he had known about seven or eight years, on May 25th, in a street near the Harbour. The woman looked as if she had been sleeping out. She was dirty and tired looking, as if she had not washed.

Hilda Miller, a shop assistant at Woolworth’s, Folkestone, said she knew Phyllis Spiers by sight. On May 25th she came to the shop accompanied by a woman who bought a roll of grease-proof paper. Phyllis was wearing a navy bluecoat, a blue-green dress and a green scarf. She had also seen her the day before. The woman with her was not Mrs. Wright.

Mr. Oliver: Mrs. Wright pointed you out in the street as the girl from whom she bought something on the 23rd and you said you hadn’t sold her anything? - Yes.

When did you first hear this gin had a green scarf round her neck? - When I read it in the paper.

Do you think you imagined the green scarf? - No.

Do you know anyone in the world who saw her in a green scarf? - No.

How well do you know her? - Very well, but not to talk to.

Have you ever seen her with a green scarf before? - No. I had not seen her for two or three years.

If Mrs. Wright bought paper May 23rd she would come to your counter? - Yes.

Mr. Hutchinson: Was there anything which drew your particular attention to this girl? - I noticed her hair had been dyed.

Have you any doubt it was Phyllis you saw? - No.

Have you a fiancé, a police officer? - Yes, sir.

Did you mention it to him?

Mr. Oliver objected to the question, and the witness did not answer it.

William Knott, a labourer, of New Street, Folkestone, said he was in the public house at the time of the incident spoken to by Weatherhead, but he did not hear any threats by Whiting.

Mr. Oliver: Was there a lot of noise that night? - Not particularly, it was a bit jangly.

In his address to the Jury, Mr. St. John Hutchinson submitted that there was not enough evidence to prove that the girl was killed on May 23rd, and if they came to that conclusion, it was their duty to acquit. Criticising the action of the police regarding Whiting’s alleged statement he said “I hope it will go forth that the police should not take statements like this from a man of this character after questioning him for five hours without food.” He said that it was a very evil day when in a crime like murder, they could take a man, shut him up for hours and cross-examine him, without his being able to write his own statement, to try to make a motive. It was wrong for officers to cross- examine a man of Whiting’s mentality at 10.30 or 11 o’clock at night, without protection.

Mr. Oliver, replying for the prosecution, referred to the witnesses for the defence who stated that they saw Mrs. Spiers after May 23rd. He said he was not suggesting that they came to say what was untrue but that they were genuinely mistaken as to the date.

 '
When the trial started no one knew it was Whiting’s scarf. It was a terrible fact. It involved that somehow or other it passed to the possession of the man who murdered her. It was said a man must not be convicted because he told lies, but if a man lied on a vital matter did it not destroy his evidence? Whiting had previously denied emphatically that the scarf was his. “If you seek to pass criticism on the police with regard to the statement”, said Mr. Oliver, “You will remember their duty. Here was a brutal murder and for the protection of all of us they had to find out who did it. Can you believe that two experienced police officers could have been guilty of a tithe of what Whiting alleged against them? If he had not invented it would not these officers have been asked about it when they were in the witness box?”

