Case dismissed

From the Brighton Gazette, 1849

Caleb Combridge, butcher, of 72 Trafalgar Street, told Brighton magistrates on 31 July 1849 that the previous morning Mary M’Douall went to his shop and bought a piece of mutton for 1s 4d. She gave him 2s 6d and he returned 1s 2d. As she was placing the meat in her basket he saw her take a half-sovereign from the block.

No half sovereign found

As she was leaving he hastily counted his money and found he was short by that amount. He ran down the street but she refused to return to the shop, so he called a policeman. PC Call said that, on searching the prisoner, he found 2s 10½d in her pocket and 8s in a tea caddy in her house. There was no half-sovereign.

He put it in his pocket

Mrs King, with whom the prisoner had lodged for three years, said she was a very honest woman. Mary Mercer, a woman who did not know the prisoner, said she had earlier paid Mr Combridge half a sovereign, which he put in his pocket. The magistrates dismissed the case.


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

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