Offence: Theft > housebreaking
Verdict: Not Guilty
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56. THOMAS BENNETT was indicted for breaking and entering the dwelling-house of John Follett , on the 1st of October , and stealing 1 cloak, value 42s; 2 dresses, value 26s.; 3 shawls, value 42s.; 1 scarf, value 10s., and 1 gold pin, value 5s., his property; 4 coats, value 4l.; 1 waistcoat, value 5s.; 2 pairs of trousers, value 25s.; 4 shirts, value 10s., and 1 pair of stockings, value 6d. , the goods of Thomas Andrews .
THOMAS ANDREWS. I lodge in Mr. Follett's house - I am related to him. On the 1st of October I went out not later than seven o'clock in the morning - I returned at a quarter to nine in the evening, and in consequence of information, I made search, and missed four coats, two waistcoats, and the other property stated as mine - I had seen the shirts and part of the linen in the morning, when I put them into my drawers, and had worn one of the coats on the Sunday previous; as far as I can remember all the clothes were then safe - they were kept in drawers in my bed-room, which is the back-attic; the drawers were not locked.
Cross-examined by MR. CLARKSON. Q. Did you leave any body in the house? A. Yes, all my family, who reside there.
SARAH TERRELL . I am servant to Mr. Follett. On Wednesday, the 1st of October, in the evening, nobody but me was at home; I had occasion to go up stairs about half-past seven o'clock, and in mistress' bed-room I found the bed-side carpets very much disordered and tumbled - I had a candle with me; I then went into the front-attic, and found the window open - it is an old fashioned casement-window; it was taken off the hinges, and put on the parapet - I had been in the room at a qurater-past six o'clock that evening, and fastened that window; I came down stairs, and went out at the door to call for assistance - I saw Lipscomb, the constable, passing the front of the house; I called him, and we examined the house together, but did not miss the property at that time - while we were searching, Medlycott, another officer, knocked at the door with my mistress' wearing-apparel; I went to the back-attic, and found Mr. Andrew's bed very much disordered, and the lock of a writing-desk had been forced - I had been in that room also at a quarter-past six o'clock, and left the bed smooth; it appeared to have been disturbed by the desk being put on it to be forced.
JAMES MEDLYCOTT . I am an officer of Bow-street On the 1st of October, in the evening, I was in Great Ormond-street on duty, with Wells and two other officers; I was going up the street about a quarter before eight o'clock- a man passed me on the same side of the way; the back of his coat being white attracted my attention - I looked over the way, and saw the prisoner carrying a bag; it was dark, but there was light from the lamps - I went after him, and when within four or five yards of him, at the entrance of Queen-square, he threw the bag down and ran away; I pursued - he got over the iron railing into the enclosure of the square; I got over also, and pursued - he ran once or twice up and down the garden; I was close to him, but could not lay hold of him - he got over the rails again, and over some more rails into a gentleman's private-garden, at the north end of the square, and was within a yard of the further railing to get into Guildford-street when I laid hold of him; I had got over; I never lost sight of him from the time the bag was thrown away - the prisoner is the person I seized; I speak most positively to his person - I found the bag in possession of a man named Cox, after I
Cross-examined by MR. BRODRICK. Q. The person you took to the watch-house escaped, did not he? A. He did; I described his person to the solicitor of the parish, and he was re-apprehended on the 30th of October - I described him as having a dark complexion, with dark whiskers, dark eyes, and dark hair; he wore whiskers at that time - he had a dark coat on, but whether blue or black I cannot tell. An advertisement was put into the papers, I suppose from the description I gave, but I had nothing to do with correcting it; I described him as having a black waiscoat and black silk handkerchief - I took particular notice of him at the watch-house, and knew him by his features - I gave the description from my observation of him.
COURT. Q. You took him within a yard or two of the rails, how did you get him out of the garden? A. The gates were opened by the servant; I took him to the public-house, and never let go of him - Wells had hold of him with me; he might have been in the public-house a quarter of an hour - I partly opened his clothes; his coat was not taken off - I found in the morning that he had escaped through the roof of the watch-house; I am quite certain of him; he at that time wore whiskers, and with running I suppose his complexion altered - he was hot with running: I entertain no doubt whatever of him - I gave the description of him four or five days after.
