CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT
EIGHTH SESSION, HELD MAY 23RD, 1892.
MINUTES OF EVIDENCE.
TAKEN IN SHORT-HAND, BY
JAMES DROVER BARNETT
Short-hand Writers to the Court,
ROLLS CHAMBERS, No. 89, CHANCERY LANE.
THE POINTS OF LAW AND PRACTICE
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OF THE MIDDLE TEMPLE, BARRISTER-AT-LAW.
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On the Queen's Commission of
OYER AND TERMINER AND GAOL DELIVERY
The City of London,
AND GAOL DELIVERY FOR THE
COUNTY OF MIDDLESEX AND THE PARTS OF THE COUNTIES OF ESSEX, KENT, AND SURREY, WITHIN THE JURISDICTION
CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT,
Held on Monday, May 23rd, 1892, and following days.
BEFORE the RIGHT HON. DAVID EVANS, LORD MAYOR of the City of London; the Hon. Sir WILLIAM GRANTHAM , Knt., one of the Justices of Her Majesty's High Court of Justice; Sir ANDREW LUSK , Bart., Sir HENRY EDMUND KNIGHT , Knt., Aldermen of the said City; Sir CHARLES HALL , Knt., Q. C., M. P., Recorder of the said City; STUART KNLLL, Esq., WALTER HENRY WILKIN , Esq., HORATIO DAVID DAVIES , Esq., ALFRED JAMES NEWTON , Esq., GEORGE FAUDEL PHILLIPS, Esq., JAMES THOMPSON RITCHIE , Esq., and WALTER VAUGHAN MORGAN , Esq., other of the Aldermen of the said City; and Sir WILLIAM THOMAS CHARLEY , Knt., Q. C., D. C.L., Common Serjeant of the said City; Her Majesty's Justices of Oyer and Terminer and General Gaol Delivery, holden for the said City, and Judges of the Central Criminal Court.
CLARENCE RICHARD HALSE, Esq,
CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT
EVANS, MAYOR. EIGHTH SESSION.
A star (*) denotes that prisoners have been previously in custody—two start (**) that they have been more than once in custody—a dagger (†) that they are known to be the associates of bad characters—the figures after the name in the indictment denote the prisoner's age.
LONDON AND MIDDLESEX CASES.
OLD COURT.—Monday, May 23rd, 1892.
Before Mr. Recorder.
MR. LYNE Prosecuted.
JOHN MANN . I live at 38, Laurence Street, Chelsea—on 2nd May, about a quarter to one a.m., I was in Laurence Street—I met the prisoner—he asked me for a penny—I told him I had not got one—I had 1s. 6d. in my pocket—he put his hand in my pocket and tore it out and ran away—I followed him to a lodging-house, and gave him in charge—I had lost sight of him when he ran up another street, but he came back again—I am sure he is the man—I was sober.
Cross-examined by the prisoner. You were against the lodging-house door when this happened—you put your hand in the pocket where the money was—I found you at the lodging-house about a quarter to two.
DONALD CHISHOLM (270 B). At a quarter to one on 2nd May the prosecutor came to me and made a complaint—I went with him to the lodging-house in Laurence Street, and there took the prisoner into custody—I found on him a shilling in bronze, a sixpence, and a pawnticket for a ring—I did not find a tobacco-box.
SAMUEL KILLINGBACK . I am manager of the lodging-house at 23, Laurence Street—on 2nd May, about a quarter to one, the prisoner came there; he wanted a lodging, but said he had 2 1/2 d., the lodging was 4d.—I would not give him the lodging, and he went out—he came back, and was arrested there.
—He then PLEADED GUILTY to a conviction on 6th January, 1883— Nine Months' Hard Labour.
536. JAMES ROBERT BURRITT (18) to stealing, whilst employed in the Post-office, a letter containing twenty-two postage stamps and two postal orders for 7s. and 5s.— [Pleaded Guilty: See original trial image.] Six Months' Hard Labour.
(539). GEORGE DEAS (22) , To a robbery, with violence co, on James Scott, and stealing a watch and chain, and to a previous conviction at this Court in May, 1888; and other convictions were proved against him.— [Pleaded Guilty: See original trial image.] Three Years' Penal Servitude.
MR. PASMORE Prosecuted.
NOT GUILTY .
In this case, upon the evidence of Dr. and Mrs. Golding, of the Bromley Asylum, the prisoner was found to be unfit to plead.— To be detained during Her Majesty's pleasure.
MR. W. J. ABRAM Prosecuted.
JOHN MACINTOSH . I am clerk of the works at Her Majesty's Convict Prison, Aberdeenshire—I was present at Moor Town Bridge, Inverness, in 1877, when the prisoner was married, in the name of Macintosh, to Christina, by a clergyman of the Established Church of England, in a house—this is the certificate which I signed as a witness.
LETITIA HODGSON . I am a widow, of 11, Bremerton Street, Chelsea—I have known the prisoner about seven months—on 29th October, 1891, I went through the form of marriage with him at the Registrar's office in King's Road, Chelsea—he lived with me up to 14th April, when he left me, and I did not see him again till he was in custody. (The certifi cate of the marriage was read)—he was a lodger in my house before he married me—he said he was a bachelor.
Cross-examined by the Prisoner. I took out a warrant against you for bigamy and stealing my money—last December I first heard that you had been married before, and I told the police in that month—you went away in a drunken state, and I saw nothing of you, and gave information to the police, believing then I was lawfully married—I did not know you were married till my son broke open your box and found the marriage license of your first wife—I had a correspondence with the matrimonial agency before I married you; I did not keep it up afterwards—four lovers did not come to see me—one gentleman was not with me for four hours—I am not in the habit of drinking—my servant did not say she had seen me in bed with Mr. Hall—you vilified me to others and stole my money—we were, acquainted for a few weeks before we were married—you did not show me your marriage certificate on the day before we went to the Registry Office; I did not see it till my son showed it to me after we were married—I asked the warrant officer if I could withdraw from the prosecution, as he said he had found 6d. on you and you had gone to the hotel and run up a bill, which you had left your
wife to pay, and I said you could not have had my money; but. since that I have heard that you planted money in your garden—you were in the workhouse infirmary—my son broke open your box after you had gone, and then I saw your marriage certificate, and I wrote to your wife; you had said she was your mother and that you were coming into money; and I asked her to send me some—I found your army discharge papers in your box and sent them to your wife, and you had them back—you wrote four times to me, and asked me to join you in Southampton—you said you had been to see your wife and she would not see you, and she had given you a sovereign—you had my £15.
Re-examined. I wrote to his wife at Vine Cottage, West End, Southampton—I received no reply.
By the Prisoner. You have maintained your wife and family up to the present time.
The prisoner, in his defence, said he had no criminal intention, hut that Mrs. Hodgson had rather married him than he had married her.
GUILTY .— Six Weeks' Hard Labour.
MR. W. J. ABRAM Prosecuted.
LETITIA HODGSON . I went through the form of marriage with the prisoner on 29th October, 1691, and up to 14th April he resided with me—on that day we went down the King's Road together; we had words together, and parted—when I returned home, about four p.m., I found the parlour window and folding doors broken open, my box broken open, and £15 in gold taken away—I had seen the money safe at two, previous to our going out—it was my money; I had sold some of my furniture to make the money up—I had not given the prisoner or anyone else leave to take it; no one knew but he that it was there—he knew 1 had sold the furniture the day before; he wrote out the receipts—he had also taken his own wearing apparel—I did not see the prisoner again till he was in custody—I gave information to the police directly, and they saw the room disarranged—the box in which the money was was in the front parlour, and he got in by the front parlour window.
Cross-examined by the Prisoner. You got in by the window of the room you used with me—you had got in by that window before, but you never broke open the box before—you-had asked me what was in it—you shifted two chests of drawers and broke open the folding doors which were locked, and you threw open the back parlour window to throw us off our guard—the people next door saw you—if I took some of your papers from your box last December and put them into the tin box, I gave them back to you—there was a bottle of whisky in my box; you wrote and told me you never took the money, but you drank some of my whisky—£15 was the proceeds of selling furniture, and rents—the day after you were arrested the officer came and told me you had only sixpence in your pocket, and had run up a bill at the hotel, and I
said you could not have taken my money then, but since then I believe you have planted it in your garden for when you come out of prison.
LIIIAN DALY . I live at 11, Bremerton Street, in the same house as Mrs. Hodgson—on the day before Good Friday, about twenty minutes past three, I saw the prisoner come through the dining-room window—he had an umbrella or stick, I think.
Cross-examined. I don't know if you could easily open the folding doors on that day.
THOMAS WILSON . On 23rd April I apprehended the prisoner at Southampton—I read the warrant to him; he made no reply—next morning, while walking to the railway station, the prisoner said, "I broke open the box to find my discharge and pension papers, as I could not find them in my own box; I could find no money in the box, and I don't believe there was any there. She told me she did not keep any in the house, but at the bank. She has written me two or three letters, and I have answered them, and she knew perfectly well where I was."
Cross-examined. On the Sunday evening after I had been to Southampton she said, "I don't believe he had the money"—I believe I had told her he had run up a bill at the hotel there.
Re-examined; I called to tell her the prisoner had been brought back from Southampton, and she said, "I don't believe now he has the money"—she did not say that in consequence of anything I said to her—the prisoner said he had quarrelled with Mrs. Hodgson, that he had got in by the window, as he had often done before, and opened the box to try and find his papers, but that he did not see any money there.
NOT GUILTY .
MR. WILKINSON Prosecuted.
ARTHUR ALBERT CROSS . I am a French polisher, living at 19, Methly Street, Kennington—on 20th April, between 1.30 and 1.45 I was passing along the Queen's Road, Bayswater, and I passed a shooting gallery on the same side of the way—I heard a boy, who was among the boys and men outside say, "Look, he has got the gun," and no sooner was it said than I was shot in the head—I was about five feet from the shop, or a little less—I went for a policeman and came back with him, and saw the prisoner against the shop, against where the guns were; he had nothing in his hand—I had not seen him before—I said to the prisoner, "You see you have shot me?"—he said, "Yes, I am very sorry for it; I had no intention to shoot you or the boys either; I am very sorry for it, I only aimed at the boys to frighten them, as they were interfering with me"—I said I was very sorry for the boy, but I must give him into custody—he was taken to the station; I went there, and my wound was examined by a doctor—afterwards I went to St. Thomas's Hospital and was treated there the same day—I came out on 6th May—the bullet was taken out—when I went in the shop with the policeman, besides the prisoner there were two boys in the shop; Dulan was there.
GEORGE DULAN . I live at 2, Poplar Place, Moscow Eoad—on the afternoon of 20th April I was with Hodgkins in Queen's Road, Bayswater, near the shooting gallery, where the prisoner is employed—I looked in the
shop window, and the prisoner came out and said he would pay me; I said he would not, and threw a carrot at him—I had not been there before—he threw the carrot back—I went and looked in the doorway leading into the gallery, and the prisoner smacked my face, and then rushed in and shut the door—I turned the handle, pushed the door open, and with the other boy ran inside after the prisoner—he ran straight and got a gun, loaded it, put some shots in it, and put it up to his shoulder—I was against the billiard table, on the street side of it, and Hodgkins was by the counter—the prisoner pointed the rifle in my direction and fired it—he was going to load it a second time if I had gone any nearer—when he fired he was about as far from me as that wall is. (Pointing to the wall of the Court)—he aimed at me—the shot went straight out at the door, which was open—Mr. Cross came in—I heard the prisoner say to the policeman that a number of boys were there, and that he did it to frighten the boys away—that is what he was doing, trying to frighten us away.
Cross-examined by the prisoner. I had never been there before—on Easter Monday you and your friend were on bicycles outside a coffee shop, and we touched the bicycles just to try them, and you came out to pay us—I am quite sure you loaded the gun; you pulled the shots from your inside pocket.
EDWARD HODGKINS . I live at 1, Wharf Road, Paddington—I was with Dulan on this day near the shooting gallery, and the prisoner said he would pay Dulan, because on the Monday we touched his tricycle—I don't know what we touched it for—Dulan aimed a carrot at the prisoner, who threw it back—we were then on the opposite side of the road to the shooting gallery—we went over to the gallery, pushed the door open, and ran m—the prisoner was all alone—he ran up and fetched the gun, pulled a shot out of his inside coat pocket on the left side, and loaded the gun, and held it to his shoulder and fired at us, at Dulan—I was standing at a desk three or four yards from Dulan, and not quite in a direct line with the billiard table, where Dulan was standing—the prisoner did not seem to point the gun particularly—we looked outside, and saw the shot hit the man at the top of the eyes—I did not take up a stone and threaten to smash the window if he would not let us in; nor did Dulan; that is not true.
Cross-examined. I saw the carrot thrown—I did not pick up a stone and threaten to throw it; I had nothing in my hand.
JAMES WILLIAMS (211 F), On 20th April, between one and two, the prosecutor came and made a statement to me, and I went to this shooting gallery with him—I saw the prisoner, and asked him why he shot Mr. Cross—he said, "There were some boys teasing me outside the shop; I picked up the gun and fired it at the boys to frighten them away"—he said he was very sorry—I told him I should take him into custody—I took him to the station, where, in answer to the charge, he made the same statement—ninety-eight saloon pistol bullets were found loose in his inside coat pocket.
Cross-examined. The boys could not have heard what you said to me about shooting them; there was no one in the building but myself, the prisoner, and Mr. Cross; Mr. Waters came in afterwards—you did not say you had given Mr. Waters twopence for two bullets that had been used.
pointed out the place of firing as about 47 yards from the street door, and he showed me where Dulan was standing, as about 33 yards from him and about 14 yards from the door—the prisoner, when charged, said he had fired to frighten some boys who had entered the shop.
The prisoner's statement before the Magistrate. One of the boys took up a stone and threatened to smash the window if I did not open the door. I had my foot against it."
NOT GUILTY .
NEW COURT.—Monday, May 23rd, 1892.
Before Mr. Common Serjeant.
PLEADED GUILTY .
MR. WILKINSON Prosecuted,
LOUISA DAVEY . I am barmaid at the George II., Pentonville Road—on 4th May, about. 6.30 p.m., the two prisoners came in, and Jarvis asked for two glasses of bitter ale, price 4d.—she put down a half-Grown, which she took from her purse—I took it up, saw that it was bad, and showed it to Mr. Cripps, who broke it, and said, "Have you any more coins like this?"—she made no remark, but put down a florin.
Cross-examined. You opened your purse, and took out the florin, and I gave you 1s. 8d. change.
EDWARD FULLER CRIPPS . I keep the George IV., Pentonville Road—on 14th May I saw the two prisoners there, and Miss Davey showed me a coin, which I broke, and said to Jarvis, "Where did you get this from?"—she said, "I took it in change"—I said, "Have you got any more like this?"—she said, "No," and turned out the contents of her purse, and said, "You had better take it out of this," pushing a florin to me; but I saw copper in her purse—I gave her 1s. 8d. out of the florin, which she put into her purse, and put the good money in—they went out, each leaving some of the ale—I went out and called a constable's attention to them, and he followed them—I went back to the bar, and Bryant brought them back—Bryant searched Douglas in the bar; he resisted violently—he found these four half-crowns and five four-shilling pieces, wrapped in paper.
JOHN BRYANT (11 G). On the evening of 14th May I was on duty in Pentonville Road, and Mr. Cripps pointed out the prisoners to me—I went after them, and took them in Western Street, about 100 yards off—I said, "I want you both to go back to the George IV., as a bad halfcrown has been passed,"—Douglas said, "I am not b——well going back"; Jarvis said, "You had better go back"; he said, "I am not going back"—a police sergeant came up, and we took them to the George IV., and the landlord showed me this broken half-crown—I said, "You will both be charged with uttering a counterfeit half-crown"—I searched Douglas, and in his left waistcoat pocket I found these four half-crowns, loose; he resisted violently at first—I found in his right waistcoat pocket, five four-shilling pieces, wrapped separately, with paper between each coin—I took them to the station with assistance; Douglas resisted—they were charged at the station, and Douglas said, "I tendered the
half-crown"—Jarvis said, "You know very well I tendered it, and there is an end of the matter"—they were asked their addresses—Douglas said, "I shall not give it," and Jarvis said the same; but on the Monday morning she gave me an address, 90, Duncan Buildings, Portpool Lane. Holborn, which I found correct—I searched Douglas further, and found 8s. 6d. in silver and 1s. 8 1/2 d. in bronze, all good—he was not drunk, but he had been drinking.
WILLIAM JOHN WEBSTER . I am inspector of coin to Her Majesty's Mint—this broken half-crown is counterfeit—these four others are counterfeit, and two of them are from the same mould as the one uttered—these five double florins are bad, and from two different moulds—they are generally rubbed over with lamp-black, which is subbed off before they are uttered.
The prisoners' statements before the Magistrate. Jarvis says: "I had just come from the Bank when I met the prisoner." Douglas says: "The lady by the side of me is innocent."
Evidence for Jarvis.
JAMES DOUGLAS (the prisoner). I am a labourer, and am married—I have no fixed address—on this Saturday I saw Jarvis in Pentonville Road, and asked her to have a drink with me—I put down a half-crown, and said, "Take this and treat me"—the barmaid put it in the tester and then took it to the landlord, but 'before that she handed it back to Jarvis; and I kept it in my hand, and put it in my pocket, and Jarvis took her purse out and paid with a florin—the landlord came up, and I gave it to him and was walking out of the house, and had only got three doors, when I was arrested—I would not go back at first; but Jarvis said, "You had better go back and see what it is"—knowing I had a guilty conscience, I did not care about going back, but I went back and was searched, and they found the money on me.
Cross-examined. I worked last at the Eight Bells in St. Luke's, and left because I was in ill-health—before that I was working at a theatre—I was convicted on 4th July last, at the North London Police-court, of stealing a watch, and had six weeks—I have known Jarvis about four years, but have not been out in her company before—I only know her by her working in the same situation as I do—she said she had been to the bank, and got some money out—I was in a state of inebriation when I gave her the half-crown—I was to be treated with my own money; I did not know what I had given her.
By the COURT. The half-crown was passed back out of the bar in some way or other—I did not give Jarvis the good florin with which she paid—she is married.
By the JURY. I tendered this half-crown to Jarvis, knowing it to be bad.
Jarvis's Defence. I had to draw 3s. out of the bank, and as I came out I met Douglas, who I had known three years. He asked me to have a drink. I said, "I think you have had enough; you look like it." We went into a public-house, and he said, "Treat me," and gave me a halfcrown. I put it on the counter, and the barmaid said it was bad. I said, "I was not aware of it." The landlord asked if I had got any
more. I turned out my purse on the counter, and he said, "I will take it Out of this," and took up a 2s. piece. I am innocent.
JARVIS— NOT GUILTY . Sentence on DOUGLAS— Sixteen Month Hard Labour.
MR. ROACH Prosecuted.
THOMAS HERBERT . I am a water bailiff of Uxbridge—on May 2nd, between five and six, I was in the bar of the Swan and Bottle, Uxbridge—the prisoners came in together, and Hunt offered a coat and waistcoat to anyone who would buy it, as he was hard up—I bought them for 3s. 6d., and left to go home, and Hunt came up and asked me for the coat back—they both followed me on to the bridge—I would not give the coat up, and Hunt struck me on my eye and knocked me down, and took the coat from me, and made off with it; Gowlett had it in his hand—while this was going on Mathews came up and Hunt struck him—I gave information to die police—this is the coat (produced); I had bought it out right—he did not take the waistcoat—my eye was bad for more than a week, and I lost a neat deal of blood.
Cross-examined by Hunt. I might have drank out of your beer after I bought the coat—you knocked me down, and Gowlett took the coat.
Cross-examined by Gowlett. You did not strike me—I only noticed you two—there were others on the bridge.
By the COURT. I carried the coat on my arm, and put the waistcoat in ray fish basket.
JOHN MATHEWS . I am a boatman—on 2nd May I was in the Swan and Bottle between five and six o'clock, and saw Herbert there—the two prisoners came in—Hunt had a coat for sale and a waistcoat afterwards—ho sold them to Herbert for 3s. 6d.—they went out, and I followed them on to the bridge—they came up together, and Hunt said he meant having the b——coat—Herbert said he would give it to him if he would give him the money—Hunt knocked him down and took the coat away, and gave me a blow—they were both together pulling the coat, which was in a strap; they went away with it.
Cross-examined by Hunt. I drank out of your beer—there was only one pot—I was not the worse for drink—Herbert went out first, and I followed him—you struck me with your fist; we were scuffling together over the jacket.
Cross-examined by Gowlett. There were only us four on the bridge—I was no worse for drink than I am now.
JOHN GODFREY . I am a labourer—on 4th May, between five and six o'clock, I was in the Wagon and Horses public-house—the prisoners came in; they were strangers to me—they said they were hard up—Hunt pulled his coat off, and I bought it for 2s.—I afterwards handed it to the police—they said they were going to work, and would give me 4s. for it back again.
GEORGE WHITLETT (Police Inspector F). On 10th May, after making inquiries, I went to Chaltham St. Peters, about six miles from Uxbridge, and found the two prisoners coming along the road—I charged them with assault and robbery—they both said it was false—the coat was handed to me on the 12th.
Both prisoners said before the Magistrate: "We were all drinking together, and were the worse for drink, and did not know what we were doing." They repeated the same statement in their defence.
—HUNT** then PLEADED GUILTY to a conviction at Clerkenwell on August 5th, 1884.— Sixteen Months' Hard Labour.
GOWLETT— One Day's Imprisonment.
OLD COURT.—Tuesday, May 24th, 1892.
Before Mr. Recorder,'
CHARLES CLARK PLEADED GUILTY also to a conviction at Bristol in December, 1889.
Three Years' Penal Servitude.
MR. C. F. GILL, for the prosecution, offered no evidence against Julia Clark.
NOT GUILTY .
548. CHARLES MAY (56) PLEADED GUILTY to embezzling £16 18s. 9d., received as servant to Stephen Warren and Co., his masters; also to falsifying the books of the said firm.— Twelve Months' Hard Labour. And
MR. C. F. GILL Prosecuted.
ELLEN PINK . I live at 25, Dancers Hill, South Minims—on 4th January the prisoner called at my house—he gave the name of King, and said he was travelling for the Sunlight Soap Company—he asked if I knew the firm, and if I had had any of their soap—I said yes, I used it—he said they had been so successful with soap that they were going in for tea, and by way of advertisement they were going to give a dinner service to purchasers of a pound of their tea—I asked if it was to be a whole service—he said no; it would be a service of twelve dinner plates, twelve pudding plates, three meat dishes, and two vegetable dishes—I was satisfied with that—he said the prizes would only go on for that week, and he wanted the names to go into the firm that day—I believed his statement, and gave him 3s. for a pound of the tea—he gave me this ticket for the prize—I tried the tea directly he left, and found it very inferior—the dinner service never arrived—I saw no more of the prisoner till I picked him out at the Police-station.
Cross-examined by the prisoner. I am positive you represented yourself as a traveller for the Sunlight Soap Company—you did not mention the name of Lever Brothers.
ALICE CROSSLEY . I live at 24, Dancers Hill, next door to Mrs. Pink's—on 4th January the prisoner came and asked me if I knew of the Sunlight Soap—I said. "Yes, I always use it"—he said, "Do you find it very good?"—I said, "Yes"—he said he was travelling with tea at 3s. a pound, and if I purchased a pound of this tea I should have a dinner service on the following day—he said they had such a demand for soap
that they were going in for tea—I said I would wait till next week—he said it was for this week only, and I should be sorry if I did not have it now—I believed his statement, and gave him 3s., and he gave me this card—the dinner service never arrived.
Cross-examined. You offered me the dinner service merely for the sale of 3s. worth of tea, and I quite believed I should get it—you did not ask me to recommend the tea—you asked me what pattern I should like—I chose the pheasant pattern.
JANE PHILLIPS . I live at 19, Dancers Hill—on 4th January the prisoner called on me; he said he was travelling for the Sunlight Soap Company, and they were going to start tea, and if I would take a pound of it I should have a dinner service next day—I said I could do with a pound' of tea—he asked what pattern I should like—I said the white marked with blue—I gave him 3s., and he gave me these two tickets—I believed I was going to get the dinner service.
Cross-examined. You asked me to recommend the tea to my friends—I did not do so; it was no good—I generally pay 2s. for my tea.
EDMUND SALOMON . I am London manager to Lever Brothers, at Paul's Wharf, Upper Thames Street—their principal factory is at Port Sunlight, Birkenhead—they have very largely advertised their soap—we. gave prizes last year and the year before—we received several complaints from different parts of the country of persons going about the country making representations—in consequence of that we communicated with the police—the prisoner is not connected with us in the slightest degree—he had no authority to say we were embarking in tea or giving dinner services.
Cross-examined. The complaints we received were from different parts of the country; not connected with you—we are not bringing those things against you.
JOSIAH BRADBROOK . I am a sergeant of the Criminal Investigation Department at Barnet—a warrant was issued for the prisoner's arrest on 21st March last—a description of him was circulated in the Police Gazette—on the 6th May I had information as to his being detained at Brentwood—I went there and saw him—I read the warrant to him; it charged him with obtaining 3s. from Miss Pink—he made no reply—I took him to Barnet, and he was identified by the witnesses—he said, "All I have done I have done innocently; I did not know I was offending against the law"—he was carrying this black bag; it contained ten packets of tea and some prize-tickets—when charged he gave the name of Walter Lucas, of 218, New Kent Road—I found that to be correct.
Prisoner's Defence. I only plead guilty to one clause, viz., selling this tea under the name of the Sunlight. I am absolutely ignorant of offending against the law. I deny having said I was a traveller or agent to Messrs. Lever. Possibly these ladies may have misconstrued my words. I intended giving these prizes away; but business was not so brisk as I expected, and it fell away, and did not return. It is my first false step.
GUILTY .— Six Months Hard Labour.
MESSRS. C. F. GILL and MUIR Prosecuted, and MR. GEOGHEGAN Defended.
GUILTY .— Four Months Hard Labour.
NEW COURT.—Tuesday, May 24th, 1892.
Before Mr. Common Serjeant.
(553). GODFREY MITCHELL COOMBS (33) to two indictments for embezzling £6 10s. and £7 10s. of Charles Frederick Reeks, his master, and to three indictments for forging and uttering endorsements to cheques for £7 10s., £15, and £6 10s.— [Pleaded Guilty: See original trial image.] Nine Months' Hard Labour.
