CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT
EIGHTH SESSION, HELD MAY 20TH, 1895.
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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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 20th, 1895, and following days.
BEFORE the RIGHT HON. SIR JOSEPH RENALS, Knt., LORD MAYOR of the City of London; Hon. Sir CHARLES EDWARD POLLOCK , Knt., Sir ALFRED WILLS , Knt., two of the Justices of Her Majesty's High Court; Sir REGINALD HANSON , Bart. M.P., Sir STUART KNILL , Bart., Sir GEORGE ROBERT TYLER , Bart., Aldermen of the said City; Sir CHARLES HALL , Q.C., M.P., K.C.M.G., Recorder of the said City; GEORGE FAUDEL PHILLIPS, Esq., Lieut.-Col. HORATIO DAVID DAVIES , Esq., Sir JOHN VOCE MOORE, Knt., JAMES THOMSON RITCHIE , Esq., WALTER VAUGHAN MORGAN , Esq., WILLIAM PURDIE TRELOAR, Esq., JOHN CHARLES BELL , Esq., other of the Aldermen of the said City; and Sir FORREST FULTON, Knt., Q.C., 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.
FRANSIS ROBERT MIDDLETON PHILLIPS, Esq.
CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT.
RENALS, MAYOR. EIGHTH SESSION.
A star (*) denotes that prisoners have been previously in custody—two stars (**) 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 20th, 1895, and Five Following Days.
Before Mr. Justice Wills.
THE SOLICITOR-GENERAL (SIR FRANK LOCKWOOD, Q.C.), with MESSRS. C. F.
GILL and HORACE AVORY Prosecuted; SIR EDWARD CLARKE, Q.C.,
with MESSRS. CHARLES MATHEWS and TRAVERS HUMPHREYS, appeared for Wilde; MR. J.P. GRAIN for Taylor.
Upon the joint application of SIR EDWARD CLARKE and MR. GRAIN, the defendants were tried separately.
TAYLOR thereupon was first tried; he was
FOUND GUILTY on certain counts.
WILDE was then put on his trial, and also being FOUND GUILTY, both the defendants were sentenced to Two Years' Hard Labour.
NEW COURT.—Monday, May 20th, 1895,
Before Mr. Common Serjeant.
426. EDWARD BOLLAND (64) PLEADED GUILTY to unlawfully having in his possession a galvanic battery which had been used for coining, and with intent so to use it. Twelve previous convictions were proved against him, ranging over forty years.— Twelve Months' Hard Labour. And
427. ARTHUR HENLEY (24) , to stealing a purse and £3 2s. 4d. from the person of Elizabeth Malyon, having been convicted at Clerkenwell on December 5th, 1890. [Pleaded guilty. See original trial image.] Eleven other convictions were proved against him.— Three Years' Penal Servitude.
Before Mr. Recorder.
MR. ROOTH Prosecuted.
Teddington—on March 13th I shut up his chestnut cob in a box in a field—the door was locked, but the key was not taken out—the field gate was locked—next morning the staple of the gate was drawn, and the cob was gone—I saw it next at Charing Cross Station—it was worth £50.
THOMAS LOCK . I am a horse dealer, of Reading—on March 14th the two prisoners came, and Greginson offered me a cob for sale for £15—they both took part in the conversation—I offered £8, and brought it up to £10—Greginson received the money—I afterwards handed the cob over to Magna—I identified it at the Police-court when it was returned from Paris—I knew the prisoners and had bought two horses of them before, and there were disputes about them.
THOMAS MAGNER (Detective Officer). I saw the two prisoners on their trial on 29th April, and showed them the chestnut cob—Greginson said he knew nothing about it, Brown made no reply—Harris identified the cob when it was returned from Paris, where it had been sent.
GUILTY .—The prisoners had been convicted at Salisbury on April 6th of stealing two horses, and sentenced to Two Years' Hard Labour. Other convictions were proved against them; there were two other charges against both prisoners, which will have to be tried at Guildford.— Twelve Months' Hard Labour Each, to run concurrently with their sentence at Salisbury.
MR. WALLACE Prosecuted.
JOHN FROST WHITE . I am manager to John Larkam, who keeps the Pelham Arms, South Kensington—on May 11th, about twelve o'clock, and everything was secure at 1.30—at nine a.m. I saw that a bottle of whisky had been opened—I missed 2s. 6d. in coppers and this coat (produced), and these cigars and tobacco and a pipe, worth altogether about 35s.—a man had the key of the lavatory about 11.30 the previous night—when I left the window of the saloon bar was securely fastened—I was at Westminster Police-court when the prisoner was examined—he said that we had no business to lock him in; that the barman gave him the key, and he was drunk and fell asleep—when I went to bed my coat was under a shelf behind the bar, not in the lavatory.
HARRY TISDAIL . I am barman at the Pelham Arms—on Saturday night, May 11th, about 11.30 the prisoner asked for the key of the lavatory—he appeared sober—I went to the manager, got it, and gave it to him, and did not see him again—I went to bed at 2.30, and when I came down in the morning I found the place in confusion, and the window unlatched—I saw the prisoner next at the Police-court—he said if I gave him the key why did I not come and wake him up if I knew he was there—he had nothing to drink there—I had seen him once before, one morning—I had no idea he was on the premises when I went to bed—he had nothing to drink in the house.
JOHN MCGWIRE (Police-Sergeant, F). I examined these premises with Inspector Jeffery, made some inquiries, and went with Mr. White, the manager, to the station, where the prisoner was detained on a charge of drunkenness—he had this coat in his possession, which is identified—I searched him, and found some cigars, cigarettes, and copper money—I
asked him where he got them—he said, "I got them from a man, I don't know who he is"—I said, "You will be charged with burglary at the Pelham Arms"—he said, "I had a fine boose and then I cleared out; they had no right to lock me in the house."
GEORGE JEFFERY (Police Inspector V). I was with McGwire at the Pelham Arms—I found the window of the saloon bar unfastened, a flower pot had been removed, the window opened, and an ornament removed—he had got out by getting on to the sill and dropping into the yard—the lavatory door was locked on the inside—I was told that the key was found in the water-closet—a pair of trousers and a waistcoat were produced by the barman as being left in the house—the prisoner claimed them.
The prisoner. I changed my clothes there.
RICHARD EDWARD BLAKE (315 D). On Sunday, May 12th, about 7.30 a.m., I was in Pelham Street, and saw the prisoner lying on the pavement—I shook him—he became very violent, and rose and closed with me three times—I succeeded in getting him to the corner of the street, where I got the assistance of another constable—I searched him at the station, and found these two bottles, one containing a portion of whisky, and the other port wine—he was wearing this coat—he was drunk.
Prisoner's defence. I had a drop too much to drink with a mate, and went to this house and fell asleep in the closet. I don't know whether I got out at the window or door. I woke up-in. the evening at the station.
GUILTY .—He received a good character.— Three Months' Hard Labour.
THIRD COURT.—Monday, May 20th, 1895.
Before Mr. Recorder and Mr. Common Serjeant.
431. HORACE RICHARD EVE (21) , to stealing £237 108., the money of the Brush Electric Lighting Company, his masters; also to a conviction of felony in November, 1893.— [Pleaded guilty. See original trial image.] Eighteen Months' Hard Labour.
432. JOHN BROWN (65) , to stealing a puree and its contents, the goods of Frederick Lambert, from the person of Mary Rebecca Day. Several convictions were proved against him.— [Pleaded guilty. See original trial image.] Three Years' Penal Servitude.
433. ELIJAH BROWN (28) , to a burglary in the dwelling-house of William James Stoneman, and stealing a overcoat and other goods, and 5s. 9d., and other articles the goods of William James Stoneman.— [Pleaded guilty. See original trial image.] Twelve Months' Hard Labour.
434. CHARLES LATTY (26) , to stealing a watchchain, locket, and pencil from the person of Edward Hett; also to a conviction of felony in January, 1894.— [Pleaded guilty. See original trial image.] Fourteen Months' Hard Labour.
435. JOHN PETTIFER (26) , to stealing whilst employed at the Post Office a poet letter, containing two postal orders for 5s. and 2s. 6d., and twelve stamps, the property of the Postmaster-General.— [Pleaded guilty. See original trial image.] Nine Months' Hard Labour.
436. WILLIAM MARTIN (24) , to a burglary in the dwelling-house of Maurice Charik, and stealing a silver fork and other articles; also to a burglary in the dwelling-house of Isaac Cherchuski and stealing 2s.— [Pleaded guilty. See original trial image.] Twelve Months' Hard Labour.
437. ARTHUR EDWIN COPAS (18) , to forging and uttering a notice of withdrawal from the Post Office Savings Bank; and also to forging and uttering a receipt for the same.— [Pleaded guilty. See original trial image.] Seven Months' Hard Labour.
MR. WILKINSON Prosecuted.
ALFRED KAMBER (Detective Sergeant B). On the morning of 19th April, shortly after eleven, I was in Vauxhall Bridge Road, in company with Allen—I there saw the prisoner at the corner of Regency Street; he went down Regency Street; we followed him—he took something out of his right-hand trousers pocket; he looked at it—I said to him, "We are police officers; what was that you were looking at just now, and put into your trousers pocket?"—he said, "Nothing"—he twisted, and threw himself to the ground; I held him—I afterwards saw a paper and six counterfeit coins—Allen took them out of his right-hand trousers pocket—I took him to the station, searched him, and found nothing on him but a key—he was charged—he said, "You must have seen me pick this up"—I had not seen him do anything but take this coin out—he refused his name, address, or occupation until before the Magistrate—he then gave it; it was correct.
Cross-examined by the prisoner. You had your back turned to me when I saw you in Regency Street; I saw your side face—when I searched your place I found things showing that you were getting your living as a shoe-black.
ARTHUR ALLEN (Detective B). I was with Kamber, and saw the prisoner in Regency Street; we followed him—when he was stopped I searched him, and found on him six counterfeit florins in his right-hand trousers pocket, wrapped up in a piece of pink paper, and with a piece of paper between each coin—I asked him to account for the possession of these things—he made no answer.
WILLIAM JOHN WEBSTER . I am Inspector of Coin to the Mint—these are six counterfeit coins, all from the same mould, and wrapped up in separate papers as usual in such cases; they have been rubbed with lamp-black to give them a tone.
Prisoner's defence, I was going up Regency Street, and saw this piece of paper in the gutter; I picked it up, and I had no sooner done so than the two officers came up, and said, "What is that in your pocket?" I said, "I don't know; I think it is a watch." I did not know they were counterfeit coins. I am a cripple, and get my living as a shoe-black.
GUILTY .—Several convictions were proved against him, for one of which he was sentenced to Jive years' penal servitude.
Nine Months' Hard Labour.
DUVAL PLEADED GUILTY .
MR. PARTRIDGE Prosecuted.
WILLIAM CLAY . I am caretaker at Evelyn Buildings, Baldwin's Gardens—I have the letting of 11, Jerusalem Court, Clerkenwell—about; three months ago I let the back parlour there to the female prisoner—I have seen her there from time to time—she and her husband occupied the room—there were two or three children—I have seen Duval there, merely visiting, I daresay half a dozen times—I may have seen him twice in a week—I have seen him come in—I have seen the female prisoner at the door; Duval opened the door to me once—our collector had a very good reference with Crow; she always paid her rent.
ALFRED NICHOLS (Police Sergeant G). On 10th May I went with Mellersh and a sergeant to 11, Jerusalem Court, about one o'clock—I have seen the two prisoners together on twenty occasions, in public-houses and about—I have had them under observation for about a month—during that time I have seen Duval go up the court and into the doorway—I could not see into the room; it is a place on the model-dwellings system, and he went into the main entrance—I think I saw him at least twenty times in the last month—on 10th May, on approaching Jerusalem Court, the woman was standing in the entrance of No. 11—on catching sight of us she shouted, "Look out, Alf.!"—we made a rush to the doorway—she said, "You can't go in; this is my room"—we forced the door—I said to Duval, "We are police officers, and we shall arrest you and this woman for manufacturing counterfeit coin, and I shall search the room"—he said, "You need not do that; there is enough in that plate to hang me," pointing to a plate in the sink—I examined the plate; it contained half-a-dozen unfinished sixpences on a wire, covered with solution—on a chair near the sink I saw seven finished counterfeit sixpences—I noticed something on the fire; I raked it out, and came on a small portion of a mould, containing part of a sixpence, also some copper wire, and two pieces of metal like clamps used in coining—I searched Duval, and found on him 2s. 6d. in silver—I noticed one of the sixpences bearing the date of 1893—at that time it was slightly covered with plaster of Paris, as if just manufactured—I noticed his hands; they had plaster of Paris on them; a handkerchief was lying on the table with plaster of Paris on it—I asked who it belonged to; he said to him—I searched the room; whilst doing so the woman threw a piece of paper on the floor; Mellersh picked it up, and handed it to me; it contained a counterfeit sixpence—Crow said, "That has nothing to do with me; I only let the man come in to sleep; the reason I shouted out was I thought you were School Board officers"—I found in the room plaster of Paris, and some wet plaster of Paris in a saucer, some nitrate of silver, cyanide of potassium, copper wire, some old metal, and some black grease, all things used in manufacturing coin—they were taken to the station, charged, and the charge read over—no reply—Mellersh took the woman.
Cross-examined by Crow. You were not sitting on the doorstep—you did not say, "Open the door, Alf"—you said, "Look out, Alf!"—it was when you threw the paper down that you said, "That has nothing to do with me."
FREDERICK MELLERSH (Detective). I have seen the two prisoners together on four occasions—I have seen them near Jerusalem Court; I have seen them enter the court—on Friday, 10th May, at eleven o'clock,
I went with Nichols to the back parlour—I arrested the female prisoner—I saw her drop a piece of paper; I picked it up—she said, "That has nothing to do with me; "it contained a counterfeit sixpence—I took her to the station, and charged her with having this in her possession—she nude no reply.
WILLIAM JOHN WEBSTER . The six unfinished sixpences found in the plate are all counterfeit, roughly made—the good sixpence has been used as a pattern from which a mould is taken—there are seven counterfeit coins from the same mould—fourteen were found altogether—I have examined all the articles produced; they are such as are used in manufacturing counterfeit coins.
The prisoner Crow, in her defence, protested her innocence, stating that she knew nothing of what Duval was doing, that she had only permitted him to lie down in the room, and that while he was there she sat on the door-step until the officers arrived.
CROW GUILTY.—Recommended to mercy. — Six Months' Hard Labour.
DUVAL GUILTY.— Three Years' Penal Servitude.
NEW COURT.—Tuesday, May 21st, 1895.
Before Mr. Recorder.
440. RICHARD BROWN (25) PLEADED GUILTY to stealing from a letter-box cheques for £2 7s. 3d. and £1 17s. 4d., the property of Alexander McDonald, having been convicted of a like offence on September 11th, 1893. Three other convictions were proved against him.— Eighteen Months' Hard Labour.
441. FREDERICK THOMPSON (18), PHILIP WILLIAMS (15), and JOHN FITZSIMMONS (17) , to stealing a till and sixpence, the property of Henry Haynes, having been before convicted, Thompson on May 4th, 1892, Williams in March, 1895, and Fitzsimmons on July. 24th, 1893. [Pleaded guilty. See original trial image.]—THOMPSON ** Nine Months Hard Labour. WILLIAMS, Discharged on recognisances. FITZSIMMONS** Six Months' Hard Labour.
442. WILLIAM KING (37) , to feloniously marrying Elizabeth Ann Stone, his wife being alive. The prisoner's wife's sister stated that his wife eloped with a man, and that before going through the ceremony with the second woman, he told her that he was married.— [Pleaded guilty. See original trial image.] Two Days' Imprisonment.
444. JOHN DAVIES (28) , to robbery on George Long, and stealing a watch, his property, having been convicted at Clerkenwell on July 2nd, 1894. [Pleaded guilty. See original trial image.] Two other convictions were proved against him.— Fourteen Months' Hard Labour.
SMITH PLEADED GUILTY .
MR. LEVER Prosecuted, and MR. LAWLESS appeared for Holloway.
some repairs at the Hon. Emily Bilton's—I missed this lead, value 12s., a hundredweight cut up, and these chandeliers, worth about 25s. (Produced)—they had been absolutely wrenched away from the building.
Cross-examined. A dealer would not give 12s. a cwt.; he would buy to get a profit—these chandeliers are only old brass now—I did not hear Hollo way give directions to look for the man who bought the lead.
GEORGE DRECHSTER . I live at 42, Askew Street, Shepherd's Bush, which is about five minutes' walk from Holloway's shop—on Saturday, April 20th, I was at home about 7.30, and saw Smith come out of No. 44 with something bulky under his left arm—he turned to the right.
WILLIAM KNOTT (Police Sergeant C). On April 22nd, at two p.m., I arrested Smith in Mansell Road, and told him he would be charged with stealing a quantity of lead pipe from 44, Mansell Road—he said, "Then I am not b—y well coming"—he became very violent—I took him to the station, and said, "This is the lead pipe you will be charged with stealing"—he said, "Yes, but if I was to drop dead, I know nothing about it," pointing to the property from 8, Askew Road, "I believe that is the man I bought it of," pointing to Holloway, who said, "Do you say you bought it of me?"—Smith said, "Yes."
Cross-examined. Holloway and his brother did not point out Smith to me, but they said that he was in that neighbourhood—they assisted me to find him.
Re-examined. Holloway gave me no assistance whatever, but he gave me a description, and I saw a man answering the description on one of the roads.
WILLIAM BROWN . I live at 28, Cobbold Road, Shepherd's Bush, and work for Holloway—on Saturday evening I saw Smith come out of the yard with Holloway—they went to a public-house—Smith was not carrying anything; but about 8.5 I saw a bag with lead pipe in it on the chaff-box, which was not there an hour before—I was not in the shop while Smith was in the yard, and cannot tell whether he went into the shop, and cannot tell you whether the lead was put into the scale; but there is a scale in the yard—I saw Smith on, I think, the night before; I think I saw him every night that week.
Cross-examined. Holloway employs another boy, about my size—his wife looks after the business when he is out—I do not know whether the other lot of lead was bought when he was out; the rag-sorter does that—Holloway has been out on bail ever since he was at the Police-court—I was called to identify Smith.
Re-examined. Holloway has another shop—he came there that evening at eight o'clock, on the van—I did not nee Smith come into the yard; he may have been there when I returned with Holloway—when lead arrives it is put in the stable.
EDWARD BADCOCK (Police Sergeant C). On April 2nd, about 9.30 a.m., I went to Holloway's shop, 36, Becker Road—I made this note shortly afterwards—I said, "Have you bought any lead pipe since Saturday last, as there has been a quantity stolen from a house in Askew Road; have you or your man bought any?"—he said "No"—I said, "We are going to search your place? Where do you keep your metal?"—he said, "In the yard and stable"—in a stable in the yard there was a quantity of old lead, which the witness with us failed to identify—I said, "Have you
any more?"—he said, "I have not another bit in the place"—I continued to search, and found the lead stolen from Askew Road—Hollo way said, "I did not know that was here"—Sewell identified it—I asked Holloway to account for it being in his possession—he said, "I don't know; I was away all day on Saturday; some of my boys must have bought it"—I waited for him to make inquiry—he did so, and said that they did not know—I said, "Have you made inquiries of all your boys?"—he said, "Yes, and they don t know"—I said, "I shall take you in custody; you will be most likely charged with stealing and receiving it, come along"—he said, "I may as well tell you the truth. When I came home on Saturday night it was in the scale, and I paid 3s. 6d. for it"—it weighed 71 lbs. without the five bags and without the lamps—there was also 25 lbs. on the floor.
By the COURT. He did not deny that there was lead in the stable, and I went in and could see it at once; that was stolen lead and he did not attempt to conceal it.
Cross-examined. When I was taking him away I feel convinced he did not say to Tilbury, the sorter, "Look for the man that brought the lead," but he may have quietly—his man and I were looking for Smith shortly after, but he did not know that.
Holloway received a good character.— NOT GUILTY .
MR. LEVER Prosecuted.
WILLIAM TAYLOR . I am a bicycle maker of 366, York Road, Wandsworth—on December 13th I left the shop secure—no one resides there—I went there at ten a.m. and found that as they could not force the padlock of the front door they forced that of the side door, and stole tyres worth £50—I had been cementing the floor, and found marks in it where they had been standing.
JOSEPH GOUGH (Policeman V). On December 14th I was with Eyre and examined Taylor's workshop—the side door had been forced open, and the place was in great disorder—the new cemented floor was marked with indiarubber slippers, which I traced to 25, Ferrier Street—I went there with Eyre—Miss Tomkins let me in—I saw the prisoner in the kitchen with this coat in his hand—on seeing me he dropped it—I found the greater part of the property there and this screw wrench—the prisoner cleared the fence—I went after him and chased him for about a mile and a half, and lost sight of him and did not see him again till April 29th at the West London Police-court—I have no doubt he is the man, I knew him by sight before—I found these shoes in the room, compared them with the marks on the new cement in the workshop, and they corresponded.
Cross-examined. I am sure I saw you and a man, who is undergoing
eighteen months' hard labour for the same thing, as well—I have known you for years.
HANNAH TOMPKINS . I occupy two rooms at 25, Ferrier Street, and know the prisoner—I let the detective in on December 14th—I do not know whether the prisoner was in the kitchen then, but he had been in the house that morning, and did not come back.
Cross-examined. I am sure I know you—you were in the house ten days with a prostitute—I picked out another man first, but it was in a dark cell, and I was nervous, and was in a place where there were so many, and you held your head back—as soon as I saw you in Court I knew you—my husband was not there.
JAMES EYRE (Policeman V). I went with Gough to 25, Ferrier Street, and saw the prisoner leave the kitchen, with this coat in his hand—I knew him before—he dropped his hat and coat in the passage and ran out without coat, boots, or hat—Gough chased him—I picked the coat up, and found this wrench in it—I found these slippers in the kitchen, compared them with the cement, and they fitted.
GUILTY .—He then PLEADED GUILTY to a conviction at this Court on May 29th, 1892, and two other convictions were proved against him.— Five Years' Penal Servitude.
448. FREDERICK DRISCOLL (21) and CHARLES SMITH (21) , Breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Melville Leslie Macnaghten, with intent to steal, Driscoll having been convicted at Clerkenwell, on June 19th, 1893, to which
DRISCOLL PLEADED GUILTY .
MR. ROOTH Prosecuted.
MELVILLE LESLIE MACNAGHTEN . I am chief constable of the Metropolitan Police, and live at 32, Warwick Square, Pimlico—on May 3rd I was awoke at 2.30 a.m. by the ringing of a bell outside my door, and I went down and saw the door across the hall open, and the prisoner Driscoll about six feet inside the door—he said, "It is only me, sir. I have broken in. I am hard up"—I arrested him and handed him over to a constable who had another man in custody outside—entrance had been made by a window which was shut when I went to bed,
WALTER SOMERS (111 B). On 3rd May, at 2.30 a.m. I was on duty by St. Gabriel's Church, and saw Smith outside No. 32—he turned towards Aldeney Street, walking very sharply—I examined the house, and while I was in front of it Smith returned—I asked him what he was doing there—he said he was just going home—I asked him if he knew if there was anyone else about there—he said he did not—I took him in custody, and shortly afterwards I saw Driscoll strike a match and walk round the library—I handed Smith over to a constable and blew my whistle—a lady opened the door, and I went in and found Driscoll—Smith was charged at the station—he said he had just come over Ebury Bridge and left two pals there—I asked him if he had been talking to a woman—he said "No"—I asked him if he had been there before—he said "No"—I saw a woman a long way off—I did not know Smith before.
Cross-examined by Smith. I was near enough to you to see that it was
you—you were not going to walk straight past me, you stopped in front of the house while I was in the doorway—you did not come to me before I called you, and ask me if there was anything wrong.
JAMES THOMPSON (103 D). Somers handed Smith into my custody—he said, "What are you holding me for; I was only coming along the street: I am not going to get away and make a fool of myself; let me button my coat, I feel rather cold."
JOHN WATTS (Detective A). I know the two prisoners; I have seen them together eighteen months or two years ago—they do not live in the same house, but I have seen them standing outside the Star and Garter, Great Peter Street.
Cross-examined by Smith. I know you were in Wales, but that was previous; it is between eighteen months and two years since I saw you together—Driscoll has donetwelve months' imprisonment.
Smith, in his statement before the Magistrate and in his defence, denied ever having seen Driscoll before, and said that as he was passing the house the officer arrested him. SMITH— GUILTY . He then
PLEADED GUILTY to a conviction at Clerkenwell on July 23rd, 1894, and two other convictions were proved against him.— Fifteen Month' Hard Labour. Four other convictions were proved against DRISCOLL.— Eighteen Months' Hard Labour.
EMILY GLOVER . I am in the service of Mr. Harris, of 26, Buckingham Palace Mansions—he has the ground floor, and all the windows look to the back towards Eccleston Street—on May 3rd I went to bed at 12.30 a.m.—we never lock the doors, but the house was safe—my mistress called me about 2.50, and I saw Stanley, 359 B—I went down, and found a window at the back, open—the cover of a chair had been disturbed, but nothing was taken—I never saw the prisoner before.
THOMAS STANLEY (359 B). On May 3rd I was on duty at 3.10 a.m. in Eccleston Street East, and saw the prisoner on the window-sill of 26, Buckingham, Palace Mansions, in a crouching position—that window looks into Eccleston Street—I said, "What are you doing there?"—he said, "I must admit you are a bit sharp on me; I will go quietly to the station"—I arrested him, and immediately saw another man jump out at the window and over the railings and escape; another man who was standing by the railings, ran away—the prisoner was very quiet at first, and then he struggled and freed himself from me and ran away—I chased him, and blew my whistle—he was then two yards from me—when I got close to him he turned round suddenly and struck me a violent blow on my eye and lip, and cut me—at the corner of Eccleston Square I heard something drop, and subsequently I was with Pym and picked up two skeleton keys and a latchkey at that spot—he snatched my whistle from me and threw it on the ground, breaking it—I closed with him, and we fell—Sergeants Denning and Harrison came to my assistance—the prisoner was very violent on the ground; he kicked Sergeant Harrison—we took his boots off and took him to the station and charged him with burglary—he laughed and said, "I was
there with a girl"—I asked who she was—he said "I don't know"—I found on him a latchkey and a common ring—he gave a false address.
Cross-examined. I was called to you by a man standing by Buckingham Palace Mansions—I called on you to surrender, and rubbed you down—I did not put my hands in your pockets—I did not produce the ring from your pocket—I used no violence to you—I did not use my staff—since your committal you wrote and gave your address 34, Boniface Road—I found that your sister had lived there, but had left—you did not give her address on your arrest—the key opened your door, but not the door in Buckingham Palace Road.
The, prisoner, in his statement before the Magistrate and in his defence, stated that he had too much to drink and was with a girl; that he was not near the window, but went up a turning for a certain purpose when the constable took him and knocked him down and nearly choked him.
T. STANLEY (re-examined). The prisoner was sober.
GUILTY .—He then
PLEADED GUILTY to a conviction at Clerkenwell on January 1st, 1891, in the name of James Delany, when he was sentenced to five years' penal servitude, and three other convictions were proved against him.— Six Years' Penal Servitude, leaving a portion of his former sentence to serve.
THIRD COURT.—Tuesday, May 21st, 1895.
Before Mr. Common Serjeant.
451. ROBERT BROWN (21) , to stealing a bunch of keys and 3s. 6d. from the person of Robert Alexander Bruce. [Pleaded guilty. See original trial image.](See trial of Robert Brown and Charles Taylor, p. 643.)
452. HAROLD PEGLER, (41) to stealing a coat, seven scarf-pins, two watchchains, and other goods belonging to Henry Herbert Wombwell, and to stealing a coat, fusee case, and other goods, the property of Frederick Vernon Hawley.— [Pleaded guilty. See original trial image.] Six Months' Hard Labour for each offence, to run concurrently.
MR. PICKERSGILL Prosecuted.
WILLIAM BODDY (620 X). On Saturday, 30th March, I was on duty in Stanhope Street, Hampstead Road, shortly after midnight, in uniform, in company with Constable 675 X—the prisoner and several others were shouting and causing a great disturbance—there were ten or a dozen of them—I requested them to desist, and go away quietly—they refused—the prisoner appearing to be the ringleader I took him into custody—he became very violent and threw himself down—I lifted him up on to his feet—I got him a few yards towards the station, holding him by his right, arm—he up with his left foot and kicked me in the lower part of my stomach, saying, "I'll rupture you, you—, I will"—he was very violent all the way to the station—the kick caused me great pain, and I am in pain now—I have been in the hospital ever since—I was not able to give evidence until 23rd April—the police-surgeon examined me almost immediately.
Cross-examined by the prisoner. When I first saw you, you were not alone—I did not baffle your leg—you were not punished, nor hit in the mouth, nor knocked down—a complaint was made that I threw you down.
By the COURT. There were no marks of violence upon the prisoner at the station—he did not ask to be examined by the doctor to ascertain if he had been ill-used.
By the JURY. I had not been ruptured before this.
FRANCIS STOUGHTON (675 X). I was with Boddy in Stanhope Street on the night of the 30th March—the prisoner and others were behaving in a very disorderly manner, and making use of obscene language—we requested them to go away quietly—they all did so except the prisoner—we took the prisoner into custody—he kicked Boddy in the bowels—I did not kick the prisoner—he was being conveyed to the station when he kicked Boddy in the lower part of the stomach—I did not notice the effect of the kick on Boddy till after the charge was taken.
EDWARD EVELYN (18 S). I first saw the prisoner when ho was held on the ground by the last witnesses—he was kicking very violently—I assisted in getting him to the station—he was violent all the way—he kicked Boddy in the private parts.
By the COURT. The prisoner did not complain at the station—there was an inspector there—no violence was used to the prisoner before he kicked the constable, nor afterwards beyond keeping him in safe custody—no marks of violence were on his head or body.
Cross-examined by the prisoner. A gentleman complained at the station—he gave the name of Buses, of 112, Stanhope Street—he refused to come again to the station when he knew the nature of the assault, and we have not seen him since—you were not carried in frog fashion nor kicked in the jaw—I had not hold of your feet—the sergeant did not tell me of it, nor that he would report me—I was going to put the handlets on, and when you saw them you walked.
By the COURT. The prisoner did not complain to the Magistrate—there was no mark on his cheek.
JAMES MOORE . I live at 56, Albany Street—I am divisional surgeon—I examined Boddy on the early morning of March 31st, at the Police-station—I found he was ruptured in the right groin, and suffering pain from the tenderness of the swelling—I would expect pain from rupture from a kick, not from an ordinary rupture—he is still under my care—he is still off duty—he was unable to go to the Police-court till the 23rd of April—the wall of the abdomen was broken, but not the external skin which forms part of the wall—the bowel protruded and could be felt through the skin—he is permanently injured—two courses are open to him; he will either be obliged to wear a truss to support the part, or else an operation will have to be performed—many officers of the Police wear a truss—in six weeks or two months he may be able to return to duty—to the alternative of an operation there are three possible results: he may die under the operation, the mortality being five to fifteen per cent.; secondly, the operation may fail; thirdly, it may be successful—the percentage of failures is twenty to thirty—I am speaking of such a person as Boddy—that would leave seventy to eighty per cent, of successful operations—if successful, he would not have to wear a truss—the operation would have to be performed at once.
The prisoner, in defence, said he was going home when the constable followed on his heels. Some young fellows he knew wanted to take him home. The policeman punched him in the back and knocked him on the ground; he struggled for breath and if he kicked the policeman it was not done wilfully, but accidentally, in the struggle to get away. Two or three gentlemen complained, and when the sergeant came up a gentleman said he would report him if he did not put a stop to it; the policeman having kicked him in the jaw and knocked him about very much till and when he got in the dock.
GUILTY **†— Three Years' Penal Servitude.
The COMMON SERGEANT concurred in the commendation by the Grand Jury of the policeman's courage, and regretted the law did not empower him to direct a reward.
NEW COURT.—Wednesday, May 22nd, 1895.
Before Mr. Recorder.
MR. SIMMONS Prosecuted, and MR. PURCELL Defended.
SIDNEY GROVER . I am warehouseman to De Selincourt and Son, of 16 and 18, Cannon Street—on May 3rd the prisoners came in together, one followed the other closely through the folding doors—Wilson said she wanted to buy a job line—Hanstead was near her—I recognised Wilson, and my suspicions were aroused—I showed them some silk, and they wanted some patterns cut off—I turned round to get another piece of silk and heard the noise of silk being pulled along, I turned round and Wilson was leaning like this between me and Hanstead—there is a support in the middle of the counter, but it is open on both sides, and the silk could be drawn from under it—the noise stopped, and when I looked away I heard it again under the counter—I went up to them and said, "Have you another line?" Wilson said, "We will buy the other line some where else"—they got very near the door, and I could see the shape of a piece of silk under Hanstead's skirt—it was rolled up like this, paper and all—I pushed by Wilson, and caught hold of Hanstead and said, "You cannot go, you have a piece of silk"—she tried to push me away and kicked it from under her skirt; it dropped, and she kicked it away—this is it—I know that it was under the counter that afternoon—I picked it up fifteen or twenty yards from there—there are eighty-six yards, value £4 6s.
Cross-examined. No one was serving or inside the warehouse but me—there were no other customers—I heard the prisoners say that they did not know one another—I say they were together, because one followed the other in immediately—they told the prosecutor they did not know one another—from the very first moment I was pretty confident they were trying to rob me—my mind has been trained by my experience in shoplifting—a great number of these rolls of silk were placed under the counter—I placed about four rolls of silk on the table; there were none there before I began to serve them—Hanstead said that the roll of silk stuck to her dress—I tried to keep it there—Wilson said she was a respectable woman, of Hackney.
Re-examined. The piece of silk I found at her feet was not one of the pieces I put on the counter—it was not a job line—they did not deny before the Magistrate that they knew each other—what they said was, "We will get the job line elsewhere."
By the COURT. Hanstead's skirt was made with a slit down to the knees—the noise I heard was under the counter where the silk was—it was rolled up, and if it was pulled slowly it would make a noise like this (Pulling it along.)—some silk had been stolen on the Wednesday before—Wilson was in the shop that day, and I was therefore suspicious.
EDWARD SHUTTLE (666 City). I was sent for to Messrs. De Selincourt's, and on opening the door I saw Mr. Grover and the prisoners just inside the swing-doors, and this piece of silk lying on the ground at Hanstead's feet, which Grover said she had taken from under the counter and placed under her dress—Hanstead said, "I have not taken it; it could not have been me; I came in separate from her"—Wilson said that she did not know Hanstead, having come into the warehouse separately—Hanstead said that she came in to buy a job line, and met Wilson in the shop—both their dresses were made similar.
Cross-examined. The dresses were shown to the female searcher—she is not here—when the prisoners were charged with stealing the silk they made no reply—it would not be correct to say Wilson said, "I don't know anything about it; "Hanstead said, "I did not drop it."
GUILTY .—They then both
PLEADED GUILTY to a previous conviction of a like offence in the names of Ward and Sadler at this Court on June 27th, 1887.— Three Years' Penal Servitude, having still a portion of their former sentence to serve.
MR. WILLES Prosecuted.
WILLIAM BARBER . I keep the Freemasons' Arms, Bryant Street, Bethnal Green—on Sunday night, April 21st, I closed my house—I heard a noise at the window about 12.45, got out of bed, went to my bedroom door, and saw the prisoner outside—I knew him—I walked him into my room and locked the door—I afterwards took him downstairs, called a constable and charged him—he had this fish-knife in his hand (Produced).
HENRY HATCHMAN (237 H). On April 22nd, about two a.m., Mr. Barber came to me; I went to his house, and saw the prisoner in the bar—I left him in charge of another officer—he had no boots on—the landing window had been forced open, and an iron bar removed—I found a pair of boots on the roof—the prisoner said nothing.
GUILTY.—He received a good character, and the prosecutor recommended him to mercy. — Discharged on his own recognisances.
MR. BLACKWELL Prosecuted.
the goods were ready they were handed to him to deliver to the customer who paid him a deposit, and gave his signature or mark, as having received them—I fixed the deposit, and after it was paid the prisoner had a general discretion as to the instalments—on January 15th he brought me this order, purporting to come from Warren, for a coat and waistcoat, price £2 2s., but I ultimately charged £2 3s. 6d., because another collar was put on—I made the clothes, and handed them to the prisoner, who brought me this receipt, signed "S. Warren," on January 28th—I asked him whether it was right—he said, "Yes"—on January 22nd he brought me an order for a pair of cord trousers in the name of Bailey, which I handed to the prisoner, who brought back a receipt—on February 11th he brought me an order for a suit of clothes in the name of Bedding—they were made up and handed to the prisoner on February 16th—he brought back a receipt, dated February 16th—I asked whether the signature was right—he said, "Yes"—on March 22nd he brought me an order for a suit of clothes, £2 16s.—they were made and handed to him on March 30th—he brought back a receipt dated March 30th, "R. Burt"—I asked him if the signature was right—he said, "Yes"—I have had something on account of each of those orders—I believed they were genuine signatures when I parted with my goods—in Easter week he never returned to business till Friday afternoon; but I received this letter from him. (Stating that he had received sums amounting to 7s., and had been with two friends to Lea Bridge, and made a fool of himself and lost, it; begging Mr. Naylor to look over it; and stating that he would call that evening)—it was his duty on Mondays to account for the money he had collected in the week—I overlooked it, and went to see whether the business was right—I saw Warren, but not in the prisoner's presence—he worked two yards, and on the way to the third yard the prisoner said to me, "Will you allow me a moment to go and see somebody?"—he never returned, and on the following Monday I went round and made inquiries of Bedding and Burt, and then communicated with the police—he had kept the customers' instalments, otherwise I should have sued them for the money—this coat and waistcoat (Warren's) are mine, and so is this suit (Bedding's)—he had no right to pledge any of my goods.
