Saturday, 4 September 2010

Those Jersey beatings

Jersey Weekly Post, St Helier, 19 September 1931
Police Court, 12 September
Boy's alleged theft
"No control over him," says mother.

Click to enlarge
Henri Dosithée Jean Le Gastelois (13), St. Martin, was charged by Centenier C.G. Pallot, of St. Martin, with having on Tuesday, 8th inst., about 8.45 a.m., stolen £9.5s. from "Gibraltar," Rozel, St. Martin, to the prejudice of Angelina Marie Louise Laignel (née Le Blond); or with aiding and abetting the said criminal acts.

Centenier Pallot said that on Tuesday last he was informed by Mrs. Laignel that £9.5s. had been stolen from her house. She left early in the morning to go to work and on coming back in the evening found a window open and the money, which was in two purses, missing. Witness made enquiries and found that a boy named Holley had a watch which had been given him by accused. Witness questioned Holley, who showed him where the accused had hidden two watches and some money. Accused admitted the charge and said he went to town and bought four watches, two at 10/6 and two at 6/11 each. Witness found that the mother had no control over accused; he did no work at school and stayed out late at night. The sum of £8.4s. had been recovered, as well as the two purses.

Mrs. Laignel said that when she came home on Tuesday she could not open her front door. She went to the window and saw one of the drawers in the room open. When she made a search she found that about £9.5s. which she had in the house was missing. Witness identified the purses as her property.

Clifford Marcel Holley said he was at school with accused, who gave him a watch which he said he got at Mrs. Laignel's. Accused told him not to tell anyone, but he told his father. Accused showed him where he had hidden the money, and witness showed the police.

Vingtenier Le Soelleur corroborated the Centenier's evidence. Mr. Holley reported to him that the accused had given his boy a watch.

Mrs. Le Gastelois said she had five children. Accused was the youngest, and she had had a lot of trouble with him. He had stolen money from her, but as far as she knew had never stolen money outside before. She could do nothing with him. If she shut him up he got away by the window.

Accused said he stole the money because his mother wanted him away from the home.

The case was remanded until Thursday for a report, accused being placed at the General Hospital in the interval.



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Corpun file 10633

Jersey Weekly Post, St Helier, 26 September 1931
Royal Court, 19 September
13-year-old boy charged
Court orders the birch.

Click to enlarge
Henri Dositée Jean Le Gastebois, aged 13, a native of St. Martin, was presented on a report by H.M.'s Attorney-General, charged by Centenier C.G. Pallot, of St. Martin, with having on Tuesday, September 8th, about 8.45 a.m., stolen £9.5s. from "Gibraltar," Rozel, St. Martin, to the prejudice of Angelina Marie Louise Laignel (née Le Blond); or with aiding and abetting in the said acts.

Advocate Giffard defended the accused and entered a plea of guilty.

The Public Prosecutor detailed the incidents which led up to the prosecution. The father and mother were of French nationality and were highly respectable and hard working people. He (the speaker) had had a consultation with Advocate Giffard and they were agreed that they should not send the lad to prison or even to a reformatory. He thought the best way out of the difficulty was to order that the lad receive eight strokes of the birch under the supervision of the Prison Authorities and that he be handed over to the care of his parents, who would be notified that they must exercise greater care over the boy.

Advocate Giffard agreed with the conclusions, which he considered were very reasonable. By dealing with the lad in this way he would learn a good lesson and should become a good citizen. If he fell into evil ways again he would naturally be severely punished.

The lad's parents were requested to come forward.

The father said he had been in Jersey about 50 years; he could do nothing with his son.

Both mother and father said they were prepared to take charge of their son and to keep him in order.

The Court then granted the conclusions of the Public Prosecutor.
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Jersey Weekly Post, St Helier, 19 November 1932
ROYAL COURT
Birch for youthful offender
Saturday, Nov. 12th, 1932 (Saturday Division).
CRIMINAL.
Before Chs. Ed. Malet de Carteret, Esq., Bailiff, and Jurats de Carteret and De Gruchy.
Bernard William Symons, 16, St. Helier, was charged by H.M.'s Solicitor-General with having on several occasions between July and the end of September, 1932, whilst in the employ of Mr. Geo. Longland, newsagent, of Sunnyside, First Tower, stolen from the shop till sums of money totalling about £30; also with having during the same period stolen a cigarette lighter valued at 12/-. Also, on October the 25th, 1932, stolen from a purse in a bedroom on the same premises a 10/- note; on October the 26th, 1932, stolen £2 from the shop till; on October the 27th stolen £4 from a bedroom and also forced a home safe and stolen £7 in notes and £1 in silver; the whole to the prejudice of the said Mr. Longland.

Advocate Harrison defended the accused, who pleaded guilty.

The Public Prosecutor said the facts were simple, but unfortunately the consequences flowing therefrom were not quite as simple. The prisoner was just six weeks short of 17 and was too old to send to a reformatory, and as this was his first offence he could not be sent to Borstal. There were therefore, only two alternatives, either prison or else corporal punishment.

The lad's home life had been very unfortunate, as the Court knew, so it was of no use going into it. The headmaster of La Motte-street School reported that the lad was intelligent, and, had his home life been better, might have made a very decent fellow.

The Prosecutor then detailed the series of thefts committed to the prejudice of Mr. Longland. The latter saw the accused's father, who resides in Pier-road, and thelad admitted committing various thefts, including the sum of 8 pounds and a cigarette lighter. It was eventually discovered that a series of thefts had been committed by the lad. He succeeded in spending the money with the assistance of several friends, who were not lacking on such ocasions, by visiting places of amusement in town.

