Sheffield Independent August 26, 1909
Borrowed Money at 50%
The differences between a moneylender named Northam Cohen, of Barnsley and Leeds, and a client Mr Charles William Newell, fruiterer, Bolton on Dearne was revealed to his Honour Judge Allen at the Doncaster County Court yesterday.
Mr Newell through Mr Baddeley asked for an order giving relief to the plaintiff in respect of a certain bill of sale gven by him to the defendant in October 1906.
Plaintiff said that in October 1906 he was in want of money, having lost his horse, and both he and his wife having suffered through sickness. He went to defendant’s agent at Barnsley and asked him to lend him £60 and after inspecting his home the advance was made. He would not have taken hundred pounds for the home, including, as it did, a bay horse, a fourwheeled dray, and a fourwheeled load carriage.
Defendant asked for some security, and he gave a bill of sale. Having done so he went to Barnsley, and the money was granted, been lent him at the rate of 50%.
He would not sign the agreement, unless defendant stated that he would not press him if bad trade or sickness intervene. He agreed to pay 1 pound per week , and in the first year paid £33, but had no idea when he had done so that he had only just paid interest. He went on paying up to September 1908, and on Tuesday in the race week defendant seized on the bill of sale. Plaintiff paid £10 in cost to get rid of them, and again in March 2009, defendant seized, and plaintiff paid £10 in costs. On 5 May he again seized. At that time he haD paid £95 for the £60 and the costs. He went to see the defendant as his Barnsley office, but only saw his manager Mr Bell, who kicked him out of the place. He went home, and the bailiff left his house on Saturday evening about 7 o’clock. He did not ask him to leave. The bailiff returned on Monday, but it was Tuesday before he saw him and he kept him outside.
On 12 May plaintiff was away from home, and when he returned he found the kitchen window had been broken and the bailiff in possession again. On 14 May all his goods were removed to Barnsley, and the following day he received a letter stating that they would be sold in the Corn Exchange, Barnsley on Monday the 17th.
Up to the bringing of the case he received no intimation for the defendants what the goods had realised. He had since received an account showing that the home which cost £100 had been sold for £25 3s 11d.
Cross-examined by Mr Blackstone, Leeds, who appeared for the defendant, he admitted borrowing the money for the purpose of paying another moneylender.
Mr Blackstone submitted that he had no case to answer, but his Honour ruled against him. Mr Blackstone also said under the money lending act of 1901, it must be made out that the transaction was harsh and unconscionable. The plaintiff had failed to show that, in so much as he himself had admitted that he had borrowed money from other people, he knew his way about, and had borrowed the money to get out of the toils of one man. It might be said that the 50% was a large sum, but on that they had judicial utterance.
His honour made a suggestion, and the advocates settled the terms between them.