Sarah Cox, a young thief sentenced to the reformatory

Tuesday September 9th 1884

Birmingham Police Court

Before Messrs. Kynnersley (stipendiary), Harris, Goodman, Payton and Goodrick

A young thief._ Sarah Cox (aged 12), living with her parents in Adam Street, was charged on remand with stealing 1s 6d from the till of Sarah Watkins, shopkeeper, Great Lister Street._ The prosecutrix stated that on the 1st September she went into the shop and saw the prisoner drawing her hand away from the till. She asked the girl what she wanted, and the latter replied that she wanted a pennyworth of tobacco. Prosecutrix went to the till, and missed 1s 6d. She caught hold of the prisoner, and a shilling fell out of her sleeve to the floor. She was given into custody and charged with the offence, when she replied that she would give the prosecutrix a penny if she would let her go._ Prisoner, who had twice been previously convicted, was sentenced to fourteen days imprisonment and five years in a reformatory

At this same hearing, directly after young Sarah had been sentenced, the ‘incorrigible’ serial inebriate William, ‘Billy’ Poole also made his 116th appearance before the magistrates – this time being fined 20 shillings for being drunk whilst in charge of a horse in the Bull Ring two days earlier.

This report was found in Birmingham Daily Post, September 10th 1884. This paper can be viewed by subscription to the British Newspaper Archives  and all of Birmingham’s 19th century newspapers can viewed free of charge at the Local Studies Centre, Library of Birmingham. 

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