John Bagnell, Peter Graham, John Wood, Shepherd Struton, Theft > housebreaking, 18th October 1769.

Reference Number: t17691018-25
Offence: Theft > housebreaking
Verdict: Not Guilty

577, 578, 579, 580. (M.) John Bagnell , Peter Graham , John Wood , and Shepherd Struton , were indicted for breaking and entering the dwelling house of John Cockran , with intent the goods of the said John to steal , September 15 . +

At the request of the prisoners the evidences were examined apart.

John Cockran . I live at the corner of Wells-street, Oxford-road . On the 15th of September, about three in the morning, the watchman called me up, and said there were thieves breaking into my house. I came down with a poker in my hand. I found the sash wide open, but cannot tell whether it was fast over night, tho' I am positive sure the door was shut when we went to bed. I stood sentinel till he got assistance. After the prisoners were secured, I went down into the area. I found they had forced the sash of the door in the wash-house that looks into the area. I found a two-inch chissel lying about three feet within the wash-house. I went round to the fore-part of the area, and there I found the hinges of the outside shutter wrenched off, but the window-shutter on the inside they had not got open.

William Vaughan . I am a watchman. I was going my rounds, about a quarter after two that night, and saw a fire. I went to alarm the turncock. I also saw these four men that

are at the bar. I past them, and went up Wells-street. I saw them all look at me. I then went to my watch-box. After that I went again, to see if I could see them. I perceived two of them. I laid my head down against the kerb of some rails, and saw two go down the prosecutor's area. I saw Wood, but not down, for he seeing me when I was coming, he went round, and returned back again. I went, and took hold of him. He asked me what I wanted with him. He said he was going to see the fire. I asked him where his companions were. I brought him towards Mr. Cockran's, and there came Peter Asten to my assistance. I gave Wood into his charge, while I went for other assistance. But I was afraid he would get away, for then the rest might get away also. Then I went back, and put him down among the rest in the area. I then went and rung my rattle, and more assistance came. Then I alarmed with my staff at Mr. Cockran's window-shutters, he came down, and we took the four prisoners, one at a time, as they came up. I saw none of them any farther than the area. There was a window I found open, which was not open when the servants went to bed. We could see fresh feet marks in the wash-house, but know not by whom made, and there was a door betwixt the wash-house and the house, so that they could get no farther; then they made to the right side of the house, and had drawn out the nails of the hinges of the shutter.

Q. from a prisoner. How much money has Mr. Cockran given you to swear our lives away?

Vaughan. He gave me nothing at all for that; for my care he gave me 2 s. that night, and has given me a guinea since.

Mr. Cockran. I have got two or three more guineas for him, and he shall have them for his diligence.

As there was no proof of their entering, they were all three acquitted .

See three of them tried, and the fourth, Graham, an evidence against them, No. 486, 487, 488, in last session paper.


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