Cross-examined by the prisoner. Your salary was £1 a week as general assistant—you were engaged in the shop for the first five weeks and did not rob me.
JOSEPH WARREN . I am a horsekeeper at 24, Gibson's Buildings, Stoke Newington—at the end of January I gave the prisoner an order for a coat and waistcoat; I did not arrange with him for the price—he brought it the next week—the deposit was 8s., but I had only got 3s., and he took the clothes away—this "J. Warren" on this receipt is not my writing.
JOHN BEDDING . I am a horsekeeper, of 80, Mell Road—I ordered a suit of clothes of the prisoner in February at £3 12s.—he brought them and asked for 10s. deposit; I did not pay him anything, but I offered—he took the clothes away—this is my signature, "Please receive goods as per invoice, payments weekly.—Received, J. BEDDING."
Cross-examined. I offered you 5s.
them—this is not my signature; I cannot write at all—I did not authorise anybody to write this for me.
FREDERICK WILLIAM DADD . I am manager to Mr. Dadd, a pawnbroker, of 192, Mare Street, Hackney—I produce a coat and waistcoat (Warrens) pledged by the prisoner on January 29th for 12s. in the name of Alfred Mayhew.
WILLIAM BRADLIN . I am assistant to Mr. Wells, a pawnbroker of Clapham—I produce a suit of clothes pawned for 15s. in the name of John Hudson, New Road—I do not recognise the prisoner; I was not there.
WILLIAM REED (Police Sergeant K). On April 29th I arrested the prisoner, and told him I should take him for stealing clothing from his master—he said, "I pawned them, I have the tickets," and handed me these eight pawn tickets, among which are tickets from Dadd, Jull, and Bradlin—he said, "All the signatures on the receipts are correct signatures"—I searched him at Bow Street, and found nine more pawntickets; he said that some were his property and some Mr. Mavor's—he gave me information which enabled me to trace the property—a general charge was made against him of stealing clothing value £20; he said, "I pledged them; I have the tickets in my pocket"—when he was charged he said that he had no intention to defraud.
----BAILEY. I am a horsekeeper—I gave the prisoner an order for a pair of trousers, which I received, but they were not according to my orders, so I sent them back—this receipt is not by me or anybody authorised by me.
Prisoner's defence. I agreed to certain prices with the horsekeepers, but in some cases he put on extra charges, and then they refused to have anything to do with them, and I did that which I am sorry for. If I had taken them back he would not have received them, and if I had not be would have discharged me. I am money out of pocket.
GUILTY.— Recommended to mercy by the prosecutor, who staled that he had given him all the assistance he could to find the property.—Judgment respited.
457. HENRY POOLE (45) PLEADED GUILTY to forging a certificate stating that certain fish had been condemned as unfit for human food.— Remanded on bail, to give him an opportunity of remunerating the prosecutor.
458. SAMUEL KOMINSKI (25) , Burglary in the dwelling-house of Woolf Silverman, and stealing a knife, a muffler, a shawl, and other articles, his property.— The evidence was interpreted to the prisoner.
WOOLF SILVERMAN . I am a sailor, and live at 6, Zion House Square—I occupy two rooms on the first floor—on April 27th I closed the doors just upon twelve o'clock—the windows were closed, but I do not know whether the latch was fastened—I went to bed, and later on I heard a noise—I got up, went downstairs, and saw the prisoner—I went out,
shouting "Stop thief!"—I went back, and could not find my boots to go to the station—the prisoner was wearing them at the station—I also missed this waistcoat which I have got on, and 8s. 9d. in money—I found say window open; anyone getting in there could get into the room where my boots were—I left them in the front room when I went to bed.
WILLIAM DAVIS (370 H). I was on duty near Zion Square about seven a.m.—I heard shouts, and saw the prisoner, followed by Harry Silverman—I stopped him, and took him to the station—he was wearing these boots, and I found on him this butcher's knife and chain, and 8s. 7 1/2 d—the knife is just the instrument to open a window with.
HENRY HOOPER (Police Sergeant). On 26th August I examined a window at 6, Zion Square—the catch had been pushed back apparently by a knife—it is nine feet from the ground, but there were some tubs there, and one person could push another up.
Prisoner's defence. I had been sleeping in the passage, and at four o'clock it was daybreak, and I got up. The door was open. I had had nothing to eat all day, and I went inside and took a piece of bread; and then I went out of the room again, and the people heard me, and I was taken in custody. It is not true that I took the knife and the other things.
GUILTY .—He then
PLEADED GUILTY to a conviction of burglary at this
COURT on June 25th 1894.— Fourteen Months' Hard Labour.
THIRD COURT.—Wednesday, May 22nd, 1895.
Before Mr. Common Serjeant.
GEORGE FOX . I am assistant superintendent to the Royal London Friendly Society, 88, Bow Road—on 30th January this year the prisoner was appointed a collector—he had to canvass for new members and collect premiums, which he had to pay over to the office every Friday—each member keeps a book—the prisoner kept this collecting-book in which he entered all amounts, and sent in every week a sheet, showing the payments in his book—he got no salary, but was remunerated by a payment for the introduction of new members—he got tenpence for every penny of new business he introduced—if he introduced a member to pay a penny a week he would get tenpence from the office—upon premiums he collected on old business he got a commission of 25 per cent.—on Friday, 22 nd March, he brought in his book and this sheet, and this docket, which was all filled up, except the balance; it is his statement of account for the week, a kind of summary without the names and items—he brought in these four proposals for insurance; those were the only new business—I checked the sheet, the docket, the book, and the proposals, and filled in the balance 15s. on the docket, and put my initials—I also put 15s. on the sheet—he was entitled apparently to £1 5s. 6 1/2 d. that week; 2s. 7 1/2 d. being the commission on 10s. 6 1/2 d., which he had collected on old business—he had collected that 10s. 6 1/2 d., and would keep it, so that 15s. was the balance due to him—I handed this docket and sheet to the cashier, who
would then be authorised to pay the balance to the prisoner—on Saturday afternoon, 23rd March, my suspicion was aroused, and I made inquiry—on the following Friday, 29th March, I saw the prisoner in the presence of Mr. Hambridge, the superintendent—I said to the prisoner, "What do you mean by introducing fictitious business last week?"—he apparently did not understand, and I put it to him that these people were not existing at the addresses given, to which he made no reply for some time, and finally he said, "John Odell did it for me; I am innocent"—he represented that Odell had introduced this business for him, and that he had paid Odell for the introduction—Odell had been in our employment—the prisoner was told to go about his business there and then—I after wards saw Odell—the prisoner wrote me this letter after I had seen Odell; it is in the prisoner's writing: "9th April, 1895. Sir,—Mr. John Odell had nothing whatever to do with my business in connection with the society. If I stated so I made a sad mistake. He said he was going to canvass for me, but he never made a start. It was another party who did so.—Yours respectfully, J. HAYKS"—the address on the face of Skegg's proposal is 49, Warwick Villas, Shepherd's Lane, Homerton—I know Warwick Villas; there is no No. 49; the numbers go to about 35 or 45—I have ascertained with regard to all the names and addresses of new business on sheet A, and I find they are fictitious—these proposals are signed by the prisoner, as a witness—I know his writing—the body of the proposals is his writing—it would be his duty to fill in those—the signature of the assured purports to be in a different writing; if it did not I should not have received it.
EDWARD HAMBRIDGE . I am a superintendent in the employment of the Royal London Friendly Society, 88, Bow Street—on March 29th I was present at an interview between the prisoner and Fox—the prisoner was questioned as to putting in this fictitious business, these four proposals, and his reply was that Mr. Odell had done it for him—he was then discharged.
Cross-examined by the prisoner. Your agreement with us was that you should receive the first ten weeks of new business done as commission, and that if the member failed to pay for sixteen weeks you should make it good, so that the society would not be out of pocket—the business was to exist.
JOHN WHITER . I live at The Cottage, Wells Street, Hackney—on March 18th I was living at 13, Benn Street, South Hackney, and I had lived there for a fortnight before Christmas—I occupied the whole house—I did not let lodgings—I do not know anyone named John Barnard; he has never lived at 13, Benn Street during the time I have been there, from a fortnight before Christmas till a fortnight back—I do not know anyone of that name in that street—I am an agent and collector to the Singer Manufacturing Company—there is no such number as 49, Warwick Villas, Shepherd's Lane; the last number is 35 or 36; I collect in that district and know it well.
am the wife of Charles Duncan—we have occupied the whole of that house for ten years last December—we do not take lodgers—no one named Day has lived there while I have been there—I have the letting of nineteen other houses in that road—I do not know the name of Day there.
LOUISA FRANCES BLAKE . I have lived at 7, Warwick Villas, Shepherd's Lane, Homerton, since 24th October, 1894—I am married—I occupy the whole house—I know no one named Steel living there or near there, nor in that road.
WILLIAM GOULDING (Sergeant K). I arrested the prisoner on 18th April, at 44, Walworth Road, Hackney, where he lives—I told him I was a police officer and had a warrant for his arrest, which I read to him and told him he would have to go with me to the police-station—it charged him with obtaining 22s. 11d. by fake pretences—he made no reply—I cautioned him—on the way to the station he said, "If the money is paid in the morning, I suppose it will be all right"—he made no further statement—when charged at the station next morning, previous to going before the Magistrate, he stated that he thought the members' names which he had sent in were all right; he had entrusted it to a man he knew by sight to obtain the members for him.
The prisoner's statement before the Magistrate: "I had no intention of defrauding the society. I was given to understand that if any proposers did not pay up I would have to make it good, and I was under that impression."
The prisoner, in his defence, repeated the substance by his previous statement, and added that the proposals were signed by people who he believed owned the names and would keep up the payments.
GUILTY .— Nine Months' Hard Labour.
460. ROBERT SEED (36) PLEADED GUILTY to unlawfully and indecently assaulting Ethel Pope, Lilian Townsend, and Edith Smith. He received a good character.— Nine Months' Hard Labour upon each Count, to run concurrently. There were other Counts for indecently assaulting Avina Dormer, and committing acts of gross indecency with Percy Dormer, upon which the prosecution offered no evidence. NOT GUILTY . And
PLEADED GUILTY to stealing keys and 3s. 6d. from the person of Robert Alexander Bruce, **†after a conviction of felony in August, 1894, Taylor**†PLEADED GUILTY to a conviction of felony in July 1894. A detective stated that the prisoners were the associates of a gang of thieves, of which Brown was the ringleader, and that he had never known Brown to do a day's work, BROWN— Three Years' Penal servitude. TAYLOR— Eighteen Months' Hard Labour.
MR. HUTTON Prosecuted, and MR. KEITH FRITH Defended.
NOT GUILTY .
MR. CUNDY Prosecuted.
JOHN HENDERSON . I am a traveller, of 84, Langborne Buildings, Park Street, Shoreditch—on May 2nd I went to bed at 10.30 p.m., having, at usual, locked the door, but not bolted it—I left my top-coat and hat over a chair in the sitting-room, and two pairs of shoes—this is one of the pairs of shoes that the prisoner had and those I am wearing—I missed these goods at eight in the morning—I next saw them at the Police-station.
Cross-examined by the prisoner. I could scarcely identify the hat at the Police-station, because the lining had been taken out—you still have it, but I think it is mine.
JAMES COLLETT . I am a cab driver and proprietor, of 65, Langborne Buildings—about five a.m. I was awoke by my wife hearing somebody on the roof—I went up and looked, but finding nobody, came down into the street and told a constable what I had heard—No. 84 is in the same block, No. 65 being at the top—I left the constable at the bottom and went up the stairs—as I got by the second chimney stack, I met the prisoner on the roof—I asked him what he was doing—he said, "Nothing"—I told him he had better get down as quick as he could—he seemed to hesitate whether to go down or go for me—I showed him a stick—he made a move towards the stairs—the roof is common to the block of houses occupied by many families, and is used for hanging up clothes on—these articles were found on the roof after the prisoner was caught.
Cross-examined by the prisoner. You were near the middle of the roof—the length of the roof is about 100 yards—I have seen no loose characters there—you were coming from behind a chimney stack—you never said you were up there with a woman—you said you were doing nothing there.
MARY ANN PRICE . I live with my husband at 62, Langborne Buildings—we occupy the top floor—about 3.15 a.m. on May 3rd I heard voices over the roof—about five o'clock I heard footsteps returning over the roof—footsteps have been heard on several occasions, and robberies, have been committed—I got up, and coming on the balcony, I saw Collett running—he encountered Fitzgerald, and said, "What brings you here?"—the prisoner said, "Nothing," and turned to face Collett, who said, "Then get down, and be wonderfully sharp over it, or I'll help you to"; and the prisoner ran down into the arms of the constable—on the roof I found this top-coat and two pairs of gentlemen's shoes, and this cotton neck-handkerchief.
Cross-examined by the prisoner. I saw you come down off the roof.
FREDERICK LEES (371 G). In the early morning of 3rd May, in consequence of what Collett said to me, I waited at the bottom of the steps, near 46, Langborne Buildings—when I saw the prisoner I asked him what he was doing—he said he did not know; he was sober—I took him into custody—I found on him this cheque, No. 106—he was wearing these boots.
Cross-examined by the prisoner. You said you were working at the docks, and would lose a day's work if you had to go to the station; that you had been drinking the night before, and found yourself there—I
asked if you had been there before, and you said no—you laid yon had slept there—you came down the steps as hard as you could into my arms—you made no attempt to escape; you had no chance—Collett was behind you with a stick—you said you had lost a hat, and found the one you had oh, which Collett said was just the image of his own—that hat is not identified.
The prisoner's defence was that he had been hard at work all day, and had been drinking with some friends at night. At 12.30 p.m. he met a female, and went on the roof to sleep. When he awoke the female had gone, and his waistcoat and from 2s. 6d. to 3s., and the boots and cap and handkerchief were left in exchange.
GUILTY .**—He also
PLEADED GUILTY to a conviction of felony at Clerkenwell in December, 1893.— Eighteen Months' Hard Labour.
MR. KYD Prosecuted.
EMILY GAMSON . I live with my mother, Sarah Ann Gamson, at 44, Oakfield Road, Lower Clapton, which belongs to her—on 5th May my eldest sister locked up the house—I went round afterwards, and found the house had been securely locked up for the night—I was awakened about six a.m. on the 6th by the barking of a dog—I got out of bed, looked out of the window, and saw a policeman coming up the garden—he spoke to me—I went down into the library—I found a lot of things thrown about in confusion over the floor—some drawers had been removed from the bookcase and put on the floor—the door into the garden had been, opened when I saw it—it had been fastened with a string of cloth—the lead piping, two night-dresses, and other things produced are my property.
Cross-examined by the prisoner. Only the piping and a piece of lines were taken away.
Re-examined. They were in the laundry.
JOHN PLACKETT (478 J). On the morning of 6th May I was on duty in the Nightingale Road—from information I received, I proceeded to the back of the houses of Nightingale Road and Oakfield Road, about 5.40 a.m.—I saw the prisoner in the back doorway of 44, Nightingale Road—he had something in his hand—as soon as he saw me he dodged down and went into the house—I had a large greenhouse to get over—I was stopped by a dog, but I got into the house, where I found the prisoner had let himself out by the front door—I looked after him in the roadway, but could not see him—I called Mrs. Gamson up—I again saw him in the custody of Police-constable 254.
WILLIAM SHORTER (254 J). On 6th May I was on duty about six p.m. in the Oakfield Road—I received information, and waited opposite No. 44—I saw the prisoner coming from the side door in front of the house with a bundle in his hand—when he saw me coming towards him he ran
across the road and jumped a wall—he dropped the bundle in the first garden—I chased him through seventeen gardens, and caught him in the front garden of 9, Oakfield Road—I took him to the station, where he was charged—this is the bundle.
GUILTY .** He also
PLEADED GUILTY to a conviction of felony at Clerkenwell in September, 1891, in the name of George Straight.— Three Years' Penal Servitude.
MR. ROACH Prosecuted.
CHRISTOPHER HAYES . I am a porter, of 31, Brick Lane—on 10th May I was in the Britannia public-house, Commercial Street, between 9 and 10 p.m.—I called for a glass of ale—the prisoner asked me for a glass of ale—I said, "You have had quite enough; you will have nothing from me"—I put up a paper to light my pipe, and was walking out of the door, when I felt a blow on each side of my head—when I got outside somebody spoke to me, and I found I was bleeding—I went to the station; I was treated by a doctor—I have known the prisoner about twenty-one years—she has lived with me at times, about twelve years ago—every market day she comes down to market, and if I get work I give her 8d. out of it—I have been maintaining her, as far as it lies in my power—she had had a drop, or else I should have given her a glass of ale.
Cross-examined by the prisoner. I have not cohabited with you as recently as the previous Thursday.
HENRY JOHN ALIUD . I am barman at the Britannia public-house—on 10th May, between 9 and 10 p.m., I saw the prisoner struggling with the prosecutor—I took the prosecutor outside—I found he was bleeding in the face—I came back and saw the prisoner with the knife produced in her hand—Jones, the potman, took the knife—he is now ill in the hospital.
Cross-examined by the prisoner. I did not see the prosecutor spit in your face.
THOMAS MASTERMAN (104 H). I was in Commercial Street on point duty when I was called by the prosecutor—he said, "She has stabbed me in the face," and as she was going round the corner, "She has done it"—she said, "I done it; I told you I would do it; I done it with a pin; I took that pin, and dug it into his face as hard as I could; if it had been a jib" (a term for a knife), "I would have done just the same"—in the station, before she was charged, she said, "I wish to Christ he would die; I do not mind doing the rope for him; I dug it down; I wish I had pushed it through his heart; I meant killing him; I confess to striking you with a knife; nobody see me use it"—when charged she said, "God send it may kill him; I wish it was murder; I should be glad to swing."
Prisoner's defence. I said I will go prostituting no more for him, I gave myself up to this officer. I cut him, but the other is false. I pleaded guilty, but it was in my own defence. She added she had lived with the prosecutor, but he did not give her enough to keep her from starving—that he was always drinking; and abused her in very bad language for not prostituting for him, and knocked her about.
GUILTY** of unlawfully wounding. — Five Years' Penal Servitude.
THIRD COURT.—Thursday, May 24th, 1895.
Before Mr. Common Serjeant.
466. DAVID BISCHOFSWERDER , Unlawfully obtaining goods on credit within four months of his bankruptcy petition. Other Counts, for obtaining credit from John Hawley under false pretences, and for other offences under the Debtors Act.
MESSRS. AVORY and BIRON Prosecuted, and MR. DUKE Defended.
CHARLES L'ENFANT . I am a clerk, in the High Court of Justice, Bankruptcy Department—I produce the file of proceedings in the prisoner's bankruptcy, which was commenced in the Plymouth County Court and transferred to London—the date of the first petition is 25th October, 1894; and on 27th October there was a second petition of the bankrupt himself—he was adjudicated, bankrupt on 22nd November, 1894—on 20th November Mr. Poppleton was appointed trustee—the gross liabilities were £23,592; the unsecured creditors £12,123—almost all those debts were incurred in 1894, and most of them during the six months previous to the bankruptcy—Mr. Attenborough, pawnbroker, of Oxford Street, is among the unsecured creditors, and in his debt is £220, alleged to have been contracted on September 24th, 1894, and £200 contracted on 3rd August—his security is the jewellery which he holds in pledge.
Cross-examined. The prisoner was adjudicated bankrupt on his own petition—the record shows it was an adjudication upon the petition filed on 27th October.
SAMUEL WEINER . I am a wholesale jeweller at 25A, Hatton Garden—I knew the prisoner before August last as a jeweller at Penzance and Plymouth—on 2nd August he called on me—he then owed me £200 or £300—he selected a diamond necklace, a diamond half-moon brooch, a diamond crescent brooch, and a diamond horseshoe pin—the total wholesale invoice price of those was £150—having heard some, rumours about him I said, "I want cash"—he said he could not give me any then, but that by 12th September he should receive £6,000 from an auctioneer at Bradford named Stansfield, and would then settle up everything—he said also that the rents of his houses had not come in—they amounted to £2,000 a quarter—I let him have the goods, partly on that; it induced me more to part with them—I believe he gave me on account of the old debt a post-dated cheque for £100, which was afterwards met—I received no payment for the goods he took on 2nd August, and no further payment off the old debt—I have proved in the bankruptcy for the £150, the balance of the old debt—I have since the bankruptcy seen at M. Jay's pawnbroker's shop in Oxford Street, which was formerly Attenborough's, the diamond half-moon brooch, the diamond crescent brooch, and diamond necklace.
Cross-examined. I have known the prisoner as a dealer in diamonds since February, 1894; that was from about the time he had been dealing with me—I knew of him before that time by reputation; I had never seen him before—I believe he had been a dealer in a very considerable way—dealings in diamonds and jewellery are mostly on short credit; the credit varies very much; sometimes it is as short as one or two months, and sometimes as long as eight months—I held a six months' bill of Jacob's for £100, which the prisoner had given me; that was on a former account—in
February this year Jacobs paid me £40 on account of the bill, and I gave him credit for the other £60; he could not meet it, and gave me a fresh acceptance for the remaining £60—that was after the bankruptcy—the bill that the prisoner gave me was due at a later date than February—the prisoner had a sale with Stansfield, an auctioneer of Bradford, last year—I heard it was for a large amount—I heard the prisoner had very considerable house property—I heard that he went to Germany last autumn.
Re-examined. In February, 1894, at my first transaction, the prisoner bought about £25 worth of goods for cash—he purchased goods value £200 or £300, two or three months later, on credit—two or three transactions made up that amount.
JOHN HAWLEY . I am a watch manufacturer, of 52, Hatton Garden, and Coventry—before August 17th I had had dealings with the prisoner—I received this letter from him, dated August 16th. (Stating that he should be staying at Buckler's Hotel on Saturday morning, and should be glad to see him, and that he could bring some big gold watches with him)—on the same day I received a telegram from him—the next day I met the prisoner at the hotel he mentioned—he asked me if I had any big gold watches with me—I had taken some to show him—he selected thirty-two—he said he wanted to make a big show with them, as he was going abroad; I expected he meant he was going to have a sale there—I knew it was his custom to sell by auction—he paid for them by this acceptance for £395, drawn by me and accepted by him, and I let him have the watches—I was present at the first meeting of creditors on 24th October—I saw twenty-two of my thirty-two watches at the Police-court, and I identified them—I have never received any money for them—the bankruptcy was before the bill fell due, and therefore it was no use presenting it for payment.
Cross-examined. When I received the prisoner's letter on 16th or 17th August the prisoner owed me £178—he paid me that by cheque when he came on 17th August—the goods for which he so paid he had had on approval, and he elected to keep them—it was a cash transaction—I had not come to any arrangement as to any term of credit with the prisoner at that time—I had only had that one transaction with him—I had had no dealing on credit—he paid me £178 voluntarily—if he had sold these watches by auction the proceeds of them might have been expected to realise more than they were pledged for—if sold by auction they should have realised a margin of profit on the £395—when I saw the prisoner the night before the first meeting of his creditors he told me he had pawned the watches—after that we had a good deal of conversation, principally about his affairs—he said he thought he should be able to get well through his meeting next day; he hoped to be able to pay me and all his creditors 20s. in the £—I said I would trust him again if I got 20s. in the £—he said in October that a large number of his creditors in Hatton Garden had suddenly served him with writs, and that was the reason why he had been obliged to call his creditors together.
Re-examined. He told me that the night before the meeting of creditors—the previous goods I sent to him on approbation in 1894, June, I believe, when ho was at Bradford—I was at Bradford and saw his brother, rod he suggested that I should send him watches on approbation—I sent them, and then when I saw him on 18th August he elected to keep them,
and paid for them—there had been no giving of credit up to then—he did not say on 18th August that he should pledge any of the watches; he gave me no idea that he was going to do so—I should not have let him have them if I had known he was going to pawn them.
By MR. DUKE. About four days after he bought the £395 worth of watches, he asked for a further supply on approval—we sent about £50 worth; he returned them saying they did not suit him.
WILLIAM JAMES BENGER . I am manager to Messrs. Jay and Co., pawnbrokers, of 142, Oxford Street—Messrs. Attenborough formerly had the business—on September 24th, 1994, twenty-two gold watches were pawned with us by Harris for D. Bischoffswerder—they have been identified by Mr. Hawley—six others were pawned at the same time—we advanced £220—this is the contract note—Harris, for Bischoflswerder, pawned on August 3rd the diamond jewellery, including a necklace and head ornament and bracelet, for £200—Mr. Weiner had identified three of those ornaments—this is the contract note.
Cross-examined. On August 3rd nine articles were produced, three of which Mr. Weiner identified; the necklace and two brooches, I think—the other things were a diamond tiara, a diamond bracelet, and two rings—they were all articles of considerable value—we left the usual margin; we like to lend a good price, but to have a good security—there is nothing unusual in diamond dealers pledging articles with us; it is a common practice—if a man in a large way of business wants to raise money to meet a bill he pawns with us and takes the articles out again—it is done nearly every day—ours is the establishment in London where that is done to a large extent; we have a special position among diamond dealers—the prisoner had often pledged with us from time to time, through his brother, for £200 or £300, and had redeemed in a short time; he never left the things very long—he had regularly redeemed up to within a short time before his bankruptcy—we had other goods of his in pawn, but we had not had them very long—about October, about a fortnight before his bankruptcy, he redeemed about £500 worth—I believe that was on the 3rd October; I cannot say exactly.
Re-examined. I am sure he redeemed them, or Mr. Harris for him—the trustee in bankruptcy did not redeem that lot—the trustee has redeemed others since—I am not quite certain when the £500 lot was redeemed; it was before the bankruptcy.
SAMUEL WEINER (Re-examined by MR. DUKE). The prisoner told me he had had a large sale with Stansfield, and that he had to receive £6,000—he might have said that the value of the goods sold was £6,000—I made no note of what he said—he said he had not yet settled with Stantfield, but that the sale was over.
By MR. AVORY. He said that he had got to receive the money from Stansfield, but I fancy he may have said that the sale amounted to that—I am not quite clear if he said the sale amounted to £6,000, but I am clear that he said he had to receive the £6,000.
WILLIAM GEORGE STANSFIELD . I am an auctioneer at Bradford—on 25th May, 1894, the prisoner deposited with me a quantity of silver articles and jewellery to Hell, and asked for an immediate advance, in order to release other goods—I advanced him on that day £2,000 by cheque—on 16th June I arranged with him for the sale to begin on 25th June—it was
confined to his goods, and lasted from 25th June to 1.3th July—I advanced him £220 on 26th June, £10 on 3rd July, £200 on 5th July, £160 on 11th July, £210 on 12th July, and £1,600 on 13th July, the day the sale closed—the total amount realised by the sale was £5,189 16s.—on 27th July I forwarded to the prisoner my account, showing a balance of £25 13s. 2d. due to me—I had overpaid the prisoner, but I had a small security which just about secured me.
Cross-examined. Substantially I paid him £4,400; the rent went for commission and expenses of sale—he applied for more money—I had conducted sales for him three or four times before for considerable amounts—on January 30th I sold £4,175 17s. 9d. for him, and in April £1,938, and in July £7 13s.—I always found him perfectly straightforward in his dealings with me.
By the JURY. The prisoner protected the sale of the goods during the progress of the sale; he was there generally, and I used discretion—I should not throw away a £100 thing for £10 or £20—there was no reserve on the articles—the things were sold by auction and by private contract; the greater amounts by private treaty.
By the COURT. It is a common practice among jewellers of the prisoner's class to dispose of property in that way—I was not told to get rid of the goods at any cost, without regard to their value—I should not have let them go at a less price than I thought they ought to fetch.
EBENEZER HAWKINS . I am clerk to Mr. Poppleton, a chartered accountant, and the trustee in bankruptcy of the prisoner—I have had the conduct and management of the affairs—the prisoner has no books relating to a jeweller's business—I have seen books relating to a pawnbroker's business; I believe there are no entries in them since five years ago—there are no books of any consequence of the prisoner's business during the last five years—there are small memorandum books, but they do not contain any important details; they are not books of account—I believe the liability of £12,123 has all been incurred within a period of twelve months preceding the date of the receiving order, and most of it within eight months—I have nothing to show when the prisoner last redeemed any jewellery pledged with Mr. Attenborough—it is very improbable that prisoner will pay 20s. in the £; it will be more like 5s.—I think less than that, that is making allowance for the expenses, but it depends to a great extent on the result of certain Chancery actions now in progress to which his wife is a party—if they turn out satisfactorily I should say a dividend of about 6s. in the £ will be paid—the costs of the bankruptcy have taken a good deal of the assets; if the composition had been carried out there would have been more dividend.
Cross-examined. The assets, diamonds and things of that kind, have realised at the present time about £2,500, by means of auction sales and sales by tender; some things were put up with reserve and some without reserve—the house property at Plymouth and Penzance is being realised—they are freehold premises in good parts of the towns, and are spoken of in very glowing terms—the total rentals of those properties is about £400 a year roughly—I found among the prisoner's papers a large number of writs which had been served by people in Hatton Garden for large amounts, within a week in October—I have traced the proceeds of the majority of the pawnings in the prisoner's bank book—in some cases, as
far as I can trace them, I find the money obtained by pawning paid into his bank—I have not got the bank book—I have traced that some of the money received from the pawnbrokers has not gone into the pass book; it may be £400 in six months—he was in the habit of dealing with cash at that time—I had only the four pawn-tickets—I cannot say it was not paid away by him as cash in the purchase of other goods—I believe his bankers, ceased to allow him to overdraw in September last—his bankers are secured creditors for £2,000 or £3,000—the overdraft was less than that—they also had an account for a loan—the securities were more than enough to cover the current account, but they had stopped his overdraft about that time—I found from my investigation that when he obtained money by pawning diamonds he paid money into his bank and drew cheques on it, and paid his creditors in the ordinary course of trade—his transactions last year amounted to £20,000, I should think—in the ordinary course he would be paying old debts during the year, and contracting new ones, and if the term of credit was eight months I should not expect to find debts older than eight months—the earliest writ was issued against him about 10th October—there were writs issued against him between 10th and 20th October to the amount of £3,288—I can trace total payments of £11,000 in eight months last year—I think the goods he obtained in that time came to something more than that—there might be a difference of £1,000, one way or the other; it was a difference of more than £100.
Re-examined. When I speak of payments I am talking of the pass book—I have no other books to show what the payments were for—I have not seen the counterfoils of the cheques—I have discovered no trace of his having rents amounting to £2,000 a quarter, or anything like it; it was about £400 a year—the property which is being offered for sale is all mortgaged, and we do not anticipate that there will be any surplus; we are only trying to sell the equity of redemption—I believe there is a balance of £200 a year after the mortgage interest is paid—there may be counterfoils of the cheques; I have not seen them—the creditors at the statutory meeting appointed Mr. Poppleton trustee—I have invoices, a stock book, several bank pass books extending over many years, and some paid cheques—I did not look for the counterfoils; I did not think it material—I was never struck by the absence of them.
NOT GUILTY .
MR. HEDDON Prosecuted.
EDWARD HAMPE . I am an artist, and live at 61, Pentonville Road—about 11.30 on the night of 7th May I was in the City Road with a friend named Schmidt—we stopped an omnibus; my friend got on the top—I was proceeding to follow him; there were several people round the bus, seeking to enter, and one man came and hit his head in my chest, and I was thrown back two or three yards—one of them gave me a heavy blow across the ear, and when I recovered myself I found I had lost my watch and chain—I did not see the prisoner at the time; a constable brought him bock; he was not the man that struck me—that man, before he struck me, said, "What is the matter?"—I could recognise that man again at once.
RUDOLPH SCHMIDT . I am a builder, of 8, Alfred Street, City Road—I was with the prosecutor in the City Road—I got on an omnibus; Mr. Humpe called me—I turned round, and saw a few men round him, fighting with him, and two running away—the prisoner was one of them; I recognise him—I kept him in view until he got behind the houses—the policeman brought him back.
JAMES HARPER (253 G). On the night of the 7th I was on duty at the corner of Bath Street, City Road—I saw the prosecutor and Mr. Schmidt getting into an omnibus—three or four persons surrounded him and hustled him; one of them struck him a violent blow across the head with a stick—I ran up, and saw the prisoner; I could not say which man struck the blow—I heard a remark, "They have taken his watch and chain"—I gave chase and kept sight of them; the prisoner ran into a house, No. 5, Collingwood Street, and I found him in the washhouse of that house—I told him I should charge him with stealing a watch and chain, and for an assault—he said, "You have made a mistake; it is not me"—I took him to the station.
Prisoner's defence. I simply went up to see what was the matter. The prosecutor sung out "Stop him!" and they all ran away. One went up the passage, and I went after him; he got away. When the officer came up I said, "He is not here."
GUILTY of robbery. He then
PLEADED GUILTY to a previous conviction at this Court on 9th March, 1891, and five other convictions were proved against him.— Eighteen Month' Hard Labour.
MR. A. GILL Prosecuted, and MR. COHEN Defended.
BRIDGET BEATON . I am a widow, and live at 2, Vincent Street, West minster—my husband died about two years and eight months ago—he was a soldier—I have known the prisoner about twenty years—when he left the army he came to me—we were always friendly as neighbours—I knew his wife, perfectly well—on 18th January, 1894, I went through a form of marriage with the prisoner at the Registrar's office in Mount Street, Grosvenor Square—he then represented himself as a widower—I did not know that his wife was living till she drove up in a cab one night about eleven very drunk, and threatened to break the windows; she went into lodgings—the prisoner did not tell me his wife was dead—I have one child by him; he treated me well—there could not be a better husband or a kinder to my children, and those by my first husband—this is the certificate of my first marriage.
THOMAS MANLEY (Detective C). On May 7th, about 9.30 a.m., the prisoner came to the station—he said, "My name is Frederick Shaw. I wish to give myself up for marrying Bridget Beaton, at the Registry Office in Mount Street, Grosvenor Square; my first wife, Isabella Marshall, being now and then alive, whom I married at St. George's, at Belfast, on December 24th, 1871. She is now living at 8, Lambeth Road; she left me on March 15th, 1892"—I subsequently found it was at St. Ann's Church in 1870, instead of 1871—the prisoner afterwards qualified the name of the church—I have not got that on my note—he spoke to me at the Police-court, and asked if I had the certificate.
Cross-examined. I have made inquiry about the prisoner—I find that lie is a man of irreproachable character—he has been about thirty years in the army, and has a pension of Is. 5d. a day, and he is a Commissionaire—no complaint has been made by the second wife.
BRIDGET BEATON (Re-examined). I first knew the prisoner about twenty years ago, in Shorncliffe Camp—my husband was then alive—we have been good friends ever since—I knew his wife before he went to India—I saw her when she came from India, about six years last Christmas—there was a great change in her appearance—she had given way to drink—she was drunk all the time I was at the camp—the prisoner left his regiment in April, 1893, and came to settle at 14, Vincent Street, at a room I took there—he then joined the Corps of Commissionaires—he showed me a letter about four months afterwards, signed "Bella Shaw," saying that she was ill and in the infirmary; and I afterwards saw another letter stating that, his wife was very likely dead—no more letters came for him Afterwards—he said he was sure she must be dead, and I then agreed to marry him—it was on October 11th, 1894, that she turned up at ray house—I recognised her.
NOT GUILTY .
THIRD COURT.—Friday, May 24th, 1895.
Before Mr. Common Serjeant
469. GUSTAV OPITZ (40) , Obtaining, by false pretences, money from the Manufacture Liegieoise d'Armes a Feu, with intent to defraud; and conspiring with Lothair Lehnert to obtain, by false pretences, money from the same company.
MR. HORACE AVORT and MR. BIRON Prosecuted; MR. COCK, Q.C., and MR. GEOGHEGAN Defended.
FREDERIC LEONARD CARTWRIGHT . I am assistant to Messrs. Barnett and Buckler, shorthand writers, 89, Chancery Lane—on 25th March last I was present when Stanislau Reuschel was indicted for libel on Lothair Lehnert—he is the editor or correspondent of a German newspaper—there was a second separate indictment for libel on Gustav Opitz, the prisoner—I took a shorthand note of Lehnert's evidence—the Jury stopped the case in the course of the cross-examination—the defendant was acquitted of libel on Reuschel on the prosecution of Lehnert, and the prosecution by Opitz was not gone on with—Opitz withdrew from the prosecution, and a verdict of Not Guilty was entered, no evidence being offered—this (produced) is the transcript of the notes I then made.
JAMES READ . I produce the original depositions returned from the Police-court on the prosecution of Gustav Opitz against Stanislau Reuschel—I find in them the evidence of Opitz, including his cross-examination—attached are two exhibits, which purport to be bank scrips for the opening of two banking accounts, one in the name of "G. Opitz" and the other in the name of "Walter Arnold," both addresses being given as 22,8 Mary Axe—there is no date. (The portions of the deposition referred to were then read.)
