08 March 2012

Calamity Averted?


Reported this day in 1947:

Forecasts Damage To Queen Mary

"I can say that within 12 months there will be considerable damage done to the liner Queen Mary and another liner whose name I will not disclose."

That is part of a confession alleged to have been made by 35-year-old baker Albert Wardman, in prison. Wardman was said to have admitted that he set fire to a block of Bradford business premises, causing damage of ₤65,760, which was met by 6 insurance companies.

Wardman, who is serving 3 years, told a detective who saw him in prison that he climbed to the roof of the building and dropped in some cloth and petrol. There was nothing else to link him with the crime.

"Secret Agents"

"I wish to state I was paid for this job," he allegedly said a few hours before entering the dock. "I was working for these chaps--secret agents--who are employing people to destroy buildings and works of people against Labor Government.

"The numerous fires which are breaking out are being done systematically, after making sure there is no living person on the premises.

Aristocrats

"These premises are those belonging to people of aristocratic origin. This is against the upper classes and not the working classes.

"I can also say that within 12 months there will be considerable damage done to the liner Queen Mary, and another liner whose name I will not disclose."

Judge remarked that it was doubtful if anyone in their right mind would make such statements, postponed sentence pending a report from the prison doctor. He also said Wardman should have legal aid.

Shouts From Dock

Wardman shouted from the dock: "I don't want legal aid. The case is perfectly clear. I have made statement and I want the thing settled."

Source: Mirror (Perth, Australia)

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