Offences: Deception > forgery; Miscellaneous > other; Miscellaneous > habitual criminal
Verdicts: Guilty > pleaded part guilty; Not Guilty > unknown; Not Guilty > no evidence; Not Guilty > unknown
Punishments: Imprisonment > hard labour
BURKE, Edward (64, bricklayer), and CRINION, Thomas (39, labourer) , both forging, altering, and uttering, knowing the same to be forged and altered, a certain request for the payment of money, to wit, a banker's cheque for £90 5s., with intent to defraud.
Mr. Muir and Mr. H. Cassie Holden prosecuted; Mr. Tully-Christie defended Burke.
Crinion pleaded guilty of uttering, which plea was accepted by the prosecution.
for £2 5s. and handed it to O'Toole to be dispatched. It has now been altered to £90 5s.
CHARLES O'TOOLE , shorthand typist, Eagle Film Agency. On Saturday, October 20, at 3 p.m., I posted cheque (produced) with a letter to J. Brooke Wilkinson, 62, Strand, in a pillar-box at Shepherd's Bush. On the following Monday, acting under instructions, I sent a letter by special messenger to the London City and Midland Bank, that being the bank on which the cheque had been drawn.
JOSEPH BROOKE WILKINSON , 62, Strand, cinematograph film manu-facturer. Last October the Eagle Film Agency owed me £2 5s. I never received cheque (produced) nor any letter purporting to contain it. I did not endorse or give authority to anybody to endorse it; the endorsement is not the least like my writing. On Monday, October 30, in the course of a conversation with the Eagle Film Agency on the telephone, they happened to mention the cheque.
CHARLES PERCY MYERS , cashier, London City and Midland Bank, Cambridge Circus. On Monday, October 30, we received a letter from the Eagle Film Agency. At 12.30 p.m. the same day I noticed Burke leaning on the counter as if waiting to be attended to. There were about half a dozen people in the bank; I was the only cashier. Two or three minutes afterwards I noticed Crinion standing two or three feet from the counter, Burke being nearer the door. Seeing Crinion had a cheque in his hand I beckoned to him and he handed me the cheque (produced); I said, "How will you have it?" He said, "£80 in notes and the rest in cash." I then noticed that the cheque was the same number as that which had been mentioned in the letter which we had received that morning from the Eagle Film Agency. I said to Crinion, "You might step in the manager's room a minute." He at once began to make for the door. I called out loudly to a customer in the bank, "Stop that man, Planter," and immediately Burke, who at the time was facing me, turned round with his back towards me and threw himself on Mr. Planter, who had his hand out to catch Crinion, and called out, with one of his arms outstretched, "I want £2 silver." Mr. Planter then shook off Burke and went out after Crinion, who got away. Burke then made for the door; Mr. Planter came back, and caught him, and called out, "This is the man that stopped me from catching the other one, he is in it, we will have him." I took Burke into the manager's room and stated that I had had a cheque which I was told to stop, that Burke stopped Mr. Planter from catching the presenter of the cheque; Planter confirmed what I said. Burke said, "I know nothing about it; I am an innocent man." He was asked for his name and address and gave the name of Edward Burke, and said "I live at Gee's Court, Oxford Street; I am a builder by trade." The manager consulted the Post Office Directory. Burke was asked whether he had any objection to our going with him to that address; he at first protested, but after-wards agreed. All four of us then went in a cab to the Eagle Film Agency and then to Vine Street Police Station.
Cross-examined. I had seen Burke standing at the counter about a couple of minutes before this occurrence; I did not beckon to him
because he did not seem in a hurry to be served. Burke made some objection, which I forget, to going into the manager's room. None of the customers took any interest in this incident. First of all Burke said his business of a builder was at Gee's Court; afterwards he said he was working for a builder. We did not go to Burke's address.
Sergeant GEORGE SMITH, C Division. On October 30 at 1.20 p.m. Burke was brought to Vine Street Police Station by the manager of the London City and Midland Bank, Mr. Myers, and Mr. Planter. In consequence of a statement the manager made to me I told Burke I was a police officer, cautioned him, and asked him if he would give me any particulars as regards himself to prove his bonâ-fides, as unless he could do that he would probably be charged with being concerned with another man in uttering a forged cheque. He replied, "My name is Edward Burke; I am a highly respectable builder and have resided at No. 5, Gee's Court, for the past two years." I then said to him, "Can you refer me to anyone who knows you?" He said, "It is your business to find out; I will tell the magistrate when I am charged what I want him to know. I shall give you nothing." The facts were then repeated; prisoner said, "I know nothing about the cheque. It is a perfect mistake, I am innocent." He was charged and made no reply.