The Judge, summing up, said there were certain facts that had not been disputed and these formed an admitted background as to which the Jury need not concern themselves. It was clear that Phyllis Spiers was first battered, possibly into insensibility, and then strangled. It was clear that this happened near the place where the body was found. It was clear that she was dragged to a comparatively open glade through the gap in the hedge into some bushes. She met her death sometime between the early afternoon of May 23rd and May 26th when her body was found. How long before May 26th was in dispute. It was clear that she was alone in the company of the accused man nn May 23rd and that they were going in the direction of the spot where she was murdered. How came these two together? Was there anything in the relationship of the dead woman and the accused which might explain the murder? They knew he had lived with Rose Woodbridge until November, 1937, that he was very much attached to her and that when she left him it was to his great sorrow. If the jury accepted Ills signed statements - and these were challenged - he had said he disapproved of Rose meeting Phyllis at one time, and that Phyllis was the cause of trouble between him and Rose. Accused now denied that, and said in the witness box that that statement was put in his mouth by the police. They had heard the evidence of Sir Bernard Spilsbury, probably the most experienced man in these matters in the country, and he was of opinion that she had been dead approximately for three days when she was found. It was fair to sum up his opinion, said the Judge, by saying that Sir Bernard thought three days the most probable date; four days the next probable, and then two days in order of probability, and he thought they could rule out the probability of one day. If the case rested merely on suspicion that Whiting had the opportunity of murdering the girl it would be far from enough, but it led them to look into the matter further, and the other evidence. If accused did murder the girl on the afternoon of May 23rd, the Jury might expect to find, and might well ask, whether anything of his was found near the body. First and foremost there was the green scarf found tied tightly round her neck. Where did it come from? At one stage of the trial it seemed to be suggested it was not Whiting’s property at all. He had told the police he had never seen it before. Two or three days ago he decided to abandon that denial and admit that the scarf was his. He now said that he had given it to the girl on May 20th. The Judge referred to the finding of a purse in Whiting's pocket resembling one which Mrs. Spiers had had. Dealing with the difficulty which the murderer would have in dragging the body through the gap, the Judge said that in the urgency of the moment, he would probably not notice some barbed wire. He might well tear his coat in doing so, and Whiting’s coat was torn. Whiting said he had done it while mushrooming. By itself, continued the Judge, the tear was not of much value. But it was a remarkable coincidence, and things were accumulating. There was the green scarf, the purse and a tear-mark, which would correspond with the crime as it was reconstructed. Another coincidence was the finding of a human hair resembling that of Whiting’s on a post in the gap. Science, said the Judge, had not yet, he understood, reached the pitch when it could be said with certainty that a hair found “is my hair”. The most that could be said was that “It was similar to my hair or your hair”. The girl, continued the Judge, disappeared from everyone’s view until the following day, when it was said by a number of witnesses for the defence that she was seen. “I could not recall any evidence that she was known to have slept anywhere indoors or to have sought shelter”, he added. Referring to the evidence of Florence Thompson, the Judge continued, “I think we are apt to be censorious about people going to public houses. There is clearly nothing-wrong about people going to one, two or three public houses. On the other hand the memory of such people may not be so valuable as people who have not had drinks”. The Judge advised the Jury to be careful of Weatherhead’s evidence in which he said Whiting had remarked “I will serve you the same as blondie”. “This was at a time’’, said the Judge, “when everyone knew that this girl was murdered, and it would not take very much for that sentence to have been ‘I will serve you the same as the blondie was served’. I should not attach too much importance to that evidence although it has been said that truth sometimes does come out when a man is in his cups”. By itself the evidence of Flynn was of no value but with the other the Jury might think that it did something to bear out some of the things in accused’s original written statement. The Judge then referred to the third degree which had been mentioned in that case. “Third degree is rather a dangerous word to use. We have probably read something about it - of prisoners being locked up, hurt and damaged, and awakened in the middle of the night. That is not the kind of thing suggested here. What is said is that the first statement took a very long time - from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. That was recorded in the statement. A statement might take a long time when you have a not very clever man to deal with. Because it takes a long time it does not follow that it is untruthful. You have to remember that when one of us - a member of society - is found dead, it is the duty of the police to pursue their investigations with efficiency and rapidity. Close questioning is not a dangerous ordeal to an innocent person and it will not have escaped you that in the course of this trial a great many innocent persons have had to be closely questioned. The detection of crime - particularly serious crime - is more likely to be successful if the police work rapidly and do not let the grass grow under their feet”. What was most strongly relied on by the defence was the evidence of witnesses who said they had seen Mrs. Spiers after the time the Crown said she was killed. After having been in accused’s company on May 23rd she disappeared. No one could say where she slept or bought any food afterwards. The Jury must remember, he said, that she had no settled home and she was a bird of passage, here today and gone tomorrow. They must also remember these witnesses were found by the police themselves and honestly believed what they saw. The Crown, he continued, said it was a case of people making a mistake, as people did, when asked to recall when they had last seen a person whom they did not know very well. But if the Jury thought only one of these witnesses was not making a mistake and that the girl was seen alive after May 23rd, they had no choice but to find Whiting not guilty. Mr. Justice Wrottesley said he had prepared a time table showing the days and times when these witnesses said they saw her. In some cases their evidence might be open to criticism on the ground that they had made a mistake in identity, in others that they had got the wrong date. The jury would not attach too much importance to the accused's alleged statements. They would give their attention to more serious and weighty matters. At the same time they had got to remember that if in any way they fell short of satisfying themselves beyond reasonable doubt that this man committed the murder on Monday they had to find him Not Guilty at that stage. If they did not accept the story that he gave this young woman that scarf there was serious material there which might lead them to bring in a verdict of Guilty, putting aside, for the moment, the other evidence. Regarding the bulk of the evidence of the people who said they saw Phyllis Minter on the Tuesday and Wednesday, the evidence that the young woman was seen on Tuesday would probably occur to the jury as being more likely than the evidence of the two young women who said they saw her as late as 10.30 p.m. on Wednesday. But if the Jury accepted the evidence of even one of those persons who said they saw her on Tuesday or Wednesday there would be a doubt which should lead them to find the man Not Guilty, because it was tantamount to destroying the whole fabric of the case. It was not necessary for the defence to establish to their satisfaction that accused did not do it. The Judge continued “Persons will in this country, I am afraid - I am not afraid, indeed I am glad - will continue to be found not guilty of a crime which very likely they did because it cannot be proved against them. It is far more important that there should be no risk of a person who is not guilty being found guilty. So let my last words be for you to consider whether, apart from the people who saw this young woman alive, the prosecution’s case is enough to justify you saying whether you are really certain that this man did it. If you get as far as that you must consider the numerous body of evidence that this young woman was not dead when the prosecution say she was and if there survives anyone whom you believe was right that the girl was alive, then clearly on that ground alone you shall say Not Guilty.