EDWARD THOMAS . I am a ship's fireman., and lire at the Sailors' Home, Well Street—on 18th May, about 8.30, I was in a street at the back of the Sailors' Home; the prisoner came up and said, "How do you do, mate?"—I said, "I am all right"—I had never seen him before—he asked if I was going to have a drink—I said, "Yes," and he took me to 2, Pinching Street, where two fellows attacked me—the prisoner and one of them rifled my pockets while another held me by my neck from behind, to prevent my screaming—after they had robbed me they knocked me down on the pavement and ran away—my silver watch and chain were taken and £1 10s. in gold, which was loose in this pocket, and ten shillings in silver in another pocket—I informed the police, and swore to the prisoner the same night by his clothes—he was not put with others—it is not true that the prisoner was knocked down—he put his hands in my pockets, but he was not the one who hit me—I was standing up when they robbed me, and they gave me two digs and knocked me down.
JOHN DOWLAN (196 H). On 18th May, about nine p.m., Thomas complained to me at Leonard Street Station, and described the prisoner—I saw him passing in the street and called Thomas' attention to him—he said, "That is the man who robbed me," and gave him in custody—that was about 9.40—I took him to the station—when the charge was read over to him he said, "The first place I met this young man in was Cable Street; he asked me if I was in the home; I said, 'No; are you staying there?' He said, 'Yes.' We went away to have a drink, and I know no more till I was knocked down."—Thomas was sober.
By the JURY. I saw a lump on the top of Thomas' head on the left side—there was no dirt on his clothes as if he had been knocked down or on the prisoner's clothes—the pavement was dry.
Prisoner's Defence: I can swear I did not hit him. I was knocked down. I am a fireman, the same as he is; it is not likely I should rob a man in the same way as myself.
GUILTY †— Six Months' Hard Labour.
555. GEORGE COOPER (17), HENRY STEVENS(15), EDWARD NEWMAN (14), and ALBERT CROOK (13) , Unlawfully placing upon the metals of the London and South-Western Railway a quantity of stones and bricks and a pail, with intent to endanger the passengers.
MR. BUTLER and MR. BIRON Prosecuted; MR. PURCELL Defended.
independent means—from my garden I can see a level crossing known as Colonel Murray's crossing—I saw the four prisoners throwing old kettles and various things which were in a ditch, on to the metals previous to the down train coming at 5.53; they then ran and placed something on the metals, and two of them ran into the fog signal box and two into the ditch—I was in my conservatory, and as the train passed I heard something cracking—after the train passed the prisoners went on to the metals to see what damage had been done; they placed something else on the metals, and ran to the same place till a second train passed, and then ran to see what had been done—I went the back way to the station, and complained to the station-master.
Cross-examined. My conservatory is about thirty yards from the spot—my garden is separated from the railway by a fence and a lane and a holly hedge on my side about four feet high—I could not see what the prisoners were putting on the line, but I could see something about the size of my double fist—I was not in the conservatory when the second train passed; I was outside—I went out and got nearer after the first train passed, but I could not see whether the things were on the metals or close to them—they put down four pieces—I had seen the prisoners there before—I did not hear them say that they had been playing at buttons, and put them on the line to be flattened—I had to go four or five hundred yards to the station—I only saw one old pail there, which is used for the signal-man; that was found close to the metals.
Re-examined. The cracking noise I heard may have been the kettle; it was not like a button being run over—I saw a piece of fire-brick off the engine; the piece close to the metals was four inches square and five inches thick—after I got to the station I saw them putting something before a third train.
ARTHUR MANSFIELD . I am station-master at Hounslow—on 2nd May, About 5.50, Mr. Gunn came and made a communication to me—I Went to the crossing, and when I was about 400 yards from it I saw the four prisoners apparently putting something on the line—I secured Stevens and Cooper, and handed them to a policeman; the other two ran away—I found on the crossing some pieces of brick and cement, an old pail, and some clinkers—the pail was close to the line, and had been crushed—this is it (produced)—I had seen it before; it belonged to the fogman, and was kept in his hut, close to the level crossing—the bricks were so close to the metals that the flange of the engine would strike them—one piece of brick appeared to be a little chipped by the engine—when charged, Cooper said that the little boys did it.
Cross-examined. I did not lay my hands on any of the boys; I had not the chance—the porter grasped Cooper and another, and said, "Why are you putting things on the rail?"—one said, "I did not do it," and Cooper said, "I did not do it; I will tell who did it"—the porter said, "Then you had better tell the station-master"—he then said that Crook and Newman placed the obstruction on the line—they had run away—I saw them before the Magistrate the next morning—the pail had been by the hut since the foggy weather, and probably before—it was intact before this, but it was disused.
Re-examined. It could be used for putting fire in when I saw it last.
running backwards and forwards across the line—they ran away when I went up; I ran after them and caught Cooper and Stevens—Stevens refused to walk to the station, and a gentleman let me put him into his trap—the ticket-taker took Cooper to the station—I saw the two trains come through, and attended both of them on the platform—there were passengers in them.
Cross-examined. I said to Stevens, "Come back to the station with me"—he said, "I shan't"—I said, "You will have to come some way or other"—he started kicking—a gentleman came by with a horse and trap, and I asked him to give us a lift, but I had to strap Stevens' legs before he got in, to stop his kicking—I took him to the railway station and fetched a constable.
DANIEL CLAEK (152 J). On 2nd May, about 6.30, I was called to Hounslow Station, and Stevens and Cooper were given into my custody—they said, going to the station, that it was not them; it was Crook and Newman—I found on Stevens four linch-pins, similar to those used for connecting points.
Cross-examined. When I got to the station the station-master told me he wanted to give Stevens and Cooper in custody for placing bricks and an old pail on the line—on the road Stevens said, "It was not us; it was Crook"—Cooper said, "It was not us"—the two little boys were brought to the station by another constable—neither of them said that he had been smashing these pins on the railway—Cooper lives with his parents; his father is a night watchman at the powder mills, and is a very respectable man—Crook's parents are very respectable; they keep a small dairy.
WILLIAM PLOUGHMAN (619 T). On 2nd May I saw Newman and Crook at Hounslow; I said "Holloa, where are you going?" they said they were going home—I said, "You are wanted with two lads in custody, for placing obstructions on the railway"; they both said "Stevens did it"; I took them to the station at 11p.m.
GUILTY . The JURY strongly recommended NEWMAN and CROOK to mercy, and they entered into recognisances to appear for judgment when called upon.
STEVENS and COOPER— [Guilty] Judgment respited.
OLD COURT.—Wednesday, May 25th, 1892.
Before Mr. Justice Grantham.
MESSRS. CHARLES MATHEWS and HORACE AVORY Prosecuted, and MR. HUTTON Defended.
GUILTY of concealment of the birth.— Twelve Months' Hard Labour.
The prosecutrix did not appear.
NOT GUILTY .
MR. MACKLIN Prosecuted.
GUILTY .— Five Years' Penal Servitude.
THIRD COURT.—Wednesday, May 25th, 1092.
Before Mr. Common Serjeant.
559. JAMES HENRY BROOK (41) PLEADED GUILTY to stealing £2 10s., the money of Ellen Maddison; also to stealing £5, the money of Charles Frederick Rea, and to stealing £2 5s., the money of John Fogwell— Ten Months Hard Labour.
(561). HARRY TISSHAW (23) , To a burglary in the dwelling-house of Thomas Fisher, and stealing a ring and other articles, the property of Amy Glover— [Pleaded Guilty: See original trial image.] Six Months Hard Labour.
MR. ROACH Prosecuted.
JOHN BRADY . I am carman to Charles Webster, a carman, of 85, Camden Road, Bow—on 2nd May I left there with a horse and cart laden with fourteen chests of tea, covered with a sheet, to take to Clyde Wharf—when I got to Nightingale Lane, a quarter of a mile oft about half-past five, I found the traffic blocked—I drew up on the near side, and went into a urinal thirty yards off, leaving a friend of mine, Benjamin Doyle, in charge of the cart—when I came back after two or three minutes I found the cart gone, and Doyle too; I have not seen him since—I went to the Police-station about half-past eight, and then to my employer about ten—I gave Doyle's address, 50, Christian Street, to the constable—I used to work for Mr. Nelsen; I had been discharged—it took me ten minutes or a quarter of an hour to get to the place where I lost the cart.
Cross-examined by the prisoner. I left my cart at the corner of Nightingale Lane, opposite the public-house—a lot of men, as a rule, stand there waiting for employment—I did not see you there, nor anybody like you—I do not know you; I never saw you before I saw you in custody—Doyle does not resemble you.
Re-examined. He might be like the prisoner; he has a widish nose and is a pale chap, but he was not lame in any way—it was about half-past five when I lost my cart—I tried to find the cart and the man I left in charge of it, but could not—I have not heard of him since—Clinton Road is about three miles from Nightingale Road.
By the JURY. I picked my friend up in Tower Hill, not more than three minutes after I started—he used occasionally to work for our firm; he used to come with me when I took out casks of beer, on which I am allowed 3d. per cask to get help with—we take anybody we like—I said to Doyle, "You might look after the cart while I am gone."
they almost tipped the horse up—with the assistance of a ticket collector we shifted the boxes forward—the prisoner came up and said, "What's the matter, governor? Who has been interfering with my load?"—it was about seven; it was not dark—I told him what I had done, and asked him if he was the carman—he said, "Yes"—I said, "Do you work for Webster?" (I saw that name on the sheet and on the harness)—he said, "Yes"—I said, "Have you any papers to show you are the carman?"—he said, "No, I was taking them to Webster's yard and wanted no papers"—I was satisfied with his replies; he drove away in the direction of Bow, and in the direction of Webster's—I followed some way, and, as he kept looking back, I thought it suspicious, and held up my hand and called to him to stop; instead of doing so he lashed the horse into a gallop—I gave chase, but lost sight of him; there was no other vehicle about—I informed Mr. Webster at the time, and he was satisfied that everything was all right; but afterwards he found that it was stolen, and I gave a description to Detective-Sergeant Pearce, and on the following Sunday morning, 8th May, I was called to Leman Street Police-station, and identified the prisoner from eight or nine men, first by his features, and then I called him out and asked him to walk to see if he was lame, as the man with the cart was lame; the prisoner is lame—I was three or four minutes making inquiries of him—I have not the slightest doubt he is the man I saw in charge of the cart.
Cross-examined. When you drove away from me you had 500 yards start of me, and I lost sight of you—I gave a description of you—I knew on the Sunday I was coming to identify a man who had stolen the horse and cart; I was not told you were a lame man—you were placed with a lot of other men—I was not talking to Thompson previous to his coming in there—he did not tell me to say I recognised you not only by being a cripple, but by your features.
Re-examined. I never said the prisoner was the man till he walked.
ABRAHAM Low. I am manager to Mr. Webster, carman, of Camden Road—I was there on Monday, 2nd May, at five minutes to five when the horse and cart went out in charge of Brady, laden with fourteen chests of tea, value £113—Brady came back without the horse or cart about ten o'clock—I have not seen the tea since, but the horse and cart have been recovered—I do not know the prisoner; he had no authority to be on our cart—I know Doyle; Brady had no authority to leave the cart with him, nor to take him up—Doyle had been with us some three months, and had been discharged about six weeks at this time.
Cross-examined. This is a very good horse indeed; I should say he could go nine or ton miles an hour—Brady has been with us some three months.
WILLIAM THOMPSON (Detective H). A communication was made to me with regard to this robbery, and a description was circulated in the police information—I made a search, and on Sunday, 8th May, I arrested the prisoner at 21, Grace's Alley, St. George's East, about three minutes' walk from where the cart was taken—I said, "I shall take you into custody on suspicion of being concerned with others in stealing a horse, van, and load of tea from Mr. Webster on 2nd May"—he said, "I don't know what you mean; I think you have made a mistake"—I said, "You will have to come along with me"—he said, "Not me"—he got
up, and let a largo bulldog loose that was chained to the fireplace in the room where he was—Detective Cole, in company with me, beat the dog off with his stick, and it took four constables to get the prisoner out of the room and downstairs; dog and man were both on us—when he got into the street he said, "I will go quietly," and he did so—he was placed among eight other men, and Chaff identified him; he looked round and touched the prisoner, and then the prisoner was asked by the Inspector to move out, and he moved; and then Chaff said, "That is the man"—he also said so before—the prisoner made no answer to the charge.
Cross-examined. I was not outside in the passage with Chaff—there were no other lame men there; they all resembled you in size and height—you were sitting in a very small room when we rushed up to your place—the dog was chained up short; you did not unchain it; you tried to do so—I have since ascertained you had not had the dog in your possession for an hour—I did not slide you down the stairs.
Witnesses for the Defence.
ROBERT BUNDLE . I am a dock labourer—I live at 12, Queen Street, Tower—on Monday, 2nd May, when I had done work I went to the Rising Sun, Royal Mint Street, with Donoghue, Harry Connor, and my brother—you were then with Rose, Wagg, Cockney, and your brother—that was about half-past five—you stopped till half-past eight, when I left—you did not leave the house during that time; you were by the side of the bagatelle board taking the scores—you were there when I went away with Donoghue.
Cross-examined. Since 2nd May, the last day of the sale, I have been working by the water-side—the 2nd May was Monday—I frequently go into that public-house; I do not frequently meet the prisoner there—I remember that Monday because it was the last day of the wool sale—my brother and the other men are dock labourers—the prisoners brother is not here now; I believe he got into a bit of trouble through having a drop of drink.
By the COURT. Nightingale Lane is four or five minutes' walk from Royal Mint Street—I was not before the Magistrate; I am told I was called there.
WILLIAM DONOGHUE . I am a dock labourer living at 2, King Street, Tower Hill—on Monday, 2nd May. I went into the Rising Sun with the Bundles, Connors, and Randall, who I believe is a relation of Connor's wife—I saw you there with two seafaring chaps, to all appearance; your brother was there—it was 5.25—I and Randall went away at halfpast eight, leaving you there—you had not been out while I was there—you were in the bagatelle-room taking scores—you might have walked out to the back and come back.
Cross-examined. We left off work at five, and were paid by quarterpast five, and got to the Rising Sun at twenty-five minutes past five—the prisoner could not have gone out into the street while I was there—I could not see what he was doing—I looked at the Rising Sun clock when I left, and it was five minutes past—I came out with Robert Bundle—I knew the prisoner by his using the house and working in the docks—I first heard he was in trouble on the Saturday following this Monday, as I came from Leytonstone Road, between 9 and 10 p.m.—I did not go before the Magistrate—I do not know he was not arrested till one o'clock on the
Sunday morning—his brother told me he was in trouble; that was at eight or nine on the evening of the day before he was arrested.
Re-examined. It was not the Saturday, but the Sunday that I heard of it.
HARRIETT STEVENS . I am married to a seafaring man—I live at 21, Great Hermitage Street, Wapping—I am your mother—on the night of 2nd May you came home between half-past eight and a quarter to nine—I made you some tea because you had had a drop too much to drink, and you stopped till nearly eleven, and then you went away.
Cross-examined. I don't know where he had been before 8.30—he said he had been with his brother.
The prisoner, in his defence, denied all knowledge of the robbery.
NOT GUILTY .
NEW COURT.—Wednesday, May 25th, 1892.
Before Mr. Recorder.
MR. GRAIN, for the Prosecution, offered no evidence.
NOT GUILTY .
His father undertook to send him abroad.— To enter into recognisances to appear for judgment when called upon.
567. HENRY JOHN BRETT (21) was again indicted, with EDWARD LEWIS (67) and JOHN DEFRIES (51) , for stealing ten pairs of curtains and other goods, the property of Edmond Kahn, the master of Brett, to which Brett
PLEADED GUILTY .
MR. GILL Prosecuted; MR. WILLIS, Q. C., appeared for Lewis, and MR. LAWLESS for Defries.
HENRY JOHN BRETT (the prisoner). I was twenty-one years old last February—I was in the employ of Mr. Kahn, a furniture dealer, of St. Andrew's Street, Holborn, as junior warehouseman till April 21, when I was given in custody; I made a statement when I was arrested, and I have pleaded guilty to-day to this indictment—in November, 1890,1 was in Messrs. Copestake's employment, and was introduced to Lewis as Mr. Fredericks, at 110, London Wall—I went there to borrow £4—I told him where I was employed, and he sent his son round to see that I was in the employment—I afterwards borrower other sums of £1 and 30s., and gave promissory notes, and paid them by instalments—I left Messrs. Copestake's in October, 1891, and went into employment in St. Paul's Churchyard, and from there to Messrs. Kahn's on February 9th this year—I sometimes
fell behind in my instalments, and Lewis wrote to me about it, but I burnt nearly every one of the letters—these are some of the receipts which I paid to Lewis (produced)—from the time I first borrowed money of him I never got out of his debt—he said if I did not pay on the day it was duo ho would take my salary from Hunt's—I had signed this paper to that effect. (Assigning his weekly salary to Lewis as security for the loan)—I left Hunt's on February 17th, and Lewis gave me this. (A notice to Messrs. Hunt, withdrawing his claim on the salary)—before that I had received this memorandum. (To the witness from J. Fredericks, enclosing receipt far £1, and stating that he should require a further payment on Saturday, or steps would be taken which he would regret.)—at the time I went into Mr. Kahn's employment, Lewis had my promissory note for about £8—I signed the last promissory note on February 20th—I got 25s. a week at Kahn's—Lewis knew that; he always inquired what my salary was before he advanced me the money—I paid him 5s. a week from the time I went to Kahn's—at the beginning of March I went to Lewis to tell him I was at Kahn's—he came to see me there, and said he wanted a suite of furniture re-covered, and asked if I could bring him some samples of something to London Wall to show him—I took round a sample of saddle-bag and of red velvet—he said he did not care for it; he liked silk tapestry—I took some samples of silk tapestry to him, and gave him Kahn's price, 13s.—he said he would settle the price after he had shown it to his daughter—I called soon after, and he gave me an order for 8 £ yards, and showed me the one he had selected, and said, "What are you going to charge me?"—I said, "I have told you the price, 13s."—he said, "It will not cost you anything, so you can let me have it for about half that price; I don't suppose you will be found out"—I then told him he could have it for 8s. a yard—he would not have it at that price, and we finally agreed that he should have it at 5s. a yard—his son, aged about twenty-six, was present at some of the conversations—on a Friday, between two and three o'clock, I took him 8 1/2 yards of tapestry which I had stolen from my employer; I cut it off and took it from the warehouse, and gave it to him—his son was with him—he looked at it and said, "That will do," and wrote a cheque for £2 2s. 6d.—his son went with me to the bank, and I went in and endorsed the cheque, and received the money—the son waited outside for me; I gave him two shillings for himself, and gave him the gold to give to his father—whenever I borrowed money it was usual to give something to the clerk; I have given him a half-crown on some occasions—after that Lewis wanted some lace curtains, and I sent him round two pairs, and told him the price would be six shillings a pair, as far as I could judge, but there was no ticket on them—that was Kahn's price—he gave me this card with a black corner (produced) as the address to send them to, and I tied them up in paper and took them to the Great Western Railway Office, Holborn Circus, and sent them to 14, Beresford Road, Highbury New Park—he paid me 3s. 6d. for the two pairs—he said he was going to sell them to a friend, and that he wanted some more—I said, "We have not got any more of that kind"—he said, "Send me a sample of the nearest you have got to it"—I sent him a sample pair of Swiss curtains for which Kahn's price was 13s. 9d.; he paid me for them sometimes 3s. 6d., and sometimes 4s.—I sold him six pairs at 13s. 9d.—that went on till a
week or ten days before I was arrested—when I told him I had no more at that price he said two pair, more were all he wanted—J told him 15s. 9d. was the nearest; he told me to send him two pairs, and I did so—he paid me 4s. for them; these are them (produced)—after I had got all he said, "I don't suppose you will be found out, will you?"—he kept some of the money to pay my instalments—on 20th April Mr. Hallam spoke to me, and I went to London Wall with a detective the same day, and pointed out Lewis—his place is about a quarter of an hour's sharp walking from Mr. Kahn's place—I have known Defries getting on for three years—he has a second-hand clothes shop in Nile Street, Hoxton, four or five minutes' walk from my house—I told him on February 20th that I was employed at Kahn's, and should not require clothes any more—he asked me if I could send him something by Garter, Paterson, and Co., as he very often had things sent to him by them, and I could have the money when I called in the evening—I sent him two French rugs, for which Kahn's price was 13s. 9d. each; he gave me 5s. for the two—I afterwards sent him some silk curtains, price £5, for which he gave me sometimes 6s. and sometimes 10s.—I sent about three pairs direct to his house—I stopped sending them because he did not like the van driving up so often, and I sent some to my house, and he arranged what time he should meet me outside my house in the evening—he came there two or three times, and I brought down the parcels from upstairs which I had directed to my house, and gave them to him—they contained silk curtains—that went on up to, I think, the Tuesday before I was arrested—I recognise these silk curtains—Mr. Kahn's price for them is £5.
Cross-examined by MR. WILLIS. I first saw Lewis on November 9th—I went there because a man named Kennedy sent me a cutting out of the Telegraph—I was at Copestake's about ten months, and before that at Rotherham's, of Shoreditch, and before that at Simpson's in Queen Victoria Street, a furnishing warehouse—before that I was apprenticed to a grocer in Powis Street, Woolwich—I was not in monetary difficulties in November, 1890, but I wanted £4—I may have borrowed a shilling before that—I was nineteen then—he asked my age, and I told him my exact age—I was nineteen in November, 1890—I never told him I was of age—he asked my salary—he did not tell me I should have to go before a Commissioner, but I went—I had no Testament put into my hand—he did not read the declaration over to me—this is my signature, but the paper was not read over to me before I signed it—I did not say I was a clerk at Copestake's at a salary of £45 per annum—I told them £35, with board and lodging free of expense, payable monthly. (This staled, "Income from all sources £45")—I had nothing but my salary—I was getting £35, and I wrote "£45"; I was to have £45 if I was there two months longer—I never borrowed of anyone but Mr. Lewis, but I have other debts; I used to have an account with my tailor—if I did not pay, Mr. Lewis was to give Messrs. Hunt my assignment of my salary, and he sent it to them in February, 1892—they did not dismiss me upon that; I had given them notice before—I told Mr. Lewis I was going to have some money when I came of age; I gave him a charge on the legacy, and he wrote to my aunt; she lives at Hemel Hempstead—I have told the jury the full and true account of my dealings with Lewis—I was committed for trial here from Guildhall—I wrote a note to the solicitor the night before last, and saw Mr. Wontner's clerk yesterday
and Inspector Denning, who had taken me to Mr. Lewis—two warders were also present—I was in Newgate—the interview lasted an hour before dinner, and two hours after—something was written down in my presence—it was about March 8th when Mr. Lewis first spoke to me about goods—I first sent goods to Defries about March 4th—he had asked me as far back as February 20th to send them, that was to steal them—I did not lead him to believe that I would; I had no intention in my mind to steal—I first had the intention to steal when Lewis asked me for goods—I used to pass Defries' place nearly every day going home from business, but had not spoken to him about sending him any goods before the day I sent them—I sent him the first goods in March; on March 4th I became a thief—the first parcel of my stolen goods went to Defries—I cannot remember whether I sent him another parcel on the 7th—I went on some little time, but I cannot remember the dates—I first sent him two rugs; that was my first theft—he gave me 6s. for one pair of curtains, and 10s. for another—I sent him six pairs of curtains altogether: three by Carter, Paterson and Co., and three delivered to him personally at my home—that is seven distinct acts of stealing from my employers—I sent goods to a man named Chandler, a bricklayer, about two days before I was arrested; I sent him a pair of silk curtains like these—Defries introduced him to me some months before, and told me that he sold what I brought him to Chandler—I met him in Defries' shop, and agreed to let him have a pair of those curtains, and he had two pairs—I stole them, and got 10s. a pair for them, and spent the money on myself—I never took anything from any of my employers before March this year—I was discharged for intemperance at Hunt's—I do not remember going to the Fountain public-house, City Road, but I have been at the Green Gate plenty of times—I have met White in Nile Street, City Road, but not is Defries' shop—it was when I was going to Defries'—I have only known White this year—he had a pair of curtains—I sent the parcel to 31, Windsor Terrace, City Road, by Carter, Paterson and Co., from the Great Western booking office, about a month before I was arrested—Defries introduced me to White—I also sent a pair of silk curtains to J. C. Wernheim, at some gardens in Bayswater, about the end of March; I got two guineas for them—the price was £5 at Kahn's, but he did not know that—nobody introduced me to him; it was through an advertisement—he sent me three postal orders, two for £1, and one for 2s.—I think I spent it on myself—I have never sent goods on other occasions, or sold anything at a public-house, or to a person I met there—I think I have seen that gentleman (Lewis' son) at Mr. Lewis house; I cannot say that I have seen him at his office—I do not remember seeiog any patterns on the table at Mr. Lewis' office which I had not let him have—I do not remember taking up some patterns in the presence of Lewis and his two sons, and saying that my people dealt in such goods—I never said, If you want anything like this I can got them cheaper for you than you can, and that it would benefit me, as I should get a commission"—I never knew that I was allowed to have goods if I paid for them; I never asked—on the day before I was arrested, a little before four o'clock. I met Mr. Hallam coming upstairs; I had a parcel in my hand containing a pair of curtains—I told Mr. Hallam that it was a rug—that
was a lie—he is buyer and foreman to Mr. Kahn—I said that I was sending it home to my mother—that was another lie—he asked me if I had entered it, and I said yes, but I did not say, "Yes, in the appro. book"—Lewis told me he wanted the material to cover a suite of his furniture—I did not say that I had got a remnant—on Friday, the 11th, I brought the goods; I did not bring a pattern—I did not say that the pattern was a remnant of about 8 1/2 yards—Lewis did not say anything about haying curtains of the same pattern, but he said he should like a pair of the same, material—I said that the 8 1/2 yards would not be sufficient to coyer the suite and supply curtains—Lewis did not say in his son's presence that Swiss curtains would do as well, nor did I say that I would get some travellers' samples, which were only a little disturbed in the way of trade, and I could let him have a pair for 10s.; nothing of that kind took place—this pair of lace curtains have never been used as travellers' samples—young Lewis had lent me 1s. 6d. in the Angel public-house, and I gave him 3s. back for it the next day—I sent Lewis about five patterns of silk tapestry before I got the £2 2s. 6d.—I do not think I took him these patterns (produced) three days after I got the cheque—I won't swear I did not—I did not say I had got 16 yards of that which I could let him have, which would do for the suite and curtains—this is proper material for covering the suite and for curtains—I took the 8 1/2 yards to his office, not to his home; I am sure of that—I sent him a table-cover—I stole that—this is the first time I have given evidence—the table-cover I sent him was not returned to me; he gave me half-acrown for it; the price of it was eight shillings—he also had two rugs; I don't recollect anything else—I sold him a pair of guipure curtains before April 4th; they were never returned to me—he had two rugs from me: I do not know the dates—I had not a rug in my possession on April 20th—nothing at all was ever returned to me—Defries sold the goods through Chandler, who was examined before the Magistrate and discharged—when I was arrested I told the police that I had sent goods to White—I did not, on the very day I was arrested, produce a parcel containing a rug; I showed Mr. Hallam a rug which I had returned from my house to the business premises, but I had not taken one out of the place—that was another lie.
