Vol. CL.] Part 889.
CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT
HELD NOV. 10TH, 1908, AND FOLLOWING DAYS.
MINUTES OF EVIDENCE,
TAKEN IN SHORTHAND BY
Shorthand Writer to the Court.
POINTS OF LAW AND PRACTICE
R. F. GRAHAM-CAMPBELL, ESQUIRE,
OF THE INNER TEMPLE.
[Published by Annual Subscription.]
GEO. WALPOLE, 1, NEW COURT, LINCOLN'S INN, W.C.
THE ARGUS PRINTING COMPANY, LIMITED,
CORNER OF TUDOR STREET AND TEMPLE AVENUE,
On the King's Commission of
OYER AND TERMINER AND GAOL DELIVERY
The City of London,
AND GAOL DELIVERY FOR THE
COUNTY OF MIDDLESEX, AND THE PARTS OF THE COUNTIES OF ESSEX, KENT, AND SURREY WITHIN THE JURISDICTION
CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT,
Held on Tuesday, November 10th, 1908, and following days.
Before the Right Hon. Sir GEORGE WYATT TRUSCOTT , Knight, Alderman, LORD MAYOR of the City of London; the Right Hon LORD ALVERSTONE, G.C.M.G. (Lord Chief Justice of England); the Hon. Sir JOHN CHARLES BIGHAM , Kt., Justice of His Majesty's High Court; Sir WALTER H. WILKIN , K.C.M.G.; Sir WILLIAM PURDIE TRELOAR , Bart., Sir MARCUS SAMUEL , Bart., Sir CHAS. WAKEFIELD , Sir THOMAS B. CROSBY, F. HOWSE Esq., Aldermen of the said City; Sir FORREST FULTON , Knight, K.C., Recorder of the said City; Sir FK. ALBERT BOSANQUET K.C., Common Serjeant of the said City; and His Honour Judge LUMLEY SMITH , K.C., Commissioner, His Majesty's Justices of Oyer and Terminer and General Gaol Delivery holden for the said City, and Judges of the Central Criminal Court.
CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT
TRUSCOTT, MAYOR. FIRST SESSION.
BEFORE THE RECORDER.
(Tuesday, November 10.)
LONDON AND MIDDLESEX CASES.
ZAINS, Morris (46, tobacconist) , having received the sum of £250 for and on account of Rosie Kashman, fraudulently converting the same to his own use; being the bailee of £250, fraudulently taking and converting the same to his own use.
Mr. George Elliott, for the prosecution, stated that the prisoner had received from Mrs. Kashman, the sum of £250 in consideration of standing bail for her son, Marks Kashman, who had duly surrendered; that he had invested the money under the impression that he was expected so to do; the matter had been before the Chief Rabbi, and it had been arranged that, on the prosecution being withdrawn, the sum would be handed over. He proposed to offer no evidence.
The Recorder said that he should like to be satisfied that the prosecutrix had received her money.
On Wednesday, November 11, prisoner was again brought up. No evidence was offered for the prosecution, and a verdict of Not guilty was entered.
HOMEWOOD, Dorothy (27, bookkeeper), who on October 22, 1908 (see preceding volume, page 804), pleaded guilty of forging a banker's cheque for the sum of £250 and attempting to obtain from Samuel Smith by false pretences certain articles of jewellery, value £250, with intent to defraud, again came up for judgment.
The Recorder said it was a very serious case, and he would not be justified in yet releasing prisoner. Judgment was further respited to next Sessions.
ANDREWS, George (43, clerk) pleaded guilty , of feloniously and with intent to defraud, demanding and obtaining from Mary Keall the sum of £1 by virtue of a certain forged and altered instrument—to wit, a Post Office Savings Bank deposit book, knowing the same to be forged and altered.
Mr. Forster Boulton, M.P., prosecuted.
Prisoner confessed to having been convicted at this Court on February 25, 1901, receiving six months in second division for stealing a Post Office Bank book and forging a receipt for £12 10s. He was stated to have committed a number of similar frauds.
Sentence, 18 months' hard labour.
MORRIS, Thomas (21, clerk) pleaded guilty ,of feloniously, with intent to defraud, demanding and obtaining certain moneys—to wit, the sums of £1 and 19s., by means of certain forged and altered instruments—to wit, two Post Office Savings Bank deposit books, knowing the same to be forged.
Mr. Forster Boulton, M.P., prosecuted.
Prisoner was stated to have been eight years, up to May 4, 1907, in one employment in Dublin, and to have left of his own accord. There were 40 cases against him of fraud on the Post Office—18 in Dublin and 22 in England, he having obtained £15 in a fortnight.
Sentence, 18 months' hard labour.
Mr. Forster Boulton, M.P., prosecuted.
Sentence, Nine months' hard labour.
BASSEY, Charles Albert (47, postman), and BASSEY, Henry Burgoyne(50, labourer); Charles Albert Bassey, stealing on October 12, 1908, a post-letter containing a valuable security—to wit, a postal order for 5s., and on October 2, 1908, a post letter containing a valuable security—to wit, a postal order for 8s., the property in each case of the Postmaster-General, he being employed under the Post Office; >Henry Burgoyne Bassey, receiving the said postal orders for 5s. and 8s. respectively, the property of the Postmaster-General, well knowing them to have been stolen.
Both prisoners pleaded guilty .
Mr. Forster Boulton, M.P., prosecuted.
Henry B. Bassey confessed to having been convicted on May 9, 1900, at South London, receiving nine months' hard labour, for stealing a railway lunch basket. He had also had five years' penal servitude for stealing letters on February 5, 1892. The two prisoners (brothers) were said to have stolen £55 in two years, there being 90 cases.
Sentence. C. A. Bassey, Nine months' hard labour; H. B. Bassey, 18 months' hard labour.
CLARKE, Arthur (38, ship steward) pleaded guilty , of feloniously altering and uttering, knowing the same to be altered, two orders for the payment of money—to wit, two British Post Office money orders for the payment of £1 each, with intent to defraud.
Mr. Forster Boulton, M.P., prosecuted.
Prisoner confessed to having been convicted at this Court on June 25, 1906, receiving 20 months' hard labour for warehouse stealing; four summary convictions at Glasgow for larceny were proved.
Sentence, 18 months' hard labour.
Mr. Curtis Bennett prosecuted. Mr. Eustace Fulton appeared for prisoner.
Sentence, Two months' imprisonment, second division.
Mr. J.P. Grain prosecuted; Mr. Curtis Bennett defended.
Prisoner was tried on October 23, 1908 (see preceding volume, page 853), when the Jury disagreed and were discharged. He was now tried on similar evidence from the same witnesses.
(Wednesday, November 11.)
Verdict, Guilty. The Jury said they were of opinion that sufficient supervision was not exercised by the servants of the railway company in receiving the parcels, and they recommended prisoner to mercy.
Prisoner had had a good character previously.
Sentence, Six months' imprisonment, second division.
BEFORE THE COMMON SERJEANT.
(Tuesday, November 10.)
Mr. Wilkinson prosecuted.
ARTHUR BALCOMBE , barman at the "Star" public-house, High Street, Borough. On October 20 I was serving in the bar. Prisoners came in just before two and Sullivan called for two glasses of ale, costing 2d. She put down half a crown in payment. I examined it and thought it was bad. I called Mr. Shaffer, who examined the half-crown in prisoners' presence and pronounced it a bad one. He gave it back to me. I put it on the counter, when Gilkes snatched it from me. Prisoners then went out of the house without paying for the ale, saying they had no more money. The coin produced is the one tendered in payment by Sullivan.
Scammell's baker shop. He subsequently followed them to the "Red Lion" and was present when prisoners were taken into custody. Gilkes snatched the coin from the counter when it was put down by last witness.
EDITH SCAMMELL , 242, High Street, Borough. I was in my father's shop on the afternoon of October 20. Prisoner Sullivan came in at about quarter past three and asked for a twopenny loaf, with which I served her. In payment she tendered half a crown. I examined the coin and told her it was a bad one, and she said she would take it back to the place where she got it from. She took the coin and left the shop and shortly afterwards returned with the other prisoner, who she said was with her when she took the bad half-crown, and to this Gilkes assented. Sullivan took the coin with her. I identify the coin now produced.
BENJAMIN BURROUGHES . I am landlord of the "Red Lion," High Street, Borough. There are several bars. On the afternoon of October 20 I was in the front bar. Prisoners came in about two or quarter-past and called for two glasses of ale, coating 2d. I served them. One of them put down the counterfeit half-crown produced. Before I had time to examine it in walked a constable, followed by the witness Shaffer, and prisoners were taken into custody.
Police-constable JOHN HOBSON , 235 M. On October 20, in the afternoon, I was on duty in High Street, Borough. In consequence of a communication made to me by Shaffer I went to the "Red Lion" public-house, where I saw both prisoners. I had followed them in. I heard Mr. Burroughes say it was a bad coin. Neither of the women said anything in answer to that. I told them I should take them to the station on a charge of uttering. Gilkes said, "She (Sullivan) asked me to have a drink." Sullivan said, "This is my coin." When the charge was read over to them at the station Gilkes made no reply. Sullivan said, "It would have been a great loss to me. Would not you have done the same?" Both gave the same address at 99, Mint Street, Borough.
MARY ANN KING , matron at the Borough Police Station, proved searching prisoners. Sullivan had on her 2 1/4 d. wrapped in a piece of newspaper in a pocket underneath her dress. Nothing at all was found on Gilkes. The money on Sullivan was easily accessible if she had wanted to produce it.
CHARLES WILLIAM BRAITHWAITE , deputy of the lodging house, 99, Mint Street, Borough, identified prisoner Gilkes as a lodger who last slept at the house on October 19, but had no knowledge of the other prisoner.
Gilkes, called upon for her defence, said that Sullivan up to October 20 was a perfect stranger. Sullivan expressed sorrow for having tried to utter the coin.
Verdict, Both guilty.
Sentences. Gilkes, released on her own recognisances in £10; Sullivan, two months' hard labour.
Mr. Sands prosecuted; Mr. MacDonald defended King.
Detective Sergeant JAMES CUNNINGHAM , G Division. On October 14 I was in Penton Street, a turning off the Pentonville Road, at a quarter-past nine, in company with Sergeant Garrard. I saw prisoners walking towards White Lion Street, into which they turned. King crossed the road and looked into the "Lord Wolsey" public-house. King then walked towards High Street, Islington, followed by Carson on the other side of the road. Some distance down White Lion Street, their conduct being suspicious, I crossed towards them and as I did so I saw Carson pass something to prisoner King. I caught hold of King and said, "I am a police officer. What are you loitering about here for?" Carson could hear all I said. King replied, "We are respectable men; we live at Bow and I am a plumber." I feld round the outside of his pockets and found in his left-hand jacket pocket a small packet. I was about to examine it when he dashed away from me. I heard something fall to the ground and Garrard said it was a counterfeit coin. I think it fell from Carson. I ran after King down White Lion Street, calling out, "Stop thief." He crossed High Street going towards Essex Road. When I got up to him being exhausted, I knocked him down with my stick. I then told him I should take him into custody as a suspected person. He said, "All right; I am done." I took him to the King's Cross Road Police Station, where in the packet I have already described I found ten counterfeit half-crowns, dated 1907, separately wrapped in pieces of paper. I found on King a further packet containing two counterfeit half-crowns of a similar description wrapped in cloth. When charged he said, "All right. He (Carson) knows nothing about it. I picked the whole of the stuff up, the socks as well." I found some socks on him in a parcel. Carson made no reply. I also found on King an incandescent burner and a parcel containing grapes, and 10s. good money three 2s. pieces, and four shillings. I did not search Carson.