As stated, the Jury returned a verdict of Not Guilty.

 

Folkestone Express 24 September 1938.

Local News.

The Folkestone murder trial at the Old Bailey, occupying four days last week, ended on Friday with the jury returning a verdict of “Not Guilty’’ against William Whiting (38), the Folkestone labourer, who was charged with the murder of Mrs. Phyllis May Spiers, (22), a Folkestone woman. Mrs. Spiers was found strangled at the foot of Caesar’s Camp on May 26th, and the prosecution alleged that the crime had been committed on May 23rd.

All the evidence and the closing Speeches of counsel had been given by the time the Court rose on Thursday evening, and this only left the summing up of Mr. Justice Wrottesley, who had heard the case, and the consideration by the jury of their verdict on Friday. The summing up occupied nearly two hours, and the jury were absent for about two hours and twenty minutes in arriving at their decision. When the foreman announced that their verdict was “Not Guilty”, there was applause in the Court, but it was immediately subdued, and after Whiting had been discharged and left the dock, some of the women witnesses kissed him, while some of the men congratulated him and shook him by the hand.

Mr. Roland Oliver, K.C., and Mr. B.H Waddy appeared on behalf of the Crown to prosecute, and Mr. St. J. Hutchison, K.C., and Mr. J. Stuart Daniel (instructed by Mr. Lloyd Bunce, of Folkestone) were tor the defence.