Detective-inspector HENRY FOWLER, C Division. On October 30 I went to 5, Gee's Court, and made inquiries for Edward Burke. No. 5 is a small chandler's shop, belonging to a man named Thomas, who lets three beds in the back parlour. There were no signs of a builder's business there. I got no information there about Edward Burke, I called again and was shown a small portmanteau in which I found two suits of clothes, two pairs of boots, brush and comb, one or two ties, a few other odds and ends, and two memorandum books, with all the writing rubbed so that I could not read it.
HENRY THOMAS , 5, Gee's Court, Oxford Street, chandler. Burke has rented a bed from me for the last 18 months or so. I know him as William Williams, according to the address on a letter sent to him. He paid 3s. 6d. a week for a bed and washing accommoda-tion. He told me he was employed in a sale room mostly.
Cross-examined. Burke stayed with me until he was arrested. I showed Inspector Fowler everything that belonged to the prisoner.
EDWARD BURKE (prisoner on oath). My name is Edward Burke; I used to lodge with the last witness Thomas. On October 30 at about 12.30 I went into the bank to get change for two sovereigns to pay for some goods I had bought. There were so many people in the bank that I could not get to the counter to be served, and as I was waiting a cashier called out, "Stop that man." There was
a flurry in the bank and Planter ran against me; I did not run against him. I was going into the bank when I heard the cashier shout and Mr. Planter got hold of me and said I was one of the men that was connected with the other man that ran away. I said, "I am nothing to do with the man that has ran out, I will go to the bank manager." In the manager's room I was asked my name and address and I gave my right name and address—Edward Burke, 5, Gee's Court. The manager said he would go with me to my address to see if it was correct, and I agreed. We then gat into a cab, but did not go to Gee's Square. They drove me about for some time and I then volunteered to go to the police station.
Cross-examined. I had not bought any goods that day; I wanted the change to pay for some goods I was going to buy at auction, because they do not give change. At the time I went into the bank I had six sovereigns, one half-sovereign, and 6s. in silver. I had been in the bank a very short time when Planter ran against me. I never said that I wanted change until I got into the bank manager's room. Planter has told a falsehood as to that; the cashier could not hear what I said. I did not hear anybody tell the bank manager that I had called out, "I want £2 of silver." I am known at 5, Gee's Court, as William Williams. I am a porter at Debenham Storr and Co. I told the manager I was a builder because I was once a builder. When Planter came back into the bank I was not about to leave.
Sergeant GEORGE SMITH, recalled by the Court. I searched prisoner at Vine Street Police Station and found on him six sovereigns and 14s. 6d. in silver.
CHARLES LIONEL STOCKFORD , 14, Meath Street, Battersea, porter. On October 30 between 12 and 12.30 I was in the London City and Midland Bank, Cambridge Circus, when I saw a man hand a cheque to the cashier, who looked at something behind the counter, then at the cheque, walked a little way down behind the counter, and beckoned to the man to come. The man walked to the door; the cashier called out, "Hold him, Planter." Planter turned round to catch hold of him when he collided with Burke, who at the time happened to step forward and had his hand up as if he wanted something, and said something, but I never caught what he said. I had never seen Burke before that.
Cross-examined. I did not see what was in Burke's hand. Planter just put his head out of the door and then put it in again. Burke was in the bank some little time before this occurred.
(Monday, December 11.)
Verdict (Burke), Not guilty. Upon three other indictments the prosecution offered no evidence, and a verdict of Not guilty was returned.
Crinion was then indicted for that he is a habitual criminal.
Formal proof was given of service of the statutory notice and the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The following convictions were proved: March 6, 1900, at Clerkenwell Sessions, 21 months' hard labour, larceny; October 1,1901, at Clerkenwell Sessions, four years' penal servitude, larceny; May 21, 1909, at this Court, in the name of Thomas Johnson, three years' penal servitude; and a number of others, dating back to 1888.
Prisoner denied that he had been living persistently a dishonest or criminal life. On his last leaving prison he had obtained employment and remained at work till September 23, when he had to give it up owing to illness.
Verdict, Not guilty of being a habitual criminal.
Prisoner (who had 303 days to serve of his last sentence) was sen-tenced to Eighteen months hard labour.
BEFORE THE COMMON SERJEANT.
(Saturday, December 9.)