1890—on 29th March, 1890, my firm received this letter. (From 34, Haytown Road, Stockwell, stating that the applicant was about to travel to the Straits Settlements; that he represented ten first-class English houses, and asking if he should represent them on a payment of £100, and a commission of 5 per cent, on business done)—I made inquiries of Messrs. Schmeisser and Co., our inquiry agents, and received this letter. (MR. COCK objected that there was no evidence that the letter was written with the defendant's knowledge, or on his behalf, and no evidence of conspiracy was before the COURT. He referred to page 1,106 of the last edition of Archibald to show that evidence of the acts of the conspirators could not be (given before evidence of conspiracy is before the COURT. The COMMON SERJEANT overruled the objection, stating it had been the practice in these Courts for twenty-three years at least to admit acts done in furtherance of a conspiracy, and at MR. COCK'S request took a note of the objection)—our firm received "S." and "S 1." [dated April 2nd and 5th being instructions to Schmeissers to make inquiries, and their reply that Opitz had become acquainted with Japan, China, etc., and was about to represent English firms in those countries, and could be trusted with samples to the value of 1,500 francs]—afterwards further correspondence passed between our firm and Opitz—there was a question whether Mr. Opitz should represent another firm—we received "Q 10," written in French, from Opitz. (Acknowledging letter of 31 at and samples, and reminding the firms that £50 had not been forwarded, and in accordance with agreement that sum should be advanced before starting, and that he must start on June 6th)—my firm had then sent Opitz samples—they sent the money mentioned in Opitz's letter in "Q 11." (Which contained a cheque for£34 3s.8d.,an order for £10, a £5 bank-note, two coupons for 12s. and 6d., and a P.0.0. for 4s. 4d., and asked for receipt)—we received letter "Q 11." (Dated June 7th, thanking the firm and enclosing receipt)—we did not hear from Opitz again till April the following year—we instructed Schmeissers to make inquiries, and received "U." (MR. COCK objected to this letter, the date, April 4th, 1891, being long after the alleged conspiracy, March 29th, 1891. Objection overruled. The letter stated Schmeisser had learned that Opitz had gone by steamer from London in July, 1890, and had left his samples with a firm in Columbo whose name they could not ascertain so as to recover them; that he had several contracts with a Manchester firm; that his travelling expenses could not be recovered as he had travelled; that his relations, who appeared to be respectably had not heard from him since he visited Columbo and; contained a postscript that it seemed a cheap way of making a tour round the world)—then an invoice of samples and a power of attorney were sent to Schmeissers—we received "W." (Stating Schmeissers had settled the matter satisfactorily; that the guns were in their possession; that they had received £5 on account of the £50 advanced, which it had been agreed should be repaid in monthly instalments of £5, but at 4, Spenham Road, were always new faces. The gentleman seen yesterday was a sea captain returned from Australia; but whether Bernard Opitz had travelled or not, or whether he lived in the house or not, they have not ascertained)—we have not received "X." (The prisoner complained that was the witness's answer with regard to previous letters which the Interpreter mid the witness said he received)—I do not know whether I received "X" or not—we received "A A"
(Written in December, from Schmeisser, stating the matter was hopeless and it was throwing good money after bad)—we have only received the £5—they deducted £1 5s. for cleaning the guns—my letters were sent four or five years ago to Mr. Cloes, a London agent, so far as I remember—Schmeisser deducted £1, and 10s. for expenses—we received "A B". (Letter of 26th February, 1895, objected to.)
Cross-examined by MR. COCK. Mr. Cloes, my London agent, was examined before the Lord Mayor—I know of no correspondence about Opitz before 25th April, 1891, except that which has been put in—this envelope and letter are written by a director. (Marked "A E" and "A D," addressed to" Gustav" B. Opitz, 4, Spenham Road, Brixton, S. W., April 25th, 1891)—I cannot explain why that letter is addressed to "Gustav "if the company did not know his name was Gustav—I did not write the letter.
Re-examined. I always knew him as Bernard Opitz only.
ANNEL CLOES . I am an agent in London of the Manufacture Liegieoise d'Armes a Feu—my office is in Cannon Street—the correspondence produced was sent me in December, 1892, in order that I might take such action as I thought advisable—I did not take proceedings because I could not find Opitz—I put the papers before Wise, Miller and Co., and employed them; to find him.
Cross-examined by MR. COCK. Wise, Miller and Co. are inquiry agents—I did not make, inquiries myself—I could, not give you the date when I heard of criminal proceedings, being taken against Opitz—we were asked by the proprietor of a German newspaper to prosecute him—that was shortly before these proceedings—I never refused to prosecute—my people told me they refused to prosecute unless their expenses were found, and the German newspaper guaranteed the expenses after they had been successful in the libel proceedings—we found out the samples were returned—I cannot say I heard of the repayment of the £50 by instalments, but I heard of the business—Mr. Ribley is the name of the manager of the company who wrote the letter of April 25th, 1891—I do not understand it—he was referred to as Bernard Opitz—I cannot say I know his real name is Gustav Bernard Opitz or that it is not—I might have said T did know it—I was shown the envelope addressed to Gustav Bernard Opitz.
Re-examined. I have no idea what his real name is—I first saw the letter and envelope of April 25th, 1891, at the Lord Maypr's Court—up to that time I had never heard him spoken of as Gustav Bernard Opitz—in 1892, when I had instructions to take proceedings against Opitz, I had never seen Lehnert nor Opitz.
CHARLES L'ENFANT . I am a clerk in the Bankruptcy Department of the High Court of Justice—I produce the file of proceedings in the bankruptcy of Gustav Opitz—a receiving order was made against him on 28th January, 1887, and Mr. Hasluck was appointed trustee the debtor did not attend his public examination, and he is still undischarged—he filed a statement of affairs, from which I find that his gross liabilities were, £6,377, and that his assets were estimated at £898—the file of proceedings, shows that nothing was ever realised—there were no secured creditors—he was then carrying on the business of a commission agent—among the liabilities he sets out debts of what are called the late firms of Martin Cohen
and Co., of Bombay; and John Mount and Co., of London—he describes himself as having been a partner in those firms, and gives a total liability of £4,113 9s. as due to them—there appears on his file a debt alleged to be due to him from MORRIS BRANDT of £1,902—it appears that in September, 1890, the trustee was relieved by the Board of Trade from his trustee-ship—that is only done when it is useless to go on.
Cross-examined. Independently of his liabilities in respect of his late firms Mouat and Co. and Cohen and Co., the debts amount to £2,188—of those there are four large creditors for goods supplied and one large creditor, a solicitor, for costs—I cannot say whether shortly before this the East India trade had been bad—the debt due to the estate from Morris Brandt and Co. is on a judgment for £1,902, and the other debt, £398, is due from an East India firm; that is put down as a good debt.
GEORGE ROBERT BARCLAY . I am a director of Barclay and Sons, Limited, wholesale druggists, of 95, Farringdon Street—in December, 1889, I received this letter from Gustav Opitz, offering to represent our 'firm in the East, and representing that he was about to take a journey there, and asking for £100 to be 'paid to him in full settlement of salary and expenses, and for three per cent, commission on all "Business he did—on 15th February, 1890, we agreed to employ him, and to let him act as our agent in the East, to pay him £50 before he left England, and £50 at the expiration of six months—this is the agreement—we 'paid him £50, and sent him several cases of samples—we did not after that hear of him for some time, and some months afterwards we made inquiries, and found he was still in London—we employed a firm of solicitors, and they succeeded in getting back from him the £50 and the samples, without legal proceedings—we received this letter from the prisoner, dated September 2nd, 1890. (Stating that if the agreement had been carried out they would have had to pay £100; that he was ready to carry out the agreement, but that the breach of it was due to their solicitors' letter demanding repayment of the advance; that he thought it right they should pay some part of his expenses; that he had never bound himself to a particular days and wets going the journey as proposed)—we got back the samples after getting back the cheque—this is the cheque, no doubt, signed "L. L. Opitz,' by which we got back the £50—I had known nothing of Gustav Opitz until I received from him this letter in 1889—there is no truth that I know of in the statement that Lehnert had obtained information from us as to the trustworthiness and respectability of Opitz—we had no inquiry from Lehnert—I never knew the prisoner in any other name than that of Gustav Opitz—I gave no information to anybody that he enjoyed our fullest confidence.
Cross-examined. There are four directors of our company—in 1890 there were four or five—our secretary was Walker—I showed him these letters—the prisoner gave a reference to Messrs. Bull and Bevan as to his character when he applied—they are large merchants in the City—he mentioned other firms whose names he gave as references; I don't remember their names—he wrote to us afterwards that the original plan under which he was going out had fallen through, and that he was going out as the representative of the Eastern Exchange; that was some time in 1890; my impression is that was about the time he returned the £50—the letter is dated July 23rd, 1890, in which he told us that I don't
know if he was the secretary of the Eastern Exchange at that time—it was about that time that we first heard of his representing the "Eastern Exchange—I do not think I had heard of it before, but cannot swear to it—I have made ho inquiries about the 'Eastern Exchange and know nothing about it—our solicitor wrote and insisted on having the money back and not going into this arrangement, and thereupon the prisoner sent a cheque for the money—the samples were sent on his order some—where; I don't know If they had gone to the packet; I cannot say Where they were.
Re-examined. He proposed by the letter of the 23rd July, 1890, that our agreement should be transferred to the Eastern Exchange, and that the other £50 should be paid to the Eastern Exchange—we refused to do it, and after that we got our £50 back.
ARTHUR RAYMENT . I am one of the firm of Perken, Son and 'Ravment, opticians, of 99, Hatton Garden—in January, 1890, I received this letter from Gustav Opitz referring to a tour in the East, and asking for £100 for expenses, £80 to be paid down—finally we came to this agreement with him—we declined to pay him any money in advance, but agreed to pay him commission, and a further small commission at the termination of His journey—he sent us this 'letter,' giving references to D. A. Hume and Co., 38, Mincing Lane; H. Haschte and Co., 86, Leadenhall street; and L. Lehnert, 14, Trinity Square, Tower Hill—I cannot say if we sent him a parcel of samples-; if they were sent, they were returned—Lehnert made no inquiries of us as to Gustav Opitz; we communicated with Lehnert, but we gave no reference to Lehnert or anyone else about Opitz—We knew nothing of Opitz till we recerved this first letter from him.
Cross-examined. We communicated with lahnert—I Wtnnot say if we did with the other references—we got samples ready to send to the prisoner—I don't know Whether they were delivered Or not—I believe he called on us and mentioned about the Eastern Exchange—I cannot recollect the details; it is many year ago.
LAWRENCE HASLUCK . I am a chartered accountant—I was trustee in the prisoner's bankruptcy in 1887—I was never able to realise anything—the prisoner never attended his public examination, nor any of the proceedings, after my appointment—in September, 1890, I was released from my trusteeship—amongst the debts alleged to be due to him is one from Morris, Brandt and Co., of £1,902, upon a judgment said 'to be obtained against them—L. Lehnert negotiated with me for the purchase of that debt, and offered £10 for it—I would not take it—in September, 1887, Lehnert wrote, "All I can offer for the judgment is £10"—I did not get any money by it—I don't think I should have been justified in selling a £1,900 debt for £10.
Cross-examined. The prisoner told me shortly after he became bankrupt that he had an appointment from a firm, and was going to India to earn his living—I had no reason to doubt it—I think he went in March 1887—10th March, 1887, was the first date for the public examination, 28th April the second, and 26th May, 1887, the third—I don't know whether the prisoner was in India when Lehnert offered to buy the judgment debt—I refused it, and heard no more of it.
Re-examined. I had letters from Lehnert, and I know his signature—these two letters, J and K, are in his writing, and are signed by him.
HENRY TAYLOR (Detective Inspector City). In 1886, in consequence of information, I kept observation on the firm of Bernard and Co., of 4, Bury Street, St. Mary Axe—I watched persons supposed to be connected with that firm—as a result, on 6th June, 1886, I arrested Axel Holme, who was sent for trial to this Court—upon his arrest I searched Bernard and Co.'s office at 4, Bury Street, and among other things I found this press copy letter book, with letters signed, "Bernard and Co."—at the time I watched the premises I frequently saw Lothar Lehnert, in company with Axel Holme and others—I saw Lehnert going in and out of 4, Bury Street—one day, just before or after the conviction of Axel Holme, Opitz was first pointed out to me in Lombard Street in Lehnert's company—I did not see him again—Axel Holme was tried and convicted of fraud in this Court in July, 1886.
Cross-examined. I saw Opitz after Holme's arrest, passing through the street, and I did not see him again till the libel action was heard.
JOHN FREDERICK BOTNER . I have been in Lehnert's employment—I know Opitz and his writing—to the best of my belief these two bank slips, one in the name of Gustav Opitz, and one in the name of Walter Arnold and Co., and these letters signed Gustav Opitz and Bernard Opitz, are in the prisoner's writing—I know Lehnert's writing—this memorandum, addressed to Louis Lowry and Co., and giving references to Bernard and Co., M. and E. Hesse, and Liman and Co., is, to the best of my belief, in the prisoner's writing—the answer to that, the letter of 24th February, 1886, is in Lehnert's writing—I understand German. (This letter stated that Opitz was the London buyer of an Indian firm; that he teas considered an experienced man of business, possessed of some means, and supported strongly by his Indian firm, and that accounts of not a high figure might be credited to him)—on the front of this document is an inquiry from Schmeisser and Co., of Berlin, as to Opitz, and the translation of what is on the back is, "In answer to your inquiry referring to G. 0. Rotten, hands off"—there is an answer written on it by Lehnert. (This stated that he had known Opitz for some time through forwarding, and knowing the bank where he kept his account; that the bank gave a very good report about him; that the firm of whom Opitz rented an office, and who were a great exporting firm enjoying an excellent reputation, also gave satisfactory information about him; that Opitz represented one of (lie largest firms in Mancliester, and was the European buyer for an important Bombay firm, but that it was said that he once had a difference with two London enquiry agents about the collecting of some disputed accounts)—this letter of August 18th, 1886, is in Lehnert's writing—all these letters signed Lehnert are in Lehnert's writing, to the best of my knowledge.
Cross-examined. I was in Lehnert's employment from the end of 1893 for two months—I did not appear at the Mansion House—I could not say in what capacity Opitz was at Lehnert's; he was there—I am an enquiry agent now for myself—I know Stanislaus Reuschel; he is the representative of the German newspaper that started this prosecution—I believe he used to be an enquiry agent, but is not so now—he represents the
German Trade Protection Association—I should say he ceased to be an enquiry agent either in December or at the beginning of this year.
Re-examined. I have no doubt that these documents are in Reuschel's writing.
FREDERICK DOWNS (Detective, City). In 1885, in consequence of in formation received, I caused observation to be kept on the office of Martin Sugar and Co., of Guildhall Chambers, Basinghall Street—they called themselves general merchants—information was laid against them at the Guildhall—no arrest took place, because something happened at the last moment—I saw nothing of Opitz at that time—I saw him a long time after that.
Cross-examined. The deponents to the information would not sign the statements, and therefore nothing was done.
HENRY GEHL . I was present at the Police-court when Opitz was prosecuting Reuschel for libel, and I heard him cross-examined—these two bank slips, by which the accounts were opened, were produced to him, and he admitted that they were in his writing—I believe the body of this letter, signed Bernard and Co., and in the letter book identified by Inspector Taylor, to be in Opitz's writing—all the letters in the book are not in the same writing, but this other is in his writing—I have translated the German document, and the translations are correct.
GUILTY .— Eight Months' Hard Labour.
MESSRS. HORACE AVORY and GUY STEPHENSON Prosecuted.
GUILTY .— Two Years' Hard Labour.
NEW COURT.—Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, May 23rd, 24th, and 25th. And
THIRD COURT.—Monday and Tuesday, May 21th and 28th, 1895.
Before Mr. Recorder,
MESSRS. CHARLES MATHEWS and BODKIN Prosecuted, and MR. WARBURTON and MR. MAY appeared for A. N. and H. Avis.
JOHN PITMAN . I am a clerk in the registry of joint-stock companies, Somerset House—I produce the file of the National Investment Company, Limited, registered on July 23rd, 1892, by Jones and Linnett, solicitors, of Chancery Lane—there were three solicitors' clerks, two law students, a bookkeeper, and an accountant—the capital was £10,000, in 2,000 £5 shares—there was a summary each year—this is the summary of June 1st, 1893, which shows that only fifty-seven shares had been issued—there has been no subsequent summary—this summary shows four other shareholders, besides the original ones, and is signed "Henry
Williams, secretary"—the offices were at 26, Charing Cross—I find, a. compulsory winding-up order on the file, on the petition of Pike, of the Strand—this (produced) is the file of a company known an George Ambler, Limited, which was registered on 29th May, 1893, by Mr. B.F. Linnett, of Chancery Lane; it had a capital of £15,000—I find bore twenty-seven original subscribers of one share each; these are their names—Mr. Holdsworth Piggott's address is. 30, Trinity Square, Tower Hill; the witness is A. N. Avis—there is no, notice of the place of business of the company—this is the file of the Cove Stone Quarries, Limited, registered November 4th, 1893, by Daniel Jones of 1, Quarries, court; the capital is £10,000, in 1,000 shares—the seven signatories—no notice has been filed of any place of business other papers are filed, only a letter which came back.
Cross-examined by Overton. These registrations are all, in order; we should not accept them if they were not—a company lays itself open to a fine if it neglects to register.
WILLIAM GEORGE BEETLESTON . I am a messenger in the Senior Registrar in Bankruptcy's Office—I produce the file in the bankruptcy of S.C, Overton and A. N. Avis—that was a petition against them jointly and the adjudication was on May 7tb, 1892—here is an amended statement of the bankrupts' affairs; the gross liabilities are £13,384 1s.—£4,000 is expected to rank—that shows a surplus of assets over liabilities—the assets are £8,931—that leaves a surplus—the assets are made up of shares in a registration company £7,000, interest in a foreign patent £1,000, and a claim against a, Montgomery brewery £500—the total of creditors unsecured is £4,127 2s. 3d.—the examination was concluded on July 8th, 1892, and there has been no discharge—I produce another file in the, bankruptcy of Henry Horwood Avis of 23, Charing Cross—it is a creditor's petition on July 21st, 1893, for £400 6s.—the adjudication was on November 10th, 1893—on the summary of affairs the liabilities are £900, and assets nil, and no discharge.
Cross-examined by. Overton. The partnership account is on the file; you are described there as Caleb Overton—your total liabilities are £6,982 5s., assets £7,000 6s. 11d., the surplus is £2,950—the debtor supplies the particulars himself—this is the amended statement; I overlooked that.
Re-examined. There is no record on. any of the files in Overton's bankruptcy of any dividend being paid.
HUGH MONTGOMERY DRAKE . I am a clerk in the Companies' Winding-up Office, High Court—I produced the, file of the winding up of the National Mercantile Investment Company, Limited, showing a petition of Alexander Pike, put on the file on April 19th, 1894, and on that a. winding-up order was made in May—it was the company's duty to file a, statement. of affairs within a fortnight, but it was not filed with us—here is an order of July 5th directing such a statement to be filed, and Overton was directed, to deliver all books and papers to the Official Receiver—on August 16th a statement of affairs was lodged—the standing order is still in effect.
WILLIAM COBDEN . I am a clerk in the office of the Official Receiver in the companies' winding-up—I have some experience in the affairs of the National Mercantile, and as far as assets are concerned I find good book debt £445, bad book debts £2,049, preferential creditors £80, estimated
creditors £436 16s. 8d.; and on the other side I find unsecured creditors £637, liabilities £3,04 I 14s. 9d.—the total deficiency of the company on the winding-up was £254 4s. 10d.—I find on this statement that 156 ordinary shares at £5 each have been allotted, making a total share capital of £780—I produce all the books that were handed over, and among them the cash-book, which contains entries between July 4th 1892, and May 5th, 1894—I should say that that, is all in the same writing up to December, 1893—I also found a minute book of the company minutes from May 18th, 1892, the first meeting of proposed shareholders, up to April 24th, 1894—I find that after the registration of the company Mr. Havelock Overton acted as chairman of directors, and a brother director of his was Mr. Holdsworth Piggott—I find the appointment of the secretary by a minute of July 29th, and that the office shall be at 26, Charing Cross, and Mr. B. F. Linnett the solicitor, Mr. Overton the manager, and A. N. Avis assistant manager—by a minute of July 30th, it is resolved, "That either the manager, assistant manager, or secretary be, and are, hereby empowered to draw, endorse, or accept any bills of exchange or cheques with the sanction of the managing director"—on October 8th I find, " It was resolved that, pending the opening of a banking account by this company, the secretary be authorised to receive all moneys and make all payments upon the authority of the managing directors"—the next paragraph is, "On considering the application of the managers for an allowance for expenses while transacting business on behalf of the company, it was resolved that they be allowed the sum of one guines per day each while in the, metropolis, and that they be allowed all travelling and hotel expenses, and money but of pocket"—on December 14th, 1892, I find, "On the application of the managers far a standing salary, in addition to a percentage of the profits, as agreed to be paid them at a meeting of directors held on July 29th, 1892, it was resolved that Mr. Overton, the general manager, be allowed a salary of £700 per annum, and Mr. Avis, the assistant manager, the sum of £500 per annum"—on December 14th, 1893, I find this minute: "On considering an agreement between the company and Mr. A. N Avis, providing for his resignation as assistant manager, it was resolved that the same be adopted, the seal of the company affixed thereto," etc., and "That Mr. Overton's salary be increased to £1,000 per annum, etc.—Mr. Overton reported that he had paid Mr. Pike further sums on account of the company's indebtedness to him, and had succeeded in obtaining a further postponement of the winding-up order"—I find in the minutes of July 17th, 1893, that Mr. Overton reports petition of Mr. Pike against the company was put on the file; if February 15th, 1894, that he had obtained dismissal of the petition—there is a bill-book—there is no record of any banking account—there is a register of members, but no share register—there are fifteen names—the original statement of affairs was filed, so far as trading is concerned—detailed items are contained in the statement of affairs—from it I find that from July 29th, 1892, at the commencement of the company, to may 30th, 1894, £3,783 10s. worth of bills were discounted, and the trading receipts from trading are trading are returned at £8,676 10s. 2d.—miscellaneous
expenses are returned in a separate statement at £4,674—in that amount there are expenses of management, including salaries, rent, directors' fees, and petty cash—I had several communications with Overton during the winding-up of the company—this is the Official Receiver's report attached to the file—the observations, which are separate, were from my conversations with Overton, examination of the books, and from the preliminary examination which we made in writing—he told me the objects of the company were the conversion of businesses into limited companies, financial business generally, among others the floating of companies.
Cross-examined by Overton. The extracts are yours—the £780 for 156 shares was verified by the books—I got the names from you—the numbers are not given—the total deficiency of the company is £2,252 4s. 10d., the liabilities on bills are estimated to rank at £3,041—I do not follow that the total deficiency is only £980; it is not arrived at on the amount of bills—the total deficiency includes the liability of the National Mercantile Investment Company, £1,274 0s. 6d—the deficiency cannot be altered because the amount received on shares is included in the gross receipts of the business—the £876 is in the deficiency account—£1,274 being liabilities on bills other than the companies', you get £980 4s. 4d.; then deducting £780 for liabilities to shareholders, you leave £200 4s. 4d. as the total deficiency on trading accounts—the bad debts are £2,099—no particulars are given of what they are—there is a minute on July 30th, 1892, relating to drawing and accepting bills and endorsing thereof, which states the manager or secretary can do that subject to the sanction of the managing director—there is a minute of September 8th, 1892, where the Board authorise the secretary to receive moneys and make payments under the same sanction.
Re-examined. The £780 has been absorbed—the cash-book is the only book showing receipts and payments, unless we include the bill-book—by minute of 19th July. 1892, Mr. Havelock Overton is appointed chairman and managing director—in the cash-book, in January, 1893, I find £84 entered for directors' fees, as a sample that they were paid distinct from the other items of expenses; and in April, 1893, another £84; in Sep ember, £42; in December, £84—the directors were Havelock, Overton and H. Piggott, and J. Norton Smith is mentioned as a director who attended the meetings on 1st September and on 31st July, 1893—the next meeting, 17th August, there is a letter tendering his resignation on the ground of ill-health, and the Board accept same with regret.
RICHARD ROBERT SHAW AMBLER . I live at Belvoir Terrace, Keighley, Yorkshire—my father, Mr. George Ambler, died in December, 1892—under his will my mother was left an interest in the property, and I was to sell the freehold of the works at Silsden, near Leeds, where my father had carried on the business of a shoe-tip manufacturer—in January or February, 1893, I took over the business; and in March, 1893, I had a conversation with Mr. Laitwood, who introduced me to Overton and Alfred Avis in the smoking-room of the Grand Hotel, London, when we discussed turning my business into a limited company—T then only knew what Mr. Laitwood told me of Overton, or of the National Mercantile Company—at their suggestion, then,. Overton, Alfred Avis, and Laitwood visited me at Leeds in April, 1893—I
cannot remember the exact date, but it was a few days before I signed some bills—we went over the works and conversed about the price—I asked £15,000—they made a counter offer of £13,000—£14,000 was agreed upon, to include the freehold, the plant, and the business, goodwill and everything; book-debts, stock-in-trade, and machinery—the next day an agreement was drawn up embodying those terms. (Agreement called for, not produced)—this is a copy upon paper headed Queen's Hotel, Bradford. (The copy being read, stated the capital was to be not more than £25,000; that the purchase-money, £14,000, should be payable in cash and 3,500ordinary shares; the directors were to receive £200 per annum and a percentage on the net profits; £2,000 was to be provided by the witness for expenses of promotion, payable in eight bills of exchange of£250 at three months, to be subsequently returned to him, and the company to be formed within two months)—I signed that document and gave it to Overton or Alfred Avis—bill-forms were sent for, and eight prepared at the time—Mr. Parry, of Cat's Hill, agreed to accept bills—I was to be drawer and endorser, and he to accept—I drew and endorsed eight for £250 each, and Mr. Parry, who was there, accepted, as described in the document—the bills were handed over to Overton, with the document—I did not then understand that the bills were to be discounted immediately, but as and when the money was required for the promotion—Mr. Lee, an accountant, afterwards went through my books—Mr. Usill went over the works as a valuer and surveyor—I prepared to be sent out a circular apprising customers of the proposal to turn the business into a company—the free-hold was mortgaged to the Craven Bank, at Skipton, against an over-draft of my banking account, for a little over £5,000—I know Mr. Robinson, the manager of the bank—the mortgage existed in April, 1893, when Mr. Robinson pressed me—I mentioned the fact to Overton and Alfred Avis, and the suggestion was that a further £1,000 worth of bills should be given to be discounted, the proceeds to be paid to me, and devoted to reducing the bank balance—accordingly, the beginning of May, I signed as drawer and endorser four other bills of the same date as the eight, and in all respects identical with them, Parry being the acceptor—they were handed to Mr. Alfred Avis, at Bradford, who gave me this letter. (Of 5th May, 1893, acknowledging bills, premixing letter of terms signed by the company, and signed "for and on behalf of"; then an india-rubber stamp, and" A.N. Avis, Manager")—I never got the letter of terms—I was up in town several times to 26, Charing Cross, and asked for it—I saw Overton and Alfred Avis—one of them said the bills had not been used; both were present—Overton took what purported to be the four bills out of the safe, and said, "Those are they"—I did not have them in my hand, or read them—this visit was in June, I think; I cannot say for certain, but I think I knew then the other eight bills were discounted—I was led to believe they had promises of capital for the company—this prospectus was drawn up by Alfred Avis and myself jointly—Messrs. Arnold, of Leeds, printed off a number of copies; these were circulated, and two advertisements of the proposed company appeared in newspapers—I never met Mr. Argles—I signed the agreement between Ambler and Argles for the sale of the property for £4,000—I gave an extension of time for completion from 5th June to 5th July—I became
bankrupt, and in August Mr. Grey was appointed my trustee—no part of the £14,000 was paid—the works were shortly afterwards stopped and not reopened—the East India Rubber Company was never a tenant of part of the works—there were negotiations for a tenancy; no rent was ever paid—no agreement was entered into between me and that company—I have never speculated on the Stock Exchange—I do not know that the filing of my petition prevented shares being taken—I never know of the issue of debentures over my property.
Cross-examined by MR. WARBURTON. I knew Laitwood about six months before I knew the defendants—he knew I was involved through my bills to the extent of over £1,000, and was present at 15, Park Place, Leeds, at a meeting about 7th July—the meeting took about a quarter of an hour—Mr. Usill was in the chair; Mr. Parry, Mr. Holdsworth, and Mr. Alfred Avis were there, not Mr. Overton nor the other defendants—the signatories' shares were allotted—so far as my knowledge goes, nothing was paid for them, and no other shares had been applied for—the bills became due on 8th July, and some were presented for payment—that month an execution was put in my works at the suit of Brown for a bill—that had nothing to do with the twelve bills I had given—in consequence of the execution I filed my petition in bankruptcy, and was adjudicated a bankrupt, in addition to the overdraft—my liabilities were not included in the valuation; I was to defray them—£2,066 was the valuation of loose assets—I knew Laitwood through the British and East India Fibre Company—the other £5,000 of bills were given by that company—I said before the Magistrate something on the lines, "I do not think I wanted the business turned into a limited liability company to prevent my assets being seized for my liabilities"—I was a little bit confused at that time—my object was to do good to all my creditors—I did not think I should defeat their claims—I had not sufficient money to meet them—I was constantly drawing money and paying money away—I knew I had not enough money to meet my bills at maturity—I hoped to meet the first eight bills because I expected the agreement to be carried out, and that the bills would be met out of promotion money—I filed my petition in bankruptcy on 19th July.
Cross-examined by Overton. I knew Mr. Frank Sampson at the same time as I knew Mr. Laitwood—Sampson had some of the bills—the balance of those bills I did not divide the proceeds of were given in payment for shares of the British and East India Fibre Company—I never got the shares. (The prisoner put in the depositions and the information)—I cannot say what I said at the Police-court—I have no recollection of Laitwood being on the platform when you came down to Leeds—the suggestion to turn my business into a company came from you through Laitwood—I deny that I authorised Laitwood to offer you £2,000 from my business for promotion money—Parry accepted the bills for a consideration—it was not suggested I should discount half the bills—execution was not put into my works on one of your bills—I said I wanted more working capital, and if I did not get it I should have to shut up the works—I do not think you did all you could to make the company a success—I allege fraud—I do not know Mr. Holt, a solicitor—loose assets would be loose as distinguished from fixed machinery—my total assets were returned at £2,498—the £14,000 was a "break down"
price—you and Mr. Avis said you would underwrite in default of the public subscribing—I tried to help you to reinstate the company—I acted as a go-between once or twice—I did all I could to assist George Ambler, limited, to go on—you might have got some of your friends, as you said you wanted, to invest money in the company—you said you could make if thing a success even if the public did not subscribe a penny—I deny that you said you could not discount my bills in full—I have no recollection of it—I know now you could not—I have not had money to discount the bills—I am liable on them—I am a bankrupt—my estate has not yet paid anything—if you succeeded in taking over the property from the mortgagees and my trustee in bankruptcy, I was to get £3,000 in shares as commission—I remember dining with you at Bradford, but not what we talked about—we were not together the whole day, because the examination before the Registrar was finished about twelve o'clock—my letter to you stating that when I got back I found the sheriff's officer formally installed in the Canal Works at 2.30 on Saturday afternoon, etc., was written two or three, days after I filed my petition—when I gave up the £2,000 worth of bill. I was not aware that I was insolvent, nor was I that I know of—I took the risk of the bills—I daresay my bankruptcy would make my position more difficult—Mr. parry was present when. I handed in the four bills—that was not the same day that the agreement was filed; I think it was signed on May 17th—I do not know whether the four bills shown were mine or not—personally I did not expect to get anything out of the first batch of bills except the money received from the company, which I thought was for the purpose of meeting the bills—I did not expect any of the proceeds of the discount of the bills—you made very frequent journeys—if I had raised any objection I do not think Harris would have given up the bills when he had once got them—I do not remember going to Mr. Avis; his idea in going was to induce the bank to make an arrangement—if I had succeeded I should have been manager of the company, and should have £3,000 in shares for the work I was to do, and also for getting my mother to waive her interest; she had an annuity—I did not obtain her signature—I know I could not meet the £3,000 worth of bills if I had to find the money myself—one of these exhibits, 80 or 85 is in my writing; it is the draft of the National Mercantile—I was aware that Mr. Parry sent out circulars to his customers—this letter to Avis is my writing. (This stated "I am deucedly short of cash, and if you drop it I give you my word I won't blab.")—at that time I was endeavouring to borrow money—my bill for £200 commission to Maple was not in connection with this affair at all—the proposition as to £200 promotion expenses did not emanate from my company—you were to pay this commission to Mr. Parry—I told you that the Indian Fibre Company had taken part of my mills at £400 rent and showed you proof to that effect, but I denied yesterday that they signed an agreement—it was not signed by the managing director, but by a large shareholder—you were not under a contract to underwrite the company, nor did you guarantee the subscription to the company by written agreement; there was a general agreement—I do not think it curious that it was not embodied in that letter—my own solicitor, on May 17th, put in an agreement founded on the affidavit, and it was not mentioned even that they had a guarantee—he
said he would underwrite the greater part of the shares—I do not think told my solicitor about that—the Mercantile, did not draw the bills; I drew them—they were not to have any consideration for that as far as I know—those bills were not given for precisely the same purpose as the first lot of £2,000.
Re-examined. I first knew Mr. Sampson through Mr. Laithwood, and he introduced me to Maple, who introduced me to the defendants—I never got a share in the Fibre Company—I said in my letter, put in yesterday by Overton. "I had a very pleasant introduction to the sheriff's officer about 8.30 yesterday"—Simpson had handed one of my bills to Brown—"Of course I wired Sampson, I don't care which of you arranges it"; that was my feeling in the matter; either of them might arrange it—Sampson induced me to take shares, which I never got—he introduced me to Laitwood, who introduced me to the defendants—Overton drew up the document of April 5th in reference to the underwriting, and from that time I was in communication with him or with Alfred Avis—one of the letters to the holders of the bills was written from Charing Cross, Mr. Overton being there—the promotion expenses were to be paid out of the £2,000; that was the reason for which they were given—there was I claim for them, but I do not know the amount—I have never received a single penny; I have been swindled out of £3,000 worth of bills—when I parted with the bills I believed they were for the purpose of purchasing my business.
He-examined. At the time I parted with my eight bills and the four bills the defendants had not told me that they were undischarged bankrupts, but I believe I knew it before I parted with the first eight bills.
WILLIAM COBDEN (Re-examined). In the cash book of the National Mercantile Company I find on April 28th, 1893, "Markwood, commission £100," and lower down "Markwood, commission, Ambler's bill, £250, April 29th"—I found a number of sums entered against Markwood's name as commission: £20 on July 13th; £30 on October 3rd; £13 3s. 4d. on October 21st; and £25 on November 30th; and at the end, on January 16th, 1894, commission £57 8s. 9d.—I find on January 20th, 1893, "Parry, commission £20."
AARON MARKS . I am one of the firm of Harris and Marks, tailors, of the Strand, which consists of Myers Harris and myself, and another—I know the three prisoners as customers from 1892—in April, 1893, Overton owed me £54 7s. for clothes supplied to him, and Alfred Avis £63 5s. 6d., and Harry between £5 and £6, which was included in his brother's account of £63 5s. 6d.—Markwood owed me £79 7s. 6d. for clothes supplied, and Overton £30, but some of that was paid off—in March or April, 1893, Markwood and Alfred Avis called and brought me a bill for £250, and said, "We owe you a considerable sum of money; I am willing to pay you my account, and Markwood's account and Mr. Overton's account; and if you find this bill is right give us the balance in cash—I made inquiries, and gave them the balance, £58 or £59—this is the account; it is dated April 19th, 1893, and the balance over and above the account, which we were willing, minus our expenses of discount, to lend to the prisoners, was £59 18s., as represented by this cheque. (Dated April 19th)—when they brought the bill it was endorsed
in the first instance—I think the names were on—one of the endorsees was Mr. H. Williams—I do not know who he is—I did not know that it was Henry Horwood Avis—Mr. John Laitwood endorsed it, and I think I asked for the other names to be put on.
Cross-examined by Overton. I charged £5 for endorsing the bill.
Cross-examined by MR. WARBURTON. I think I made a suit and an overcoat for H. H. Avis; they might have been £8 or £9—Overton and Avis brought this bill, and I wrote to Ambler and asked if it was in order—I wrote on my ordinary paper headed "Harris and Marks, tailors."
JOHN WILKINS . I am clerk to Williams and Co., bill discounters, of 35, Coleman Street—I have known Overton and Alfred Avis seven years as general agents and company promoters; they generally came to me together and brought bills to discount—in April, 1893, they brought Mr. Laitwood to me, who I did not know before—Laitwood had this bill (produced), and wanted me to discount it—he said he had got his commission from Mr. Ambler—Overtonsuggested that we should make inquiries, whether the bill was in order—we wired and received replies—Laitwood said, could we make a small loan upon it, and I drew this cheque for £60 to John Laitwood, Esq. or order, dated April 13th, 1893—we discounted the bill a few days afterwards, drawing a cheque for £210 to John Laitwood or order on April 17th, 1893—I took the cheque out and cashed it, and deducted £75 from the £210—we said we would take £15 for three months; that was ordinary, not compound interest—that left him a balance of £145, so that he had £205. in all for the bill, and we had £45 on a bill of three months; we charged for the risk—Mr. Mapleton's name is on the back of the bill—one or other of them was there when £60 was paid, and when the £210 was paid.
Cross-examined by Overton. Before discounting the bill we wired to Ambler and Parry—I have not got the reply, but it was in first-rate order—we set out that bill sufficiently for them to identify it—prior to 1891 I knew you as an artist.