To prisoner Carson. I did not see King pick up anything in White lion Street. I did not seize him and say, "What is that you have got?"
To Mr. MacDonald. We happened to be in the district that night inquiring about another matter and these two men were suspicious. I did not like the look of them. I thought they were wrong ones. We followed them for the purpose of detecting and preventing crime. Sergeant Garrard joined me when I stopped the prisoners. King crossed White Lion Street to Carson and Garrard and I came up
to them practically together. Garrard had followed them closely. I do not know what it was that prisoner Carson passed to King. I grabbed at King's pocket because I thought he might have some stolen property about him. I will swear that neither prisoner picked up anything from the street. I am allowed by the regulations to use my stick to stop a prisoner. King said, "I picked the stuff up in Pearl Street."
Re-examined. It was a very clear night.
Detective-sergeant GARRARD, E Division, gave corroborative evidence. At the corner of Suffolk Street King caught Carson up and said, "Shoot; there's a 'split' over there." A "split" is a detective. They then went on about 50 yards further down White Lion Street, when King shouted to Carson, "Stop; he has got us set. We can easily 'bluff' him all right." They then stopped and Sergeant Cunningham came across the road and spoke to them as described. While he was speaking to them Carson dropped the counterfeit half-crown (produced) on the pavement from his right hand. Witness picked it up and said, "This is counterfeit." King immediately ran away followed by Sergeant Cunningham, and witness told Carson he should take him into custody for being in possession of this coin. He said, "All right, we are done. He is a fool to run away. We are done. It is no use trying to get away from you people." In a few minutes Sergeant Cunningham returned with the other prisoner and prisoners were taken to the station. Nothing else was found on Carson.
Cross-examined. It may have been 15 minutes from the time we left the station till we saw these men. We thought it suspicious when King went and looked in the public-house. I did not hear King say after Cunningham had caught hold of him that he had found the counterfeit money on the ground and the socks as well, but he said so the next morning before the magistrate. I could not have seen if anything had passed between Carson and King, as there were people between me and them, but Cunningham could have seen if anything was passed.
Mr. MacDonald said it was proposed to put in evidence of a similar occurrence which took place on April 16, and objected that it had nothing to do with this charge. In respect of that matter Carson was examined at the police court and discharged.
The Common Serjeant held that the evidence was admissible, as it went to show that the two men were working together.
CHARLES STEWART . I now rent the billiard-room at the "Green Gate," and on April 16 I was manager of the "Crown" public-house, Curtain Road, Shoreditch. I remember prisoner Carson coming into the house that night about 12.15 a.m., accompanied by another man. They had two drinks and the second payment was made by Carson with a counterfeit crown piece.
Sergeant ROBERT TURNER , 21 G Division. On April 16 I was called to the "Crown" public-house, where I saw the last witness and the two prisoners. I am positive they are the men I saw. I was shown the counterfeit crown piece produced, which Stewart said had been tendered by Carson in payment of refreshment. I asked
Carson where he got it and if he had any more like it. He replied, "What do you mean?" I said, "Well, I am going to search you to see if you have any more." I went outside with the two men. King ran away after having volunteered to go to the station. I took Carson to the station. I did not subsequently arrest King because Carson was discharged by the magistrate on the ground of the evidence being insufficient. I am certain, though it is six months afterwards, that King is the man.
Cross-examined. The coins are very good imitations, but the ring is not the same as that of silver coins.
Re-examined. Genuine coins are never wrapped up separately in pieces of paper. That is the modus operandi of the coiner.
HENRY KING (prisoner, on oath). On the evening of October 14 I met Carson at the corner of White Lion Street I asked him to come and have a drink. He said, "Come down to the bottom," meaning towards Islington. There is a public-house at the corner of White Lion Street. Going down the street, about the middle, I picked up a packet of these base coins. I opened the packet and showed one to Carson and asked him whether it was good or bad. He said, "I think they are bad." I then put them into my pocket and said, "What shall I do with them?" Then the sergeant rushed over and said, "What have you got there?" and seized hold of my pocket, lifting up his fist as if he were going to strike me. I then ran away. He called out, "Stop thief," and two men tried to stop me. When he got up to me he hit my hat twice with his stick, cutting my head and bursing my hat open. It is not true, as stated by Cunningham, that when arrested I said, "All right; I am done." I did say, "Carson knows nothing about it. I picked them up." I picked the parcel up in the street not ten yards from where I was arrested. I did not say anything about having found the socks. I did not say as Garrard has said, "It is no good; he has got us set. We can easily bluff' him all right." I made use of no such words. I did not say to Carson, as Sergeant Garrard swears I did, "Shoot, there is a 'split' over there," or anything of that kind. I remember the incident of the coin-faking. It dropped out of my pocket when I was seized by the sergeant and was never in Carson's possession. It is not true that Carson passed anything to me after crossing the street. I should think the police must have seen me pick the parcel up.
Cross-examined. I did not know Sergeant Cunningham. I had never seen him before I was taken into custody. I was with Carson I should say about 10 minutes before I was arrested. This is a quiet street end I should think there were not more than three or four people about that night. I did not notice that somebody was keeping very close to me and somebody very close to Carson. The first I saw was
when Carson crossed the road to us. After I had had a drink I was going to meet a young lady I go out with. I did look into the "Lord Wolsey" public-house. The bar was not full. A parcel of coins like that I picked up would not take up a lot of room. There was no traffic in the street and I should say that anybody watching me must have seen me pick the coins up. The parcel was lying in the gutter.
Re-examined. I do not know whether the other prisoner saw me pick the parcel up, but I know I did do so. I told him I had picked it up, and asked him if the coins were good, and he said he thought they were bad. I had known Carson about a fortnight. It is not true that I was with Carson in the "Crown" public-house on April 16. I am innocent of that charge.
EDWARD CARSON (prisoner, on oath). I was walking down White Lion Street on October 14 along with King—King happened to be a little bit in front of me. I saw him pick up something. He stopped to see what it was, me in his company, and he was pounced on by the police directly he tore the bundle open. Cunningham asked him what he had got there.
Cross-examined. After the parcel was picked up that is all that happened.
Carson, in a subsequent address to the jury, explained his possession of the bad coin by saying that he probably took it at the Clothes Exchange, where he was engaged in buying and selling gentlemen's cast-off clothes, and did not notice it in the bustle and excitement.
Verdict, Both guilty.
The criminal career of Carson commenced in 1892 and that of King in 1877
Sentence: Each, Four years' penal servitude.
BEFORE MR. JUSTICE BIGHAM.
(Wednesday, November 11.)
STEVENS, Gardiner Frank Buckland (27, solicitor) pleaded guilty , of having been entrusted with certain property—to wit, on August 12, 1907, with the sum of £532 18s. 4d. in money, on August 14, 1907, a banker's cheque for £37 5s., on November 13, 1907, a banker's cheque for £900, on March 16. 1908, a banker's cheque for £943 12s. 6d., and on May 30, 1908, a banker's cheque for £621 8s., in order that he might deliver the said property to other persons, did unlawfully and fraudulently convert the said money and the several bankers' cheques to his own use and benefit; feloniously forging and uttering an endorsement on the said cheque for £621 18 s., and forging and uttering an acquittance and receipt for that sum.
Mr. Bodkin, Mr. Travers Humphreys, and Mr. H.D. Harben prosecuted; Mr. George Elliott defended.
Prisoner's downfall was attributed to his having become involved in gambling transactions.
Sentence, Five years' penal servitude.
Mr. Bodkin, Mr. Leycester, and Mr. Eustece Fulton prosecuted; Mr. A.J. Lawrie (at the request of the Court) appeared for prisoner.
Sentence, 12 months' hard labour.
On the Coroner's inquisition, charging wilful murder of the child, no evidence was offered (there being no satisfactory evidence of separate existence), and a verdict of Not guilty was entered.
Mr. Forrest Fulton prosecuted; Mr. Herman Cohen (at the request of the Court) defended.
ADA TATTERSALL . I live with my aunt, Mrs. Worth, at 26, Stanford Road, Kensington. From April to October prisoner was employed there as parlourmaid. About the end of September my suspicions were aroused at to her physical condition, and I asked her to see a doctor; she said she would do so when her aunt came home. On September 25 I insisted that she should see our own doctor; the next day prisoner gave a month's notice to leave. On the morning of October 2 I noticed that she had not come downstairs, and I called for her; she came down about eight. I then had a conversation with the cook. About nine I saw prisoner in the kitchen; she looked very ill. I induced her to go upstairs to bed and I went for a doctor. Before doing so I went to her room, where I saw a utensil full of blood; the water in the wash-basin was bloodstained and a towel and some clothing were stained also. I saw prisoner after the doctor had examined her. She said, "The doctor says I am going to have a baby and says I must go to the infirmary; instead of that I will go to my mother." A short time afterwards she went with the cook in a cab to the infirmary; the tin box and black wooden box produced went with her. After her departure I again went to her bedroom, and found a sheet saturated with blood rolled up and put under the bolster; there was blood on the carpet end bloodstained things about the room.
ELEANOR EARWAKER . I was cook at Mrs. Worth's, where prisoner was parlourmaid; we slept in the same bedroom, in different beds. In August she began to complain of indigestion and sickness. On the night of October 1 I noticed that she had got out of bed in the middle of the night. I asked her what she was doing, and she said she was going to. the lavatory; she left the room. I went to sleep again and did not hear her return. About quarter to seven next morning the called out to me from her bed that it was time to get
up. On getting up I noticed that the chamber utensil was covered over with a towel. Just before eight she came down to the kitchen. She said, "Would I take up the tea to the mistress, as she was very poorly." She was standing by the kitchen table, and I noticed there was blood on the floor. At 20 past eight I saw her in the bedroom; she was washing herself. She said she was in an awful state. I noticed that the bedclothes were bloodstained. She said she had had some pains and had taken salts to make her better. Later in the morning, after the doctor had seen her, I went to her by Miss Tattersall's directions, and said she was to get up and dress, and I would pack her boxes, and she was to go home. She started packing her tin box and a black wooden box which I lent her (as a box of hers was under repair). When I went to help her pack the tin box was almost full; I put a few small things on the top; I locked that box and also the black box and prisoner took the keys. Finally, I went with prisoner and the boxes in a cab to the Relieving Officer and then to the infirmary.
Cross-examined. I had no suspicion until the end that anything was wrong with the prisoner. She frequently spoke to me about her parents in Gloucestershire. On the day she went into the infirmary I wrote to her mother telling her of the circumstances, going by what prisoner had told me that morning. I told the mother that the doctor said he thought prisoner was about four months' gone; I was then under the belief that the child was still to come.
CHARLES EWART , M.D., 58, Queen's Gate Terrace. On October 2, about 9.30 a.m., I saw prisoner in her bedroom at 26, Stanford Road and examined her, externally only, and came to the conclusion that she was about four months in pregnancy. I told her she was in the family way. She said she knew nothing of it. I said, "To be in this condition you must know about it." She said, "If he has done it to me I did not know about it." I suggested that she should go to the infirmary, as she could not be properly treated in the house. She replied that she wanted to go to her home in Gloucestershire. I said she was not in a fit condition to do that. On October 5 I assisted Dr. Potter in a post-mortem examination.
Cross-examined. I have had a great deal of experience in child delivery. Even a healthy married woman at such a time would be in a state of mental excitement; a respectable, but unmarried, young woman, in great agony, suddenly discovering that she was about to become a mother would be even more likely to be affected in her mind.
