Walter Smith, alias Walter Stanford, 29, was a painter who appears to have decided to relieve one Elsie Mortimer of clothing at her “dwelling house.” The case is an insight into criminal justice in 1924.
Smith was accused of stealing “one lady’s coat, one silk Jumper, one velvet dress, two silk dresses, end one woolen jumper, valued at £26.”
Smith is described as a “powerfully-built man over six feet high” who “created a mild sensation in Court by accusing Detective Surridge of having brutally treated him whilst in the lockup at Waverley.” The report also reveals the acceptance of the use of force:
He said that when he refused to explain the keys found upon him, Surridge struck him heavily in the face, “That’s absolutely untrue,” hotly retorted the detective. ‘I used no more violence than was necessary to quell your outburst.’ ‘You liar!’ hissed the accussed man. ‘That will do,’ lnterrupted the S.M. ‘You can’t say such things here.’ Then there was peace.
Smith was sentenced to 6 months hard labor in Australia.