HENRY MYERS HARRIS . I am a bill discounter, of 26, Charing Cross—I have known Overton and Alfred Avis for seven or eight years—I first knew Overton as an architect—I have known Harry Avis two years—they took the office at Charing Cross of me; three rooms on the second floor at £130 a year—I did not have an office there till twelve months since—I used to see Harry Avis in the office for about two years—he used to be in the office—I have from time to time discounted bills for him and Overton—he was living with Overton in 1893 at 44, Earl's Court Square—I had made him an advance on the furniture of that house under a bill of sale—Alfred Avis's private house was at Aylesbury Road—I do not know where Harry lived—I made advances to him about the same time—some time after wards "National Mercantile Investment Company" was placed on the doors—my son Edward is a partner with Mr. Marks in his tailor's business in the Strand—in the spring of 1893 Overton told me he was about to promote a company, amalgamating Ambler and Parry; one was in the shoe-tip business, and the other in the iron way, and he thought it was a good business; I believed that, and I think he believed so himself—he brought me six bills in about six weeks; the first was about April 29th—they were at three months, for £250 each, drawn by Richard Ambler, and accepted by Parry and Co.—when they were
brought they were endorsed, "National Mercantile Company, H. Williams, Secretary"—I took No.3—on that day I gave him £15 in cash, and £35 by this cheque (produced) in favour of S.C. Overton—it is endorsed, and was met at my bankers—on the first bill, of May 9th, £100 was given, and the remainder in cash—the cheque is endorsed, "H. Williams, for and on behalf of the National Mercantile Company"—I did not know who H. Williams was—the balance was paid in cash—a considerable sum was owing for rent at that time, which I mentioned from time to time, and it was promised to be paid—the next bill was brought about June 7th for £250, on which I drew this cheque for £100, and on June 10th £40 in cash-both those cheques were payable to the National Mercantile Company, and the one for £100 was endorsed by Overton—on June 14th I paid a farther sum of £40 in cash, making an advance of £345; I charged £50 for interest, and that leaves a balance of £165 on the two bills—I applied that towards the rent, and Overton assented to that—the cheque was originally crossed, but either Overton or A. Avis asked me to take the crossing off—I do not know whether they had banking accounts—in May, 1893, I held bills of Mr. Cator's, which I had received from him, except the first—the National Mercantile had received them and endorsed them—they were not met—I sued the company on Cator's bill, and they handed me four bills of Ambler's and Parry's to hold as security—I held them till they matured, and Ambler or Parry wrote and asked me not to present them—I have not got the letter—I was told not to pay them in for a few days, because the company was not floated—I did so, but the company did not come out—with the Exception of £115 deducted from Ambler's two bills, I did not receive any rent—they owed me two years' rent, £145—I afterwards seized the furniture at Charing Cross for the unpaid rent.
Cross-examined by Overton. We had the consent of the drawer to hold over the proceeds—you did not say, "What are you doing with those six bills?"—you wrote to us and asked us to keep them—Ambler did not know where I got them—he told us to hold them, because he could not meet them, and I held them till Mr. Ambler filed his petition—you said in the letter that the one to Harris and Marks might be presented, but it was not paid—when you deposited the bills with me you never had a farthing on them; they were deposited simply as security; I have not had a penny paid—we discounted the bills for Mr. Cator—you guaranteed the payment of Cator's bills, and therefore you endorsed them.
Re-examined. The National Mercantile endorsed Cator's bills—Overton brought the first—we issued a writ, and then the bills were given to us to induce us to stay our hands.
BENJAMIN BLAIBURG . I am a bill discounter, of 129, Water Street—I was introduced to Overton by Mr. Williams, of Wardour Street, two or three days before May 2nd, when I gave the cheque—he gave me this bill, No. 78, drawn by Ambler, accepted by Parry and Williams, and endorsed "Overton, Manager"—he required part the same day, as he said the company wanted it for registration, and asked me to let him have a cheque for £50—I made inquiries, wrote to Mr. Ambler, heard that it Was not satisfactory, and declined—I continued to hold the bill—I afterwards got a communication from Mr. Percy Godfrey—it was returned, marked N.S.—I took proceedings, and got a dividend of 1 1/2 d. in the pound.
GEORGE WILLIAM EARRE . I am a solicitor, 89 Chancery Lane—I know Overton and Avis, and I have seen Henry Avis once—in July, Alfred Avis came, and said he called on behalf of the National Mercantil, Who were in great want of money, and he wanted me to advance £60 or £70 on a bill which was with Mr. Blaiburg, on which he had advanced £80—I went with him to Blaiburg, who I paid back £10, and another cheque for £30, payable at the National Mercantile, and endorsed "A.N. Avis"—no. 323 is another cheque for £30, endorsed "H. Williams, Secretary"; that makes up the £70 I advanced—I had a memorandum of charge—I got nothing from Parry; My claim was rejected—later on I made a claim to overton and Alfred Avis—they promised to pay me from time to time—a debenture certificate For £250 was brought to me by the two Avises, and I kept it—I afterwards sent it by post with the transfer, directed to Ambler and Co., 26, Charing Cross, for my name to be registered as the proprietor—the name on it was H. H. Avis—I afterwards got a transfer of the whole sum, £250—the transferor was H. H. Avis—there weeks after sending it back to Ambler I received this certificate in my own name(produced)—I said nothing to either of the Avises about that—I did not attempt to Realize it—my £70 has not been paid.
Cross-examined by Overton. I received the certificate on September 19th, and returned it in about six week—I have got the stock, but in my own name—I do not think it is worth much—I did not know that the property had not been transferred, or that the capital had not been subscribed—it was given to me as security, and I took it for a genuine document.
MORRIS HARRIS . I am a bill discounter, of 13, Basinghall Street—I have known Overton and A. Avis five or six years—about May, 1893, Overton called on me, and asked if I would discount this bill (produced) for the promotion of a company of Ambler and Parry—I made several inquiries, They were satisfactory, and I agreed to discount it—Overton owed me Nothing, but I had obtained a judgment against Neville Avis on a bill of exchange; he had endorsed it in 1891, and the judgment was current at that time—I said if he would allow me to take part of my old bill, I would discount it—it was for £225, and I charged £25 for discount—I paid by two cheques, one for £100 payable at the National Mercantile, and encdorsed by them "Overton, Manager," and a cheque for £117, similarly drawn and endorsed—the £100 cheque was handed back to me, and I set it off against the old debt under the judgment—the cheque for £117 has been paid by my bank—I got a receipt dated May 11th, signed by Overton—the bill was presented at maturity and not paid—I placed it in the hands of my solicitor, who issued writs against Ambler and Parry—this letter of March 15th, 1894, is the security I spoke of—this is the charge I received (produced)—I did not exercise the power of sale; I got nothing from the security—I got £26 advanced on Parry's estate—I have the judgment here.
Cross-examined by overton—This is the receipt for the £100—I do not think I wrote before discounting that bill—I inquired of the bank, but not personally.
Cross-examined by MR. MAY I went on with the action against Avis, and recovered judgment on August 6th—Avis became bankrupt—I don't
believe he got anything out of this—I lent Laitwood the money to start in business with—I wanted additional security, and got Laitwood's name on the bill.
Cross-examined by MR. WARBURTON. Overton brought the bill, not Avis—it was on account of the joint debt; although he was bankrupt he still owed the money—from the fact of having a judgment against him I was entitled to take all I could get—A vis's debt was on a bill transaction.
DAVID PHILLIPS . I am one of the firm of Phillips and Phillips of 6, Newman Street, Oxford Street—we fonnerly had offices at Charing Cross, as auctioneers and bill discounters—prior to 1883 we had discounted a bill of Johnson and Norman for £250, which was dishonoured—Overton brought it to us—we applied to the defendants for payment—they said it was a good estate and eventually the money would be paid—about the time that it became due Overton brought this bill of Ambler's for £250—I lent him £50 on it by this cheque (produced dated May 6th and endorsed by Overton)—the balance was held as security in case of any deficiency on Johnson and Norman's bill. (A letter to this effect was here put in)—I kept Overton's bill till maturity, and it was not paid—I got 2s. 1 1/2 d. dividend on Parry's estate.
Cross-examined by Overton. My expenses have not been paid—I have had something.
ARTHUR COPPING . I am secretary of the City Assets Company, Limited, Queen Victoria Street—I have known Alfred Avis for years, and have discounted bills for them from 1890, and at their request bills bearing the name of John Maples, and at Overton's request bills bearing the name of Newton—in 1892 and 1893 I knew that Overton and Avis were connected with the National Mercantile Investment, as company promoters—in June, 1893, Overton came to us with a bill for £250 that he wanted discounted; I had previously made inquiry of Mr. Parry—he told me he had borrowed £57 10s. on the bill, and asked if I would pay the £57 10s. and let him have the difference—it was endorsed by Mr. J. Parry Godfrey, and by the National Mercantile, S. E. Overton, Manager—I arranged to discount the bill on condition that he should pay the amount of his old debt, £90—I went with Overton and paid off the £57 10s., for which I charged £10 as commission, and gave him an open cheque for £92 10s.—I retained the bill till maturity, and it was presented and dishonoured—I got a dividend from Parry's estate—I took proceedings against all the parties—that was the only bill of Amblers which our company received, but we had transactions with Overton and Alfred Avis in 1893, which left them indebted to us about £1,000—before December, 1893, we pressed Overton for payment on account—he said that he was bringing out some companies and expected to be able to realise enough to pay it off, or at any rate to make some payment—in September, 1893, he applied for a further advance, which I made him, of £155, and he gave me some debentures of Ambler and Co. as security, on September 5th—this is the charge on the debentures. (Signed "S. E. Overton")—this is my cheque for £155 drawn to Overton and endorsed by him, and that day he left me certificates 7, 17, and 18, and a few days afterwards he sent me, in a letter, these three certificates, Nos. 6, 8, and 16, for £100 each, stating that
Arthur Argles was the registered owner—I think the transfers were handed to me on September 5th—I took a guarantee from Mrs. Overton to the extent of £50—the bill matured, and was dishonoured, and I got my proportional dividend on Parry's estate—the second bill went unsatisfied.
Cross-examined by Overton. I have known you six or eight years, and have had many money transaction with you—there was money owing at the time of your bankruptcy, but I had security for that—when you were bankrupt I did not hesitate to have a good many transactions with you—at the time the advances were made I had not got the debentures, I relied on your honour—you wanted to borrow the £165 in connection with the Shropshire Railway—this had nothing to with Ambler and Co.—I do not know who brought me this receipt; I had nothing out of it personally.
Cross-examined by MR. MAY. I did not see H. H. Avis in that transaction, and never heard of him—I think Williams' name is on the documents, but I never saw him.
Re-examined. I believed there was a company and that they had properly registered these debentures.
GEORGE WILLIAM USILL . I am a civil engineer, of 12, Spencer Road, St. John's Hill—I first knew the three defendants about June or July, 1892, and had business matters with them, and in June, 1893, A. Avis, I think, asked me to go down to Tilsdon, at Leeds, to report on the works of Mr. R. Ambler—I went there and made a valuation—the report dated June 8th, 1893, was afterwards put in the prospectus—I put the value at £14,630 for land, machinery, plant, and business—in July, 1893, Alfred Avis asked me if I would become a director of the Ambler Company; I at first demurred, I said that I could not qualify—he said that they would qualify me, and that they had bought the business—on that I agreed to become a director—in July I paid another visit to Leeds, and met young Mr. Avis and Mr. Parry—there was a meeting of the directors of George Ambler, Limited, at 15, Park Place, Leeds—I did not consider myself a director, but they voted me into the chair, because I was a stranger; I suppose because it was a compliment—Mr. Parry took part in it as a director—the meeting lasted about half an hour—there was an agenda paper; a prospectus of the company was produced, but I do not think there was any discussion upon it; I think it had been already issued—there was a change of solicitors—I do not know who were the candidates for the secretaryship, but Mr. Newton secured it—the offices were to be at 15, Park Place, Leeds—I know of persons applying for shares—I met Mr. Holdsworth Piggott, but I did not know him as a shareholder—I paid nothing for my share—I held one—I do not know what became of the subscriptions, or if they ever paid a farthing; nothing was said about where the money paid for the shares was—the Craven Bank was appointed banker, but no money was drawn out because none had been paid in—the office of George Ambler, Limited, was transferred to 26, Charing Cross—I was asked nothing about the transfer from Leeds to London—the meeting in London was for issuing debentures—Avis said that owing to the bankruptcy of Mr. Ambler some arrangement must be come to with regard to taking over the
mortgages—the debentures amounted to about £6,000—the machinery is at Leeds, I suppose—I was given to understand when I made the valuation that it belonged to George Ambler, but afterwards I found it belonged to the Craven Bank—I did not know that at the second meeting—this minute book contains the minutes of the first meeting—that was all written out before the meeting; I do not know whose writing it is—I attended a meeting at Charing Cross six weeks afterwards—Avis and Mr. Argles were present, but not the younger Avis—I should not like to say what I was told at that meeting; but it was said that Mr. Jones had taken Counsel's opinion, and that the act that I was about to do was perfectly irrelevant—I do not find Mr. Usill's name mentioned there—a gentleman had retired, and the lot fell upon Mr. Piggott—there wan not much discussion—I do not know whether any minute relating to that matter was drawn up—I signed a blank form in a book; a debenture certificate—I began at the first one in the book and went on to twenty—there was no writing or seal—this is one that I signed—after I signed them the debentures were left in the office to be transferred—this is the agenda book of George Ambler, Limited, having reference to the meetings at Leeds—a memorandum of this meeting was taken on foolscap, which I had detached to enter into the minute book—I asked what had become of the forms, and was told they were in the hands of the Leeds solicitor to the bank, for the completion of the purchase—I saw one debenture form filled in in Coutt's office after the conversation with Milett—the works of George Ambler, Limited, went to rot and ruin—I never got any director's fees, nor any for making the survey—I was promised my fees by Ambler, Avis, and Overton; twenty guineas, I think—my expenses to Leeds were paid—I have seen Henry Avis at 26, Charing Cross: I do not know in what capacity; he seemed to be waiting for something to turn up in his brother's office—Avis said the other directors requested me to become chairman—Parry was present—I remember being at 26, Charing Cross, and somebody coming in and asking for Mr. Williams—Avis came out in answer to that.
Cross-examined by Overton. I was the engineer of the Shropshire Light Railway from June, 1892 to 1893—I had been in communication with you three times a week or more—you told me the debentures were to be handed over to the Craven Bank, because you could not get the works without collateral' security—I was only chairman pro tem., and you tried to force that position upon me—there was no one to depose me—if I was in the chair I supposed I signed the minutes at the next meeting—there never was a third meeting—I signed as many debentures in blank as you told me were necessary for the amount of money equivalent to the mortgage by the Craven Bank; not as they came from the printer's, but in a book—I trusted you, and did not think you would fill them up to any amount—if I had had my proper functions those would have been locked up—the specific amount was £6,000—they were signed because they had to be filled up, which would take some time—I had no other reason for signing them than that they should be given to the bank—I thought they were paid off by the bank; you told me they were subscribing money—your solicitor assured me—the letter of July 21st, 1893, is like my writing, but I cannot recall the circumstances. (Mr. Robinson stated that the National Company held debentures in George Ambler, Limited)—Mr.
Arthur Argles' name as nominal vendor was not on the £6,000 debentures when I signed them.
Cross-examined by Mr. WARBURTON. Before becoming a director I was not satisfied, but had every reason to believe in the bona fides of the company—I had been down there as a professional man and made a valuation—I did not doubt the prospectus—I had the highest opinion of Mr. Parry, and believed the other gentlemen were respectable—I was ex perienced as an engineer—I was elected a member of the Society of Civil Engineers in 1870—I have been thirty years in that profession—I read the prospectus—I am a Fellow of the Imperial Institute—I believe the company would have been successful under proper administration—I never saw a better business, and possibly it would have paid 12 per cent by this time.
Re-examined. I first heard of Mr. Ambler's bankruptcy about August—I have carefully considered the whole subject, and cannot recall the circumstances under which I wrote the letter of 21st July—I never saw such a paper, and did not know it was in existence.
ARTHUR FELIX ARGLES . I am a valuer and surveyor, of 95, Broadhurst Gardens, Finchley Road, and formerly of 30, Lansdowne Road, Bedford—my business premises are at 9, Southampton Street, Holborn—I have known Overton and Alfred Avis for five years, and Henry Avis about three years—I was in the habit of calling at the National Mercantile Investment Company's Offices, at 26, Charing Cross, for business—Alfred Avis said he had a very good business to form into a company, and it was necessary to have a nominee, and he asked me if I would come nominee, or vendor to the company—I asked the nature of the business, and what my duties would be—he said to attend at the office when called upon and sign certain documents, go to Leeds on several occasions, and place myself at their disposal when called upon—I said I would consider it—I was to have £100 for my expenses—I thought it over, saw Mr. Usill, who told me it would be a good thing, and consented—I was one of the seven original shareholders—I did not pay for the share—I was never asked, and never offered to pay it—I attended at Chining Cross, and signed for one of the signatories' shares—I signed this agreement, by which I undertake to pay Mr. Ambler £14,000—I have seen Mr. Laitwood—I believe Overton and Avis were at their office when I signed the agreement—Laitwood was a witness—I did not go to Leeds—I glanced through the agreement, and saw it was in connection with the matter, and signed as nominee—the meeting about the end of August, 1893, was the only one I ever attended—I was asked to attend by Avis—the meeting was of the signatories with the object of nominating or appointing Mr. Holds worth Piggott a director, in place of u gentleman who retired—subsequently a director' meeting was held—a resolution was proposed to issue about 2,000 of debentures, and to arrange to take over Ambler's business—it was put to the meeting—I had no vote and no voice—I don't know why I stopped—I signed transfer forms to enable Overton and Avis to transact, business, because the debentures were to be mode out in my name—some of these six forms I signed a week, ten days, or a fortnight afterwards, when I was asked to attend—Avis was present on the second
occasion, whether Overton was I don't know—I understood that Ambler had become a bankrupt through outside speculation, and to enable Overton and Avis to take the property over from the trustee, it was necessary to issue debentures—I never beard about the Craven Bank till I called at the Treasury—it was not my duty to see the debentures paid over—I did not get £100—I got debenture for £100—this is the first I have heard of £15 being entered in the books as paid to me? on 1st August, or £7 10s. on 3rd October—I have had no commission in connection with Ambler's—I have received commission from Overton and Avis in other matters—I have for years done business with them—I saw Avis a year or so afterwards in the City, and he said Ambler's matter had ended in a fiasco, and they had not been able to form a company—it did not strike me it would open the door to fraud to sign debentures in blank—I was satisfied with what Usill told me of the bona fides of the concern—I had every confidence, having had business transactions with Overton and Avis before, and simply did what I was told.
Cross-examined by the prisoner Overton. I had had large business transactions with you and found you honourable—the document I signed was explained to me—you explained that, in consequence of Ambler's bankruptcy, you would be able to make more satisfactory arrangements for the company by purchasing the property at a less price—I understood the debentures were issued to enable you to take the property over, to get over the difficulty of no cash—I took very little interest in the arrangements.
Cross-examined by MR. WARBURTON. I have not had much experience as nominee—it was explained to me, and I understood it was the ordinary course to bring in a nominee of the vendor in all these transactions—they did not explain to me the object of it.
GEORGE ROBINSON . I am manager of the Craven Bank, at Skipton, in Yorkshire—the bank was mortgagee of the land at Silsden belonging to Mr. George Ambler, as against an overdraft of between £5,000 and £6,000—the management came into the hands of his son Richard—there were no further overdrafts—at the end of April, 1892, we were pressing Mr. Richard Ambler with regard to overdrafts to some extent—he said he was engaged in making arrangements for the sale of the business—we subsequently consented to act as bankers to George Ambler, Limited—no applications were made for shares—no money was received—there was no cheque book, or bank books, or account—in August, 1893, Alfred Avis brought me a card with "The National Mercantile Investment Company" on it, and said the company were prepared to take over the business of George Ambler, Limited, and to pay for it, and asked us to keep our mortgage on the Silsden property (we had other securities) unrealised for twelve months, and allow the company to carry on the business of shoetip manufacturing—matters were postponed for three weeks or a month, pending the appointment of a trustee—at a subsequent interview Avis said he was in a position to treat—he said Mr. Grey had arranged to buy the machinery, book debts, and stock-in-trade for £3,000—Mr. Grey had written to me the same day—Avis asked if we were prepared to let our mortgage stand over twelve months, the same proposal as before, which we agreed to do—it was finally arranged that the property should be conveyed to the company of George Ambler, Limited, and re-mortgaged
by them to the bank for £5,000—then the document of 30th August, 1893, was drawn up agreeing to these terms—I subsequently got a letter from Mr. Linnett, whom I referred to our solicitor—I was on the committee in the bankruptcy of Ambler, and knew the arrangement was not carried out—a draft of our solicitor's was approved by Mr. Linnett—it was never engrossed—on 11th November I instructed our solicitor to write that negotiations must be at an end, and on 19th November for the property to be sold by auction—it did not fetch the reserve—it was subsequently sold by private contract, the fixed machinery for £660, and the freehold for £4,000—I have seen some debentures of George Ambler, Limited, to-day, but never before—we never agreed to take debentures in lieu of mortgage, or as collateral security—no mention was made of it.
Cross-examined by Overton. R. R. Ambler was never the real owner of the freehold—Mrs. Ambler, the mother, had the legal estate—there was no stipulation in the agreement that the loose machinery and plant should be taken over as part of the transaction—the negotiations fell through, because the company could not pay for the materials—I said at Westminster that I was informed the company did not purchase the freehold, because they could not purchase the machinery and plant, without which they could not work it—I have not read the agreement.
WILLIAM MARTELLOS GREY . I am a chartered accountant, practising at District Bank Chambers, Bradford—I was appointed trustee in the bankruptcy of Ambler, on the 10th August, 1893—the works were continued by the Official Receiver until my appointment, and afterwards by me for three or four weeks—then they were closed—the loose assets passed into my possession—I wrote to the National Mercantile, 26, Charing Cross, this letter of 23rd August, 1893.—(Inquiring about the twelve bills)—I got this reply of the 25th August. (That one of the company's managers would be in Bradford and would call)—Alfred Avis called on the 29th—he said his company was desirous of purchasing the loose estate and book debus of R. R. Ambler—I said I was willing to sell them for £3,000 cash—the bills were to be returned within three months—those conditions were in the agreement of that date—I never got the £3,000 nor the bills—Alfred Avis said some of the bills had been negotiated, but he thought he could obtain them, and would return them to me—I got this letter from the National Company on 2nd September. (Asking for particulars)—particulars were sent—on 12th September I wrote this letter. (Expressing surprise that the company had not communicated; the matter could not remain open longer than that week, and if the witness did not hear, he should endeavour to dispose of the assets elsewhere)—I received this reply from "H. Williams, Secretary "to the company. (Stating that next week they would make a definite offer, and proposing to postpone Ambler's examination, as, should they come to terms in the meantime it would very materially alter Ambeler's affairs for the better.)—I got this letter of 18th September also signed "H William, Secretary." (Agreement of purchase the loose machinery, including that at Ingrove, for £600,stock-in-trade and effects at £1,300, book debts at £500;any stock sold to be deducted, £500 to be paid on a proper contract being drawn up, £500one month, £500two months, and £900 three months afterwards, and agreeing to withdraw bills, that amount "to be added to the claim of the Craven Hank relating to the canal works which, as they are
selling to the company, would necessarily be withdrawn against the bankrupt, and relieve the estate some £8,000")—I replied on 20th stating that I would call a meeting of the committee—on 21st I wrote this letter. (Refusing the offer.), and on 28th this letter(That the committee were prepared to take £750 for loose machinery, etc., and return the, bills accepted by Parry if settled forthwith.)—I received this letter of 4th October from "A. N. Avis." (That they would speedily come to terms, and after another meeting of the directors, they would communicate.) also this letter, signed "H, Williams, Secretary." (Offering £700 for loose plant, etc., and withdrawal of the bills for£3,000)—I replied by this letter of October 5th. (Accepting the offer, and trusting the matter would be brought to a conclusion forthwith.)—on October 30th I went to 26, Charing Cross—I saw some clerk, but I cannot say I saw the defendants—T subsequently wrote that if the agreed deposit of 10 per cent. (£70) was not forwarded by return of post, and the agreement carried out, the plant, etc., would be advertised for sale by auction, and that the arrangements for sale, when made, would not be varied—I did not receive the £70—the stock and loose machinery were sold privately for £900 on 18th November—from the 10th August to the time the works were closed, (he British and East India Fibre Company were never in the place.
Cross-examined by Overton. I do not know Mrs. Ambler's signature—I acted upon Ambler's statement with regard to the bills—he said the company was not floated, therefore the bills should be given up to me as his trustee—I did not think it was much use taking other steps to obtain, them—I received proofs of debt on them by their being discounted—I did not reject them; they were in the hands of third parties—in one of the letters the company arranged to withdraw the bills—I only received some of the proofs eighteen months after the order for my appointment.
JOHN ELLIS . I am a solicitor, of Keighley, in Yorkshire—I know young Mr. Ambler, and of the suggestion to form his business into a limited company in 1893—I received the draft agreement for that purpose between Mr. Ambler and Mr. Argles, in the letter of 15th May, 1893, fro A. N. Avis—I approved it, on Mr. Ambler's behalf—at his request a clause for underwriting was put in—I learned from Ambler about the bills, and subsequently about the execution in his works—we consulted in July as to what was best to be done—when Mr. Ambler was I London he rather took things upon himself, and alterations were made in the agreement in London, which I had not seen—the engrossment was done in London, and not sent to me—I never saw it till it was signed—I do not think the underwriting clause is in the final agreement—I received the letter from Overton of 18th July (Enclosing draft agreement for approved, and stating the holders of bills agreed to wait a month on terms.), and another letter relating to the execution at the suit of Brown—I do not know what is meant by the "adoptive" agreement, but the draft was sent—it was not executed—on 19th July I filed a petition on behalf of Mr. Ambler.
Cross-examined by Overton. You said in a letter that you interviewed Mr. Brown—I do not know whether you did—Mr. Ambler told me you were endeavouring to get Mr. Brown to wait.
Cross-examined by MR. MAY. I do not know what clause as to underwriting is referred to in the document put in, which is not the document
I approved—I sent the draft to London—I do not think I could have it with ray papers—the engrossment was not the document I prepared, or anything of the sort—I knew the position of the business in May, 1893, when the negotiations were going on—I knew Mr. Ambler's financial position—owing to the number of bilk he. was insolvent—the business itself would be solvent.
JAMES ARCHER HINCHLEY . I live at 86, Harlow Terrace, Harrogate—in 1893 I was a clerk, and made the acquaintance of two of the defendants in June, 1883—prior to that I had been engaged at an office, 15, Park Place, Leeds—I was engaged by them to act as clerk to George Ambler, Limited—Mr. Kell was the owner of the premises—my wages were to be 35s. a week—the premises were taken under this agreement of June 26th, 1893, between Kell Bros, and the National Mercantile, to take Room 3, at 30s. a week, with a month's notice in writing—we went into the premises about the 10th, and under the defendants' instructions I addressed prospectuses and envelopes to send all over the country—I got the addresses from directories—both the defendants used to attend the office—the last I saw of them was 8th July—the prospectus was advertised in different papers throughout Yorkshire, and I received several answers—I made this list of the papers in which the advertisement appeared—as far as I know not a penny piece was ever paid for those advertisements—I think the accounts are among the papers which came from Mr. Lumley—there were a letter book, an allotment book, and an agenda book; those are the only books in which entries were made—there is no entry whatever in the allotment book"; there is in the agenda book—I find Alfred A vis's writing in the books—there was but one meeting of directors; that was at the end of July—no application came with regard to the bank book—I was not present at the meeting of 7th July; I was asked to go out for a short time while it. took place—I remained till 29th July, when Messrs Kell re-took possession of the premises, the rent being in arrear—on 13th July I received this letter from Alfred Avis. (Asking him to send the whole of the scrip of George Ambler, Limited, by passenger train, and naming the scrip)—I sent the whole off at ten a.m., and 100 debenture scrips were sent by Arnold to the printer—my salary was paid from 10th June to 8th July—I received none from 8fh to 29th July—I applied for the arrears—I got a telegram from Avis that a cheque had been sent—no cheque came—I repeated my application, and received on 29th July this letter from Avis. (Complaining of the witness's insolence, asking for an explanation of his threat, and declining to pay his wages until he apologised)—I did not know then they had no banking account—the letters of 30th June and 3rd July instructing the Leeds Daily Express to advertise prospectus were sent—one is Avis's writing; the second is mine—it is a repetition of the first—having no money I left on 29th July—I kept the books in my possession when the office was transferred to London—the seal of the company was forwarded to London.
Cross-examined by Overton. I only remember one board meeting at Keighley—Mr. Kell never attended the meeting—he attended in his office, the next room to yours—he was always on the spot—Mr. Ambler attended every other day for about a fortnight—he sent prospectuses to his customers—the prospectuses were sent to people chiefly connected with the grindery trade—I gave you notice three or four weeks previous to
my leaving—you did not tell me you did not want me—I had only been out of employment a week—I do not know at whose request you employed me—I made the bargain myself—there was no other clerk—I was Mr. Keifs clerk on occasions—Mr. Kell told me your rent was not paid up to Wednesday last—I was supplied with petty cash—I saw Mr. Usill twice to the best of my recollection—I think I saw Mr. Argles—this is my letter of 27th July, 1893, to A. M. Avis. (Asking for remittance, otherwise he would make matters very unpleasant, both at home and elsewhere, as they must be aware he was in possession of facts which would place them in a very serious position, and he would do so unless paid per return)—and this letter of 14th November, 1893. (Regretting he was still out of employment, and pressed by his landlord; asking for his three weeks' wages, and promising not to raise his voice against the defendants any further.)
MR. WARBURTON here said that Alfred Avis desired to cross-examine for himself.
Cross-examined by Alfred Avis. I told the Magistrate in cross-examination that I had written threatening to make it hot for you, and that I would apply to the Magistrate—I did not apply to the Magistrate—I do not know whether it was a directors' meeting but directors were present when I was asked to retire—I know accounts were not paid from people I have come across—I do not know that you paid a penny piece, nor that you have not.
Re-examined. When I wrote expressing regret it was in an application for money owing to me; I was told money was being paid, and I thought I would try—I never demanded a farthing more than the wages properly due to me.
WALTER BATTLE . I live at Harrogate—I was manager of the Leeds Times newspaper in September, 1893, at 49A, Briggate, Leeds—I advertised George Ambler, Limited, in the Leeds Times, Yorkshire Chronicle, and Leeds Chronicle—Alfred Avis gave the order—he told me that he and his friends had practically purchased the business, and would form it into a limited company—I asked him what were the prospects of floating it, as it was not a money success; he said practically he and his friends and some customers found the whole of the money—that was the object of advertisement—the account was £30 10s. 6d.—nothing has been paid.
Cross-examined by Alfred Avis. As an introduction you used the name of a personal friend of mine, Mr. Cook, who was afterwards mayor, but I found out he knew nothing about it—Mr. Kell did not introduce you—I know very little of him—you came alone to the office—your naming Cook its a director did influence me—I believe you handed me your card, the National Mercantile you gave the order verbally—I dealt with you individually—our invoices are always made out in the name of the company, and this is so—I had not heard of the company; I trusted you—the next order came to the office.
JOHN BRICE DAVIDSON . I advertised in the Leeds Daily News on 4th July, 1893, the business of George Ambler, Limited, in consequence of this letter from A. N. Avis. (This letter asked for the prospectus to be inserted in a prominent position, and to be mentioned in the money article)—the advertisement was repeated in consequence of this letter of 3rd July, signed
"J. A. H." for the company, and a bill, dated 30th September, was sent in for £17 13s. 4d. several times—it has never been paid.
Cross-examined by A. Avis. The account is made out to Mr. George Ambler.
DAVID GLEDHILL . I am chief clerk in the advertisement department of the Leeds Mercury—on 1st, 4th and 8th July the advertisement of George Ambler, Limited, appeared in the paper, that on the 4th being in consequence of the letter signed" J. A. H., for George Ambler, Limited"—later in the year the invoice was sent in for £26 9s.-nothing has been paid.
Cross-examined by A. Avis. We afterwards inquired of Mr. Gray, and of the National Mercantile Association in London, but failed to obtain information.
ALBERT EDWARD GILBODY . I am employed by Messrs. Arnold and Son, printers, Briggate, Leeds—we supplied those lithographed circulars on the order of Mr. A. Avis in June, 1893, also 15,000 of these application forms and prospectuses—some were sent to 15, Park Place, Leeds, and some to 26, Charing Cross, London—also an embossing seal of George Ambler, Limited; a plate engraving for debentures, also one or two books and a quantity of office stationery—the accounts came to £66 6s. 4d.—they have not been paid.
Cross-examined by Overton. I have nothing to do with the accounts, I simply took the orders.
Cross-examined by A. Avis. Mr. R. R. Ambler was with you on some of the occasions—we have had many transactions with Richard Ambler for twenty years—we still have the plate.
Re-examined. We received this letter of 17th August from Mt. Gray. (Returning the account for£66 6s. 4d.improperly sent).
EDWIN GRIMSHAW . I am counting-house manager to Arnold and Son, of Leeds—orders were being executed for George Ambler and Co., and I went and saw Mr. Gray, and owing to what he told me I got into communication with the National Mercantile, and saw Alfred Avis on August 30th, 1893—he told me he was the representative of the National Mercantile, and would complete the arrangements to anyone—I inquired, and then he said that the amount of purchase-money was already subscribed, and only wanted the completion of the documents, and Mr. Avis might call for a settlement of the account—Mr. Avis did not call on September 5th—I received no report and no money.
Cross-examined by Overton. Mr. George Ambler did not guarantee the payment of the account—I sent in a claim under the bankruptcy, which was refused—I sent a claim in to the estate, because it looked to us as if it was the only means of getting any money anywhere—George Ambler, Limited, was responsible to us—Mr. R. R. Ambler represented that the money was subscribed.
Cross-examined by Alfred Avis. This meeting took place on August 30th; on one was with you—you introduced me to a gentlemen who, I recognise as Mr. Ambler—you did not say in Mr. Ambler's presence that they had got all the money—I had never seen Mr. Ambler before or afterwards—he has never been in my department that I know of—he has not paid me any account personally, but we have had accounts with him for years—at this time we had supplied all these goods—I thought at the time that
you had the money—part of the conversation was that the account should be divided, and a portion charged to George Ambler, Limited—I was requested to divide it—we supplied the goods on the faith of our previous knowledge of Mr. Ambler.
W. COBDEN (Re-examined). In the National Mercantile Investment cash book for July 13th, 1893, I find £194 11s. 6d. under a number of names.
Cross-examined by Overton. I have been through the papers, and as far as I know there is no assistant-manager's account among them.
THOMAS MONTAGU RICHARDS . I am a solicitor, of 59, Chancery Lane—I know the three defendants; Overton the longest of the three—I did not know H. Avis as Williams—in September, 1893, Alfred Avis came alone about the sale of George Ambler, Limited—I was not satisfied with the genuineness of the debenture from what he told me, but from inquiries which I made—he left some names with me and I made inquiries in those quarters which were satisfactory—I inquired of Mr. Linnett, the solicitor—Avis called again shortly afterwards, and I told him I thought the debenture was worth £200 or something more, as reported to me, and offered him £200 for it—it is numbered 28. (This was a debenture for £1,000, certifying that If. Avis, of Upper Tooting, was the proprietor of the stock: signed and sealed by the directors.)—I paid by this cheque for £1200 to H. H. Avis, dated September 22nd, 1893—that is endorsed "H. H. Avis," and has been paid at my bankers—the outstanding £100 was met by my promissory note to A. Avis at a month—that was accepted by him, and became due in November, and at that time I discovered that my promissory note was in the hands of Mr. Daniel Jones, and in his name I drew a cheque for the second hundred—before that I had got a transfer of this stock dated November 9th; the transferor is Henry Horwood Avis—I first saw H. H. Avis towards the end of 1893—I cannot say whether that was after my note matured—what occurred between us was not in regard to this matter—I identify him as the holder of the stock and the transferor of it to me, and believed he had transferred to me that which was genuine and valuable, and that was the reason I met the cheque.
Cross-examined by Overton. I think I first heard of you in the summer of 1893—you were introduced to me in Chancery Lane—your name was not mentioned in connection with this transaction—Mr. Lakewood was the first person I saw, and the proposition may have come entirely from him, but I purchased because it might become more valuable.
Cross-examined by A. Avis. You represented this as a good bond—you told me of your interview with the solicitor about it—I pent my partner, also a solicitor, to inquire about it; he said that it was worth £200 or £250—I do not say that you induced me to take this bond by making false representations—I myself prefer no charge against you; I did not indict you—I would not have lent you the £200 if I had known that this was a bogus bond—I cannot say that there was any concealment of facts by you—all I can say is you brought the bond and gave me the names of parties to make inquiries of—I did not know Mr. Ambler then, but I think I knew of him—I had a bill for about £500.
Cross-examined by MR. WARBURTON. Mr. Avis made no concealment
of the matter, and it was understood that inquiries were to be made by me—at the time I parted with this cheque I thought the business of George Ambler was a going concern; I did not know anything against it—I do not say that either of the defendants said that it was a solvent company; I supposed at that time that they were carrying it on—the date of the transfer was inserted by someone on my behalf in the office.
Re-examined. I believed that H. H. Avis was the holder of debenture stock to the extent of £1,000, and in the genuineness of the transfer of June 9th, by which the stock purported to be transferred to me, or else I should not have paid the £200.