HENRY PERCY POTTER , F.R.C.S., medical superintendent at Kensington Infirmary. On October 5 I examined the dead body of a female child; it was a full-term child; it had an incised wound across the throat, 2 1/2 in. long, extending right through the windpipe, severing the blood vessels of the neck; there was a fracture of the left collar bone and of the right side of the lower jaw, a large contusion below the right ear, a punctured wound over the heart; two ribs were fractured and a third injured. The punctured wound might have been inflicted with the scissors produced; they could
not have caused the cut at the throat. There were other punctured wounds on the body. I should say the child had breathed for at least three or four minutes; it had certainly had a separate existence. The cause of death was hemorrhage from the cut throat; that wound must have been inflicted during life. On the scissors were traces of mammalian blood. I was shown by the police some pills; they tasted strongly of aloes, and were of such a nature as to be likely to cause abortion.
Cross-examined. A woman delivering herself, and cutting the cord with scissors would no doubt have a shaky hand; this may account for some of the punctured wounds, but others appear to me to indicate some deliberation and decision.
ADA SUTTON , wardswoman at the infirmary. On October 2 I received prisoner; from my examination of her I concluded she had just been delivered of a child, and I had her taken to the maternity ward. She gave me a small hand-bag; it contained some coins and some keys. I saw the two boxes in the waiting-room. On October 5 I noticed a faint smell from them. I got the keys from prisoner's bag and I opened the tin box; I found wrapped in the clothes (produced) the dead body of a female child.
JOHN MUGGLESTON , M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., assistant medical officer, Kensington Infirmary. On October 2, at 11 a.m., I examined prisoner and found she had just been delivered of a child; I asked her where the child was; she said there had been no child, only clots.
Sergeant GEORGE VERNEY, F Division. On October 10 I was shown at Kensington Infirmary the dead body of a child, wrapped in the clothes identified by Sutton. I searched the boxes produced. In the tin box I found the small pair of scissors and stiletto produced; in the wooden box I found this other pair of scissors; they were lying about the middle of the box, as if they bad been thrown in and the clothes thrown on top of them; there were what appeared to be bloodstains on the scissors. I also found the box of pills produced. I handed the articles to Dr. Potter.
Inspector THOMAS TAPPENDEN , F Division. On October 26, at Kensington Police Station, I charged prisoner with "the wilful murder of her newly-born female child, on October 2, at 26, Stanford Street"; she replied, "Yes, I understand; I put the child in the box; it was born while I was on the bed, and I wrapped it up in my clohtes." On November 2, at West London Police Court, prisoner volunteered to me this statement: "The child was born after Earwaker had gone upstairs; I tore it from me and put it in the box."
FREDERICK HARDING , father of prisoner (called by Mr. Cohen). I am an insurance agent, living in Gloucestershire. My daughter left home to go to London two years ago; she was then about 19 years old. She has been well educated; she has taught in Sunday school,
and was always a girl of very good character. She frequently wrote to her mother, and knew that our home was always open to her. When we got the letter from Earwaker we thought the child was yet to come, and my wife wrote to Earwaker to know when Ethel would be able to come home.
Verdict, "Guilty, with the strongest possible recommendation to mercy, as we consider that she was in a frenzied state of mind at the time the act was committed."
Mr. Herman Cohen submitted that this was a verdict of Guilty, but insane.
Mr. Justice Bigham said he thought it was a verdict of Guilty, and he must act upon it. Addressing the prisoner, he desired her not to be anxious, because he hoped and believed that the recommendation of the jury (to which his own would be added) would be received with sympathy, and would be given effect to by the Home Secretary, to whom it would be forwarded. He was, however, obliged to pass upon her the only sentence which was permissible for the crime of which she had been found guilty—namely, the sentence of death.
FISHER, Samuel Charles (44, fishmonger) , indicted for and charged on Coroner's inquisition with the wilful murder of William Schofield , pleaded guilty to manslaughter, which plea was, with the approval of the Court, accepted by the prosecution.
Mr. Forrest Fulton prosecuted; Mr. Huntly Jenkins appeared for prisoner.
A formal verdict was entered of Not guilty of murder, Guilty of manslaughter.
Mr. Justice Bigham said the case came very near indeed to one of murder, and sentenced prisoner to Seven years' penal servitude.
HENRY SIMMONS , of Simmons's Detective Association, 30, King Street, Cheapside. On October 26 I received the following letter, which I know to be in prisoner's handwriting: "22, Seven Sisters Road. October 26. To H. Simmonds. Re 'The Viper of Milan.' I find that on investigating your report on the above that you have been playing a double game and that you have been checkmating me and suborning others to disprove my claim on Marjorie Bowen. Now I hereby warn you that unless you return me the £5 5s. you defrauded me of and allow me adequate compensation (which you obtained off Bowen for yourself) I shall wait on you and take the law into my own hands. My wasted life and useless literary work, together with this misfortune, has determined me on this coarse and drastic measure, and I am quite prepared to stake my life on such a despicable scoundrel as you are. Now, I adjudge my claim on M. Bowen to be 25 guineas and together with the five you robbed me of makes it up to 30 guineas, and I hereby swear that unless you forward the same on to me within seven days I shall waylay you and shoot you stone dead. I intended this for the Bowens, but as there would be some trouble, in finding their whereabouts I shall mark you down instead.
I have been revolver-practising for some time with the intention of colonising, but this affair cropping up and floundering has deferred my purpose to the deadly peril of yourself. So fear not that I shall carry out my threat. Repent ere✗ is too late, if only for your wife and children's sake.—Signed, A. J. PEARCE, 22, Seven Sisters Road, to whom the money should be sent." There is no truth whatever in the suggestions contained in the letter. I have been in fear of my life in consequence of the letter.
Cross-examined. My agency was employed by prisoner in April to investigate the circumstances under which a Miss Marjorie Bowen had written and published a book called "The Viper of Milan," which, as he alleged, pirated a work that he had written and sent to various publishers. I made inquiries, and, so far as I could discover, there was no ground for prisoner's belief that Bowen had in some way got hold of his manuscript. I so reported to him, and he appeared quite satisfied with my work. I never saw Bowen or received any "compensation" from her. I have never had any sort of quarrel with prisoner. I bear him no ill-will and have no desire to press this charge.
HUBERT SMITH , City Police. I arrested prisoner on October 27. On my reading the warrant to him, he said, "I am pleased; I expected this." Prisoner is a pawnbroker's warehouseman, and, so far as is known, quite a respectable man; a former employer of his told me that at times he was peculiar in his actions.
Dr. SCOTT, of Brixton Prison (called by his Lordship). I have had the prisoner under observation for a fortnight. He has been quite quiet and amenable to discipline. The chief indications of anything mentally wrong with him are with regard to his book; he told me such an involved and distorted story, in which he appeared to fully believe, that I came to the conclusion that his ideas were genuine insane delusions with regard to the piracy of his ideas. I think he should be under control, both for his own good and for other people's safety.
Verdict, Guilty, but insane at the time of committing the offence, so as not to be responsible for his actions.
Ordered to be detained during His Majesty's pleasure.
BEFORE THE RECORDER.
(Wednesday, November 11.)
BENNING, Ernest James (44, clerk) pleaded guilty , of stealing on or about October 30, 1906, the sum of 5s., on or about December 8. 1906. the sum of £9 10s., on or about September 27. 1907, the sum of £25, on or about October 1. 1907, the sum of £18, on or about October 8, 1907, the sum of £25, on or about October 12. 1907, the sum of £18, on or about October 24, 1907, the sum of £38, on or about December 9, 1907, the sum of £17, on or about December 18, 1907, the sum of £10, and on or about December 19, 1907, the sum of £25, the moneys of John William Rose and others, his masters; unlawfully and with intent to defraud making certain false entries in a certain book known as a "Petty Disbursement Book," the property of the said John William Rose and others, his masters; forging and uttering, knowing the same to be forged, a mortgage deed to secure £120 and interest, dated November 11, 1896, a mortgage deed to secure £200 and interest dated May 7, 1900, and a mortgage deed to secure £250 and interest dated May 12, 1902, in each case with intent to defraud; obtaining by false pretences from John Whitmore Black £120, on or about November 11, 1896, £200 on or about May 7, 1900, and £250 on or about May 12, 1902, in each case with intent to defraud.
Mr. Huntly Jenkins, who prosecuted, said that this was about as bad a case of forgery and larceny as it was possible to imagine. Prisoner for about 26 years had been employed by Messrs. Rose, Johnson, and Hicks, solicitors, 13, Delahay Street, Westminster, and had gained their complete confidence. He had induced his brother-in-Law, Mr. Black, to advance close upon £5, 000 upon various securities which prisoner had forged, and, under the pretence that the money was invested on Mr. Rose's authority, prisoner representing that his brother-in-law was a client of the firm. By this means Mr. Black (a clergyman) had lost his entire fortune.
Sentence, Five years' penal servitude.
COHEN, Solomon (19, tailor) pleaded guilty , of obtaining by false pretences from Jacob Marks, divers of his moneys—to wit, the sum of £2. with intent to defraud; obtaining by false pretences from Abraham Lipman, divers of his money—to wit, the sum of £2, with intent to defraud.
Prisoner had been bound over by Judge Lumley Smith at this Court, on January 8 of this year, for a similar offence. (See Vol. 148, p. 424.) It was stated that he had probably been led away by bad company.
Sentence, Six months' imprisonment.
WAFFRON, Charles (20, seaman) pleaded guilty , of, being entrusted with the sum of 15s. to deliver to Emily French, fraudulently converted the same to his own use. Prisoner had been several times previously convicted, three times of attempted suicide.
Sentence, Nine months' hard labour.
Mr. Scott-France (the Court missionary) stated that prisoner had been courting a man—not the father of the child—for eight years, who was prepared to marry her.
Sentence, Two days' imprisonment, entitling her to immediate discharge.
detective now stated that the woman was a prostitute and prisoner her bully. He had been convicted several times with fines and light sentences. His correct name was Russell.
Sentence, Six months' hard labour.
OSBORNE, Percy Edward (28, carpenter) ; feloniously demanding two post letters by virtue of certain forged instruments—to wit, two notices purporting to be signed by Arthur Griffiths and William John Frank Drake respectively, knowing the same to be forged.
Mr. Forster Boulton, M.P., prosecuted; Mr. St. John Macdonald defended.
HENRY WILLIAM JONES , secretary to B. Morris and Co., Limited, cigarette manufacturers, produced the result of a competition held by them in September last, and published in the "Daily Mail" October 21. By that £250 was divided between Mr. Arthur Griffiths, 21, The Causeway, Cambridge; Mr. W.J.F. Drake, 62, Stanmore Road, West Green, N.; and Mr. A.H. Granger, 72. Cape Hill, Smethwick, Staffs; to whom cheques for £83 6s. 8d. were sent on October 30.
EDITH GREEN , clerk to Mackenzie and Co., 149, High Holborn, newsagents. On Thursday, October 21, prisoner came into the shop between eight and nine p.m. and asked if he could have his letters addressed there. I said "Yes." He asked for a bill-head (produced), which he took away. I asked his name, and he hesitated, then said it was not for him. On the Monday following he came again between four and five and asked if there were any letters for Griffiths, Drake, or Granger. He handed me a slip of paper (produced), with the names in pencil. There were no letters, so he went away. He returned next day about five, and by that time Detective Caldicott was waiting for him. The latter asked prisoner some questions in my hearing.
ARTHUR GRIFFITHS , 21, The Causeway, Cambridge. The exhibit produced purports to be an authority for letters to be readdressed to 149, High Holborn. It bears the name of Mr. Arthur Griffiths, which is not my signature, and I gave no authority for it. I have received my cheque from Morris and Co.