The question as to what could be done with the lad had given him cause for serious thought. Borstal had to be ruled out, as well as a reformatory. He was loth to send the lad to gaol or to order corporal punishment. He (the Public Prosecutor) had consulted the Rev. Snell (Assistance Chaplain at the prison), whom he would like to publicly thank for his help in the matter, and the result was that a decent home had been found and a job with the firm of Le Quesne, contractors.

He was not an admirer of corporal punishment, but he felt that in a case like this it might leave a definite impression on the lad's mind. On April the 7th, 1931, a lad named Surguy was sentenced to eight strokes; another lad was later sentenced to eight strokes of the birch for petty larceny. Dr. Hanna had examined the lad and had reported that he was fit to receive such punishment. He therefore asked that the lad be given eight strokes with the birch and that after that he be handed over to the Rev. Snell.

Advocate Harrison said it was not unusual for Counsel to find fault with the conclusions of the Partie Publique but it was unusual for Counsel to agree with such conclusions. This, however, he did, and hoped the Court would agree; he supported the conclusions with all his power.

The Bailiff said the Court found the conclusions extremely mild, but they granted them. He then severely admonished the lad and warned him as to his future conduct. This was his last chance, for if he appeared before the Court again they would remember that he had been given a chance and had thrown it away.
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Jersey Weekly Post, St Helier, 12 October 1935
Stolen Fruit
Boy Delinquents Get Caned by Centenier Hotton.
Stolen fruit may be the sweetest, but the payment, though sometimes delayed, is far from sweet. Two boys found out the truth of that on Oct. 1st. They had amused themselves by raiding fruit gardens in the Beach Road area at the week-end, but their movements were accurately traced by Centenier C.W. Hotton, of St. Saviour, and that evening they appeared before the Constable of St. Saviour at the Parish Hall.

Their parents and Dr. R.N. McKinstry were present, and after the case had been fully investigated they were given several strokes with a cane in the place where the strokes would do most good, the cane being wielded by Centenier Hotton. It was two very tearful "scrumpers" who left the Hall -- but well, boys will be boys!
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Jersey Weekly Post, St Helier, 6 June 1936
Police Court
Magistrate's Busy Time
Before J.E. Pinel, Esq., Magistrate.

Saturday, May 30th, 1936.
The Boys and the Lasso
Police Court Sequel.
Robert Charles Young, 17, Ohio, U.S.A.,

Ernest Auguste Villalard, 15, St. Helier,

Were charged by Centenier S.E. Pirouet, of St. Helier, with irregular conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace, on Thursday, May 28th, 1936, about 4.50 p.m. in Rouge Bouillon; on the same occasion interfered with a horse attached to a van and driven by Mr. Edward John McFarling; also with having struck Mr. William Francis Hardman in the face with a rope.

"On Thursday afternoon these two lads were playing with this rope in Rouge Bouillon," said the Centenier. "They attempted to pass the rope over the head of Traffic Controlman Hardman, who was on duty at the Savile-street corner, but the rope struck him across the face. The lads then went on down the road and frightened a horse which was being driven in a van by Mr. McFarling. The horse jumped the pavement and wedged the shaft of the van in some railings, smashing it, while Mr. McFarling fell between the van and the horse. A farmer, Mr. Paisnel, who was driving his lorry along Rouge Bouillon and saw what had happened, stopped his lorry and chased the boys, catching the elder."

Mr. E.J. McFarling said he was driving along Rouge Bouillon. The boys had a rope over the road and before witness could avoid it, it was up against the horse, which took fright and bolted. Witness fell from the van and had a very lucky escape from serious injury, as he was wedged between the horse and van.

..........

Young's mother was called forward and said the boys had no intention of doing any harm. The carter did not know how to drive his horse, he was nervous, and the traffic control man was in the way. The boy was going to apologise.

The Magistrate: So according to you everyone was to blame except your boy. What they want is a good hiding.

Mrs. Young: My boy had one last night; his father gave him one.

The Magistrate: If he was not to blame why did he get a hiding?

Mrs. Young: They say his father does not correct him, but he does. He was thrashed and shown he must not play in the streets like that.

The Magistrate: He is 17!

Mrs. Young: Yes, 17 to-day.

The Magistrate: Then he wants something to make him remember his 17th birthday. At 17 he should know better than to get into this sort of mischief. The van driver might have been killed.

Villalard's father, who was not in Court, was sent for and in reply to the Magistrate said he had punished his boy several times, but could do nothing with him. He agreed that the boy should receive six strokes of the birch and six more if he came before the Court again.

Mrs. Young objected to her son being birched on account of his father's health. He suffered from heart disease and would rather punish the boy himself.

The Magistrate: You mean to tell me a sick man can punish that boy properly? I would like to believe you but I will see the father for myself: he will be here at 10 a.m. on Monday and in the meanwhile your son will be allowed out on 10/- bail."

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Monday, June 1st, 1936.
The Youth with the Lasso
Father Consents to Birching.
Holiday or no holiday, the Police Magistrate sits just the same, and there was another "mixed bag" for his attention. First came

Robert Charles Young (17), of Ohio, U.S.A.,

who appeared on remand from Saturday, when he was charged with another lad who was sentenced to the birch, on a charge of disorderly conduct in Rouge Bouillon on Thursday.

The Magistrate had ordered Young to be birched, too, but the boy's mother raised objections, and a respite was granted in order to hear the father's views.

Mr. H.F. Young, father of the accused boy, was present yesterday morning, and gave his consent to the boy being birched.

The Magistrate: You have done the right thing. In February, 1935, your boy was bound over to come up for judgment if called upon. If you had declined to allow him to be birched I would have been obliged to send him to prison, and I did not want to do that.