Cross-examined by MR. LAWLESS. I have known Defries about three years—I sold two or three. secondhand suits to him—I sold him some on the Saturday before I entered Mr. Kahn's service, and he then for the first time suggested that I should bring him articles—he did not say "thieve," but he said it in such a way that I understood I was to steal them—I was shocked at the proposition, and he told me he bought stolen property—'he said, "You can send by Carter, Paterson's"—I refused to do anything of the kind—I first had an intention of stealing after my interview with Lewis in March—I was an honest young man up to that time—a detective came to me on the 21st, and brought a list of names from the booking-office, and said, "You have sent parcels to those persons?" and I said, "Yes"—the curtains I sold at 6s. and 10s. a pair were worth £5 a pair—I sold lace ones for 3s. 6d. and silk ones for 5F; and 5s. 6d.—Defries lives at St. Mary Axe—I owed him about £3—I only sold him two old suits—I am giving my evidence to day in the interests of justice—I do not expect to get a lighter sentence.
Re-examined. When I was spoken to by the police I made a statement in the presence of the manager—Hunts gave me a character, upon which Mr. Kahn took me; I also gave Rotherhams, and Copestakes, as references—I was discharged from Hunt's, as I went there with another young fellow who had only been there three weeks, and we had taken too much—I was there three months, and at Copestake's two years.
By the COURT. This document was supplied to me by Lewis; this "payable monthly" is not my writing.
HENRY WILLIAM DOBB . I am a surveyor, of 110, London Wall—I let Lewis a room on the second floor there, in the name of Edward Lewis—I do not know the date—some time afterwards he asked if I would allow him to put the name of Mr. Fredericks up, and I said, "Yes"; but Lewis was the only man I saw—I speak to the handwriting on some of the documents produced.
ARTHUR HAWKINS .—I am cashier at the London Joint Stock Bank, Old Broad Street—Lewis had an account there in the name of Edward Lewis—on March 11th a cheque to Brett for £2 2s. 6d., drawn on Lewis, was cashed.
WILLIAM ARTHUR . I am employed at the Holborn Circus bookingoffice, Great Western Railway—I receive parcels and send them away—on 18th March I received a parcel from Brett to be sent to Lewis, of Highbury; another on April 4th, another on the 5th, and another on the 11th—on March 4th I received from Brett a parcel addressed to Defries, of Hoxton; another on the 7th, another on the 14th, addressed to Defries, City Road; and another on the 20th, for Defries, Shepherdess Walk; and on 23rd, 25th, and 28th March, parcels addressed to Brett, of the New North Road—all these entries are in my writing, and were handed by me to Carter, Paterson, and Co.
HENRY DOUGLAS . I am at the Goswell Road depot of Carter, Paterson, and Co.—on March 18th I received a parcel addressed to Lewis, of 14, Beresford Road, Highbury, and delivered it there on the 22nd; and others on April 4th, 5th, 6th, and 11th—I delivered them to a servant.
CHARLES HOWARD . I am in the employ of Carter, Paterson, and Co.—I received at the Goswell Road depot, some parcels addressed to Defries; I took them to the depot, where they were sent out for delivery.
BENJAMIN FOWLER . I am in the employ of Carter, Paterson, and Co.—on 4th March I delivered a parcel to the prisoner Defries, at 49, Nile Street, and others on March 7th and 14th, and on April 20th—they are signed for by Defries.
FLORENCE EMMA BRETT . I am the daughter of the last witness—I know Defries by sight—on Saturday afternoon, 26th March, I saw him outside my mother's house, a few doors down, between 2.30 and 3—I saw my brother go out of the house with a parcel and hand it to Defries.
JOSEPH HALLAM . I am buyer and foreman to Edward Kahn, of St. Andrew Street, Holborn, furniture dealer—Brett entered their service in February as junior warehouseman—he had access to the stock—on 20th
April I noticed him with a parcel in his hand, and spoke to him, and he answered me—he spoke to me again next day, and I went through some of the stock and missed some lace curtains—I communicated with the police and examined further, and missed seven pairs of silk curtains and eight yards of silk, and some guipure curtains—two pairs of the lace curtains were 16s. 7d., and two pairs 11s. 6d.—the silk ones are £5 a pair; this is a pair of them—the lace curtains had only come into stock in March, and the ticket was found upon them.
Cross-examined by MR. WILLIS. On 20th April, in the afternoon, I met, Brett on the stairs, and asked what he had got; he had a parcel under his arm—he said it was a rug he was sending home to his mother—I asked him what rug it was; he could not tell me; and I asked him if it was entered; he said, "Yes, in the appro. book"—I looked there and could not find it—that excited my suspicions—there is an objection to a young man having things for himself without the consent of myself or Mr. Middlemas—next day he produced to me a parcel which contained a rug—it was put back into stock—he told me it was the rug he had taken away on the previous day.
DANIEL DENNING : (City Detective Sergeant), On 21st April, about 11.30 a.m., I went to Mr. Kahn's, and saw Mr. Miroy, and Brett who made a statement to me, in consequence of which I went with him to 110, London Wall—the names of Mr. Fredericks and Mr. Lewis were on a plate—I left Brett outside with another officer, went into Lewis's office, told him who I was, and said, "The young man Brett is in custody for robbing his employers of lace curtains and other articles, and he alleges that you received several parcels containing lace curtains"—he said, "I have never received anything from him in my life"—I said, "He is downstairs; I shall send for him and confront him with you"—he said, "You can do as you like"—I sent for Brett, and said. "Is this Mr. Lewis?"—he said, "Yes; you have received two parcels of lace curtains from me"—Lewis said, "I remember receiving one pair; they are at my house"—Brett said, "You also received eight yards at 13s. a yard, and only gave me 5s., and paid me £2 2s. 6d. on the London Joint Stock Bank, and your son went with me, and I gave him 3s."—he said, "I deny it"—he was then given in custody for receiving ten pairs of curtains and a parcel of silk—on the way to the station he said, "I do not know whether it is more than two parcels I received"—I went to 14, Beresford Road, Highbury, and saw Mr. Lewis's son, and on the second floor, in a wardrobe, I found these lace curtains in a paper parcel behind some wearing apparel—I then went to Defries' shop in Nile Street, a secondhand outfitter's, and said to him, "Brett is in custody for robbing his employers, and he alleges that he sent you a parcel of silk ourtains, and a parcel previously"—he said, "I received a pair of curtains yesterday," and went upstairs and showed them to me—he said, "I know Brett; he has bought clothes of me"—he does not deal in curtains, it is all clothes—I took him to Snow Hill station, where he was charged, and said to Brett, "I have only received this parcel"—Brett said, "Yes, you have, and others"—Lewis said, "I repudiate the charge"—Defries said, "I have only received one parcel"—I went to Brett's house, and his mother handed me some receipts.
Cross-examined by MR. WILLIS. It is usual to confront accused persons in
that way, but I never took a prisoner with me before—Lewis did not say, "I never purchased so many in my life; I had one pair of him"—when Lewis' son came in he did not refer to the three shillings and say that it had been lent.
Cross-examined by MR. LAWLESS. I found Brett detained by the manager—he gave me Defries' name and address, and told me that Defries had had two or three parcels.
Witnesses for Lewis's defence.
EDWARD LEVY . I am a cabinetmaker and upholsterer, of 7, Newington Green Road, Balls Pond—I have been there eighteen months on my own account—before then I was a journeyman in the service of Mr. Emanuel, of Crown Street, Soho, for fourteen years, and I was apprenticed five years to him—the prisoner Lewis is my father, he lives at Highbury with my sister—my brother Bertie lives in St. Paul's Road—I sleep at 7, Newington Road; I used to have my breakfast, lunch, and dinner at home—my father has carried on business at London Wall for three or four years, but I was not concerned in it—the drawing-room furniture was moth-eaten; there were some small chairs and a couch, and two arm-chairs to cover, and I told my father in March to have them done before the warm weather set in; he said he would get some patterns at Rotherham's, and I called at his place in the City that day and saw some patterns of tapestry on the table; I looked at them, and the bell rang, and Brett came in; he spoke to my father; he took up one of them and said, "If you want any of these I can get them cheaper for you; my firm does these," and he said it might do him some good—my father asked him if he could show him any patterns; he said yes, he would come on Friday—this was on Tuesday, about March 8th—I went there on the Friday, and Brett came in and brought patterns of tapestry and silk, and said, "My firm hare a remnant of this, 8 1/2 yards; I can do it cheap"—I knew that eight yards would do for the suite, but I had not mentioned the quantity which would be required—he said, "I can do it at 5s. a yard"—he did not begin at 8s. and come down to 5s.; my father said he did not think the quantity would be enough, and Brett said that it would—my father said that he should like curtains to match, but I advised him not, but to have light ones—my father asked him to get the silk—he said, "I must ask you to give me the money first, as I have to pay for it before I take it"—my father directed my brother to, write out a cheque for the amount, which he did, and my father signed it, and handed it to Brett in my presence—as Brett went out he said, "If you want any light curtains there are a few pairs of travellers' samples; they are only a little creased, and I can do the 13s. ones at 10s., and the 15s. at 12s."—my father asked him to buy him a pair—it is not true that on the Friday the eight and a half yards were brought to my father's office; when the money was paid the material had not been brought—I first saw the remnant at home on the Friday afterwards; it came by Carter, Paterson's on Friday night, the 18th, the servant took it in; I was there when it was opened; I measured it, and found only eight and a quarter yards—I got it a few days afterwards, and covered my father's furniture with it at his house—there was only just sufficient; I had to join it—it is tapestry, silk and wool—I removed it to my place to be polished, and it was there when my father was given in custody—I did not take it away for any improper purpose, but because my father told me to—my
sister is not in good health, and is not able to come here—I remember another parcel coming to my father's house at dinner-time on April 4th; my father opened it—it was some cream guipure curtains—my sister said, "No, I do not want those; I want lace"—my father said, "As you go to Mecklenburg Street to-morrow you can return them, and say we want white lace," and next morning I took the parcel away, and on my way I saw Mr. Hart; he is a distant relation of my father, and lives at 2, Mecklenburg Street—I told him I was going to the City—he said, "I am going that way, I will walk with you"—we walked up Gray's Inn Road into Holborn, and I went into Mr. Kahn's in Andrew Street, leaving him outside—I asked for Mr. Brett, and said, "These are not the curtains my father wants; he wants white lace"—I returned the parcel, and Mr. Hart and I went on to Milk Street, Cheapside, where I left him—I do not remember the white curtains coming the same day.
Cross-examined. We have not gone by the name of Levy for the last fifteen years—I have nothing to do with the money-lending business—I do not sell anything, I mostly do repairing; I do not buy or sell—I was going to buy stuff to cover the furniture, but Brett said he could do it cheaper—I did not know who he was; I did not listen to the conversation about the money—my father said that he was employed close by, and told me to come on Friday to see whether there would be enough—if it had been cut off a piece I suppose it would have been worth 10s. a yard, not 15s.—there was no question about the price—I advised him that it was worth 5s. a yard—the cheque was paid before my father saw the bulk—my brother Albert went out with Brett—I knew the same night that my father was charged with receiving—I went before the Alderman, but did not give evidence—Mr. Graves took my proof after the committal—I heard the evidence at the Police-court—the furniture has been taken back from my place—I did not hear my father say that he had received nothing at all, or that he was not quite sure whether one or two parcels came—I have only two brothers; one of them I think is a solicitor's clerk.
Re-examined. My father has been kept in custody because the bail was put so high that he could not find bail, and I have had no opportunity of consulting him—I have had no interview with him.
By the COURT. I have seen my brother, but I have not talked to him about my father's case—the order for the tapestry was given at the second interview, by sample, in my presence, on the 8th.
ALBERT LEWIS . I live at 14, Beresford Road—at the time of this transaction I was living at 33, St. Paul's Road, Canonbury—my father started in the money-lending business in 1888—I went to America, and returned through ill-health, and joined him at London Wall as clerk—the names of Fredericks and Lewis are on the outside plate, because there are two other persons advertising as Lewis as money-lenders, and so the name of Fredericks was adopted—my father banked at the London Joint Stock Bank as E. Lewis—I am acquainted with the money transactions between him and Brett—on 8th March, as near as I can recollect my father and my brother Edward were in the office, and the bell rang; I went out to see who it was, and it was Mr. Brett—I went to my father and said, "Mr. Brett"—he said, "Let him come in"—he ought to have paid an instalment that day, but ho asked him to pay the last due—he took up some patterns,
off the table, and said, "If you want anything of this kind my firm do them; I can get them cheap, and it will do me a lot of good"—my father said, "If you can show me patterns at the same price you may do so"—Brett said, "I will, but I cannot for a couple of days, as we are busy, but if you can wait till Friday I will pay my instalment, and bring the patterns down at the same time"—he then left, and came on the following Friday, and paid me 10s., and then produced the patterns of tapestry—my father and brother both looked at them, and my father said, "If you can, do that one"—he said, "We have only a remnant of eight and a half, but being a remnant I can do it cheap, 5s. a yard"—my father said, "I don't think eight and a half yards will be enough"—I said to my father, "I don't know what you want the curtains for, we have always had white"—my father agreed to nave the eight and a half yards at 5s. a yard—it is not true that on that day the eight and a half yards were brought to the office—Brett said, "As I am only supposed to get them for my own relations I must pay for it before I get the goods; as you know I have not got the money; will you give me the money?"—my father directed me to write a cheque out, and I handed it to him, and he signed it, and I gave it to Brett—I had to go and see a man between one and two o'clook, and Brett said, "I will walk with you if you will walk with me as far as the bank; I will give you the 3s. you lent me; I am not going to buy the silk today, and I shall get my salary to-morrow"—he had borrowed 5s. on the occasion of the prosecutor's wedding to buy ties and gloves, and he repaid me—I have never charged him a halfpenny for interest—he came to the office again on the 14th, and I wrote the receipt for the 10s., and gave it to him—he said to my father, "As you are not sure the 8 is enough, I have brought you another of the same quality, but I can't do this at 5s.; we have a remnant at 16s. or 18s. a yard"—this is the pattern (produced)—my father decided not to have it—I first saw the 8 1/2 yards on the following Friday, the 18th; it came to my father's house by Carter, Paterson's—if Brett says that it was brought on Friday, the 11th, that is not true—another parcel was delivered at my father's house on March 22nd—I was at home when it came—my father opened it, saw that it was a table-cloth, and directed me to do it up and take it back next morning; I guessed it came from Brett—I had not heard of any order being given for it—I took it down to the office, and Brett came, and my father said, "You sent mo a table-cloth"—he said, "Yes"—my father said, "I do not want it," and handed it to him—I know that my brother was told to take the first curtains back, and on the 5th Brett came and said he had sent another pair, and had paid 10s. for them—a parcel containing a hearthrug came on the 11th—we had been to the synagogue, and it had been delivered—my father said he did not want it; and I did it up and took it to the office—next morning Brett came at eleven o'clock, and said "By accident I sent a parcel to your house directed wrong"—I handed it to him; and he went away with it—I did not remove my moustache to disguise myself; I do it every summer.
Cross-examined. I went to America at the end of 1888, and stayed nine months; I went there after my two brothers, and was laid up six weeks or two months—I stayed there nine or ten months—the offices were taken from Mr. Dobbs before 1890—I kept the book—there is a book
showing the transactions with Brett, but it is not here—he had from four to six loans, and gave from four to six promissory notes, but we have not got them all now—he has written letters, but I have not got them here—he told me where he was employed—he was paying instalments at the time he went to Kahn's—we threatened him in January that we might be forced to take steps which he would regret; to sue him—he owed us about £8 when he went to Kahn's—he got £4, and gave a promissory note for £7 10s.; of course we took the risk—I never saw silk or tapestry bought in London Wall before—it never occurred to me to walk round to Kahn's place; it never crossed my mind that he might be taking things which did not belong to him—my father did not offer less than 5s.; there was no haggling about the price—I never saw any invoice—I do not mean that my father was doing this without my knowledge; but I am not responsible; I never gave it a thought—I did not attend at the Police-court—I knew no evidence would be given till my father was committed—I have only visited him once since his committal—my brother has seen him—my proof was given directly the thing occurred.
Re-examined. I had given my account before Counsel was instructed; that was a week ago—I heard that the patterns on the table came from Rotherham's.
BENJAMIN HART . I have lived at 2, Mecklenburg Street ten years—I am Lewis's second cousin—early in April Edward Lewis called on me about 10.30 a.m. by appointment on, a matter of business—we then walked to Holborn—he had a brown paper parcel with him, which he took down St. Andrew's Street and returned without it—he then walked with me to Cheapside till I turned up Wood Street, and we separated—I was at Mr. Lewis's office early in March about a monetary transaction of my own, and Brett called, but I did not hear his name—Mr. Lewis said, "You have not sent me on that silk"—he said, "No; that is just what I have come about; I have a couple of patterns here, salmon coloured and pink, sixteen yards, but I cannot let you have it at the same price as what you ordered"—this is it—it was shown round, and the general opinion was that it was too light and would fade.
Cross-examined. It was handed round to Mr. Lewis and myself, no one else—I recognise Brett as the young man—when we took the walk Lewis went to a corner, and I saw the name of Kahn; I very often pass the place—he said he was going to leave a parcel there—one of the sons asked me about it two or three weeks back when the charge was made—I said I did not know then that he said something had been returned; I never troubled myself till last Monday—I was glad to come—I am a picture and general dealer—I think this is silk and wool.
Re-examined. I said I did not go to the solicitor's office till Monday; I mean Monday week.
LEWIS GUILTY .**
He then PLEADED GUILTY to a conviction at this Court in the name of Edward Laurence Levy on May 31, 1879— Five Year Penal Servitude.
DEFRIES GUILTY . He received a good character—Three Years Penal Servitude.
BRETT— Three Months Hard Labour.
THIRD COURT.—Thursday, May 26th, 1892.
Before Mr. Common Serjeant.
MR. HAWKINS Prosecuted.
JOSEPH DUNLOP . I am a foreman, living at the Sailors' Home, Earle Street—close on midnight on 30th April i was in the Commercial Road, when three men came up—one came on each side of me, and the prisoner snatched my watch and chain—I got from the others, and ran after the prisoner, who had a few yards start—I ran three or four streets, and then the constable collared him at the corner of a street, and just as he collared him I had turned the corner, and was upon him—he was in sight of me all the time, except just when he turned the corner—I am sure he is the man—this is my chain; it cost me 11s. 6d.—the watch was worth £3 48.—two ladies were with me.
THOMAS CURTIS (51 H). On the night of 30th April I was on duty at the corner of Commercial Road and Leman Street, and I saw the prisoner running as hard as he could from Colchester Street across Commercial Road, with the prosecutor about eight yards behind him—he went into Plough Street, and into Colchester Street again—I ran after him, and caught him coming into Leman Street—both he and the prosecutor had lost their hats—I said, "What are you running for?"—he said, "Nothing"—the prosecutor came up and said, "He has got my watch and chain"—I took the prisoner to the station, where he was charged—I found nothing on him—I found this piece of chain in Gower's Walk, Commercial Road, the direction from which the prisoner came.
The prisoner in a written defence, stated that he saw the prosecutor, who was slightly intoxicated, walking with two prostitutes, and followed by a man, who moved in front of the prosecutor, made a jerk, and went off; that he (the prisoner) went to a coffee-stall; that the prosecutor came and accused him of taking his watch and chain, and that he ran away, as he did not want to get into trouble.
He then PLEADED GUILTY** to a conviction of felony at this Court in December, 1885, in the name of Gogan.
Nine Month' Hard Labour.
MESSRS. BODKIN and HAWKINS Prosecuted, and MESSRS GRAIN and ROOTH Defended.
ARTHUR BONNOR KENT . I am one of the firm of Bonnor and Kent, Bonnor Road, Bethnal Green—we are ratepayers—we owed £54 3s. for rates for several premises for the quarter ending Christmas last, and we sent this cheque, dated 19th October, by post to the prisoner's office in payment—these are the receipts—the cheque is perforated by the bank as paid on 22nd October; it appears to hive been paid through the London and County Bank, Shoreditch branch, the prisoner's bank.
WILLIAM JAMES LONG . I am cashier to Messrs. Rooke and Sons, solicitors—they act for Whittaker's executors, who, as ratepayers of this parish, owed £36 0s. lid. for the last quarter of 1891—we sent by post this cheque, dated 22nd October, to the prisoner's office in payment of the rates, and in return received these two receipts, dated 27th October—the cheque is endorsed "W. I. Shenton," and was passed through the London and County Bank, Shoreditch branch, on 28th October.
JOHN HUTCHISON . I am a clerk to Buchanan and Co., 45, Leadenhall Street, who, as ratepayers in the parish, owed £28 16s. 1d. for the last quarter of 1891—this cheque, dated 21st October, was sent in payment—it was paid through the London and County Bank, Shoreditch branch, on 24th October, and is endorsed "W. L. Shenton"—we received this receipt.
JOHN KENNEDY WILL . I am physician in charge of Bethnal House Asylum—in respect of the asylum I received this demand note for £90 10s. 6d. for the rates for the last quarter of 1891—I drew this cheque on 22nd October in payment, and handed it to the prisoner, as far as I remember, at the asylum—it was paid by my bankers on 24th through the London and County Bank, Shoreditch branch; it is endorsed "W. I. Shenton."
Cross-examined. I have been there about ten years; for the four years I have been superintendent I have paid the rates to the prisoner—I believe he has always borne a very high character for respectability and honesty—I could not positively say to whom I handed the cheque.
Reexamined. I got this receipt from the person to whom I gave the cheque at the asylum.
THOMAS MOORE EIXEN . I am a clerk to Messrs. J. and J. Colman, of 108, Cannon Street, who received these three demand notes for rates for the last quarter of 1891, and accordingly I sent this cheque for £83168. 5d., dated 3rd November, in payment—it is endorsed "Shenton," and was paid through the London and County Bank, Shoreditch, on 6th November—these are the three receipts.
JOHN LLOYD . I am clerk to Messrs. Field and Sons, estate agents, of Hanbury Street, Mile End, who manage several properties in the neighbourhood—they collect rates for several persons, and pay them in in a lump sum to the collector—we draw up a list of the properties, with the amounts of the rates in respect of each, and a cheque is drawn for the whole amount—this is a list of the fourteen properties we manage, the rates on which for the last quarter of 1891 came to £39 6s. 3d.—this is our cheque for that amount, dated 4th November; it was sent by post—we received separate receipts in respect of each property from the collector, and distributed them among our clients—this is one of the receipts for £1 14s. 7d.—this is a copy of our book, which is correct.
EUSTACE SHEPPARD SMITH . I live at 62, Bonnor Road, and am a rate collector of the north ward of the parish of Bethnal Green—the London School Board is a pretty large ratepayer in the parish, and by arrangement the Board, who have several properties in the parish, used to give me one cheque for all the rates, and I distributed it among the other rate collectors by my own cheques—for the last quarter of 1891 the prisoner, as rate collector for the west division of the east ward, was entitled to £193 11s. for the School Board rate in respect of property in his district, and on 6th November I drew this cheque for that amount—
I think I gave it to the prisoner's son—it was paid through the London and County Bank, Shoreditch branch, on the 7th—it is endorsed "W. I. Shenton"—I got no receipt for it; it was not my habit to take receipts—after this matter had arisen I saw the prisoner in the Vestry, and he said I did not give him the cheque; that I handed it to his son—I said in my judgment he had had it, for it bore his endorsement—he said it was not his endorsement—I believe I said it was passed through his bank—he said he was not aware of the fact, or something of that sort, or "That is another matter."
Cross-examined. I have been a collector for rather more than thirty years, and during all that time the prisoner has been a collector—I think he would have collected, on an average, during that time an annual sum of about £40,000—he has borne a very high reputation for honesty, respectability, and good conduct in every way—about October he was confined to the house, and was assisted, with the Vestry's sanction, by one of his sons—there is a rate-book in which the name of the person, address, and rateable value of the property and the rate appears, and that book, if properly kept, would show exactly what was due to the Vestry and what had been collected—it was the practice of the Vestry for a long time (it is not so now) for us to collect pretty well every day, and pay into our banks, and on Wednesday and Saturday we were supposed to pay out of our banks into the two banks of the Vestry—we booked the collections up with reasonable frequency, but sometimes, when there had been an audit, we left the books at the Vestry for several days, and so the booking up got into arrear.
Re-examined. I did not mean the prisoner was confined to his house; I knew him to be ill—I saw him the day he asked for assistance at the Vestry—one of his sons was also a rate collector in the parish—I have found such a pressure of work that I could not enter in the cash-book day by day, and if so I should enter up the book from the counterfoil book—the rate-book at that time was in our possession during the quarter—sometimes we attended the Finance Committee meetings; we only brought the cash-books there, not the rate-books, which were not seen by the committee till the end of the quarter, when the quarterly balances were handed in.
By MR. GRAIN. The rate-book is provided by the Vestry, and it would be our duty to take it to them at any time they asked for it.
JOSEPH BATEMAN . I am manager of the Land Security Company, Great George Street, Westminster—part of their property is in Queen Square—£82 7s. 1d. was owing by the company to the Vestry in respect of rates for the last quarter of 1891, and on 11th November I drew this cheque in favour of W. I. Shenton in payment—this is the receipt—the cheque was passed through the London and County Bank on 14th November.
Cross-examined. I saw the prisoner's son, who was acting as clerk to him—I have known the prisoner for four or five years as a highly respectable, honourable man; he bears that reputation generally.
JOSEPH HIND . I am clerk to Messrs. Burton and Sons, Green Street, Bethnal Green—they owed £27 17s. 2d. as rates to the parish in the last quarter of 1891—this cheque, dated 13th November, was given in payment—it is stamped by the London and County Bank, Shoreditch, as
having been passed through their bank on 14th November—the prisoner called, and I handed him the cheque and received these two receipts; to the best of my belief, he tore them out of the counterfoil book as I gave the cheque.