The Judge, in the course of his summing up, said certain facts had not been disputed, and these formed an admitted background over which the jury need not concern themselves. Phyllis Spiers was undoubtedly first battered, possibly into insensibility, and then strangled. It was clear that this happened near the place where the body was found. It was also clear that she was dragged to a comparatively open glade through the gap in the hedge into some bushes. She met her death sometime between the early afternoon of May 23rd and May 26th, when her body was found. How long before May 26th was in dispute. It was clear that she was alive in the company of the accused man on May 23rd, and that they were going in the direction of the place of the murder. How came those two together? Was there anything in the relationship of the dead woman and the accused which might explain the murder? They knew he had lived with Rose Woodbridge until November, 1937, that he was very much attached to her and that when she left him it was to his great sorrow. If the jury accepted his signed statements - and these were challenged by the defence - he said he disapproved of Rose meeting Phyllis at one time, and that Phyllis was the cause of trouble between him and Rose. Accused now denied that, arid he said in the witness box that that statement was put in his mouth by the police. They had heard the evidence of Sir Bernard Spilsbury, probably the most experienced man in these matters in the country, and he was of opinion that she had been dead approximately for three days when she was found. It was fair to sum up his opinion, said the Judge, by saying that Sir Bernard thought three days the most probable date; four days the next probable, and then two days in order of probability, and he thought they could rule out the probability of one day. If the case rested merely on suspicion that Whiting had the opportunity of murdering the girl, it would be far from enough, but it led them to look into the matter further, and the other evidence. If Whiting murdered the girl on the afternoon of May 23rd, the jury might well ask themselves whether anything of his was found near the body. First and foremost there was the green scarf found tied tightly round her neck. Where did it come from? At one stage of the trial it seemed to be suggested it was not Whiting’s property at all. He told the police he had never seen it before. Two or three days ago he decided to abandon that denial, and admit that the scarf was his. He now said that he had given it to the girl an May 20th. A purse was found in WliitingTs pocket and this, the Judge said, resembled one which Mrs. Spiers had had. Mr. Justice Wrottesley then proceeded to refer to the difficulty which the murderer would have in dragging the body through the gap, and said in the urgency of the moment he would probably not notice some barbed wire. He might well tear his coat in doing so, and Whiting’s coat was torn. Whiting said he had done it while mushrooming. By itself the tear in his coat was not of much, value. But it was a remarkable coincidence, and things were accumulating. There was the green scarf, the purse and a tear-mark, which would correspond with the crime as it was reconstructed. Another coincidence was the finding of a human hair resembling that of Whiting's on a post in the gap. Science had not yet reached the pitch when it could be said with certainty that a hair found “is my hair”. The most that could be said was that “It is similar to my hair or your hair”. The Judge then commented upon the evidence given by Mrs. Thompson, Weatherhead and Mrs. Flynn. With regard to that of Weatherhead, he suggested that the jury would not attach too much importance to it when he said that Whiting had said to him “I will serve you the same as the blondie was served”, although it had been said that truth sometimes did come out when a man was in his cups. Regarding the questions of the defending counsel concerning “Third degree”, Mr, Justice Wrottesley said “'Third degree ‘ is rather a dangerous word to use. We have probably read something about prisoners being locked up, hurt and damaged, and woke up in the middle of the night. That is not the kind of thing suggested here. What is said is that the first statement took a very long time, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. That is recorded on the statement. A statement may take a long time when you have not a clever man to deal with, but because it takes a long time it does not follow that it is untruthful”. The judge, continuing, said what was most strongly relied on hy the defence was the evidence of the witnesses who said they had seen Mrs. Spiers after the time the Crown said she was killed. After being in Whiting’s company on May 23rd she disappeared. No one could say where she slept or bought any food afterwards. The jury must remember that she had no settled home. She was a bird of passage, here today and gone tomorrow. They must also remember that these witnesses were found by the police themselves and honestly believed what they saw. The Crown said it was the case of people making a mistake, as people did when asked to recall when they last saw a person they did not know very well. But if the jury thought only one of these witnesses was not making a mistake, and that the girl was seen alive after May 23rd, they had no choice but to find Whiting not guilty. He had prepared a time-table showing the days and times when those witnesses said they saw the girl. In some cases their evidence might be open to criticism on the ground that they had made a mistake in identity; in other cases that they had got the wrong date.

