Offence: Theft > petty larceny
Punishment: Imprisonment > newgate; Miscellaneous > fine
Second Count. Laying it to be the property of certain persons unknown.(The case was opened by Mr. Knapp.)
WILLIAM COMBES sworn. - I am a labourer in the East-India warehouses. On Monday, the 19th of November, I was upon the upper floor of the building when I saw the prisoner go down one of the alleys of the warehouse, he went up to a chest, took some tea out of the chest, and put it into his pocket, I believe it was either in his breeches pocket, or some place made for the purpose in his apron; I acquainted one of the elders with it, and that is all I know about it.
Cross-examined by Mr. Const. Q. I believe it is not by such small quantities as this man is accused of, that the India Company in general have a complaint? - A. I cannot say.
Q. He might have seen you, as well as you see him? - A. He saw me when he went down.
Court. Q. If he did not observe you, he might have taken a great deal more? - A. Yes, he might, he had an opportunity of taking more.
Q. How long afterwards was it that he was taken up? - A. I believe two or three hours.
Q. Then he continued upon this floor for two or three hours? - A. Yes, he was generally employed upon that floor.
JOHN BURGESS sworn. - I am the King's locker at the India-house: I searched the prisoner, and found upon him a packet of tea, concealed in his breeches pocket, after searching him for ten minutes or more; it contained about two ounces. (The tea produced).
Cross-examined by Mr. Alley. Q. You attend for the purpose of searching people as they come out of the warehouse? - A. Yes.
Q. I take it a man is not likely to get off without being detected, or you must neglect your duty? - A. If we were to search every man as I searched him, it would take us from eight o'clock in the morning till night; we search them as quick as we can.
Q. Do not you search their pockets? - A. No; we search their breeches sometimes.
Q. This is worth about four-pence? - A. Yes.
Q. The prisoner has been some years in the Company's service? - A. Yes.
Q. This tea was folded up in a paper? - A. Yes.
Q. You did not find it in his waistcoat pocket? - A. No.
Q. You did not find any loose in his pocket? - A. No.
Q. You do not search men when they come into the warehouse? - A. No.
Q. Therefore if a man means to go to see a sick friend before he goes home, after he has done work, and takes a little tea in his pocket for that sick friend, there is nothing wonderful in that? - A. No; but there is a rule against any body taking tea in.
- BARBER sworn. - I am an elder belonging to the India Company's warehouses.
Q. Look at that tea - is that like the tea that you had in the warehouse? - A. Yes.
Cross-examined by Mr. Alley. Q. You have every kind of tea in the warehouse, and therefore you know it must be like the tea in the warehouses? - A. This is congou tea.
The prisoner left his defence to his Counsel, and called eight witnesses, who gave him a good character.
There were upwards of twenty more attending, but the Court thought it unnecessary to examine them. GUILTY (Aged 60.)
Confined fourteen days in Newgate , fined 1s. and discharged.
Tried by the London Jury, before Mr. COMMON SERJEANT.