MAGISTRATE’S WARNING FOR TREASURE HUNTERS ON THE PROWL

 

At 1.15 a.m. Friday 23 February 1968 in company with Captain Gilbert ‘Shore Patrol’ Pitman and another civilian, I commenced surveillance of the Motor Yacht ‘Romay’ berthed at its dock at the Sherwood Manor Hotel, Mill Creek, Pembroke Parish. The M.Y. Romay, owned by His Excellency the Governor, Lord Martonmere had, for some weeks previously, been the subject of unwanted boarding and the theft of liquor from the galley.

From our concealed position within the hotel’s dance hall we had a wide view of all approaches to the Romay including the tourist cottages, gardens and waters of Mill Creek.   At 4.35 a.m. Captain Pitman drew my attention to a male figure creeping along the wall bordering the bandstand patio located in front of the cottages.  The man moved slowly and was hunched down. He lingered in the bandstand area for some 18 minutes moving from one side to another observing both the main hotel building and all of the cottages behind him. I saw the hotel night watchman – who was unaware of our presence – cross the patio on his rounds. He did not see the intruder who remained motionless and hidden behind a pillar.

In company with ‘Shore Patrol’ I left our concealed position and walked to the rear of Jones cottage. I saw a lighted bathroom window at the rear of Jones cottage. I saw no one in the bathroom.  I later saw the intruder in a crouched position – walking slowly away from the window behind a low hedge.  I watched him for some minutes and saw him again resume his crouching position near the bandstand. 

At no time did this man go anywhere near the M.Y. Romay.

At 5.20 a.m. I went to this man and said, “I am a police officer. What are you doing here?”

He replied, “Just sitting, aren’t I.”

I said, “I have been watching you for some considerable time and I believe you are prowling. Is that right?”

He replied. “Seven to one I wouldn’t get caught. I took a chance.”

I arrested and cautioned him for prowling to which he replied, “I took a chance on getting caught. I’ve been casing this place for three weeks. I’m not prowling.” 

I took him inside the dance hall and learned his name was Clifford Hamilton Leach. Whilst searching his person I asked him, “What were you hoping to see sitting there?’

He replied, “I was looking for the treasure. Look I have the clues.”

He produced a slip of paper from a pocket with alleged clues written thereon.

I said, “I do not believe that.”

He replied, “Fair enough. I was looking for my mate, my brother-in-law B.C.”

I said, “Is he here?”

Reply, “No, he didn’t come tonight.”

I asked, “Do you have a car?”

Reply, “It’s down the road.”

I accompanied Leach to his private car on Fairyland Road. It was legally parked with lights on, and some 500 yards from the hotel. Empty parking spaces in the hotel car park were plentiful.

 

When formally charged and cautioned with the offence of prowling Leach replied, “Definitely I didn’t prowl round a house.”

Taking the stand in his own defence Leach said he had been following the treasure hunt clues over the air and one clue, “alley route,” led him to enter the hotel premises by that route.

 

He said he was searching in a pillar on the bandstand with a comb when he heard the watchman’s footsteps. He said he remained out of sight until the watchman had passed. He was later arrested by Dc Rose.

Asked by Inspector Thomas Doyle, prosecuting, why he did not want to be seen, Leach said he wanted his comings and goings to be secret because he was looking for treasure.

 

He said he had all the clues and was led to Fairylands by the clue, “to tomb,” after searching in two churchyards a metal plate in one churchyard led him to Fairylands, he said.

Said Leach, “I put my head on a chopping block that the treasure was between two palms on the walkway of Sherwood Manor”

Said Mr. Maddocks, “No doubt the craze has gripped people over the island but no-one has the right to enter private property.”  He said he was prepared to accept that Leach was looking for treasure and imposed the six months conditional discharge.

A police official later stressed that wherever the treasure is located it is NOT on private property.

 

A spokesman for ZBM radio who are operating the hunt said the treasure was easily accessible and not on private property which would entail trespass.

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