|| "We had no coal and my little girl, who was ill, was celebrating her birthday. We buried a child last Easter; she died after being severely burned. Since then, my wife would not buy coal."
These remarks were addressed to Wigan Borough Magistrates, on Monday, by Daniel Morris (45), unemployed, 10 Cherry Grove, Beech Hill, who, along with his 14-year-old son, was summoned for stealing 46 lbs. of coal and 8 wooden blocks, the property of the British Transport Commission.
Detective Constable Norman Perkins told the Court that he saw Morris and his son walking up the railway embankment near Elms Bridge on 26th August holding shopping bags. The father's bag contained coal, and the son's eight blocks used on chairs to secure the rails. Near the bridge was a perambulator containing coal.
The father said that he had got the coal and his son carried the blocks. "I do not think I was stealing. I picked the coal and blocks from the track: I did not climb any wagons or do any damage," added the father.
Supt. A. E. Davies said the defendant, Daniel Morris, had seven children, whose ages ranged from 17 years to 14 months. He was a window cleaner, but had to give up work owing to ill health. The total income of the family was £17 15s. 3d. per week.
The son was remanded on bail to the Juvenile Court, and the father was fined £2, plus £2 costs.