Lytham St.Annes Coat of Arms
Lytham St.Annes, Lancashire, England


The Blackout

Evening Gazette August 1942


Solicitor Raises Question in Court.

The question of who is responsible for lights showing from a roofed building during darkness was raised at Lytham Police Court on Monday on a plea of not guilty put in by Mr. H. M. Haslam, of Lytham, in defending Dorothy Rubin, of Clifton Drive, St, Annes, summoned in respect of a light.

The Bench imposed a fine of 20s., and allowed 5s. expenses for the witness, Special Constable Ball.

The constable said that on April 7th, when passing along Clifton Drive at 9-50 p.m., he noticed a light from a dwelling in Clifton Drive. He could not get a reply to his ringing or knocking and on returning to the station was instructed that the light must be put out even if it meant breaking in.

He broke a small pane of glass in a leaded light window, put out the light and made the door and window secure.

A note was left in the letter box to say what he had done and asking the occupier to report to the police station as soon as possible.

The officer told the court that when he saw defendant she said she was very sorry that had occurred but they had been to Blackpool for a few days and in the meantime her daughter had been home and accidentally left the light on.


Mr. Haslam contended that his client was not guilty, there being no proof that she was responsible for leaving the light on.

The occupier told the officer quite definitely that her daughter came from Blackpool and left the light on.

Mr. T. L. Child, Magistrates' Clerk said an occupier was responsible in the first place unless she satisfied the court that she had exercised all possible precautions.

Mr. Haslam said his submission was that an occupier could not take reasonable precautions against a daughter switching lights on and off. He also commented on the time which had elapsed between the light being found and the issue of the summons on July 13th.

The Bench considered Mr. Haslam's contention and decided there was a case to answer.

Mrs. Holt, the chairman, intimated that it could be adjourned if Mr. Haslam liked, so that the defendant could be present.
Mr. Haslam replied that he was quite prepared to have it dealt with at once and said it might be dealt with fairly by dismissal on payment of costs.