Offence: Violent Theft > robbery
Verdict: Guilty > no_subcategory
Punishment: Imprisonment > no_subcategory
Mr. Holford Knight prosecuted; Mr. St. John Macdonald defended.
MORRIS PLATZ . On May 28 about 8.45 p.m. I went to Princess Hall, Christian Street, E., to a cinematograph entertainment. As I took my ticket at the office prisoner and two other men were there. I did not know prisoner before. As the hall was crowded we took our stand at the back near the door. Prisoner stood next to me on my right-hand side. He had two companions on the left-hand side. A silver watch and double chain I had in my right-hand pocket. I had a box in the left-hand side in which there was £1 10s. As I stood there they hustled me one to another. As they did so I felt the chain hanging down and saw the watch was lost. I got hold of prisoner by the hand. I saw the watch in prisoner's hand. I said, "Give me my watch," and offered him a shilling. He took out a brass watch and said, "Is that your watch?" I said, "It is not." I did not see what became of my watch. I tried to drag him outside to hand him over to a policeman. The other two tried to get him out of it. I held him and struggled with them and we all got outside. I called for the police—the chain and silver box were still in my waistcoat pocket—and then received a good bang on the head and I fell unconscious. When I came to, the chain and box were gone as well as the men.
Cross-examined. At the time I lost the watch I was standing. There were about 10 people in front of me and 10 at the back. Prisoner was on my right-hand side. My hands were down to my sides.
HENRY MARCULIS , 45, Humberston Street, E. I was at the box-office at the Princess Hall about 9.15 on May 28. I saw prisoner there with two others. First prisoner came up to me and the two stood around and they tried to lift my watch out of this pocket. I told him to let go because I said, "That belongs to me," and he went away. He then passed over to prosecutor and took the watch out of his righthand pocket. Prosecutor caught hold of his hand. The watch was off the swivel, and prisoner passed it over to a chap I should know if I saw him; he was one of prisoner's two companions. As prosecutor took prisoner outside the hall there were those two others outside who hustled him again, and prisoner took the chain and box out and handed it over. When prosecutor started screaming prisoner hit him in the face and sent him on his back in the road. I went to get hold of prisoner, who struck me in the side and ran away. I gave chase. After running about 200 yards I caught prisoner by the arm and said, "You have to come with me." He said, "Where?" I said, "Wait and you will see." I took him a few yards and gave him into the custody of P. C. 78 H.
Cross-examined. I have been convicted but never been to prison. Prosecutor was robbed after I was attempted to be robbed. I had never seen prisoner before. I do not know a man named Balmarsi. I have not been to his shop to be shaved. (Balmarsi called into court.) I know this man. I did not know his name. All I know is that he and other people came to my place on Wednesday night and offered to threaten me. I told them I did not want to have any business with them. I am going to a sanatorium; I am in consumption. This man said I won't live to go to a sanatorium if I go against prisoner. The night before last this man, two others, and a girl called me over. The girl said, "If you go against my old man I will go against you and say you have been living on my immoral earnings." I swear I do not know prisoner. I did not tell Balmarsi that prisoner had taken my sweetheart away and I would get him five years. I have no sweetheart. My sweetheart is my pocket. There were 30 to 40 people waiting to go past the pay box. Prisoner was standing next to me. After I told him off he went away. Prosecutor was standing on my right. Prisoner walked round to prosecutor. Prisoner was on the right hand side of prosecutor. I saw him take the watch out. I was afraid to say anything for fear of these other two big bullies.
HARRY SHAPIRO , presser, 91, Hessell Street Buildings. I was in Christian Street on May 28. I saw prisoner running. I tried to catch him and he attempted to hit me. I then ran after him until I caught him. I got hold of his lapel; then Margulis approached and got hold of him. Then a policeman approached us and took him.
Police-constable ALFRED GRITT, 78 H. About 9 p.m., on May 28, I was in Commercial Road at the corner of Christian Street. I heard a police whistle blow. I ran and outside Princess Hall I saw prosecutor on the ground. He said a man had stolen his watch and chain. I ran in the direction he said the man had gone, and after running about 200 yards I saw prisoner detained by Margulis. I brought him back, when prosecutor said, "That is the man who stole my watch and chain." Prisoner made no statement then. At the station he said, "I never ran away; I walked away."
JOE TAYLOR (prisoner, on oath). I went to this cinematograph show alone. I do not know prosecutor. I was not standing by him. There were four men and three women between us. There was a pretty big crowd there. Prosecutor and myself were right inside the hall. I did not see Margulis until he was right down the street. When prosecutor said to me, "You stole my watch," I said I had not, and told him to fetch a policeman to search me, First I went to people and said, "This man has accused me of stealing his watch; would you like to search me?" They said, "No." I told prosecutor to come outside to the policeman to search me. When he got outside he shouted out in Yiddish, "He pinched my watch." There were 50 or 60 round me. I thought if I waited longer I should get a good hiding, and the best
thing was to get away. I ran down the street, and the constable met me on the corner. Margulis never got hold of me or anything. If I had done a thing like that I would not let a little fellow like Margulis get hold of me. Margulis had a grudge against me because I cut him out with a girl. I know Balmarsi. He has a barber's shop. I have seen Margulis there once or twice. Margulis is mistaken in saying I attempted to steal his watch. After the row I went away from the hall. He only met me at the bottom of the street. A man cannot get into the hall without a ticket. Margulis said in the police-court he did not get a ticket. I did buy a ticket. He was never next to me. I did not see him. Prosecutor accused ten or twelve people. He grabbed me. I said, "What have you got hold of me for? I did not take your watch." I swear I did not take the watch.
Cross-examined. Margulis's evidence is a concoction. He has a a spite against me. I am a Jew. I changed my religion a long time ago. I am a Christian now. I was born in London. I came to England last July from the Transvaal. I had cabs out there. I left there through a crime. I asked to be deported. Taylor is my right name.
PINEZ BALMARSI , 144, Commercial Road, E. I know prisoner as a customer. He lived for three weeks in the same place as where I had my shop. I have got to know Margulis since prisoner was locked up. He came to me the evening prisoner was arrested and said he must go against prisoner because prisoner wanted to take a girl away from him, and he must get him five years. I have never threatened Margulis. I have had no business with him that I should have to threaten him. Margulis said at the prosecutor's place that they were going to collect £3, and give £2 to the prosecutor and £1 to the witness and nothing should be said against prisoner.
Cross-examined. I am a Jew from Russia. I have been here about 13 months. I told Margulis it was not right for him to get a chap five years over a girl. Five others heard him say that. I was not angry with him. I want to chuck nobody out of my shop.
HENRY OSBORNE , hawker, 144, Commercial Road, E. Prisoner worked for me about six months. I know Margulis through coming to last witness's shop. I saw him last Saturday night. He thought I was another man's brother. I told him I was not. He said prisoner hit prosecutor. I did not hear anything about the girl.
Verdict, Guilty. Sentence, Three months' imprisonment, second division.
BEFORE THE RECORDER.
(Saturday, June 4.)