FREDERICK BLISS . I assist my brother, an estate agent, at 154, Bethnal Green Road—we manage certain properties in the parish—we make out a list of rates due in respect of each property, and the prisoner was in the habit of calling to receive the lump cheque for all those rates—in the last quarter of 1891 we owed £116 19s. 3d. for rates in respect of all those properties—the collector makes out the list previous to calling for the rate—on 14th November the prisoner. called, and this cheque was given him in payment, and we had a separate receipt in respect of each property, that we might distribute them to our clients—this is one of those receipts—they were numbered consecutively, and were all received from the prisoner at the same time.
Cross-examined. During the several years that I have known the prisoner he has borne the reputation of a highly honourable and upright man.
JOHN ROBERT BOWEN . I am a licensed victualler, of the Arabian Arms, Cambridge Road—I owed £26 16s. 6d. for rates for the last quarter of 1891—about 20th November the prisoner called, and I gave him this cheque, and received these two receipts—the cheque appears to have been paid through the London and County Bank, Shoreditch, on the 20th.
Cross-examined. For over twenty years during which I have known the prisoner he has always borne a good character.
THOMAS WILKINSON . I am secretary of the East-end Dwellings Company, Old Square, Lincoln's Inn—on 23rd November the company owed £37 1s. 8d. for rates for the last quarter of 1891, and I sent this cheque to the prisoner's office on or about that day—some time afterwards I received these ten receipts—on 26th November this cheque was debited to our account through the London and County Bank, Shoreditch.
Cross-examined. It was at the beginning of January I received the receipts.
ALFRED MALTON . I live at and occupy from Nos. 1 to 21, Park Street, Bethnal Green, and am rated for it as small tenements—I owed the Vestry £12 19s. 3d. for the last quarter of 1891, and on 27th November I sent that sum to the prisoner's office—I received this receipt.
Cross-examined. I have known the prisoner for twenty-five years at least, and he has borne a very good character.
THOMAS WHITEHEAD . I occupy 30, Bishop's Road—on the 27th of November I paid £2 15s. 11 1/2 d. for rates for the last quarter of 1891, either to the prisoner or his son at the office—I received this receipt—I gave a customer's cheque for a larger amount, and received the change.
Cross-examined. For the twenty-two years I have known the prisoner he has always been a very respectable man, as far as, I have known.
JAMES EDWARD PERRIN . I am cashier to the London and County Bank, Shoreditch—I produce a copy of the prisoner's banking account from the bank ledger, certified by the manager as correct—it is an extract
from 1st October, 1891, to 8th January, 1892—it shows that on 1st October, 1891, the prisoner's account was overdrawn £119 Os. 7d., and that on 31st December it was overdrawn £135 5s. 10d., and that on 8th January it was overdrawn £107 19s. 2d.—we only honour the prisoner's signature at the bank—all these thirteen cheques mentioned by the various witnesses have been paid to the credit of the prisoner's banking account at the Shoreditch branch.
Cross-examined. Since 1864 the prisoner has banked with us—we had securities of his, I believe; I am not aware of the amount.
Re-examined. There are several promissory notes, one of 9th October for £250, and in December there is one; when they were debited to him they would account for the overdraft, as we honoured them without sufficient funds.
WILLIAM HENRY BUST . I live at 76, Bonner Road—in June, 1889, I was a clerk to the Vestry Clerk of St. Matthew's—I received instructions from Mr. Voss as to delivering these printed copies of "Duties of and Rules as to Collectors," and I delivered a copy to the prisoner.
Cross-examined. For eight years I had occasion sometimes to look into the prisoner's accounts; I always found them correct.
Re-examined. I looked into his ordinary collector's account—there was no cash-book then—I checked his balance-sheet with the rate-books and the bank-books quarter after quarter.
ROBERT VOSS . I am a solicitor, and Vestry Clerk of the parish of St. Matthew, Bethnal Green—I have an office at the Vestry Hall—up to June, 1889, the prisoner was the collector for the whole of the East Ward; he was paid by commission, which would amount to something over £500 a year—in June, 1889, there was an alteration; his district was divided into two, and he had about half the work, and instead of commission he was paid by salary; he had then £180; it was a little while afterwards raised to £220—his son was elected to the other ward at a similar salary, which increased in the same way—these "Duties of and Rules as to. Collectors" were drawn up in 1889 and circulated among the collectors—the prisoner has told me he received one—a fresh rate is made at the beginning of each quarter—the collectors have to collect poor rate, general rate, and composition rate, and the sewers rate when levied, but that is only once or twice a year—there was no sewers rate for the last quarter of 1891—the composition rate is an ecclesiastical rate, and is paid to the churchwardens—it would be the prisoner's first duty to collect the rates in a lump sum—after the rate was made at the beginning of the quarter the prisoner would receive the rate-book for that quarter, with the names of ratepayers and the amounts of their assessments, and counterfoil receipt-books for that quarter, numbered consecutively, and this collector's cash-book—his duty was to enter daily the sums received, and pay them into the bank weekly—he would pay cheques received into his own banking account prior to the first or second of the days when he had to pay it over—it was his duty to attend the meetings of the Finance Committee, which were sometimes once a fortnight, sometimes once a month, bringing with him his cash-book and counterfoil receipt-book—I was almost always present at those meetings—during the last three months he has never brought his rate-book to those meetings—at the end of each
quarter it was his duty to hand in balance-sheets; these are they for the quarter ending Michaelmas last; they show arrears of £261 11s. 10d. for poor rate, £233 1s. 3d. for general rate, and £24 0s. 5d. for sewers rate; in all, £518 13s. 6d.—at the meeting the amount of arrears was complained of, and this letter of October 14th was sent to the prisoner. (This stated that it would be necessary that his cash-book should be completed and ready before the next Finance Committee meeting, and that he ought since the closing of his book to have paid in the arrears)—the rate for the last quarter of 1891 was allowed by the Magistrate on 17th October, and from that time the prisoner would begin to collect the amounts for that quarter up to Christmas—it was part of his duty to apply himself diligently to his collection—on 24th October, at the end of the week, the prisoner handed in to the vestry his tab for that week, showing that he had paid in to the vestry's account, on account of the arrears of the previous quarter, £100 11s. 6d. for poor rate, £89 8s. for general rate, and £11 3s. 6d. for sewers rate—those sums were placed to the credit of the vestry—the prisoner's cash-book of the East Ward was made up and closed, and then he would start with a new page for the current quarter—on 9th December the collectors had to attend a meeting of the Finance Committee, and on 16th December, at a subsequent meeting, the prisoner's cash-book and counterfoil books were produced—we compared the counterfoils with the entries in the cash-book, and all the sums entered in the counterfoils appeared in the book as paid into the bank, and had found their way into the vestry's account—I noticed several blanks here and there, and I was directed by the committee to complain of the blanks and ask the reasons for their existence, and to require that in future a receipt, whether given or spoiled, should be produced—I saw the prisoner and asked his explanation, and he told me that the blanks represented spoiled receipts, and that no money had been received in respect of them—I also told him that in future the committee required that every spoiled receipt should be produced; that was on the following Saturday, I think—that quarter ended on 31st December—on or before the Wednesday morning before the first Thursday of a month beginning a new quarter, the collectors have to leave their balance-sheet for the quarter for the Finance Committee, and they have to pay on that morning, while the committee is sitting, the balance for poor rate, and bring the vestry's bank pass-book to the committee—that should have been done on 6th January—the prisoner was not present at the meeting on that day, and much surprise was expressed that he was not there—his balance-sheet up to end of the year was produced and examined; this is it; it shows a balance in the hands of the collector for poor rate of £773 3s. 10d., for general rate of £577 12s. 10d., and for the sewers rate for midsummer £12 16s. 11d.; that comes to £1,363 13s. 7d. as the balance in his hands, which should have been paid on 6th January—it was not paid, and I was requested by the committee to see him—I went to his office, and ultimately he was brought to me, and I asked him why he had not paid the money, and he shrugged his shoulders, as if something were wrong—I asked him if he had the money to pay, and he said he had not, he could not pay it; I think I asked why; he said it would be all right, or something of that kind, but I got nothing different from him beyond the fact that he could not pay—I reported the matter to the vestry, and the matter was discussed, and they ultimately
resolved that a prosecution should be instituted—under the rules of the vestry a collector has to take out a policy of £1,000 as a guarantee; there was that policy with regard to the prisoner; it was deposited with the vestry, and on this deficit of £1,300 they claimed on the society, who paid £1,000—subsequent to that and after the prosecution had begun £344 was paid by the prisoner's solicitor into the vestry's bank, without any communication to me, on 21st April, I believe—that made up the total amount of what was due—there was a small sum owing to him, his quarter's stipend for the previous quarter—I find no such amount in the cashbook, prior to 31st October, as a cheque for £54 3s. from Kent, and no such amount upon counterfoils 143 to 148—I find Rooke and Son's cheque for £36 0s. 11d. on the counterfoil receipts 169 to 170; I find no entry of that amount in the book prior to 31st October—I find on counterfoil 102 "Wilson, £28 16s. 1d."—I find no entry of that sum in the book prior to 31st October—counterfoil 152 is a blank; there is no sum entered in the cash-book against that counterfoil No. 152—I find £90 10s. 5d. entered on counterfoil 674 as from Will—I find no entry of £90 10s. 5d. in the cash-book prior to 31st October—counterfoils 160, 161, and 162 are in the name of Colman, and together they come to £83 15s. 5d.—no entry appears in the cash-book of £83 15s. 5d., or of the sums making up that prior to 7th November—counterfoil 158 is in Field's name; 138 to 141, and 149 to 159 are in different names; none of the sums of money mentioned in those counterfoils, and together making up the £39 6s. 3d. paid by Messrs. Field, appear in the cash-book between 4th November and 7th November—there is no entry from 1 to 600 of Mr. Smith's cheque for £193118. for the School Board rate—I find no entry on counterfoil 328 of £82 7s. lid.; it is marked nil, and spoiled; I find no entry of that sum in the cash-book between 11th November and 14th November—there is no counterfoil for £27 17s. 2d., or any such amount at No. 10 or next to it—Burton and Sons is put in afterwards at No. 15, and left blank—I find no entry of £27 17s. 2d. from Messrs. Burton and Sons in the cash-book—there is a sum of £1 2s. 3d. on counterfoil 10, and in the cash-book, but the balance £26 15s. is not entered anywhere prior to the 21st November—counterfoil 27 is for £7 0s. 9d.—the next entry in the cash-book after 21st November is £7 0s. 9d.; from the 21st to the 25th there are £3 6s. 8d., £2 4s. 6d., £4 18s. 9d., £4 3s. 10d., £5 11s. 1 1/2 d., and £9 5s. 2d.—£19 15s. 10d. appears to be paid into the poor, and £12 3s. 4d. into the general fund, as received between 21st and 25th November—from the 25th November there appears £7 7s., £12 19s. 3d., £7 8s. 2d., £1 17s. 1d., £1 17s. 1d., £5 11s. 1d., 14s. 10d.—there is no entry of Mr. Bowen's cheque for £26 16s. 6d. prior to 25th November—I find no entry between 25th and 28th November of £37 1s. 8d.—I found on counterfoil 776, £12 19s. 3d. entered; there is an entry in the cash-book between 25th and 28th November of £12 19s. 3d., but that is counterfoil 735, and that counterfoil is in the name of Lypman, not Malton, and shows only £2 6s. 1d. as received—that is the state of the book up to 16th December, entries 1 to 600—the book was given out afterwards to be continued; it was not given to the prisoner—long after 6th January it came back to the vestry entered up to 1,000, and then appeared some of the cheques which had been omitted before No. 600. there are entries of the £95 10s. 5d. and £90 10s. 5d.—they would have been entered after the book was delivered out.
Cross-examined. The prisoner was elected some time after I was vestry clerk, but he has been collector these thirty years or more—his father was a collector for many years before and daring the prisoner's time—of late years the annual sum collected would be about £40,000; he was paid prior to 1889 by commission, which brought him in over £500 a year—after 1889 he was paid by salary, and his duties were reduced—the vestry thought they were paying too much—there was no personal reason for the reduction—the collectors paid the cheques received into their private banking accounts, and afterwards paid into the vestry's accounts, because a large amount of the payments were by cheques which had to be divided, part for the poor rates and part for other things; and the vestry's accounts for the different funds were at different banks—we have altered our system now, and only have one banking account—I cannot say without going through the cash-book if all the sums named in the indictment are now entered in the book; if they are they have been entered after the examination—I have very little doubt that the amounts named in the indictment are ticked off in the rate-book as having been paid to the prisoner; and the rate-book is the vestry's book, and they can send to a collector at any time and tell him to bring and show it—we should not have been able to see at once that he had charged himself with all the items in the indictment, because they are scattered all over the book, and you would have to go through the entries—I believe that at the end of the quarter, when he made up the rate-book, he entered it truly up to then—I have no reason to suppose that there are any omissions—it is for counsel to answer whether this charge is that he omitted to enter amounts at the proper time—I have not been in personal communication with the Guarantee Society, but I conducted the communications, and I received the £1,000—I understood there was something about the society wanting security before they paid; but I know nothing of the detail—in January and February the prisoner's willingness to pay the money to the vestry was talked of; it was suggested whether if he could get the money it would be accepted; that would be for the vestry, and it never came before them till long after this prosecution was started—they took the guarantee money, and the rest was paid into the bank without any communication with them; we have accepted the money—at a meeting of the vestry it was considered whether if the money was offered it should be received—thirty-eight were present; a letter was read from the defendant's solicitors: "We are pleased to inform you that £344, more than sufficient to cover the balance, was yesterday paid into the vestry's account," and it was accepted—there were only two dissentients—in addition there was a resolution, "That the vestry (if the Magistrate approves) do withdraw from the prosecution now pending against Mr. Snenton"—the Magistrate declined to interfere in the matter—from the time the prisoner wrote on 16th November, "I regret to say that my present state of health prevents my carrying out my duties without temporary assistance this quarter," his son was assisting him in his division as far as I know; he was away for a short time, but he was about doing his work—we had no suspicion of him till the balance-sheets were brought in about 6th January, and he could not pay the money; we had given him directions to proceed with more rapidity—we thought the amounts coming in were not quite the same as the average would be—when the balance-sheet came in he admitted he owed us £1,300 he
ought to have paid in—no specific things were found out till the accounts were investigated by my sons and the clerks, and then it appeared to them that he was providing himself with funds to meet past deficiencies, and concealing accounts for that purpose—it might be six weeks or two months after the investigatian of the books that he said it was an error and that he would see we were paid.
Re-examined. After 16th November he was away for a few days, I believe—up to the last quarter the rate-books were always in the collectors' hands, and were never brought in until the Finance Committee day at the end of the quarter, when the balance-sheets were brought in—I have never known the rate-books produced for inspection at the Finance Committee meetings, and our collectors would know that—ratepayers in the parish would have a right to look at the book; and at the end of the quarter when it was made up it would show what sums had been paid and what sums were still due; and if sums entered in the rate-book as having been paid had not been paid into the vestry's account it would appear as a balance in the collector's hands, or as arrears.
ROBERT Voss (the younger). I am a solicitor, and have acquaintance with the Vestry's affairs—in the cash-book I see the figures of the quarter, 1 to 600, entered—up to 7th January nothing more appeared than those 600—after that I gave the book to the prisoner's son—additional entries were made on morning of 7th January in the vestry office.
The prisoner received a good character.
GUILTY.—Strongly recommended to mercy by the
JURY on account of his good character.
The vestry endorsed this recommenda tion.— Discharged on recognisances.
MR. AVORY Prosecuted.
NOT GUILTY .
OLD COURT.—Thursday, May 26th, and Friday, May 27th, 1892.
Before Mr. Justice Grantham.
571. JOSEPH JAMES ADAMS (54), JOSEPH BEECROFT (31), and HENRY FOURAKER (36) , Feloniously procuring Richard Beecroft to set fire to a house, 31, Pelham Street, Hastings; Other Counts, charging the prisoners as accessories before and after the fact.
GRAIN and PAUL TAYLOR appeared for Adams, MESSRS. GEOGHEGAN and KERSHAW for Beecroft, and MESSRS. KISCH and LAWLESS for Fouraker.
In opening the cast MR. MATHEWS proposed to give evidence of other fires. MR. GRAIN and MR. GEOGHEGAN objected to such evidence as irrele vant to the present form of charge, which did not raise the question of guilty knowledge. MR. JUSTICE GRAHAM overruled the objection. MR. KISCH urged that the prosecution should elect upon which Count they would proceed.
MR. JUSTICE GRANTHAM did not think such election necessary.
Joseph Beecroft—Adams sent Beecroft with me to look over No. 11, which Adams had for sale—I subsequently came to an agreement with Adams to take that house, and to give him in exchange for it the coffeehouse, 31, Pelham Street, Hastings, which belonged tome—I agreed to give £600 for the Blackfriars Road House, and he to allow me £214 for the Hastings one, leaving a balance of £386 payable by me—Adams told me that Richard Beecroft was going to manage the Hastings house—I subsequently saw Richard Beecroft at 11, Blackfriars Road, several times—I was introduced to him, I believe, by his brother Joseph, or Adams—I gave up possession of the Hastings house on 1st March, 1890—the £214 inducted the furniture and effects, which at that time were insured in the Guardian; I told Adams we were insured in the Guardian—he said he did not wish to take up the policy; the insurance was up to the following September—I believe the amount of the insurance was £350, but lam not sure—I took possession of 11, Blackfriars Road on 1st March—I paid £50 deposit before I took possession, and on taking possession I paid another £50, and I have since paid the balance—about three weeks after I gave up possession of the Hastings house I heard of a fire having occurred there—the same day I went to 22, Blackfriars Road; I did not see Adams or Beecroft there—I left word that I had received a telegram that a fire had taken place at 31, Pelham Street, and Joseph and Richard Beecroft called on me the same day—I said I had received that telegram, and I asked Richard Beecroft how that came about, and why he was in London, and said, "You are very foolish to come away"—he said he did not know what to do, he felt like making off with himself—he did not give me any information about the fire or how it had happened—I asked Richard Beecroft if he had insured—he said yes—he said he had paid half-a-crown deposit, and he put his hand in his waistcoat pocket and took out a slip of paper, but I did not see what was on it—I believe the two Beecrofts had then left, and had gone to Mr. Hubbard's office—I think Joseph suggested going there—Adams came in afterwards—he said he was very sorry, and it was a bad job—when he left he said he was going to Mr. Hubbard's office—before he left he said, "About the insurance?"—I said, "The insurance had not been transferred, because I could not do anything in the matter, because I could not conscientiously do so"—I was referring to my in-urance in the Guardian—Richard Beecroft said when the fire occurred he was at the Gaiety Theatre at Hastings—I afterwards went down to Hastings with Adams, and saw Mr. Savin, the landlord—I afterwards received from the Guardian £10 for two oil-paintings and several other things which I had there—I had not agreed to sell those things to Adams—I gave the £10 to Adams, believing he had had a loss—when I went to Hastings I went over the coffee-house and saw what had happened—I formed a conclusion of my own about it—I went down to Hastings a second time—Adams was then with me—I said to him that from the things I saw I thought it was wilfully set on fire by someone—I could not exactly say the words he said—he said he was very sorry it should have occurred; he hoped he should soon get over that.
Cross-examined by MR. GRAIN. I have lived in Hastings all my life, and have been sixteen years in business there—I have had dealings in coffee-houses there—I sold one to a person named Field; there was no
bother about that, not on my part—he never Raid to me that I had misrepresented the house, or threatened to prosecute me for false pretences—he did threaten me—I am still in the house I bought from Adams—I made no complaint about it till within eight or nine months after the transaction, when I mentioned it to him—I did not make any complaint against him with regard to the purchase of the house; I don't wish to make any complaint—I think I went to Hastings about eight or ten days after the fire; that was the first time I saw the ruined premises, and on that occasion I came to the conclusion that it was a wilful and malicious fire; there was no doubt in my mind about it—I did not go to the insurance office; they came to me about the insurance of the premises—I had moved all the goods but £10 worth—I had not made any claim; I never have made any—I did not tell the office that it was a malicious fire; I did subsequently—I had not been down then—I went to the office; I can't say who I saw, it was one of the officials; they gave me £10—I can't answer whether I believed Adams had some part in the fire; I formed no opinion whatever; I had no suspicion—I believed he had had a loss, that was why I gave him the £ 10—I am positive that what I have stated to-day as to telling Adams the fire was wilful is correct; I said it was a wilful case of fire against someone, but who I did not know—he replied he was very sorry; it was a bad job; he had lost what he had in his transaction with me and the £214; that is what it would imply, I imagine—I had not paid it up then, there was none due; I paid the deposit, and completed it after the fire, according to my agreement with Mr. Hubbard; he was the solicitor acting for Adams, and for me too, he should have been—I paid him £15 for his transaction in the transfer—I cannot say whether he acted unfairly or not—I was first spoken to about giving evidence in this matter by the Treasury about six months ago, as near as I can say—I said at Bow Street that I thought it necessary to give evidence so as to clear myself—I did not hear it rumoured in Hastings that I had had something to do with the fire—I never heard such a thing suggested; that was not why I said I wanted to clear myself.
Cross-examined by MR. KERSHAW. The interview with the two Beecrofts took place the day after the fire, before I went to Hastings—the conversation was not nearly all with Richard Beecroft; I asked him how the fire occurred—he said he did not know—he said, "I went to the Gaiety, and when I went to the house the officials would not let me in"—it was Joseph who suggested they should go to Mr. Hubbard's office; Adams did say so, but that was later on the same day.
Re-examined. Since that day I have never seen Richard—what I said at the Police-court was, "What I wanted to clear myself about was the transfer of the business; I thought the fire occurring so soon after I left might lead to something against me"—it was to the Guardian Office that I gave the information that I thought the fire was an incendiary one.
GEORGE SABIN . I am a lodging-house keeper at Hastings; that is one of my businesses—the coffee-house, 31, Pelbam Street, belongs to me—in February, 1890, my tenant, Mr. Woodcock, introduced Joseph Adams to me as a person who was going to take the business—subsequently, in consequence of a letter from Adams, I agreed to accept Richard Beecroft as the tenant—Woodcock's lease was to be assigned to him—on the night of 18th March, 1890, about ten o'clock, I was called to the premises—I
was informed that they were on fire—I went there—I found. the front door fastened—with the assistance of other persons I forced it open and went in; I found the fire burning on the first floor landing; it was all ablaze—as soon as I got in I smelt paraffin—on the half-landing going upstairs I found a candlestick, with the candle burning, on the first step down—it was all one mass of flame—there was oil burning and floating on the stairs and all along the landing; it was flowing from a brewing can, which, I think, they brewed tea in—the tap was about half-turned, and paraffin oil was flowing from it; I saw that after the fire was put out—the can was standing on the floor on the landing—I also saw a big pan on the landing; there was something burning it—I afterwards went into the bedroom on the first floor, opening on to the landing; I there found a two-gallon stone jar lying on its side, with a little paraffin in it, and the carpet saturated—it was not burning then, it had been; something had put it out—I did not go into the room till the fire had been put out—the bed was burnt; the jar was near the bed—the fire in the bedroom must have been distinct from the fire on the landing; the one had not communicated with the other—there was nobody in the house when I went in—I saw nothing of Richard Beecroft then, or subsequently—I did not see Adams again until he came down with Woodcock, a week or two after the fire—they wanted me to purchase back the house—I ultimately agreed to take back the house, and to give Adams £80 for the fixtures that were left—I paid him down that £60—I don't remember saying anything in particular to Adams about the fire—I don't think he asked me any questions about it.
Cross-examined by MR. TAYLOR. I think I saw Adams twice in reference to this matter, once before Richard Beecroft was admitted as tenant, and once alter—he went into the premises on the day we arranged when he came down with Woodcock; that was after the fire—I think I never saw him on the premises after Beecroft came into occupation.
By the COURT. Great injury was done to the house, the stairs were burnt down, everything had to be re-doner and a lot of the furniture was useless; still I thought it worth my while to get hold of the things and make a fresh start—I had to do the re-doing—it was insured—not only was Woodcock's furniture insured, but I had an insurance for the house—I was one of the first that went into the house—I went in with two policemen; the second door was half glass, and they smashed an opening and I went in—I rushed to the W. C., and opened the door and window, and then they were able to put out the fire with mats, and I went and got water in pails till the engine came—neither Richard Beecroft nor anyone belonging to the house came while I was there.
EDWARD LOWE . I am a instable of the Hastings Borough Police—about five minutes to ten on the night of the 18th March, 1890,1 was called to the fire at 31, Pelham Street, Hastings—I followed Mr. Sabin in, and up the stairs—on the first landing I saw an earthenware candlestick, about three or four inches long, containing a candle about two inches long, which was burning—oil was running oil the landing, dripping down on the three steps towards where the candlestick was standing; the oil was alight, burning—further along the passage, in a corner, stood a tea urn with the tap partly turned on—it contained a small quantity of oil, which appeared to be paraffin—it had exhausted
itself, but there was a little left—in the left-hand corner, on the same floor, stood a round earthenware pan; that was burning, but what it was I cannot say; it seemed like methylated spirits, I could not see any oil—in the bedroom, on the same floor on the right-hand side, was a large stone jar laid down on its side, about a foot from the bed; that was burning from the mouth when I went in—I extinguished that flame; I blew it out—the bed, which was close by, was saturated; it smelt like paraffin—the fire in the bedroom was quite a distinct and separate fire from the one on the landing; it could not be communicated from one to the other—after we came down, when the fire was put out, I found another stone jar, containing about two gallons of paraffin oil, under the stairs of the landing where the fire was burning, it had not reached there—I did not know Richard Beecroft at that time—I afterwards heard that he had been the occupier—our men were looking for him the whole of that night—search was made for him; he could not be found.
Cross-examined by MR. TAYLOR. The gas was burning in the kitchen, on the ground floor—the house was lighted both by gas and oil—I have been in the force just on nine years—it is my duty to make a written report to my superiors of the fires I attend—if I form a conclusion that a fire is an incendiary one it is not my duty to put that in my report—we usually put the facts we see, not opinions of our own—I have only sent in one report of a fire before this—if I am of opinion that a fire is wilfully caused, it is not my duty to make a written report of that, but to mention it verbally—I did not mention to anyone except the inspector that I considered this an incendiary fire.
Re-examined. I reported the facts I found, which I have stated.
