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Chairman Magistrate (Episodes 926/7)

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Chairman 926
Chairman Magistrate
Occupation Chairman of the Bench
First appearance 10th November 1969
Last appearance 12th November 1969
Number of appearances 2
Played by Anthony Brown

The Chairman Magistrate and his two colleagues heard the case against Elsie Tanner when she appeared in court on a charge of stealing from her employers, Miami Modes, in November 1969. The true culprit, who had confessed her guilt to Elsie just before leaving for the court, was her friend of many years Dot Greenhalgh. Supposedly off work ill, she had rung Elsie and asked her to collect two bags for her, one of which contained two stolen dresses. Mr Palmer, Elsie’s solicitor, tried to create an element of confusion about the evidence by questioning Dot as to exactly what she had said on the phone and to express doubts about her clarity as she had been ill. Similarly, his questioning of Elsie elicited the fact that she had been in a rush when she had taken the call and could have got the message wrong.

The Chairman seemed a little suspicious that Dot living with Elsie at the time. Also he questioned why white and brown bags had been mentioned specifically in the phone call when most people would say bring “the bags”. He and his colleagues retired to consider the case and when they returned he lectured the court that more property had been lost in this manner in the last year than through normal shoplifting. A growing problem in society was that people were thinking they could take more and more from their employers and it was a duty of the court to stamp it out. He said that although Elsie had been found with the dresses on her, doubt had been expressed over phone messages, therefore they had no option but to dismiss the case on insufficient evidence.

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