Law and Order

Montgomery Petty Sessions: Juvenile Case

Montgomery Petty Sessions juvenile crime case
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enlarged version

Powys County Archives

On December 3rd 1891 Evan Morris and Albert Davies aged 13 and 12 respectively were on the platform of Forden Railway Station. Albert asked Evan to help him up to the window of the booking office, which he then climbed through. He helped himself to 13 shillings from the cash box. The boys then divided the money between them and left.

Boys stealing Forden Railway Station, illus. by Rob Davies

John Woosnam, the station master, lived with his family at the station house.

1891 Census
Forden Station
Position in
Place of birth
John Woosnam Head M 34 Railway Station Master Montgomeryshire - Llandinam English
Annie Woosnam Wife M 37   Mont - Llanidloes English
John Woosnam Son S 10 Scholar Llandinam English
David Woosnam Son S 8 Scholar Llandinam English
Annie Woosnam Daughter S 5 Scholar Llandinam English
John A Woosnam Son S 4 Scholar Glamorganshire Ystead English
For more information on the census, please click here.

John had seen them loitering on the platform, clearly suspicious. He went into the booking office and found that the window had been opened from the outside. He then discovered the missing money. Enlisting the help of a neighbour, they managed to overtake the boys by the river. They both confessed to the theft, although only half of the money was recovered as Albert has thrown his share over a hedge into a field.

Summary jurisdiction was swift in the Petty Sessions. The boys were sentenced:

Image of a Petty Sessions document showing the sentance given to the boys accused of stealing from Forden Railway Station
Powys County Archives

"And it was adjudged that the defendant being a male under the age of fourteen years be as soon as practicable privately whipped by one of the Constables aforesaid in the presence of an Inspector of the said Police Force and also in the presence, if he desires the presence of the parent of the said defendant with twelve strokes of the Birch rod".

Signature of the Justice of the Peace for Montgomeryshire
Powys County Archives

This was signed by the Justice of the Peace for the County of Montgomeryshire.

The next case involves the theft of a flannel vest from the laundress' hedge: Regina v Bridgett