Cross-examined. I cannot say whether "Mr. Arthur Griffiths" is a signature or not; it is supposed to be.
WILLIAM JOHN FRANK DRAKE said that the document produced as to the redirection of his letters to 149, High Holborn, was not signed or authorised by him. He was still living at 62, Stanmore Road, and he had received his share of the prize.
Cross-examined. This is nothing like my signature. I never sign my name with "Mr." before it.
ALFRED HARRY GRANGER , 72. Cape Hill, Smethwick, Staffs, gave similar evidence as to a redirection notice with his name on it. (There was no cross-examination.) He had never seen prisoner before, and did not know where 149, High Holborn was.
the Post Office; they are stamped, "October 22, 7.30 p.m." That means that they would be posted in the neighbourhood that evening. They are the proper forms, which anybody could obtain.
RALPH CALDICOTT , police officer, attached to G.P.O. I went to a newspaper shop at 149, High Holborn on October 27 about five p.m. and waited there. I then saw prisoner come in and heard him ask Miss Edith Green if there were any letters for Griffiths, Granger, or Drake. She asked him what names, and he produced this piece of paper containing the three names. He laid it on the counter and I picked it up, and, pointing to the name Granger, asked if it was his. He said, "No, my name is Osborne. I filled up three papers in the names of Griffiths, Drake, and Granger because the men said they could not write." I then took prisoner to the G.P.O. Prisoner said that he had to meet these three men that evening on Waterloo or Westminster Bridge about six o'clock, but he did not know their names or where they lived. At the G.P.O. prisoner was seen by Mr. Bruce in my presence. I then took him to Cannon Row, where he was charged, but made no reply. I searched him and found the billhead (produced), with the name of "Mackenzie and Co., 149, High Holborn."
Cross-examined. Prisoner gave me his name at once.
EDWARD WHITE BRUCE , clerk in Secretary's office, G.P.O. The last witness brought prisoner to me about six p.m., on October 27. I asked him his name and address, then told him who I was and fully cautioned him. He said that he fully understood. I then showed him the two re-direction notices in the names of Granger and Griffiths. In reply to me prisoner said they were in his handwriting. I asked him to account for the fact that they were in the names mentioned. He said, "They are two different persons; I filled in three altogether, the third being W.J.F. Drake. They are three men I met casually at the Free Library, High Street, Peckham, about eight weeks ago, about 10 a.m. I was reading the advertisements in the 'Daily Chronicle.'" At my request he gave three descriptions of the men; one known to him as Griffiths, height 5 ft. 9 in. age about 34; fair hair, and big, fair moustache; rather fat, loud voice, stout build, blue serge suit; No. 2, known to him as Drake, 5 ft. 6 in. or 5 ft. 7 in., age about 28: dark hair, slight, dark moustache, sharp features, scar by left side of nose, very slim, blue serge suit; No. 3, known to him as Granger, probably German, about 5 ft. 9 in. or 5 ft. 10 in., age about 35 or over. black, rather long hair, very heavy black moustache, very dark complexion, blue serge suit, very shabby. He said that he (prisoner) made some remark about the advertisement not being worth writing after, then the men spoke to him, and he went with them looking for work till seven p.m. About two weeks after that (he said) he met them in Rye Lane. They spoke to him. but he did not speak. He did not see them again till the previous Tuesday, when he had then got work in Long Acre. Drake asked him if he would like a job in his spare time and offered £1 a week to go and fetch letters from 149, High Holborn. He accepted, and they asked him to go to that address and ask if letters could be addressed there,
which he did do, and met them again on the Wednesday night outside his place of work in Long Acre. They told him they would not want him that night, but would meet him on Thursday evening at Rye Lane. He met them between five and six, and they all went into a public-house next to Jones and Higgins's place. Griffiths produced three pieces of paper (two of which I had shown prisoner) and asked him to fill them up. Drake told him how to, and they asked him to go to 149, High Holborn on Friday to see if there were any letters, and again on Saturday, and to meet them in Rye Lane on Saturday night about seven p.m. Prisoner went to High Holborn on Friday and Saturday, but got no letters. He met the men in Shaftesbury Avenue about 3.30, when he told them he had got no letters, promising to meet them on Monday night at Waterloo Bridge between five and six. He called again at High Holborn and did not get to the bridge till about 6.30, but did not see them. He called on the next day at High Holborn, and would have gone to Waterloo Bridge if he had not been taken to the Post Office, as he had arranged to meet the men there every evening between five and six. He said that after he had written out the papers they gave him 2s. each. All this I took down from prisoner at the time. I told him that the three names were those of three persons published in the "Daily Mail" as winners of over £80, and what did he wish to say. He replied, "That is the first time I ever heard of this; I never see the 'Daily Mail.'" I then gave him into custody.
PERCY EDWARD OSBORNE (prisoner, on oath) said that he was employed as carpenter and box maker at £1 a week, and that, as his wife was in trouble at home, he wanted more money, so took this job on from the three men. (Witness gave substantially the same story of his doings with "the three men" as he had to Mr. Bruce.) The men made out to him that they could not write and gave him to understand that the papers he filled up were for betting purposes. They said that their names were as on the papers and that they were moving to London. He had tried to find out where they lived, and had stopped out late at night to do so. The men had told him, when they met in Shaftesbury Avenue, that they were too busy to fetch the letters. They told him to put "Mr." before the names on the papers, and said that they would put their cross on it, so it would be all right. Witness had written several betting slips out for them.
Cross-examined. I met the men about four times. They must have followed me and watched me go into my place of work in Long Acre. I did think it funny that they should be always turning up by accident, and I watched them several times to find out where they went. I never really tumbled to it until after I had filled the papers in. I could not make it out. They never said they could not read. I can read. When they said the business was betting, I supposed they did not care about having their letters addressed to their own place. They explained that there would be no other work for me to do. I am paid 5d. an hour for carpentering. I had only been
employed two weeks at this place in Long Acre. I did speak to the men when I met them accidentally in Rye Lane, and I told Mr. Bruce so; he may have made a mistake. I told them I was expecting work in Long Acre. I cannot remember the exact date when I went to 149, High Holborn first. I think it was the same day as I saw the men in Long Acre.
(Thursday, November 12.)
Verdict, Guilty. Sentence, 18 months' hard labour.
BEFORE THE COMMON SERJEANT.
(Wednesday, November 11.)
HURWITZ, Lionel Judah (49, agent) ; in incurring a certain debt and liability to—de Verneuil did obtain credit by false pretences and by means of fraud other than false pretences; in incurring a certain debt and liability to Paul Maurice Emile Picot, did obtain credit by false pretences and by means of fraud other than false pretences; in incurring a certain debt and liability to Lucien Andre did obtain credit by false pretences and by means of fraud other than false pretences; in incurring a certain debt and liability to Andre Offroy, did obtain credit by false pretences and by means of fraud other than false pretences; attempting to incur a certain debt and liability to Gastin Claus and to obtain credit by false pretences and by means of fraud other than false pretences.
Mr. Muir and Mr. Bigham prosecuted; Mr. Huntly Jenkins defended.
Mr. Muir, in opening the case, stated that the prisoner was indicted for having obtained credit by means of false pretences, and by means of fraud other than false pretences under the Debtors Act of 1869, and the charges against him were that while living in England he had since June, 1907, sought to defraud stockbrokers in Paris. The case for the prosecution was that the prisoner had adopted a number of false names and addresses, some of the addresses being those of newspaper and other stops, and that, by writing to the officials of large companies in France to the effect that he wanted to invest in their concerns, and that he desired the names of trustworthy stockbrokers, he became armed with letters with which he could approach stockbrokers in Paris. Another method prisoner employed was that he wrote, contrary to the fact, that he had sons of 15 and 17 years of age whom he desired to place with a school-master at Paris for the purpose of completing their education and, incidentally, he asked in a postscript if a notary could be recommended to transact important legal business, and by these means, also, he became possessed of recommendations to lawyers, to whom in turn he wrote and became possessed of introductions to stockbrokers. As
a third method he approached directly a lawyer and got from him an introduction to stockbrokers in Paris. Defendant then wrote letters in London to the stockbrokers in Paris falsely stating that he was possessed of large sums which he wished to invest in French securities. On hearing from them he sent instructions to purchase for him large amounts of various French stocks, promising to send the money as soon as he heard that the purchases had been made. By these means he induced several stockbrokers to buy various French stocks, for which, by the rules of the Paris Bourse, they rendered themselves liable. Some of the stocks so bought rose in price, and the defendant ordered them to be sold and received the difference. In all the cases mentioned in the indictment the stocks fell, and he left the stockbrokers to bear the loss.
Mr. Huntly Jenkins stated that the facts as opened were not disputed, but he submitted that, as the credit was given to the defendant in Paris, he did not commit the offence of obtaining credit within the jurisdiction of the Court.
Mr. Muir referred to R. v. Jones, 1898, 1 Q.B., 119; R. v. Holmes, 12 Q.B.D., 23; R. v. Peters, 16 Q.B.D., 636; R. v. Ellis, 1899, 1 Q.B., 230; and R. v. Burdett, 4 B. and Ald., 717; and contended that, the defendant having written the false representations in London and having been in London when the stockbrokers gave him credit, the offence was committed within the jurisdiction of the Court.
The Common Serjeant held, on the authority of R. v. Peters and the judgment of Wills, J., in R. v. Ellis that, on the facts stated, the offence, if proved, was committed in London.
The prisoner then, on the advice of his counsel, said he would plead guilty to counts 13 to 16 of the indictment.
Mr. Muir accepted this plea, and, the prisoner having stated in the hearing of the jury that he pleaded guilty to these counts, the jury so found.
Mr. Muir stated that prisoner was born in London of Jewish parents; that in 1893 he was living in Paris and obtaining credit from stockbrokers in London by similar means to those charged in the indictment; that he left France upon proceedings being taken against him there, and in his absence was convicted and sentenced to five years' imprisonment.
Mr. Huntly Jenkins urged that since the prisoner had returned to England three years ago he had lived a perfectly honest life, and also that he had been in custody for a month.
Sentence, 12 months' hard labour.
Mr. R.C. Chalmers prosecuted.
Grove, and about 150 yards from home I saw two men standing against the railings of a house; it was dark. I could not recognise their features. After I passed them I received at the back of my head a✗ blow which knocked me down and I must have become perfectly unconscious—I did not know anything more till I found myself at home; it seems I was able to tell the person who picked me up where I lived, or else he knew my address; he works for a builder who does our work. I found I had been robbed of my gold watch and silver chain, a Kruger shilling, and about 5s.; I put it altogether at the value of about £5 10s.; the watch cost more than £5 and the chain 10s. or 12s. I think I was knocked down with a fist. I am 71.
Dr. MALACHI JOSEPH ROBINSON , Essex Road. I attended prosecutor on October 10, about nine p.m., and found a cut over his left temple; he was in a dazed condition. There did not seem any other injury; it looked as if he had fallen against something sharp—against the kerb, for instance, as if he had been struck in falling down. He was ill for some time, not only from the pain of the wound but from the shock.
ARTHUR HENDRY , manager to Mr. Walker, pawnbroker, 13, Prebend Street, Islington. On October 10, about 7.45 p.m., prisoner came in and offered me this gold watch, on which he asked £2. I offered him a sovereign and gave him £11s.; to me, as a pawnbroker, it was worth £3; it would be worth a little more to prosecutor. I showed it to the police. This is the ticket relating to it, which was issued to prisoner; it corresponds to the duplicate written by myself. The name on it was that given by the person pawning, "George Harris. 62, Packington Street." After prisoner left the shop I sent to Detective-sergeants Kenward and Tanner. After the prisoner had been arrested I was asked to go and identify him on the following Tuesday evening, October 13; I picked him out immediately.
