Stolen tiger skin crime revealed in century old Jersey records

  • Video report by Sophie Dulson

Jersey records which have been hidden away for 100 years have been opened to the public giving an insight into life on the island in the early 1920s.

Amongst the records which were unveiled under Freedom of Information exemptions is the story of the stolen tiger skin.

It was 51 year old Alfred Francis John Malzard who was arrested for the crime in 1921. He had stolen the precious skin from the Mitre Hotel on Broad Street. The skin was actually being sold by Mohammed Ber Ali Assam and should have cost £2.

Registration card of Mohammed Ber Ali Assam Credit: Jersey Heritage

Malzard appeared before the Police Court and was made to pay a fine of £2 or go to prison for 15 days. It is unclear what Malzard did, and what happened to the tiger skin in the end.

This story is detailed on one of the records, stored at Jersey Archive. A new batch of records were opened to the public on New Year's Day, because they were more than 100 years old.

The records show details of life in Jersey at the time, and include information on education, crime and hospital care.

Credit: ITV Channel TV

Amongst the details are lists of why people were taken to Jersey's General Hospital.

Diphtheria was rife at the time, and caused many hospital admissions, the youngest patient being a three year old boy.

Linda Romeril, Jersey Heritage’s Director of Archives and Collections, said: “Each year, new  records are released to the public after closures of up to 100 years under Freedom of  Information exemptions.

Credit: ITV Channel TV

"This year’s records include both stories of individuals and of wider social policies and attitudes in the 1920s.  

“It is always fascinating to see the changes in our lives that have occurred over the past 100  years.

"The records released this year show the growing importance of education for all children, changing attitudes towards male and female wages, crime and punishment in the 1920s and, interestingly in our current climate, the impact of vaccination programmes on diseases such as Diphtheria.”