Thomas was taken to the Police Station in
nearby Waterbeer Street where details of his arrest were recorded in a
great ledger - one of Exeter's Police Charge Books which still exist
He was searched and found to be in possession of a small purse
containing a single coin - a florin - equivalent to 24p today. This was
formally taken into the possession of Detective Dymond. He had nothing
else - no pipe or tobacco or any of the objects commonly found in the
pockets of a working man - just this single coin in a little purse.
Later that day, he was taken before a Magistrate - Joseph Thomas
Wilcox - and sentenced to one month's hard labour. The treadmill,
picking oakum and stone-breaking were common activities proscribed for
prisoners sentenced to hard labour. No
money was earned by the prisoner during the sentence and it is
very difficult to see how such a sentence was useful in contributing to
the support of Thomas's family.