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An excise offence - 1898

Loughborough Herald - January 27th 1898

Wednesday – Before Rev R Burton (in the chair), the Mayor (Ald W Tidd), R Whiteley, J S Smith, and U Goodacre, Esqs.

Charles Gamble, newsagent, Quorn, was summoned by the Inland Revenue authorities for dealing in plate without holding a proper license on September 7th. Mr Wallace, supervisor for the Loughborough district, prosecuted, and Mr H Deane defended and pleaded guilty.

The case for the prosecution, as stated by Mr Wallace, was that by the statute under which the proceedings were taken every person trading in articles wholly or in part composed of gold or silver was obliged to take out a license.

Defendant was a newsvendor at Quorn, and kept a shop. On September 7th George Smith bought from him a silver watch, exhibited in the shop window, for two guineas paying 3d down and agreeing to pay instalments of 1s per week. Defendant did not hold a license to deal in plate. It might be urged that he was not liable because he was merely the agent for a licensed person somewhere else, and received commission on the sales made by him. But the watch was purchased direct from the defendant, and Smith had no communication with anyone else. Further, a license only covered one set of premises, and one granted, say in London, could not apply to Quorn.

Mr Deane said defendant had no stock of watches, but only this solitary one, which was supplied to him as a sample to help him in soliciting orders for the Sheffield firm for which he was acting as agent. He had made the mistake of allowing a would-be purchaser to have this sample. His instructions were that he was to solicit orders on commission, and the goods were to be forwarded direct to the customer from the firm’s place of business. After this, the first and only transaction defendant had with the watches, he wrote to the firm, and they offered to obtain a licence for him if he wished to keep a stock.

Under all these circumstances Mr Deane asked the Bench to regard it as a case in which a very small penalty would be sufficient to emphasise the existence of the law. The Bench imposed a nominal fine of 5s., and declined to accede to the prosecution’s application for the remission of costs.

 Submitted on: 2011-08-10
 Submitted by: Kathryn Paterson
 Artefact ID: 1369
 Print: View artefact in printer-friendly page

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