A curious case of a Blantyre girl writing threatening letters came to light in November 1927.
Cecilia Stewart was a 21 year old waitress that year, residing at Farm Road, Blantyre. It is said, she took it upon herself to write a series of letters to local businesses trying to extort money. The case did make it to court on Monday 1st November 1927 and was heard in Hamilton by Bailie Semple.
Two charges were admitted to, in relation to writing and posting letters to a couple of business gentlemen in Burnbank for the purpose extorting money. Copies of the letters which had been sent were shown around the courtroom.
In the first instance, Cecilia had written, “If you don’t send me a few good pounds, I’ll hurt your business.” She added that the money should be sent to Mr James Keith, c/o Motherwell Post office, The Cross, Motherwell.
In the second letter, she wrote to another gentleman, “If you don’t send £5 before Friday you will be a poor-looking man, for I’m going to tell Jock about your conduct with his wife and also Cissie Stewart. How would you like her husband to know about it and all the women in Burnbank? I’m afraid you would not sell any more to them if I told them, and that is what I’m going to on Saturday, if you don’t send what is asked for by Friday night. Send it care of this address: Mr John Forrest, Stonefield Post Office, Burnbank.”
The Fiscal said this was a very bad case, but hesitated about sending so young a girl to prison, if there was any chance of reform. Cecilia got a fine of £5 or 20 days’ imprisonment and indicated that the sentence was on the idea of giving the girl a chance to redeem herself.
I suppose we’ve all done foolish things, especially in our youth. I know I certainly did.
From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2016
Source: Motherwell Times
Picture for illustrative purposes only.