PATRICK GREVILLE NUGENT . I live at Cove in Dumfoiesshire, Scotland—my wife has landed property there—in August or September, 1893, I was introduced by Mr. Myers Harris to Overton in London, but I knew Overton in 1892 as a company promoter—I desired to form a company to quarry the stone on my wife's property—I had a conversation with Overton about it, and I was to meet him the next day to go into the matter fully—I got this letter of 15th September. (From S. C. Overton, Manager of the National Mercantile; that his directors had decided to form a limited syndicate, with £5,000 capital, to work the quarry, on Mrs. Nugent agreeing to grant a lease for sixty years of twenty acres at a rental of £200 and a royalty, and to pay £300a year for Overton's travelling expenses and £500 for promotion expenses, which would be returned if the company was not formed within three months)—I discussed the £500 bill at 26, Charing Cross with Overton—Alfred Avis was there—I said, "What do you want the £500 for? First of all, I cannot lay my hands on £500 at the present time." He said, "Never mind about that, I can get it from the friend who introduced me to you." I said, "Before I sign any bill I must have security"—the £500 was to pay the expense of registration, engineer's and solicitor's fees, and different things—he said he would give security—I do not remember anything being said about underwriting—Mr. Harris then came in, and Mr. Overton said he was going to start these quarries for me, and asked Mr. Harris if he would discount the bill—Harris said it was too large a sum, but he would discount one bill for £250 first, adding, "Look here, Mr. Nugent, if the bill is dishonoured I shall hold you responsible." I said, "I do not care about that; Mr. Overton has promised me security for the amount"—Harris said, "What do you want security for?"—I said, "I shall not sign any bill unless I do get security"—then it was arranged there should be two bills for £250, instead of one for £500, accepted by me for my wife—then I got this letter from Overton. (Agreeing to the£250 bills, £10 to be charged for renewal, and to deposit£500 five per. cent, paid-up debentures in George Ambler, Limited.)—that was the first I heard of that debenture stock—the next day, Overton called at my town house, 45, Lower Belgrave Street, with the two bill forms—he saw me and my wife—I asked him about the debenture security, and he showed me the printed prospectus of George Ambler, Limited, with a picture of the mills and works—he said it was a going concern, and the debentures were fully secured on the freehold and the mills, and that there was £8,000 of new machinery in the basement—I believed that statement, otherwise I should not have signed the bills for £250—my wife also signed—I did not get
the debenture certificates that day—the next day I consulted my solicitor, Mr. Holt, of Gray's Inn Square—in consequence of what he said I called with my wife at the Mercantile office, and arranged for a meeting for the 22nd at my house—I saw Overton, and asked him to bring with him two other bills for £250, drawn by the National Mercantile Company, instead of being in blank—I got the debenture stock, I think, on the day he came—these are the certificates and transfers of the £250 stock from Argles—I did not pay £100, the nominal consideration for the transfer—on the 22nd, Overton came to Lower Belgrave Street, and saw me, my wife, and Mr. Holt—he brought two bills drawn for £250 at three months—Mr. Holt said, "Before I allow my clients to sign these bills I should like to know what this security is you are offering; what you promise to do is nothing at all. Except you form and register a company, they have no security for this money (£500), supposing you do cot carry out your agreement"—Overton said, "Oh, it is understood, if we do not form this company, the £500 will be returned"—then Mr. Holt asked him as to the security, and Mr. Overton told him what he had told me—after consulting Mr. Holt aside, we signed the bills—it was arranged that Mr. Holt was to keep one bill as trustee for the National Mercantile Company, the other was given to Overton for expenses in promoting what was to be called "The Cove Quarries, Limited"—the company was registered in November—the other bills were destroyed at that interview—I next saw Overton at the Savoy Turkish Baths on 26th October—I was surprised to see him, and said, "What brings you here?"—he said, "I have just been up to the First Avenue Hotel, and have seen Mrs. Nugent"—I said, "Yes, what did you want to see her for?"—he said, "I want some more money"—I said, "You had £250; what have you done with it?"—he said, "I have got the money subscribed; I have got a board "f directors; I want £250; I want to head the list of subscribers myself with £200"—I said, "What have you done with the money?"—I did not want to part with another bill, and Mr. Holt had the second bill—I said, "Why don't you go to Mr. Holt for it?"—he said, "I don't want to have anything to do with him"—he told me he had Mrs. Nugent's signature to another bill, and I asked him why he did not go to Mr. Holt instead of to my wife—he said if I did not sign the bill he could not go on with the concern—I said, "Who are the directors?"—he said, "I have got Florence, the architect, to go on the board"—I went out with him and, like a fool, signed the other bill at the Gaiety Restaurant—he took this bill of 26th October from his pocket—it bore my wife's acceptance—it is Overton's writing—we went to Scotland, with Mr. Usill, his engineer, and went over the property—Mr. Usill's view was favourable; there was much stone there—I drove Overton to Annan to see Mr. Scott, my Scotch solicitor, on 15th and 18th September—I afterwards attended at the offices of the London solicitor of the Mercantile Company, Mr. Daniel Jones, of Quality Court, and letters passed between the solicitors—the beginning of 1894, my first bill became due, and was paid—Mr. Harris was the discounter—Mr. Holt has the second bill—it was dishonoured—I was pursued in the Scotch Courts, and eventually the action was settled by a payment of £175 by my solicitor—the solicitor for the holder of the bill was Mr. Daniel Jones—I had conversations with Overton at various times about the company—he
said he was going on with the company, getting the directors, and the money for floating it—once I met Overton and the two Avises in Chancery Lane—I think it was after the first bill became due—in the course of the conversation Overton and Alfred Avis went away and left me with Henry Avis—I said, "Look here, Avis, cannot you inform me if Ambler's business is a sound business, and if my security is all right?"—he said, "Yes, you can rely upon that; it is all right, it is a going concern"—I said, "Why did not you answer my solicitor's letter and give him the list of shareholders of this George Ambler, Limited?"—he said, "I can't be bothered by answering the letter of every shareholder; if Mr. Holt wants to find out he had better go to Leeds and find it out for himself"—I had been introduced to Henry Avis a day or two before that by either Overton or Alfred Avis—I took him to be the secretary of George Ambler, Limited—no company has been yet formed on the lines stated by the defendants—I have had no return for the bills—a lease was drawn and signed by Mr. Scott, and everything was done on our part to form the company—I signed the bills on the faith of the statements made by Overton—I believed that George Ambler, Limited, owned the works depicted in the picture at the top of the debenture certificate, and the statements made about the new machinery.
Cross-examined by Overton. I was introduced to you the end of November, 1892—I was in prison the first week in November, 1892—a charge of indecent assault was brought against me by a barmaid in the Vauxhall Bridge Road, named Marian Price, whose character was well known—I was fool enough to listen to the advice of Counsel, and was sentenced on May 12th, 1892, to six months' imprisonment—at first you said you did not see your way to float the company, because you had several other companies on hand, and were too busy—I conversed with you about taking up a mine in Mexico, and other business—I cannot remember the dates, nor when Mr. Lewin came—you made the proposition to form the company—you could not have declined the business, because we talked it over—you never mentioned that you had no funds—we played billiards at a restaurant—I paid you £4 or £5—I did not owe £1 11s.—you owed it, because you ordered the luncheon, drinks and cigars—Harris made the condition that my wife's name should be on the bills—Harris told me he had a lot of debentures—he did not say they were of no present value—I may have been chaffing and laughing about the debentures, because I wanted to find out the nature of them—I did not take steps to stop the bills—you said, "Don't worry," and "Don't listen to what people tell you," and both the Avises told me the things were good—you told me no interest would be charged if the bills were renewed, but you said so many things and contradicted yourself. (DR. WILLIAM TRAVERS here stated that he was attending the witness, Henry McKeone, who was suffering from German measles, which were infectious)—you said you had the capital—what I said at the Police-court is correct, and what I say now—Mr. Holt was protecting my interests—I cannot give you his reasons for what he did; you must ask him. (Read: "Referring to your letters of the 15th, 18th, and 20th")—"20th" is your interlineation—it is your writing—the letter is signed by me and my wife. (The letter was dated September 21st, and was an agreement to Overton's terms for forming the company to work the quarries)—I told you something to the effect that I would make it
pretty hot for you, but I did not use the words, "if you fail to float the quarries"—it was because of the money you got from me, and was in this way: if you did not pay the £500 you robbed us of I would prosecute you—I do not remember writing such a letter to Mr. Harris—I did not threaten to prosecute Mr. Parry—I got a judgment against Mr. Miller—I have not suppressed correspondence or interviews—you made only one visit to Scotland on this business—you might have gone there unawares to me twenty thousand times—in your letter of 9th October, 1893, you say, "I shall be able to command all the capital we shall possibly require"—you did not take the second bill on October 26th at my wife's special request—I was annoyed at your wanting another bill—if you had gone to Mr. Holt you would have had to satisfy him as to what you had done with the first—I told you to go to Mr. Holt—you wrote for authority to use the bill in Mr. Holt's hands, and I did not choose to give it—I did not want the bills to fall due at the same time—the bill was not given on 24th October; it was given on the date it bears, the 26th—my wife told you you would find me at the Turkish baths—I got two names, Bonser and Florence—you told me if I left you alone you would go on with the work—I was glad Mr. Holt knew Mr. Florence—you refused to go to Mr. Holt for an introduction; you said you knew him well enough—your letter did not reach me in time for me to bring my letter book—it was forwarded to my club—I left Scotland on Wednesday afternoon—I heard of your bankruptcy some time afterwards; I think from Lewis, and from different people—I do not know that the lease was everrefused—I paid for my ticket to Scotland, and you yours—you paid your hotel bill, and third class fare to Annan, six miles, 1s. 3d.—there was no cost of hiring a conveyance to the quarries—you lunched at Annan and dined with me—I do not think your whole expenses were more than 30s.—you paid the hotel bill at Carlisle; about 25s. the whole thing came to—I took your word that H. Avis was secretary—I came to London many times to see you—I had my reasons for not bringing a civil action against you.
Cross-examined by Alfred Avis. I do not think you had anything to do with the negotiations—you did not come to Belgrave Street—the solicitor got the warrant at Westminster Police-court against Overton only—I do not charge you with any offence.
Re-examined. I was indicted at the London Sessions for indecent assault and for a common assault, and on the advice of Counsel pleaded guilty to a common assault, of which I was not guilty—I was at the Police-court, and heard the evidence on behalf of the Treasury.
EMMA ERMENGARDA GREVILLE NUGENT . I am the wife of Patrick Greville Nugent—the property referred to in Dumfriesshire belongs to me—Overton came to me at the First Avenue Hotel on 26th October—he told me he had now formed and registered and floated the company to work my quarries; that he had £5,000 subscribed, and had formed a board of directors, mentioning two neighbours, and that in order to give greater confidence they required him to head the subscription, and for that reason he wanted an additional £250, for which he asked me to sign the bill he produced—he said he had paid Mr. Usill, the engineer, £25 and registration fees, printing and other expenses—that was in consequence of my asking him what he had done with the first £250—he asked where Mr. Greville Nugent was, and I told him, "At the baths."
Cross-examined by Overton. You made several statements about the board—some little time before that you said you had registered the company—I remember the date from the fact that I was in London, and other circumstances connected with my private affairs and engagements—I had no conversation in Scotland about the bill, or in Mr. Holt's office—your statement did not startle me, because in Scotland and in London you said positively you had directors—I had no knowledge of company promotion, and believed what you told me—you did not take that bill at my express desire not to use the one in Mr. Holt's hands, for some particular reason of my own—I knew Mr. Holt would be averse to having a third bill, and that he had one in his possession—the agreement was, you were entitled to the bill for £500 completely when you had proved to us the company was started and going—that was made verbally under the advice of Mr. Holt—I think the letters of 15th and 18th only promised on receipt of £500 to register a syndicate—Mr. Holt said that was not sufficient, and there must be £5,000 working capital subscribed"—then you received the £500 under the verbal agreement—I have no recollection of a letter of 21st September, addressed to my husband, stating "It is understood between us we are to procure subscriptions, for the purpose of working the quarries, of a sum of not less than £5,000, before the commencement of operations"—I subsequently instructed my solicitor, Mr. Scott, to draw up the necessary lease—my husband handed in letters of 15th, 18th, 20th, and 21st September as the basis of the contract—I never signed the lease.
Cross-examined by Alfred Avis. I never saw your face that I know of. (MR. DANIEL JONES, solicitor, produced the correspondence.) ALEXANDER SCOTT. I am a solicitor, practising at Annan, in Dumfriesshire—I knew of the intention to form a company to work the Cove Quarries—on 21st October, 1893, as solicitor to Mr. and Mrs. Nugent, I saw Overton at my office—his visit was arranged by telegram—I had before written to him to bring with him the prospectus and the lift of the principal shareholders, so that we could go practically to work—he had given a skeleton prospectus and no names—nothing was settled with regard to the company taking up the business and finding the capital—I had five weeks' correspondence with Daniel Jones about the lease—it was absolutely indispensable to have a plan of the twenty acres selected to be quarried—I had a plan prepared, and on November 4th forwarded it to London—I never got it back, and we were therefore quite unable to have this lease properly executed—the mansion house was on the estate, and unless the plan was distinctly laid down they might have begun to quarry in front of it.
Cross-examined by Overton. You said you were connected with several companies, and occasionally found capital on terms that a person accustomed to 1 per cent, would be astonished; at 5 per cent, or 10 per cent., the usual terms of finding capital in London—I was to do the legal part of the business in Scotland—you made the distinct request to assist me, which I declined—I understood from Mr. Greville Nugent that you had capital subscribed—referring to my book, I do not think I met you on September 27th—I do not think I met you more than once, but the correspondence here will show—my deposition is correct, every word of it—tell me where the 10 per cent, was to come from, if not out
of my clients' pocket I—where was the payment to come from for the promoter?—I think you forsook the terms of my clients—I understood you to mean the promotion money would come from my clients, who invest in the company—if Mr. and Mrs. Greville Nugent paid a premium, was not that to come out of the pockets of the investors?—if you wish for my evidence you need not argue—it was not arranged that a premium of 3,000 shares was to be paid to Mr. Nugent—in January the question of a premium arose, and I wrote to you for information as to what the premium was to be, and you said so much was to go to underwriting, and the balance to my clients—then I asked what was the amount of their premiums, and to this day I have not heard—I never understood how much was to be handed to you, and I refused to allow Mr. Nugent to pay you as promoter an indefinite amount—you wished for the payment of a premium which was undefined—we were told by Mr. Jones or you nothing could be done till the lease was signed; the lease was ready, but not sent forward—then the question of premium was sprung upon us, and we were told that unless premium was guaranteed by Mr. and Mrs. Greville Nugent to an indefinite amount, nothing further could be done, and this question, not till then put forward distinctly, was laid before Mr. and Mrs. Greville Nugent, who refused to sign the guarantee; thereupon, so far as I could see, the whole thing fell to the ground—the letters of 15th, 18th, 20th, and 21st September, 1893, were handed me as instructions upon which to prepare the lease—I regarded all the correspondence as the basis of the lease—that would be the agreement referred to in my letter of November 23rd to Daniel Jones—I sent the draft lease on 3rd November to you—on 21st September Jones returned it approved as altered, on behalf of the Cave Stone Quarry Company—a very lengthy correspondence ensued—you told me you had no difficulty in getting directors; you knew lots of excellent business men—I was told you had gone to Glasgow, and arranged with the Caledonian Railway Company as to the conveyance of the stone, and you had scarcely done so—there is a letter of 7th October, signed by you, that you would put the draft prospectus right by the middle of next week, and would probably run down to Annan in a day or two—I wired back on 11th, "Please bring details, that we may go practically to work"—then you answer that you regret that circumstances had arisen that necessitated postponing the visit—on the 13th I wrote that I was disappointed you did not come North, and that the demand of free stone was beyond the supply, and we expected a rich harvest, and that I wished to see your prospectus and directorate—you never filled in the names of directors and trustees—your being here to-day would make explanation why not—I presume it was because you had not got them—I did not object to Usill's report; I was pleased to see it—I objected to the London solicitor preparing a Scotch lease on the same ground that I would object to undertake legal work connected with English property; the terms are different and unfamiliar to an English lawyer—you raised a good many objections on points of law and practice as well—one serious objection was that you wished me to put into this lease that you had power to work any other quarry, and I pointed out that in your own prospectus you asked for money to work this quarry, which would be a fraud upon the public—you cannot get an intelligent idea of what occurred from the correspondence—I did my best to carry out the terms in the preparation of the lease—the
lease was adjusted and ready, and we wired to Jones to return it on 26th, 27th, 30th, and 31st December—I know nothing of Nugent's letters to you—as to Mr. Jones's letter to me of November 24th, my object in insisting upon putting in the lease the application to this company of the £5,000, machinery and plant, though perhaps I had not full legal authority to do so, was that I was determined, if possible, that all the capital raised for this quarry should go into the quarry, and I stipulated in the lease that the £5,000 should be spent in the quarry—objection was taken, and the £5,000 was cut down to £2,500; beneath that I would not go, as I considered at the least that sum should be put into the quarry in machinery and plant—I asked you to send down the articles of association before I opened an account at a local bank, and that you would send £1,000 to put the company in credit—you were a total stranger, and I wrote to Somerset House for a copy of the register of shareholders, that I might see whom I was dealing with, and when I got the list I determined to be very much on my guard; I would not recommend you to any banker without a deposit of money—you asked for an account to be opened, and I stipulated for an amount to be paid to credit to cover the company, but if you substitute the Mercantile Company for you, I accept the correction—the same year you say you had no money in the coffers of the company—your letter, asking me to open an account at a local bank for the company, is 27th November, and I replied on 29th—the account must have been in your own name—you had no prospectus ready, nor directors—I have never seen the name of a director except Florence, who failed at the last—I asked if Mr. Usill could come and lay out the ground—you would have to pay for it; you had £500—I do not wish to take advantage of what you are laying yourself open to if no portion was to be spent of the £500 paid to you—you were promoter or factor—we were most anxious to have the Cove Quarry Company brought out—we broke off the negotiations because you could give no guarantee the thing would ever be done—I have nothing to do with whom you represented; I looked upon this matter as one that needed that I should exercise caution, and I am glad I did so to-day—I cannot say that you ever told me you had the capital subscribed, or the board formed.
Cross-examined by Alfred Avis. I did not see you during the negotiations, or in connection with the affair.
GREVILLE NUGENT . (Re-examined by Overton, who called for a number of letters and telegrams passing between himself and Mr. Nugent, which were produced by MR. JONES, and read.) Having said on October 26th that you had told me that you had a full board of directors and all the capital subscribed, when I said on November 17th that the aristocratic names of the subscribers would damn the whole thing, I did not think they were very good names, and I maintain it still—I thought it might prevent subscriptions—you told me a great many things that were not true—I don't think I spoke to you about business after October 26th—I did not know what was customary in company matters, or that it is usual to have a list of the names of subscribers. (Other letters were read between Mr. Nugent and Overton relating to the proposed company.)—I believed in you—I asked you over and over again about the debenture bonds, and you kept telling me they were all right—I did not tell you within ten days
of giving the bill that I knew the debenture bonds were valueless; I said people had told me they were no good, but when I came to you and other people associated with you, you told me they were perfectly good, more than ten or twelve times, and I believed in you—between the time I was first introduced and the time when Scott wrote and broke off the matter I did write complaining—as far as I know I told you verbally hundreds of times. (Other letters were here read.)—I did not ascertain whether a board of directors was arranged on 7th December; I knew nothing about it—I swear you did not take that bill for the convenience of myself and my wife, and to obviate the two bills falling due on the same day—I told you at the Turkish baths that if you wanted that bill you ought to have gone to Mr. Holt and got it; and you said, "I cannot get on with the business unless I get another £250"—I wired you to come to Scotland, and then you refused to go to Mr. Holt—you could have gone to him without my authority—I did not choose to give you a letter to him—you took a bill of a later date due from me on the representation that you had got a full board of directors, and all the capital subscribed—you used to make erratic statements—I said to you at the First Avenue Hotel, "If you do not carry this through it will be the worse for you"—you said, "You need not be alarmed; I am going on with it, and I will do it"—when you told me at the Turkish baths that you had got directors, I did not ask the names; you mentioned Mr. Florence to me—I think his was the only name—you said you had not settled with the others yet, but you had with Mr. Florence—I said "Who are the others?"—you said you were not certain; you said you had a full board of directors. (Other letters were here read.)—you got two bills of £250 each; you could have got the third, which was in Mr. Holt's hands, but you were afraid to go to Mr. Holt, because you could not satisfy him—you told me you would not go to Mr. Holt; you went and saw Mr. Beattie—I asked you over and over again about the matters.
HENRY SPOFFORTH HOLT . I am a solicitor, of 6, Gray's Inn Square—I acted as solicitor for Mr. and Mrs. Nugent—on 20th November Mr. Nugent came to me and showed me two letters; we had some conversation, and I gave him some advice, and on 22nd September I wrote to the secretary of George Ambler, Limited. (Asking for particulars about the company, as a client proposed to take a transfer of debenture stock.)—I afterwards went to 45, Lower Belgrave Street, on 22nd September, and met Mr. and Mrs. Nugent and Overton—I told him I was acting as solicitor for Mrs. Nugent; that I understood he had obtained two acceptances accepted by Mr. and Mrs. Nugent, each for £250, and that those acceptances had been drawn in blank—he said it was so—I asked him if he had them with him, and he produced them—I said, "These bills are drawn in blank, and do not show the name of the drawer, and I must have them back"—he gave them to me, and I tore them up and put them at the back of the fire—I said I understood he had two further acceptances, each for £250, drawn upon Mr. and Mrs. Nugent by the National Mercantile Investment Company, Limited—he said he had, and produced them—I said before I could allow Mr. and Mrs. Nugent to accept those two further bills, there was certain information which I enquired—Overton said at once, "If you are dissatisfied with the arrangement,
the whole business is at an end"—I said that I had not come there to end the negotiations between Mr. Overton and Mr. and Mrs. Nugent, but to put them upon a proper basis—I showed Overton these two letters of the National Mercantile Investment Company, of 15th and 18th October, setting out a few of the heads of the arrangement between Overton and Mr. and Mrs. Nugent—I pointed out that in those two letters the National Mercantile Investment Company undertook to form a limited syndicate of £5,000 capital, for the purpose of working the Cove quarries—I objected to the word "form," as susceptible of several meanings, and asked him whether he meant to undertake that £5,000, which we all agreed would be necessary as working capital for this company, should be actually paid up to the credit of the company's banking account—he told me that was what he did mean—I pointed out that the word "form" might possibly mean registering a company of £5,000 nominal capital, and I went on to say that as he wan asking £500 for doing that; if he meant merely registering he was doing what anyone else would do for about £150; that I thought the company and Overton were asking far too large a sum; that in order to register a company with £10,000 nominal capital, the fees at Somerset House would be about £15; that the legal charges ought not to exceed £50; printing the memorandum and articles of association and prospectus would probably cost, I think I said, £20, and the only other disbursement he would have to make would be the fees of the expert for going down and examining the quarries, and I put that down at £25 or £30 at the outside, and I said that £250 would be ample for the needs of promoting the Cove quarries—Overton agreed that that was reasonable—I then went on to discuss the question of the security which he was offering—I had in my hands at the time two debenture stock certificates of George Ambler, Limited, and the transfer and the prospectus of the company, which I had received from Mr. Nugent—I said I wanted some more information about the position of George Ambler and Company, Limited, I knew nothing about it, I never heard of ib before—Overton at once said, "We promoted George Ambler, Limited, and I can vouch for it. It is not a large company, but it is a very sound one; it owns the freehold mills, which you see on the prospectus. A large portion of those are sublet, so the company makes a profit out of them"—he said the company owned £12,000 worth of machinery, of which a large portion was practically new; that the company was making a net profit at the rate of £1,500 a year, and that the interest on this debenture stock issue would only require £500, and that, therefore, it was thoroughly well secured—he added that the company was a small one, but it was a thoroughly sound one, and with more capital he expected much better results than £1,500 a year—I told Mr. Nugent I should like to make further inquiries—he said he was quite satisfied with Overton's statements—I took him aside, and gave him certain advice, and we came back to Overton, and Mr. Nugent concluded the transaction—Mr. and Mrs. Nugent then accepted two other bills in place of the two I had destroyed for the same amount, but drawn by H. Horwood Avis, as secretary of the National Mercantile Investment Company—it was pointed out that the amount was too large, and it was arranged that I should take one of those bills, and hand it over to
the National Mercantile Investment Corporation as soon as the £5,000 for working capital had been subscribed and paid up, and practically the whole transaction completed—Overton said that the whole business would be concluded within two months, and then out of the money Mr. Nugent would obtain as the price of the lease of the stone quarries he would be able to take up these two acceptances—when the interview was over I drove with him in a cab to Whitehall—I had the transfers and one of the bills—in the cab Overton asked me for a line just to show that I held this bill for the National Mercantile Investment Company—I agreed to do so, and a day or two afterwards I sent this letter and memorandum, dated 25th September. (The letter enclosed a memorandum of the arrangement between the company and Mr. and Mrs. Nugent, and requested information as to whether the directors had ratified the arrangement,)—I received this reply from Overton on 29th September, 1893. (Stating that the memorandum was not the undertaking he required; that he merely wanted a letter, stating that he (Mr. Holt) held the £250 bill, as bailee, the bill to be handed to Overton or the company as soon as they had formed and registered a limited syndicate or company, and that he supposed the lease would contain all necessary covenants, and so obviate any further preliminary agreement.)—I don't think I saw Overton again till 10th October—on 7th October I wrote asking how the matter was progressing—on 9th October I had this letter from him. (Stating that he was much pleased with his inspection of the quarry, and his experts report.)—on 10th October, I believe, he called at my office and said he was very well pleased with the quarries, and that he had got practically the whole of the capital for the proposed company, and that he supposed he was now entitled to the second bill—I told him he was not yet; even if he had the capital promised, it was not paid up, and I said I certainly should not let him have the second bill until I was satisfied that the capital was paid up, or at least subscribed by good and solvent people whose word was as good as their bond—I asked him for a list of the names and addresses of the people who had subscribed this capital—he said he could not give me the names and addresses because they had not signed application forms; he had only got their verbal promises, and he could not have them interfered with until they had actually signed their application forms so as to bind themselves—he went away, and did not have the bill—I saw him again about November 1st or 2nd at my office; it was a very short interview—I had then heard that he had got a bill behind my back without notice to me from Mr. and Mrs. Nugent—I mentioned it to him, and said I did not think it was a proper way of treating them—I asked him how the company was getting on—he said he had practically got the whole of the money, but he had some difficulty about getting a board of directors—I was not friendly with him—I had occasion from time to time to go to Mr. Jones's office about some other matter—I saw Overton on some occasions; I met him just inside Mr. Jones's office, and in Quality Court outside—I just said, "How are the Cove quarries going on?"—he said, "Very well," he had got all the money—about 29th January I gave a cheque for £250 to Mr. Myers Harris in exchange for one of the bills that Mr. Nugent had accepted at my office—on 29th March, 1894, H. H. Avis called on me; I was so surprised that I wrote up to Scotland giving the purport of the interview—he wanted to know whether I was
taking proceedings against him—I told him that at the present moment I was not doing so, but that criminal proceedings against the whole gang would certainly follow—he complained that Overton and his brother, A. Avis, had made a cat's paw of him, and induced him to sign all sorts of acceptances without his knowing anything about them, and that, as a consequence of his faith in Overton, he had been adjudicated a bankrupt—I asked him what had become of the money which Mr. and Mrs. Nugent's acceptances had produced—he replied that he had no idea, but guessed that Overton had stuck to it—he stated that he was secretary of the company only in name, and that his chief duty had been to put his name either personally or on behalf of the company to bills upon a promise that he was to be paid for so doing—he complained that Overton had never given him a penny, and left him finally stranded in the Bankruptcy Court—I next saw him in the dock at Westminster Police-court—in August, 1894, I applied for criminal process against Overton, and got a warrant against him—I had communicated with the Treasury some time before, but matters were delayed owing to the resignation of the late Public Prosecutor about that time.
Cross-examined by Overton. The letter I wrote on 22nd September to the secretary of George Ambler, Limited, was not returned through the Dead Letter Office—I did not write to ask why I had no reply, because I had made some inquiries at that time about the National Mercantile Industrial Company, and Overton, the managing director, and I had searched at the Somerset House Registry of Joint Stock Companies, and had seen the nature of the company which George Ambler was, and I regarded Mr. Nugent's £250 as lost—you had signed for and on behalf of George Ambler, Limited—in some companies there is very little difference between manager and managing director—I did not write to George Ambler, Lim., again—you had written to Mr. Nugent two letters which were very vague, and I thought there were expressions in them which ought to be explained—I do not know that I had any definite idea when I went to that interview, except to get back the two bills—that was my chief object in going there—they were two bills drawn in blank, and anyone might have put his name to them, and I thought it was not the proper way to carry out a transaction—on 20th September I went with Mr. Nugent to the Joint Stock Companies Registry to ascertain what the National Mercantile Company was, and I found that the subscribed capital was less than £300,1 think, and I thought it was a very weak company to guarantee the underwriting of £5,000 capital—I had no definite intention, one way or the other, of having the agreement altered before I let my clients go on with the matter—when I stamped these documents on the 20th, I did not know that we should succeed in getting back these two bills—I think the date on them was some time previous to the 22nd; but the matter was before my mind then, so I stamped them—I refer in my letter of 25th to the interview on the 22nd at Lower Belgrave Street—my cost book is not here—you handed me back the two bills for cancellation without any understanding as to their being replaced, and you surprised me still more by offering to withdraw from the business—you were not keen on it at all; if you had been I should have been more cautious—I did not want to impose other terms—before I allowed my clients to give up the bills I made a condition that £5,000 was to be
subscribed and paid up before the second bill was paid over—you informed me that that was the meaning of "form" in your previous letter—possibly I said that there was no undertaking on your part to guarantee the subscription and payment of £5,000 for the company—you said you had always intended that, and "form" meant that—you said the £5,000 was to be guaranteed and paid up before I paid over the second bill—you were agreeing to exactly the same terms as were in the agreement as regards the £500; the only difference was that £250 was to be retained by me in the form of a bill until you had carried out an agreement—if the business went through the result would be the same to you; if you failed, and it did not go through, it would make a difference to you—I don't admit that you were not keen on the business; you offered to drop it, and not proceed with it—Mr. and Mrs. Nugent were present when you said you were not keen about the business; I was thrown off my guard by it—I said, in a company of this sort, with a nominal capital of only £10,000, in case of liquidation, it was the unfortunate experience of debenture holders that there were generally no assets if the debentures were in the nature of a floating charge; I regarded them as security, but not in the very favourable light you wished me to—you never mentioned Mr. Linnett's name, or that any property had been transferred—I did not reply, "I know Mr. Linnett"—I only knew him by name, I think; either then or shortly after, I got to know him—I am perfectly certain that the date of the interview was 22nd; my first interview with Mr. Nugent was on the 20th; at my request Mrs. Nugent called on the 21st—I don't remember having seen this letter of September 21st before—I never saw you on September 21st—I swear I did not ask you to write that letter; that is, if the date is correct—it is quite possible I asked you to write such a letter on the 22nd; it bears out what I say, that I wanted the subscriptions for the £5,000—I don't think it is a fair way of putting it to say that that letter represents the sole variation and alteration of those two letters of the 15th and 18th—if the whole of the terms which are necessary in a promoter's agreement, where there is to be a lease, had been put into writing, they would have run to 120 folios probably—there were a lot of verbal agreements introduced as well—if the lease were signed that would show many of the terms, but here many terms were never put in writing—Mr. and Mrs. Nugent wanted to go back to Scotland on the 23rd—when they parted with these two original bills they had had no legal advice—the sentence in the memorandum, that £500 should be paid for negotiating the lease, was my way of putting your promise that there would be a sufficient sum in cash, payable to Mr. and Mrs. Nugent before the end of two months, so that they might retire their acceptances if they were called on to do so—the £500 was to be a premium for granting the lease—you do not, in your reply of 29th September, say anything about getting the capital subscribed; you only wanted me to give you a line saying that I held a bill, without setting out the terms on which I held it, and you could have sued me on it the next moment—you could have registered a company on that, and people, if they had had a letter of that sort in their possession, and did not know the mutual interpretation of the word "form," would have been grossly misinformed as to the terms on which I held that bill—after the interview in Lower Belgrave Street you asked me to let you have a line paying I
was bailee of the bill; when I sat down in my office I thought it was an unsafe thing to do, and I gave you more than you asked for—it was incorrect to say that the whole of the agreement was at your request—the memorandum only contains my views; I never asked you to sign it—I received no letter repudiating it—I did not exactly know your position in the company—I got no ratification from your directors—I did not write again for it, or press for it verbally or otherwise—after your letter I was not very favourably impressed—the directors might have passed a resolution giving you a free hand—I did not write again to you—I was liable to a demand from you for that second bill; you made a demand, and I refused to listen to it—I suppose, if the agreement constituted by the letters of 15th and 18th September had not been altered, my clients would have been liable—I did not think it necessary to send a copy of the memorandum to Scott—I left the preparing of the lease to Scott—you said you had been to Scotland to inspect the quarries—at the interview at Lower Belgrave Street you said you were going, I think—it was not understood that if your inspection and report did not confirm that of Mr. Beattie, you should have the option of withdrawing from the contract, and not going on; that in not the reason you handed me those bills—I do not remember that Mr. and Mrs. Nugent gave you a letter answering yours of the 15th, 18th, and 20th—I will not swear one way or the other whether it was so—I have no remembrance of saying, "This letter does not include your subsequent letter of the 20th"—you did not suggest whether £250 was reasonable—it would be five per cent, for promotion; a solicitor's fee is only one per cent—I did not know that £250 would not cover your out-of-pocket expenses; I know something about company promotion—I said £15 would be the registration fee for a company with £10,000 nominal capital; I think I had just registered a company with that capital—I had no knowledge how the National Mercantile Investment Company was going to get the money—I knew you had not got it yourselves; I believed you had means of influencing it—I did not for a moment expect that a prospectus would be issued to the public in a company of this size; it is too absurd—I suppose you had been back from Scotland about ten days when I saw you on the 20th—you represented to me then that you had got the money subscribed, and I at once wrote to my clients and told them of it—I asked you if a, trust deed had been executed; I think you said it had not been; that it was debenture stock—you did not say it had not been because the property had not been transferred—it was done so rapidly because Mr. Nugent said he had absolute faith in you; that you had been introduced to him by Mr. Myers Harris, whom he had known as a respectable man for several years, and that he was quite satisfied with your statements; and when I urged that I should have delay for inquiries, Mr. Nugent said he was going back to Scotland next day, and the thing must go through—the company had only been recently registered, and here could not be a balance-sheet—the prospectus of George Ampler shows that the business will be taken over from 25th April, 1893; it was not possible to have a balance-sheet in September 1893—you stated that the net profit was £1,500—I had no knowledge about it—I was there primarily to get back the £500 you had got—I think I first "knew Mr. Usill when he brought me a writ which the National Mercantile Company
had issued against him—I had seen his name on the prospectus—I think very likely Mr. Nugent introduced him to me—Mr. Nugent's information was drawn and settled by Mr. Cecil Basil Champion, barrister—I saw it—I made no complaint to you till these proceedings were taken—I had a long correspondence with people connected with Ambler to try and get some truth; I had written to Parry at Leeds.
Cross-examined by A. Avis. Civil proceedings were commenced against the National Mercantile Investment Company by writ, dated 6th March, 1894, for the return of the £250 bill of exchange; that was three weeks before your brother called on me, and before I had concluded my inquiries into George Ambler, Limited—I started those inquiries on 20th September—I did not write after 22nd September, 1893, although I had no reply, because I went to Somerset House and searched the file of George Ambler—I had before that seen the file of the National Company on 20th September, when I went with Mr. Nugent; we had not time then, before the Registry closed, to search the file of George Ambler, Limited, and I did it afterwards—I never saw you until I saw you in the dock at Westminster—I have never made any complaint against you personally, except as being connected with this company—I do not know when you left the company—I never saw the secretary of George Ambler, Limited—I think I saw Mr. Newton once; if I did, it was because I knew he was secretary of George Ambler, Limited.
HENRY LOUIS FLORENCE . I am an architect, of 3, Verulam Buildings, Gray's Inn—I saw Overton twice before seeing him at Westminster Police-court—the first time was two or three years ago, and the second was on 25th January, 1894; I made this note in my diary at the time of his visit—he called respecting an advance of £20,000 on some flats at Earl's Court, and he then mentioned a quarry, which he asked me if I would consider and become a director of—I said it would be inconsistent for roe as an architect to be mixed up with any phase of trade or anything connected with building, and I declined to have anything to do with it—the 25th January, 1894, was the first time the suggestion was made, and I at once declined it.