Addressing the accused, the Magistrate said that his case was worse than that of his friend, as he was older. He had already been before Court once, and on this occasion would be ordered 18 strokes of the birch. Nine would be administered that day, and he would be given the other nine if he came before Court again. The Magistrate expressed the hope that would teach him the way to behave.
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Jersey Weekly Post, St Helier, 8 August 1936
POLICE COURT
"An accomplished liar" elects to be birched
Before J.E. Pinel, Esq., Magistrate.
THURSDAY, JULY 30TH, 1936.

(extract)

A young man, who obtained money by false pretences and was described as work-shy and an accomplished liar, elected to be birched instead of going to gaol.

He was Reginald Frank Lihou (26), St Helier, charged by Centenier H. Le F. Grant, of St Helier, with having on several occasions in every parish of the Island by false pretences attempted to obtain several sums of money from several people, notably on Friday, July 24th, 1936, about 9 p.m. in Peel-road, St Helier, when he attempted to obtain a sum of money from Mr Ph. J. Le Neveu, and Saturday, July 25th, about 7 p.m., at Beauvoir, St Clement, when he obtained 2/6 from Mr Ad. Le Sueur.

Advocate R. Vibert defended.

"On Friday, July 24th, about 9 p.m., this man approached Mr Le Neveu at his house," said the Centenier, "he said his name was Le Gros and said he was a Guernseyman out of work and asked for money. Mr Le Neveu refused, and next day the accused went to Mr Ad. Le Sueur at St Clement and obtained 2/6. He was offered work but refused it. There have been several complaints against this man. He is very plausible and has a soft tongue."

The Magistrate: And soft hands!

Witness: Yes, sir, he is work-shy.

Centenier Ph. Gallichan, of St Saviour, gave evidence of receiving complaints about accused and warning him as to his conduct.

Centenier T.A. Pallot said the accused was given work by him and was paid 1 pound in advance on condition he did the work. Subsequently he was paid to date but pestered witness' nephew and all the men in his employ to borrow. Witness told a specious tale of hardship for his wife and children. Accused worked for witness a month but he did not start work early enough to earn the money he could have. The work was making tomato boxes.

Mr C.W. Hotton, Sec., Poor Law Commission, said he had had six complaints about accused in the last two months. "He is a plausible and accomplished liar and will not work," said witness. "His favourite tricks are to go to people asking for help as he has an ailing wife or child and no money. Another trick is to produce an old doctor's certificate showing he is ill. The man is becoming a perfect pest in the island and is going all over the place asking for money and help. He has a wife and three children and when he gets money it is generally spent on the pictures. He is not a very robust man but he could do a little more work than he does."

Mr P.J. Le Neveu said accused came to him and tried to obtain 2/- on Friday. He said his name was Le Gros and that he was married, but apparently was not sure whether he had three or four children. As it was clear to witness that accused was a plausible rogue, he refused to give him anything. Accused told him he was a box-maker and had a job offered at Horman's.

Counsel addressed the Court, and submitted the offence was a trivial one. His client instructed him that he would get work and stick to that work if given a chance.

In reply to the Magistrate, Mr Hotton said that Lihou had been assisted by the parish of St Helier in January and went to the pictures that same day.

The Magistrate remarked that what Lihou really needed was a good hiding, but unfortunately that could not be ordered without accused's consent. "I suppose you will not agree to that, Lihou?"

Accused, through his counsel, said he would sooner be birched than go to prison.

The Magistrate: Very well. I will order you 12 strokes of the birch. You will receive six now and the other six if you are brought up again.

Accused was removed in custody.
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Jersey Weekly Post, St Helier, 13 May 1939
POLICE COURT
Before J.E. Pinel, Esq., Magistrate
THURSDAY, MAY 4TH, 1939.
YOUNG THIEF

Judge's Humane Sentence
No Prison, but the Birch
(extracts)
The birch was ordered to-day for a young thief and forger when

Elias Alfred Le Cornu, 16, St. John,
was charged by Centenier P.G. Coutanche, of St. Ouen, with having during the morning of Saturday, April 29th, 1939, or about that time, illegally entered a house at Grantex, St. Ouen, occupied by Mrs Louisa Morin, widow of Mr Alfred Le Breuilly, and stolen therefrom a cheque, No. D426102, drawn on April 29th, 1939, by Mr Edward John Egré on the local branch of Lloyds Bank for the sum of £6. 5s. and payable to L. Le Breuilly ....; also on the said date, April 29th, 1939, criminally and deliberately presented the said cheque to the said branch of the said bank ... and with having thus fraudulently obtained the sum of £6. 5s. ....
P.C. Shenton said he was detailed to assist the Centenier. He questioned the lad, who at first denied the theft, but later, in the presence of his father, admitted it and stated he had paid £2. 4s. 6d as deposit on a suit at the Fifty Shilling Tailors, and that he had £3 in notes in his room. The suit and notes had been recovered.

The Magistrate: It is a nice suit. He might have gone to the football match if he had not been caught

.....

Mr C.R. Leach, manager of the Fifty Shilling Tailors, said accused paid for a suit at the shop on Saturday. If the suit was undamaged it could be taken back and the money refunded.

....

Mr E. Le Cornu, accused's father, said his son had not worked for five or six weeks. Accused was the eldest of three; his mother was dead. Witness had had no complaints previously as to the lad's conduct.

Counsel: My client's father is willing for the case to be dealt with before this Court and that his son have any punishment you think fit; but my client himself has other ideas and would sooner go before the Royal Court.

The Magistrate: He has the pluck to steal a cheque, therefore he ought to have the pluck to take the punishment.

After consultation, counsel said his client agreed to accept the Magistrate's decision.

