COLYER, Stanley (33, music-hall manager) , having been entrusted with certain property, to wit, a banker's order for £14, in order that he should pay the proceeds thereof to Walter Herbert Meekcom, unlawfully fraudulently converting to his own use and benefit part of the proceeds thereof, to wit, the sum of £12.
Mr. Bohn prosecuted; M. Du Parcq defended.
WALTER HERBERT MEEKCOM , builder, Acton. I know prisoner; he is supposed to be a manager at Earl's Court. He instructed me to find moneys for different cinematographs, which I was to erect. I had not completed the work. In February for the work I had done he gave me a bill dated February 12 for £20 17s. 3d., which became due on March 15. I got it discounted at a moneylender's, Hamilton Clark, 137, Oxford Street. On March 12 I went to his flat in Wells Street and told him that I had got thebill discounted and I had got a cheque for £14, which the moneylender had given me. I gave it to him and he handed it to his wife. She went to a public-house and on her return said that they said tney had just paid their money into the bank and suggested going to Mr. Clarkson, of Wardour Street, and getting it cashed there. I went with prisoner to Clarkson's and, at his suggestion, I waited outside whilst he went in. On his coming out we went and had a drink and he said he had borrowed £2 on it and if I went next day he would give me the balance. He paid for the drinks and handed me £1 18s. On the next day I went with my son to his flat and he told me that if I went on the next day he would hand me my balance. I went the next day, the 14th, and he said he had not got it. I went and made inquiries at Clarkson's and then returned to the flat) and told him that Clarkson's had told me he had got the whole of the money that morning. It was then between 2 and 2.30; I should say I was at Clarkson's a few minutes before that. Prisoner said it was a lie.
Cross-examined. I got a firm to promise £3,000 on a job in Fins-bury and Golder's Green, but on investigation, it was found the prisoner had nothing to do with it. Prisoner said that when I wanted £10 I could have it, land I was to have the building work; we had no agreement in writing; my employment as financial agent began, in September, 1911. In February I asked him for money and he gave me this bill; it was the only sum I had from him, and that settled the account between us for my expenses in running about on about seven different jobs; I had rendered no account, as it was not necessary. I told him I had spent so much money that I wanted some more. I kept no books showing my expenses. I worked for him till March 12, but I could not get any more out of him than £20 17s. 3d., because he had not got it; I had been making a claim on him since September 16, but I had washed my hands of that with the exception of getting some furs back that he had of mine. He gave me to understand thai I
could get the bill discounted for £ 1 10s.; I had never discounted one before. I was in prosperous circumstances in February and March. The cheque for £ 14 was mine to do what I liked with, and I only took it to prisoner to tell him that I had only got £ 14 for the bill. I was short on March 12, and I did not pay it into my banking account because I should have had to wait three days for the money. I was not very hard up at the time, and I did not have to pawn a pair of vases; I did not say at the police court that is what I had to do. I did not have a leather case in pawn on March 12. I see now that I did say at the police court that on about March 12 I pawned a pair of vases for 2s. 6d. and a leather case for 9d.; I believe it was true when I said that, but I did not recollect saying it. I did not recollect until now that I had done so. I had to pawn the case to get my fare home from prisoner's flat to Acton as I had no money. On September 16 I let him have some furs to sell for me on commission, and I have not seen them since. He has never lent me money. He did not give me the bill as a loan. I did not suggest that it should be made out for an odd amount. He did not pay me £ 2 for discounting the bill for him.
HERBERT VICTOR MEEKCOM , architect and surveyor. I am a son of the last witness, and live with him. "On Wednesday, March 13, I went with him to prisoner's flat; I should say it was some time between 12 and 2. He asked prisoner when he would let him have the balance of money for the cheque, £ 12, and he said if he came up next day he would let him have it, as the cheque had got to lay there two days before it could be cleared.
Cross-examined. I understood from my father that the £ 20 17s. 3d. was for work he had done connected with cinematograph theatres, finding sites and financial advances. He has been assisting me for the past nine months. I did not take any part in the conversation on the 13th, but I heard everything. My father did not ask for a loan. He did not have too much money at that time, but he was not exactly hard up. I had nothing in pawn at this time, and I did not know he had.
FRANK CHAMBKES , manager to Messrs. Clarksons, theatrical wig-makers, 41, Wardour-street. I have known prisoner 25 years. On March 12 he brought me a cheque for £ 14, and we gave him £ 4, saying we would give him the balance when the cheque went through. About midday two days after he called, and, the cheque having been cleared, I gave him the balance, £ 10, in gold. I fancy it was before half-past two, without being absolutely sure. I believe Mr. Meekcom subsequently called, but I did not see him.
STANLEY COLYBR (prisoner, on oath). I have known prosecutor some four or five years. I was assistant manager of the Earl's Court Exhibition. I never employed him to finance cinematograph shows. On February 12 I gave him a bill for £20 17s. 3d., but it was not in payment for services rendered; he came and asked me to lend him £5. I had not got the money, but he said if I would give him a bill he could very likely get a loan on it, and I gave him this bill. The reason I
made it out for an odd amount was that he said that one always made out bills for odd amounts to make them look as though they were trade acceptances. I did not owe him any money at the time. He was going to take it to an estate agent's in Shepherd's Bush, who he thought would advance him £5 on it, and he would then in a month or so redeem it and return me the bill. Instead of doing that he took it to a money-lender without my authority. He returned and told me that he had done so and that this money-lender would probably communicate with me. I went to see the money-lender. On March 12 prosecutor came up and gave me a cheque for £14, dated that day, drawn by Hamilton Clark. I told him I would get it cashed and give him £2. It got it cashed at Clarkson's, and Mr. Chambers' evidence is correct except that it was 4 p.m. when I went and got the balance on March 14. I handed prosecutor £2 for his trouble in the matter; he made no claim to the rest of the proceeds. On March 14 when he came I simply remarked to him about his disgraceful behaviour on the previous night. He said nothing about asking for more money. He had borrowed money from me previously to this.
Cross-examined. I did not ask him to wait outside Clarkson's when I went in. I did not tell him that I had borrowed £2 on the cheque. I gave him £2 for negotiating the bill. The reason why I made the bill out for such a large amount was that he told me that a bill was never made out for less than £20; I was also hard up at the time and I wanted some money. Before we went to Clarkson's he had taken the cheque all over London for about a month to try and get somebody to cash it; that is what he told me. When he called on me on the 14th I had not then received the balance from Clarkson's.
Verdict, Not guilty.
BEFORE THE COMMON SERJEANT.
(Tuesday, April 30.)