7 Apr 2012
INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY.
Whenever we see people accused of serious crimes on our news, Husband dearest always laughs as I take one look at the accused and proclaim them innocent or, more often than not, guilty.
In fact I'm so bad that he says I'd be great during jury service in that I'd save loads of time and money as I'd just take one look and know whether they'd done it or not.
Imagine then how much I'd enjoy this book?
Only 57 pages long and dated between 1909 and 1912 this is a scrapbook listing criminals and their crimes that was compiled by a detective over 100 years ago.
Detective Inspector Robert Mather of the Manchester Police put together the rogues' gallery apparently for his own amusement.
There are 65 convicts recorded and their details includes photographs, physical descriptions, aliases, and their crimes and punishments.
Despite being repeat criminals, mugshots show the rogues dressed in smart clothing - unlike the tracksuit-wearing ne'er do wells of today.
Up for sale at Bonhams in London on the 27th of March, the book is expected to fetch over £ 1,000.
"This looks like something the officer compiled for his own use.
"Although some of the photographs are clearly official police pictures, the rest does not look official.
"It might have been for his own amusement, but he might also have carried it around with him in order the spot criminals.
"The scrap book shows that in 100 years little changes and criminals are still the same as they are today." said Simon Roberts of Bonhams.
Ernest Bell, aged 20, in 1912 was fined £5 for stealing pigeons and received 12 strokes for stealing a bicycle.
He then received five years 'reformatory' for stealing 'jellies' but it didn't work for he was later convicted of shopbreaking and received six months in prison.
- The Telegraph (February 2012)
Click HERE to view full article and to see more of these criminals.