Offence: Theft > housebreaking
Verdict: Guilty > with recommendation
858. JAMES CURTIS was indicted for feloniously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Ann Holmes , widow , about the hour of ten in the forenoon of the 27th of July , no person in the same dwelling-house then being, and stealing therein, two bonnets, value 5 s. one sheet, value 6 d. and one bonnet-box, value 6 d. the goods of the said Ann Holmes .
ANN HOLMES . I am a lodger at Mr. Fonten's, Little Gray's-inn-lane ; he lets the whole house in lodgings; I am a widow woman, and get my living by keeping a fruit stall in the street . When I left my lodgings on Thursday morning, the 27th of July, I fastened the door, and left nobody therein. I had occasion to go back again at ten o'clock, and the padlock was off the door, and I could not get in. I pushed, and the person who was inside was pushing also; in an instant he rushed out upon me, and I saw it was the prisoner; I laid hold of him, and said, murder, and thieves; he ran down stairs, and I after him, and I cried stop that thief, and he was taken. I found nothing was removed out of the room; but a bonnet-box, which had been on the top of another box, by the side of the bed, was removed, that contained a black silk bonnet, and a straw bonnet, for one of which I gave fourteen shillings, two years ago; and the straw one twelve shillings. I don't think together that they are worth more than five shillings.
JAMES MOISEY . I keep a fruit stall at the end of Little Gray's-inn-lane, so does the prosecutrix; she requested me took after her stall for a moment, while she went home; and in a minute afterwards, the prisoner came running down the lane, and she after him, and she said, stop that thief; I pursued him, and took him. He was not more than a moment out of my sight.
Prisoner's Defence. I am a smith by trade, and went to look after a shop mate, who told me he lived in Little Gray's-inn-lane, but did not tell me the number of the house, and I went into the first house to enquire. I was in the greatest distress, and have a large family of small children.
GUILTY - DEATH .
[Recommended to mercy by the jury, on account of his poverty, and his having several children.]
Second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice Heath.