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Judicial CP - October 1930

Corpun file 3672 at

Illustrated Police News, London, 30 October 1930

Station Hold-Up.

Armed Bandits Sentenced.

Ordered the Birch.

"Crimes of violence are not only on the increase but they are almost invariably committed by young men, and these offences must be stamped out," said the Recorder, Sir Ernest Wild, at the Old Bailey, when Albert Charles Earle, aged twenty-two, butcher, Lionel Victor Earle, twenty, seaman, and Alfred Edward Stevenson, eighteen, porter, pleaded guilty to an armed raid on Barking Railway Station, E.

Mr. Percival Clarke, prosecuting, said that just after midnight on September 20, Mr. Archibald Stanley Skipper and Mr. Ernest Howard, booking-clerks, were counting the takings when the three accused levelled loaded revolvers at them and demanded money. The clerks refused; whereupon they were bound back to back and gagged. The intruders then escaped with £112.

They were traced to Norwich, and in their luggage was found a six-chambered revolver, 106 rounds of ammunition, a gas gun with cartridges to fit, and two masks. When they were arrested at Lowestoft, Albert Earle had a revolver loaded in six chambers, Lionel Earle had a fully-loaded pistol, and Stevenson had two magazines for automatic pistols. Other firearms were also found in their luggage.

Mr. Clarke said that the carrying of firearms was becoming so common that the police were subjected to very serious risks.

Divisional Detective-Inspector Lawrence said that the Earles had been placed on probation for breaking into offices at Lowestoft. Stevenson had been bound over for housebreaking and larceny, and was still on probation.

The gas gun was a very dangerous weapon. It fired a very strong capsule containing cayenne pepper, which would permanently injure a person's eyes.

Mr. Walter Frampton, defending, said he was told that the men bought the arms and ammunition with the proceeds of the robbery.

Sir Ernest: What for?

Mr. Frampton: They had committed one offence --

Sir Ernest: And they wanted to commit another? They might have got ropes round their necks. This sort of thing is becoming rampant. I am not here to speculate on the causes, whether they are sensational literature, absence of parental control, the utter decay of reverence in these days, or anything to do with the pictures.

Saying that he hesitated to order flogging with the cat for such young men, Sir Ernest sentenced Albert Earle to fifteen months' imprisonment in the second division and twenty strokes with the birch; Lionel Earle to eighteen months in the second division and twenty strokes with the birch. Stevenson was sent to Borstal for three years.

When the sentences were passed on the Earles a woman rose and said, sobbing, "My lord, they are all I have got."

Sir Ernest commended the booking clerks, Mr. Skipper and Mr. Howard, for their courage, and awarded them each £5.

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