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Judicial CP - August 1936

Jersey Weekly Post, St Helier, 8 August 1936


"An accomplished liar" elects to be birched

Before J.E. Pinel, Esq., Magistrate.


A young man, who obtained money by false pretences and was described as work-shy and an accomplished liar, elected to be birched instead of going to gaol.

He was Reginald Frank Lihou (26), St Helier, charged by Centenier H. Le F. Grant, of St Helier, with having on several occasions in every parish of the Island by false pretences attempted to obtain several sums of money from several people, notably on Friday, July 24th, 1936, about 9 p.m. in Peel-road, St Helier, when he attempted to obtain a sum of money from Mr Ph. J. Le Neveu, and Saturday, July 25th, about 7 p.m., at Beauvoir, St Clement, when he obtained 2/6 from Mr Ad. Le Sueur.

Advocate R. Vibert defended.

"On Friday, July 24th, about 9 p.m., this man approached Mr Le Neveu at his house," said the Centenier, "he said his name was Le Gros and said he was a Guernseyman out of work and asked for money. Mr Le Neveu refused, and next day the accused went to Mr Ad. Le Sueur at St Clement and obtained 2/6. He was offered work but refused it. There have been several complaints against this man. He is very plausible and has a soft tongue."

The Magistrate: And soft hands!

Witness: Yes, sir, he is work-shy.

Centenier Ph. Gallichan, of St Saviour, gave evidence of receiving complaints about accused and warning him as to his conduct.

Centenier T.A. Pallot said the accused was given work by him and was paid 1 pound in advance on condition he did the work. Subsequently he was paid to date but pestered witness' nephew and all the men in his employ to borrow. Witness told a specious tale of hardship for his wife and children. Accused worked for witness a month but he did not start work early enough to earn the money he could have. The work was making tomato boxes.

Mr C.W. Hotton, Sec., Poor Law Commission, said he had had six complaints about accused in the last two months. "He is a plausible and accomplished liar and will not work," said witness. "His favourite tricks are to go to people asking for help as he has an ailing wife or child and no money. Another trick is to produce an old doctor's certificate showing he is ill. The man is becoming a perfect pest in the island and is going all over the place asking for money and help. He has a wife and three children and when he gets money it is generally spent on the pictures. He is not a very robust man but he could do a little more work than he does."

Mr P.J. Le Neveu said accused came to him and tried to obtain 2/- on Friday. He said his name was Le Gros and that he was married, but apparently was not sure whether he had three or four children. As it was clear to witness that accused was a plausible rogue, he refused to give him anything. Accused told him he was a box-maker and had a job offered at Horman's.

Counsel addressed the Court, and submitted the offence was a trivial one. His client instructed him that he would get work and stick to that work if given a chance.

In reply to the Magistrate, Mr Hotton said that Lihou had been assisted by the parish of St Helier in January and went to the pictures that same day.

The Magistrate remarked that what Lihou really needed was a good hiding, but unfortunately that could not be ordered without accused's consent. "I suppose you will not agree to that, Lihou?"

Accused, through his counsel, said he would sooner be birched than go to prison.

The Magistrate: Very well. I will order you 12 strokes of the birch. You will receive six now and the other six if you are brought up again.

Accused was removed in custody.

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