Locke’s Rape of the Lock leads to six weeks’ hard labour

June 20, 1914.

June 20, 1914.

Sentence of six weeks’ hard labour was passed at Leeds on John William Locke (40), a labourer, for cutting off a lock of hair, 10in long, from Nellie Scorer, an attractive girl of 15.

The assault was committed on Woodhouse Moor in the early morning, when the girl was going to work. She was suddenly sprung upon by the prisoner, who was lying on the grass. Her hair reached to her waist. He cut it with a pair of scissors, and escaped.

Locke denied the offence and disputed his identity. The girl spoke positively to prisoner being the man.

A constable who saw him near the moor at the time said there were not many people crossing at 5.30am.

The prisoner: There are hundreds between five and eight o’clock. You are getting this case up for me.

The magistrate said the case was difficult owing to the girl first having identified another man.

There were 72 previous convictions against the prisoner.

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It is interesting to note that according to old Greek ideas the “perfect woman” was five feet five inches in height, and weighed just under ten stone. Her chest measurement, over arms, was 43 inches, and she had a 24 inch waist.

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Surrey County Council passed by-laws prohibiting the employment of children under 12, and limiting the hours of 12 and 14-year-olds.