"Le Cornu", said the Magistrate, "there is a clear case of forgery against you and some years ago that would have meant a term of years' imprisonment. ... I am loath to send a lad like you to gaol, and the best think I can do is order you 24 strokes of the birch. You will only have 12 now, but 12 will be held in reserve for if you commit yourself again. ... I have ordered similar punishment for others, and it has proved salutary in all cases except one."

Accused was then removed to undergo his punishment.
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Jersey Weekly Post, St Helier, 30 December 1939
Police Court
Birch for three youths
Not old enough for the army!
Anthony Mark Channing, 17;
Leonard Fordson, 16; and
William Patrick Douglas Forward, 16, all of St Helier,

were charged on remand by Centenier G. G. Grant, of St Helier, with having on various occasions during the month of December, 1939, committed infractions of Article 9 of the Police des Chemins Regulations by taking motor cars without the permission of the owners, and with having stolen articles from certain of these cars, and also with damaging some of the vehicles. Fordson was also charged with driving a car without a licence on Friday, December 8th, 1939, in contravention of Art. 2 (para. 1) of the Police des Chemins Regulations.

Forward was similarly charged with driving a car without a licence on December 11th, 1939.

Centenier Grant said that he had to report that the military authorities would not have the three lads as they were too young. None of them wanted to go into the Navy, and in any case enlistment could not be carried out here.

Counsel said he was instructed the accused were willing to be dealt with by that court.

The Magistrate: The case is really one for the Royal Court, but since they ask to be dealt with I think the best thing is the birch if the parents or guardians agree. It has been my experience that this has been efficacious as in the past.

The fathers of the three lads were called and asked if they agreed to the application of the birch.

They all did so, but Mr Channing pleaded that his boy had had a sickness and had not been the same since.

The magistrate pointed out that Channing was the eldest of the three and must be considered the ringleader, particularly as he held a driving licence. He would, however, be very sorry to see any of the lads sent to gaol, but they must be punished. He had ordered the birch in at least a dozen cases and only one had come back for more.

Channing was ordered 30 strokes of the birch and the other two 24 each, but the magistrate ruled that only 15 strokes be administered to Channing and 12 to each of the others, the punishment to be administered under medical control.

Channing's driving licence remained with the Court.
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Evening Post, St Helier, Jersey, 24 March 1953


To-day's Police Court
Before E.A. Dorey, Esq., C.B.E., Magistrate
Young Thieves to be Birched
Headmaster Consulted by Magistrate
Roy Adolphus Urvoy (15), St. Lawrence, and

Denis John Aubert (14), St. Clement,

who last Friday morning were remanded in the custody of their parents after having been charged by Centenier R.P. Mourant, of St. Helier, with having, in complicity, on the 19th March, 1953, at approximately 10 p.m., broken into a mobile fruit shop parked at Havre des Pas, and with having stolen therefrom a quantity of fruit valued at £1. 16s. 7d. the property of Thomas A. Gilbert, appeared again before the Court this morning. Further charges were preferred to-day, these being of stealing two cycles, two spanners and a screwdriver.

Advocate T.C. Sowden, on behalf of the younger boy, admitted the charges, while Advocate P.H. Giffard, who was present in Court, said that at the request of the elder lad he would safeguard his interests.

Detailing the further charges, Centenier Mourant told the Court that after being presented on Friday the boys made a clean breast of the robberies of cycles, two of which were found near Havre des Pas Gardens ...

Advocate Sowden: Neither cycle was damaged?

Centenier Mourant: No, Sir.

Advocate Giffard then rose and said that as the charges were admitted he would ask that the boys be dealt with by the Court. "I feel that those thefts were not done for a profit but from youthful exuberance. I feel that if this case is not dealt with by probation then birching will have the desired effect," added counsel.

[...]

Advocate Sowden, associating himself with what his colleague had said, informed the Court that the thefts were carried out after the boys had attended the Jersey School of Physical Culture. His client had a good report from his headmaster, Mr. A.A.H. Downer, and he considered that a period of two years' probation might meet the case.

[...]

The Magistrate then called Mr. Downer forward and having quietly spoken with him said to Advocate Sowden: "You requested a probation report for your client?"

Advocate Sowden: Yes, Sir. I thought that it might be possible for corporal punishment to be inflicted by the headmaster.

Advocate Giffard: I see difficulties there. The parents might object to a headmaster doing such a thing.

The Magistrate: I feel that the Court is the right place to order birching. This is a case which can be dealt with immediately.

Advocate Giffard: If you are going to deal with the case immediately, I withdraw my suggestion for probation. I ask for birching.

The Magistrate: It would be unfair upon the school to ask the headmaster to deal with the lads. Each is sentenced to 12 strokes with the birch. If they come here again it will be serious for them.


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Daily Mirror, London, 25 March 1953
In Brief
Two boys will be birched -- by request
TWO schoolboys are each to get twelve strokes of the birch -- at the request of their own counsel, who suggested the punishment at Jersey (Channel Islands) magistrates' court as an alternative to probation.

The boys, aged fourteen and fifteen, were charged with stealing three bicycles and fruit, and with using a motor-cycle without the owner's permission. They will be birched by warders in Jersey Prison in the presence of a medical officer.

Jersey has its own criminal laws, which allow birching and flogging.
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Evening Post, St Helier, Jersey, 24 March 1953


To-day's Police Court
Before E.A. Dorey, Esq., C.B.E., Magistrate
Young Thieves to be Birched
Headmaster Consulted by Magistrate
Roy Adolphus Urvoy (15), St. Lawrence, and

Denis John Aubert (14), St. Clement,

who last Friday morning were remanded in the custody of their parents after having been charged by Centenier R.P. Mourant, of St. Helier, with having, in complicity, on the 19th March, 1953, at approximately 10 p.m., broken into a mobile fruit shop parked at Havre des Pas, and with having stolen therefrom a quantity of fruit valued at £1. 16s. 7d. the property of Thomas A. Gilbert, appeared again before the Court this morning. Further charges were preferred to-day, these being of stealing two cycles, two spanners and a screwdriver.

