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The Times (London).
Wednesday, 8 March 1893.


Before Sir. P.H. Edlin, Q.C., Albert Backert, 25, engraver, formerly salaried secretary of the Unemployed Investigation Committee, was convicted of having obtained a quantity of bread and flour by false pretences, and was sentenced to three months' imprisonment with hard labour.


(Before MR. WARRY, Q.C., sitting at Clerkenwell)

ALBERT BACKERT [Bachert], 25, described as an engraver, was indicted for having obtained six loaves of bread and six quarterns of flour by false pretenses. Mr. Geoghegan and Mr. D. H. Kyd were for the prosecution. The facts of the case have been already reported. The prisoner, who has recently become known as an agitator in the East-end, was employed, at a salary, as secretary of the Unemployed Investigation and Relief Committee - a society instituted for the purpose of distributing food and other articles among the destitute poor, the method of distribution being by giving to the recipients of their charity orders upon tradesmen for the goods required. It was alleged that the prisoner had obtained from the Rev. Richard Wilson, who was acting as the chairman of the committee during the illness of his brother, the regular chairman, certain orders purporting to be in favour of a woman named Avenell, whose case he represented as very urgent and deserving, and one recommended by all the committee. Two members of the committee said they had never heard of Mrs. Avenell’s case, and it was shown that with one of the orders, which had not been signed by Mr. Wilson - as it ought to have been to make it a valid order - the prisoner obtained six loaves and six quarterns of flour, which he gave to a Mrs. Beers, a widow, said to be a friend of his, who was the keeper of a beershop, and, therefore, counsel for the prosecution urged, was not in destitute circumstances. It was elicited that her name by a former husband was Avenell, and that she had on other occasions received charity. The prisoner called two witnesses, who did not, however, contradict the evidence given for the prosecution. He was found Guilty, and was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment with hard labour.

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