JAMES WELLS . I am a Bow-street patrol. On the 1st of October, I was on duty in Great Ormond-street, with Medlycott, about a quarter to eight o'clock, and saw the prisoner at the bar carrying a bag, on the opposite side to me; I crossed over to him to look at the bag, and saw another one cross to him - he met him half-way in the street; I came back to Medlycott, and went up to the man again to take hold of the bag - he dropped it at my feet, ran down Queen-square, and got over the rails into the corner; Medlycott pursued him - I took the property and gave it into the care of Cox the conductor, who was with us, and went to assist Medlycott: the man was then in the gentleman's private garden - I got over, and came up soon after Medlycott apprehended him; I handcuffed him - we took hold of him, one on each side and took him to a public-house in Great Ormond-street - I had an opportunity of seeing his face as I went along; he was searched at the public-house- that occupied ten minutes or a quarter of an hour; his hat was taken off - I saw the pin picked up between his feet, but did not see it dropped: I accompanied him to the watch-house, each of us holding him as before, and there we left him; the prisoner certainly is the man - he has had his whiskers taken off since; I had never seen him before -Cox followed us to the watch-house with the bag; he was not half a dozen yards behind - I left him at the corner of the square while I pursued, and found him at the same place when I came back; I had been absent about ten minutes - I knew the bag by the state of it, and the colour, which was a dirty brown; I have every reason to believe it is the same - there are some holes in it, which I noticed at the time; Medlycott took the pin - it was produced at Bow-street.
Cross-examined by MR. CLARKSON. Q. It was dirty? A. Yes, but not with mud, by what I could see - it was not a dark night. I saw an advertisement in the "Hue and Cry," and was with Medlycott when he gave the description - he gave it principally himself; I do not know that I said any thing: I heard him describe him as of a dark complexion - he is not a fair man; he has not got dark hair - I do not know that he was described as having dark hair; he described him as having dark eyes - his eyes are not dark; I have seen many fairer men than him: Hatton was the constable of the night - he was not there when we took him; he came afterwards, but did not see the prisoner, to my knowledge; there was only a woman there - Medlycott locked him up himself; neither Hatton, Cox, nor the woman were examined by the Magistrate, but a man was who assists in locking up - he was there when we called afterwards; he is not here: he was asked if he was the man, and said he did not know him - he had no opportunity of seeing him; what he said was not taken down.
EDWARD HUGGLESTON . I am a Bow-street patrol. I was at the watch-house in Eagle-street about half-past eleven o'clock that night, and saw the person whom Medlycott had taken, and from the view I had of him I consider the prisoner to be the man; I will not swear positively to him, because I only put the light in his face, and looked at him, but it was a month afterwards that I saw him again; I apprehended him afterwards at a china-shop in James-street, Oxford-street, taking down the shutters - I told him he was my prisoner, for felony; I did not say what - he told me to let him take the shutters in; I said I would not- it was about half-past seven o'clock in the morning; I was passing the door: I had been looking about for him a good while - I seized him by the collar, and he held tight by the shutter; I pulled him away, and we fell into the kennel together - another man came to my assistance, and we took him straight to the watch-house - I took him, considering him the man I had seen in the watch-house, and who had escaped.
Q. What induced you to consider him the man? A. By information I had received; he had black whiskers on in the watch-house - they were shaved off when I took him.
Cross-examined by MR. BRODRICK. Q. You put the light in his face, I suppose, that you might know him again? A. To see if I had seen him before, and I remarked that I had not - I looked at him that I might know him again; I took him as much from my recollection of his person as any thing - I had received information, and when I saw him I considered he looked like the man, or I should not have taken him; he had no whiskers, but there was the mark all down where they had been, and they were
Q. Do you mean to swear no person asked him at the office, if the prisoner was the man who was at the watch-house, and he said he could not tell? A. He might, but I did not hear it; there were about fifty people in the office, and I might not hear it - I did not see Cox there; I saw Wells there, and was there all the time with him.
