At Aston Police Court yesterday George Ravenhill, labourer, no fixed residence; Lot Galeford, labourer, Park Street, Aston; and John Toye, labourer, 84, Clifton Road, were charged with stealing at Bromford, on the 21st inst. 3 ¾ cwt of iron, valued at 6s, the property of James Rollasson, manufacturer of Bromford Mills. Ravenhill is a Victoria Cross hero, having gained the distinction at at Colenso. He was before the court some months ago on a charge of refusing to perform his allotted task at Erdington Workhouse.
John Small, foreman at Bromford Mills, spoke to missing the iron from near the entrance gates of the works, and George Ward, marine store dealer, of Bright Street, Aston, said he bought the iron from Ravenhill and Galeford on the 24th of August for 5s.7 ½ d which was the market price.
Toye, giving evidence of his own behalf, said he had no idea the iron was stolen. The other prisoners merely asked him to give them a lift with the iron, which they said they had found in the brook. Toye was discharged and Galeford, who had been in trouble before, was sentenced to three months hard labour.
In the case of Ravenhill, Detective Inspector Jackson stated that he could not say much in the man’s favour. He had been keeping company with Galeford for the past month. One day he told witness that he was still looking for work and asked him to help him. Witness said he would if he would keep away from bad companions, otherwise he could not recommend him.
Ravenhill told the Bench he believed he was entitled to a pension of £50 per annum. If he had had that he should not have been mixed up with this affair, but he had heard nothing from the authorities regarding his claim.
The Bench said they had no other course but to send Ravenhill to gaol for a month, they had tried to help him but he would not help himself.
Dr David Biggins
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