To Prisoner. Outside our shop there is a constable on point duty. I had other ideas than to send for him and have you arrested. I heard on the Monday of the stealing and I supplied the police with a description.
Detective-sergeant TOM TANNER , N Division. I know the neighbourhood of Canonbury. It is about 10 minutes' walk from Northampton Street to Prebend Street. On October 13 I saw prisoner in Alwyne Villas, Canonbury. I said to him, "You answer the description of a man we want for knocking an old gentleman down in Canonbury Grove last Saturday evening and robbing him of this watch, chain, and money." He said, turning to Sergeant Kenward, who was with me, "Does he mean it, Mr. Kenward?" Kenward said, "Certainly; you answer the description of the man who stole the watch; if you are not the man you have nothing to fear, but you will have to come to the police-station with us." He said, "I will go quiet." When we got to Halton Road he became very violent and we had a struggle, and all went to the ground; then he went quietly for a while and then again became very violent and we had to pin him to the railings. A constable in uniform came along, and with his assistance we got prisoner to the station. In the station he was violent, and when he
was searched he said, "One of you dirty f—put the pawnticket in my pocket—I am not certain which it was—coming along." The station clerk found the ticket in his pocket and took it out; that was the first I saw of it.
To Prisoner. You were very violent; I did not sav at the other Court you went quietly.
Detective-sergeant JOHN KENWARD , N Division. On the night of October 13 I was with Sergeant Tanner in Alwyne Villas, where we arrested prisoner and charged him with knocking Mr. Little down and robbing him of a gold watch and chain and about 5s. in money. Prisoner said, "Does he mean that, Mr. Kenward?" I said, "Certainly; if you are not the man you have nothing to fear, but you will have to go to the station." We took him to the station. For a short distance he went quietly; on the way he took a letter from his pocket and tore it up. After we got into Halton Road he said, "You are not f—well going to take me; I am going to have a go for it." We had a struggle on the pavement. Then he said, "If you let me get up I will go quiet." After that we had another struggle and we had to pin him against the railings. At the station he was very violent. When he was searched I saw taken out of his pocket by the station sergeant this pawnticket for a gold watch—£11s. I and Tanner were holding prisoner; that was the first I had seen of the ticket.
To Prisoner. I did not give this evidence before the magistrate because I was not called.
Inspector JOHN MARTIN , N Division. I came to the Islington Police Station on the night of October 13. Shortly after prisoner was brought in. He said, "Mr. Martin, they have fairly put it on me." I said, "All right, I will attend to it." He said, "Either Kenward or the other 'tec put a pawnticket in my pocket which they say belonged to the watch which has been stolen." I was there afterwards when the pawnbroker picked out prisoner from a number of other men. Prisoner said nothing, and when he was charged he said nothing. Afterwards he said, "Now I have been picked out I own I did the pawning, but I had nothing to do with knocking the old man about." When he was identified I had the pawnticket in my hand. He said, "That is the ticket they put in my pocket."
Prisoner's statement before the Magistrate: "I admit buying the watch and pledging it."
Prisoner, in his defence, said he knew nothing about the watch being stolen.
Verdict, Guilty of receiving.
Prisoner then confessed to a previous conviction of felony at Reading on October 15, 1906.
Detective FRANK PAGE proved that on that occasion prisoner was sentenced to two terms of 12 months' hard labour, to run concurrently, for two cases of housebreaking and stealing. He had been previously convicted, to three months' hard labour on June 5, 1903, for stealing a handkerchief from the person in the name of Henry Lee ; to three months' hard labour on November 5 for loitering in the same name; to three months' hard labour on June 22, 1904, for frequenting in the name of Henry Williams ; that 11 days after his release
from Reading on August 31, 1907, he was arrested and sentenced to 12 months' hard labour; on October 18, 1907, for attempted housebreaking, and that he came out from that conviction on July 18, 1908. Witness added that he had known prisoner for about four years, and that during that time he had never done a stroke of work and was the associate of a lot of thieves who frequented Penton Street and the neighbourhood of the "Angel."
Sentence, Five years' penal servitude.
The Grand Jury expressed their opinion that the pawnbroker's assistant had acted with great sagacity in the matter, a commendation in which the Common Serjeant concurred. The Jury desired to commend the police officers in the case for the very prompt way in which they had brought the prisoner to justice.
BEFORE JUDGE LUMLEY SMITH.
(Wednesday, November 11.)
TRACEY, Richard (38, accountant) pleaded guilty ,of obtaining by false pretences on April 11, 1908, a certain valuable security—to wit, a cheque for the sum of £51 5s., from William Whitby; on April 15, 1908, a certain valuable security—to wit, a cheque for the sum of £52 10s., from Reginald Charles Lintern; on June 27, 1908, a certain valuable security—to wit, a cheque for the sum of £35 12s. 3d., from Walter Fogden; on August 22, 1908, a certain valuable security—to wit, a cheque for the sum of £90 10s., from Sarah Cecilia Mandeville, in each case with intent to defraud. Having been entrusted with certain property—to wit, a cheque for £51 5s., by William Whitby, on April 11, 1908; a cheque for £52 10s., by Reginald Charles Lintern. on April 15, 1908; a cheque for £35 12s. 3d., by Walter Fogden, on June 27, 1908; and a cheque for £90 10s., by Sarah Cecilia Mandeville, on August 22. 1908, in order that he might apply the same for a certain purpose, that is to say, for the purpose of purchasing certain shares, did fraudulently convert to his own use and benefit the said cheques for £35 12s. 3d. and £90 10s. and the sums of £44 1s. 6d. and £45 3s., part of the proceeds of the said cheques for £51 5s. and £52 10s. respectively.
Mr. Bodkin prosecuted.
From October, 1907, up to the autumn of this year prisoner traded as Tracey, Miller, and Co., in Sackville Street, who described themselves as accountants and auditors, and as Miller and Co., at 110, Strand. The system of fraud was precisely the same in all cases. Prisoner obtained the names and addresses of ladies and gentlemen who held shares in certain small trading or private companies which were not well known or quoted upon the Stock Exchange, and sent to such shareholders circulars stating that he, in the winding up of an estate, or some other source, had a small block of shares in the particular company which the persons circularised then held, to dispose of at a low price, and that it was necessary for the person circularised
to answer rapidly and enclose their cheque is payment for the shares. In this way he obtained the cheques, the subject of the charges, which he promptly cashed. In no case were there any shares which prisoner had for disposal. There were a great number of other cases discovered by the police of a precisely similar kind.
Prisoner said he had had offices in the Strand for the last four years as an accountant, and, with the exception of an affair which the police discovered in connection with an appointment he held in Harley Street and which, was not made the subject of criminal proceedings, there had never been anything against him. At the end of last year things were very bad with him in business, and it was a question of either giving up or taking on some other business, and it occurred to him to deal in these shares, which were in industrial companies and which were quoted at a very wide margin. If he could bring buyer and seller together there was a good business to be done. The mistake he had made was in embarking in the business with insufficient capital, but at the same time he was trying to get capital. The companies were good ones, but he found there were more buyers than sellers, and whilst waiting to get the sellers to come; along, so that he could get his legitimate profit, he had no capital to fall back upon.
Sentence, Twelve months' imprisonment, second division.
Sentence. Each, Two months' imprisonment in second division.
Mr. Graham Mould and Mr. G.M. Hilbery prosecuted.
ELLEN SARAH WILDERMUTH , Wildermuth House, Wentworth Street, E. I am a widow. My house is used as a common lodging house, and I have an interest in it. I live on the premises. My rooms are separated from the rest of the house. I have four room on the flat. I do not remember the date of the first time I saw the prisoner; I think it was in May. I was in the office where the money is taken when he came in and said, "I want to see Mrs. Wildermuth." I did not know the man and I said, "Mrs. Wildermuth is not here," and he said, "I will come back before 12 to-night; that will be time for me to see her." He did not come back. The next occasion I saw him was on July 2, at a quarter to eight in the morning. He rang at my private door, the servant opened it, and she told me that the man that had been so frequently calling there wished to see me. I first took the precaution of taking out of the hall-stand drawer a revolver, because I knew who it was I expected to see and I opened the door and I said to him, "What do you want?" I was then in the sitting or general living room. He was outside the door. He said, "My dear, you do not answer my letters. I want some money; you
have plenty, and I shall share it, if not I will rip your (swearing) guts up." I brought the revolver from behind me and I said, "I am not frightened of you, I have this." He got in a great rage and said, "I will lie in wait for you wherever you go and I shall swing for you." Then he went away. There was another person in the sitting room; she heard. Her name is Rebecca Edgart. The prisoner could not see this other person. After that I went to Commercial Street Police Station and told the Inspector in charge there. He advised me to go to Old Street and apply for a warrant, which was granted. I have five children—one girl and four boys; the eldest boy is a cadet in the merchant service, the second is at college at Wolverhampton, me third is at the City of London School. I have no sister. There is no Alice Wildermuth. No woman named Alice Wildermuth has ever lived at Wildermuth House. The four letters produced now were received by me and are spread over a period of about 12 months.
To Prisoner. I have been proprietress of this house about 10 years. I was not in Mr. Wildermuth's employ as a servant. On his death I did not marry his son. I remember the time of Mr. Wildermuth's death. I do not remember you living there then; I know nothing about you at all. My husband engaged Mr. Davis; I did not. The reason I did not take proceedings on receiving the objectionable letters was that they were too disgusting to show in public. I only did it when my life was threatened by you. You made my life a misery for 12 months. I have no relative named Alice Wildermuth. The statement I made to the magistrate is the same as I make to-day.
REBECCA EDGART , 32, Brick Lane, E. I am a neighbour of Mrs. Wildermuth. On July 2 last I was in the sitting-room at Wildermuth House. Mrs. Wildermuth was called to the door. I was able to hear and see from where I was standing. The hall by the front door is partitioned off with a glass partition. She asked what he wanted. He said, "Money," she had plenty and he should share it. He said if he did not get it he would rip her so-and-so guts up. She said she was not frightened of him and he said he would swing for her. There was nothing mentioned about the letters, but I know Mrs. Wildermuth received letters.
To Prisoner. There is a glass door attached to Mrs. Wildermuth's private residence. People standing in the street cannot see into the room; it divides the sitting-room from the hall. I was standing by the door in the sitting-room. The servant opened the door, shut it again, and called Mrs. Wildermuth and told her you were there. She knew you because you had called before. I do not know you. I have been in custody for buying a bit of cloth. I was dismissed. when I was sent for trial Mrs. Wildermuth stood bail for me. I have a great respect for her. I do not know what you mean by. "you would not hesitate to get her out of a corner." I am only here to tell the truth.
Detective RUTTER, H Division. On September 9, at nine p.m., I went to Rowton House, Fieldgate Street, Whitechapel. I saw prisoner. I told prisoner I was a police officer and that I was going to arrest him on a warrant. He said. "Who is going to charge me? I
know Alice Wildermuth; she loves me too much. I have not written her any letters for some days now. I know the letters I wrote to her were very thick. The last one with hair in it was very thick. The hair was for him to put on his bald head. I did received a letter making an appointment. I knew it was not Alice's writing, so I did not keep it. She has given me money, you know. I have seen her every day for the last month. It would be a good thing for me to get hold of her; she has got a couple of thousand pounds behind her. I shall tell the magistrate all about it." Prisoner, was taken to the Commercial Street Police Station, and in answer to the charge he said, "I know Alice will not charge me; she loves me too much. That is right, sir. I wrote the letters to her; the last one was very thick." Then he appeared before the magistrate next morning and was remanded at Old Street until August 17, 1908. and at the police court the prisoner requested me to take the following down and give to the magistrate: "Williams states that he always wrote to Alice, the one that had the child by Davis. She is now living with him. I went to Wildermuth House about three months ago to see Alice Wildermuth. I was threatened with a revolver by a woman I do not know. She is not the woman that I wrote to."
