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John Meads 2016
Troublesome Teenager

(Northampton Mercury & Herald -18 Aug 1933)

The Preston Hall - 1980s
A 1980s photograph of the Preston Hall, where the boy hid from his pursuers in 1933


A remarkable series of thefts by a Burton Latimer schoolboy was revealed in a Children's Court at Kettering Police Court on Wednesday, in a case in which the defendant, aged 14, was ordered to be sent to a reformatory school for five years.
The boy was charged with breaking into the following premises and stealing amounts and articles stated: The house of Nelson James Boxwell (£1 note and some silver) at Burton Latimer between June 17 and 19; house of Nelson James Boxwell (two £1 notes) between July 15 and 17; the same house (two £1 notes) on July 22; the same house (6s., two bananas and some chocolates, together valued at 6s. 6d.) on July 29; the same house, with intent to commit a felony on August 5; and the school house of Burton Latimer Baptist Church (a collecting box worth 1s. and 5s. 6d. in cash, the property of Walter Tailby and others between May 30 and June 2.
P.C. Allen said he interviewed the boy, who made a statement to the effect that he had got in the window on various dates and had taken money from the bedroom. Witness charged him with the first five offences and he replied "I have nothing to say."
Detective Sergeant Chapman said he accused the boy with breaking into the Mission Hall. He admitted that he broke the window of a door and turned the key, which was inside.
Inspector Butler said that on three occasions the boy had been caught stealing from the school, for which his parents had chastised him. A mission box had been missed and the boy was made to return it. He had also stolen money from his employer. His mother did not enjoy good health, and the boy's conduct did not improve this. The boy had been mixed up with a boxing class at Kettering and had become associated with people in better circumstances than his own.
The detective-sergeant said he had found the boy the biggest liar for his age he had ever met. Mr. R. A. Claydon, Police Court Missioner, said that the boy's surroundings were not of the best.
The Chairman (Mr. C. Mayes) said the Bench took a very serious view of the cases.

TOWN HUNTS FOR BOY (The Citizen, 24 Aug 1933)

After whole town had turned out to hunt for him, a 14-year-old boy, who on Sunday escaped from a reformatory near Towcester, was recaptured yesterday.
On his appearing near his home at Burton Latimer, Northants, search parties, including children armed with sticks, eight policemen, and his father, set out on his trail. His father chased him across fields, but he got away, and later was seen in a public hall in Preston [presumably the Preston Hall off Church Street.]
Police surrounded the building, and the boy was caught and taken back to the reformatory.

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