The Royal Court sat this week to hear another case of infringement of the Defence of the Realm Act, or DORA. On this occasion it related to the possession of equipment capable of sending or receiving wireless signals, something prohibited under Clause 22 of the DORA regulations.
On trial were 16-year-old French student, Marcel Fresson, and his mother Bertha. The case had come about after three wires were spotted slung between the rear of the Fressons’ house in Clarendon Road and some nearby trees. After consulting the Island’s Director of Postal Telephones about the possible purpose of these wires, the Aliens Officer raided the house and found wireless apparatus inside.
In his defence, Marcel explained that he was a student at Highlands College and had been studying wireless signals during his physics class. He had simply wanted to carry out further experiments while at home.
After carefully hearing evidence from both sides, the Court accepted that the accused had not intended to use the wireless apparatus for any malicious purposes. Nevertheless, the student was aware that operating the equipment broke the wartime laws. The Bailiff duly imposed a fine of two pounds.