A number of stories of ‘severe’ misconduct and ever more severe judicial retribution caught my eye in the pages of the Reporter from 16 May 1942, in the middle of the War.
Perhaps one’s censure ought to have been mitigated by the fact that many fathers of the miscreants were serving in the forces at that time.
Certainly my overall impression was that today’s magistrates (and townspeople) would be happy to exchange ‘crimes’ of then with those of today. Judge for yourself!
Two boys, one from
I thought the latter draconian punishment for two unaccompanied minors – and their worried parents – more than sufficient to meet the crime, but no! The shop-owner testified at the hearing but his evidence was all circumstantial – and indeed suspect, as he claimed to know exactly how much was taken, though the boy did not take all the money from his till!
The magistrate allowed the boys’ soldier fathers a period of three months (during which time, he adjourned the hearing) to put up 5/- between them, raising the suspicion that he too doubted the shopkeeper’s testimony of 8/- missing.
An unnamed boy from Nicholson’s Court (Francis Street, then King Street) was sent to St Patrick’s Industrial School Belfast ‘until he reach 14 years of age’, school-leaving age) for non-attendance at school. His foster-mother testified that his father was working in the
Five boys from
The petty war-time smuggler was likewise severely reprimanded!
Mary Crilly of Aghyallogue was fined