Pub thief who landed himself in jug

From the Brighton Herald, 3rd September 1881

On Friday 2 September 1881 James Sturt, 28, described as ‘a destitute and villainous-looking fellow’, made his sixth appearance before the Brighton magistrates. He was charged with stealing 6s. from the till at the 'Waggon & Horses', Church Street.

All the silver had gone

The prisoner was said to have been in and out of the bar during most of Thursday afternoon and left at about 5.30, while the landlady, Mrs Gower, was away. When her son went to the till he found that all the silver had gone. There had been a half-crown, a florin, a shilling and a sixpence.

He was searched

The Police were informed and Detective Raggett visited several local taverns which Sturt used. He found him in the ‘Red Lion’ in North Road and escorted him back to the ‘Waggon & Horses’, where he was searched.

The missing coins were found

During the afternoon Mrs Gower had supplied Sturt with beer on credit, as he had no money. But the missing coins were found in his pocket, less some coppers spent in the ‘Red Lion’.

He pleaded guilty

James Sturt told the magistrates he was guilty and he was sentenced to 3 months’ hard labour.


[Previously published in the North Laine Runner during the 1980s and then again in issue No 205, July/August 2010]

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