MARTHA BAKER . I am now living at Greenwich—in 1890 I was employed as servant at 31, Pelham Street, Hastings, both before and after Mr. Woodcock left—I remember Richard Beecroft coining into possession on 1st March, 1890; he agreed to keep me there as servant—on Tuesday, 18th March, about half-past six in the evening, Richard Beecroft spoke to me—in consequence of what he said I went out for that evening at seven o'clock—I came home at ten, and found the place on fire—when I left I left Richard Beecroft only on the premises—he had the key of the door—he wished me to take it; I did not, because the door was a job to open—it was at his suggestion that I went out that evening; I had not asked to go out—I was to be back at half-past ten—he knew where I was going, home—I did not see him when I returned; I went to the Gaiety Theatre to look for him; he had told me he was going there—I did not find him there; I never saw him again—the brewing can, or tea can, was kept in a cupboard in the passage on the ground floor—I had seen it there that day; I moved it from the scullery into that cupboard—it was not used while I was there—I had been there about six or eight months, as far as I know; no paraffin was kept in it; there was none in it when I moved it—the large earthenware pan was in the same cupboard when I left the house; that was used for cooking purposes—we did not keep candles on the staircase; there were none there when I left—there was no stone jar in the bedroom with paraffin in it—paraffin was kept in the house, to burn in lamps; about two gallons was usually bought at a time; the last two gallons had come in on the Tuesday—there was some business done in the coffeehouse while Richard Beecroft was there; not very much—he had been
there nine or ten days with me and Miss Standing; she left on the Saturday—Fouraker stayed in the house as a lodger; he came on the Saturday as the fire occurred on the Tuesday; he slept in the house on Saturday, and left on Monday morning—I never saw anybody else in the house; he was the only person who slept there—when Richard Beecroft came his brother Joseph came with him; he came to look over the house with him—I did not go back to the premises after the fire; I was staying opposite—the oil was kept in a large can—I did not know of any large can holding two gallons on the premises.
Cross-examined by MR. TAYLOR. I don't think I told Richard Beecroft that I should return before ten; I am not sure.
Cross-examined by MR. GEOGHEGAN. It was on 1st March that Joseph Beecroft came and looked over the house—I never saw him again.
Cross-examined by MR. KISCH. I can't say at what time Fouraker left—I remained in the house all day Monday and Tuesday, till I was asked to leave—I did not see Fouraker after the early part of Monday morning—there was nothing in the house to excite my suspicion when I left; no cans about or any things in their wrong places—Fouraker was not helping in the business at all; simply staying there as a lodger—we used to let the bedrooms to people that came, and we let one to him; Richard Beecroft let the bed—Fouraker was out a good deal during the two days—I don't remember what sort of weather it was at that time—he was out the best part of Saturday and Sunday.
Re-examined. He and Richard were both out together; they went out together—I asked Richard if he was a friend, and he said no—I thought they were friends.
HENRY JAMES COOTE . I am clerk to Mr. Alfred L. Sayer, a solicitor at Hastings—he is agent to the Sun Fire Office, of London—on 6th March, 1890, a man giving the name of Richard Beecroft called at our office as to the insurance of certain furniture, stock, and fixtures of a coffee-house at 31, Pelham Street, Hastings—I took down the particulars—he wanted to insure for £550, £350 on furniture, £150 on fixtures, and £50 on stock and utensils—I went to 31, Pelham Street, and looked round—it was a medium class of furniture—I suggested some separate insurance; ha declined that, and said he would rather leave it as it was—I accepted the insurance for the £550—I believe he paid half-a-crown, for which, I believe, I gave him a receipt—I filled up an order-sheet for a policy to be made out, and sent it to the Sun Fire Office, 63, Threadneedle Street; that was about the 12th March, and on the 20th a policy came down from London, made out for £550 in the name of Richard Beecroft; this is the policy (produced); a notice was sent to Richard Beecroft, at 31, Pelham Street, stating that the policy was awaiting him; it was never called for, it was never taken up, and it was returned by me to London on the 14th April—I never saw him afterwards.
HECTOR CHARLES HEALE . I am a clerk in the Sun Fire Office, London—on 13th March I received an order for an insurance on the premises, 31, Pelham Street, Hastings—a policy was made out and sent to our agent on the 19th—on the 14th April it was returned, stating that it had not been taken up.
CHARLES LEONARD . In 1886-7 I was secretary to the Coffee Tavern Company—at Christmas, 1886, the prisoner, Joseph Adams, purchased from our company the business of a coffee-house at 83, Newington Butts
—he paid £60 for the fixtures and plant in the house, the whole contentsof the place; and the policy of insurance which was then existing in the West of England Fire Office for £1,175 was transferred to him—that did not include the house—we were very desirous of getting rid of the house—it was a long lease and not paying—a large amount was spent adapting the place to our requirements; we had a lease of about thirty years to run; the rent was £125—in February, 1887, Adams also purchased from us the coffee-house, 228, East India Dock Road—he paid us, I think, £150 for the furniture, fixtures and plant—this is the agreement—we had a policy, but that was not transferred; he said he would take out a new one.
Cross-examined by MR. TAYLOR. I heard that Adams made considerable alterations in the house in Newington Butts—the fixtures were underrated at £60—they would cost about £300 to replace—the policy was drawn out on the expenditure we made; that is the usual course—it was a house that would require expenditure, if any additional trade was to be done there.
CHARLES AYLING . I am a clerk in the West of England Fire Insurance Office—in 1882 a policy was issued on the contents and rent of a coffee-tavern, 83, Newington Butts—on 30th December, 1886, that policy was transferred to Joseph Adams, of 22, Blackfriars Road—I produce a certified copy of that policy, having received the original back—on 28th February, 1887, we received notice of a fire at 83, Newington Butts, in consequence of which we placed the matter in the bands of our assessors, Messrs. Toplis and Harding—on 7th March a claim was sent to the office, under which damage to the contents was made for £703 2s. 4d.—that was a claim made by the valuer, F. C. Walter, on behalf of Joseph Adams—on 21st March we had an. acceptance signed by Joseph Adams, agreeing to take £480 in full, settlement of that claim—on 30th March an order for £48 I was drawn, and on 2nd April this receipt was signed by Joseph Adams; there was a condition that the sum assured be reduced by the amount paid until renewal; so that if there had been a fire next day he would only be liable for £480—the next premium became due in September, 1887—On 22nd September the office stated that they would not accept a renewal of. the policy, and it never was renewed.
Cross-examined by MR. TAYLOR. In an ordinary risk we do not survey the property, one in which there is no trade process or manufacture, such as a Coffee Tavern Company, from which we have a great many insurances—we rely to a great extent on the liability of the customer—we have nothing to complain of in the way in which the Coffee Tavern, Company insure—we do not think they overrate the risk.
CHARLES LEONARD (Re-called). There are a lot of things in the list which were not in the policy when we sold—whether they were there at the time or not I cannot say—this does not represent the things that were left, but considerably more—there is an item for a six-feet kitchen range, £55—I don't know what was allowed for that; that was not in at the time we transferred the premises to Adams; this list represents furniture which we had not there.
WILLIAM WELCH (218 W). On Sunday morning, 27th February, 1887, about 2.30, I was on duty in Newington Butts, and discovered the coffee-house, No. 83, was on fire—I first saw fire coming from the first
floor front window—when I got up to the shop I found it was on fire on the ground floor—I saw two men on the roof; they turned out to be the prisoner, Joseph Beecroft, and a man named Reynolds, who was afterwards discharged by the Magistrate—they were brought down by the fire-escape—they were partly dressed.
Cross-examined by MR. GEOGHEGAN. They were shouting very loudly for help—I was a hundred yards away when the Are first attracted my attention—the two men on the roof were in actual danger—they were carried across to a neighbour's—when I came up the flames were in the front room ground floor—the shutters were not up; I could see through the window—the flames were going up the side where the lift was—the shop itself was not on fire.
By the COURT. It was a four-storey house—two above where I saw the fire—the men on the roof could not hare come through the house because of the fire; the staircase was in flames.
EDWIN ANSELL I am a fireman in the Metropolitan Fire Brigade—on Sunday morning, 27th February, 1887, I was in charge of the fireescape at the Elephant and Castle—about 3 a.m. I went to 83, Newington Butts with the fire-escape—the fire was burning apparently in the basement; it had sprung up to the first floor; I could not tell whether the staircase was burning—I put the escape up to the house and brought down two men from the roof—one was Reynolds; I cannot recognise the other—they gave their names as Joseph Beecroft and Herbert Reynolds—I saw them taken across the road into a neighbour's house—Reynolds I had to carry down the escape, the other I assisted down—I went on to the roof to them—Beecroft appeared to be gathering up some money, some small amount—after I had got them down I went to the third floor window—the place was full of smoke at that time; it would have been impossible for anyone to have got down the staircase—there are houses adjoining.
Cross-examined by MR. GEOGHEGAN. There would have been great difficulty in getting on to the roofs of the adjoining houses—the men were within two or three minutes of the fire burning under their feet; their feet were bare; they were in their shirts and trousers.
ARTHUR BOLAND . I am a member of the Salvage Corps—I was calle ✗ to the fire at 83, Newington Butts, on 27th February—I got there about 2.20—the fire was then well alight—I did not at that time form any opinion where it had originated—I examined the premises next day, and then formed the opinion that it had originated at the foot of the wooden lift on the basement—I found there some remains of shavings and newspapers; I swept it up in a heap, about two basketsful—it appeared to me to smell very strongly of paraffin, or something of that description—I drew she surveyor's attention to it at the time—I saw a clothes-horse there and clothes on it; they were scorched, not burnt—the fire must have spread very quickly—the lift went straight up from the basement to the first floor ceiling—there was a coffee-room on the first floor; the lift was to take up the eatables from the basement—there were refreshment-rooms on the ground floor—On the 15th November, 1890, about 11 p.m., I was called to a fire at 28, Southampton Street, Strand—the fire seemed to have started in a cupboard under the stairs on the ground floor, and to have spread up the staircase; it missed the first floor front room, but attacked the whole of the rooms above—I remained there in charge—
about two days after Joseph Adams came there with Eccles and Henry Core—Adams was there on several occasions, but Cove only on one—they went over the premises—Leach came there once—I saw those four there together.
Cross-examined by MR. TAYLOR. I mentioned the smell of paraffin at I once to Mr. Fiddiman, the surveyor—I did not form any conclusion as to whether it was an incendiary fire or not; it is not my place to form it, if I had—it would have been my duty to mention it to the Salvage Corps, and report it to my superiors—I should say this fire was caused very suddenly, from the way in which it travelled—I should say there was only one fire—I should say it was a very strong fire, from what I could see of it—there was nothing to create suspicion of anyone—I have known Adams since the Newington Butts fire—I have seen him several times since then—I have to keep a written report of fires—I was subpœnaed in this case at the time of the Bedfont case; that was about three years after the Newington fire—during that time I have seen Adams once or twice—I never had any suspicion that he had been engaged in anything of this kind.
Cross-examined by MR. GEOGHEGAN. The two basketsful of stuff were inside the foot of the lift—as far as I could see they had not been touched before I came there—the tray of the lift would come within about three feet of the floor of the kitchen—between the bottom of the lift and the floor at the sides there are wooden uprights to support the lift; the lift would act as a kind of flue, there would be a draught; that would explain the suddenness of the fire—if a person was in the kitchen at the time the fire broke out there would be no difficulty in his getting from the hall to the street door; he would be out into the street in half a minute.
WILLIAM HILL FIDDIMAN . I am one of the firm of Toplis and Harding, assessors to the West of England Insurance Company—in consequence of a notice from the insurance company I went to 83, Newington Butts, on the 28th February, and made an examination of the premises; I should say the fire had originated in or near the lift in the basement on the right-hand side of the kitchener—it had travelled up the lift to the first floor—the staircase was intact, but the rooms above had suffered from heat and smoke—there was a step-ladder on the second floor, leading to a trapdoor in the roof—I believe I saw Adams a short time after the fire, at our office; at that time he was wearing a beard, he came as a person chiming from the office—he said he thought the fire was attributable to a defect in the flue of the kitchener—I saw the range; in my judgment it could not have been so—the seat of the fire appeared to be in the flue itself—there were nine inches of brickwork between the lift and the kitchener—the claim for £703 was put before me, sent in by a man named Walker, an agent acting for Adams—I saw Walker; also Mr. Hubbard, acting as solicitor for Adams—after negotiating with them I settled the claim for. £480.
Cross-examined by MR. TAYLOR. I surveyed the premises for the first time after the fire—I had not heard of a fire occurring there before—I should say the house had been built perhaps thirty or thirty-five years.
Cross-examined by MR. GEOGHEGAN. I thoroughly surveyed the premises from room to room—it took me a considerable time to go through the items of the claim—I have said, "When I surveyed the premises I had
no suspicion that it was an incendiary fire; afterwards I was not satisfied that it was not accidental"—nothing particular that I saw during my surrey excited my suspicion.
Re-examined. It was the position of the fire that caused me to think it was not accidental—it could not be accounted for except that it was from a defect in the flue—I at once examined the flue—the brickwork seemed to be intact, therefore it was not from the defective flue—the lift was the seat of the fire, it was the hottest part; all traces to show how it might have originated had been taken away.
ANDREW WILLIAM REED . I am assessor to the Liverpool, London and Globe Insurance Company, in which the building, 83, Newington Butts, was insured by the landlord—after the fire in February I went to see what damage was done, incidentally I looked to the cause—I came to the conclusion that the fire originated at the lift; the flue was adjoining the lift—there was no defect in the flue, and nothing to lead me to believe that the fire was caused by any defect in the flue, there were nine inches of brickwork between the shaft of the lift and the kitchener—I cannot suggest any mode by which the fire could have been accidentally caused.
Cross-examined by MR. TAYLOR. I had some damage to repair from fire at the adjoining premises shortly before—I do not know whether that arose from a deflective flue; the place was burnt out—I don't know when this house was transferred to Adams—I do not remember any fire before this.
By the COURT. I cannot tell how long the owner has been insured; the present policy dates from 1884, and there was a previous policy, cancelled.
Cross-examined by MR. GEOGHEGAN. I cannot suggest how the fire next door occurred—it had nothing to do with Beecroft that I know of.
JAMES SEGRAVE . I live at Blackheath—about the end of May, 1891, I went to see the prisoner Adams, in consequence of an advertisement—he offered to sell me the business of 83, Newington Butts, and suggested that a young man of the name of Henry Cove should go in and manage it for me—ultimately I agreed to that, but in consequence of Cove not finding his share of the money I did not go on with it—afterwards Adams told me there had been a fire there—he said he presumed it had been occasioned by the cat upsetting the clothes-horse with the things in front of the fire.
JAMES DOLBY HOBSON . I am assistant secretary to the Queen Insurance Company, 60, Gracechurch Street—in March, 1887, I received a proposal to insure 228, East India Dock Road, on behalf of Adams, for £1,405 for the contents of the building, and another proposal to insure the building for £1,000 in the name of the owner and Joseph Adams—a policy was afterwards issued on the contents for £1,305 in the name of Joseph Adams—this is the policy, dated 27th April, 1887—another policy for £1,000 was issued on the building in the name of Adams and the owner—on 1st June, 1887, I received information that a fire had occurred on the premises—we put the matter in the hands of our assessors, Messrs. Toplis and Harding, and from them we received this claim for £452 10s., as compensation for the goods destroyed or damaged—we settled that claim by the payment of £185, receiving from Adams a receipt for the same, the policy to be given up and cancelled—that is not
usual, but the circumstances of the case were such that we thought it advisable.
Cross-examined by MR. TAYLOR. Before we accepted the proposal our surveyor had seen the premises and reported on the risk—it was on his report that we accepted it—after the fire our assessors would be the first persons to view the premises.
CHARLES LEONARD (Re-examined by MR. GEOGHEGAN). Our company had a fire at 83, Newington Butts, in 1886—there was then a lift from the basement up to the shop; the fire occurred in the lift—that was long before any of these people had anything to do with the house.
By MR. MATHEWS. It was investigated at the time—it was not a large fire—the cause, I think, was a swing gas bracket, not properly fixed, left by one of the servants over-night, which in some way got against the woodwork—that was explained then.
MARY JOHNSON . I am a widow—about January, 1887, I went to work at the coffee-house, 228 East India Dock Road, as cook—at that time young Adams was in charge of the premises—I remember Cove being there; he was whitewashing and painting about the place—a man named Hack was there for a little while; he left—a fire happened on 1st June, 1887—I was on the premises the day before—I did not sleep on the premises; I slept at home with my children—on the day of the fire I left at twenty past ten, leaving Cove and the boy Fred on the premises—young Adams had gone away some days before—next morning, when I got there at half-past five, I found the firemen there—they asked me who the place belonged to, and I told them—I went to 22, Blackfriars Road, to tell them the place was on fire; that was Mr. Adams, sen.—I had seen him several times at East India Dock Road—I understood from the son that he was the owner—I did not see him at 22; I saw the prisoner Beecroft—I told him a fire had taken place—he told me to go back to the place and stop till he came—on my return to the place I found the firemen still there; nobody else—I never saw Cove again—as I returned I passed the boy Fred on Blackfriars Bridge; he was going to 22—there was a room on the second floor that was kept locked; mat was packed or stored with some furniture—I was in the kitchen when it was fetched in—I don't know where it came from; they told me it came from Blackfriars Road—that was brought in about a week or a fortnight before the fire—the room was still locked the day before the fire—Harry Cove had the key—I had seen the prisoner Beecroft at the house once or twice before the fire; I don't know what he came for.
Cross-examined by MR. TAYLOR. I could not say that Adams came to the house more than once or twice—I did not take much notice; he came several times—I did not have any conversation with young Adams the day the fire occurred; I did not see him—before he went away he said something about their going down to Hastings for a week (I knew Mr. Adams had been ill, by hearing them say so)—he went away on Friday, and the fire was on Tuesday morning—during that time I had not seen him or his father.
Cross-examined by MR. GEOGHEGAN. I know that shortly before this Beecroft had married Adams' daughter—when I went to 22, Blackfriars Road, I knew that Beecroft was managing for old Adams—he told me he would write to Adams when I told him of the fire.
Re-examined. Young Adams had gone away to Hastings on the Friday
There from 1886 up to October last—I produce a correct copy of his account up to August, 1888, and a pass-book containing a correct copy of his account from August, 1888, up to October, 1891, when he ceased operating upon it—a balance was left of £9 6s. 8d.—the last transaction was a cheque for £35 on 15th October, and a cheque for £3 on 14th October—on the 28th September £300 was drawn out by a cheque payable to himself.
LYDIA RHODES . I am a widow, of 39, Tillotson Road, Edmonton—in October, 1888, I was in business with my late husband as a coffeehouse keeper at 10, East Road, City Road; we were anxious to dispose of that business, and we put it into the prisoner Adams's hands to sell for us—he introduced me to Fouraker, whom I had not seen before—in the end this agreement; of 6th October, 1888, was come to, under which I gave him up possession of 10, East Road, on 19th October; he came into the house as I was going out—I took two cottages at Tottenham as part consideration.
Cross-examined by MR. LAWLESS. The agreement was between me and Fouraker, who was the ostensible purchaser, but Hubbard really found the money—Mrs. Hubbard handed me over the two cottages by a contemporaneous deed as part of the consideration money—I looked on Fouraker as the tenant—Hubbard found the purchase money—Adams, in whose hands I put the business to sell, carried on the business at 22, Blackfriars Road, and he introduced me to Fouraker—my husband, who is now dead, saw Fouraker, and I believe he also saw Hubbard, and settled it with him really—Hubbard transacted the whole thing, and paid over the money at the last—I cannot say how much money I got.
Re-examined. I don't think I paid anything; it has to be paid to the society upon the mortgage—the business was in my name—I know nothing about the payment of the balance—I got no money; only the two houses; I have them now—I have to pay by yearly instalments £136 to the Star Bowkett Building Society, but my husband settled about that—I believe, at all events, that Adams carried the transaction out.
EDWARD DUNNING . In October and November, 1888, I was the landlord of 24, East Road, City Road, a coffee-house—in October Adams came about taking it from Mr. and Mrs. Rhodes for Fouraker—I told him if he got me a respectable and responsible tenant I would relieve Mrs. Rhodes of her tenancy; he assured me it would be the case, and gave me the address, 22, Blackfriars Road, as a reference for Fouraker—I was to be put into communication with Fouraker by addressing him there; I understood Adams was proprietor of 22, Blackfriars Road, a coffee-house; he said he had lived there some years; he told me Fouraker was a respectable hard-working man, who would suit the place—I afterwards went and looked at the outside of 22, Blackfriars Road, and was satisfied with its external appearance, and gave my solicitors, Billinghurst, Wood, and Pope, instructions to prepare an agreement, dated 30th November, under which I let 10, East Road, to Fouraker, at a rental of £75 a year—I signed the draft at my solicitors' office—I did not see Fouraker during the negotiations; afterwards I saw him at 10, East Road, he was pointed out to me as the new tenant; that was after the agreement was signed—I saw a fire on the premises a short time afterwards; I was only residing a few doors off—I went to the house next
morning, and into the lobby, and heard of it—some time afterwards there was another fire, and next morning I saw the place was destroyed—I think I sent a notice to the Sun Fire Office on both occasions—on the second occasion I saw the building was in a very bad state, and I think I wrote to Messrs. Turnbull, and they said they would communicate as soon as a settlement was made—I had no communication with Fouraker after the fire; he still held the agreement, some considerable time; some time after the building had begun to be reinstated the agreement was cancelled, and a letter was received by Billinghurst and Wood from Hubbard, returning the agreement, cancelled, with a cheque for rent—I did not see Adams about the cancellation; it was done between Hubbard and Pope.
Cross-examined by Mr. GRAIN. Practically everything was done by my solicitors, Messrs. Billinghurst, Wood, and Pope, and Hubbard as to letting the premises, reinstating them after the fire, and cancelling the agreement—it was cancelled because I had a doubt whether I should get any more rent, and I was anxious to get possession of the premises again—Hubbard paid all the rent up; he was acting for Fouraker.
Cross-examined by MR. LAWLESS. Adams gave 22, Blackfriars Road, his own address—from what I can understand Fouraker was managing there and wanted to go into business, and mentioned Adams's address, wanting a reference—the business was carried on by Mrs. Rhodes for eight years; it was a substantial business so far as I knew, but Mr. Rhodes had been ill for a long time and the place had got a little neglected, and that was why he was desirous of getting rid of it.
WALTER SHARP . I am a clerk in the Hand-in-Hand Insurance Company—in November, 1888, an insurance was effected on the furniture and effects at 10, East Road, with our office by Harry Seymour Hubbard, to whom a policy was issued—this is a copy of the policy—it was for £300 on furniture, £250 on fixtures and fittings, £75 on rent, and £100 on trade utensils, altogether £725—we had notice of a fire having occurred there on 29th December, 1888, and this claim for £90 15s. was sent in on behalf of Mr. Hubbard—that was settled by the payment of £55—on 23rd March we had notice of another fire having occurred there, and we had this claim for £448 12s. 3d. for furniture, fixtures, etc., excluding rent—that was settled by a payment of £268, which included the rent—both those amounts were paid to Mr. Hubbard, and he gave receipts for them.
Cross-examined by MR. GRAIN. There is a list of all the articles alleged to be burnt, and giving the items with the prices against them on which they claim—Toplis and Harding are our valuers—we communicate with them in the ordinary course of business, and they go and examine the premises and report to us; that would be the regular way whatever claim was made on us—it is substantially on their report that we act, whether we pay the whole or a portion, or dispute the claim—we paid the £55 and £268 upon their reports.
Cross-examined by MR. LAWLESS. Fouraker made no claim so far as we are aware, and we did not pay him—we knew it was Hubbard's property, as the proposal form stated so; his making a proposal would be sufficient evidence that the property was his—the house is mentioned as in the occupation of Fouraker.
an order for furniture to be delivered at 10, East Road—this is an invoice, dated 20th October, 1888, showing the furniture supplied to him there, amounting to £57 17s.—we knew him at that time as a customer—they were delivered, and he paid for them—on 18th June, 1891, Leech, who was introduced by Adams, ordered goods to the value of £21 10s. 8d. to be sent to Leech at The Bocks, Bedfont—Adams said he should like to introduce a customer, mentioning his name, and Leech afterwards called and selected the goods—I have since seen Leech in custody, and I know him as the man who was convicted—the furniture was sent to Leech at The Rock?, Bedfont—some time after, about July, 1891, Adams called and asked for a copy of the furniture which had been sent there—he wanted us to write to Mr. Leech, stating that certain articles came to £21 odd, which was the amount of all the goods; he wanted us to say they cost more than they really did—I wrote this letter to Leech describing some of the goods, and then put the word "etc.," and then the total amount of the invoice—the letter was given to Adams—he did not want the copy of the invoice.
Croat-examined by MR. GRAIN. Our firm have had transactions with Adams for five or six years to my knowledge—I knew he had coffeehouses in Blackfriars Road and East Road—I think a bedroom suite and a chest of drawers were the items we were to say had cost the whole amount, and for my own protection I put "etc."
By the COURT. I sent the letter, acting on behalf of the firm and by direction of the firm, which has been established for some time, and has a considerable business—the letter was written in the ordinary business way so far as I know—I do not know of any arrangement by which we sold furniture through Adams, he receiving 5 per cent, commission.
Re-examined. I knew it was rather a curious thing not to require a copy of the invoice, and that was why I put "etc."—that was not exactly an ordinary business transaction—I had not the slightest idea that a claim was going to be made on the insurance company.
By the COURT. I have not done such a thing before—I thought it was curious—it did not occur to me as a fraud at the moment—I put the "etc." in to protect myself, because I thought it was out of the ordinary.
JAMES ALEXANDER . I am a clerk to Messrs. E. Coules and Sons, smiths, 6, George Street, Blackfriars Road—I produce a ledger showing the work done to 10, East Road, in November, 1888, for Adams—he said the work was to be done for Mr. Fouraker—after the work was done, an account, of which this is a copy, was sent in to Fouraker at 10, East Road, City Road—it amounted to £12 13s. 6d., for repairing, among other things, the kitchen range, for high boiler pressure, and so on—Adams called to pay the account about the 3rd of May, 1889—Mr. Hubbard's name was not mentioned with regard to it; I never heard of Mr. Hubbard—Adams said he came to pay on behalf of Fouraker, and if we liked to take £12 he would settle the account, which we took—he said nothing that I recollect about Fouraker's position—I believe Fouraker could not pay—we were pressing for money.
Cross-examined by MR. LAWLESS. He led us to suppose that he came to settle, because Fouraker had no money—Adams ordered the work on
behalf of Fourakor, and we looked to Adams for the money if we could not get it from Fouraker, as we had done before.
