Blantyre Mans Exhaustion Fraud 1934


Edinburgh in the 1930s

New Year 1934 didn’t get off to a great start for Blantyre man Patrick McSporran. Unemployed, he devised a means of deceiving the public in order to obtain food and money but his rouse was caught out and he was charged in January 1934.

He was charged, with having by the pretence of collapsing, owing to exhaustion, lain down in the street for the purpose of obtaining food and money. He did this three times in Edinburgh one day and appearing to be destitute was given food, money and clothing by passers by. However, a more keen observer witnessed the pretence for himself and Patrick was reported.

Source: Motherwell Times 5th January 1934

Looking into this a little more another report adds, “When the charge was read out the accused said: ” I plead guilty. I am not a liar.” He spoke with a West of Scotland accent, and on several occasions his volubility called for remonstrance from the Sheriff. I am a youth of 18 summers.” he said, ” and I have been trying to be decent and keep my head above water, but I can’t get work. My daddy won the stepdancing championship of Scotland and he has been working in America as a vaudeville artiste, but he is back in this country now. unemployed” He admitted two previous convictions, one of them relating to an assault. In regard to the latter he said. ” My father is not a fighting man and I am not a fighter.” He began to weep during the hearing of the case.” McSporran with previous convictions for assault and fraud, spent 30 days in prison.

Leave a Reply