The jury would not attach too much importance, he was sure, to the accused’s alleged statements, but they would give their attention to more serious and weighty questions. At the same time they had got to remember that if in any way they fell short of satisfying themselves beyond reasonable doubt that this man committed the murder on Monday they had to find him not guilty at that stage. If they did not accept the story that he gave this young woman that scarf there was serious material there which might lead them to bring in a verdict of guilty, putting aside, for the moment, the other evidence. Concerning the bulk of the evidence of the people who said they saw Phyllis Minter on the Tuesday and Wednesday, the evidence that the young woman was seen on Tuesday would probably occur to the jury as being more likely than the evidence of the two young women who said they saw her as late as 10.30 p.m. on Wednesday.

If the jury accepted the evidence of even one of those persons who said they saw her on Tuesday or Wednesday there would he a doubt which should lead them to find the man not guilty, because it was tantamount to destroying the whole fabric of the case. It was not necessary for the defence to establish to their satisfaction that the accused did not do it.

The jury returned the verdict of “Not guilty ’’ as stated earlier.

 

Folkestone Herald 5 November 1938.

Local News.

The inquest on Mrs. Phyllis May Spiers, 21 years old Folkestone woman, who was found strangled with a green scarf at the foot of the hills, near Caesar’s Camp, Folkestone, on May 26th last, had been adjourned to last Monday, but the Borough Coroner (Mr. G.W. Haines) decided to close the enquiry without taking any further evidence.

Acting in accordance with section 20 of the Coroners’ Amendment Act, 1928, Mr. Haines forwarded to the Registrar, as required, a certificate as to the cause of death (strangulation).

He told a Folkestone Herald representative that he was not bound to record a verdict.

Members of the jury and witnesses were informed beforehand that they need not attend at the Town Hall on Monday afternoon for the adjourned inquest.

 

Folkestone Herald 4 January 1941.

Local News.

On Wednesday the Folkestone Magistrates agreed to the transfer of the licences of three public houses from the tenants to Mr. R. P. Rawlings, Managing Director of Messrs. Mackeson and Company, Ltd., Hythe Brewery.

The houses concerned were the South Foreland, licensee, Mr. F. Jordan; the Alexandra, licensee, Mr. F May; and the True Briton, licensee, Mr. D. Martin.

Agreeing to the transfer of his licence, Mr. Jordan said he was doing so providing that when it was renewed he would have an opportunity of taking possession again.

Mr May said the same, adding that under the present circumstances the Brewery were welcome to the licence. It was stated that Mr. May had been provided with another licensed house.

Mr. Hebden Phillips, of Hythe Brewery, told the Magistrates that all the applications would come before them again some time. The Brewery Company, he said, hoped to re-open all the houses and the tenants would be able to make application for the licences again. Everything was "all fair and Square"; it was done by arrangement with the tenants.

The Magistrates fixed Wednesday, February 12th as the date for the annual licensing sessions.

Note: These transfers are not listed in More Bastions.

 

Folkestone Herald 16 July 1949.

Local News.

Orders for the special removal of full licences from derelict public houses in the Harbour district to hotels in the centre of the town were approved at the Folkestone Transfer Sessions on Wednesday. All the licences had been in suspense.

The licence of the South Foreland, Seagate Street, was removed to the Clifton Hotel, Clifton Gardens; the licence of the Alexandra Hotel, Harbour Street, to the Carlton Hotel; and the licence of the Royal Oak Inn, North Street, to the Central Hotel, Radnor Park Road.

Mr. W.J. Mason, applying for the removal of the full licence from the Royal Oak to the Central Hotel, said it had been in suspense. Application had been made to the Licensing Planning Committee and subsequently arrangements were made with Messrs. Fremlins for the purchase of the full licence, subject to it being transferred in accordance with the Order made by the Planning Minister under licensing planning removals. Plans for alterations to the Central Hotel had been approved.

The Clerk (Mr. C. Rootes) said the order for the removal had been approved by the Ministry.

