The robbing of football fans in 1918


October 22, 1918
At the Liverpool City Police Court, to-day, four well dressed young men, Harry Stringer, James Smith, John Allen, and Albert Clayton, were charged with loitering with intent to commit a felony.
On the afternoon of the 12th inst. the four men were observed by police detectives “working” the crowds at the Old Haymarket struggling to get on the tramcars going to the Everton v. Liverpool football match. Two of the prisoners were seen tapping passengers’ pockets, their actions being covered by their confederates.
On the advice of their solicitor, Mr. Shawcross, of Manchester, the men all pleaded guilty.
Mr. Holbrook said these men were all reputed thieves, and it was a danger to society that they should be allowed to band themselves for the purpose of picking pockets and other offences.
The record clerk read a big list of convictions against Smith, against whom there were nineteen previous cases of felony. Stringer had been in trouble nine times, but the careers of the other two were scarcely so bad.
Stringer was sent to hard labour for three months, and Allen for six weeks. Smith and Clayton (the latter of whom had served three years in the Army) were committed to the sessions.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: October 22, 1918)

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