An 18-year-old girl, Mary Nelson alias Bunce, who was described as a hawker, of no fixed abode, appeared before Sheriff Walker in Hamilton Sheriff Court on Wednesday 15th July 1936 and admitted six charges of fraud. Amongst the charges was her intention to defraud John Richardson, of 295 Glasgow Road, Blantyre, of £2 on March 7 that year, by pretending to Mrs Richardson that she had been authorised by Mr John Nelson, scrap merchant, 2 Meadow Road, Motherwell, to collect a sum of £2 on his behalf in part payment of a number of empty barrels purchased by Richardson.
A travelling opportunist, the girl was single and had apparently been roaming about the country “living on her wits” on day to day basis. On January 6th 1936 she was before Motherwell Police Court on a charge of fraud and was put on probation for one year. The Fiscal reported as far as the Richardson’s charge was concerned, it appeared that the accused was the grand-daughter of a man named Nelson, who had not seen her since the end of January. She pretended she had been sent by Nelson to collect debts. Apparently, however, no debts existed, but the accused told a story to the wife of the alleged debtor who gave her £2. The Fiscal said that the accused had broken a probation bond and the best thing that could be done would be to continue the case in order that a report might be obtained with regard to her suitability for Borstal treatment.