Advocate T.C. Sowden, on behalf of the younger boy, admitted the charges, while Advocate P.H. Giffard, who was present in Court, said that at the request of the elder lad he would safeguard his interests.

Detailing the further charges, Centenier Mourant told the Court that after being presented on Friday the boys made a clean breast of the robberies of cycles, two of which were found near Havre des Pas Gardens ...

Advocate Sowden: Neither cycle was damaged?

Centenier Mourant: No, Sir.

Advocate Giffard then rose and said that as the charges were admitted he would ask that the boys be dealt with by the Court. "I feel that those thefts were not done for a profit but from youthful exuberance. I feel that if this case is not dealt with by probation then birching will have the desired effect," added counsel.

[...]

Advocate Sowden, associating himself with what his colleague had said, informed the Court that the thefts were carried out after the boys had attended the Jersey School of Physical Culture. His client had a good report from his headmaster, Mr. A.A.H. Downer, and he considered that a period of two years' probation might meet the case.

[...]

The Magistrate then called Mr. Downer forward and having quietly spoken with him said to Advocate Sowden: "You requested a probation report for your client?"

Advocate Sowden: Yes, Sir. I thought that it might be possible for corporal punishment to be inflicted by the headmaster.

Advocate Giffard: I see difficulties there. The parents might object to a headmaster doing such a thing.

The Magistrate: I feel that the Court is the right place to order birching. This is a case which can be dealt with immediately.

Advocate Giffard: If you are going to deal with the case immediately, I withdraw my suggestion for probation. I ask for birching.

The Magistrate: It would be unfair upon the school to ask the headmaster to deal with the lads. Each is sentenced to 12 strokes with the birch. If they come here again it will be serious for them.


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Daily Mirror, London, 25 March 1953
In Brief
Two boys will be birched -- by request
TWO schoolboys are each to get twelve strokes of the birch -- at the request of their own counsel, who suggested the punishment at Jersey (Channel Islands) magistrates' court as an alternative to probation.

The boys, aged fourteen and fifteen, were charged with stealing three bicycles and fruit, and with using a motor-cycle without the owner's permission. They will be birched by warders in Jersey Prison in the presence of a medical officer.

Jersey has its own criminal laws, which allow birching and flogging.
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Evening Post, St Helier, Jersey, 10 May 1954
Fined for Disturbance and Refusal to Obey Police
"Edwardian" Louts Before Police Court
Youth Who Incited Them to Attack P.c. Ordered 12 Strokes of Birch
Five "Edwardian" youths who appeared in Court to-day charged with creating a disturbance and obstructing the police, were fined and barred from Wests Cinema and ballroom for one year.

Another youth, separately charged with inciting the other five youths to strike a police constable, was sentenced to 12 strokes of the birch. This case was taken first.

INCITING TO ATTACK POLICE

Sentence Deferred Until Next Case Heard

Venables Albert John du Feu (18), St. Martin,

was charged by Centenier G.R. Thomas, of St. Helier, with having, on the 8th inst., at approximately 9.15 p.m., at Wests Cinema, whilst under the influence of drink, caused a disturbance by forcing his way into the cinema.

He was also charged with having, a short while afterwards, outside the same cinema, incited five en who were then causing a disturbance to attack Police-constable Graham Henry Strudwick.

Centenier Thomas said that the accused had been brought to the Station following a complaint by the manager of Wests Cinema. "The accused incited five youths to strike a policeman. These five youths will also be charged this morning, Sir."

P.c. G.H. Strudwick said he had gone into the cinema in response to a complaint that the accused had gone in without a ticket. "I put him outside, but a few minutes later there was more trouble. The accused then interfered when I was having trouble with some other youths. He called out to them: 'Hit the policeman.' Eventually he was taken to the Station. He was not all that drunk."

The accused said he had paid for his ticket at the cinema, but had lost it.

Mr. T.G. Churchill, a commissionaire at the cinema, said the accused had been refused a ticket for the cinema as it was thought he was not in a fit state to enter.

Mr. C.G. Mitchell, manager, said that when it was reported to him that a man had broken into the cinema without a ticket he sent for the police. "As he was leaving the premises I heard there was trouble near the ballroom, youths trying to force their way in. The accused was loitering there, and as the policeman dealt with the youths the accused called out: "Hit the copper!"

The case was then adjourned until after the next case, in which five youths, some of them in "Edwardian" clothes and hair styles, were charged .....

...........

FIRST CASE SENTENCE

12 strokes of Birch

The accused in the first case, V.A.J. du Feu, was then brought back and sentenced to 12 strokes of the birch
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Jersey Evening Post, St Helier, 12 March 1955
To-Day's Royal Court
Before Sir Alexander Coutanche (Bailiff) and Jurats P.C. Cabot and C.J.M. Riley, M.C.
Birch for Car "Borrower"
16-year-old Double Probationer Sentenced
Dennis Albert Boucheré (16) appeared on remand from the Lower Court on a charge of car borrowing and the theft of a duffle coat while on probation.

Advocate W. Stone appeared for Boucheré and said that he pleaded guilty.