ARTHUR HARE (Police Inspector). I was at the Police-court throughout these proceedings—I was present when Henry McKeone was called as a witness, examined by Mr. Bodkin, and cross-examined by the prisoner's representatives—Mr. McKeone signed his depositions after they had been read to him. (The deposition of Henry McKeone was read. Those parts referring to the charges in the Indictment were as follows: "I am a civil engineer and contractor. I was a partner in the firm of McKeone, Avidor, and Crawley, of 9, Victoria Street. I know defendant Overton. I was introduced to him about July 26th, 1892, at Euston, by Mr. Avis and Mr. Newton; by Mr. Alfred Avis. I think I may say. I was introduced by Newton. I was on my way to Shrewsbury in connection with business for the Shropshire Mineral Light Railway. I had, I should think, learnt about the railway about two months before the introduction. There were letters during this time passing between our firm and the National Mercantile Investment Company—always, I think, in connection with the railway. I first learnt of the company shortly after our return from Shropshire, I think, by letters with that heading coming
from Overton, signing as manager of the company. He offered me farther security in the shape of a debenture bond of George Ambler and Co., Limited. He said that Ambler and Co.'s business of making shoe and heel tips had been a successful business—had been carried on for many years by the late George Ambler, who had built the works at Silsden, near Leeds; that George Ambler had died, the business being carried on by his widow and son; that the National Mercantile Company had undertaken the flotation of the business at Silsden into a limited company; had registered the same and issued the prospectus; that applications locally for the shares had been made; but that the son, who had speculated in Stock Exchange matters, had been foolish enough to file his petition of liquidation just at the moment in which the company was prepared to go to allotment. The applications for shares in George Ambler, Limited, had therefore been withdrawn, and that, in consequence, the National Mercantile and their friends had been (together with Mrs. Ambler) obliged to invest considerable sums in finding the capital necessary to carry on the new company's business. Doing so had denuded his company and himself of ready money, which necessitated his asking my firm or me for the advance. That the debentures were secured on freehold property, buildings, and machinery, valued at £20,000 or thereabouts, on which there was already a first mortgage of, I think, £4,000 or £5,000. I should send up my confidential agent, Mr. Millett, to the office, 26, Charing Cross, to get all particulars. He said that the money was wanted at once. He left a trade journal, describing George Ambler and Co., I think a north country trade paper. He left the debenture bond (marked in red, No. 2). That afternoon I sent Mr. Millett to make inquiries, and next morning I received letter (3). On the 7th November Overton called on me. We touched on the letter (3), every statement in it, in my conversation with him, and I received the assurance from him that the statements in the letter were true. I asked why no dividend had been paid in Ambler and Co.; he said that the company had been a very short time in existence; no dividends had been declared, but the profits were satisfactory. I stated that, having had no further time to inquire into the debenture bond, I should require his personal security in case the National Mercantile should fail to redeem the bond, or repay the debt. I can't say the words I used. He said he would do so, and I think that morning we exchanged letters. I think a resolution was at that interview drafted by Overton. The letter (4) is one of the two so exchanged, written by Overtoil. At the same time there was a discussion as to the resolution. The letter (5) contains the resolution, initialled by both of us. No. 6 is Overton's letter, as to the passing of the resolution in those terms. No. 7 is the letter signed by me; the advance was to be made for six months. I agreed to advance £150, and I accepted in the name of our firm this bill of exchange, dated 7th November. The advance was for three months, but it was understood I was not to press Overton for six months. The advance was for six months; the bill was for three months. I received in blank a transfer of £1,000 debenture stock in Ambler and Co. The name of the witness is S. C. Overtoil; the transferor is H. Williams. The defendant Overton took away the acceptance with him on that occasion. On the 8th November I got this letter (10), signed by H. Williams, secretary. At the time I signed the acceptance
I did so on Mr. Overton's statements, of which I have details, with regard to George Ambler and Co. I wished to assist the railway scheme, and I believed Overton's statements, with regard to Ambler and Co., and his prospects, were true, and that his giving me his personal guarantee in the matter of the acceptance was a proof of the bona fides of his statement. The bond had necessarily had an influence on my mind. I believed that the bond was a security. I did not at that time know who the H. Williams on the bond was. I had letters in that name from the National Mercantile. After November 8th, I received letter (11) of November 10th, 1893, from the National Mercantile; I saw the articles of association of the company before I accepted the bill of exchange. I got the letter (12) of November 16th, 1893. On December 15th I received letter (13). I received letter of January 13th, signed 'A. N. Avis' (14). J received letter of January 26th, 1894 (15), signed 'S. C. Overton.' I read that letter. I saw Overton since. The first time I said I would consult my partners. On the second I said, 'My partners would certainly not consent.' I made no further advance than the one £150. I received letters 16, 17, 18, and 19 from Overton. After letter 19, I must have had further conversations with Overton on the question of advances. I had conversations. Mr. Overton asked, or rather I asked, that we should see Mr. Conybeare on the subject mentioned in Mr. Overton's letter. We received some time during that period draft works, contracts, and financial contracts with reference to the line (marked 20 and 21); 20 is the works, 21 the finance. The contracts were not looked very carefully through by our firm. The financial I would have nothing to do with on any consideration. We never executed either contract. I got the letters 22, 23, and 24 from Overton, and also 25, of the 7th April, referring to Mr. Usill. On the 1st May I got 26 from Overton. On 5th May, or the 6th, the £150 bill became due. I wrote in the name of the firm to the company (not produced), pointing out that the debt was becoming due, and asking for repayment; and I wrote, I believe the same day, to Mr. Overton (I copy letters); I got answer (27), signed 'C. E. Brown 'on behalf of the company. I can't remember if Overton kept the appointment; he made so many he did not keep. I received letter (28). I had written to Mr. Overton that I had seen in one of the papers that a petition had been presented against the company. About 15th or 16th May Overton called on me, and said that he hoped to re-establish the position of his company and pay the loan, and failing that, he would pay it himself. I waited, but the loan wan never repaid. I wrote on 21st May. I never got any satisfactory reply. In no form have I received the £150, or any portion. During the time the loan was to run I took no steps because of my guarantee, my undertaking not to do so. About the beginning of May I first heard something, and I mentioned to Mr. Overton at that time that I was not satisfied with the bond He attempted an explanation. He disputed my assertion that the bank, the first mortgagees, had foreclosed on the property, and further asserted that his company was still negotiating with the first mortgagees to acquire full title of the property, but I cut the explanation very short at the time. I did nothing to realise the bond. I took no steps to do so.
Cross-examined. I knew that Overton was the managing director of the
National Mercantile Company, and that the business of the company (I was told) was the formation of companies. I was told that the company had purchased the Act for the bringing out of the Shropshire Light Mineral Company. I was introduced to Overton with a view to my firm acquiring the contract for the construction of that line Ambler's bond was first mentioned to me on 6th November. I have been connected with public companies, and have had some experience as a professional man in their formation. I knew what a bond of this character meant. I mean a bond in similar language. Mr. Overton wanted this to be pressed forward through quickly, and there was no time to make inquiry. I should not have lent money without the debenture bond. I thought it would be worth something near £150. I did not know that Amblere had gone to smash. I can only say I believed the bond to be worth something—that the company was not so rotten as it turned out to be. I insisted on Overton's personally guaranteeing the bond. It was that his being liable showed he believed in the bond. I had no time to make inquiry as to the value of Ambler's bond. Looking at letter (3), I do not say of my own knowledge that any statement therein is untrue. I think I should have consulted my partners more fully if I had not had Overton's guarantee. I don't think I should have accepted that bill without Overton's guarantee. I first made complaint on receiving a call from Mr. Usill, when he told me his solicitor wished to make a statement to me about Ambler and Co. I complained to the solicitor (Mr. Holt) about the time the bill became due. I did not know about it when the bill became due. After the bill became due I laid this information. Overton offered me £50 down and the remainder at three and six months; some time in September, I should think—after I knew proceedings had been taken I don't suggest that Overton knew at that time proceedings had been taken here. Overton told me that Ambler had property and machinery value £20,000. I make no suggestion as to that not being a fact. I understood Ambler's property had been transferred to Ambler and Co., Limited. Overton did not mention Ambler's business to me on the first occasion. Ambler's business was first mentioned to me on the 5th or 6th November. Between September and November 5th or 6th I would imagine that Overton's company was short of money. I did not understand that Ambler's property would be taken over by the receiver of the estate. I understood that the company had acquired the property before Ambler filed his petition in bankruptcy. According to my knowledge they could only acquire it by paying for it. Overton had informed me that the National Mercantile Company had had to find the money for Ambler's property; that was the reason they were short of money. He told me the Craven Bank held a mortgage on this property, I heard from Overton that a company had acquired the property, subject to a mortgage of £5,000 by the bank I was told that Mrs. Ambler had an interest in the property. I understood that she had transferred all her interest in the property to the company for shares, for a consideration. I know what a debenture bond is. In any debenture bond there should be some charge on the property to secure the debentures. I don't think I asked Overton if any mortgage deed were executed on this property to secure the debentures. I don't think I should ask if a mortgage had
been executed if I went to purchase debentures. I took the debenture bond of £1,000 to be a mortgage on property valued at £20,000, subject to a first mortgage of £5,000. Before advancing this £150 I wanted Mr. Overton's personal guarantee, although I had, as I thought, a mortgage for £1,000. I knew that Mr. Usill was a director of George Ambler, Limited. I knew the secretary of George Ambler, Limited'—Mr. Newton He was the gentleman who first introduced this Shropshire Light Railway Company to me. At that time I think I knew Mr. Overtoil's private address. I had never been to his house. I did not know that it was an expensive establishment; I knew nothing about it. I never heard that Overton had been proprietor of a large block of residential mansions at Queen Anne's Gate till this moment. I have already said that I would not have advanced that £150 but for the debenture bond. I knew nobody else in that company but Mr. Overton. I handed the bill to Mr. Overton before I received the letter as to the resolution of the company. I believe so. Yes."
MYERS HARRIS (Re-examined). This bill drawn by H. H. Avis for and on behalf of the National Mercantile Investment Company, and accepted by Mr. and Mrs. Greville Nugent, dated 19th September, was brought to me about 22nd September by Overton, and I discounted it by three cheques—one for £50, in favour of the National Mercantile Investment Company, which was made payable to bearer, and dated 22nd September—I gave a further cheque for £55, dated 29th September, in discount of the bill, drawn in favour of S. C. Overton and endorsed by him; the third cheque was drawn in favour of A. A. Avis for £10—I advanced a further £125 in cash, I believe, making £200 in all—I fancy some of the money was owing to me—I charged £50 for the discount—in that way the bill was paid to Overton and A. Avis.
Cross-examined by Overton. I have Known Mr. Nugent for some time, and you for some years—I should not have introduced Mr. Nugent to you unless I had confidence in you—about 15th November, at the time when the negotiations for the bill were pending, I came into your office at Charing Crass when Mr. Nugent was there—I don't think the conversation took place there about giving bills for £500 in reference to the quarries—I think it took place before the bill was given—Mr. Nugent mentioned that he was going to have some security; I cannot fix the date—he offered me security—he asked me at the same time with regard to the Ambler bonds, and I told him that they were no good; I said the property was no good—I was aware they were of no present value—I always thought you were making great efforts to get the property transferred, and that was how I was going to get my money—I held Ambler'sbills, and he was bankrupt—I hoped I should get my money by the company going through—I was not in the position of umpire between Mr. Greville Nugent and you—if Mr. Nugent had asked me whether the security was of any value against the bill, of course I should have said so—I tried to persuade Mr. Nugent not to give the bills—I received the letter of 20th September—it is a mistake where it sap no, security should be given; I said I would only discount one, but security was to be given—I would not discount without security—I had no security—he called on me on the 21st; there was a discussion, and I went to Mr. Holt, and he asked me whether there was any security and about
Ambler's bonds—I said, "Certainly not"—you and Avis floated the Alcazar Mining Company with £450,000 capital—it is in liquidation now—Mr. Nugent did not look surprised when I told him that the debenture stock was of no value—I think they were taken for what they were worth.
Cross-examined by A, Avis. The £10 cheque of September 22nd was made payable to you, but I considered the money belonged to the National Mercantile Company, as the bill was from them—I must have been asked to make it out to you by Overton, I suppose—you endorsed it—it was practically a portion of the money I was to pay to the National Mercantile Company; you were a servant of the company—I should do that if I were asked to—I did not consider the prisoners as servants, but really as the principals.
Re-examined. I have known Overton a great many years—I thought up to 1893 that he was going on all right in business; I had no reason to doubt him—I had not unshaken confidence in him up to 1893, as things were going on—I understood he was going on all right in business—that does not mean that he was bringing me plenty of bills to discount; I am not depending on any one man to bring me bills—he was a very bad customer—he was not bringing me a good deal of paper—I did not know of his floating the Beaufort Mansions Company—I knew he was bringing out the Shropshire mineral Light Railway—I think it has not come out—I know nothing of it; he told me he was bringing it out—he brought out the Montgomery Brewery Company—I never heard of the Coed Talon Company; I heard of the Self-registering Till Company; the Ward Self-registering Till Company I thought was the same—I know nothing about those companies—I never heard of the company to purchase laundries, or of the Bevis Company—I heard of the Bread Union; I did not know he brought it out; he was connected with it—I cannot say if he was chairman—the Bread Union was a long time before I knew him.
DANIEL JONES . I am a solicitor, of 47, Chancery Lane—I knew Overton and A. Avis; H.H. Avis I did not know till I saw him at the Police-court—I knew of the National Mercantile Investment Company, at 26, Charing Cross—about 28th October this bill for £250, accepted by Mr. and Mrs. Nugent, was brough to me—Overton and A. Avis then owed me a bill for £160, and sundry loans; about £230, I should think—I think they brough the bill together; they asked me if I could discount it, or get it discounted—I said I thought I could; I kept it—I asked them how they got it, and they said it was in connection with the promotion of a stone quarry company belonging to Mrs. Nugent—I discounted it with Mr. Jones, a client of mine; who gave me £235 for it, and I gave the prisoners the same amount, less some moneys they owed me, and a small sum for the registration of the Cove Quarry Company—I drew against the bill two cheques, for £50 and £115, payable to the National Mercantile Investment company—the balance was made up of £15 for discounting it, £14 10s. for costs, £17 10s. for registering the Cove Quarry Company, £3 for petty cash loan, for the expense of wiring to Mr. Scott; £5 was given to Avis, and I have no record of the last £10—I kept the bill till maturity—I then presented it, and it was dishonoured—I sued Mr. Nugent in the Scotch Courts, as he refused to pay—eventually
I accepted payment of £175 to settle the whole transaction—I recollect having a promissory note of Mr. Richards, of the firm of Richards and Neale—Avis first mentioned it to me, but Overton brought it, and asked if I could get it discounted, and I said I could—I did not know Mr. Richards, a brother solicitor—I put it through my bank, and discounted it for £90—he happened to be banking at my bank—£7 10s. was deducted in respect of a dishonoured cheque for Argles, which I paid to Avis—£65, I believe, I paid to both Overton and Avis; £10 was the bonus, and £17 10s. was retained on account of out-of-pocket expenses in connection with the Windsor Castle Brewery Company—that was on October 3rd—the entry of the £7 10s. for Argles' bad debt is in the cash-book, "Argles commission, £7 10s"—he was Argles, of Bedford—I did not know him as the purchaser of £1,000 debenture stock; I know nothing about that—Mr. Richards paid that bill on presentation—Overton brought me McKeone's acceptance for £150 at the beginning of November—he may have mentioned before it was coming—at that time we had the negotiations on for the Shropshire Mineral Light Railway—I was acting in the matter with Overton—I discounted that bill for £140, I think—the difference was my charge for discounting it—I paid it by several cheques; some to Overton, some to Avis—at maturity, my bankers collected the money, and it was paid to my office.
Cross-examined by Overton. On October 21st I sent down to register the Cove Quarries, but Avis being in London and Overton in Scotland, there was some difficulty about signing the articles of association, and they went backwards and forwards, and the company was not registered till November 4th—I acted on your instructions as manager of the National Mercantile Company in the correspondence with Scott and Co.—delay arose because I did not understand Scotch law, not only about finance—there were technical terms about earnest money and the payment of rent, which were different to the agreement come to between the parties—you seemed anxious to get them thoroughly complete; you were at my office nearly every day, I think—the negotiations for the lease went on up to January this year—you seemed very interested in the quarries, and seemed to think a good deal of the scheme—if I was satisfied that the statements made by you and in the prospectus were true, I could have found some of the capital—I should not have found £3,000—I don't believe in putting all my eggs in one basket—I was never asked to do it, but I thought it was a good concern from what you told me—the lease is referred to in the prospectus—I did not know you as an architect and surveyor before you were connected with company matters—I have employed your services as an architect and surveyor since I have known you—you told me you practised as an architect and surveyor—I knew you from the time you ceased to be represented by John Hughes, of 26, Charing Cross—before you went to Scotland you told me Mr. and Mrs. Nugent were finding the expenses for floating the quarries, and that they were going to provide the £500 by two bills—I always' understood from you that there were to be two bills—you first mentioned the matter to me in October, before you went to Scotland—you may have mentioned that Mr. Holt held one of the bills; I have no recollection of it—nothing was said to me about the capital having to be subscribed before you were entitled to the bill—I think you mentioned
you were going to Scotland to obtain Authority for Mr. Holt to give the bill up—I believe the £250 bill, dated 25th October, was brought to me on 24th or 25th October—I noticed at the time it was the day anterior to the date of the bill, and I asked the reason of it and I understood you to say that Mr. and Mrs. Nugent did not want the bill to fall due on a given date—I fix the 25th as the date it came into my recollection by a letter I wrote to my bankers—I asked you who discounted the other bill, and you told me Mr. Harris had it—I think something was said about taking him one at a time, and I think some reference was made to his extortionate charges—I have no complaint to make against you—I am a loser by you; I put that down a good deal to your misfortune.
Cross-examined by A. Avis. When Mr. Nugent's bill for £250 was brought to me, a bill for £160, of which you and Avis were the acceptors, was running or due—the National Mercantile Investment Company were the drawers—I don't know what you did with the money; you had £150 from me for the £160 bill—I had a retainer from the National Mercantile Company with regard to the Windsor Brewery Company; there is a minute which substantially carries out the arrangement—I don't know if the money was for the National Mercantile—you had it—you were manager for that company—I have seen Mr. Holdsworth Piggott, one of the directors; I never had any dealings except with Overton and you—when I accepted £175 to settle the matter I was left a good deal out of pocket; I should have had to look to the company to pay the balance—I don't think your names were on it—I cannot swear, without reference to the cheques, whether I gave you a cheque out of McKeone's bill.
By Overton. I gave you a cheque for £40 for the balance of McKeone's matter—a few days afterwards £50 was given to Mr. Treherne, I think, on account of the Shropshire Mineral Light Railway Company.
Re-examined. I have had the fact that 25th October was the day on which the bill was brought to me brought to my mind by the proceedings against Mr. Nugent to recover its value—I first remembered it about the time when the bill became due, long before I was examined at the Police-court—my memory was fresher at the Police-court than to-day; I had the cheques before me—about 20th October, five days before the bill was brought to me, I knew it was going to be obtained; Overton said he was going to get it and he asked me if I would discount it, and I said I would—I should think he brought it about 25th October—I said at the Police-court, "On 27th October they were indebted to me in the sum of £95"; £80 I make it out; I have figures taken from my books—my books are not here; I was not asked to bring them here; I had a subpoena to take them to the Police-court, and I took them—I said at the Police-court, "A day or two before the 30th I believe I had the bill"—I am not tying myself to a day—I have no record of this; it was about that time, I said—I cannot remember if it was a day or two before the 30th; I will produce the exact date if you want it—I had that bill on the very day that I wrote to my bank to make inquiry; I should say it was about 25th or 26th.
ARTHUR HARR (Inspector, Scotland Yard, re-examined). On 9th November I had a warrant, and I saw Overton in Earl's Court Square, and said to him, "Mr. Overton, we" (a sergeant was with me) "are police-officers; we have to arrest you on a warrant for conspiracy and fraud"—he said, "Good God! you don't mean it? What, is it over?"—I said, "It is relating
to the George Ambler affair; there will be other charges of fraud on Mr. Greville Nugent, Mr. Cator and others"—he said, "Will you let me see your warrant?"—I put him into a cab—I read the warrant to him; he said, "I am charged with obtaining money from Ambler which Ambler never paid"—I said, "You are charged with obtaining the acceptance"—he said, "Yes, and perfectly bona fide, too"—I took him to the station—the same day I saw Alfred Avis, and told him I had a warrant against him for fraud and conspiracy in relation to the Ambler affair—he said, "You don't mean it? Is it true?"—I said, "Yes, it is true"—I took him to the Police-station, where he was charged—he said, "I think this charge must break down"—I went to the house at which Overton was living, and I there found the printed prospectuses of the Shropshire Mineral light Railway Company, Montgomeryshire Brewery Company, the Self-registering Till Company, a company to purchase laundries, the Bread Union, Bevis and Co., the Shakespeare's Colliery Syndicate, Ward's Royal Check Till Company, and others—I went to Alfred Avis's office, in Warnford Court; I found some of the same prospectuses there, not all of them—the two Avises occupied the fame office—I found this little pocket-book on Alfred Avis—in, the course of the case I got instructions, and made inquiries for Holds worth Piggott, but I was not able to find him.
Cross-examined by Overton. I found Lewin and Argles—Argles came forward after he could not be found—I do not know Piggott—I don't know if he was at the Police-court—we found Lewin at the Police-court on a subpoena.
WALTER DUE (Sergeant, Scotland Yard). I saw Henry Horwood Avis at the Ship public-house, Wormwood Street, on the evening of 9th November—I took him into custody on a warrant, and told him he would be charged on a warrant, in connection with his brother and Overton, for conspiracy and fraud in the Ambler matter—he said, "I don't see how you can charge me; I don't know anything about it"—he handed me some letters—on the way to the station he said, "I had a row with Overton, and it was about that matter I left him"—when charged he made no reply—I took five pawn-tickets from him, and when I gave them back to him on 27th November. 1894, he gave me this receipt: "Received of Sergeant Due five pawn-tickets.—H. HORWOOD AVIS." (MR. BODKIN put in the file in the bankruptcy of H. H. Avis, and the JURY compared the debtor's signature with the signature to the receipt for the pawn-tickets, and with the signatures to various bills and letters.)
BENJAMIN FRANK LINNETT . I received a subpoena this morning, on behalf of the defence, to produce all the documents in my possession, and I have some here; it was the first intimation I had—I am a solicitor—in April, 1892, I was in partnership with Mr. Jones, and we acted for the firm of Overton and Avis in their bankruptcy—I don't know of anything wrong on your part; Counsel attended for you—I acted part of the time as solicitor to the National Mercantile—I acted in the winding-up proceedings—Mr. Pike obtained a winding-up order—Counsel had no time to understand the case; there was a stay, and ultimately the first order was rescinded; the last order was made.
Cross-examined by Avis. About the early part of September, I had
instructions as to a resolution appointing me solicitor in the George Ambler matter, and I entered into negotiations, and a contract was prepared for the purchase of the mills by George Ambler from the Craven Bank—they agreed to convey them, and leave a sum on mortgage—at their request I prepared a draft mortgage, which was sent on—I carried on negotiations till some time in November—at last the bank refused to convey the property, because they said we had not purchased the machinery—I believe I was told that you had always been led to believe they would transfer the property without the machinery; there were two different vendors, and I suppose you mean the bank would sell the free-hold without selling the loose stuff—about October I was in negotiation with Roke and Midgely, solicitors to the trustee, with regard to the purchase of the machinery, and correspondence passed between us—I think they sent a draft contract for the purchase of the machinery—I heard that a clause was struck out, and that Mr. Gray would not wait any longer, and sold the machinery about 10th November—about 22nd September someone came from Mr. Neale about the position the Ambler matter was in—I told him there were two contracts then in course of approval, and I think he told me you and Overton were doing some business with them—I think he said you were borrowing some money—I told him the exact state of affairs.
Cross-examined by MR. MATHEWS. I thought Overton and Avis, when I first heard of them, were company promoters—they failed in 1892—I acted for them in filing their petition—I don't know what they owed their creditors at that time—I think my late firm of Jones and Linnett registered the National Mercantile Investment Company—I went to the Charing Cross office once, I think—I was introduced to Mr. John Laitwood—I saw him a fortnight ago in London—I have not seen him here—I know nothing of Holdsworth Piggott—I have not seen him for mouths; I should like to find him—I do not know J. Havelock Overton; he was said to be a director of the National Mercantile Investment Company, I think—I don't know if the chairman was Mr. Bennett; I never saw him, to my knowledge——I was told that Holdsworth Piggott was a large tea merchant in Tower Street; I could not find out that he was—I did not find him in the Directory—he was a member of some firm, I was told, but no doubt he was there at one time, because they said he had left—I sent down there some months ago, long before this prosecution, and he had left—I had an extract of a resolution, giving me a retainer for George Ambler, Limited, sent me by the secretary to George Ambler, Limited, in July, 1893, I should say—I believe all I had to do with the Ambler business was to file the articles at Somerset House; I did not prepare them—I cannot say that was all I had to do with the National Mercantile—I acted for them in the winding-up petition—no money was paid me on the retainer from George Ambler, Limited—it was hardly a retainer; it amounted to instructions for an agreement—I knew in September or October of the negotiation which was going on as between the bank and the National Mercantile Company, or Mr. Gray and the National Mercantile for the purpose of acquiring this property—that negotiation began in July, I think, it might be August, and was not concluded in October—when Mr. Neale or a clerk called on September 22nd, I knew that a debenture
in George Ambler, Limited, was being offered to Mr. Neale's partner to secure an advance of £200 for him—they came to me for information as to what was being done in Ambler, and I told them there were draft contracts—I would not have lent £200 on that information; I was not asked whether I would or not—I gave all the information I was asked for according to my present memory—we acted as solicitors to George Ambler, Limited, from July to November, I think—I did certain things for the National Mercantile Investment Company from registration till it was wound up by petition in May, 1894—I believed Overton and A. Avis were the managers of it; I did not know anything about the younger Avis—I am not aware that I ever saw the secretary, I had letters from him; I did very little business for him—I believe I had letters from the secretary, H. Williams—I did not know that H. Avis was passing in that name—I knew that the manager and assistant manager in July, 1892, were the same people for whom a petition had been filed in May, 1892—I did not file the petition, and I do not think my partner did; we were not asked to act till just prior to their public examination—we knew the visible principals in the National Mercantile Investment Company were undischarged bankrupts—I should not have gone on doing anything for them unless I thought they were all right—I thought they were clever City men; apparently their credentials were not very good—when that information was sought from me by Mr. Neale on the 22nd September, 1893, I believe a debenture in George Ambler, Limited, was not mentioned as security—Mr. Richards has since told me he viewed it only as a speculation—I am certain I did not give the information at that time that it was a good debenture; I was not asked whether it was good or not, I did not prepare the thing—the public examination of Overton and Avis was sworn to on 13th July, 1892; I was not present—probably the registration of the National Mercantile Investment Company was on 23rd July, 1892, if you say that is the date—I am not aware that a man's bankruptcy makes him a criminal; I did not think it sufficient to make me say I will not have anything more to do with him—if two men came to me, who I knew to be undischarged bankrupts, I would not now proceed at once to. register a company for them; it was indiscreet; I have seen it since, but I did not know it at the time—I went once to the office of the National Mercantile Company, I believe—when I did not go Overton and Avis came to see me on its behalf—I never saw the secretary—when I went there I saw Overton, I believe; they had two or three rooms—I believe a clerk let me in; there was not a large staff of clerks—I cannot recollect anyone I saw in the office besides Overton and Avis—I believe I have seen H. Avis once or twice in my office, when he brought letters from Overton and A. Avis—I believed he was A. Avis's brother—he came with letters from the company—I did not know he was passing as H. Williams, the secretary.
Re-examined by Overton. I believed the National Mercantile was all right—I knew that two individuals could not be a company, and I understood that other people were going to subscribe towards the capital—I believe you told me—no one except you and Avis told me that they were going to find money.
Re-examined by A. Avis. I received a cheque for the registration of the company—this is the retainer I received in George Ambler, Limited,
dated September 29th, 1893; it refers to the board meeting of August 31st, 1893—Usill was supposed to be the chairman of that meeting; the document is signed by Newton, secretary—I knew him.
Overton and A. Avis, in their defences, reviewed the evidence at some length, and contended that they had made no false representations and had no intention to defraud.
GUILTY .—OVERTON— Five Years' Penal Servitude.
ALFRED AVIS*— Four Years' Penal Servitude.
HENRYH. AVIS*— Three Years' Penal Servitude. The COURT commended Inspector Hare and Sergeant Due for their conduct in the case.
NEW COURT.—Monday, May 27th, 1895.
Before Mr. Justice Wills.
MR. DRAKE Prosecuted.
FRANCES ELLEN GERRARD . I am a dressmaker, working at Messrs. Shoolbred's—I was living in April with my husband, Henry Gerrard, at 12, Catherine Road, Stamford Hill—I was married to my present husband on January 21st this year—I was then a widow—I was living with my former husband in 1888, and the prisoner came to live in the house—my former marriage was not quite a happy one, and I became on intimate terms with the prisoner, and left my husband, and lived with him from 1891 to 1893—my former husband died in September, 1893, and I then left the prisoner and resided with one of my sisters—while I was there the prisoner wrote several letters to me, which I have destroyed—in consequence of the letters I went to see him, and when I did not go he wrote letters insulting me—in October, 1894, I returned to him, and lived with him six weeks, during which his conduct to me was fairly good, except being a bad temper—I left him because I was unhappy, and went to Tottenham to another sister, where I met my present husband—after I was married the prisoner wrote to me about a prize; my sister took the letter, and I believe it is destroyed—I went to the prisoner's house—he said, "I hear you are married," and asked if I was coming home again—I said, "No, who do you think would marry me?"—we went out, and had a glass of something to drink and parted—about three weeks afterwards he came to my house, where my husband lives, about ten a.m.—I said, "What do you come for? You know I am married now; why do you come here?"—he said, "Can't I come upstairs?"—I said, "No,"—he said, "What about the medal?" and that he would get a certificate, and would have the medal, and would make a noise—he called me a wretch, and asked me why I got married without telling him—I said, "To please myself"—he walked along, and I said I would speak to a policeman—he said, "Speak to a policeman if you like"—he remained with me till five or six in the afternoon—he said he would have the medal—I borrowed a sovereign from my sister, because he would have some money—he called again in a little over a week, and made a noise at the door—I said, "Don't do that; I will come out"—he spoke about the medal, and said that I should never live comfortably, and he would take
an opportunity to do for me and himself too; he would cut my throat—I was going to Shoolbred's, and I left him at Tottenham Station—on the evening of April 24th I left Shoolbred's, about eight o'clock, with a fellow workwoman, Thoroughgood, and saw the prisoner in Grafton Street—I left my friend, crossed the road, and the prisoner came up to me at Gower street Station—T said, "Why do you follow me about so?"—he said he would knock my b—teeth out, and struck me a blow on my face with, I think, his hand—he said he would do for me; he would cut my throat—I defended myself as well as I could, and I have got the marks now—I was next to the railings, and he stood opposite me and held me—I was taken to University College Hospital, and remained till Saturday week—I am still under treatment, and the doctor says it will be two months before I am well.
Cross-examined by the prisoner. When you came to Tottenham you said that you came to redeem your medal, which I had pawned—I borrowed the money, but you would not take it up—my sister was with me—I did not offer her the money, but I told her I wanted it for the medal—I did not invite you upstairs while my sister went to fetch her nephew.
EDWARD REISS . I live at 12, Grantham Place, Euston Road, and am fourteen years old—on 24th April, about eight p.m., I saw the prisoner and a woman, standing talking by a railing on the same side as I was—he suddenly started struggling, and got the woman's head under his left arm, and seemed to push something bright into her neck—some man came up and pulled her away, and then the man cut his own throat with something bright, leaning against the railing.
HENRY HAWES . I am a pianoforte maker, of 48, Cumberland Street, Caledonian Road—on the evening of April 24th I was in Euston Road, and saw a man and woman struggling—I rushed across the road; his arm was round her neck—I pulled her away from him, and then saw him standing at the railings drawing a razor across his throat—I attended to the woman—a constable came up—I handed the razor to him, took the woman about twenty yards further on, and then took her to the hospital.
HENRY GERRARD . I am the prosecutrix's husband—I have seen the prisoner twice; the last time was a week before April 24th—he had brought me a letter a fortnight before that—he said he had come to tell me my wife's history before I married her—I said that he ought to have told me that before—he said that when he saw her and her sister together he would cut both their throats.
Cross-examined. You said that in Bishops gate Station—you said, "If you knew as much of one as you do of the other you would cut their throats"—you said that you would get out of it by cutting your own.
(The prisoner put in a letter which was partly ready it stated:" Now that you have married the woman you have, I think it is right you should be put in possession of her career. I dearly loved her, and so I do now; I know she pawned my medals; she said it was to get food, but I know what I am going to do about them.")—I had known her five weeks before I married her—I do not know of her writing to you for money.
to me and I saw the prisoner, coming in a very excited state, with his throat cut—I took him to the hospital—he said, "Is the b—f—cow dead? I hope she is; I meant to settle her and myself too, yon do not know as much as I do, and if I get hold of her I will do for her yet"—Hawes gave me a razor stained with wet blood.
JOSEPH NORWOOD BROWN , M.R.C.S. I am house physician at University College Hospital—on April 24th the prosecutrix was brought in; I found her lying on a sofa bleeding from many cuts on her hands, arms, chin, forehead and eyes; there were three clean cuts on her chin, the longest was one and a half or two inches long, not very deep—there was a small cut on the left side of her lip, a cut near her nose, and another on the left eyelid—the main injuries were on her hands and arms—there were five or six cuts on each arm; one was two inches deep, going down to the bone, and on one hand a large cut two and a half inches long—they had been inflicted with a sharp instrument—she was in a state of collapse; she had lost a good deal of blood.
The prisoner produced a written defence, stating that the prosecutrix had lived with him five or six years as his wife while he was employed, but when he was unemployed she left him; that she pawned his medals, and brought home a sailor from Shadwell, and he found them in bed together, and that when this happened he had the razor in his pocket, as he was taking it to be ground.
GUILTY .— Ten Tears' Penal Servitude.
Mr. BIRON Prosecuted, and MR. GEOGHEGAN Defended.
Cross-examined. I have been fourteen years in the force—it is not necessary that a detective in plain clothes should carry a card with him—he has a warrant card given him—there is nothing to satisfy an ordinary person that he is a detective—a good many people have police whistles.
JOHN BASSICH (536 J). About 9.15 on Easter Monday I was on duty in the neighbourhood of Millfield in plain clothes, passing a piece of waste land called "The Slip," and saw a young lady sitting by herself—I went by where she was, but did not say or do anything to her—there was nothing to attract my attention to her—after I got by her, about two yards, I saw the prisoner about a yard away—he said, "Has that man been insulting you?"—she said, "No"—he said, "Have you been insulating my young lady?"—I said, "No, I have not been talking to her"—I said, "I am a police-officer"—he said, "I don't believe it," and immediately drew something from his overcoat pocket and came nearer to me with a dagger like this (produced) in his hand—he stepped back two or three yards and came running at me, and struck me on my left shoulder—I had this walking-stick in my hand, and as he came forward again I knocked him across the head—I did not use the stick to him before I was stabbed—he came at me again and stabbed me on my left eye—he made several attempts to stab me again, but I kept him off with my walking-stick—he made a hole through my coat, jacket, and braces—I had an overcoat on—these (produced) are the clothes I
was wearing—Miss Flood was not there when the stabbing took place; she ran away—I blew my whistle, and the prisoner ran away and jumped over a fence into Fisher's Field and over another fence, and I caught him on a piece of waste ground, struggled with him for u while, and he got away from me—I blew my whistle and called out "Stop"—he ran into Miss Sinclair's arms, who held him till I came up—I said that if he attempted to get away I would knock him down—I was bleeding at that time and too weak to blow my whistle, but I got a boy to blow it for me—we met Sergeant Child and I told him—after that I had no senses—I went into a hospital, and remained there till April 30th; I am still in a weak state.
Cross-examined. The defendant and I were absolute strangers to each other—when I came up to him and Miss Sinclair, I pulled out my whistle and chain—I was in plain-clothes—I had been in Lea Bridge Road; I was sent to patrol anywhere—I never heard of a case of blackmailing about there, it is a spot for young men and women to walk about—I have a card with a number on it, which I have to give back when I leave the force—I carry it with me when I am on duty, but I had not got it then—I did not notice that Miss Flood wore jewellery—Miss Sinclair is eighteen or nineteen—she was holding him, and I may have said, "If you try to escape from that young lady I will knock your brains out"—the prisoner did not say, "Who are you T"—nor did I say, "I will b—well show you," and strike him in the face—I broke my stick three times over his head—I did not hear the prisoner ask two boys Hill and Hall to go for a constable—he was sober.
MARGARET SINCLAIR . I live at 22, Scrutton Street, Finsbury—on Easter Monday I was in the neighbourhood of Millfield, and saw the constable and the prisoner on the ground—the prisoner had a knife of some kind in his hand—he got up and ran towards me; I caught hold of him—the constable was in a very bad state; he wan dropping, and there was blood about him—he said, "The man has stabbed me over the eye and on my left breast"—the prisoner said, "It is all nonsense; the man is a fool; he is drunk"—I asked if he had done anything to him—he said, "No; he has not interfered with me in any way"—he was taken away by a constable.
Cross-examined. The prisoner said he would rather go with a constable in uniform, and to satisfy me that he was a constable Bassich showed me his police whistle—the prisoner kicked me—I have said, "The prisoner asked that one of the boys should be sent for a constable; he used no violence"—I gave evidence twice, and the prisoner came down to my place—a gentleman, who was with me, is not here, nor was he at the Police-court or at the station; he disappeared.
Re-examined. The prisoner kicked me while I was holding him, and it was then that the constable said, "If you try to get away from that lady I will knock your brains out."
By the COURT. I cannot say that the kick was intentional; I altered my mind because it turned out worse than I thought; I have a doctor's certificate.
followed by somebody; I saw him stopped and went up—he asked me to fetch a policeman; I did so.
GEORGE CHILD (Police Sergeant 26 J). I saw the prisoner in custody on Easter Monday, and heard the constable say that the prisoner had stabbed him with a dagger—I handed him over to another constable—I was at the station when he was charged, he said, "I intended to murder him"—I found on him a six-chambered revolver and a ball cartridge, which did not fit it—the prisoner has never complained of having been struck by the constable.
Cross-examined. This revolver is partly out of order, and the cartridge will not fit—I believe the prisoner is a respectable young fellow.
DENIS PAYNE (405 J). I received the prisoner from Child, and took him to the station—on the way there he said, "I did it with a dagger which I threw away close to where I did it, but I don't want my friends to know."
HENRY GOULD . I am a registered practitioner, of 102, Clarence Road, Clapton—I saw Bassich at the station in a state of semi-collapse; he had had a great deal of hemorrhage—he had a stab wound in front of his left shoulder and a grazed wound or scratch on his upper eyelid—they could have been caused by this dagger—the stab on his shoulder would require violence to inflict it; I cannot tell the depth, it was not right to probe it.
Cross-examined. It was a direct stab downwards—it could not happen from two persons struggling and one holding a dagger and the other falling on it.
HENRY MOKENHEIKER . I remember Bassich being brought to the German Hospital on Easter Monday—I found a wound on his left shoulder, penetrating his left lung—it was a dangerous wound—I kept him in the hospital a fortnight, and he was then discharged, not cured, but out of danger.
