Documents relating to Halifax Borough Police

The following documents mention Halifax Borough Police

The Leeds Mercury [Wednesday 25th October 1876] reported Serious Charge Against Halifax Police Officers
Acquittal of the Accused

John Birkenshaw and William Holmes (on bail) lately members of Halifax Borough Police force, the former an Inspector, the latter a Sergeant, were indicted for feloniously receiving from Thomas Gibson Hobart the sum of £8 10/- the property of Robert Lees, knowing the same to have been stolen.

Robert Lees, publican, of Lincoln said he missed some money from his cash box in his bedroom.

There was £30 to £40 in gold, a £5 note, and some silver.

Thomas Gibson Hobart said he is at present a convict undergoing penal servitude at Chatham. In January, he lodged at the house of Robert Lees in Lincoln. Before he left, he stole £45. He was later brought up at Lincoln Assizes and convicted. He came to Triangle in Yorkshire, somewhere near Sowerby Bridge and was apprehended by two policemen, who were the prisoners.

They brought him to Halifax and on the road they stopped at a public house in Sowerby Bridge. Birkenshaw ordered three glasses of rum, which witness wanted to pay for, and pulled his purse out of his pocket, and Birkenshaw asked him how much he had in the purse and he said

£8 10/- part of the money stolen from Old Lees

He gave it to him. Birkenshaw took the money. They then came to Halifax.

Witness asked Birkenshaw how long he thought he would get and Birkenshaw said twelve to eighteen months and Birkenshaw said he would give him a sovereign or thirty shillings when he came back. Holmes afterwards whispered to him

Birkenshaw wants this all to himself, so I must look out

Witness said he did not tell Birkenshaw and Holmes he had won the money at the races, although he was a bookmaker and did attend races. He could not remember what he had gone to Halifax for but he went to Triangle to see a friend.

John Egan, Sergeant in Halifax Borough Police gave evidence and so did Benjamin Wood of Halifax Corporation. Mr Blackburn:

Witness had been dismissed for drunkenness from the Irish Constabulary.

The court heard that Holmes had borne a good character and Birkenshaw had been a middling good officer.

Hobart was said to be the most accomplished scoundrel they could have had before them. Yet, apart from his evidence there was no proof that the money said to have been given up to the officers was the property of Mr Lees.

The jury retired and after a lapse of an hour and a half returned a verdict of Not Guilty and they were acquitted  

© Malcolm Bull 2022
Revised 13:12 / 19th January 2022 / 4833

Page Ref: X478

search tips advanced search
site search by freefind