The Attorney-General said that Boucheré was 16 years and ten months of age. He had appeared three times recently before the Lower Court on charges of what was euphemistically known as car "borrowing". Three months ago he was charged before the Police Court with car "borrowing" and driving without a licence and was placed on probation and then on 4th January - three weeks later - he was charged, in complicity, under Article 9 of the Règlement on the Police des Chemins. He had not driven on this occasion but was a party to the "borrowing". He was again bound over on probation. Then on 14th February he "borrowed" a car again and stole a duffle coat and he now appeared on this charge.

Unsatisfactory home conditions
Boucheré was one of a family of nine children, the eldest of whom was 27 and the youngest 11 years. The father was a jobbing gardener and his wife also earned. The total income of the household was substantial, but the home conditions were very unsatisfactory.

After the first offence, Boucheré could have gone into the Army, but the father objected and raised difficulties. Then occurred the two other offences, and the speaker understood that the Probation Officer felt he had a good chance of finding Boucheré employment outside the Island. This job was not in the Army and there was resentment from the Service that it should be thought of as the sink for these cases.

Had twice flouted Court
The Probation Officer hoped to find this suitable employment, but there still remained the fact that Boucheré had twice flouted the Probation Officer and twice flouted the ruling of the Judge of the Lower Court. Boucheré was too young for an approved school and Borstal was of no use. There were two courses, and the one that he was going to suggest was that Boucheré should be birched. It was not usual to make such an order, and when the speaker had asked for a birching in a previous case he had received a letter from an anonymous source in England accusing him of barbarity.

"I am happy to say that in that case the lesson had its effect, for the lad concerned turned out very well and there was no more trouble. Boucheré is not unintelligent, and I feel that, with discipline and good training, he may well turn out all right."

The Attorney-General therefore asked that Boucheré be sentenced to 12 strokes of the birch. What the Probation Officer had in mind was a job in the Merchant Navy. One hoped that the effect of the birching would cause him to be of good behaviour.

Had been in gang
Advocate Stone said that the Attorney-General had dealt very fairly with the question. Young Boucheré had been in a gang from which it was very difficult to get him away and he asked the Court to bear that in mind. If, in the first instance, he had been taught a sharp lesson it might have done what was needed, but he had been treated leniently and he could not get away from the gang. He wondered if birching was really necessary at this stage. If the case was treated with all the wisdom of the Court, some good might come of Boucheré. He was considering Boucheré's welfare.

The Bailiff: The principal factor is that Boucheré has been twice bound over and has twice broken that obligation. He will therefore be sentenced to 12 strokes of the birch.



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Sunday Pictorial, London, 13 March 1955
Dennis, 16, is birched regardless
SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD Dennis Albert Bouchere, who pleaded guilty to stealing a car and a coat while on probation, was sentenced to twelve strokes of the birch at Jersey yesterday.

The Attorney-General, Mr. C.S. Harrison, asked for the sentence.

He said that when he once before asked for a sentence of birching for a youth, he received an anonymous letter from England accusing him of "barbarity."

Good Citizen
"Despite this condemnation, I am pleased to say that in that case the person who was birched eventually turned out to be a good citizen," he said.

Bouchere was taken to jail and birched.



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RELATED VIDEO CLIP (4½ minutes)

53 years later, in March 2008, the local ITV station for the Channel Islands tracked down Dennis Bouchere for an interview.

The now old man states that, at the time, the humiliation was worse than the actual strokes of the birch. This, we are told, was because he had never been seen naked before, even by his brothers, which seems rather bizarre (did he never have to change for sports at school?).

Anyway, he does not give much information about the actual birching (despite "remembering it in vivid detail", according to the reporter), though he does claim that it drew blood. The clip is perhaps more interesting for the remarkable discovery by the TV reporter that the contraption used is still extant in a store room, nearly four decades after JCP was abolished on the island.

***********************

Jersey Evening Post, 2 August 1960
Arrived yesterday
Birched this morning
Sailed this afternoon
A 15-year-old Kent youth, who arrived in the Island only yesterday as a crew member of the tanker Allegrity, was sentenced to 12 strokes of the birch at the Police Court to-day for car "borrowing."

The youth, Terence Stephen Robinson, of Northfleet, was charged with taking a car from the New North Quay last night without permission, with failing to report an accident when he crashed into another car and with not holding a valid licence or insurance.

P.c.s Robert Medder and John Gaine said they had been sent to the Weighbridge after receiving a report of an accident there. P.c. Gaine said he had gone aboard the Allegrity to apprehend Robinson, who had run down the gangplank to take refuge on the ship.

The car taken by Robinson was on hire to a Mr. H.E. Cabot from Mr. J.E.B. Warren, both of whom gave evidence.

Capt. W.S. Mackay of the Allegrity said Robinson had only been in the crew five days. He thought he needed discipline.

Before passing sentence, the Magistrate, Mr. R.E.B. Voisin, said Robinson needed "a sharp lesson." A few strokes of the birch, he said, would permit him to rejoin his ship before she sailed this afternoon.
**************************

Sunday Times, London, 30 November 1969
Jersey ends birching
Birching will be abolished soon on the Channel Island of Jersey. And although the use of the birch will remain legal for a time, the Island's Solicitor-General Mr Vernon Tomes said yesterday that it will never be used again.

The birch was last used in Jersey three years ago but Mr Tomes said it could no longer be carried out immediately -- "the essence of its use as a deterrent" -- because of the eight-day appeal law.

"To use it only after the appeal had been decided would be wrong in our view," he said.

Parents of the last two youths birched on Jersey could have summoned the magistrates for assault because the sentences were carried out without them being told of the right of appeal, said Mr Tomes. "When the Island laws are next tidied up, birching as a punishment will be removed from the Statute Book altogether," he added.