To Prisoner. The warrant was granted at Old Street Police Court on July 3, and I had the inquiry in hand about four days before the information was laid before the Magistrate. The only letter I have read is the one that is on the depositions, which I submitted with the information. I am not acquainted with the construction of the upstairs part of the lodging-house, but I can explain what you want to know about the down part. I called at the private side. The door leading from the street opens from the inside, is a glass panel constructed so that it covers the door entirely; anyone inside the room can see who is at the door through the glass, and then it enters into a big room into the kitchen. I do not know where the bedroom is. There is another room; whether it is a bedroom I do not know. I do not know where Mr. Davis lives; I know his office. I know nothing about the construction of the door of the private apartment of Mrs. Wildermuth. If she was in the room she could see you. The moment the door is opened you can see through the glass. I do not know that the door was shut at the time. The reason I did not arrest you before was because I could not drop across you. If you had answered the letter I caused to be written you would have found me; I should have had you. You did not put in an appearance for hours, or I should have had you. I have not seen the letters, so I do not know that they are dated from Rowton House. You must remember I knew you in the name of Arthur Shephard not as Williams. I have made inquiries, and all the witnesses are here that you asked to be brought here. Alice Wildermuth is not here; she never existed. There is no woman to my knowledge living with the deputy: there is only the last witness and her servant. I do not know whether Alice or Eliza Wildermuth ever existed or had a child or not. I have never seen the woman referred to by you. I am in a position to say that evidence can be called to show that Ellen Wildermuth
never had a sister. I do not know whether she has a sister-in-law. The witnesses you asked me to call are all here to-day. Murphy's wife is not in a condition to be here.
ARTHUR DAVIS . I am managing man at Wildermuth House. I have been there 4 1/2 years. So far as I know, there never was a person named Alice living there. I do not remember you living there. There are plenty of Williamses there. On my oath I do not remember you. No woman has swept out the office since I have been there: a man does it. I do not remember you calling there at all. I could not say I have seen letters that came from you lately; I believe they came from you. Mrs. Wildermuth did not tell me she received letters from you. She showed me one and the handwriting was very similar. It was addressed to Mrs. Wildermuth, nee Davis, Wildermuth House. I did not read it.
JOHN WILLIAMS (prisoner, on oath). It is about three years since I first lived at Wildermuth House. At that time I became acquainted with a woman who represented herself to me to be Alice Wildermuth. She had just been left a widow and we became very friendly together. As a matter of fact we were engaged to be married, but in consequence of her conduct with this man Davis, who had been there some time as what they call the deputy of this common lodging-house, I left her and saw no more of her for some months. One day I called there, and she was sweeping the floor up and this Davis was standing by her. As I passed through she said, "Here's my Jack." She asked me to take her away from Davis. She said Davis was a beast, but in consequence her condition I had nothing to do with her. Some weeks afterwards I went to Oxford, took some employment there, and was arrested there as a suspected person, and it was while in Oxford Prison I thought over the matter, and I thought she seemed sorry for what she had done and I wrote that letter you have read. I wrote to Mrs. Woolf, who keeps the general shop, to try and save her from this man. The woman who has been in the box here I do not know at all. I never saw her; she is not the woman that had charge of the house when I lived there. This Alice is some relation to her, and for some reason of her own this Ellen Sarah, as she calls herself, is doing her best to put me out of the way that I might not have anything to do with Alice. I saw her repeatedly before I was charged, and I am on friendly terms with Alice. She is a blueeyed little woman, and she has got a motor-car and rides about in it. I know if I had wanted money she would have given it me. You will see from these letters I never dreamt of asking her for money. It is a conspiracy to get me out of the way. I never thought of asking her for money. I saw her last May on my liberation from Oxford; she was on the station to meet me at Oxford. The Chaplain at Oxford Prison, if he had been able to attend, would be able to tell you and distinguish between the woman he saw at Oxford and the woman who is giving evidence
against me. She is as much like Alice Wildermuth, who is a fair, blueeyed, little woman, as chalk is like cheese; one is dark and the other is fair. On my oath I have never threatened the woman at all who represents herself as the owner of Wildermuth House, I went one morning to see Alice when this one flew out on me with a revolver. I said, "I want to see Mrs. Wildermuth," that is Alice. She presented the revolver and said, "I will blow your b——brains out if you come here after her." Of course, I went away. As a matter of fact, I went to take the revolver from her, but she put it behind her. The revolver was loaded. It is evident she meant to injure me on account of her relative, this Alice. She would not answer the question who was the person who was sharing this house with her. She has got a relative; I believe it is her sister-in-law. There is one of those letters I lost my temper over and used language that this Davis used to her when I stayed there. I do not defend that language. The letters are merely love letters, most of them are love letters.
JOHN BARTON , general dealer. On July 2 I was with prisoner when the bell was rung, the door was opened, immediately shut and opened again. I saw a lady come out with a revolver in her hand. They had a few words together. I could not pick up what they were talking about. Prisoner went away; the lady went indoors and came back with a stick in her hand and asked somebody to fetch a constable. I walked round the corner. I did not hear exactly the words that were used between prisoner and Mrs. Wildermuth; they were jangling. To Prisoner. I did not hear you use threats. If there had been anything said I should have heard it; I was five or six yards from you.
Cross-examined. My present, occupation is general dealer. I have no premises. I go out with a pony and barrow and buy things.
HENRY WILLIAM PAYNE . I am a licensed victualler and keep the "Archers." (To the Prisoner.) I do not recollect your coming into my house fourteen or fifteen months ago followed shortly after by Mr. Davis, or his having any conversation with me about Mrs. Wildermuth. I do not know Mrs. Wildermuth personally, only by sight. Mrs. Wildermuth has been living at Wildermuth House longer than I can remember; she was there when I came to White-chapel. I do not know anything about a stout blue-eyed woman. I know Mr. Davis; he has used my house occasionally.
Numerous previous convictions were proved against the prisoner.
Sentence, Two years' hard labour.
Mr. C.F. Gill, K.C., and Mr. J.P. Valetta prosecuted
Mr. Travers Humphreys defended.
Mr. Gill said that it would be hopeless to ask the jury to find a verdict of Guilty in this case and he would offer no evidence.
Verdict, Not guilty.
BEFORE the LORD CHIEF JUSTICE.
(November 10, 11, 12 and 13.)
GYDE, Henry Warwick (45, financier), and BERNARD, Marcus Edwd. Septimus (35, accountant). Both conspiring with one Walter Darby, by false pretences to defraud such of His Majesty's liege subjects as should be induced to purchase debentures and become debenture holders in certain public companies called the Welsh Slate Quarries, Limited, and the North Wales Slate Quarries, Limited, of their moneys and valuable securities. Both unlawfully obtaining by false pretences from John Dawson Self banker's cheques for £180 and £210 respectively, and £390 in money; from Joshua Heywood banker's cheques for £18, £29 5s. and £45 respectively, and £92 5s. in money; from Fielder Orme banker's cheques for £90, £280 and £90 respectively, and £460 in money; from Albert Edward Farrow banker's cheques for £99 and £90 respectively and £189 in money; from Alfred Ernest Barlow a banker's cheque for £18 and £18 in money; from Lucretia Goodwin banker's cheques for £98 15s., £90 and £40 respectively, and £228 15s. in money; from George Fentress banker's cheques for £80 and £50 respectively, and £130 in money, and from Jane Price a banker's cheque for £42 10s. and £42 10s. in money, in each case with intent to defraud.
Mr. Muir, Mr. Travers Humphreys, Mr. Graham-Campbell and Mr. Bigham prosecuted; Mr. George Elliott and Mr. S.H. Lamb defended.
The accused were tried at the October Sessions (see preceding volume. p. 903), when the jury disagreed. The evidence was now substantially repeated.
Gyde confessed to having been convicted at this Court in 1901 of obtaining money and a valuable security by false pretences, receiving five years' penal servitude. It was stated that since Gyde had been released he had been engaged in a series of promotions of bankrupt companies by which upwards of £55, 000 had been obtained from the public in four years.
The Lord Chief Justice said he had seriously considered whether he should not pass cumulative sentences upon Gyde, but he thought it right to assume that all the present frauds arose out of the one transaction.
Sentence, Gyde, Five years' penal servitude; Bernard, Twelve months' hard labour.
BEFORE MR. JUSTICE BIGHAM.
(Thursday, November 12.)
LEANING, George (56. french polisher) ; manslaughter of Sarah Leaning. (Prisoner had also been indicted for and charged on the coroner's inquisition with the wilful murder of Sarah Leaning ; the Grand Jury returned no bill on this indictment, and the prosecution offered no evidence on the charge on the inquisition.)
Mr. Graham-Campbell and Mr. A.S. Carr prosecuted; Mr. Huntly Jenkins defended.
Cross-examined. They lived quite happily and affectionately together. My sister had a hasty temper.
ESTHER CREED , 40, Mardale Street, Hammersmith. Prisoner and his wife had lodged with me for five years. On September 26 I saw Mrs. Leaning go out just before 12; she returned in a short time. Prisoner came in just before four; he and his wife went out together; they came back, and a little later she went out alone. When she came back she was not sober; she was in drink. She went into her room, where prisoner was; I heard him say, "You have been having more drink"; I did not hear exactly her reply; there was a scuffle. Then the woman came out to me—prisoner at the same time leaving the house—and said, "I am dying"; she fell back into my husband's arms; there was blood coming from her mouth. I went out into the street and saw prisoner coming back; he said, "How is she—had the doctor been?" I said, "No"; then he went down and just looked into the door of the kitchen where Mrs. Leaning was, and went out again directly, returning shortly with Police-constable Riddle.
Cross-examined. When he said, "How is she?" he appeared very much upset and anxious; when I told him the doctor had not been he immediately went out again. When prisoner and his wife were not in drink they always lived happily together.
Police-constable GEORGE RIDDLE, 658 T. On September 26, about 7.20, while I was on duty in Goldhawk Road, prisoner came to me and said he wished me to bring a doctor; he said, "I have stabbed my wife with the scissors; I did not intend to do it; she had her scissors in the right hand, and I wrenched them away with my left hand; I made a grab at her, and the scissors accidentally went into her back." I went to 40, Mardale Street, where I saw the woman; she was then dead; blood was coming from her mouth, and from a wound in her back. On the table I found the scissors produced. Prisoner seemed upset and excited.
"This is a pure accident, and this is how I done it (making a gesture); I wanted to gain the scissors which my wife had; I got them away from her and shoved her with the same hand the scissors were in.
Police-constable GEORGE SANDRING , 666 T. On September 26, about nine p.m., I was in charge of prisoner at Askew Road Police Station. He volunteered a statement; I cautioned him; he said, "I will tell you all about it; I had 6d. in silver and 6d. in coppers; I gave it all to my wife; she went out to get some bloaters, but was gone a long time; I asked her what had made her gone so long; she started to nag me; I told her I would knock her b——head off; I started to put on my hat and coat, when she ran after me with the scissors; I took them away from her and tried to catch hold of her with the same hand which I held them in, when the scissors, went into her back; it was a pure accident; and I at once ran to Dr. Chambers, Goldhawk Road, and he told me he would not come unless the police came; then I told a policeman."