FREDERICK THOMAS DAVEY . I am a contractor, of St. George's Market, London Road—I have been in the habit for some time past of doing work for Mr. Adams—I did some work for him at 10, East Road, City Road—I don't know the date; it is about two years ago, I think, or a little more—I papered the staircase, whitewashed the shop ceiling, and varnished the walls—that was before the fire—Mr. Adams paid me—I also did work for him at 228, East India Dock Road—I supplied and fixed a range there for Abel Flack—Adams paid me on Flack's behalf—I understood Flack to be the proprietor—I also did some work at 83, Newington Butts; I concreted the floor, and supplied and fixed a new range—I also set a second-hand range at a coffee-house, 28, Catherine Street, Strand—Adams paid me on behalf of the foreigner who had it at the time—I went to Mr. Hubbard's office once with Adams, at the London Joint Stock Bank Chambers, on the second floor, opposite Smithfield Market—Adams said to Mr. Hubbard, pointing to me, "This is the young man is going into 10, East Road"—he had made an arrangement that if I managed the business I should hare £50 when it was sold, but Fouraker went in my place; no reason was given for that—I fit up cooking apparatus, and do general repairs to house property, and so on, for eatinghouses—I have never had anything to do with managing eating-houses—I gained a certain amount of knowledge of dining-rooms, and I thought I could do something in that way myself—I was to manage the business till it was sold; it would take about six months to sell it—he told me he was going to sell it, but I believe it was on behalf of Mr. Hubbard—I was to have the £50 when it was sold—no salary was mentioned; I might get the profits out of the business; I might have to take the chance of that—if it had been a loss I should have had to abide by it—I was getting work, and I did not press it, or say anything about it; I was contented with what I did get—I never asked Adams why he had supplanted me—I could not possibly tell whether it was in October that this negotiation with Adams was going on—I can't say how long it was before Fouraker went in—I have no idea whether it was a year or a month before—I recollect the fire being there, but not the date; I had no dealings with it—I did not apply to Adams for the £50; I did not think it was any use applying for a thing I never entered into; I heard nothing more about the transaction—I had nothing to do with the premises after the fire.
CHARLES WILCOX (362 G). On 21st March, about 10 p.m., I was on duty in East Road, City Road—I saw a fire at No. 10—I went to the house, and could see a peculiar reflection through the fanlight over the door on the ground floor; it was a dark reddish reflection; it seemed to be lying at the back of the shop, mostly on the left hand side; it seemed to be making its way towards the front—I blew my whistle, got assistance, and sent for the fire-escape—shortly before it armed the window came out, and there was a dull explosion at the back—the flames came out of the window, and spread all over the shop—I got through to the premises; there was nobody there.
Cross-examined by MR. GRAIN. I was on fixed point duty nearly opposite the house—I believe the shop was closed when I went on duty,
about three-quarters of an hour before I saw the flames—I did not go inside afterwards; East Road is a pretty busy road—somebody had been on point duty before me.
Cross-examined by MR. LAWLESS. I had been on duty there before that night—I could not say at what time the shop closed.
Re-examined. I did not see anybody go on the premises after I arrived there at a quarter-past nine.
WILLIAM HILL FIDDIMAN (Re-examined). I went to 10, East Road, after the fire of 31st March—the shop was much destroyed by fire, and the other part of the premises damaged by heat and smoke—the shop had ordinary coffee-shop fittings and common furniture upstairs—I could not ascertain any cause for the fire—the same reason was given as in the fire at Newington Butts: some defect in the cooking apparatus, or the flue; I could not detect anything—afterwards a claim came from Mr. Hubbard's office for £448 12s. 3d., a blank being left for rent—we offered £268 15s., including a quarter's rent £18 15s.—that was accepted; I saw Mr. Hubbard—there had been a previous fire on 29th December; that claim was £90 odd, and was reduced to £55, which was paid—the property was in the occupation of Fouraker, but I never saw him.
CHARLES JACOB GODDARD . I am an hotel-keeper in Wells Street, Oxford Street—in September, 1890, in consequence of an advertisement, I called at 28, Catherine Street, Strand—I there saw a man whom I now know to be Harry Cove; he fetched the prisoner Adams, and we spoke about the takings of the house—he said it was from £26 to £28 per week—I agreed to give £275 for it as a coffee-house—I paid a deposit of £25, and soon after a further sum of £200, leaving a balance of £50—I took possession of the house in September, 1890—I then found that the takings were only about £7 to £8 a week—in consequence I saw Adams, and said I wanted the money returned or I would prosecute him—he said he could find somebody who would give more than I had given for it, and he introduced George Eccles, who agreed to give me £300 for the shop—he gave me an acceptance for £140 as a deposit, and I gave up possession to him—about three weeks after I heard of a fire there—after the fire Eccles paid me £130—that was all he ever paid me; the bill was never met—when I got the £130 I paid Adams his balance of £50, so I lost £195—I gave Adams an I O U for the £50, and he had the lease as security; my solicitor settled the matter—as Eccles did not pay the balance of the purchase-money I took possession of the coffee-house again—Henry Cove offered me £400 for it—I did not take it; I did not exactly like him; I did not like it at all.
Cross-examined by MR. GRAIN. Mr. Fuller was my solicitor—he was called at the Police-court—he was my solicitor when I entered into the transaction with Adams, and from that time to the end he carried it out on my instructions—after the fire the building was reinstated by the insurance office, and put in working order—the £130 came through my solicitor from the fire office, not from Eccles—I did not accept Dove's offer; the idea was against my principles—I have sold the business again—before I purchased it I went over it with my wife—we did not like it at all—the business as represented to us was false—Adams was represented as the owner of the business, and Cove as the manager for Adams.
about three-quarters of an hour before I saw the flames—I did not go inside afterwards; East Road is a pretty busy road—somebody had been on point duty before me.
Cross-examined by MR. LAWLESS. I had been on duty there before that night—I could not say at what time the shop closed.
Re-examined. I did not see anybody go on the premises after I arrived there at a quarter-past nine.
WILLIAM HILL FIDDIMAN (Re-examined). I went to 10, East Road, after the fire of 31st March—the shop was much destroyed by fire, and the other part of the premises damaged by heat and smoke—the shop had ordinary coffee-shop fittings and common furniture upstairs—I could not ascertain any cause for the fire—the same reason was given as in the fire at Newington Butts: some defect in the cooking apparatus, or the flue; I could not detect anything—afterwards a claim came from Mr. Hubbard's office for £448 12s. 3d., a blank being left for rent—we offered £268 15s., including a quarter's rent £18 15s.—that was accepted; I saw Mr. Hubbard—there had been a previous fire on 29th December; that claim was £90 odd, and was reduced to £55, which was paid—the property was in the occupation of Fouraker, but I never saw him.
CHARLES JACOB GODDARD . I am an hotel-keeper in Wells Street,. Oxford Street—in September, 1890, in consequence of an advertisement, I called at 28, Catherine Street, Strand—I there saw a man whom I now know to be Harry Cove; he fetched the prisoner Adams, and we spoke about the takings of the house—he said it was from £26 to £28 per week—I agreed to give £275 for it as a coffee-house—I paid a deposit of £25, and soon after a further sum of £200, leaving a balance of £50—I took possession of the house in September, 1890—I then found that the takings were only about £7 to £8 a week—in consequence I saw Adams, and said I wanted the money returned or I would prosecute him—he said he could find somebody who would give more than I had given for it, and he introduced George Eccles, who agreed to give me £300 for the shop—he gave me an acceptance for £140 as a deposit, and I gave up possession to him—about three weeks after I heard of a fire there—after the fire Eccles paid me £130—that was all he ever paid me; the bill was never met—when I got the £130 I paid Adams his balance of £50, so I lost £195—I gave Adams an I O U for the £50, and he had the lease as security; my solicitor settled the matter—as Eccles did not pay the balance of the purchase-money I took possession of the coffee-house again—Henry Cove offered me £400 for it—I did not take it; I did not exactly like him; I did not like it at all.
Cross-examined by MR. GRAIN. Mr. Fuller was my solicitor—he was called at the Police-court—he was my solicitor when I entered into the transaction with Adams, and from that time to the end he carried it out on my instructions—after the fire the building was reinstated by the insurance office, and put in working order—the £130 came through my solicitor from the fire office, not from Eccles—I did not accept Cove's offer; the idea was against my principles—I have sold the business again—before I purchased it I went over it with my wife—we did not like it at all—the business as represented to us was false—Adams was represented as the owner of the business, and Cove as the manager for Adams.
—I acted as solicitor for Mr. Goddard in this transaction—I dealt with Adams as the owner of the property.
Cross-examined by MR. GRAIN. I have acted for Mr. Goddard for some time—I had not known Adams until this occasion—Mr. Goddard brought him to my office and asked me to act for both parties—they afterwards had a row over it in my office—Goddard said the place was nothing better than a brothel, and he should prosecute him—Adams said, "I can get you another purchaser"—and I said, "If you can get another purchaser for more than Goddard gave you, that will do," and he got another purchaser for £50, Mr. Eccles—I think there was an assignment from Adams, sen., but Adams told me he was really the proprietor—this agreement was drawn up by me—Adams brought Eccles to my office, and asked me to act for the two again—this was drawn up in contemplation of the proposed purchase by Eccles, but he did not pay the money; it was not completed.
By MR. AVORY. Adams and Eccles came to me on the Monday after the fire, and on their instructions I got Mr. Knight to send in a claim to the insurance office; this claim was made out by Mr. Knight for £322—the house was insured in another office—it was insured in Adams' name for £350, and the furniture and fixtures for £222; I received £130 from the insurance company; they paid it ex gratia, i. e., without prejudice—I asked Adams, "How do you think the fire occurred?"—he said, "Oh, I suppose the old man," meaning Eccles, "must have lit his pipe over night, and thrown down the lighted match."
By MR. GRAIN. Adams came with Eccles as a sort of spokesman for him, to instruct Mr. Knight to make out his claim, to go and see the premises, and see what was the damages, and to report.
SOPHIA ARNOLD . I keep the coffee-house, 38, Charles Street, Hatton Garden—in May, 1890,1 held the lease of 28, Catherine Street, Strand—I sold it that month to Adams's son; Adams arranged all the business, and Beecroft was present—I employed Harry Cove on Beecroft's recommendation; I was in want of a man, and wrote, about the time of the sale, asking Beecroft whether he could recommend someone—I had no complaint to make about Cove; he did his work well—about November, 1887, I purchased 83, Newington Butts, from Adams; there was no business there; we first of all put Fouraker in as caretaker; but we could not keep it up, and wanted to sell it again—Adams recommended Fouraker, and I said I should pay him when the place was sold; it was shut up; it was only open about three weeks—I paid £250 for it; £200 in cash to Adams, and £50 was standing, the house to be given up when the £50 was paid—when Fouraker got a purchaser for it we sold it for about £140, and then Adams took £10 off the £50 because we had had such a loss—we paid Adams £240 altogether, and lost £100 in three weeks over it, and, in addition, had to pay for advertisements and caretaker.
Cross-examined by MR. GRAIN. When the coffee-house at 83, Newington Butts was sold it was closed; I was told it was closed because there had been a fire in the place—we went in without any trade—Adams called at the place to see how we were getting on—when we wanted to get rid of 28, Catherine Street, we wrote to him to do it for us—we went to Catherine Street from Newington Butts—he bought the Catherine Street house for £250—I did not ask him particularly to buy it; we wanted to go—we bought it from Mr. Steingraver, a German; it had nothing to do
with Adams—it answered and paid very well—I paid £140 for it, and laid out about £50.
Cross-examined by MR. KERSHAW. I know Beecroft is Adams's son-inlaw—Beecroft recommended Cove, who stayed twelve months with us, and gave us every satisfaction.
Cross-examined by MR. LAWLESS. I said at the Police-court that Beecroft was only introduced to me as agent, to let the house at the end of 1887.
LOUISA WILLIS . I was employed as cook at 28, Catherine Street, about a week previous to the fire that occurred there on Saturday night, 15th November, 1890—I left the house at half-past seven that evening, leaving Eccles, his daughter, the housemaid, and kitchen boy in the house—I did not see Cove there that evening—I had seen him in the course of the week before—on the following Monday I saw Adams, Eccles, and two of his sons on the premises.
FREDERICK ALDERMAN (484 N). About a quarter-past eleven p.m. on 15th November, 1890, I was on duty at the back of Catherine Street, Strand, when I heard shouts of "Fire!" and then saw that the coffeehouse, No. 28, was on fire—I saw Mrs. Cope and her little son near the door outside the coffee-house—I gave the alarm, and tried the door; it was fast—I broke the window, got through, and opened the door from inside—the smoke inside was very black and thick—after two or three minutes flame burst out at the bottom of the staircase—I went into the street, and then fire was coming from the second floor windows—so far as I could see there was nothing to connect the fire downstairs with the fire upstairs—I found a chair all alight lying across the door at the back of the shop.
JOHN BRADLEY . I am employed as a fireman at the Gaiety Restaurant—about 10.30 on 15th November my attention was directed to this fire—I took my hand-pump across, and went to at, Catherine Street, where the constable had been before me—I saw a portion of the cupboard at the foot of the stairs well alight—I put my hand-pump to the light, and extinguished the fire on the ground floor—the fire ran up the stairs very fast; we should have followed it, but the brigade arrived, and we left off.
Cross-examined by MR. GRAIN. I am now at the Criterion—I have had considerable experience of fires—I said at Bow Street, "It spread up the stairs, and I followed it up as far as the first floor, and it was spreading on upstairs; the same fire I have no doubt it was; it spread rapidly. When I followed it to the first floor the firemen came, and I picked up my traps and left the fire to them; the door was standing open when I entered, the constable having entered before; that would make a draft to carry it upstairs. I had no suspicion at all as to anything making it spread so rapidly.,
Re-examined. I had not at that time heard the evidence of Mrs. Cope and her son.
ANN COPE . I live at 11, Ecclesbourne Road, Islington—on Saturday night, 15th November, 1890, I was with my little boy outside 28, Catherine Street, Strand, about half-past ten—I saw flames in the window, and turned and called a policeman, and while I was doing so I saw a tallish young man come out of 28, and run up Catherine Street; he was brushing the left leg of his trousers, which was alight, and he put it out as he ran out—I stood there looking on at the fire, with my boy
beside me, and after some minutes I saw the same man behind the crowd of people looking on at the fire—my boy drew my attention to the prisoner being there; the man was near enough to hear what my boy said and did, and directly he heard and saw what my little boy did he ran up Exeter Street, and I saw no more of him that night—I have since identified him as Harry Cove.
Cross-examined by MR. GRAIN. I lived in White Hart Street then, close by Catherine Street; I had been to the public-house with my husband to have a glass of stout.
By the COURT. When the man ran out, brushing away the fire from his leg, he shut the door behind him.
WILLIAM COPE . I am the last witness's son—I was with her on this night in November, standing outside No. 28—I saw the flames, and directly after I saw a man come out of the house; the left leg of his trousers was alight, and he was brushing it out—he went up York Street, running, having shut the door behind him—I remained there with my mother, and while standing there I saw the same man behind the back of the crowd—I said something to my mother, and upon that the man ran away, and that was the last I saw of him that night—I have since I seen and recognised him; he was Harry Cove.
Cross-examined. This was at half-past ten p.m. he ran out of the house—Dinney came to see me; he did not tell me anything; I did not tell him anything—my mother brought me here, and she took me to Bow Street—I had been in the public-house with my father that night; we left him there; it was twenty past ten when we came out of the house; I looked at the clock, and it was about ten minutes afterwards that we left the public-house—my mother did not tell me what time I was to say it was—we have a clock at home; we have two rooms.
Re-examined. I had seen the flames before I saw the man leave.
JOHN BRADLEY (Re-examined by the COURT.) After hearing the last two witnesses, I maintain that I saw nothing to make me think it was other than an ordinary fire—if I had seen such a thing as a man coming out, after I had seen flames, brushing flames off his trousers, it would have aroused some suspicion in me—having heard it was seen I should not like to express any opinion.
RICHARD JAMES HEWETT , I am a clerk in the fire department of the Northern Insurance Company—in August, 1888, a policy was effected on furniture at and rent of 28, Catherine Street, for £650, and on 31st May, 1890, that policy was transferred to Joseph Adams by endorsement—in November, 1890, we had notice of the fire of 15th November, and a claim' was made by ¥ Eccles, which we settled by payment of £180, Eccles giving this receipt, which recites that it is a payment ex gratia, because the policy taken out by Arnold and transferred to Adams had not been transferred in our books to Eccles at the time of the fire, and therefore we were not bound to pay anything, but we paid it ex gratia to Eccles, he being the subsequent tenant.
WILLIAM JAMES MARLBOROUGH . I am employed by Routh, Stag, and Castle, solicitors, who were employed to let 184, Lower Norwood Road, at the end of October or November, 1888—we had an offer for the premises from Joseph Adams, of 22, Blackfriars Road, I believe the address was—we asked for a reference, and received this; (This was a letter dated 5th November, 1888, signed Hubbard, stating that he had known
Adam for several yean; that he had paid him the rent for 22, Blaclcfriar Road, most punctually, and that he considered him in every way a most desirable person as tenant)—we accepted Adams as tenant under this draft agreement.
JAMES WALLACE . I am a clerk to the County Fire Insurance Company—in March, 1887, I received a proposal to insure the contents of Foxholme, Lower Norwood, for £500, for Joseph Adams,• these are the particulars—the insurance was upon furniture, musical instruments, greenhouse, garden implements, and rent—we issued a policy to Joseph Adams for that amount—on 23rd or 24th June, the day after the fire, we had notice of a fire at Foxholme, and a claim was afterwards sent for £404, which we permitted to be settled by payment of £266 11s. 6d., taking this receipt from Joseph Adams—beyond that sum a further sum was allowed for the greenhouse, the damage to which was not included.
Cross-examined by MR. GRAIN. The £266 11s. 6d. was in respect of furniture and rent; £256 was paid in reference to the £310 item, and £10 was allowed for rent, and our builders reinstated the greenhouse at a cost of £50, I think, so that altogether it came to about £316—we had other policies belonging to Joseph Adams in our office—I cannot say if they had been running for some time—several of them have dropped, and we have cancelled others since these proceedings—we did not cancel the Norwood policy.
CHARLES ANDREWS . I am a platelayer in the employment of the Brighton Railway Company—about half-past one a.m. on 28th June, 1889,1 saw a fire break out at the back of 134, Norwood Road, while I was on the line—I got through the conservatory and I opened the back kitchen door, and looked in and saw the fire there—I threw things up to the windows to try and wake up the people, but I afterwards found there was nobody in the house to wake up—afterwards the firemen came and put the fire out—I saw nobody about the premises when I first got there—I did not form any conclusion as to how the fire originated.
EDWARD PENNOCK . I am a Salvage man, attached to the Salvage Station at Southwark Bridge Road—on the early morning of 23rd June,1889,1 was called to the fire at 134, Norwood Road—when I got there the back room ground floor, used as a kitchen, and the room above it used as a bedroom, were burnt, and the place was filled with water—the fire appeared to have originated in the kitchen—I could find no cause for it—I remained in possession all day Sunday—Beecroft and another man whom I could not recognise came there that day—I asked him if he was the occupier; he said no, he was son-in-law of Adams—on Monday afternoon Adams called.
Cross-examined. Adams, when he called, directed my attention to come papers he found lying about the dining-room; he said he found his papers had been scattered about—a policeman was there at the time—I made the remark, I believe, that it looked very much as if some one had broken into the house—my superintendent told me that it had every appearance of it in the dining-room.
FRANCIS PENN . I live at Lavine Cottage, New Road, Bedfont—in 1891 I had a house called The Rocks to let at Bedfont—I lived next door to it at that time, at The Rosery—in June, 1891, Leech and Adams came and inquired as to The Rocks, and as the result I let The Rocks to
Leech—I had two references, Mr. Beecroft, 22, Blackfriars Road, and Mr. Dormer, 44, Sandmere Road, Clapham—I sent to Beecroft; he wasnot at home—the other I did not inquire about, and therefore I got no reference—Leech came into occupation a few days before Midsummer Day—about nine o'clock p.m. on 16th July I was at home in The Rosery, when there was a violent explosion at The Rocks, which blew up The Rocks and blew away the party wall between The Rocks and The Rosery—I was afterwards present in this Court as a witness, when Leech and Cove were tried before Mr. Justice Hawkins for wilfully setting fire to those premises, with intent to defraud the insurance company—they were convicted—between the time Leech took possession and July I once saw Adams at The Rocks with Leech.
Re-examined by MR. TAYLOR I saw other people in company with Leech sometimes. Re-examined. Cove was there; no one else that I know.
ELIZA GRANVILLE . I live at 4, Edith Cottages, New Road, Bedfont—I was general servant at The Rocks after Leech took possession of it, remaining there till 10th July, when Mrs. Leech gave me a fortnight's holiday as the family was going away to Southend—during the lime I was there Adams came twice to the house, I think—Cove came to stay there—I don't remember Beecroft coming; I don't remember anybody coming to stay besides Cove.
WILLIAM STEVENS . I am a builder and contractor at 156, Gipsy Hill,. West Norwood—in May, 1891,1 received instructions from Leech to disconnect a gas-stove at Adams' residence, 142, Gipsy Hill—I brought the gas-stove to the High Street, where Leech lived, and they took it down in the van to The Rocks, Bedfont, and I went there and connected it with the fittings which had been put in in the kitchen about 27th or 28th June—I afterwards heard of the fire.
Cross-examined by MR. TAYLOR. I went to the insurance office to support Leech's claim—there were a number of others there besides myself and Adams in support of the claim.
WILLIAM ANDREWS REES (Re-examined). I am surveyor and assessor to the Liverpool, London, and Globe Insurance Company, in which Leech insured furniture and fittings at The Rocks, Bedfont, in June, 1891, for £550—this is the old policy; it was for £350, at High Street, Norwood, and there was a subsequent one increasing it to £550 in June, 1891—on 24th July, seven days after the fire, a claim was sent in by Leech in reference to the destruction of furniture in the premises, which totalled out at £790,1 think—the office did not entertain the clain, and eventually I offered arbitration, which was not accepted by the insurer, and while. it was under consideration the Treasury started the prosecution, and Leech and Cove were committed to this Court—after the claim had been made Adams came to my office in-support of it; he was accompanied by Leech and Mr. James Lewis—Adams said he had been a visitor at the house; he knew the furniture, and the claim was just and fair—whatever he said I took down in writing at the time—he said nothing about a fire he had had at his own private house—I only saw him on that one occasion—I was present at the investigation before the Magistrate and at this Court, and heard the evidence on both occasions—the defence to the case from the very first was that the destruction had been occasioned by a gas explosion occasioned by a gas-stove in the kitchen—that was
mentioned to me in the first instance; it had been left turned on, or the taps had been knocked on inadvertently—it was not said, but it was inferred that the gas chandelier had been left on in the hall and kitchen, and that there had been an escape of gas.
Cross-examined by MR. TAYLOR. Four or five persons besides Adams were brought up to me one after another with reference to the fire, all acting in Leech's interest—Eccles was one, Dormer was another; he was the company's agent through whom the policy was introduced to the officehe came in support of the claim.
GEORGE BUSH (Detective Sergeant, Scotland Yard), On 1st April I apprehended Beecroft at 228, East India Dock Road, at the Ship coffeehouse—I told him I was going to charge him with conspiracy to defraud insurance companies—he replied that, having heard there was a warrant against him, he had determined to give himself up; that he was entirely innocent of the allegations against him in that warrant; he had never had a penny of the money—he was brought to Bow Street—he afterwards made a statement to Dinney, which was taken down in writing, and which he signed in my presence.
Cross-examined by MR. GEOGHEGAN. I went to his place because I received a communication the night previous from the prisoner's wife—I arrested him about half-past six a.m.—it is about two and a half hours' ride from his place to Bow Street, which we reached between nine and ten; we did not leave his house for some time; he had his breakfast, and so on—on the way the prisoner requested some brandy, and we stopped at one public-house—we did not stop at two or three to have brandy—we did not get rather friendly—we had some conversation; the result of it was, I asked him to reserve what he had to say till he saw Dinney, and make his statement to him—I did not tell him he might be called as a witness if he gave me a statement—I was present at the Police-court—Leech and Cove were called on the part of the prosecution—I am told that they are here to-day—Mr. Hubbard was called at the Police-court by the prosecution to produce documents on subpoena—Beecroft did not tell me he was a teetotaler; I did not advise him to have a little brandy to pull himself together; he said the whole thing had upset him so much he had better have a little brandy, and he had it; I think I paid for it.
Cross-examined by MR. LAWLESS. I was not in the Police-court when Mr. Hubbard gave evidence.
Re-examined. I heard Leech and Cove decline to give evidence at the Police-court—they are here.
