The magistrate said "A likely story!"

From the 'Brighton Herald', April 1881

By Jackie Fuller, North Laine resident

On Monday William Robinson, landlord of the 'Green Dragon' [in Sydney Street, now 'The Office'] was summoned at Brighton police court for having his house open for the sale of drink between 12 and 1 o'clock on Saturday night. Three customers, Frank Bellizia, Thomas Chalker and Thomas Eplett, were also summoned for being found in the house during those illegal hours. All four pleaded guilty. They stated, amidst the merriment of the court, that they had been conversing seriously upon the qualities of the late Benjamin Disraeli, Lord Beaconsfield, whose death had just been announced. The time had flown so rapidly, they claimed, that they were not aware it was so late.

"A likely story!" said the Magistrate, fining the landlord 10s and costs and each of the other defendents 2s 6d and costs.

[Previously published in the North Laine Runner, No 201, November/December 2009]

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