Peace Day trial: Ellen Gilbert

Ellen Gilbert, aged 37, married, hat machinist, of 11 New Street, Luton, first appeared before magistrates on Wednesday, July 23rd, 1919, and was remanded in custody for a week charged with receiving toilet requisites valued at 4s 3d, the property of Carl Caspers [Bute Street], from Amos Gooch, who had been charged with stealing them.

Her case was finally dealt with by magistrates on Friday, August 1st, when Town Clerk William Smith said that, having regard to the suspense and mental strain suffered by two of the women who were charged with rioting and larceny, he had decided to take the responsibility of dropping the rioting allegations, so that the prisoners might be dealt with summarily.

Ellen Gilbert was fined £3, or 21 days. The Bench said the decision arrived at had taken into consideration the number of days the defendant had already spent in prison.

Det-Sgt Arthur Bacon said that when he first approached Ellen Gilbert with regard to the stolen articles, she denied she had any. He then said: “What about the perfume you have got?” and she replied: “Well, I have got one bottle.” Witness eventually recovered the bottles.

The defendant also made a statement about the prisoner Gooch, and said: “He must have fetched them from one of the shops.” When Det-Sgt Bacon saw Gooch in the presence of Ellen Gilbert at the police station, Gooch said: “I found them in Bute Street outside Caspers' shop, when they were smashing the windows.”

[Ellen Gilbert was the mother of another defendant, Emily Gilbert.]