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ATTEMPTED BLACKMAIL

CLERGYMAN MOLESTED. How a Nom-onformiat minister was blackmailed by a man who accused him of following hie wife was described at the Old Bailey, London, when John Reader was found guilty of sending a letter to the Rev. Arthur Wilde demanding £25 with menaces. Sentence was postponed. The woman, Martha Freedman, who was said not to bo Reader's wife, was also charged, but was acquitted, the Judge saying there was no evidence against her. Mr Starry Deans, for the prosecution, said that Mr Wilde was engaged in secretarial work in Bloomsbury street. On April 6 he left his office at 4.15 p.m. and went to visit a friend at Regent’s Park. At the corner of Euston road and Tottenham Court road, while waiting for a bus. Reader came up to him and asked “Are you a clergyman?” Mr Wilde replied “That is near enough,” and the man then accused him of following and molesting his wife. Mr Wilde strenuously denied the accusation. The man then said he did not believe Ire was a clergyman at ali, whereupon Mr Wild© gave him his card, on which was hia address at Crouch End. At Reader’s request Mr Wild© accompanied him to a house in Warren street, near by. In the doorway was Freedman. Mr Wilde asked “Is that the lady?” And she replied: “ Yee; and that is the man.” Mr Wild© refused an tiou to enter the house. Two dqys later Mr Wilde received a letter from Reader accusing hiin of following his “ wife ” from Holborn to Warren street, and when she entered her flat ringing the hell aa»d waiting outside. The writer added that the woman telephoned for him, and_ that he came and found Mr Wilde outside. He announced hia intention of forwarding “ full particulars ” to a weekly paper, _ adding i “No doubt, also, your parishioners at Argyll square arid your home at Grouch End will feel interested. If, however, you prefer to forward £25, which will bo given to » good object, the option is ydurfc.”._, . Mr Wilde bore cut this statement, and said he had never seen Freedman before or been to the house. It was stated that Read©# was a well-to-do fruiterer in Beleiw* Park. He bad served in South Africa with the Imperial Yeqmhnij,

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141022.2.33

Bibliographic details

ATTEMPTED BLACKMAIL, Evening Star, Issue 15630, 22 October 1914

Word Count
379

ATTEMPTED BLACKMAIL Evening Star, Issue 15630, 22 October 1914

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