Inspector DANIEL GROSCH , T Division, said that when formally charged with murder prisoner said, "Of course the charge is read as it is, but there was never no intention of murder; it was done after taking the scissors away, it was done in twisting; there was no intention of anything; it is hard, after 36 years, to be so foolish." Prisoner was calm, but dejected, and evidently had been drinking.
HERBERT WILLIAM CHAMBERS , registered medical practitioner, 101, Goldhawk Road. On September 26 prisoner came to my house about 20 past seven p.m., and said a woman had been stabbed at 40, Mardale Street; he was obviously the worse for drink. I told him to fetch a policeman, and if the policeman thought it was necessary I would go at once; there was a constable on point duty a few yards from my house. Later I was fetched by a woman and went to 40, Mardale Road. When I arrived, about half-past seven, I saw the dead body of Mrs. Leaning; she had been dead only a few minutes; rigor mortis had not set in. The clothing she had on was stained with blood. I was shown the scissors produced, which also bore stains of blood. I found a wound in the centre of the back on a level with the angle of the shoulder blade. On September 29 I assisted Dr. Barnes in making a post-mortem examination; the cause of death was syncope, the result of hemorrhage. The wound was such as might have been caused by the scissors produced; its infliction would require decided force; the wound of entrance was half an inch in diameter, parallel with the spine, and 3 1/2 inches deep; it fitted with the scissors.
Cross-examined. I do not see how the wound could have been the result of an accident; there must have been a direct blow; it required considerable force to drive the scissors three inches through thick muscle.
GEORGE LEANING (prisoner, on oath). I had been married to the deceased for 36 years; except when she or I or both had had too much to drink we lived together on the best of terms. On the evening of September 26, about five o'clock I gave her some money—all I had—and she went out to get some bloaters; she was gone over an hour. I was sober at this time. On her return she looked very strange and I said, "What, have you been having some more drink?" she began using bad language; I jumped up and made to go out; she became quiet and I remained. Later on she again started abusing me; I went towards the door, when she rushed at me and pushed me face foremost on to the door. I turned round and saw the scissors in her hand. She was standing at the table. I wrenched the scissors from her, and at that time if I had wanted to I could have pushed the scissors right into her. As she moved a chair I felt the scissors catch something, and the whole weight of my arm was behind them. I said, "My God, what have I done?" She said, "Oh, oh, that's done it," and she walked across through the door. I flew from her in terror. I went for Dr. Chambers and he would not come. I then went for a policeman and eventually the doctor came; that must have been 25 minutes after the event.
Cross-examined. I admit that when she started nagging me I said I would knock her b———head off; that was to try to stop any further quarrelling.
Verdict, Guilty of manslaughter, but under severe provocation.
Sentence, Three years' penal servitude.
Dr. W. N. Hibbert prosecuted; Mr. Muir and Mr. Bigham defended.
DAVID COLEMAN , printer's labourer, 2, Lumber Street, St. Martin's Lane. On Sunday, October 25, about 1.30 a.m., I was in Broad Street, Bloomsbury, with Edward Flynn and two others. The four of us went to the coffee stall and had some coffee. The two men went, leaving me and Flynn there. Our attention was attracted by four men, who were the worse for drink, chaffing a girl who was standing by the wall opposite. She walked away from them and stood by the corner of Shaftesbury Avenue. One of the four men said to the others, "There's a girl; I'll see if I can get off with her." He went up to her, and as she would not answer him he said, "Go home out of it, you f——w——!" and returned to the stall. Flynn left me to go home, and as he went prisoner came round from Shaftesbury Avenue and struck him a blow full in the face, knocking him against the wall. I and some other men ran after prisoner.
He was asked if he knew what he had done. He said, "Yes, I have done it to him for calling my sister out of her name." Then he and his sister walked away. I went back to Flynn; he was lying on the ground, bleeding from the nose and mouth. With assistance, I took him to his home, at the opposite corner.
Cross-examined. There were about a dozen men round the coffee stall; four were drunk. I do not know whether the other eight or the stall keeper are here. I may have said at the inquest that there were three drunken men; if before the magistrate I said nothing about any drunken men, I may have forgotten it. At the time the filthy language was spoken to the girl, Flynn was at the stall; the man who was speaking was eight yards away. It was five seconds after the filthy language was uttered that Flynn was struck. I know that my story is contradicted by prisoner and by his sister; I have tried to find the other men who were present, but have not succeeded. Prisoner must have heard the filthy language as he was coming round the corner, and by that time the drunken man who used it had passed Flynn. so that Flynn was the first man prisoner came up to; if prisoner had been five seconds earlier he would have hit the right man.
EMILY SPILLER . I am prisoner's sister and am 15 years old. I was at the coffee stall after half-past one on this morning. Flynn was there, and he insulted me by calling me wicked names. I walked across to the corner, and two men followed me. As I was going towards Great St. Andrew Street I met my brother. He asked me where I was going. I said "Home." He pointed out that the reverse way was the way home. I was so frightened of the men following me, and it was a lonely road, that I had started going home the other way. Prisoner and I started walking back to Broad Street. I was in front. As we went Flynn started halloaing out these wicked names again. I am sure of his voice, and knew his face as he spoke. My brother went and spoke to him, and I saw Flynn lift his hand to strike my brother. I screamed and ran away. I am positive it was Flynn who insulted me.
—BARRINGTON, house surgeon at University College Hospital. I saw Flynn on his admission on the afternoon of October 27. He was in a delirious state; he had a considerable amount of bruising under the left eye, and a bruise at the back of the head; the latter might have been caused by his falling against a wall; the bruise on the face must have been caused by a very violent blow. Flynn died on October 28.
Sergeant CALLENDER, E Division. On October 28 I went with another officer to 3, Silver Street, where we saw prisoner. I told him who we were, and that we should arrest him for causing grievous
bodily harm to Edward Flynn, who was then lying in the hospital very ill. He replied, "Yes, I'm very sorry." Later on he was charged with manslaughter, and made no reply.
Cross-examined. Prisoner bears an excellent character; he belongs to the Mission Club, and associates with respectable lads.
To the Judge. Coleman bears a good character; Flynn had been convicted of being found on enclosed premises and being an associate with thieves; Coleman was a friend of Flynn's.
JAMES SPILLER (prisoner, on oath). I was going home this Sunday morning at half-past one, up Shaftesbury Avenue; I heard some bad language going on across the road; I looked over and saw my sister turning the corner; I went across to her; she said she was going home; I told her that was not the way, and we started back, I following behind her; as she was crossing the road two men hollosed out to others at the coffee-stall, "There she goes," and Flynn shouted some filthy names. I went up and asked him who he was shouting at; he made no answer, but aimed at my head with his fist; I warded off the blow and struck back; he fell.
Cross-examined. When I went up to Flynn it was only to tell him that, the girl he was insulting was my sister; of course, I was very angry. I had not seen or known Flynn before.
H. BURROWS, of the Inns of Court Mission, said he had known prisoner since 1902; prisoner had a most excellent character; he was a clean-living, clean-thinking lad, always trying to do his duty.
The Jury here said that they desired to hear no more, and returned a verdict of Not guilty.
BEFORE THE RECORDER.
(Thursday, November 12.)
Mr. Horace Samuel prosecuted; Mr. Burnie and Mr. Ramsey defended.
Police-constable NIBBS, 381 K. On September 17 I was in the Commercial Road, near Limehouse Church, at 1.30 a.m. I saw prosecutor Scott; the appeared to have had one or two drinks. He was standing alone on the right-hand side of the road proceeding towards Millwall; prisoner, in company with two other men, was on the other side of the road. I was standing in the dark up against a wall. They passed me and broke into a double. I thought something was amiss. I got behind some market vans and followed them down the road. When I got down the road prisoner, who was nearest the kerb
pointed across the road and ran across the road; the other two men followed. Prisoner went straight up to prosecutor and struck him two or three times in the face with his right hand. There were very few people about at the time. Prisoner snatched prosecutor's watch with his left hand. I was only five or six yards away then. I ran towards him and caught hold of prisoner with both arms from the back. He then turned round and said, "This man struck me first." Prosecutor's chain, was hanging down more on one side that the other. When the other two men saw me they doubled back and ran away in the same direction they had come. They are not here. I took prisoner to the station. When he was charged he said, "No, I did not," and to the prosecutor, "Will you be there in the morning?" He was locked up that night and committed to the Sessions next day. The prosecutor is a sailor, and could not be back in time to prosecute.
Cross-examined. I am not sure whether prosecutor went away to sea; he was not on shore to my knowledge. Prisoner was let out on bail till these Sessions. At the time of the assault I saw a woman there; prisoner asked me if I saw this woman; she was 70 or 80 yards behind prosecutor when the three men passed me. I did not notice any other people. There was not a good deal of traffic there at the time, only these market vans. I had not seen them speaking to the woman. I could not say whether prosecutor and prisoner had been quarrelling over a woman. Prisoner struck two or three blows with his right hand. Prosecutor was not drunk; he knew what he was saying. Prisoner ran across the road and deliberately punched him. I cannot say whether I was behind or in front of the carts then. The man started doubling across the road and I followed him with my eyes. He ran round the front of the cart. I could see the blows struck. I did not see prosecutor strike a blow because he did not strike a blow. It is not unusual for a watch chain to hang down more on one side than the other. The prosecutor did not put up his fist; he did not have a chance. There was not a tussle. Prisoner made a grab at the chain. I did not say I saw all this while trying: to keep an eye on the three men. The road was lighted up with a large electric lamp. I was close to the lamp. I could see quite plainly; is was as light as daylight.
ALEXANDER SCOTT , second engineer of the steamship "Zara." I was walking down Commercial Road in the direction of Millwall at 1.30 on the morning of September 17. I was on the side of the road which is opposite to the church. I was not drunk. As I was walking along I got two or three blows in the face; prisoner struck the blows and at the same time snatched my chain. I had not a chance to do anything to him because the policeman had got him. I was quite alone. The policeman held him, and we went to the station. I saw nothing of any other men. I had never seen prisoner before September 17.
(To the Judge.) I was bound over to give evidence against prisoner at the October Sessions, but I was at sea with my ship. I should have lost my place if I had not gone.
Cross-examined. I had about three beers that night. I only came ashore at 10 o'clock and then I had supper; I might have had four drinks, but not more. I do not recollect speaking to a woman, or anything about a woman. I never speak to ladies. I had not time to see which fist I was struck with.
WM. GEORGE RAPP (prisoner, on oath). I remember this night, the 17th. On Wednesday, the 15th, I was going to the Queen's Music Hall, Poplar, and I saw a lady. On the 17th I was bidding her good night at a quarter past one in the morning. Prosecutor came along and touched her on the chin. I told him to go about his business. The young woman was a stranger to me or I should have had her here. When I told prosecutor to go about his business, he made a strike at me; I happened to get away from the hit and made a blow in self-defence with my left hand. As that was happening the young lady ran on one side. Before I could do anything else, I was claimed from behind by both arms. I was not one of the three men described as running on the other side of the road; I was talking to the young lady. As the officer claimed me, I said, "He should not strike me first." When I was taken to the station prosecutor followed. I was shoved in the charge room and kept an hour. I asked what they were going to do. They said, "The prosecutor will charge you." When they fetched prosecutor in he said, "I'll give him something," and the sergeant and police officer said, "No, leave him be to us"; he was going to pay me again in the station. Next morning I was brought before the magistrate, and no prosecutor was there. The magistrate asked if I had anything to say, but there was no prosecutor. I said I was not guilty of it.
