Taunton Courier 15 Jan 1930 Taunton Woman Charged Beatrice Annie SMITH 7 Court East Reach inc Francis Henry and Lily Alice DUDDRIDGE 29 Eastleigh Road

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Taunton Courier. Bristol and Exeter Journal and Western Advertiser. Wednesday 15 Jan 1930

Page 5 Column 5





A Taunton man, whose sister-in-law entered his house during the absence of his wife and himself and took away a cash-box containing £23 13s, made a moving appeal to the magistrates on behalf of the woman when she appeared before them on Friday.

Prisoner was Beatrice Annie WINTER, a married woman with two young children, of 7 Court, East Reach, Taunton, who was charged with, on January 6th, breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Francis Henry DUDDRIDGE, 29, Eastleigh-road, and stealing a metal cash box containing £23 13s 5¾d.

The woman, who was arrested on Wednesday afternoon, was brought up in custody on Thursday morning, before Mr. G. REX, who remanded her until the following morning to enable the police to complete their case. Bail was granted in her own recognisance of £25 and her husband a similar amount.

Prisoner surrendered to her bail on Friday, when she appeared before the Mayor (Alderman A. J. WEST), Dr. R. Liddon Meade KING, and Mr. G. REX.


Francis Henry DUDDRIDGE, insurance agent stated that on Monday, January 6th, he left home at 9 a.m. to go on his round, and at 6 p.m. the same day he placed the money he had collected in a metal cash-box, which he locked and placed in its customary position on a shelf in the pantry. The box also contained the amounts he had collected on the previous Friday and Saturday. Witness again went collecting on the Monday in question, and when he returned at 9.30 p.m. he discovered, on going to put more money in the cash-box, that the box was missing. Witness spoke to his wife, and in consequence of what she said he reported the matter to P.C. PULLIN. Prisoner was witness's sister-in-law, and she had occasionally visited his home.

Lily Alice DUDDRIDGE, wife of the previous witness, stated that on the Monday evening in question she left home at 7.-10 <sic>. There was then no-one in the house, and witness locked the front and back doors on going out. The windows were also closed. Witness returned at 9.10 p.m. and entered the house by unlocking the front door. She then corroborated the evidence given by her husband as to his return, and the discovery of the loss. Witness and her husband examined the windows, which were exactly as she had left them. The back door was bolted, and there was nothing to indicate that anyone had entered the house. Prisoner was the wife of witness's brother, and occasionally visited her.


P.C. PULLIN stated that he received a complaint from Mr. DUDDRIDGE at 10 o'clock on Monday evening, and visited his home. He examined the premises, inside and out, and found no signs of a forcible entry having been made. He made enquiries, and at eight o'clock the following morning he interviewed, among others, the prisoner and asked her to account for her movements the previous night. She replied, “I did not go near Eastleigh road last night, neither do I know where the cash-box is kept” (in Mr. DUDDRIDGE's house). Witness continued his enquiries, and on Wednesday afternoon, in company with P.C. WHITE, he again interviewed the prisoner and cautioned her. Witness then told her she had just paid £4 for rent, and he asked her to state how she came in possession of that money. She replied, “I tried three or four people, but a neighbour lent it to me.” Witness remained with the prisoner while P.C. WHITE interviewed the neighbour, who then came to the prisoner's house. She said to Mrs. WINTER, “I haven't lent you any money,” to which she replied “No, you have not.” Prisoner then broke down and cried, saying, “I don't know what made me do it. I am in debt, and there is an end to it. Tell Mr. DUDDRIDGE I am sorry.” Witness told her that the house would be searched for the missing money, and she replied “It is not here. I have buried it.” She then indicated a spot in a neighbour's garden at the bottom of the court, where witness found the tin (produced), containing £19 13s 5¾d. Witness took prisoner to the Police-station, where, on being charged, she replied “I have nothing more to say.” Witness had since recovered the £4 that prisoner had paid as arrears of rent. Prisoner later stated that she threw the cash-box into the river by Priory Bridge.


Asked whether she had anything to say in answer to the charge, the prisoner replied, “I went over the garden wall, opened the back door, and bolted it after I got in. I went out the front with the cash-box.”

Mr. DUDDRIDGE then rose in Court, and, addressing the magistrates, said feelingly, “I do not wish to press the case, for the sake of her children. I am very fond of the children, and I would like for you to deal with it here.”

The Bench committed prisoner for trial at the Somerset Assize to be held at Taunton on January 24th.

Prisoner, who wept bitterly, said “I am guilty.”

Bail was granted in her own recognizance of £50 and her husband in a similar amount.

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<NOTES: Francis Henry DUDDRIDGE son of Walter DUDDRIDGE and Clara Jane SCOTT, married Lily Alice WINTER

Lily Alice DUDDRIDGE is Lily Alice WINTER daughter of Matthew George WINTER and Rose GRIGG, married Francis Henry DUDDRIDGE

Beatrice Annie WINTER is Beatrice Ann SMITH daughter of William SMITH and Ann BROWN, married Frederick Henry WINTER>