Peace Day trial: Husband and wife fined

Ellen Louisa Goodridge, aged 34, a cleaner, and her husband Edgar Cecil Goodridge, aged 39, an electrician, of 63 Collingdon Street, Luton, appeared before magistrates on July 25th, 1919, jointly charged with stealing a gramophone, value £8 8s, the property of S. Farmer & Co, between 19th and 20th July. They were bailed jointly in the sum of £20 to appear again the following Wednesday.

At a hearing on August 1st, 1919, evidence that Mrssrs Farmer's shop was broken into on the night of the riot was given by an employee, who said the gramophone in the case was one of several missed from the shop. It was valued at eight guineas.

Det-Sgt Arthur Bacon said that when he asked Mrs Goodridge where the gramophone was, she replied: “In the front room,” adding, “I found it in Manchester Street last Saturday night.” She stated that she saw a man carrying it in Manchester Street, and he threw it down, saying: “I am not going to carry it any further.”

In consequence of a further statement Det-Sgt Bacon took both the husband and wife into custody, and whilst they were together at the police station, witness said to the husband: “Your wife says that on 19th July you both went into Farmer's shop and saw a gramophone on the floor. She also says: 'I picked it up, and we both took it home'.

“The husband in his reply admitted that they both went into the shop together, and were separated, and that he later saw his wife in the crowd and said: 'What have you got?' She answered: 'Something for the boy'. The wife then said to the husband: 'You were with me when I picked it up'.”

The prisoners were then charged. The husband at first pleaded not guilty, but on the advice of Mr Lathom withdrew this for one of guilty. The wife also pleaded guilty.

In court, Mr Lathom said it was a first offence for both. The wife had acted very foolishly, and the husband had covered her action afterwards It was not for him to adjudge the blame as between husband and wife.

They would have to suffer for what they had done, but he asked the magistrates to deal with their case mercifully.

They were each fined £5, or face a month in prison.