Cross-examined. It would not require very considerable force; the depth was between one and two inches—I do not think it could have been caused by his falling on the dagger.
Cross-examined. There were a good many traps driving down the road, and it was a very dusty blowing night—I was wearing jewellery—the prisoner left me for a few minutes—I was not sitting down—I noticed a man about thirty yards off coming towards me—before I went into the field the prisoner showed me a dagger, and told me he was wearing his brother's coat, who is a member of a theatrical society, and must have left the dagger in his coat from the last rehearsal—it had a sheath—he seemed surprised when he found it in his pocket—I was very frightened at the man's sudden appearance and walked towards the prisoner—Bassich followed me—the prisoner said, "Has this man been insulting you?"—I could not answer—he could see that I was very frightened—Bassich said, "I will show you who the b—hell I am," and struck the prisoner on the jaw—the prisoner took off his overcoat to
fight, in which the dagger was—I said "Pray don't fight; he has not said anything to me"—he ran away—I did not see Miss Sinclair stop him—if Bassich had only said that he was a constable I should not have run away; I should not have been frightened.
Re-examined. I ran away when they were close together, and after the primmer spoke to Bassich—the prisoner took his coat off directly after the blow was struck—I did not see Mitchell stab him at all—my account is that Bassich said, "I will show you who I am," and then struck him—that is all I saw—directly I saw them close I ran—he had not time actually to take his coat off, because the constable was ready to give him another blow—I am sure I was not sitting down—I did not say at the Police-court, "I went into a field and sat down"—this is my signature to my deposition. (This stated: "I went into a field and sat alone. I was rising when I saw a strange man.") I did not say that.
GUILTY of unlawfully wounding . He received a good character, and his brother stated that his employer thought so well of him that he would keep his place open for him.— Judgment respited.
NOT GUILTY .
NEW COURT. Tuesday, May 28th, 1893.
Before Mr. Justice Wills.
MR. A. GILL Prosecuted, and MR. BURNIE Defended White.
ELIZABETH LAWSON . I live at 7, Princes Street, Westminster—Graham lodged with me; from I think the last week in January till his arrest on March 30th—I knew him in the name of Wincocke—the other prisoners used to come and see him, Warren often, but White not so often—I showed Sergeant James the room he occupied, twelve or thirteen days after he was arrested—I had not disturbed the things he left.
Cross-examined by MR. BURNIE. White only came about three times—his first visit was, I think, towards the end of March, three weeks or a month before they were arrested.
CHARLES KEAN . I am a newsagent, of 173, Vauxhall Bridge Road—about the end of March Graham asked me to take in letters for him, in the name of Renshaw—the first bundle that arrived was 28, which I gave him all together—he has had 60 or 70 letters—he had them every day for a fortnight or three weeks—Warren came once and asked if there were any letters for Renshaw—I said "Yes," but refused to give them to him; he went out, and in about two minutes Renshaw called for them.
ALBERT ROBINSON . I am a clerk in the office of the Poultry newspaper—I produce the manuscript of an advertisement received there on March 5th by letter. (This advertised an incubator for 50 hens' or 30 pheasants' eggs; cost £7 7s., price £3 3s. Signed, C. Renshaw, 173; Vauxhall Bridge Road.)—that was inserted.
ETHEL HARRIETT CONYER . I am proprietor of the Feathered World, a newspaper relating to poultry—I received this advertisement for insertion on March 15th, by post, I think. (In the same terms as before.)
GEORGE DUCK WORTH . I live at Roe Lane, South port—on March 15th I saw this advertisement in the Feathered World, and wrote to C. Renshaw, 173, Vauxhall Bridge Road, and received this reply. (Stating that the incubator was not sold, and asking for a post-office order at ten dags' date.) I enclosed this order for £3 3s.—this is my signature—I put my name on it requesting that it might not be paid till ten days after the date of issue—I received this post-card on the 19th: "Letter and enclosure to hand; will send off incubator to-night or to-morrow morning; will wire yon by what train"—I did not receive it and heard nothing of Mr. Renshaw—I believed it was a genuine letter, from a genuine address.
GEORGE DICKSON . I am assistant to Charles Thomas, a hosier, of 569, Fulham Road—on March 26th, White and Graham came together and bought four shirts and other articles, value £1 5s. 3d.—they offered to pay by this order, on which is a request that it should not be paid for ten days—one of them went away to the post-office and said that it would be all right—they showed me this letter and said, "This was sent up from a friend in the country"—I read it. (This was illegible in parts; it stated that a St. Bernard puppy had arrived safely, ordering another for a friend, and enclosing post-office order for £3 3s.)—I believed the post office order had come in that letter—I changed it and handed him the balance, £117s. 9d., with the goods.
Cross-examined by MR. BURNIE. I do not remember which spoke the most, but Graham produced the order, and asked if I would take it in payment, and went to the post-office—these shirts were fifteen inches size, and White would take two inches more than that—Mr. Thomas gave the change—I said before the Magistrate, "As far as I remember I handed the change to Graham, but they both spoke to me."
CHARLES EDWARD THOMAS . On March 29th Dickson brought me a money order, and I saw Graham and White in the shop—Graham left the shop and came back, and said that the Post Office authorities said that if I passed it through a bank they would pay it—he showed me a letter to show that the order was bona fide, and I cashed it.
Cross-examined by MR. BURNIE. Graham gave me the letter, and I spoke to him.
FANNY ARCHBOULD . I am the wife of Steed Archbould, of Deep Dale, King's Lynn—I saw an advertisement in the Poultry newspaper of March 7th—I answered it, and received this reply. (From Renshaw, 173, Vauxhall Bridge Road, stating that the incubator was in perfect order, and he would send it on receipt of a post-office order at ten days' date.)—I wrote again enclosing this post-office order, and signed a request that it might not be paid for ten days, in consequence of the suggestion in the letter—I did not receive the incubator, and wrote again to Mr. Renshaw, and my letter was returned through the Post Office; this is it. (Marked "Not called for")—this other letter is something like my writing—I believed that the first letter was from a genuine address.
CLARENCE JEREMY . I am assistant to William Griffiths, a hosier, of 300, High Street, Cheswick—on March 30th the prisoners came and bought goods to the value of £1 5s. 3d.—Graham produced a post-office
order, and asked if I would change it as he had not so much ready money—he also showed me this letter—I took it to my master, who gave him the change—after they left I went outside the shop, and pointed them out to Gilmore, the porter.
Cross-examined by MR. BURNIE. It was Graham who said that he wanted some hosiery; White stood by, but did not say anything—it was Graham who produced the order, and asked if I could change it, and he asked if I could give him 2s. 3d., to make the matter even.
WILLIAM GRIFFITHS . I am a hosier, of Chiswick—Jeremy brought me a P.O.O. and a letter signed by the same person who signed the order, and I directed him to change the order—I saw White and Graham in the shop, and saw them leave; I directed my porter to follow them—they were arrested before I had time to pass the order through my, bank. (The Utter was from L. Archer, and purported to enclose Post-office-order for £3 3s., payable ten days after date.)
Cross-examined by MR. BURNIE. Graham pointed out the date of the post-office order; White did not say anything.
GEORGE BACKLAND . I live at 28, Chatterton Square, Bristol—I saw an advertisement in the Feathered World on March 15th, and wrote to C. Renshaw, 173, Vauxhall Bridge Road, and got this reply. (Offering to send the incubator on trial on receipt of a post-office order at tendays' date, and stating that it was new last October, and had only been used twice.)—I sent the order, payable ten days after date—this "R. W. Markham" has been put on it since—I did not receive the incubator, and stopped payment of the order—this letter was not written by me.
HUGH GILMORE . I am porter to Mr. Griffiths, a hosier, of Chiswick—on March 30th I was directed to follow the three prisoners—I followed them to Gunnersbury Station, and they went into a public-house, and then to Mr. Day's, the watchmakers—Warren wont in and the other waited outside—Warren came out and joined them, and they walked away together—I spoke to Mr. Day's assistant, and we followed the prisoners and overtook them, and Warren went back to Mr. Day's shop.
THOMAS DAY . I am a watchmaker, of 474, High Street, Chiswick—on March 30th I served Warren with a watch, value 30s.—he tendered this postal order for £3 3s., signed "Markham"—I saw the signature "Buckland" by the person issuing it—he said he had not any cash, and would I change it—they went to the post-office, to ask if it was good, and they said that it was—he showed me this letter: "36, Gloucester Road, Bristol. Dear Sir,—The instrument arrived safely, and I am very pleased I send you a post-office order payable ten days after date, as requested.—G. BUCKLAND."—I changed the order, and gave Warren the balance—Gilmore spoke to me, and I told Warren I was not satisfied with the order, and he would have to come back; he did so—he took the letter away—I got him to go to the Police-station with me.
Cross-examined by Warren. I got my money back as well as the watch.
Cross-examined by MR. BURNIE. White followed on to the shop and to the Police-station.
WILLIAM JAMES (Police Sergeant F). I saw the three prisoners detained at Chiswick Police-station on March 30th—they were charged with being concerned in stealing by means of a trick, from 300, High Road,
some vests, socks, etc., and £1 8s. 9d. in money—they said nothing—Warren and Graham declined to give their addresses; White gave hit address 1, South Crescent, Bedford Square—I found on Graham £2 10s. in silver, gold, and bronze, a new silver watch, and three postal orders for £3 3s. each, issued at different country post-offices, and the hosiery identified by Mr. Griffiths—some letters were found on Graham in a pocket-book relating to the incubator—they are all at ten days. (The letters each stated that they enclosed orders for £3 3s.)—£1 14s. 6d. was found on White, and a cheque-book on the Bankbook Bank; and on Warren, five packets and an umbrella, and a new cap inside the silk hat which he was wearing—when I searched White he said, "I don't know anything about this; I met the little man" (Warren) "about a month ago in the Windsor, in the Strand, but what his name is or where he lives I cannot tell you; the other man I have seen many times, but his name I do not know, as I returned a short time ago from America"—that was Graham—I afterwards received this letter from Warren at Holloway. (Stating where his wardrobe was, and asking him to call on his sister-in-law who would bear out his statements; and on Mr. Tew, who would speak as to his honesty.)
Cross-examined by MR. BURNIE. Warren and Graham gave their addresses so that White could hear them—I went there and made inquiries, and there was nothing against him.
By the Court. I found the address Warren gave—the place is occupied by his brother—I found some dirty things there—I told Warren where I had been, and that he did not live there—he failed to give me his address, but he gave me the names and addresses of several gentlemen who I have since seen—Mr. Tatham, of 47, Jermin Street, who I went to, said that he had known him many years, and spoke in the highest terms of him, his only failing being drink—four other gentlemen in the same street spoke in equally high terms of him.
WALTER GRANT (645 T). Sergeant James and I searched a room at 7, Grover Street, Westminster, shown us by Mrs. Lawson, and found the shirts and collars identified by Mr. Thomas—I had charge of Warren at Chiswick Station on March 30, and saw him endeavour to destroy a letter by throwing it on the fire—I saved it. (This was the letter-from Mr. Buckland).
Cross-examined by Warren. You did not tear the letter quite openly, you tried to shield it.
Cross-examined by MR. BURNIE. The Saturday on which they were arrested was the day of the University boat race.
Warrens Defence: I plead guilty to attempting it. It is my first offence. I have always borne a good character. I have been in prison over two months.
Graham's Defence. I plead guilty to the charge of uttering, but I had nothing to do with the advertisements. As soon as I saw what these letters were used for, I declined to have anything to do with them. I have been out of work some time, or I should not have taken part in it.
GUILTY . GRAHAM then
PLEADED GUILTY to a conviction of Forgery at Exeter on December 2nd, 1891.— Eight Years' Penal Servitude. WARREN— Twelve Months' Hard Labour. WHITE— Six Months' Hard Labour.
FOURTH COURT.—Tuesday, May 28th, 1895.
Before Mr. Common Serjeant.
MR. BIRON Prosecuted, and MR. ROOTH Defended.
ARTHUR WELLS . I am undergoing my sentence of seven years' penal servitude, at Wormwood Scrubbs Prison, for uttering three drafts for the payment of tea guineas—that was at the April Sessions of this Court—I have since given information to the police—I know the prisoner as Bradbury—I had known him three or four months—I first met him at Waterloo Railway Station on a platform—he asked me how I was getting on, and about my luck, and said he had had rather rough and hard times, And asked would I like to join him in getting some money—he said he had been a grocer's assistant, and connected with the trade for many years—he said he could get some fine situations in the grocery trade by Advertising in the Daily Chronicle, the Daily Telegraph, and such newspapers, the replies to be addressed to a certain box of the newspapers; going the next day, obtaining the key of the box, and selecting two or three of the most likely applications for the position of manager, and use the references as having been written by himself—I arranged to meet him the next day—I met him in the Lord Hill the next day, when he said his plan then was to cash a cheque; it was a better plan; he would write a draft on different bankers and enclose it in a letter purporting to come from the customer to the tradesman, who would cash the cheque for fear of losing the customer—he would select a neighbourhood, and in the morning watch the different carts collecting orders from the shops, take the name of the cart down and the number of the house it had been to; after the cart had left he would ascertain the names of the people in the house where the cart had been by making himself out to be collecting for a directory—the draft was to be written on plain paper by Stevens, that he was a very good penman and could print copper-plate, or imitate a lady's or anybody's hand—he said he did that at night when all was quiet and his wife and family were in bed; he would buy a rubber stamp in Fleet Street of the number of the house to put on the heading of the paper—I consented to join him—on 16th March I went with him to Harvey and Shillingford's, a grocer's, at Stoke Newington—before I went into the shop he showed me the letter, and the draft he had printed or written like this. (Produced)—I was to take it into the grocer's as the son or servant of the sender and ask the grocer to cash it—I did so and got £10—I also went to Mr. Sidney Andrew Hall's shop, Stamford Hill Pavement, And got this draft cashed by the assistant—I got them from the prisoner—a letter was with them—I also went into Palmer and Bryant's and got this draft cashed, the letter purporting to come from Mrs. Fox—the prisoner waited outside—he said he would like to take money at Palmer And Bryant's because he owed them a grudge; they were dirty dogs—I Afterwards met the prisoner outside and went to a public-house in the Kingsland Road, where I gave him all the money, £31—I believe a note was with it—he said it was a good day's work, and he gave me my third hare, keeping the other two-thirds—we then took a four-wheel cab and
stopped at Guest's, in Holborn; then went through Chancery Lane and paid the cabman's fare, 5s. or 6s., outside a public-house in Fleet Street.
Cross-examined. I am thirty-five years of age—I was a private inquiry agent; also a commission agent—I was never a police inspector, or connected with Scotland Yard—I was employed by Wilson in the Euston libel case on behalf of Inspector Bryant and Ernest Parks, the sub-editor of the Star newspaper, who received not two years but twelve months—he was liberated before he completed his term—the defendant was found guilty—I have been previously convicted—my longest sentence was five years—I have been charged with uttering but not with forging cheques—I pleaded guilty—I had seen the prisoner's face in prison—the first time I spoke to him was at Waterloo Station—when we met there he knew my face and I knew his—I am not scholar enough for forgery—any child can utter—I came here voluntarily, not with a view to my sentence being reduced, but to bring the more guilty one to justice—the cabman was a stranger to me before I engaged him—I did not ask him where he lived—I gave information to the police—the shops were large; Hall's was smaller than the others.
Re-examined. I had a conversation with the cabman when I dismissed him about Kempton and the Grand National races—I introduced the prisoner to Thomas Butcher, and we had a drink together.
ALFRED UPSTER IBBERSON . I am manager to Messrs. Palmer and Bryant, grocers and provision merchants, of 171, High Street, Stoke Newington—on 16th March Keys, the cashier, handed me this letter and draft for £10 10s., which he cashed—I had known Mrs. Fox some sixteen years—the next morning I saw her, and in consequence of what she said I gave information to the police—the prisoner was arrested the following morning—he was our manager, from 1886 to 1890, of the provision department, 115, High Street—he would know every customer.
Cross-examined. Our shop is one of the largest in the neighbourhood; it is an attractive shop; we do a large business.
ELLIN WISEMAN . I am servant to Mrs. Fox of 8, Amhurst Park—eight or nine weeks ago the prisoner called at the house—when I opened the door he said, "Who lives here?"—I said, "Mrs. Fox"—he asked who lived next door; I said, "Mrs. White"—he asked who lived next door; I said, "Mrs. Cross field"—he asked who lived the next door, I said I did not know—I afterwards went to the Police-court and picked out the man who made these inquiries.
Cross-examined. I had never seen the man before he called, nor again till I went to the Police-court—the police-sergeant did not describe him. I said "Mrs. Fox," not "Thomas Fox"—the sergeant stood by my side when I identified the prisoner from seven or eight—I did not notice how he was dressed—I thought the men looked shabby—shabbier than he—I stood some time hesitating—Sergeant Bower said I was to look well at the man.
Re-examined. I was anxious to make no mistake, and had a good look at him—I have no doubt now—after looking at them all I identified him by his face.
Co., grocers, 84, Stamford Hill—on March 16th Wells brought me this draft in this envelope—I know McCalls as customers—I cashed this draft for £10 10s.—I gave him 10s. short—the next day I found I had made a mistake, and sent to Mrs. McCall—in consequence of the communication I received from her I went to the police.
Cross-examined. Shillingford's is a large attractive shop—we do a large business.
Cross-examined. My husband died in October last.
IOUIS GRANT . I am servant to Mrs. McCall—early in March the prisoner came to the house and asked me if it would be right to put the same name in the directory—I said I did not know; it was uncertain about our staying there, as the house was put up for sale—there was a board up—I afterwards went to the Police-court and picked out the prisoner as the man I believed to have called, I would not swear to him.
Cross-examined. He asked me if Mr. McCall was dead—I said he was—people do call with regard to the directory—I did not pay particular attention to him—the men at the Police-court were shabbier than the prisoner.
WILLIAM SHARPS . I am post-office clerk in the shop of Mr. Hall, a grocer, at St. Andrew's Pavement, Stamford Hill—on March 16th I remember Wells bringing this letter and cheque as coming from Mr. lines, a customer—I cashed it and gave the money to Wells.
Cross-examined. I did not know Mr. Lines was dead—my employer thought it was perhaps the brother, and gave instructions.
WILLIAM MOODY . I am chief ledger clerk at the Capital and Counties' Bank—these three cheques, purporting to be drafts on our bank, are not ours—they are attempts to imitate our cheques—neither of these people ever had an account at our bank.
GEORGE EARL I drive a four-wheel cab—in the beginning of March I took up two men outside the corner house, Finsbury Park—it was a Saturday night—I drove to the Victoria public-house in Holborn and then to the other end of Chancery Lane, where I was dismissed—the fare was 6s.—one man was Wells; he paid the fare—I could not identify the other one.
Cross-examined. I never spoke to the man I do not recognise—I had not seen Wells before nor since till I saw him at the Police-court.
WILLIAM JAMES THOMAS . I am a butcher, of 27, Weymouth Street, Blackfriers—I have known Wells a number of years—the beginning of this year he came to me with the prisoner—he was outside the shop—we said, "Good morning," and we adjourned to a house and had refreshments—I picked the prisoner out as the man I had seen—I could make no mistake, because I had seen him the second time—he inquired where Wells lived—that was about a fortnight after.
Cross-examined. The prisoner Hid not know Wells' address, and I did not—he was at some stores as a clerk.
CHARLES BOWER (Sergeant N). I remember receiving a communication from Wells—I went on 27th April to 5, Borough Road—I said to the prisoner, "Is your name Bradbury?"—he said "No"—I said, "You are known as that by Arthur Wells, who is now undergoing sentence, and in that name I shall take you into custody for feloniously forging and uttering forged cheques in various parts of the Metropolis"—he said, "I do not know who you mean; I do not know Arthur Wells; my name is Stevens"—I searched the room—I found this printed slip of the trial of Wells, and this letter (from Mr. Milligan, solicitor, 8, Cliffords Inn: "See us Wednesday morning at eleven o'clock n addressed to Bradbury, and dated 11th April)—on April 11th Wells was in custody—I was looking over the papers on the table, and looking at the rent-book—he said, "You do not want to have that; that is only the rent-book I made out for the people upstairs"—with regard to some notes, he said, "That is only some notes I made about some racing at the time"—I took him to Stoke Newington—on the way in the train he said, "What has that scoundrel said about me?"—I replied, "He says that you forged the cheques that he was convicted of uttering"—then he said, "I am all at the mercy of a fellow like that"—the charge was taken at the station and read over to him—he said, "I want you to make a note of this: I never had any transactions respecting cheques or anything dishonest with him, either good, bad, or indifferent; I thought I was going to be charged with uttering cheques, but it makes a lot of difference being charged with Wells, as I never uttered a cheque."
Cross-examined. Wells was arrested on 5th April—I told the prisoner I should search the room after telling him what I was going to arrest him for—I found a stamp pad—I did not think it was necessary to bring it here—some time after I arrested him he said, "I am good enough for anything, but I cannot use the pen"—the prisoner was identified from five or six—they were not shabbily dressed—they were dressed as working men—I do not agree with the witnesses who say the prisoner wag better dressed—Wiseman did not hesitate beyond half a second—I think she was confused as to the time.
ALFRED WARD (Detective H).—I was with Bower when the prisoner was arrested—I searched the room—I was present when the note addressed to Bradbury was found—I heard him deny his name was Bradbury—I asked for an explanation.
(MR. ROOTH objected to this evidence on the ground that the prisoner was in custody at the time, and contended that the evidence should be rejected. He referred to "The Queen v. Gavin" in 15 Cox, in support of his contention. The COURT held that this case was dissimilar, and refused to reserve the point for the Court of Crown Cases Reserved.) When I found the letter which came from Wells' solicitor, I said to Stevens, "You have already denied your name is Bradbury, How do you account for this letter?"—he said, "Several letters have been addressed here to Bradbury; I always return them"—I said, "Why did not you return that one?"—he said, "I kept it for curiosity"—I found this agreement signed by Bradbury—I showed it to him—he said, "That is an agreement I drew up between myself and a man named Pearce—I said, "Have you signed it Bradbury?"—he said, "Yes."
(This was dated March 30th, 1894, and was for the service of Bradbury
to Pearce)—I found a number of letters, some addressed to Pearce, marked PI, 2 and 3—before the case came on at the Police-court the prisoner asked me what Wells had said about him—I told him t Wells said that he forged those notes and that he uttered them—he said, "I never saw Wells more than about two or three times; the first time I met him was at Waterloo Railway Station."
FREDERICK PEARCE . I live at 8, Castle Terrace, Uxbridge—I am manager to Messrs. Holland, grocers, of that address—at the end of January or the beginning of February, 1894, the prisoner applied for the position of manager, as Thomas Bradbury—I had previously received a letter applying for the position—we had a conversation about some fixtures, and I received a further letter about them—then some conversation as to whether he could sleep in or not, and he wrote about that—then he came and commenced his duties—amongst them was the duty of entering cash in this book—this is his writing—I have seen him write many times—these letters are his writing—I believe these cheques are in his writing.
Cross-examined. He was not the bookkeeper, though he wrote up the books; he was the manager—we expect a bookkeeper to write a clear hand—he is a good writer—I do not call these books copper plate——"Palmer, Bryant" in the cheque is a little disguised.
THOMAS HENRY GUERRIN . I am an expert in handwriting, of 59, Holborn Viaduct—I have had ten years' experience—I examine writing for the Treasury, public authorities, and Scotland Yard—I have examined the documents in this case—including the rent book and notes referring to racing, also the agreement with Pearce, which are admittedly the prisoner's writing—these letters and cheques marked P 1, 2, and 3 are also the prisoner's writing—these entries in the cash book are his—there are certain instances of marked similarity in the writings—the letters are disguised—they profess to be ladies' writing—the cheques are another form of disguise, but still the prisoner's writing—both are undoubtedly written by him—I have made a report and given my reasons, and I am prepared to give them here.
Cross-examined. The "P" in "Pen" and the "T" in "Thomas" are the same writing, and the "F" in "Fox" is similar—most people make letters two or three different ways—allowances must be made—habit would affect the hand, such as writing Greek—the "t" in tickets and in "ten" appear very similar—there is no back stroke in the book, neither is there in one of these "t's"—looking at the general characteristics of the writing I have no doubt of their similarity—writing with a different pen may cause a little difficulty, but after a little time the peculiarities indulged in may be discovered—there are similiarities in all writing, but to a limited extent—copperplate from a copybook is alike only so long as the model is adhered to, then people begin to form their own hand and get away from the model and introduce their own peculiarities and individualities into the writing—your copperplate and mine are not the same—this "Capital and Counties Bank, Limited," is an attempt to imitate copperplate—this (the written part of the draft) is ordinary commercial hand—I have not based my conclusion on the similarity of the writing in that line; I believe the whole document is by one hand—I find there are similarities in the whole of the draft as between the copperplate and the writing—the "S" in "Shillingford" on this
cheque is quite different from the "S" in "Stevens" on that page. (Of the cash-book)—I say it is the same hand, because immediately under it I find another "S" of a different shape, which corresponds with the "S" in "Shillingford"—there is a wide margin; no two people make their "S's" alike—I am not here to give evidence on the opinions of other experts—on the Parnell Commission the Piggott letters were examined by Mr. Netherclift—I was not familar with the case—I could not say whether Mr. Netherclift was mistaken—experts may make mistakes, but they are often right in their opinion, based on experience in examining handwriting, in my case of eighteen years.
GUILTY .* He also
PLEADED GUILTY to a conviction of felony at this Court in July, 1892.— Five Year' Penal Servitude.
There were two other indictments against the prisoner.
OLD COURT.—Wednesday, May 29th, 1895.
Before Mr. Common Serjeant.
477. GEORGE WOLLARD, Unlawfully obtaining £17 from William Knight by false pretences. Three other Counts, for obtaining £90 from William James Turner, £15 5s. from George Myles, and £3 10s. from Henry James Smart, by false pretences.
MESSRS. WARBURTON and KEMP Prosecuted.
WILLIAM KNIGHT . I am landlord of the Cobden's Head, Kingsland Road—on Saturday, 16th March, the prisoner came there about three in the afternoon—he asked me to have a drink with him—that was the first time I had seen him—he said he was coming into possession of £40,000, which had been left him by his uncle; that £22,000 was in hard cash in the City Bank, and £18,000 in property at Guildford, and two cottages at Canning Town—I congratulated him upon that—I saw him again on the following Monday morning, and the same kind of conversation took place—he came in as a customer, and also on the Tuesday, when he showed me some documents, referring to what he had paid for Probate duty—he said he had a notice from the Court that he had to pay ten guineas into Court for some legal expenses on his uncle's estate—he said that £22,000 was to be paid over to him on the 6th of April this year—I said to him, "If you are ten guineas short, can I assist you?"—he said "Yes"—I said, "I will give you the ten guineas"—he said, "You may as well make it fifteen," and I gave him a cheque for £15—he said eventually, "I will be a good friend to you; I will get you into a better house than this"—I believed his statement to be true, and advanced him the money in consequence—he said his uncle's name was John Charles Wollard, that he died on 6th September, 1893, at New Guildford, in the county of Surrey—I saw him 'again on the 25th March—he then told me that he had run short of money, and asked if I would lend him a sovereign—I did so—in the meantime he showed me a receipt for £14 10s. for the "Court expenses, instead of ten guineas—he said his rents were due on the 6th of April, and he would pay me all back before a month—I believed his statement—that would be at the time I gave him the cheque; before that time and after, also, and when I lent him the pound—on the 29th March I saw him again; he then said he was a little bit short, would
I lend him a sovereign, and I lent him another sovereign—he told me the same tale, that I should be paid back on the 6th of April, when the rents were due, that he should draw the first month's £96, and that the £22,000 lying at the City Bank would be transferred to him from his uncle's estate on that date—I went to Somerset House to look for the will of John Charles Wollard—I could not find it, and I gave information to e police—I never got back any of the £17—I did not see to the prisoner any more till he was arrested—this document (marked 6) the prisoner showed to me, I think, on the 29th; I can't say for certain—it was at one of the interviews; he did not leave it with me. (This being read purported to be a sale by John Charles Wollard to Mr. T. Reed, of Apsley Lodge, Guildford, for £1,000, dated 10th February, 1895; witnessed, but not executed)—I did not go to Guildford.
Cross-examined by the prisoner. The total amount of the property you told me was £40,000—the reason you gave me for not paying me was that you had been poisoned; that was on the 6th April—you sent me a postcard to that effect—I called and saw you in bed on the 8th; you looked very bad—I gave your wife 10s.—I thought you looked hard up—I sent a man named Goddard to your wife on 5th May, after you were in custody, to see if she would refund the money I had lent you—I did not tell her if she would refund I would not appear against you—if I had got it I would have given it to Detective Willis—I have seen Mr. Tainton, one of your creditors—I am not aware that you have made arrangements with him to pay the whole of your creditors—I do not know persons named Barclay, or Coleman, or Dennis.
THOMAS KELPIN . I am an accountant, of 43, Goswell Road—on 16th March I was in the Cobden's Head, kept by Mr. Knight—I saw the prisoner there—he got into conversation with Mr. Knight with regard to a large fortune left him through his uncle, and £22,000 in ready money in the city Bank in finch Lane, and £18,000 in house property—on 18th March I saw him there again—I saw Mr. Knight give him money on each occasion—the first time he gave him a cheque for £15; on the 18th he gave him a sovereign—he said he wanted money to pay his law expenses, and finish the matter up in respect of his uncle's will, and he would pay him the whole back on April 6th—on March 25th I saw Mr. Knight give him another sovereign.
Cross-examined. The cheque was given at your place—I read some documents which you showed me, but there were so many I can't recollect which I saw—I saw names on them and a stamp—I don't recollect the names—I saw you once in bed; your wife said you had been poisoned—I did not see a doctor's certificate.
ALFRED COOPER . I am a cashier in the City Bank, Finch Lane—I have searched the books of the bank to find the name of John Charles Wollard and have not found it, either deceased or living—I never saw the prisoner.
WILLIAM JAMES TURNER . I keep the Bluecoat Boy in Dorset Street—about December, 1893, I made the prisoner's acquaintance as a customer at my house—about two days after he became a customer, he showed me this letter. (This letter purported to be from Brockenshaw Brothers, solicitors, 91, High Street, Borough, dated September 7th, 1893, to W. Wollard, I, Huntingdon Street, Kingsland Road: "Please to call
at our office, Mr. Wollard having died leaving you absolute heir to all his property")—he said his uncle had left him the money and he was coming into possession of it shortly, but he had not sufficient money—he said he had fourteen freehold houses at Guildford and two in Canning Town, and £22,000 on deposit at the City Bank at the corner of Finch Lane; that his uncle's name was John Charles Wollard, late of Guildford—I believed it all, from the letter he showed me—he said he wanted money to pay expenses, Probate duty and stamping—between December, 1893, and 23rd April, 1894, I lent him at various times about £35—he showed mewhat I thought were legal documents, supposed to come from the Court, signed by judges—on 14th January, 1894, I received this letter from him. (Stating that the Court had fined him £ 5 for not complying with an order, and he would see me the instant he was clear of the Court)—on receiving that I advanced him some of the money. (A number of other letters were put in making various excuses for not calling, and soliciting aid to complete necessary arrangements)—altogether I lent him £380 at various times—I have never received back a farthing—I made these advances believing his statements, and that the documents he showed me were geninue.
Cross-examined. There have been constant communications going on between us, since you had the last of my money—you proposed an insurance, but they would not accept you—I went to your place in April, and saw you in bed with your wife—I did not believe you had been poisoned—you showed me a doctor's certificate—you mentioned to me the name of Bartlett, and I asked you to introduce me to him—I saw the name of Bartlett in one of the documents; I did not see the name of Tattingdon.
GEORGE MYLES . I keep the Greyhound, at 92, Balls Pond Road—I made the prisoner's acquaintance in October, 1894—he came to my house as a casual customer, and soon after he told me that he had just lost his uncle, who had left him so much property—he borrowed £10 of me, and I think he gave me £2 interest—altogether he got about £40 from me in various sums—I lent him superfluous cash, which I never accounted for—he said the property was in houses at Guildford, and £22,000 in the City Bank—he showed me several documents, and said he could not get the property before twelve months elapsed, as it was thrown into Chancery—I lent him the money on the condition that he would get the property in a twelvemonth, and from the legal documents he produced, some signed by judges; Mr. Justice Charles and Justice Hawkins.
Cross-examined. You repaid me the £10 I first lent you, and gave me a certain amount of interest.
HENRY JAMES SMART . I am a publican, at 50, Mare Street, Hackney—I formerly kept the Norfolk Arms in Hackney Road—at the end of October, 1893, the prisoner came there as a casual customer—three or four days after he showed me certain documents, and said he had an uncle who had died at Guildford, and he had come into considerable property, horses, carriages, land, houses, etc., and that he was worth thousands of pounds; and that there was a considerable amount at the City Bank in Finch Lane—he said he was going to Guildford to bury his uncle, and he asked me for some money, and I lent him £3 10s.—he was in mourning—he said his uncle's name was Wollard; I think it was John Charles Wollard, of Clarence Villa, Guildford—he did not tell
me his age—I believed his statement—I wrote to the prisoner at that address about a week after, asking him to return me the £3 10s.—the letter was returned through the Dead Letter Office—I then went down to Guildford and made inquiries—I did not find any Clarence Villa, or any person named Wollard—I went to the undertaker's, and could not trace the name in the books—I heard nothing about the death of his uncle—it was about 3rd November that he was supposed to be going to the funeral—on November 6th the prisoner brought me this letter; this was before I wrote for the money. (This letter purported to he from the prisoner's wife, and stated that her husband's of airs were all settled, and he was about to draw some money on Wednesday, and requested a loan of £2 or £3.)
Prisoner: I did not owe him the money; my wife paid him. Witness: Never.
PHILIP WILLIS (Police Sergeant). On Saturday, 20th April, I arrested the prisoner on a warrant, which I produce—I read it to him, and told him I should arrest him for fraudulently obtaining money from Mr. Knight—he said, "I know the representation was wrong; I have been drawn into this by four men" (mentioning their names). "The documents that I showed Mr. Knight, which purported to be signed by the judge, are at my safe in the Chancery Lane Safe Deposit; my wife has the keys"—on Monday, the 22nd, I received the keys from the wife—I went to the Chancery Lane Safe Deposit—he had a safe there—I obtained some letters, and a document—on the 6th of this month T went to Guildford—I made inquiry of the Registrar of the district to ascertain if any John Charles Wollard had died—he examined the books, and there was no such entry—I found no such place as Clarence Villa—I made inquiry about Mr. Brockenshaw, of 96, High Street, Borough—I found 96 had been a hosier's shop for thirty years—there is a Brockenshire, a solicitor, at No. 51.
Cross-examined. You applied for bail before the Magistrate; it was refused—I saw you hand a statement to the Magistrate—it was a letter to the Commissioner of Police; this is it. (This was to the effect that he had been the dupe of two persons, named Coleman and Bartlett, who were then in prison, and requesting that a detective might be employed to assist him in proving his assertions)—I saw the prisoner on the following day—he told me that he wanted to get bail, and he could point out the parties—I made a report to the Commissioners, and the prisoner's application was refused—in the safe I found the document with the seals, and one or two receipts, and some letters from a solicitor relating to other matters.
The prisoner called
HARRIET ELLEN HARVEY . I live at 43, Shepperton Road, Islington—I am married; I am a jet worker—I am your step-daughter—you have on several occasions told me you have been to Guildford—I have heard you and my mother in repeated conversations use the names of Bartlett and Coleman—some of the writing on this document with the seals is yours; I could not say about the signature—my mother and you told me on 6th April that you were suffering from the effects of poison—I did not see the doctor—my mother told me that the doctor gave a certificate to that effect—I was present on 16th April with my husband at your house;
you then agreed to take over the house, 167, Balls Pond Road, from Miss Woods, and the landlord agreed to accept you as his tenant.
Cross-examined. The prisoner's present wife is my mother—I don't think my mother was at Clarence Villa, Guildford, on November 6th—this letter purporting to come from my mother from Clarence Villa, Guildford, is not in my mother's writing—I never knew of her being there—I think it was a week before my mother married the prisoner that I heard about this money and property at Guildford.
Re-examined. I have repeatedly heard you and my mother speaking about it.
The prisoner, in his defence, stated that he had been deceived by others with regard to this property, and that he had acted with no intention to defraud.
The prisoner had previously been sentenced to two terms of ten years' penal servitude, and to five years' penal servitude, and to twelve and six months' hard labour. He had two years and eighty days to serve of his last sentence of ten years. The detective stated that since the prisoner's release in August, 1893, he had obtained about £1,300 by fraud.— Five Years' Penal Servitude on first, and Five Years' Penal Servitude on the second count (consecutive sentences)—in all Ten Years' Penal Servitude.
Before Baron Pollock.
478. ELIZABETH DALLMAN (38), and ALBERT GUSTAVE KOPSCH (34), were indicted for unlawfully procuring Frederika Dallman to have carnal connection with the said Albert Gustave Kopsch, she not being a common prostitute or of known immoral character. Kopsch was also charged with carnally knowing the said girl, she being under sixteen years of age.
MR. HUTTON Prosecuted, and MR. DRAKE Defended.
GUILTY .— Twenty Months' Hard Labour each.
MR. HUTTON Prosecuted, and MR. DRAKE Defended.