WALTER DINNEY (Police Inspector, Scotland Yard). On 30th March I arrested young Adams, the prisoner's son, at 22, Blackfriars Road—he was taken to the station, and the charge against him was afterwards dismissed by the Magistrate—on 1st April I apprehended Fouraker in Bow Street—I read to him the warrant charging him with conspiring to defraud the insurance offices—he said, "I have obtained no money from the insurance companies"—he, Beecroft, and Reynolds were remanded by the Magistrate, and after that, on 11th April, I received a telegram from Truro, Cornwall, in consequence of which I went to Paddington Railway Station the same evening and there met the prisoner Adams—I read the warrant to him; he said nothing-in October last I received the warrant for the arrest of Leech and Cove and Adams on a charge of
conspiring to defraud the Liverpool, London, and Globe Office in connection with the Bedfont fire—I arrested Leech and Core; I tried to find Adams on 7th October, but I could never succeed in so doing—I went to his residence, which at that time was 142, Gipsy Hill, and 22, Blackfriars Road, but could not find him at either, and I never heard of him till I had the telegram from Truro—in the meantime Leech and Core were tried—after Beecroft's arrest on 1st April I saw him at Bow Street Police-station; he said he wished to tell me all he knew about the matter, and clear his mind—I said, "This is a serious charge against you, and I think it is my duty to caution you before you make a statement"—I cautioned him, and he then made this statement, which I took down in writing—every page is initialled by him, and signed finally at the end:—"lama coffee-house manager, at 228, East India Dock Road, where I keep the Ship coffee-house. About seven or eight years ago I was working for Messrs. Rowly and Brock, hatters, Cloth Fair, Middle Street, Aldersgate Street, £. 0. Henry Fouraker was also there then, and I was a customer at a coffee-house kept by Joseph Adams in Long Lane, Smithfield, and it was there I made the acquaintance of my wife. The business in Long Lane was sold to a Mr. Evans, and about the sametime Joseph Adams took a coffee-house at 22, Blackfriars Road. I frequently visited there, to see my present wife, and some time later, when had arranged to marry her (Miss Hannah Adams), Joseph Adams, her father, promised to put me into business, and a coffee-shop at Newington Butts, corner of Draper Street, was selected, as it was then his property. Adams asked me to go and stop at Newington Butts, and see how it wasworked. A man named Shirley was then managing the shop, and young Joe Adams had then left that shop and taken charge of another coffeehouse at 228, East India Dock Road, which I now keep. I had been there (at Newington Butts) about a week before a fire occurred. Herbert Reynolds was lodging there. There was a servant-girl named Ada lived on the premises (the cook lived out), and I myself lived on the premises. There was a fair business done there. On the Saturday night previous to the fire Herbert Reynolds and I were theonly two on the premises, Ada having gone home until Sunday night. She usually went home on Saturday night. On that Saturday evening I went to the shop at about six p. m, and had not been to the shop before on that day. Some time in the evening Herbert Reynolds was there; I remember Reynolds putting his under-linen to the fire. I did not request him to do so. I believe the gas was left burning in the kitchen; the fire was burning, it was a kitchener, closed in; one of the doors was locked, and I believe so was the other, but I am not quite sure; I went to bed first, and left Reynold downstairs, and he followed immediately after. We both slept in the same bed; it would be about 11.30 p.m. when we went to bed. In the early morning Reynolds woke me up, and I heard shouts of fire. We tried to make our way downstairs, and could not do so because of the smoke and flames. We then made for the roof of the house by way of a ladder which let through the roof; Reynolds was first out, and after I got out I fell through a skylight there. I got out again. We had no clothes on, but had our trousers in our hands; when I fell some money fell out of my trousers pockets, and I pioked some of it up. The fire escape arrived, and a fireman took Reynolds down on his back, and cameagain
and assisted me down. We went across to a shop opposite side of road, and got some clothing, and then went by cab to 22, Blackfriars Road. We knocked at the door, and several of the daughters and J. Adams, sen., looked out at the window, and the door was opened, I believe, by the kitchen porter. The old man Adams asked us how it occurred, and we said we did not know; he appeared upset. We slept there, and I went home to my father's in Lyston Road, Bermondsey. Two or three days later I went back to Newington Butts with Joseph Adams, and observed that a part of the under-linen was burned and scorched, and the lift was burned right away, and also the rod railing above the lift; nothing was then said as to the cause, and I have seen no one respecting the fire, only the police officer, who saw me on night of fire. A few weeks later I got married, and at request of Joseph Adams, sen., I took charge of the coffee-shop at 22, Blackfriars Road, and managed it for him, and did so for over three years. I then went to Bartholomew Close (a coffee-house), and took management of that coffee-house for J. Adams; it was in the son's name. I was there eight months, and he then sold it. I then went to 142, Gipsy Hill, Norwood, and stayed with Adams six or seven months, waiting for him to put me into business; this was last year, 1891. The arrest of Leech and Cove then took place, and he sent for me to go and see him at Brighton (no address—fishmarket). I went and could not find him and returned; walked back. My brother Richard went to Hastings and took charge of a coffeehouse there for Joseph Adams. Fouraker and my brother told me that during my brother's absence Fouraker was staying there and set fire to the shop. Fouraker stopped at Pearce's coffee-house, next door to Upton's; his name is in their books, and he came to London by last-train on night of fire. My brother came to London and told me of it, and I said the best thing to do was to clear out, and Adams paid his fare to Australia. Joseph Adams told me he bought the stuff, which was benzine, and took it there, 10, East Road, City Road, in a cab, and this was used in setting fire to the coffee-house at 10, East Road, City Road; and he led me to understand that Fouraker had set fire to the shop. Adams called at 228, East India Dock Road, for a mat, which he put over the benzine cans to convey there. Abel Flack was then in charge of East India Dock Road coffee-house; this was second fire there (East Road). Adams also told me that Fouraker and he were to divide the amount of insurance money, which was obtained after Hubbard, the solicitor, was paid out. Fouraker also told me he set fire to the place, and also told Henry Cove so. The benzine was bought at an oil-shop other side of Canning Town Bridge, opposite fire-station, by Adams. I remember going to 134, Norwood Road, with young Joe Adams, on a Saturday in June, 1889. This was where old Joseph Adams was residing. We got there about one p.m.; Joseph Adams, sen. and jun., Mrs. Adams, sen., and myself were all there then. The old people went, I think, by a train, about four p.m., to Guildford, where he said he expected to meet Inspector Taylor (now stationed at Hunter Street). I took train, Tulse Hill to Elephant and Castle, and young Joe went away on his bicycle, and did not return that night to Blackfriars Road. On the following morning we went (Reynolds and I), as previously requested by old Joseph Adams, to 134, Norwood Road, to see if the place was all right; we found the fireman in charge. Fouraker
has since told me, and I believe Reynolds also, that he had set that place on fire, and he also told the convict Henry Cove. He said the first attempt was a failure, as the door only was burst in pieces. Benzine was used in this case also, and bought at the same place as the other. The new suite of furniture was brought from Foxholme, 134, Norwood Road, to 22, Blackfriars Road, and the old suite that was there substituted; this was after settlement of insurance. Fouraker attended the sale, at request of Adams, to run things up in price. I remember a fire occurring at 28, Catherine Street, Strand. George Eccles was then in charge of the premises. I had been to that coffee-house several times, and the day previous to the fire I went there and fetched J. Adams, sen., away;, he was then drunk. We took him to 22, Blackfriars Road. Joseph Adams, sen., asked if I would set fire to that coffee-house, but I declined, and I afterwards heard he had paid Henry Cove to do it. I, at request I of Joseph Adams, sen., went with him to the oil-shop at Canning Town, where he purchased about three gallons benzine. There was an old lady in the shop, who I believe served him, and I accompanied him to I 28, Catherine Street, with the oil, and—he left it there. Henry Cove I took it in; that was on a Thursday before the fire occurred. I saw I Mr. George Eccles there at the time, and Cove took the oil upstairs. Adams had asked me to set fire to a coffee-house at Newington Green about the same time, but I declined, and Cove was also asked, but declined; he told me so. I remember a fire occurring at Bedfont, The Rocks, a house occupied by Convict Leech. I was invited and attended a party there soon after Leech took the house; Joseph Adams, sen. and jun., Henry Cove, Mr. Hiscock, and others were there, and we all went for a drive in a brake. I subsequently heard that Leech and Cove intended to stay behind and set The Rocks on fire. Shortly after this Leech asked me to go down to Bedfont; I did so, and stayed a night; he then wanted me to be a party to setting his house on fire, but I declined. Leech then had benzine there ready in a big jar to set the place on fire. He called me a coward, because I would have nothing to do with it. I heard of I the fire some days after, and was told that Leech and Cove had set it on fire. Leech and Cove both told me so. I believe the benzine was bought in Battersea by Henry Cove."—there is an oilshop at Canning Town opposite the Fire Station, kept by an old woman—there is a coffee-house called Pearce's, next door to Upton's, 6, St. George's Road, opposite the Elephant and Castle.
Cross-examined by MR. GEOGHEGAN. Bush first told me that Beecroft wished to make a statement—I was at Bow Street then—I think he was Drought from the cells and taken into the room—I, Bush, and a plainclothes constable attached to Bow Street, whose name I forget for the moment, were present—the warrant against Beecroft was for conspiring to cheat and defraud divers companies—it does not mention the houses which it was alleged they had set fire to—I supplied the paper on which the statement was written; I had it in my bag, or I might have got it at Bow Street; I got it at Bow Street—he made the statement apparently of his own free will—I asked him no questions, and he asked no questions—as he made the statement I took it down—I went as far as telling him the addresses where the fires had taken place—I might have suggested to him the way the statement should be drawn up, the form it should take; about commencing at the furthest back fire, nothing beyond that
—he did not say "I make this statement of my own free will, and without any promise or threat"; we usually put that down at the end; I believe I put it down and read it over to him—I have seen Leech and Cove, the convicts, in connection with this case when they were in prison—I was with Leech for an hour and a half, I should think, and with Cove for a shorter time—there were writing utensils in the room, which I made use of—after I had seen them they came to the Police-court—this statement was not made by Beecroft in consequence of a promise that he might be called as a witness—I was with him an hour or more, perhaps, when he made the statement—I did not suggest, "Will you tell us all you know about it, and we may put you in the witness-box?"—I had taken the statement with the intention of putting him into the witness-box; I should have added, "I make this statement of my own free will"—he made it without any inducement whatever.
Cross-examined by MR. GRAIN. When I took Beecroft's statement I had held a warrant for Adams's arrest for some time, and had been seeking for him—I had a warrant in reference to this case, and another warrant for the original charge against Adams, Cove, and Leech; also for the fire at Bedfont—we are all desirous of promotion—I cannot say if the energy we show in arrests has anything to do with it—I wanted to do everything I could to arrest Adams and bring him to justice—I will swear I did not ask Beecroft to say all he could against Adams—I did not know where I could find Adams—I did not ask Beecroft where he was—Adams voluntarily surrendered himself; we never found out his address up to the time he did so, but we were very near it, I think—I did not name the fires to Beecroft, and tell him that we alleged that Adams had been connected with them all; I only mentioned the addresses to him; I did not tell him I wanted to know what Adams had to do with one or all of them—I swear he dictated the whole of this, with only that suggestion being put to him, and I wrote it—he put all these initials in my presence—I did not tell Adams that Beecroft had made a statement against him—I was present when the charge was made against Adams—Beecroft was then at Holloway, I believe—the prisoners were not all put together and this statement read—Adams has never been told what Beecroft said.
Cross-examined by MR. LAWLESS. When Fouraker was arrested he was carrying on business in the Hackney Road, where he and his wife have had dining-rooms for over a year—I went there and saw him two or three times before he was arrested—after Beecroft made his statement I arrested Fouraker—I believe Mr. Hubbard was only subpœnaed to produce documents—Sir John Bridge called for the subpoena, and afterwards insisted on Mr. Hubbard being sworn.
BEECROFT and FOURAKER— NOT GUILTY .
ADAMS— GUILTY — Six Years' Penal Servitude.
OLD COURT.—Monday, May 30th, 1892.
Before Mr. Justice Grantham.
No evidence was offered— NOT GUILTY .
Before Mr. Common Serjeant.
before Mr. Common Serjeant.
MR. BUTLER prosecuted.
JAMES ROBERT GIBBONS . I am a newsagent of Southwark Park Road, Bermondsey—I was present in 877 when the prisoner was married to my brother, William John Gibbons, at Christ Churdh, Bermondey—I saw him here this morning—I saw the prisoner for some months' after her marriage—they lived at Perseverance Street, Dockhead, and also at Park Road for twelve months—they seperated because my brother was given into custody as a deserter—he went on foreign service, and then he was taken away to prison, and after he came out he went to Zululand in 1878, but she did not go with him—he returned about 1884, after
going to Hong Kong—when he returned I saw him at his mother's in erseverance Street, Waterloo Station; he lived there some little time-after he was taken away as a deserter I saw his wife on several occasions at my mother's at intervals of a few months—I lost sight of her about two years before he came home—she got letters from him—I do not recollect any conversation with her about her husband.
Cross-examined by the prisoner. You did, not mention my brother's name to me, but I Saw you at my mother's house before your husband came to England and lived at his mother's house.
WALTER JOHN SMITH . I am a general dealer, of 68, Roan Street, Greenwich—I was married to the prisoner oh 23rd December, 1888, at Christ Church, Deptford—we had lived as man and wife before that—I had'not been married before—I was a platelayer at that time employed by the south-Eastern Railway.
Cross-examined. I have brought you here for satisfaction whether you are really my wife or not—I lived with you about ten months before I took you to church—my mother put up the bairns with my consent—I did not call you dirty names last week; I was not in your company—on the day you were committed for trial I met you in Suder Street, Greenwich, arm in ami with another man.
By the COURT. I did not know the man's name; I should know him if
I saw him—she went towards the Mitre and gave him half a pint of ale to get him out of the way.
JOHN DON (Police Sergeant K 72). I produce two certificates; I have compared them with the register; they are true copies. (Read, "Christ Churchy Bermondsey, September 28th, 1877. William John Gibbons, bachelor, and Frances Ann Mumford, spinster, married after banns. " "Christ Church, Deptford, September 3rd, 1882, Walter John Smith, bachelor, and Frances Ann Mumford, spinster, married after banns. "
EDWIN WOODHOUSE (31 R R). Smith gave the prisoner into my custody for bigamy—she said, "It is quite right; he wants to get rid of me so that he can go and live with Mrs. Finch"—I took her to the station; she was charged and said the same.
Cross-examined. You accused Smith of interfering with you, and I said I would lock the two of you up for creating a disturbance.
Witness for the Defence.
WILLIAM MUMFORD . The prisoner is my sister; she did not know whether her husband was dead or alive; he was away too many years, and while he was away she got married—Smith knew she was a married woman.
Cross-examined. I heard her say a long while ago, before the second marriage, that she thought he was dead; she never received any letters from him, but she did not say so—he was a soldier, and went to India.
Prisoner's Defence. I thought Mr. Gibbons was dead, having no letter from him. I lived with Smith four years before we were married. It is nothing else but jealousy.
NOT GUILTY .
Before Mr. Justice Orantham.
BEASLEY— Six Months' Hard Labour.
MR. POULDEN, for the Prosecution, offered no evidence; the GRAND JURY had ignored the bill.
— NOT GUILTY .
FREDERICK EVANS (34 V R). On the morning of 29th April, about five minutes to seven, I was at Battersea Police-station—the prisoner came there and said, "I want to see the inspector"—I said, "What is the matter?"—he said, " I have killed my child"—I said, "What do you mean?"—he said, "I have a daughter that has been a trouble to me and done me a lot of injury; I thought it was her, I never thought
it was the dear baby; I have killed her with a chopper"—he was very excited at times.
Prisoner. I never said I had killed the child with a chopper; I said, "I have killed my child"—Witness. I am sure he said he had done it with a chopper.
SAMUEL HILL (Sergeant 38 VR). I saw the prisoner at Battersea Station at five minutes to seven in the morning—he said, "I woke out of my sleep, and I am afraid I have killed one of my children, Kate, aged six; please send to 24, Knox Road at once; I don't know what made me do it."
GEORGE HUDSON (Sergeant 4 V R). On 29th April, at seven a.m., I went to 24, Knox Road, Battersea—I went to the front room ground floor and found Catherine Hatcher in bed, lying in a pool of blood—I saw a wound on the left side of her head—I sent for a doctor, and the child was afterwards removed to the Infirmary.
JAMES MALONE (Inspector V). At half-past seven in the morning of 29th April I saw the prisoner at the station—I afterwards went to 24,. Knox Road—I found no weapon in the room—afterwards at the station the prisoner asked me if the child was dead—I said, "No"—he said, "Is the case serious?"—I said, "Yes, it is, and you will be charged with the attempted murder of your child"—he said, "I did not know what I was doing till I heard the child scream, and then I woke up to my senses."
EDITH HATCHER . I am eight years old—the prisoner is my father—I have a little sister named Kate—I remember being awoke in the morning father was hitting Katie; he hit her eight or nine times with his hand—I was in the same bed—he got up directly and went out—I heard him say, "Oh, dear me, I thought it was Nellie"—I have a sister Nellie, she is grown up—he had nothing in his. hand.
EDWARD HATCHER . I am twelve years old, and am the prisoner's son—I slept in one bed, and father and two little sisters in the other—on 29th April, about quarter to seven, I heard my sister moaning—father woke me up and told me to light the fire; I got up, and father came in and said, "Oh, dear, I thought it was Nellie"—he then went out—he did not come back—the inspector came, and my sister was taken to the infirmary.
SARAH CHANNELL . I live at 24; Knox Road, Battersea—about a quarterpast six on 29th April the last witness came to me, and from what he said I went to the bedroom on the ground floor, and found the little girl Katie in bed, bleeding very much—another child was in bed with her.
JOHN QUINTON BOUNDS . I am a surgeon at St. John's Hill—at halfpast seven on the morning of 29th April I examined the little girl Katie; she was in bed, lying on her left side—there was a large quantity of blood about the bed, and she had vomited—she was somewhat dull and apathetic, just recovering from concussion of the brain—she is doing very well now, and will probably get well—she has no mother—she is still in the infirmary.
The prisoner's a statement before the Magistrate: "What the constable says about the chopper is false. I did not know what I was doing till the child's crying woke me up."
Prisoner's Defence. From a child I have always suffered from somnambulism;
I have no other cause for this; I was too fond of the child—the older girl has been a bad wicked child to me.
NOT GUILTY .
Before Mr. Recorder.
Three Months' Hard Labour.
CHARLES,MARSHALL. I am deputy-foreman to Messrs. Carbutt and Co., millers and crushers, of St. Saviour's Dock—I reside at 6, Drapers' Row, Bermondsey—on Tuesday, 29th March, we had a consignment of rice, which was in bulk—it was necessary to transship from a barge—it generally comes in bags—I directed a gang of men to place it in bags and take ashore, about six in the morning—a question arose between me and the men as to an increased payment—I advised them to go on working till a member of the firm arrived—they went on till breakfast-time, and then left work—they were paid off about half-past eleven—the prisoner was one of the men who left work—about two in the afternoon I set a number of men, amongst whom were dark, Phillips, Brooker, and Baker, to do the work which had been left undone, namely, to put the rice into bags—I then temporarily left the mill—shortly after I was suddenly fetched back, and found Clark in an insensible condition, with his clothes all wet—a statement was made to me, and this brick was handed to me by Brooker; I handed it to the inspector.
JOHN CLARK . I live at 60, Ambrose Street, Southwark Park Road—I have worked for Messrs. Carbutt about two years—on the afternoon of 29th March I was set to work with other men to put the rice into sacks on a barge—whilst so engaged I heard Phillips snout "Look out!"—I turned my head to see what it was, and something struck me, and I know no more till the 4th April, when I found myself in the hospital—I remained there till the 15th of May, when I came out—I am still attending the hospital as an out-patient—I am still unable to work—I am married—the prisoner had not spoken to me in the afternoon when I went on to work.
FREDERICK PHILLIPS . I live at 43, Queen Street, Bermondsey—I am a labourer in the employ of Carbutt and Co.—I was with Clark on the afternoon in question, putting the rice into bags—I was on the deck of the barge—I saw the prisoner on a sailing barge next to us, about twenty yards from me—I saw him throw half a brick; it went into the middle of the barge; it came through the air and hit dark on the head, and knocked him over, and he fell into the water—I was knocked on one Aide—I did not see what the prisoner did after he threw the brick—he had been in the employ for some ten weeks—Clark was picked out of the water and taken to Guy's Hospital—I saw Brookes pick up the brick.
JOHN BROOKER . I am a labourer in the employ of Carbutt and Co.—I was one of the men employed in unloading the barge of rice—I heard somebody call out; I looked up, and saw a brick come sailing through
the air on to the barge—I saw the prisoner standing in the direction from which it came, and I saw him turn and run;, as he ran I saw him turn round and look to see if anybody was after him—I saw Clark picked out of the water insensible—I helped him—I picked up the brick and gave it to Mr. Marshall—I think the prisoner was about forty to forty-five feet from the barge; about fifteen yards—four or five others were standing on the plank besides the prisoner, but not on the barge itself.
ALFRED BAKER . I live at 78, Gosling Street—I am a labourer in the employ of Carbutt and Co.—I was on the barge; I heard somebody call "Look out!" and saw a brick come through the air; I saw it strike Clark—I looked up, and saw the prisoner running away with his back towards me; he was in rather a stooping position—there were five or six men on a plank, but no one on the barge but the prisoner—the barge was alongside the wharf; he could step from it on to the quay.
WILLIAM BRADFORD . (Police Sergeant M). About half-past three on 29th March I went to 12, Wolsey Buildings, Bermondsey, where I found the prisoner—I said, "I am a police officer, and am going to take you into custody, charged with intimidating John Clark, and violently assaulting him with a brick"—he said, "I was on the barge, and saw the brick thrown, but I did not do it; I know who did"—after the charge was read over he said, "Yes, sir"—at that time I was not aware of the injury Clark had received—the case was postponed for several weeks in consequence of the injury he had received.
REGINALD FREELAND . I am a registered practitioner and surgeon at Guy's Hospital—I received Clark when he was brought there on the 39th March—he was suffering from a severe wound of the scalp, exposing the bone—he was not insensible when brought in; he became so shortly afterwards—he was attended by myself and other surgeons—it became necessary to perform the operation of trephining the same evening—we had to remove a portion of bone from the skull; it is a very serious operation—he remained unconscious up to the 4th April—he continued an in-patient up to the 15th May—I was called several times at the Police-court to depose to the impossibility of his attendance as a witness—he is now an out-patient—I think he will recover—he is not fit for work now, and will not be able to resume his occupation for another month at least—his life was in danger for several days.
Cross-examined by the prisoner. The wound might be caused by the brick glancing off first from something else, but it is improbable—I have seen the brick.
Re-examined. It was produced before the Magistrate—it is a kind of thing that would produce such an injury—it would require considerable force.
Prisoner. I plead guilty to the charge of assault, but not of maliciously wounding. In order to be malicious there must be premeditation. I simply got on the barge and threw the brick; instead of meaning to hit the men I only meant to frighten them not to continue to work. It must have struck against the wall and then struck the man on the head.
GUILTY of unlawfully wounding— Six Weeks' Hard Labour !
MR. WILLIS, Q. C., Prosecuted; MR. WINCH appeared for George Denton; MR. COCK, Q. C., for W. L. Denton; and MR. COHEN for Dawe. During the progress of the case the JURY interposed, finding the defendants
NOT GUILTY , and stating that they thought the case ought not to have been rought into a Criminal Court; the RECORDER concurred, and disallowes he costs of the Prosecution.
582. WILLIAM WINSLETT (30) and HARRY HAYLER '(20) , Causing grievous bodily harm to Herbert Morgan, with intent to do him grievous bodily harm; Other Counts, with intent to maim him, and for attempting to resist their lawful apprehension and detainer.
MR. AVORY Prosecuted, and MR. ROACH Defended.
HENRY HAYDEN . I am a cabman at Putney—on 2nd October, about a quarter to five p.m., I was standing on the rank in the Norreys Road, Putney—a van with a load of bricks, which Winslett was driving at between seven and eight miles an hour, came up the High Street into the Norreys Road, and ran into my cab—there was nothing to cause it; the rank was in the middle of the road—Constable Morgan, who stood opposite, saw him do it, and called for him to stop—Winslett started whipping the horse, and driving on faster—the constable got into my cab, and we went after them—we went three quarters of a mile before we caught them up; they kept crossing the road in front of us; one of them drove, while the other whipped the horse, and then they changed the reins—we got past them on the off side, and then Morgan got out on the near side of the cab—the prisoners drove from the near Hide to the off side, and as they drove across one of them said, "Let us squeeze him"—there was a third man with the prisoners in the cart; he sat still on the near side; the two prisoners drove in turns—Morgan clung on to my shaft to prevent them squeezing him, but his legs gave way and my wheel went over him, and the off hind and fore wheels of the prisoners' cart went over him, and they went galloping on—when he was hanging on to the shaft there was nothing to prevent them pulling up, and avoiding the damage; they had plenty of room—I called to a man to look after him; another constable stopped them.
Cross-examined. When I started after them they began driving across me to stop me—I passed them on the off side; they were on the near side as I pulled up and the constable got out—they pulled across and tried to squeeze the policeman between the cab and their wheel—I was anxious to catch them—I was not excited—the words were not, "Let us squeeze out of this," but "squeeze him"—Winslett was driving when the constable was knocked down—he was sitting in the middle of the van, Hayler was on the off side next to me, and the other man on the near side—the van was loaded with bricks which were about one and a half feet higher than the van—the men were sitting in front of the van—the van was longer than my hansom cab—the prisoners immediately drove off—the men were sitting in front of the bricks; they could see over them if they wanted to.
come into Norreys Road, in the middle of which there is a cab rank—they drove into the hansom cab without any reason; there was plenty of room for them to pass—Winslett was driving—I called to them to stop; they whipped the horse up and galloped away—I got into the cab and with the last witness followed them over Kew Bridge and along the Upper Richmond Road, for a quarter of a mile it might nave been—as far as I could see the prisoners changed reins, one driving at one time, and one at another, and one used the whip while the other drove; they kept driving across the road from one side to the other to prevent us coming up—ultimately the cab sot in front on the off side of them, and I was getting out, when one of the prisoners, I do not know which, said, "Let us squeeze him"—seeing them drive their horse against the cab I got my back against the share; they drove on and holloaed, and caused the cabman's horse to go on, which threw me down, and the cab went over me; and directly, after as I lay in the road, the van went over my foot; and I remembered nothing more till I was having my tunic undone—the van was close on to us when I fell down—there was plenty of room for them to have kept on the near side of the road; they drove deliberately for me—I was taken to St. George's Hospital, where I remained till the 23rd March this year—I am still in a convalescent home.
Cross-examined. I had got out of the cab and was standing by the shaft when their cart caused the cab-horse to start; the cab had pulled up—it was not going on or pulling up as I got out—I saw the van come over my foot—I did not give my evidence fill 23rd May.
JAMES EDIS . I am a fishmonger M Putney—on 2nd October I was driving a horse and cart—I saw Morgan get out of a cab, and the prisoners came by in a van slashing their horse; the cab-horse took fright and jerked the policeman off the cab, and the prisoners drew from the near side into the middle of the road and drove over the constable; they appeared to drive over him wilfully—I was coming in the opposite direction, meeting them, and was very close by—I stopped and looked after the constable while the cabman drove on, as the prisoners drove on after they went over the constable, fast, at the same rate as before.
Cross-examined. They were driving about nine miles an hour apparently as they approached me, trying to get in front of the cab—there were three men in the van; the man who was driving was sitting on the off side—Hayler was in the middle—there were no other people about.
By the COURT. As far as I could judge, they drove deliberately over the policeman—they had plenty of room to pass.
WILLIAM EAST (281 V). On the evening of 2nd October I was in upper Richmond Road—I saw the prisoner and a third man in a van laden with bricks, and a cab coming behind them—as they went by I noticed that Hayler had the reins and was driving, and he was looking to the rear of the van, and on seeing the policeman coming in the cab he urged the horse on with the reins, and Winslett, sitting on the side of the van, beat the horse with the whip; they were going at a furious rate, from nine to ten miles an hour—I put my hand up to caution them to go steadily, and went after them—the cab passed me—I was 200 to 300 yards off when the constable was run over—I saw him alight from the cab, but I could not see what knocked him down; I saw the off hind wheel of the van pass over him.
