The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers’ Advocate, Tue 14 Oct 1924 1
The following is an extract from the annual report of the Comptroller-General of Prisons, for the year ended June 30, 1923:—The daily average of 177 prisoners at Parramatta Gaol could not possibly have been provided for at the other available gaols, with proper regard for classification and decency. The use of Parramatta Gaol enabled the Department to extend its industrial operations. An up-to-date bakery has now been established at the gaol, and several large Government institutions are catered for. A first class tin-smithing trade has been introduced, and the ordinary gaol industries are in operation. When the reconditioning of the gaol has been completed, extension and adoption of revenue saving and producing avenues of employment will be undertaken. Removal of prisoners and reduction of staffs at other gaols will also be possible. The gaol was closed for a period of four years, and the reconditioning of the gaol entailed an enormous amount of work and material. There were also many objectionable features having regard to modern prison requirements, in the older portion of the gaol, and these are being eliminated. The reconditioning of the gaol has been entirely carried out by prison labour. The value of this labour has been set down at £1,747, but it would certainly have cost several times this amount to have had the work performed under contract. The remodelling of the gaol is necessarily governed by financial considerations, but good progress is being made.
Thursday, October 9.
(Before Mr MJ McMahon, SM.)
Thomas Norman Thatcher was fined 20/- for behaving indecently in Skelton-avenue, Auburn, on October 4.
William John Batty pleaded guilty to a charge of having given an unstamped receipt. He was fined £2 with 8/- costs.
John Wilkinson and Henry Athol Brien were each fined 10/- and Daniel James 20/-, for breaches of the traffic regulations.
For having used profane language at a football match at Quaker’s Hill, James Brogan, who admitted the offence, was fined 10/- with 8/- costs.
NOT A PASSIVE REGISTER.
Edward Thomas Hinton was fined 20/-for riotous behaviour and £2 for resisting Constable McCarthy.
Hinton, according to the evidence, was fighting another man. When arrested, he resisted violently and endeavoured to trip the constable, who finally had to handcuff his prisoner.
HIS FIRST LAPSE.
In the case of Arthur Gerald Watson, who was charged with wilful and obscene exposure at Carlingford on October 8, a sentence of three months was suspended.
Watson, who is nineteen years of age, pleaded guilty to the charge. This offence, it was stated, was his first lapse.
“DID HIS BLOCK.”
George Smith was fined 5/- for entering the enclosed lands of Ada Fanny Bell at Wentworthville on September 26. For using insulting words to the same lady, he was fined 29/-. The costs amounted to £2/18/-.
Smith who pleaded guilty to both charges, said he had been ignorant of the fact that he was trespassing. When Mrs Bell caught him by the waistcoat, he “did his block” and used the words complained of.
HUSBAND BOUND OVER.
By consent, William Cuthbert Nash was bound over to keep the peace towards his wife for six months.
Mrs Nash stated that her husband, when he had drink in, was not fit to live with. He had assaulted her and had threatened her life.
With Three Shillings in Bank.
“Obliging” A Friend.
It is one thing to write cheques—another to get them cashed.
Apparently, Allan Gray Parker, a young man, who adopts the Jazz style of coiffure, found little difficulty in either operation. At one time, he was in the employ of the Toledo Weighing Machine Co, and, after a severance with that body, used his previous association with the firm for the purpose of extracting cash from a number of its clients.
On Monday, at Parramatta, he stood charged with obtaining sums of money from six individuals, by means of valueless cheques.
He was so successful in his swindles amounting to £1 or so, that it is rather surprising he did not fly a little higher.
But £2 seemed to be his limit, and five business proprietors whom he had defrauded of that amount or less, testified as to how they were victimised. One Parramatta man was among them— Mr. William Cyril Moffat, a produce merchant, of Church-street— and the balance were residents of Dulwich Hill.
Constable McCarthy, of Parramatta, related certain, details regarding Parker’s arrest.
When the constable acquainted defendant with the fact that he was making inquiries relative to the passing of valueless cheques, the latter replied: “Yes, I put one in at the butcher’s, across the road. Have they reported it?”
Upon being told that the frauds had been reported, Parker remarked: “Well, next week I shall have enough in the bank to meet all those cheques.”
“But I understand you knew at the time you cashed them,” said Constable McCarthy, “that you had not sufficient funds to meet them.”
“Yes, that is so,” answered defendant, “I only had about three shillings in the bank at the time.”
After each of the men who had “obliged” Parker, by cashing his scrap of paper, had given evidence regarding the circumstances surrounding the incident, accused pleaded guilty, and said he would be satisfied with summary jurisdiction.
Constable Waters informed the magistrate that, although there were no actual convictions against Parker, as far as this State was concerned, he was a man who bore a bad character.
“He has made it a practice,” said the officer, “of renting rooms, and pretending to square up by means of valueless cheques, and, in one instance where he rented a furnished cottage, he took some articles of furniture, and pawned them. His wife and people have had to keep him, and do not wish to have any more to do with him.”
In answer to the SM, Constable Waters stated that Parker had previously been in the employ of a New Zealand bank, but had got himself into trouble.
Defendant was sentenced to 3 months’ gaol on each of five counts, the sentence in the first two to be cumulative.
1 The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers’ Advocate (Parramatta), Tue 14 Oct 1924, p. 2. Emphasis added.