‘Ethel Mannin’s Plea for Prisoner’, in The Irish News and Belfast Morning News (25 April 1961) [q.p.]

[ Source: cutting slipped into copy of Brief Voices: A Writer’s Story, Hutchinson 1959; purchased in Coleraine, c.1990: BS. ]

Miss Ethel Mannin, the writer, said at Middlesex Sessions yesterday that when her husband died she had his tweed suit altered so that she could wear it, hoping that it would remind a convicted man they had befriended of his promise to go straight until the suit dropped off her husband.

She was speaking on behalf of Frank Arthur Stanley, (58), of no fixed address, who came up for judgment after pleading guilty earlier in the sessions to breaking and entering a house at Stanmore, Middlesex, on January 30 and stealing property worth £660, and breaking and entering a flat at Chelsea on February 25 and stealing property worth £310.

After Miss Mannin had made a plea for Stanley he was put on probation for two years.

He was reported to have had 21 previous convictions including two sentences of, preventive detention.

Miss Mannin of Burghley Road, Wimbledon, London, S.W., said that she and her late husband, Reginald Reynolds decided to try to to help Stanley when he was sentenced to seven years’ detention for offences which included the theft of property from their home in 1954.

Visited Him in Prison
They visited him in prison and when her husband died two years ago she continued to do so. When he was released she found him a job in a hospital which he kept until January.

Miss Mannin said the property Stanley stole from her home had included an Irish tweed suit of great sentimental value.

He became upset when told about this and afterwards sent her £10 to replace the suit. She bought some Irish tweed which was made into a suit for her husband.

Stanley told her husband he would go straight until the suit dropped off him, so when her husband died, she had the suit altered, to wear herself in the hope that if she continued to wear it he would remember his promise.

He has a great deal of good in him, Miss Mannin declared.

Stanley told the court: “I am disgusted and ashamed to have Miss Mannin down. She has been a wonderful friend, and her late husband as well.”

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