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Schoolboy Breaks Into Quorn House

Loughborough Echo 21st February 1936.

Caught by Occupier in Bedroom - an Extraordinary Story. The escapade of a fifteen year old school boy, who broke into a house of James Leslie Bowley, Warwick-avenue, Quorn, and while searching the place in his stockinged feet was caught by the owner, was related to magistrates at Loughborough Juvenile Court on Monday. It was stated that the boy was a member of a chapel choir. He pleaded guilty to the charge of breaking and entering the house with intent to commit a felony.

James Leslie Bowley spoke to being in bed at 6-45 on the night in question, when he heard someone mounting the stairs.

There was a storm raging at the time, and as he could not hear too well he lay listening. Eventually the door opened, and the defendant entered the room, which he crossed. Witness jumped up, and caught hold of him. He asked the lad what he was there for, and he replied that it was cold, and he came in for a warm. Witness dressed, and took the boy downstairs and questioned him, as to how he got into the house. The defendant at first said he entered by the door. His shoes had been left against the back door, which had been left unlocked. He afterwards said he entered through the bathroom window. Further questioned, he said he had not taken anything. Witness felt round him, but failed to find anything. The lad said he wanted the money for witness's newspapers, and he was later allowed to go home.

Before going, he demonstrated how he got in through an open window. He stated that he drew himself up, and released the catch on the lower window. The boy was in his stockinged feet.

PC Norman spoke to interviewing the boy, who, in reply to the charge, made a statement, in which he said that he was delivering papers, and, finding Mr Bowley's house in darkness, he put the paper through the letter-box, after delivering another paper in the same avenue. About a week before he had lost 2/6 of his employer's money, and, thinking he might be able to make this good, he went back to Mr Bowley's house, opened the window and got in. He then took off his boots and went upstairs into the bedroom and saw Mr Bowley. He did not quite remember what Mr Bowley said. He went downstairs, put on his boots, and told Mr Bowley how he got in, and he was allowed to go.

He added "I am sorry. I have never done anything of the sort before. It was done on the impulse of the moment. I thought the house was empty. There were no lights in the place on Saturday and Monday. I did not touch anything in the house".

The boy's father said his son went to chapel regularly, and was in the choir. He did not gamble or swear. He (the father) could not account for the boy's action. His impression was that, seeing the house in darkness two nights, the window open, and being in difficulties with his employer's money, he acted on the impulse of the moment. He had lost some money, and must have worked himself up to that pitch when he did not know how to get out of it. He had been nervous since birth.

The chairman (Mr B B Barrow) said they had taken into consideration the boy's very good character at school, and in his employment, and the fact that he had not enjoyed good health. He would be placed on probation for 12 months and would have to pay 23s 9d costs.

The Chairman (to the boy): "I cannot understand your breaking away in this manner. At any rate, you will never do it again, will you?"

Defendant: "No".

   
 Submitted on: 2009-07-06
 Submitted by: Kathryn Paterson
 Artefact ID: 14
 Print: View artefact in printer-friendly page

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