LOOK BACK IN TIME: 8th February 1902

The Isle of Wight Observer published on 8th February, 1902 reported two crimes and the outcome after the perpetrators appeared before the bench. The fine for the first one would be equivalent to a little under £30 today. The punishment for the second would be just as painful – whenever it was administered. A fire which destroyed two homes in Newport was also recorded.

Thomas Cook, Ryde, was summoned for the use of obscene language. – Defendant pleaded guilty. – P.C. Bignell proved the case as having happened on January 19th, in the High Street, Brading. Defendant was using the language to some boys, and after being cautioned by the witness, continued to use bad language as he moved off. – Defendant, who offered no defence, was fined 5s. and 9s. costs.

William Kitcher, a school-boy, of Carisbrooke, was charged with stealing 3s., belonging to his mother, Susan Jeffery, living at Forest Side, on the 28th, ult. – The defendant played truant from school, and returning home in his mothers absence broke into the house by smashing the window, and took food and money. He did not return that night sand slept in the pigsty. – Defendant was punished with six strokes with a birch rod.

On Saturday morning, between four and five o’clock, a fire occurred in Bedford Row, Newport, with the result that two houses were destroyed, the property of Mr Charles Dashwood, brewer, Newport. The loss, which is covered by insurance, amounts to about £600. The fire originated from a stove in a greenhouse at the rear of Mr Baker’s cottage, and the whole place was quickly ablaze, as also were the adjoining premises, at which the business of a dairy is carried on by Mr and Mrs Kemp. The fire brigade was quickly on the spot and prevented the fire from spreading. The occupants of the cottages, with their children, had little time to get away, and escaped in their night attire and took refuge with neighbours. Unfortunately the tenants of the cottages were not insured and they have lost almost all their furniture.