The Thick Trevithicks

Griffith, Gareth, Gwyneth with Mrs Thelma and Mr Thaddeus Trevithick
By Mark Pierro

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the trial known as The Trevithick Three.

The Trevithick Three were members of an infamous family of bank robbers who terrorised The North of England at the turn of the 20th Century. With a combined weight of 3433 lbs they were included in the Guinness book of records as the heaviest bank robbers of all time. Although all  five of the family participated in the raid only three of them were caught and tried.

The case against the father and mother, Thaddeus Trevithick and Thelma Trescothick from Thetford in Norfolk, where thrown out half way through the trial as it became clear to the presiding judge Mr Justice Thoroughgood, that they were quite possibly the most stupid parents he had ever encountered in his 35 year career and ordered them to attend a local infants school as pupils.

The remaining Trevithicks, Gareth, Gwyneth and Griffith Trevithick were dubbed 'The Trevithick Three' in the newspapers of the time. However, in Cornwall, where they had grown up, they and indeed the rest of the family were better known as 'The Thick Trevithicks' due to a family trait that can best be described as a devastating stupidity.

The raid itself, allegedly hatched by ringleader Griffith Trevithick, centred around a municipal bank owned and run by Mr Thorley Thackery of Thethwaite in Cumbria. The idea was to hold up the bank at gunpoint whilst posing as members of a travelling circus troupe that just happened to be in town at the same time.

Griffith Trevithick's master-stroke was for his family to pose as five members of the circus' trapeze act family known somewhat coincidentally as 'The Terrific Trevithicks'. Griffith Trevithick's reasoning was that with his mother, father, brother and sister all dressed up as The Terrific Trevithicks nobody would be able to determine the difference between them and the Terrific Trevithicks. This flawed reasoning alone was enough for the Judge at the trail to label them, some of the most vacant criminals he had ever had the hilarity to encounter in his 35 year career.

Griffith's reasoning was further compounded by another problem. Griffith's brother and sister, Gwyneth and Gareth Trevithick, visiting The Terrific Trevithick's circus act to evaluate the likelihood of them being able to impersonate The Terrific Trevithick's, failed to take into account one very important thing. This was the fact that The Terrific Trevithicks were in fact the world's one and only Dwarf Circus Trapeze act whilst the Trevithick family were all morbidly obese.

This error of judgement alone could have been dealt with had it not been for the Trevithick's aforementioned level of stupidity. In actuality this complete lack of spatial awareness was a result of the Trevithick family all suffering from Dyspraxia, a neurological condition that renders sufferers unable to effectively judge distance. So whilst Gareth and Gwyneth thought they were looking at a very high trapeze act they were in fact looking at a very low Dwarf Trapeze act.

The Terrific Trevithicks
Although the bank job itself went according to plan, it fell apart almost immediately after the Trevithicks exited the bank with the loot. Firstly, they had collectively agreed that the getaway car should be made to resemble a police car so as to facilitate a fast escape. While this logic had credence it over complicated the brain power of an already overstretched family of incompetents. Both Thelma and Thaddeus Trevithick made the mistake of getting into a real police car and upon shouting to the driver 'Take us home to number 74 Bradbury Street where we can count all the money we have just nicked from this bank', their fate was sealed by the law enforcement officer sitting at the wheel.

The remaining Trevithicks, due to their obesity, came a cropper when they realised that they were not all able to get into their getaway car along with all the loot. Gwyneth and Griffith decided to just drive off leaving Gareth standing on the pavement. Gareth was arrested after he grassed up his brother and sister to the police on the condition that 'I get all the stolen money I lifted back from my brother and sister.'

The remaining Trevithicks Gwyneth and Griffith were apprehended when they realised that they had left all the loot with Gareth, standing on the pavement as they drove away. Completely fooled by their own disguise, the made their way to the circus to try to join The Terrific Trevithicks. Because of their dyspraxia they unfortunately trampled two of The Terrific Trevithicks, thinking they were five metres away when in fact they were standing in front of them. The police were called and they were arrested.

The trial eventually came to an end when the jury acquitted The Trevithick Three on the grounds that locking them up would have been less of a punishment in life than letting them free.

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