Mr. Walter Bateman, manager of the Central Hotel, said it was hoped that the alterations to the building would be completed by the end of the month. It was intended to use the licence in the hotel until the building work had been completed.

 

From an email received on 1 September 2010

A military colleague of my Great(*3) Grandfather was the proprietor of "The Alexandria Hotel" from at least 1911 until his death there on 26th July 1915. His name was John Edwards Barber (b June 1852 in Norwich). He had previously been a Sgt Major in the Army (1867–93 4th Queens Own Hussars and Bucks Yeomanry).

My Gt(*3) Grandfather Bernard Curran was a Sgt in the 4th Hussars with him. J E Barber married Bernard's sister (Catherine Ellen Curran) in 1882. She died in 1900 and he re-married  Mary Anne Butler (who was at The Alexandria with him).

Prior to going to Kent he had been the licensee of the “Brazen Serpent PH” in Bermondsey which had previously been run by my Great(*3) Grandfather until his death in 1899.

It was, I believe quite frequent for Army Pensioners to set up running pubs/hotels after their military career was over.

Best wishes,

Chris Formaggia.

 

From an email received on 4 October 2010

My grandad was Frank May, he was a veteran of the Boer War and re-enlisted for WW1 in 1914.

His pub history is as follows:-

In 1913 he was noted in the Post Office directory as a beer retailer in Bethersden and understand from Kevan at deadpubs that this was the Royal Standard Ashford Road Bethersden.

In 1919 on demob his army records show his wife Agnes was at the Lord Nelson Radnor Street Folkestone.

In 1934 and 1938 as recorded in the directories he was at the "Alexandra Hotel," 9 Harbour Street Folkestone. He was in the pub during the war years and was bombed out, perhaps this was when the licence was suspended in 1943, as he did not have serviceable premises. He died in March 1949 so perhaps his licence continued with someone else?

He was an army pensioner from the Boer War and served with the Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment recruited in Dover. During WW1 he served with the (Buffs) Royal West Kent Regiment the Royal Defence Corps and the Military Provost Staff Corps. The latter role involved looking after German prisoners of war. My mother told me that owing to the flu epidemic in 1918/19 prisoners would help around the home as so many people were laid up.

I attach a picture taken during my grandads ownership so say between 1934 and 1943 when the bomb struck. I understand that grandad was trapped in the rubble for some time before he was dug out, I had also understood that bar staff were killed but can find no record amongst the war casualties, perhaps it was reported in the papers.

Kind regards Peter Russell.

 

LICENSEE LIST

SPURRIER Charles 1866-75+ Post Office Directory 1874

SPURRIER Caroline 1875-80 Bastions (married Campbell)

CAMPBELL Caroline 1880+

CAMPBELL Alexander 1891-92 Post Office Directory 1891Bastions

BRICE John 1892-94 Bastions

BRICE Mary 1894-95 Bastions

HERTSIEL Bernard 1895-97 Bastions

TRAPNELL Edwin A 1897-99 BastionsKelly's 1899

THORPE Arthur 1899-1900 Bastions

BARNES Walter 1900-03 Bastions

BARBER John 1903-15 dec'd Bastions

BARBER Mary 1915-18 Bastions

STIFF Harry 1918-20 Bastions

TAYLOR William 1920-21 Next pub licensee had Bastions

TAPSELL Charles Henry 1921-1923 Post Office Directory 1922Bastions

FORTUNE John 1923-30 Bastions

BISHOP Stanley 1930-31 Bastions

ALLWOOD Frank 1931-33 Bastions

Last pub licensee had MAY Frank F 1933-40 Kelly's 1934Post Office Directory 1938Bastions

http://evenmoretales.blogspot.co.uk/Alexandra-Hotel

 

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Kelly's 1899From the Kelly's Directory 1899

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Kelly's 1934From the Kelly's Directory 1934

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938

BastionsFrom More Bastions of the Bar by Easdown and Rooney

 

If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-

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