Probably few more preposterous excuses have ever been given than that which was raised at the Birkenhead Police Court this week, where a baker was charged with having stolen a large Genoa cake, the property of his employers.

The cake weighed 7½ lb and was one of 49 baked. The next morning one was missing. A detective followed the baker and found the missing cake in his private drawer. His excuse was that it was quite the custom in all bakehouses for the men to eat cakes or pastry.

He thought there was no dishonesty in having taken it and when he had finished that one he would have taken another. The excuse was not accepted and the prisoner was fined 20s and costs.