Crime and punishment

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Crime and punishment,
Law and order


A parish police register

Follow the links on this page to articles concerning famous and notorious crimes and criminals in Jersey over the centuries, and some of the punishments imposed

A gang of eight robbers sentenced in 1918: Edward John Vardon (49), James Albert Charles Mathew (31), Louis Ferchal (30), Henry Charles Falle (45), Henry Charles Isherwood (50), Alfred Charles Ricou (34), Frederick William Brown (41), Harold George Gosselin (30)

In 1866 the Police Court dealt with another case arising from the quarrels between residents of Hilgrove Lane, evidently a not very salubrious corner of the town at the time. Azelie Duchemin, nee Jeannes, was charged with 'on many occasions over six months insulted and injured Marguerite Helot, nee Guillard' having accused her of 'immoral and scandalous' conduct. The offence had been repeated on 3 May on the public road, resulting in a breach of the peace. Evidence showed that when Joseph Helot returned from Newfoundland Mrs Duchemin told him that his wife was pregnant, but not by him, having passed half her nights with an Italian musician. Helot refused to have anything to do with his wife until Centenier Du Jardin intervened. It appeared that Mrs Helot's conduct had been 'irreproachable'. Mrs Duchemin denied that she had spoken ill of Mrs Helot and said that all the witnesses were seeking to have her condemned. Judge John Gibaut noted that she had appeared in court 'the other day' with a complaint against another woman and he wanted to put an end to almost constant disorder among the French in Hilgrove Lane. He fined Mrs Duchemin £1 or six days in prison and warned her that if she appeared before him again he would impose a long imprisonment
One of the most notorious Jersey court cases in the mid-19th century involved the murder of a Miss Le Brun by a man called Bradley. Amazingly photographers Asplet and Green were invited by the authorities to take a portrait of him which then went on public sale for 18 sous each
John Vaudin presides over the Magistrate's Court

Notes and references

  1. The punishment for relatively minor thefts in days gone by could be hanging, but when a St John couple believed that they were the victims of a theft by policemen, they ended up with a particularly severe and barbarous punishment for daring to voice their concerns. When St John's Honorary Police searched the home of David Brouard and Margaret Tome in 1787, looking for the proceeds of a robbery, a box of theirs containing 48 guineas went missing. Understandably believing that an official complaint would not get them anywhere, the unfortunate couple decided to let as many people as possible in their parish know what had happened. When word reached the Constable of St John he was not amused, and took the couple to Court on 29 June charged with libelling his honorary officers. The couple were sentenced to the extreme punishment of being publicly whipped by the hangman the following saturday from the Courthouse door to the prison at Charing Cross. Following this Brouard was to have his right ear cut off and both of them were to be banished from the Island forever and their goods and property confiscated
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