To Catch a Thief, 1892

From the Belfast News-Letter, 3 November 1892:


Judge Boyd distinguished himself by catching a young thief in flagrante delicto. Passing through Kildare Street, his attention was attracted to some newsboys besetting a lady. One boy was on her right, and the other on her left hand. As the boy on her left pressed her to buy a paper which he held up before her eyes, the boy on her right stole a paper parcel out of her pocket. The learned judge caught the young thief by the waist, and held him while he dropped the parcel. Sir Edward Verner, Bart, called a constable. The judge gave the lad, who struggled to get off, into custody. The constable also arrested the other lad. The two were brought up at the police court today before Mr Byrne, QC. Judge Boyd having given his evidence, they were remanded for a week.”

It is not reported what subsequently happened to the boys, named elsewhere as Patrick Brophy and Edward Bregan. Brophy was the boy who extracted the parcel. Hopefully they kept out of trouble thereafter!

Kildare Street seems to be a place where judges often got caught up in exciting events – an assassination attempt on another High Court judge, Mr Justice Lawson, having been foiled at this very corner in 1882.

And another member of the Irish judiciary, Judge Kenny, was to have his own very personal experience with crime and theft when his lunch was stolen from the Four Courts in 1912. What a pity Judge Boyd (top left, Irish Independent, 10 April 1916) was not on hand that day to apprehend the offender!

Image Credit: (top right) (bottom)

Author: Ruth Cannon BL

Irish barrister sharing the history of the Four Courts, Dublin, Ireland, and other Irish courts.

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