Neighbouring Guernsey had its last birching -- on a 16-year-old boy -- last year. Although there have been no official discussions yet about abolition, the Island's Parliament is expected to debate the question shortly. Guernsey laws also cover Alderney.
**********************

Jersey Evening Post, 13 September 1973
Article in Doctors' Magazine
Former Jersey doctor condemns birching
AN ARTICLE CONDEMNING BIRCHING as a punishment and the "silence" of the medical profession's "ethical leaders" on the subject has been written by a doctor who once worked in the Channel Islands, and attended a birching.

Published in the doctor's only magazine "World Medicine", the article is based on the writer's experience as an eye-witness to a birching at Jersey Prison over 20 years ago. It is believed to be the first account of its kind ever published.

Hooligans
Entitled "Birching as a blood sport", the article appears under an editorial introduction referring to Football League president Mr. Len Shipman's call for the UK authorities to bring back the birch for "football hooligans".

The author of the piece says that, as a young man, he worked as a resident physician at a Channel Island general hospital, which the magazine's editor has since confirmed was in Jersey. It was through his job, says the doctor, that he was witness to a birching.

"It was mandatory for a doctor to be present," he writes, "ostensibly to assess the fitness of the prisoner. The senior doctor who usually attended these activities was not available, so this young doctor, trained to assuage pain, was ordered to attend."

The article relates how he arrived at the prison, with his stethoscope around his neck, to be ushered by a warder into a 12ft. by 12ft. contrete-walled room, whose only furniture was a low vaulting horse without legs.

Untrimmed
Crouched in a corner, he recalled, there was another person clutching a birching of freshly-cut, untrimmed branches, all roughly equal in length and still bearing buds.

"They were tied loosely together," he writes, "and the whole instrument was about two inches thick, and about two feet long."

Without sparing a detail, the account continues: "As I remember it, the youth was dragged in by two warders, the doctor with the stethoscope stayed still, the warder with birch moved forward, and another warder rushed in and pinned the prisoner's head so that he couldn't see. (I was later told that this was done so that the prisoner could not retaliate afterwards against those who had beaten him).

"My patient was hauled unceremoniously over the vaulting horse. Two more warders came in and pulled his already loosened trousers down. Then each held a leg. The warder with the birch applied 12 strokes to the bare buttocks. Blood flowed.

Crowded room
"The room was crowded. The birch whistled -- really whistled -- at every stroke and disintegrated at every blow.

"Pieces shot all over the room causing real danger to everyone -- except the prisoner who felt only pain.

"It was all over in seconds. The warder with the bits scuttled from the room. The doctor was pushed out.

The prison gates clanged shut. I found myself outside the building holding a useless stethoscope, and realized that fewer than ten minutes had passed since I was admitted".

The doctor's principal indictment - and professional worry - was clearly the effect of administering, and witnessing the punishment, on those whose duty it is to see that it is carried out.

Vivid memory
His main point being: "The experience may not seem brutal. Yet the cold-bloodedness, the efficiency, the speed, and the ignoring of man's humanity created such an impression that I still remember every moment over 20 years later.

"Many say that what happened was no worse than what happens at many public schools. But this is no answer, just another indictment.

"Others may say a short salutary lesson is good for young hooligans. Let those who say that, experience the humiliation of seeing one human being beaten by others."

The doctor, named in the article as Bernard Hynes, is now a general practitioner in South London.

Birching is still legal in Jersey but has not been imposed for several years. In Guernsey, however, a boy was birched earlier this summer for cutting off ducks' heads with a bread knife.
**********************

The Observer, London, 2 August 1964
Corporal Punishment
Parents did not know of birching
By Peter Dunn

The Law Office department on the Channel island of Jersey is investigating allegations that the 15-year-told son of a wealthy businessman was sentenced by a magistrate and given 12 strokes of the birch without his parents' knowledge.

The boy was charged in St Helier last Monday with behaving in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace and refusing to a obey the orders of the police.

He was already on two years' probation for his part in stealing some crates of soft drinks and tipping them over a wall. Police said in court that he was found singing and jostling in a St Helier street at 1a.m. and that he was insolent to the officers who arrested him.

"Boy struggled"
The boy has no record of violence; two older youths arrested with him for the same offence were fined £10; a third was bound over for 12 months.

As a result of this newspaper's inquiries on the island, the Law Office department is also looking into an allegation that during the birching the strapped-down boy got one of his feet free and in the struggle that followed took the remaining strokes across his right hip and groin. Although a doctor was in attendance at the time the boy was not thought to need medical treatment.

Instead, he dressed himself and walked to his father's office in the town a quarter of a mile away.

I interviewed the boy last week in the presence of his parents and saw the results of the birch strokes. The boy's father said he proposed to take legal and medical advice about the matter, probably on the mainland which he visits this week.

I subsequently spoke to Mr Frank Moon, Governor of the island's prison where the birching was administered. "The boy struggled rather a lot," he said. "He didn't get his foot completely free although he did have to be readjusted." Was the punishment stopped during that time? "Slowed down, shall we say," the Governor said.

Mr Moon agreed that the boy was not given medical treatment after the birching. "The thing was done in the presence of the doctor," he said.

Court procedure
The boy's parents knew nothing about either court appearance or birching until it was all over. The reason lies in the court procedure on the island and in the peculiar functions of its police force.

There are about 100 uniformed full-time policemen on Jersey. But for all their Jaguars and modern equipment they are subordinate to the island's 250 honorary policemen who do not wear uniform. This force comes largely under the control of officers called Centeniers. When someone is arrested he or she is seen first by the local Centenier, who can either deal with the offender on the spot or pass him on for a court appearance.