CHARLES BEILBY . I am a labourer—I occupy a house, 2, Poplar Street, Canning Town—the prisoner is my aunt—she occupied a room in my house for about seven months—she was confined in February—the child was about seven weeks old when it died—on Friday evening, 5th April, about half-past seven, I came home and went into the kitchen—the prisoner and my mother were there—the prisoner had the child with her—she remained about five minutes—she looked as if she had been drinking—I noticed that she staggered across the kitchen as she left—I followed her to the bottom of the stairs; I thought she would fall back—she went upstairs—about a quarter to eleven, as I was in the kitchen, I heard a fall upstairs in the prisoner's room at the top of the house—I went up, and saw her lying on the floor alongside of the bed, with the
child in her arms—I took it out of her arms, and turned her round, but I could make nothing of her—I took the child to Mrs. Gillman on the second floor; she took it out of my arms and said, "The child is dead"—I went immediately for a doctor and then to the Police-station and reported—when I came home the prisoner was sitting on the side of the bed crying—she seemed muddled—that was about twelve o'clock.
Cross-examined. My mother was with her on the ground floor—when she left the kitchen she had to go up to the third floor—she had the child in her arms—she got up the first flight of stairs all right; I did not see her on the second flight—I can't say whether she suffered from fits—I never saw her in one; she had been hysterical—my mother is very aged and deaf.
JANE GILLMAN . I am a widow—I occupy two rooms at 2, Poplar Street—on 5th April, about ten minutes to eleven, I was called by the last witness—he brought the baby downstairs; it was dead—I went and fetched a neighbour—I saw the prisoner Bitting in a chair crying—she was under the influence of drink—she had not undressed.
Cross-examined. She told me on that day she had gone to the docks to meet a friend coming from abroad—she left the baby in my charge—she returned about half-past twelve—she was sober then—I saw her again about a quarter to four in the afternoon; she was perfectly sober then—she said she was waiting for her friend to come and see her that night—she did not say she had had a few glasses of ale with him; she might have said so—she said she was to come home and make up a fire for him, and she did so—I had never seen her under the influence of drink before—I next saw her after eleven that night; she was then sitting on a chair, crying—I said to her, "Annie, how is this?"—she replied, "I don't know; I must have had a fit"—I then told her the child was dead—I saw her next morning—she then said she must have had a fit or a faint, and fallen off the bed.
Re-examined. I have seen her two or three times in a week, and then perhaps not for a week—I heard of her being once locked up for drunkenness—she told me so herself—I laughed, and said I did not believe it—she said it was true, but the charge was dismissed.
ARCHIBALD JOHN CAMPBELL . I am a qualified medical practitioner, of 234, Barking Road, Canning Town—on April 5th, about twelve at night, I went to the prisoner's rooms, and saw the child lying on the bed in its ordinary day clothes—I examined it; it was dead—I concluded that the death was from syncopy, caused probably by some shock—the mother tumbling on the floor with it in her arms could have caused it—I saw no signs of violence—the prisoner was in a dazed, muddled condition, in my opinion from the influence of drink—she made no complaint of having a fit.
Cross-examined. I made a post-mortem of the child—the brain and lungs were perfectly normal; it was fairly well nourished, and appeared to have been well attended to.
Re-examined. The prisoner's speech was so indistinct, that I could not make out what she said.
am going to arrest you for the manslaughter of your child"—she said "Do they say I killed the baby? I had a little drink, I know"—she made no reply to the charge.
NOT GUILTY .
There was another indictment against the prisoner for unlawful neglect of the said child, upon which no evidence was offered.
NOT GUILTY .
Before Mr. Common Serjeant.
MR. WARBURTON Prosecuted.
WILLIAM JOHNSON (575 N). I am stationed at Walthamstow—on 25th April, about half-past six, I was on plain cloches duty in the bar of a public-house—I called for some drink, and as I turned from the bar I saw the prisoner; he had got his two hands under my coat, with his fingers in my waistcoat pocket—I said, "I shall give you into custody"—I got him outside; we had a struggle; his companions took him away—I was kicked from head to foot by them—at the finish a stone hit me at the back of the head, which knocked me insensible, and I remember no more—I afterwards saw the prisoner at the station and charged him—I came off duty that afternoon, and was off duty for fifteen days on sick pay.
Cross-examined by the prisoner. I had nothing to drink at your expense in the Rising Sun—I charged you with attempting to steal my watch—I struggled with you for a quarter of an hour—you had not time to steal my watch, you were too busy trying to get away from me.
ALFRED JOHNSON (116 N). I am no relation to last witness—I was on duty at New Cross, and from information I got on a tramcar I went to the Rising Sun, where the prisoner was pointed out to me—I arrested him and took him to the station—the last witness charged him—he said, "I know nothing about stealing the watch; I know I was in the fight."
WILLIAM JOHNSON (Recalled). This occurred inside the public-house—there was a landlord there; he did not see the prisoner put his fingers in my pocket—I had on a short coat buttoned at the top—I had not known the prisoner, and had never been in the house before—there was a sort of fair going on, and being thirsty I just went in for a glass of wine.
GUILTY . Six convictions were proved against the prisoner.— Twelve Months' Hard Labour.
Before Baron Pollock.
MR. HURRELL Prosecuted.
as an Inspector by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children—I first knew the prisoner on 26th February; I went to see her at 210, Lower Road, Deptford—I told her I had come to see her baby—she said it was a fortnight old—she was upstairs in her living room, the back room—I said, "The child appears very thin and emaciated"—she said it was only a seven-months' child; that her husband died in October last, and that had brought on a premature birth—I drew her attention to the state of the room, and said, "I am not satisfied that the child is looked after properly; I shall call again"—I told her I was an officer of the Society, and I was in uniform—I said the child was dirty—she said Mrs. Ballard, the midwife, was coming to wash and dress it—the child smelled very offensive—she said she had paralysis of the feet; she gave that as a reason why she did not do it herself—she was walking about the room; she was under the influence of drink—I called again on Wednesday, the 27th—I knocked at the door; she came down in answer; I saw she was the worse for drink—I said, "I have come again to see your baby"—she said, "You are not going to"—I said, "Why?"—she said, "My child is going on all right"—I pressed her—she said, "To tell you the truth, the place is dirty; I am not going to allow it"—I did not see it—next day I called again about three with Doctor Cable, hoping she would allow the doctor to see it—I knocked; a woman came down, and from what she said I went out and looked for the prisoner at a little beer-shop a few yards away, where I found her drinking—I called her outside; she was very drunk—I said, "I have brought a doctor to see your baby"—she said, "My baby is all right"—I said, "I understand it is very ill"—ultimately she did let us see it—I went upstairs with the doctor and saw it—the room was in a most filthy state, thick with dirt, and smelled most offensive—a neighbour was in the room—I said to the prisoner, "I think the baby looks worse than when I saw it last, it looks as if it was dying"—she pointed to another child on the bed and said, "That is the one that will die, not the baby. I have lost all my five babies"—I saw the child weighed; it weighed five pounds in its clothing, and the clothing was wet—I asked her what she fed it on—she said, "The breast, and condensed milk"—I said, "Will you allow me to see the bottle"—she produced a bottle half full of milk; I smelt it, and said, "This milk is sour," she said, "Oh no, it is not"—I said to the woman in the room, "How long has Mrs. Burrell been out"—she held up two fingers, and I said, "Oh, she has been out two hours"—I then left—I returned next day about five or six, and found the baby dead—the prisoner was the worse for drink then—she said it had died at half-past two.
By the COURT. She showed me her feet, they were certainly swollen a bit, and were bad, but she could walk—she had slippers on—there was plenty of food there, bread and butter—she was carrying on business as a farrier and veterinary surgeon, which had been left her—she employed two men—I looked at the other child, it was a boy twelve months old; his condition was neglected, he was dirty and ill—I removed him to the infirmary.
SARAH BALLARD . I live at 142, Lower Road, Rotherhithe, and am the wife of Joseph Ballard, a carpenter—I act as a midwife—I am not certified—I attended the prisoner in her confinement last February—the child was a girl—it died on 26th April—it was a very small child—I did not
weigh it when born—it seemed healthy, but small—it was a seven months' and a fortnight child—the prisoner was the worse for drink when she was confined—she was kept from drink for a fortnight, afterwards she was always a little the worse for drink—I attended her until the 4th of March—I used to see the child afterwards—I think the mother paid every attention to it during the time she was in her proper senses, but while the drink was in her she did not know what she was doing—it was not looked after as it should be then—I washed and cleaned it for three weeks or a month—when she was not in drink it was properly looked after and well-fed—I only saw it twice after the three weeks—it was about six weeks old the first time, it was then in bed, very uncomfortable, and very much neglected—I told her then that it was very poorly, and she would wake up some night and find it dead beside her, and that she ought to have a doctor to see to it—she said would I take it to a doctor, and I took it to Dr. Atkinson—I showed it to him, and then took it back again—he did not prescribe for it—I told the prisoner that Mr. Atkinson would not attend the child, she must take it to the family doctor who had attended her in her illness, that was Dr. Cooper. Dr. Atkinson did not give me any instructions about it, he only said he would not prescribe for it—I did not see the child again till April 25th, when I was sent for—it was in a fit—it was very clean then, but very small—I was quite horrified, it was worn to a shadow, I said to the prisoner why had she not had a doctor before—she said she had not thought it requisite—I went for Dr. Cooper, but he did not come—when it was about five weeks old I told her it would die if she did not look after it better—she said it was all right, it was healthy enough, it would not die, the little boy would die before that—while I was attending her the room was very untidy and very dirty, but not for the fortnight I was there, it was kept very nice then—I think the prisoner was sober when I saw the child the second time—it died in my arms on the 26th—the prisoner seemed terribly worried and upset then about the child—she was sober.
By the COURT. I have been a midwife some time—I have had experience in the treatment of children—the child had the mother's breast while I was there, she seemed to have enough for it—it also had Nestle's milk two or three times a day—it never seemed to make flesh since it was born—it was not fed often enough; being only a seven months' child had something to do with it—she seemed a very kindly woman—it was never neglected wilfully, only when she was in drink.
HUGH LATIMER ATKINSON . I am a duly qualified medical man, living at Rotherhithe—about nine weeks ago the last witness brought a child to me about six weeks old—it seemed wasting; it was fairly clean—I inquired its history of Mrs. Ballard—I came to the conclusion it was a case of neglect; it required proper nursing and suitable diet; that was all in my opinion—I believe it was not a full-timed child—I saw nothing constitutionally wrong; it was clean and fairly clothed—it would require very careful attention, and if it did not get it it would not be able to stand the neglect.
GEORGE HUGHES CABLE . I am surgeon, of 59, Royal Hill, Greenwich—on April 25th I went with Chown to see this child—I found it in a back room upstairs—the prisoner was not there at first; she was present
when I saw the child—she was intoxicated—the child was laying on some clothes on a table; there was a woman in the room, a neighbour; she was not nursing the baby; she was nursing the next child—I found the baby in a very emaciated condition—the skin was hanging in folds on the face; it appeared as if it had not been washed for a long time—the clothing outside was clean, but underneath it was extremely wet, and had an offensive smell—the legs and body appeared to be quite shrivelled up—in fact, it had appeared of utter neglect—I asked the prisoner how it was that she had neglected the child in this way—she said it had plenty of food, and it was not neglected—I then told her that it was very ill, and was suffering from actual neglect and want of proper food, and if she did not take care of it it would very soon die—she made no answer to that, she appeared hardly to understand what I was saying, she was in such a muddled condition from the effects of drink—she said it was a seven months' child, and that she had lost all her boys—I think she said three—I asked what she had fed the child on—she said from the breast at night, and the bottle by day—I subsequently saw the bottle, and it was curdled and sour, the curds were hanging all round the bottle, and the bottle itself was dirty—when I next saw the child it was dead; that was on the Thursday—I mode a post-mortem on the Saturday—the cause of death was starvation, want of proper food, both in quantity and quality—all the organs were practically healthy, but it was very aænemic—there was no disease to account for its condition only want of proper feeding—there appeared to be plenty of food in the room, but not food fit for a child—I weighed it on two occasions—the first time I saw it, it weighed 5 lbs. in its clothes—at the post-mortem it weighed 3 1/2 lbs. naked—the normal weight of a child of that age would be 7 lbs.—I did not see the prisoner's feet—she appeared to shuffle along—she did not raise her feet—she said she had had paralysis of the feet—I only saw her once—she was not hopelessly drunk, but she was so far intoxicated that she did not know what she was saying—she was certainly not in a condition to attend to the child—I don't think there was true paralysis of the feet, I think it was due to taking too much stimulant; there is a form of paralysis termed drunkard's paralysis; it was of that character.
The Prisoner. I should like to call Dr. Dugon; he has attended all the family.
FRANCIS DUGON . I am a partner of Dr. Cooper—he was called to see the child, but the child was then dead—I have attended the prisoner—I have not been subpoenaed in this case, but I am here in Canning's case, and the prisoner seeing me sitting here, on the spur of the moment said she would like me to give evidence on her behalf—as far as I remember, I attended her last November for paralysis of the feet; it was alcoholic, an affection of the nerves and lower extremities, brought on by excessive indulgence in alcohol—she was then confined to her bed for some weeks—I attended her about three months—during that time her mother was taking charge of the home, and I had given her mother strict orders that the alcohol should be withdrawn, and I have every reason to believe that
it was to a great extent, if not entirely; at any rate she improved very much under that treatment, so much so that when I left her she was able to get about—I have not attended her since—I knew she was with child when I was attending her—I had known her for many years, and attended her children professionally—I am aware that three of them died; I don't think I attended the last one in its last illness; in some illness I did—both on the side of the prisoner and her husband there was over-indulgence in drink, such as would predispose the children to harm, and in the case of this child it would not have the same chance of life and health as another child would—the other children did not die of starvation.
EMILY ROSINA BURRELL (the prisoner sworn.)I looked after the child as well as I could—I have had paralysis of the brain and feet; ever since my husband's death I have had to look after the business and two babies—as to not feeding the children properly, it is an untruth—I had everything to do and look after—my husband was subject to fits, and had been laid up for months in bed—we never kept servants; I could not afford one—my child was not insured—I have a baby now, only thirteen months old—when the officer came to see me I was suffering from paralysis, and also when the doctor came—I had been to the public-house for a pint of four ale; I had not been there above ten minutes or a quarter of an hour—I have never been intoxicated in my life—I was a barmaid for three years at one time—my husband drank a good deal, but was never intoxicated.
NOT GUILTY .
There was another indictment for unlawfully neglecting the said child, upon which MR. HUTTON offered no evidence.
NOT GUILTY .
Before Mr. Common Serjeant.
483. ALEXANDER HUNTER (29), EDWARD SECCOMBE (29), and CLARA WALL (32) PLEADED GUILTY to Unlawfully conspiring to forge an order and certain documents to obtain from the Postmaster-General £204 19s. 2d., with intent to defraud; other Counts, for uttering the same. Hunter received a good character. HUNTER and SECCOMBE— Twelve Months' Hard Labour. WALL— Six Months' Hard Labour. And
484. DANIEL NIHILL (31) , to stealing, whilst employed in the Post Office, a post letter containing a valuable security, the property of the Postmaster-General.— [Pleaded guilty. See original trial image.] One Day's Imprisonment.
MR. PARTRIDGE Prosecuted.
WILLIAM WIRES (Policeman M). On 1st May, about 12.45, I was in Grange Road, Bermondsey—I saw the prisoner and another man walking long—the prisoner was making signs to a third man on the other side of the road, holding up his fingers—the third man nodded—the two walked on together—the third man was walking further on—I saw the prisoner take this paper from his waistcoat pocket, rub something on his hair and on the sleeve of his coat, and then give it to the other man—they then walked down the road—I stopped the prisoner and asked what he had in
the paper I had seen him take from his waistcoat pocket—he said, "I took no paper from my waistcoat pocket"—I said, "You did," and I took the paper from his pocket, and found in it six counterfeit florins and another coin in another pocket—I took him to the station, and asked where he got them from—he said, "J got them at the side of the canal; I was alone"—I told him they were all bad—they are of different dates, four of one date and two of another, and the other coin of another.
Cross-examined by the Prisoner. You were not alone; you were with another, and you were going towards the canal, Dot coming from it.
GUILTY .*†— Twelve Months' Hard Labour.
MR. PARTRIDGE Prosecuted.
HASTINGS SYMES (Detective L) On Saturday, 12th April, about 12.30, I was on duty with Birch in St. George's Road, Southwark—I saw the prisoner standing on the kerb, examining some money, which he was wrapping in a paper—he walked away; I followed him to Westminster Bridge Road, where I lost sight of him—about an hour afterwards I saw him again; he saw me and made off; I ran after him and caught him—I said, "What was that you were looking at in St. George's Road just now?"—he had his left hand in his pocket—he said, "Here they are," and he produced eight counterfeit pieces; I asked how he accounted for them—he said, "I just had them given to me"—I said, "By whom?"—he said, "I don't know"—I took him to the station and searched; there was a halfpenny found on him.
WILLIAM BIRCH (Detective L). I was with Symes—I saw the prisoner in St. George's Road—he appeared to be looking at some money wrapped in paper—at the station he said, "I will tell you how I got these; I was walking along Lower Marsh, when a man asked me if I wanted any money, and put it in my pocket"—I said, "Who is the man?"—he said, "I don't know."
The prisoner in his defence repeated his statement to the officer.
GUILTY .†— Three Months' Hard Labour.
Before Mr. Justice Wills.
MR. MUIR Prosecuted, and MR. STEPHENSON Defended.
CHARLES RYLE . I live at 4, Victoria Place, Bermondsey—on May 11th, about 1.15, I met my brother-in-law, Peter Connor, who was about thirty-four years old, outside the Bricklayers' Arms—I gave him threepence—he had not been drinking then, so far as I could see, but I met him at eight o'clock, and we started drinking at the Bricklayers' Arms, then at the Jolly Tanners, and then at the Wellington; we got there about 8.30 and stayed till ten—the deceased was drunk then—ho had no money; I paid for the drink—I saw the prisoner, who was a friend of both of us, in the Wellington—the deceased said to Robinson, "I will
you, and I will your brother"—Robinson took no notice, and he said, "Come outside, and I will fight you or your brother"—Robinson's brother had been there, but had gone—Robinson appeared sober—he took no notice, but all of a sudden the deceased went to hit him, and Robinson pushed him; they had a little bit of a skirmish; no blows were struck; they were wrestling, and the landlord got over the bar and put them outside—Connor went out first, and the prisoner followed him—I went out after them, and saw my brother-in-law in the road, standing up—Robinson wont to hit him, and I found him on the ground—I thought the blow was somewhere behind his right ear—I picked him up; he never spoke again.
Cross-examined. The prisoner has been a carman to Mr. Brown, of the Western Arches—I have known him some time; he is a well-conducted, peaceable man—I never saw him have a row with anyone before—when the deceased made a hit at Robinson he may have struck the partition, and then the deceased went at it again—the prisoner seemed desirous of avoiding the fight—it was only when attacked by the deceased that he joined in the scuffle—he struck the prisoner before the prisoner struck him.
JOSEPH WILLIAM MUMMERY . I am a labourer, of 59, Merville Place—on Saturday night, May 11th, I was with Robinson at the Wellington—the deceased, who I knew, went up to the prisoner and his brother, and said, "What is your animosity towards me? That has nothing to do with me"—the prisoner jumped up and pushed him against the partition, pretty hard, and he slid down—his back went against the partition, not his head—he got up again, and they both went out, followed by Ryle—there was a little scuffle before he went, but no blows were struck—they then went out, and I saw nothing of what took place outside.
Cross-examined. All through this the prisoner was endeavouring to avoid coming to blows with the dead man—the deceased used bad language to the prisoner about his brother—it was a push, not a blow, which resulted in Connor going against the partition—his head may have hit the partition; it is quite likely.
JOHN MARSHALL HARDING . I keep the Wellington, Weston Street, Bermondsey—on May 11th, at ten o'clock, I was in the bar—some words passed between the deceased and Robinson—Connor seemed to say that he could fight his brother, and the prisoner pushed Connor, who fell against a partition—I should not like to say whether his head struck it—I got over the bar, and got between them—Connor walked out first; I went to the door; he walked across the road—the prisoner followed, and hit him with his hand, I cannot say whether it was closed or open—Connor had his back to the prisoner when he was struck, and was walking away—the blow took effect behind his right ear, low on his neck; he fell, and the people got round him, and I saw no more—Connor was sober.
Cross-examined. I heard the deceased say, "I can fight you or your brother"—Connor may have hit his head against the partition, and he may have struck the prisoner before he delivered the blow or attempted to strike him.
Re-examined. When the blow was struck he was walking away.
May 11th, shortly after ten o'clock, I was in the road about twenty yards from the Wellington, and saw three men come out—one turned to the other, and the prisoner aimed a blow at the other man, but did not strike him, and he turned round and struck him somewhere about the head, and he fell and never rose again—he was struck from the back—I only saw one blow—one was aimed, and the other followed it directly—the prisoner was walking when he struck the blow, and the man who was knocked down was attempting to fight him when the blow struck him.
FRANCIS GEORGE CLIFTON MARTIN . I am a registered medical practitioner, of 33, Bermondsey Square—on the night of May 11th I was called to the deceased and found him dead—on the following Tuesday I examined the body, and found fracture of the base of the skull, and a blow on the neck which did not go below the skin, and had nothing to do with his death—I found effusion of blood on the base of the brain two inches behind and a little below the left ear, which followed from the fracture—the skull was only about half the usual thickness.
Cross-examined. A man's fist would hardly be able to break a skull of that thickness, but if he fell on a stone it might happen—he had been drinking, by the congested state of his skull and other organs—when the prisoner was committed for trial I heard him say, "The deceased was in the Wellington and said, 'What do you think, where is my beer?' I said, 'Here you are.' He turned on me and got talking, and I said I did not want a row. He brought up my brother's name, and put up his arm to strike mo, and I struck him and he fell on the back of his head."
Re-examined. If he fell on a stone I should expect some evidence of it; a stone is harder than a fist—he was a much heavier man than the prisoner—if he had fractured his skull in the public-house it is more than likely he would have dropped at once; it depends upon how gradual the effusion is and where it is—the fractured bone was not touching the membrane of the brain; it was merely cracked—it was more consistent with a blow from a fist than with a stone—I have heard the evidence of the two witnesses who saw the blow struck, and it corresponds very accurately with what I saw.
J. M. HARDING (Re-examined). The partition the man fell against is about six feet high—he could not strike the top of his head against it.
NOT GUILTY . The JURY found that the blow was struck in self defence.
PLEADED GUILTY .
MR. BLACKWELL Prosecuted.
RICHARD TILLING . I am a jobmaster, of 19, Peckham Road, Camberwell—on 11th May, about 3.30 a.m., I was awoke by a noise—I went downstairs and saw the reflection of a light—I called out the servants' names, and the light was immediately put out and I heard a scuffle of feet—I opened the front door and spoke to a passer-by—a constable came up and we searched the house, and saw the two prisoners on the other side of the garden fence—it was light—the constable went round and captured Williams—Evans ran along the fence; I heard him creep under some bushes, and stood with a poker in my hand till the constable came and took him—I had not gone into the kitchen the night before—I found
the window wide open—there are bars inside which I thought were not wide enough for a man to get through, but I find they are—I found a pair of my boots outside put away under some bushes, and two coats which did not belong to me—I went to the station with the constable and the prisoners.
By the COURT. I cannot say whether the catch of the window was closed when I went to bed, but it generally is—I heard it open and that is what woke me up—Evans got over three or four fences, but I ran along the railings and kept him in sight.
WILLIAM BALHAM (456 P). On the morning of May 11th I was on duty close to the prosecutor's premises, and saw the two prisoners in the front garden of the next house—I ran round from 19 to 17, and Williams had something in his hand—I took my truncheon and knocked his hand down, and we scuffled—I blew my whistle, got Williams into the road, and we had another scuffle—I afterwards saw Evans in custody of No. 143—I searched him at the station and found this piece of candle in his pocket.
ERNEST HAIGH (143 P). On May 11th, about 3.30 a.m., I was on duty, heard a police whistle, ran in that direction, and saw Mr. Tilling in the road—he made a communication to me, and I found the prisoner Evans under a laurel bush, crouching down between the bush and the pailings—he was very violent, and in consequence of the injuries I received I was unable to hold him—I had lost the use of my right arm before.
GEORGE NORTHOVER (101 P). On May 11th I heard a whistle, went to Mr. Tilling's garden, saw him, ran to the front gate, and saw Haigh struggling with Evans, who broke away and ran towards me, and I took him.
EVANS— GUILTY .
489. JAMES WILLIAMS and HENRY EVANS were again indicated for burglary in the dwelling-house of George Cracknell, and stealing three pairs of boots, a coat, and other articles, Williams having been convicted of felony on May 1st, 1893, to which Williams
PLEADED GUILTY .
MR. BLACKWELL Prosecuted.
MARY ANN CRACKNELL . I live at 39, Benville Road, Camberwell—on May 10th I locked up the house and went to bed—I got up at 6.30, when my husband came home from duty—the kitchen door was open, and I found a coat and a tobacco-box downstairs—I missed this tobacco-pouch and coat (Produced)—they are my husband's.
GUILTY .—WILLIAMS, Three Years' Penal Servitude —EVANS, Twelve Months' Hard Labour on the first indictment.
490. JAMES CASHAN PLEADED GUILTY to unlawfully attempting a burglary in the dwelling-house of Ann Tilley, with intent to steal. A previous conviction was proved, and there was another Indictment against him.— Eighteen Months' Hard Labour. And
491. GEORGE MURPHY** (34) , to feloniously having in his possession a mould for coining, and to a conviction of felony at Clerkenwell in January, 1882, in the name of Albert Gilbert. [Pleaded guilty. See original trial image.] The prisoner called evidence
to prove he had been in employment in February last.— Twelve Months' Hard Labour.
Before Mr. Common Serjeant
MESSRS. ABINGER and LATHAM Prosecuted, and MR. PURCELL Defended
ALBERT EDWARD ISAACSON . I am manager of the George public-house, in Waterloo Road—on 13th April, about 12.30 p.m., I met the prisoners and another man in Tower Street—I had £60 in gold in my inside coat pocket, takings of the George, which I was going to the bank to exchange for silver—I always go to the bank about 12.30 on Saturdays—I have known the prisoners for two or three years, but I have not served them in my house for about twelve months—I had spoken to Mr. Burton, the butcher, and was about ten or twenty yards from his shop when the prisoners came up, two in front and one man on each side—when I got past the first two Pearson struck me in the jaw, and Pickett struck me in the eye, and gave me a black eye, and smashed my hat—the four men surrounded me—I was kicked from the back, and I fell—I have been attended by the doctor, and I have got an abscess—when I was on the ground Pickett took 5s. 8d. out of my pocket—then kept on kicking and punching me—I went into the butcher's shop—Pearson threw something at me, then the men ran away—a constable came, and I complained to him—Pickett was arrested about five minutes afterwards—I saw him in custody when I came back from the Police-court, about four o'clock—Irwin was arrested the following Saturday night—being assaulted, I defended myself—it was dot a fair fight.
Cross-examined by MR. PURCELL. The George is about five hundred yards from the butcher's shop—there was no dispute between Pickett and me—I have refused to serve him—we never had any quarrel or words over it; I simply called a constable to turn them out—Pickett has been turned out—he has been in the house several times—he was there that Saturday morning—no; it was about a fortnight or three weeks ago—Tower Street it not much frequented; it is a bye street—when I had passed the first two men the second two struck me at once—the first two did not strike me when I passed them—the second two were about a yard and a half behind—the first two said nothing offensive to me—we recognised each other—I took my own part, but I could not move—it was all in sight of the butcher's shop—two of the men did not stand outside and ask me and the butcher to come out and fight—I saw Boustead at the Police-station—the four men did not come back with Boustead—I complained to Lawley—he came from the direction of Tanswell Street—the men attacked Boustead—the butcher stopped the men following me into his shop. (The witness's deposition stated: "After I was struck I put up my hands to fight ") I put up my hands to protect myself—what I said before the Magisttate is correct.
Cross-examined by Mr. Pearson, I did not serve you the previous Thursday—I saw you in the house on the Friday; you were not drinking—I refused to serve you—three or four others were with you—you had
no ale—I was not fighting with Pickett when you came up—you put your hand in my trousers pocket—I saw no bread and meat in it—I had not a gold watch and chain on—I was not lying on the ground; I knelt down while the four were round me—about half a minute—I did not give you as a Christmas box a quartern of rum last Christmas—about a couple of months ago you and a tall man did not have a row with me in my house on a Saturday night—it is two months since I saw you in the house—I did not serve you—I have not been summoned for throwing glasses at customers—I was summoned a fortnight ago for fighting in the bar—I was not drunk—a man summoned me for getting his head cut by the gang you belong to—one summons was put back a week, and the man did not appear on the other, but came and apologised within the week—I cross summoned the man for assault, wilful damage, and refusing to quit licensed premises—I did not assault a woman, Greyling, and send her to the hospital—I do not know her, nor where she lives—I did not hit her with a glass—I did not give her a piece of gold not to summon me.
Cross-examined by Irwin. I said at the station I was struck and robbed—I said I did not know who kicked me—you were not served in the bar the Monday following—you came into the house; I sent for a constable and you went away—I did not speak to you—I did not say, "I advise you to give yourself up," and you: "What for?" and I: "You were there, therefore they want you"—nor to your saying, "Give me some drink," nor did I say, "No, I shall put you where your pals are, and I shall swear against you the same as I "shall swear against them"—nor "You hear what I have told you; I shall swear your life away as well as theirs."
Re-examined. I did not go to the parties who summoned me to apologise; they came to me—Mr. Burton stopped the prisoners following me when he was outside the shop. (Deposition read: "Four or five days after, the prisoner (Irwin) came into the house to apologise, saying he had intended to take my part)"—I do not think I told the Magistrate that—when I saw Irwin I sent the barman for a constable.
GEORGE BURTON . I am a butcher, of 27, Tower Street—on 13th April, about 12.30 in the day, I was speaking to Mr. Isaacson—I turned to go into the shop when one of the girls in the shop called out, and I saw Isaacson fighting, and immediately I saw Isaacson, Pickett, and Pearson all of a heap cuddled up together—I called Isaacson into the shop out of their way—he came in, and Pearson took up one of my sheep's hearts, and threw at him—I sent Isaacson into the kitchen to have his face seen to—the men ran away.
Cross-examined by MR. PURCELL. I saw blows given on both sides—no doubt the men would have followed Isaacson into the shop if I had not stopped them—his ear was bleeding.
Cross-examined by Pearson. I did not see you hit Isaacson, nor throw him to the ground—I did not see him kicked—I expect I should if he had been, but I did not see all of it because I had gone into the shop—there were other men there—I do not identify them—you were all fighting together on the pavement near the kerb.
By the JURY. Isaacson complained that he had been robbed—I think he said of 5s. 8d. from his side pocket—he did not say which.
THOMAS BOUSTEAD . I live at 4, Herman Street, Kingsland Road—on 13th April, about 12.30 p.m., I was walking through Tanswell Street, when Pickett and three or four others interfered with me, and struck me in the mouth.
Cross-examined by MR. PURCELL. I hit someone with a stick—I do not know whether it was Pickett—there were five of them—I afterwards heard of Pickett having been struck with a stick.
By the JURY. I do not know the men.
JOSEPH LAWLEY (169 L). On seeing a crowd, I went and saw Isaacson in Mr. Burton's shop—he complained of having been assaulted—Boustead was there, bleeding at the mouth—I ran and arrested Pickett, who was running through Thames Place—Isaacson met me on the way to the station with Pickett, and said, "You have got the right man, and there is the other one," pointing to Pearson, who was in the crowd—Pickett said, "Slip it, cod "—Pearson ran away—on the way to the station Pickett put his hand in his right-hand coat pocket, took out these three stones, and threw them into the road—I found on him 2s. in silver and 2d. in bronze—he was charged with assaulting and robbing Mr. Isaacson, and with assaulting Mr. Boustead—the same afternoon, about 4.30, I arrested Pearson—he said, "This is for Mr. Ike's job"—at the station he was about to be placed with others to be identified, when he said, "I will save you that trouble; I admit I was there"—when the charge was read over to him he took off his hat and threw it at Mr. Isaacson.
Cross-examined by MR. PURCELL. Pickett made no reply to the charge—he did not say, "I assaulted him, but never robbed him"—when arrested I saw his mouth was bleeding, and he said he had been hit with a stick.
Cross-examined by Pearson. I was crossing by the Obelisk, St. George's Circus, with Isaacson, when I arrested you—he followed to the station—you said Isaacson and Pickett were fighting—you said he put the robbery. on you because he knew your character—Isaacson said he lost his money outside Burton's shop—he did not say you took it—he said you had your hand in his right-hand trousers pocket.
WILLIAM BROADEN (Detective L) I arrested Irwin on 27th April—I told him I should arrest him for highway robbery in the Waterloo Road on the 13th—he said, "All right, you know what you have got me for "—I afterwards took him to the station, where he was placed with nine others—on the prosecutor going to identify him, he said, "There is no occasion for him to pick me out"—he was subsequently charged—he made no reply—he said something about another charge.
Before the Magistrate Irwin stated. "I saw three men at the corner of Tower Street about 11.30 a.m. on Saturday, and they asked me to have a drink. I did. We went down Tower Street. There they had some bother with the prosecutor. My attention was taken up by a friend, and when I looked round I saw a fight. I ran up to see what was the matter. I saw Pickett fighting with the prosecutor. I pulled them apart and left them."
Irwin in defence repeated in effect his statement.
had sold a port wine syphon pipe for five shillings, in addition to eightpence I had, and I had not spent any during the day—the gold I had was in the inside pocket of my outside coat.
NOT GUILTY .
MR. PURCELL Prosecuted.
JOSEPH GOUGH (Detective V). On Easter Monday, 15th April, about six p.m., I was on duty at the new railway station at Richmond, with Detective Eyre—I watched the prisoner—about 6.15 I saw him push himself between people who were going to the booking office—he placed his hand in a gentleman's ticket pocket, and then moved out of the crowd, apparently getting nothing—then he went among the people who were standing waiting for the Mansion House train—I saw him place his right band in the folds of a lady's dress, tapping the pocket—then he moved away and stood with his back against Smith's bookstall—I had been watching him about half an hour—he again mixed with the crowd near the Mansion House train—he placed his hand in a lady's pocket, and, seeing he was watched, dived by the barrier through the people, and got into a second-class railway carriage—I grabbed at him, but he got through the barrier and ran along the platform—I followed him and told him I was a police officer and should arrest him for picking pockets—he said, "It is very hard luck, governor; I have got nothing"—at the station he refused to give his name and address—he was searched—on him was found a halfpenny and a railway ticket from Richmond to Hammersmith—he made no reply to the charge.
Cross-examined by the prisoner. I asked the gentleman whether you took anything, and he said "No."
JAMES EYRE (Detective V). I was with Gough—I watched the prisoner—I spoke to a gentleman and to a lady near whom I had seen him—the prisoner put his right hand under his left into the gentleman's ticket pocket, and into the pockets of several ladies before I spoke to them—I saw Gough call him out of the railway carriage—at the station the charge was read over to him of attempting to pick pockets in Richmond railway station—he said nothing in answer to the charge.
WILLIAM DOUGHTY (Police Inspector, Richmond). About 7.15 on Easter Monday the prisoner was brought into the Police-station by the two officers, and charged with loitering at the railway station and attempting to pick pockets—he said nothing in answer to the charge—I asked him his name and occupation—he refused to give either—the officers searched him in my presence, and found a halfpenny in bronze and a third-class ticket from Richmond to Hammersmith.
The prisoner's statement before the Magistrate was: "I have nothing to say. I think you men have got it up for me."
GUILTY .**†— Twelve Months' Hard Labour.
MR. TORR Prosecuted, and MR. PURCELL Defended.
hour after midnight on 25th April I was in the Blackfriars Road, going home—the prisoner asked me for a light.—he was with another party not in custody—I passed on, but on turning round I saw the prisoner and another coming towards me—the prisoner held me while the other one took my watch and chain and my purse out of my pocket—as he was running away I put my leg between his, and threw him over—I called, "Police"—the policeman found us struggling on the ground—I was sober enough to take care of myself—I had been drinking—I have not again seen the other man, nor my watch and chain, or purse, which had 10s. in it.
Cross-examined by MR. PURCELL. I do not know Can by Street—I did not hear the prisoner say at the Police-court that he was bruised in the arm and face, nor say to the policeman, "I was making water when this man hit me"—if he had said it I might not have heard it; I was too agitated—I had passed the evening at the Canterbury Music Hall with friends—the prisoner remained holding me when the constable arrived—I held him too; I was determined to stick to him—I do not know that he lives in Can by Street, only from what I heard.
Re-examined. From the time I threw him I never lost hold of him.
JAMES PICKLES (409 M). I heard cries of "Police," and ran down Beryl Street—I saw the prosecutor and the prisoner struggling on the ground—I asked what was the matter—the prosecutor said, "This man, or another man who ran away, has got my watch and chain and purse"—the prosecutor charged the prisoner with stealing—I saw no other man—I took the prisoner into custody—he said, "I was making water, and he interfered with me."
Cross-examined by MR. PURCELL. The prisoner repeated his statement at the station—he gave me his address, 5, Canby Street—I found that he had occupied that house the last six months—he gave me a reference to Mr. Wilmot, builder, of Stamford Street, where I ascertained he had been working about five years—he also referred me to Mr. Sonnex, of Westminster Bridge Road and Kennington Road, for whom he had worked for two years—I found also that on that night he had been working at Chapman's, a pawnbroker's—I find he bears a good character—he would have to pass through Beryl Street to reach Canby Street.
The prisoner received a good character.
JOHN WILLIAMS (Re-examined by the JURY). I have not the slightest doubt the prisoner is the man who first asked me for a light—I am perfectly convinced of it—that was about two minutes before I wasassaulted.
NOT GUILTY .
ADJOURNED TO MONDAY, JUNE 17TH, 1895.