Crime and fare evasion on the railway are nothing new

While doing some research on the Internet, I discovered the following of local interest.

The Maidstone Telegraph, on Saturday 13 August 1870, reported that a George Weston was charged with travelling on the London, Chatham, and Dover Railway without having previously paid his fare, and with intent to avoid payment thereof. The defendant was a porter on the London, Chatham, and Dover Railway, but had since been dismissed, and was therefore known to the staff at Bat & Ball station. Inspector Harris was prosecuting on behalf of the company.

Mr. Fryer, the station-master at Bat and Ball said that on Sunday 10th July, the defendant arrived at his station on the 5.20pm departure from Victoria, and that he had a ticket valid on the previous day to Brixton only, and he was not eligible to travel to Sevenoaks using this ticket.

John Bowen, the ticket collector at Bat & Ball, said that when the ticket was offered to him by the defendant, he told him it was not valid, but he went away without offering to pay the fare.

The court found the defendant guilty and said that it was necessary to protect the company, and that he would therefore have to pay a penalty of 10s., (50p), with 17s. 6d, (87.5p), costs.

From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 10 October 1873. On Wednesday, 8 October 1873, Charles Larddy appeared before Lieutenant-Colonel Northey charged with stealing a silk umbrella, value 12s., (60p), the property of the London, Chatham, and Dover Railway Company, at Sevenoaks, on the 7 October 1873.

Richard Fryer, the stationmaster at Bat and Ball station, said that on the previous night the umbrella was an item in the care of the Company in the parcels’ office, having been left there by the owner. Whilst the clerk was absent it was taken.

When James Bryant, the owner, came to collect it, he did not have a ticket given him, but he knew that it was left there, and he considered that the umbrella was in the charge of the Company. A constable happened to be at the station at the time.

Constable Relf, said that he had received information of the robbery. The prisoner was on the station standing at the booking-office, he noticed a stick or an umbrella sticking out beyond his coat. His arms were tight round it. He searched him, and found the umbrella hidden under his coat. He asked him how he came by it, and he said that he bought it from a man for 1s. 6d., (7.5p), off a man at the station.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.