Cross-examined. Winslett was sitting on the off side—the van was on the near side of the road, and the cab was on the off side of the van—I have made inquiries about the prisoners—I could not say Hayler is a. man of good character—t believe he was in Mr. Eley's employment; I could not say if he was there up to the time of this charge—Winslett is a discharged soldier and a man of good character and in receipt of a pension—the prisoners were arrested on 2nd October, but they have been out on bail—one of them was in custody for fourteen days.
CHARLES CLAYDEN (225 V). I saw the prisoners driving the van, and followed by the cabman, who called to me to stop them, and I did so by catching hold of the horse—I tried first to stop them by myself, but they would not stop; then I had assistance on the near side—they used most foul language and threw the reins down—Hayler blamed Winslett for running over the constable—he said, "That is the man that ran over the constable," pointing to Winslett—when I stopped them Hayler had the reins and Winslett the whip—they might have had a drop to drink; they were not drunk.
Cross-examined. They were apparently sober—the man in the van with them stayed a few minutes and then went away; he, did not seem to have any part in it—I did not tell him to come before the Magistrate as a witness.
Re-examined. He could have come as a witness.
JOHN CLARKE (Inspector v), I was present at the Police-station when the prisoners. were, brought in on 2nd October—they were charged with furious driving and causing actual bodily harm to Morgan—neither of them said anything in answer—I should think they had been drinking, but knew what they were doing—at the Police-court, after Hayden had given his evidence, Winslett said, "That is all right,"
GEORGE WHITE DRABBLE . I am house-surgeon at St. George's Hospital—on 2nd October I examined Morgan when he was brought in—I found his left thigh very badly bruised and the muscles torn; there was a large blood tumour on. the thigh—the left ankle and foot were much bruised and broken.; there was no fracture of bone—the injuries were very serious—we had to keep him. at the hospital till 23rd March—I have great doubts as to whether his leg. will be as it was before; most likely it will always be painful after prolonged standing, and in that way I think it very likely that he will be incapacitated for the duties of a policeman.
GUILTY — Four Months' Hard Labour each.
Before Mr. Common Serjeant.
M.R. RAVEN Prosecuted.
GEORGE HAROLD QUAINT . I am schoolmaster at St. James' Industrial Schools, Upper Tooting—I live on the premises—on 2nd May I went to bed at 10 p.m., leaving the place properly shut up—there was a screw through the window; the top sash was pinned—the prisoner was at school there four years ago—next morning, at six, the boy who does my room told me something, and I went down and found the sitting-room window
open, the things strewed about the room, the clipboards and drawersopen, and the contents of a portmanteau strewn about the room—I missed a writing desk, which were about twelve Post-office form forms for the boys to affix stamps to and When they are filled up you make a deposit in the bank—there were some stamps on each at them, stack on like this—these (produced) are three of them—the boys' names are in pencil at the back; they bring their stamps or pennies, and I keep them till I nave got one shilling worth, and then pay them into the post-office—the friends send them the stamps; it is an orphan school—I had no dealings with this particular post-office.
MARY LIZZIE ENGLEEFEILD ., I am a clerk hi the post-office, Queen'sroad, Chelsea—I issued this Post office Savings Bank book—on May 4th the prisoner called for the book between seven and eight—he wanted topay in 3s., but I had closed my account—I took these three slips, and asked him to call in the morning for the book, which he did between nine and ten, I think, and I gave this book; which shows a deposit of 3s. in the name of Walter Beadon—the 3s. was paid by these forms.
GEORGE HUARD . I am a clerk at the General Post Office—these three Savings Bank deposit slips came to open an account from the. Queen's Road, Chelsea, Office, on May 5th; I received the stamps as cash.
Francis Gunn (154 V). On 6th May about 3.15 a.m., I was on duty on Wandsworth Common With another, officer—I saw the prisoner running along the rail way—I beard a bell ringing; we stood under a black fence, and when he got within a few yards I stepped out, and, said, "Where are you going? what ate you running, for this time of morning?"—he was carrying this basket—he said, "what has that todo with you?"—I told him I was a police officer; we were in plain clothes—he said, "Well, I am going to Chelsea"—I said, "Where do you come from now?"—he said, "I am not going to tell you any more I have told you enough already"—I took him to the station.
The prisoner produced a Written defence, part of which only applied to this case. He stated that he had sated 3s. towards buying a barrow, and a fellow-lodger, whose name he did not know, asked him to buy the stamps of him, which he did, and deposited them in the bank in half an hour.
G. H. QUAINT (Re-examined). My window was hinged? the bottom part does not go. up or down-it is six feet high—a stool. had been put outside on the Bowers, and a ladder.
GUILTY . **
He then PLEADED GUILTY to a conviction at this Court of burglary on April 6, 1891. There were two other indictments against him— Eighteen Month's Hard Labour.
JOSEPH WELLS . I am a firework maker, of Wetherdale House, Earlsfield—on 29th April, about 6 p.m., Butler, dressed as he is now, produced a book, and. said he was collecting subscriptions for the local fire brigade—I gave him two shillings, and my son wrote my namein the book—I believed it was a genuine fire brigade—this is the book;.
here is my son's writing—a short time afterwards I saw Butler and Gande in custody.
GEORGE ROTHERHAM . I live at the Halfway House, Earlsfield—on April 29th Butler and Gande came into my bar, and Butler asked me for a subscription towards the fire escape—I said, "Will you produce the book?"—he produced this book, with Mr. Wells' name in it for two shillings—I said, "How is it you have not called at other places? You have passed several places down the line"—he showed me the name of Widner—I gave him one shilling, believing it was a genuine.
WILLIAM HENRY COUCHMAN . I am manager to Valentine and Co., grocers—on 29th April, about 6.30, I found Butler in my shop—he said he called for a subscription to the fire brigade—I said I had been there 'two years, and never remembered their calling before, and could not give anything without seeing my master—he said he would call again—Gande was on the other side of the road going into shops and houses—I did not give anything.
HENRY TICKELL I am an oilman, of 4, Railway Terrace, Earlsfield—on 29th. April Butler came in and asked me for something in aid of the fire brigade—I said I could not afford to give anything—he said it was a good cause, and they only came once a year—I gave him 6d., and told him that was all I could afford—he gave me the book to sign, and just as I was going to sign it two policemen came—I said, "This is a swindle; give me my 6d. back"—they did not give it to me—I signed my name in the book, and he said, "I will give you a receipt.,
EDWIN GEORGE NQRRIS. I keep the Old House at Home beerhouse, Earlsfield—on 29th April Butler and Gande called, and Gande asked for a subscription for the fire brigade—I gave him 6d., and he wrote something in a book similar to this—my name is here, and the amount is orrect.
RICHARD CLIFFORD . I am an oil and colourman, of 111, South Street, Wandsworth—on 28th April Gande handed me a book very much like tins, and said that he called from the fire brigade to make a collection, as they were short of funds—I gave him 1s., and put my name and address in the book—I see it here.
WILLIAM LEADER ROSE . I live at 147, Beulah Hill, Upper Norwood—six years ago I built a fireman's hut, which was ordered by a man named Tutlow—the cost was to be £11, and I was to be paid 10s. a week—Tutlow died, and the prisoner Orchard took over the hut—she or her representative paid me instalments, and I received the last instalment about eighteen months ago—I applied to Ponsford, who was one of the superintendents, for the balance owing—we seized the hut about eight weeks ago—it was then on a piece of waste ground at the corner of Knight's Hill, West Norwood—I know of no premises which the brigade had—the hut is in our possession now.
Cross-examined by MR. HUTTON. There was nothing there besides the fire-escape—we put the hut there in 1886—there is about £5 10s. not paid.
GEORGE BROUGHTON WHEELER . I am agent to Mr. Blake, who owns some land at Knight's Hill, West Norwood—in December, 1886, I gave permission to George Tutlow to place a fire-escape on the land at 2s. a week rent, only a small portion of which has been paid—chat continued
till March this year—notice to quit was given, but we found Mr. Tutlow was dead—we then served another notice, and the fire-escape was removed—we received not more than £3.
Cross-examined by Orchard, I admit the possibility of more being paid—some money has not been accounted for by Willoughby, the agent, who acted for two years for Mr. Blake, the owner of the land—I represent Mr. Blake now.
Re-examined. I have collected about £3 in the last four years.
RICHARD HEDER (Police Inspector P). I have been stationed at Earlsfield since October, 1888, and have known a fire-escape standing on a piece of waste land at Knight's Hill—I never saw it at a fire, or any person connected with it, and I have attended eight fires—the brigade was known in the neighbourhood as the Phantom Fire Brigade—I passed this hut repeatedly, and have seen Ramsdale there—it was seized by Mr. Rose, and moyed across the road to the back of a coffee-house, where it remained till about April 16th—it would take six men about half an hour to get it from there into the street—after that it was taken half a mile away to the Park Tavern, and pat into a stable and kept there—there was no intimation anywhere that it was to be found there—Ramsdale was dressed in sea-boots and a peak-cap when I saw him.
Cross-examined by Butler. It would take half a dozen men to move it, because the wheels were off, and there was a 5-feet fence round the yard, and no gate perceptible.
Cross-examined by MR. HUTTON. It was there three or four weeks or more—when I saw Ramsdale there it was before there was a hose-cart by it—I did not see a hand-pump—I have not attended all the fires—Ramsdaie did not attend a fire at Mr. Mathers', Beulah Hill—I have made inquiries.
HARRY VOYSET MARSH . I keep the Park Tavern, Norwood—on I oh April I let. my stable to Ramsdaie at 1s. 6d. a week for the fireescape, and there it has continued since—I gave him one key—the door was fastened by a chain and lock; it was not possible to open it from outside after midnight—I kept fowls and a dog in the stable—Ramsdale came there three or four times, and he once stopped seven hours—I never saw any fireman on duty, and the fire-escape did not go out to any fire that I am aware of.
EDWARD SPENCER DAY . I was in charge of the West Norwood station of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade—I have known of the existence of what was called the Local Brigade for six years—it was not sanctioned by the Metropolitan Fire Brigade—I have attended fires in the neighbourhood for the last six years, and the Local Fire Brigade has never attended any fire since that time—there was a fire as late as April 9th, 1892, about three hundred yards from where the fire-escape was standing, but nobody connected with the brigade assisted—on 7th May I went to the Park Tavern stable—there were double doors, chained up and locked inside and out—it took some time to get in, and when I did I found the woodwork of the escape perfectly rotten and the netting in a very ragged state; there were two holes in it; if any children had been passed down they would have gone through it, and if adults had passed down it would have torn and let them through—I saw some firehose there which had been used, and a hydrant-pipe which was of no use in that district.
Cross-examined by Gande. In the case of fire you could not get thehydrant to work.
THOMAS MINODS (108 V). On the evening of 29th April I saw Butler and Gande, and told them I had received information that they were connected with the Fire Brigade, and I must take them to the station—they said nothing—Gande said that the headquarters were at Knight's Hill.
CHARLES ROCHE (Police Inspector V). On 29th April I was at the station when Butler and Gande were brought there—I asked them what authority they had to collect money—they handed me these two documents purporting to be signed by Ramsdale's authority to collect for the Local Fire Brigade for the week ending April, 1892—I asked where the station was; they said Elden Road, West Norwood—they were afterwards charged and searched—I found on Butler two collecting books, showing subscriptions amounting to £170, and four collecting books on Gande, showing £436 12s. in subscriptions, making £600—I found a form of receipt similar to this (pro duced), and part of a report of the Local Fire Brigade—Butler gave his address, 12, Valentine Road, South Hackney, and Gande, 154, Gleenard Bond, Clapton, about ten or twelve miles off—I made inquiries at Norwood, and traced the fire-escape to the Park Tavern; the doors were locked outside and chained inside—the landlord Went round to the back, and took the chain away—when I got in I found two very snappish doge—the escape has been correctly described—on 4th May I saw Ramsdale at the Police-court; he made a voluntary statement, which I took down—I took him in custody on 10th May, at 60. Glyn Road Clapton; and read the warrant to him—he said, "Why didn't you take old Raspberry?"—I said, "Who is old Raspberry?"—he said, "Why, a man named Samuels; he is superintendent of the Fire Brigade at Kentish Town; he has men collecting for him; he does not do any work; he keeps a woman, though he has got a wife and family; Gande has done very well out of this: he has been able to pay off the furniture, and stay out all night and semi oysters home to his old woman"—I found two collecting books on him amounting to £78 4s. 3d.—on the same day I arrested Mrs. Orchard on a warrant at 43, Mayall Road, Brixton, which is five or six miles off—she said, "If they do not send me to prison this time I will get rid of the escape; I should have done so when Ponsford was taken ill, but Ramsdale add the others came to me and said it was a good thing, and that they could work it all right"—she was too ill to go to the station—she made a voluntary statement, in which she said that she had given £16 for the fire-escape, and her profit in six years was £200, and she had to my for the lot—a man named Noble said that he was connected with the brigade; he was a collector at Lambeth—he was taken before Mr.
Cross-examined by MR. HUTTON. I did not test the fire-escape—the landlord stopped the dogs—I arrested Ramsdale a week afterwards at Lynn Road; he gave that address voluntarily.
Re-examined. I do not know whether old Raspberry was tried here; he got off.
Butler's Defence. The Inspector has added tip all the figures he found in the pocket-book and made £175; there is only one collecting book.
Gande's' Defence. The Inspector has added all the amounts together
in several memorandum books and reference books of old subscribers' names not relating to the brigade at all.
Orchard's Defence. Ramsdale has been a most honest man Gande and Butler have only been in the brigade since the beginning of March. I left the things at Ponsford's, the superintendent's, before he was taken, ill. This is the receipt which I had for the repairs (For £5 10s.). I bought all the plant.
BUTLER and GANDE— Three Months each without Hard Labour.
RAMSDALE— Four Months without Hard Labour.
ORCHARD— Judgment Respited.
586. EDWARD OLIPHANT (28) , To burglary in the dwelling house of Gilbert Kennedy French, and stealing shirts and other articles, his property; also to burglary in the dwelling-house of Martha Shaw, and stealing a pair of socks; also to breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Richard Wane, and stealing a violin and other articles, his property and** to a conviction of felony in June, 1889, in the name of Edward Marshall.— [Pleaded Guilty: See original trial image.] Judgment respited. And
(587). WILLIAM CAYANNA (19) , To burglary in the dwellinghouse of Henry Ray, and stealing a revolver, his property; also** to a conviction of felony in November, 1890.— [Pleaded Guilty: See original trial image.] Twelve Months' Hard Labour.
MR. LYNE Prosecuted.
GEORGE SIMS . I am a clerk, living at 52, Falmouth Road, St. Mary's, Newington—about eleven p.m. on 1st May I went to bed, having seen the house shut up and doors and windows fastened; I took special precautions—about ten minutes past four my daughter aroused me—I went downstairs, and found the catch of the kitchen window had been pushed back—I went outside, and saw the prisoner scaling my neighbour's wall—I could see his face distinctly; I identify him; it was perfectly daylight—I noticed as he scaled the wall that he had torn the seat of his trousers—I went through the house into the street to see if I could catch him, but he had disappeared—I gave information to a policeman, who came back with me, and examined the premises—afterwards a detective came and examined the window—subsequently I went to the Policestation, and picked out the prisoner from a dozen other men—the kitchen window was at the back of my house on the ground floor, and a man standing on the pavement Of my yard at the back could reach the catch with ease—the wall the prisoner was climbing was between my neighbour's house and the street—he had climbed the fence dividing my house from my neighbour's.
BERTHA SIMS . I am the last witness's daughter—about four a.m. on the morning of 2nd May I was awakened by a scratching and fidgetting noise at the kitchen window—I looked out of my bedroom window at the back of the first floor—it was quite a fine morning, and clear; you could see—I saw the prisoner shaking the kitchen window—I made no noise, but called my father—I went down with him, and saw the prisoner escape over the
partition between our garden and the next one—afterwards I went to the Police-station and identified the prisoner.
WILLIAM GENTLE (Detective-Sergeant M). I received information and a description from the prosecutor, and about half-past eight p.m. on 2nd May I was with Sergeant Divall in Long Lane when I saw the prisoner coming from a tobacconist's shop—I stopped him and said, "We are police officers; I think you answer the description of a man who attempted to enter a house in Falmouth Road last night"—he said,. "Nobody saw me in Falmouth Road"—I took him to the Policestation, where he was placed with eleven others—the prosecutor and his daughter separately identified him without hesitation—I found in the prisoner's inside pocket this knife, which is much used at the edge—I have examined the window—in my opinion this would be just the kind of instrument to open it—I noticed that a patch was torn out of the seat of the prisoner's trousers—when charged with this attempted burglary he made no reply.!
The prisoner, in his statement "before the Magistrate and in his defence, said he had nothing to say.
GUILTY †.— Six Months' Hard Labour.
MR. COLLINS Prosecuted.
JOHN THORLEY (Detective Sergeant V). Just after, ten p.m. on 12th May I was going with Hopkins down Green Lane, which leads from Lavender Hill to Clapham Common, when I heard two distinct whistles and a dog bark—we secreted ourselves under a black fence, and after waiting about ten minutes saw the prisoner jump from the wall of a row of houses that back into the lane forty or fifty yards from us—the wall was eight or nine feet high, I suppose—the prisoner came towards us; we seized him, and I said, "What are you doing here?"—he said, "I have just come through the lane, going on to Clapham Common"—I held him, and told Hopkins to search him; he did so, and found in his trousers this carriage clock—I said, "How do you account for the possession of this?"—he said, "I bought—it in the Battersea Park Road off a stall near the Magpie"—I said, "When?"—he said, "At twenty minutes past eight this evening"—on his being further searched I found this key; I asked him how he accounted for its possession—he said, "It is the key belonging to the clock"—I sent for the assistance of a constable, and with the assistance of a gentleman the constable held him while Hopkins and I made inquiries, and we found 37, Eccles Road, had been broken into—the conservatory window and three doors had been forced.
WALTER HOPKINS (Detective V). On the evening of 12th May I was with Thorley, and saw the prisoner jump off the wall—I found under his braces, between his vest and shirt, this clock, and in his trousers pocket this roasting-jack key—I went to several back gates and made inquiries, and at last I got over the wall of 37, and found a pane of glass in the conservatory was broken, and the catch had been slipped back—I found the conservatory door had been forced by some instrument; that door leads to the scullery; the door between the scullery and kitchen had been
forced, and the lock of the kitchen door leading to the passage had been broken, but there were two bolts on the inside, and the prisoner was unable to get through—on the floor I found these two instruments and a box of matches, and a number of matches that had been struck—on the corner of the kitchen-table was this teapot—the cupboards were all open, and looked as if they had been turned about, but there seemed to be nothing of value in them—there was no one on the premises.
By the prisoner. This instrument would have forced the doors open; the locks were completely bent—these instruments are the prosecutor's property, and were taken out of the conservatory.
WILLIAM MORSE . I live at 37, Eccles Road, Battersea—I left home on the 10th, after thoroughly securing the doors and windows—all these articles are my property—the clock was on the kitchen mantelshelf when I went away—this tool was in the greenhouse in a drawer—I received a telegram, and came up to London to give evidence.
The prisoner, in his defence, said that he was walking along when the constable stopped him and asked him what he had; and that he said nothing but the clock, which he had bought that evening.
GUILTY . He then PLEADED GUTLTY** to a conviction of felony in September, 1889, at this Court— Three Years' Penal Servitude. The Court commended the conduct of the officers in the case,
590. JAMES EWING (32) and STEPHEN LOVE (36) , Breaking into the Congregational Chapel, Merton, and stealing knives, forks, and other articles, the property of Benjamin Crowther. Second Count, Receiving the same.
LOVE PLEADED GUILTY to receiving the property.
BENJAMIN CROWTHER . I am the minister of the Congregational Church, Morden Road, Merton—on Sunday, 17th April, about 8.30 p.m., I left the church, vestry and schoolroom properly fastened up and safe—I left five coats and four towels and shoe-leathers, and other things there—on the following Saturday, 23rd, I went to the church about three, and found the vestry door had been forced open—I saw a mark as if of a chisel or screwdriver—the upper sash of the vestry window was halfway down; a. wire blind had been pushed down—a number of drawers in the vestry were pulled out, and everything was turned out on to the carpet the cheffonier drawers in the larger vestry were turned out; five coats had been taken, two pieces of leather for soleing boots, five knives (of which these are two), and a fork and a towel, with my name in the corner—I had not been to the church between the Sunday and Saturday, I had been from home—I found the door of the school close by, but distinct from the church, wide open; the same kind of mark was on it as I found on the other door and window—the doors of the library cupboard were wide open, and the books spread out, and a number of missionary boxes were broken and the money taken—in the church I found one money-box broken open with a chisel, and money had been taken out—I only know the prisoner by sight—Ewing lives near me, two of his children come, to my Sunday-school—I have only seen Love very casually.
instrument of that kind—Ewing was brought to the station on 25th April, and charged with breaking and entering the chapel, and stealing the articles mentioned; he said nothing.
ROBERT WILLIAMSON (Detective V). On 25th April, at 2.30 p.m., I arrested Ewing at the South-Western Hotel, Wimbledon—I said, "I shall take you into custody for being concerned, with another man, in breaking and entering the Congregational Church, Morden Road, Merton"—he said, "You will have to prove it"—after taking him to the station I went to his house, where I found this towel, with the. name on it—I took Ewing to Mitcham Police-station; he made no reply when charged; I told him I found this towel at his lodgings—he said, I don't know who put it there"—he was remanded by the Magistrate for a week—Ewing said to me, "It was Love that was with me, and he asked me to give him a night's lodging; he would give me eighteenpence, and he stayed for the night. We went out at six o'clock in the morning, and when we got to the River Wandle, near to Merton Abbey Railway-station, Love took the knives and the screwdriver, and threw them into the Wandle. He said, 'We shan't b——want them again"—I made a search, and found these two knives in the Wandle, where Ewing told me they were thrown; the prosecutor has identified them—on Sunday afternoon, 1st May, at a quarter to three, I arrested Love—I said, "I shall take you into custody for being concerned in breaking and entering the Congregational Church, Morden Road, Merton, with Ewing"—he made no reply—I took him to Wimbledon Police-station, and placed him among five others, and Mrs. Ewing identified him as having stayed the night with her husband—I conveyed him to Mitcham—on the way he said, "There is where Ewing placed the fork and spade" (they have nothing to do with this case), "I know nothing about the knives; the screwdriver was left in Ewing's house"—when charged he made no reply—Ewing also said to me, "We went from Mitcham to Tooting Junction, where I left him; I then went back to Wimbledon; I had the sole-leather in my pocket; I got drunk, and laid over in the fields at Merton Park"—the shoe-leather has not been recovered—Ewing said, "I believe Love did it; I waited outside"
Cross-examined by Ewing. You said you left Love at Tooting Junction, he had two jackets on, and a bundle of things under his arm—I said it was Reuben who was with you, and you said Love—Reuben is not connected with this case—I made no inquiries about Love till after you told me—when I apprehended him he told me something about leaving the screwdriver at your house—he said he had sold the clothes; I have not been able to find them—you did not say you had nothing to do with the robbery, and did not know the towel was in your house—you said it was Love who was with you—your wife identified Love—she said you and he were each wearing two coats—when Love came she said, "I know you have been thieving again, and I won't have him sleeping here"—I do not think anything was said about his being late for his lodging.
Ewing, in his statement before the Magistrate, said that he met Love on the night of the 22nd, and, as Love was too late to go to his lodging, he took him home; that Love had some things with him, and that next morning he said they were not his.
Love said that Ewing's statement was a tissue of lies.
Ewing, in his defence, repeated in substance his former statement, and added that next morning Love threw some knives and things into the Wandle.
Love said that he knew nothing about the chapel, but that Ewing asked him to come and help him to do it, and that he was foolish enough to accede to his request.
EWING NOT GUILTY .
LOVE GUILTY of burglary.
LOVE then PLEADED GUILTY to a conviction of felony at Newport in December, 1890.— Nine Months' Hard Labour.
MR. HURRELL Prosecuted.
WILLIAM HENRY SANDFORD . I am an engineer, of 13, Dent's Road, Battersea—about a quarter to twelve on Wednesday night, 11th May, I went to bed, leaving my house locked up and perfectly safe—next morning I was awakened by my dog growling; I began to get out of bed, and I heard a crash below—I went down and found one of the kitchen windows wide open, the kitchen gas lighted, and a number of things standing on a cupboard just inside the window knocked over—the night before there had been a box of matches on the table; they were gone; these are matches of the same kind—after running round the dining-room to see no one was in the house, I went up to my window and blew a whistle, and within half a minute a constable came—there were some boots in the kitchen.
Cross-examined by the prisoner. I did not set you till the constable brought you back.
WALTER MATTHEWS (494 V). About quarter to two a.m. on the 12th I was in Dent's Road, and saw the prisoner coming towards me, creeping very close to the garden rails and, hedge—I stepped back into a gateway, and waited till he was close to me, and then I stepped out and asked him, "What are you doing here this time of the morning?"—he said, "It is all right, sir; I am on the road"—I said, "What have you been doing down here?"—he said, "I have been doing a sleep about two hours in the front garden"—I said, "I don't believe your statement; what have you got in your pocket?"—I searched and found this knife in his inside pocket—I said, "What do you do with that?"—he said, "I eat my food with it"—I said, "I don't believe you; I shall take you to the station"—as I was saying that I heard a whistle blow twice from a house down the road—I said, "Come down with me and see what is the matter down here"—when I got to the prosecutor's house, which was about thirty yards from where I stopped the prisoner, the prosecutor had his head out of window, and he said, "Someone has broken into my house "; he said he had got in at the kitchen window—I told the prisoner I should take him to the station—these three boxes of matches and a piece of indiarubber were found on him—I saw marks on the window.
FRANK GEAR (Inspector V). On 12th May I went to the prosecutor's house—some marks on the window corresponded with this knife, which would force the catch back—the prisoner said, "Those two boxes of matches belong to me."
Cross-examined. You did not say the other box belonged to you.
a better pair in the kitchen, only they were too big; if it was not for the dog barking I should have been all right; I was a fool to have come out into Dent's Road; I ought to have climbed over the wall on to the estate"—there is an estate at the bottom end of the road.
Cross-examined. A constable was in the passage when you said that; he is not here.
By the JURY. I never saw the prisoner before to my knowledge.
GUILTY— He then PLEADED GUILTY* to a conviction of felony at Chelms ford in 1892.—Judgment respited. .
The COURT commended the conduct of Constable Matthews.
ADJOURNED TO MONDAY, JUNE 27TH, 1892.