The four youths made a preliminary appearance at 1a.m. last Sunday before Centenier J.M.N. Richardson, a retired farmer who likes to use the title Captain. The youths, it seemed, were told that they would be appearing in court on the following day. But there were no formal summonses and the 15-year-old boy's parents said no court or police official contacted them about it. "Everything's verbal on this island," the father said. "If I'd known he was going into court I'd have briefed a lawyer."

In any event, the boy certainly gave his parents the impression that he was to make another appearance before the Centenier and not before the court.

On Monday he found himself before the magistrate and was asked whether he would like to be legally represented or carry on with the case. He said (like the older boys) that he wanted the case dealt with at once. Although a probation officer was present at the time, the island's court procedure allows a 15-year-old boy to make decisions of this kind for himself.

The boy told me: "After the sentence they put me inside for nearly an hour. I was in a cell by myself.


Three days after getting 12 strokes of the birch, a 15-year-old Jersey boy shows weals across his right side and groin.

"I told a policeman I was getting 12 strokes and he said: 'Lucky bloke, you're welcome to it.'

"A bit later a policeman came and put a pair of handcuffs on me - just one of the cuffs, he held the other end. I was taken by van then down to the prison. They took off my handcuffs and measured my height and weight.

"24 next time"
"A warden came along and said 'follow me' and we went off to a big room with a wooden floor. In the middle of the room they had this instrument. They said 'take off your boots,' and I said, 'shall I take my shirt off now?' because I thought it was across the back. I did this and then someone said 'All right take your trousers down' and I said 'I'm very embarrassed.'

"I could see little bits of twig on the floor. I hadn't the faintest clue what they were at first. The doctor examined me; then my feet were strapped down at one end of the instrument and I put my chest across the front end leaving the middle of my body without support.

"Someone held my head under his arm and his two hands were holding my hands near the floor. He'd got my head so I couldn't struggle or see who was beating me.

"Then they started counting: 1 ... 2... 3, and I thought 12 was never going to come. It's just natural that you struggle and about the sixth or seventh I got one of my feet out of the strap and I must have fallen to one side. He got me three or four times on the side. It really did hurt. I kept on shouting 'stop, stop.' You don't even think of crying, it hurts so much.

"Afterwards I got out and stood up. The policeman had this bucket full of water. He put a towel in it and said, 'Wipe yourself with this.' I said: 'No thanks.' I had little bits of twig sticking in my hip and I pulled a couple of pieces out. Then I got dressed.

"As I was going out of the door someone said: 'Don't let's see you back in here; you'll get 24 next time.'"

7 comments:

Zoompad said...

The abuse goes back a long time. I read Lord Mountbattan's biography, and he and his fellow students were also violated sexually. It is a disgusting thing to force teenage boys to bare their genital area and submit to be beaten. I don't understand how anyone can justify those degrading practices. No wonder so many of those boys turned into very screwed up men.

I also read Lortd Ramsbotham's book, Prisongate. He has trained young boys to be tough, well disciplined soldiers, and the tough regime he described has got nothing of this kind of disgusting soul destroying degrading brutality about it. You cannot train people to use self discipline by brutality.

Proud Surviovr said...

If you grew up in the Channel Islands you knew that the birch was a form of punishment that boys could get. It wasn't that you accepted it - you just didn't question it. Someone I knew who was from a good family "borrowed" a car when he was about 15. He took it straight back when he realised it belonged to a doctor but that was not enough mitigation for the judge. He still had 12 strokes of the birch and the scars have remained with him for life.

There are things that happen in Jersey that other people cannot believe. No wonder they try to discredit the word of the survivors of our so-called care system. It is comforting to know that other survivors like you do believe us!

Lorna
X

C. Farrell said...

I'm not quite sure why you are pasting in swathes of text from my website www.corpun.com about long-ago judicial cases, since they concern punishment that was an official part of the legal process at the time, nothing to do with secret child abuse. Anyway, I just thought I would point out that the normal courtesy is to credit the source when you reproduce stuff from other people's websites.
C.Farrell
www.corpun.com

Zoompad said...

Mr Farrell,

I do apologise for not crediting your site CORPUN.COM as the source of some of my blog posts.

I also want to thank you for your site, as it did help me to find out why the frightened little boy in my own childhood past was standing on the table in the dining room with a pair of shorts on. That is in my own book, TIP, from my own childhood memories about being in a children's home in Staffordshire, and when I visited your site and saw the newspaper articles you have posted there about Chadswells Assessment Centre - or The Wissage or Riverside, or what other names that hell hole may have has over the years, the mystery of the little boy on the table was made clear.

Your site has brought me a lot of healing, and so I would like to thank you for gathering together all that materiel. I hope you will forgive me for ommitting to credit you as the source of those posts, as I did not mean to offend anyone, and, as I am still being persecuted in various nasty scheming little ways, by the same authorities who were responsible for my walfare as a child, and who are continuing to endevour to shut me up, and all us other child abuse survivors, I am always in a big hurry in posting my blog. I did not mean to offend you by ommitting to mention you as the source and I hope you will forgive me for doing so.

Zoompad said...

How peculiar that all the photographs of the people mentioned in this article appear to have been removed from the Jersey heritage sites! I would have liked to see who these people were, what their faces looked like. I wonder why they have been removed?

Anonymous said...

It seems that islanders from Jersey,
Guernsey and Isle of Man saw birching as a symbol of their independence and believed it was a deterrent to crime. My view was that the punishment was rather severe. I could understand some kids might need a few strokes but a dozen was in my view too drastic.

Zoompad said...

"I could understand some kids might need a few strokes but a dozen was in my view too drastic."

One was too many, in my opinion.

Would you horsewhip your dog?

Then why do you think its ok to do it to a kid?