Gas Meter Thieves 1929.


Tuesday the 29th of April 1929 two thieves named John Tierney & Andrew Bradshaw were fined at Hamilton Sheriff court after being caught breaking into the cash boxes of gas meters in houses in Burnbank.

John Tierney was a Hawker and resided at 17 George Street and Andrew Bradshaw, who was a Labourer lived at 42 High Blantyre Road. The fiscal said there had been a number of such thefts in Hamilton over the recent months.

Tierney, it was stated was the son of a contractor, and consequently knew of houses which had became unoccupied. Bradshaw, who admitted four previous convictions, was said to be entering into a course of criminality. Bradshaw was fined £3 and Tierney £2.


John Tierney was no stranger to the courts! When I looked a little deeper, I found that in January 1917, he nearly had a local bar owner’s license revoked. Moses Orr, a publican, who lived at Allanshaw Street was charged at the burgh court for contravening the licensing act in 1916, by knowingly permitting John Tierney to be on the licensed premises occupied by the respondent in Glasgow Road on the 2nd of December, while Tierney was in a state of drunkenness.

A plea of not guilty was tendered and evidence was led before provost Moffatt. Sargent Anderson & Constable Bartleman stated that they entered the club bar on at 8:20 on the date in Question and found Tierney steadying himself against a wall. He was helplessly drunk. Moses Orr, questioned by police on the matter, stated that he had put the man out some fifteen minutes before the police entered the bar.

Joseph Bell, a miner from Windsor Street stated that he saw Tierney walk from the bar to the door, where he then fell and lay helplessly. Bell then picked Tierney up and placed him against the wall, where the police found him. He denied that Tierney had been put out before that.
Inspector Clarke deponed that when brought to the police station, Tierney had to be carried.

John Hunter, of 20 George Street, Greenfield, corroborated Bell. The defense was that Tierney had been in the public House for nearly two hours before this happened and had been put out, and that he had returned unknown to the accused, there being a large number in the bar at the time. Several witnesses were called to prove this statement, and the provost eventually found the charge not proven.


In December 1933, again, John Tierney appeared before the fiscal and was charged with stealing coal from Cadzow Colliery. He was residing at 54 Glebe Street. He admitted, along with two other persons stealing 3 cwts of coal.
While the one man threw the coal off a wagon, the other man kept watch for the police. They had managed to steal 3 bags of coal.


Andrew Bradshaw unlike his old pal John seemed to be more of a criminal rather than a petty thief. In March 1897, he appeared at the Hamilton Burgh court before Bailie Strang. He along with William Watson, Walter Richardson, James Muir, John Richardson and John Hunter (Perhaps the same John Hunter who gave evidence at court in 1917) were all charged with having on Wednesday the 23rd of March 1897 in Glasgow Road, Burnbank assaulting a man named Edward Kelly, who was a commission agent.

The six men were all miners and they lived at Greenfield colliery. Edward Kelly lived on Whitehill Road. They robbed him of £14 and were all remanded until the court case.