COURT. Q. You were at the watch-house on the night of the apprehension, about half-past eleven o'clock? A. Yes; Wells and Medlycott were there then - Hatton was in the outer-room; I do not know whether he went into the place where the prisoner was: the assistant opened the door for me - we did not continue there a minute.
WILLIAM WENTWORTH . I am a green-grocer. I was at the corner of Devonshire-street between seven and eight o'clock on this night, and heard an alarm - I ran down the square, towards the cry, and saw a man getting over the rails, and the officer after him; several persons were on the other side of the square - I got over, and assisted in the pursuit; he ran towards the top of the square, and then to the bottom - he was taken at last in Mr. Bainbridge's garden; I got into the garden, and he was taken - I assisted in taking him back; I took hold of his coat - he was taken to the public-house; I continued there all the while he was searched, and am certain the prisoner is the man - I held the candle while the officer searched him; I particularly took the candle to look at his face, to see if I knew him, and am quite certain of him - his face is not in the same state now; his whiskers have been shaved off: I call his hair dark, and his eye-brows dark, and a very full eye - his appearance corresponds with the description of the man I saw in the public-house; he is the man - I never saw him before, nor afterwards, till he was at Bow-street; I knew him there immediately.
Cross-examined by MR. CLARKSON. Q. Did you see the advertisement in the Hue and Cry? A. No; I know the officers had given a description of him: I was not asked to describe him for the advertisement - I saw the officers the morning he escaped, but did not talk with them about his description; I have never been consulted about it- his complexion is dark; his hair does not appear so dark as when he had his whiskers on, but he had a hat on - when we began searching him the officer took it off, to examine him, but I did not notice his hair then; I noticed his whiskers more than his hair, and looked at his face: Medlycott called on me, and said he had the man in custody who committed the robbery, and I went to see him -I cannot say when that was; it was on the day of his second examination.
SARAH TERRELL . I know this pin to be my mistress' - I had not seen it for some time before, but it was stuck into this small piece of paper, which is a green-grocer's bill; it was on this bill the last time I saw it, and had been on it for two or three years.
The property contained in the bag was here produced and identified.
Prisoner's Defence. I am innocent, and have people to prove I was at home on the night of the robbery.
MARY RAWLINGS . My husband is a hair-dresser, and lives at No. 4, James-street, next door to the prisoner, who keeps a china-shop, and sells earthenware. On the afternoon of the 1st of October my husband was gone out, I saw the prisoner in the act of putting down one of his pans, and I spoke to him, and mentioned to him that my husband was gone to a sparring benefit, as I was very angry at his going, as it was a very busy day in the shop- it was a little after dark when I saw the prisoner; he was taking in his things - I told him where my husband was gone; he did not seem to answer me, but went in, and I did not see him again that night - I cannot say what time it was, but it was after dark; I never missed him from his business after that - I was in the habit of going out in the morning, and saw him in his business.
COURT. Q. At what time does he shut up? A. About ten o'clock; his wife also attends to the business.
DAVID BURTON . I have been in the army, and receive a pension on the first Wednesday in October, which was the 1st. I owed the prisoner 3s. 6d., and gave my wife a sovereign to go and pay him for a dozen plates, on the 1st of October.
MARY BURTON . On the 1st of October I went with my husband to receive his pension, and received a sovereign from him to pay the prisoner for some plates; I went the same night, and saw him in his own place, in James-street, about nine o'clock, and paid him - I found him in the shop.
COURT. Q. How long had you known him? A. Between six and seven months as a neighbour; we live next door - my husband is always paid on the 1st of October.
JAMES HUGENS . I am a coach-plater, and live in Craven-street, Soho. On the 1st of October, I bought some glasses at the prisoner's shop, and here is the bill of them- I bought them of him about a quarter-past eight o'clock in the evening: there is a receipt on the bill.
COURT. Q. How happens it that you recollect it was on the 1st of October? A. Why, I went to see a particular acquaintance, who lives in James-street, and went and bought the glass; I only know it was the 1st of October by that date being on the bill - I bought two cut tumblers; I never bought articles of him before - I received the bill at the time I bought them.
NOT GUILTY .