Verdict, Guilty. Numerous previous convictions were proved.
Sentence, Five years' penal servitude.
Mr. Tully Christie prosecuted.
THOMAS LAMB , 40, South Street, motor attendant. I was in Spitalfields about October 30 (I do not remember the date) between 11 and 12 at night. Prisoner is the man who followed me some distance; I walked into the road. Prisoner followed me up in the road. I went up to a couple of men for a light. Prisoner backed into a recess. I said, "This man has been following me some time; I have my doubts about him; he means business." I had not got the words out of my mouth before I was pinned down. Prisoner pinned me with his left hand under my throat. He had his confederates, I suppose, who pinned me, and he came forward with his left arm and I was lost; they took all I had out of my pocket, £2 4s. When they took that I thought, "You have taken my money, you can take me as well," and I went for all I was worth. The men went away in
different directions and I went after the prisoner. I got knocked down by one of them, I cannot say which. I called out "Police"; the police came shortly afterwards. I was attended to by the police doctor. I saw prisoner last Thursday at Old Street. I would know him out of a thousand. I do not know the time when he was in custody, because I was insensible. My head was dressed by the police surgeon; my head is not all right; I cannot eat and I have lost my work. Last Sunday week I could not open my mouth. I am still under a doctor at Bartholomew's.
To Prisoner. I do not know if I was robbed between half-past 11 and 12 o'clock at night. I told Mr. Cluer I was robbed between 11 and 12, it might be 1 o'clock or 2 o'clock. You did not recognise me when I came to the station at Commercial Street. I saw you being searched.
Police-constable HARVEY, 206 H. I remember the evening of October 30. I heard a call of "Police." I rushed to the top of the street and saw prisoner strike prosecutor on the head. I rushed after him and caught him. Prosecutor fell to the ground. Prisoner struggled violently after I caught him. P.C. 190 of the same division came to my assistance and we got him to the station. He was very violent; he kicked 190 two or three times, once in the leg, and at the station door he kicked him in the lower part of the body, in the groin.
To Prisoner. When I saw you strike this man somebody else was with you; there were two, one on each side of him. I should not be able to pick them out. I know you. The other constable did not try to frogmarch you; you got your legs round mine once and we all went to the ground; it was a slippery night.
Police-constable EDWARD STACEY, 190 H. I was called to the assistance of the last witness, who had prisoner in custody. He was very violent; he kicked me on the left leg, and as we entered the station door he kicked me in the stomach. He was taken inside and charged. Prosecutor was very much injured.
WILLIAM MADDEN (prisoner, not on oath). On the morning of the 30th I had a row. I had gone home and come out again. It was a quarter to two when I got to Spitslfields. Past the market there was a watchman looking after apples and that, all covered over. I saw two men standing at the corner, and this prosecutor come round the barrels. As he was going round the barrels, I was going along; this man come rushing behind me and makes a grab at me. I got on one side and two Yiddish men walk alongside me; prosecutor still keeps on at me and says, "You have robbed me." I said, "No, I have not," and I shoved him away. He still went for me and I went for him. As I punched him he fell on his head. I saw the first constable come up; I am walking facing him these two Yiddish men walking side of me; constable makes a grab at me. My career will tell you all my convictions.
They tried to frogmarch me face downwards; I would not have it. When I got to Commercial Street Police Station I am sitting on the form, prosecutor nowhere. Inspector sends them out to find prosecutor; they cannot find prosecutor; they bring his hat back again to Commercial Street. After that they go out again and cannot find him. After that it appears they wired from Leman Street Station and they find prosecutor at Leman Street Station. I am on one form in one room. The Inspector sits this man down in front of him, and he is looking all the time at these two constables; they start talking one thing and another about the prosecutor. The Inspector called him into the other room. He kept on looking at me and made a statement in the other room. He told the doctor to have his head dressed. The doctor takes him into another room and the Inspector goes into the other room where he was and brings this sheet up in front of me and this prosecutor and said, "Ain't that the man who robbed you," and he said "Yes." When I was up at Old Street the statement made was different from what these two constables tell now. One constable says I kicked him in the groin, the other says I kicked him in the stomach backwards.
Numerous previous convictions were proved.
Sentence, Seven years' penal servitude.
BEFORE THE COMMON SERJEANT.
(Thursday, November 12.)
WILKINS, Arthur William (36, traveller) pleaded guilty , of feloniously marrying Ada Wrigley, his wife being alive. Prisoner was married in July, 1895, in Cornwall to Mabel Withering, by whom he had two children. He went out to South Africa, and when the war broke out his wife and children were sent home. Prisoner served in the war and was promoted sergeant-major and had an excellent character in his discharges. In 1904 he became acquainted with Wrigley and went through the form of marriage with her at Kimberley, in 1905, telling her his wife had been dead five years. When he came home she followed him. The original wife was stated to be in service in Cornwall.
Sentence, Three weeks' imprisonment, second division.
BEDWELL, Frank (16, employed as a monitor at the Hugh Myddelton Schools of the London County Council) , indicted for attempting to carnally know May Smith, a girl under the age of 13 years—to wit, of the age of eight years; and for indecently assaulting the said May Smith . Pleaded guilty, on the advice of Mr. Warburton, to the charge of indecent assault.
MR. EDWIN HAROLD BERESFORD , the acting headmaster of the schools, stated that prisoner had passed first-class in mathematics and science and his general character was very good, and at the conclusion
of his term, on the recommendation of the headmaster, he passed into the service of the Council at their physical and chemical laboratories.
CHARLES THOMPSON BISHOP , M.B., London, stated that in 1904 he attended prisoner for eight months for St. Vitus's dance, and the mental stability of people who suffered in that way was liable to be affected to a greater or less extent in different cases. Prisoner had always been a little bit unstable and liable to depression.
Sentence, One month's imprisonment.
Sentence, Two months' hard labour.
Mr. Fenton prosecuted; Mr. H.D. Harben defended.
ARTHUR LEGGETT , donkeyman, Wapping. On the night of Saturday, October 17, I was walking down Commercial Street, about 10.30, smoking my pipe. Suddenly I was grabbed from behind by some person I do not know. My arms were pinioned behind my back and my head was forced back by someone's arm being placed beneath my chin. Another person put his hand into my right-hand trousers pocket and took out 3s. or 4s., as near as I can say. Someone then gave me a push and I was thrown into the gutter.
Cross-examined. This affair took place below the "Princess Alice." I do not know prisoner at all. I was shoved down, not hit. I have a clear recollection of the occurrence. There were people about. In an ordinary thoroughfare like Commercial Street there is always a lot of people about, but I did not take particular notice. I was at the station when prisoner was identified. Before this assault occuired I had been in a public-house outside the Wapping Station. I believe it is the "Bell." I had met with an accident during the evening, having been run into by a bicycle, but that has nothing to do with this case at all. Where the assault took place is a mile and a half from Wapping Station.
SIMON MYERS , 18, Alexander Buildings, Commercial Street, cabinet maker. I remember being in Commercial Street, about 10 o'clock in the evening of October 17. It was not very dark. The street is lighted with electric lamps. I saw prosecutor turn into Thrawl Street, where he was seized by prisoner and another man, and prisoner went through his pockets. I was about 10 yards away. Prosecutor could not see by whom he was being attacked and could not shout out, but at the finish he shouted out, "He has robbed me." Prisoner and the other man ran away. I ran after them. About six feet away John Follond passed money to his companion, who ran ahead and got away. I followed prisoner into Lawson Street and into George Yard. Seeing a constable at the other end of George Yard prisoner turned back and gave me a kick on the leg as he went by. He was ultimately captured in Green Dragon Yard.
Cross-examined. I first saw prisoner at the corner of Thrawl Street, just before the assault occurred. I saw a scramble between three persons, of whom prisoner was one. The scramble lasted some minutes and I had plenty of time to see what happened. It was the other man who held Leggett and prisoner took the money from his pocket. I am perfectly certain I never lost sight of prisoner. At the police station there were four boys ready to identify him. The inspector asked me what I saw and I told him all about it. Then he told me and another boy we should have to come up as witnesses. I do not know why the other boys were not also called.
Police-constable WILLIAM LEAVER, 296 H. On October 17, about 10.30, I was on duty in Commercial Street. I saw prisoner rise up from the ground covered with mud. Twenty yards away I saw two men running down Thrawl Street. The two lads (Myers and. Schratsky) said those two men had been through prosecutor's pockets. I chased them through several streets and one man got away. Prisoner made towards George Yard. He came out of that again and I followed him across Brick Lane into Old Montague Street and Green Dragon Yard. When I eventually got up to him I told him I was a police officer and took him into custody. I handed him over to two uniformed constables who came up in response to a whistle and went in search of the other man. Prisoner said nothing when I arrested him.
Cross-examined. Prosecutor was not sober and was told at the police station he would be charged with being drunk.
JOHN FOLLOND (prisoner, on oath). I live at 4, Lavender Court, Pennington Street, St. George's-in-the-East. I did not see any assault upon Leggett. Coming down Commercial Street I saw prosecutor knocked down by a bicycle and picked him up. This was about nine o'clock on the evening of October 17. He asked me to have a drink. I went and had a drink just for friendship and we stayed in the public-house a tidy while talking about this man on the bicycle. When we came out I shook hands with him and bade him good night. I had got about 12 yards away from him when I heard him call out, "Halloa." Turning I saw him running after some man and ran towards him. I lost sight of him and found myself surrounded by a lot of Jews. A constable came up and they turned round and said to the constable that I had robbed a man and then I was taken to the station. Four lads came to the station to identify me. Prosecutor said he had a sovereign still left. When I was charged I had 5d. in my pocket. Of the two lads now called as witnesses one said he could not swear to me and the other said he did not see me touch prosecutor.
Cross-examined. I heard prosecutor say the last house he had been in was at Wapping. I deliberately say that he is lying. What I said at the police court is true, that Leggett took me in and treated me, and that when we came out the other man robbed him and ran away. I admit I had a drink with the man.
Sentence, Four years' penal servitude.
The Common Serjeant directed that the witnesses Myers and Schratsky should each receive a reward of £1.
ROMAIN, Abraham (33, collector of insurance premiums) ; feloniously and fraudulently embezzling the sums of 2s. 6d. on September 14, 1908; 1s. and 2d. on August 31, 1908; 1s. 1d. on September 14, 1908; 1s. 6d. on September 7, 1908; 4d. on August 10, 1908; 4d. on August 17, 1908; 8d. on August 24, 1908; 14s. 6d. on September 21, 1908, moneys received by him on account of the Refuge Assurance Company, Limited, his masters; being a servant in the employ of the Refuge Assurance Company, Limited, unlawfully and with intent to defraud falsifying certain accounts belonging to the said company.
Mr. Bodkin and Mr. Symmons prosecuted; Mr. H.D. Harben defended.
CATHERINE COCKLING , 11, Lancing Street, Somers Town. My mother's name is Catherine Browne, and I have insured her life in the Refuge Assurance Company, paying a weekly premium of 4d. Prisoner is the collector who has been round. The book produced is mine and in it appears the name of the collector, "A. Romain, 23, Junction Road, Highgate." The collector initials the weekly payments, which are entered in my book which I keep. I sometimes missed a week and in that case would pay 8d. the next week or 1s. the week after. I find the payments I made on August 10, 17, and 24 initialled by prisoner, 4d. being paid on each date.
Cross-examined. Besides my mother's book I have also a book for myself. I was sometimes in arrears also with that book. If there is no entry in the book it means that I did not pay anything. Prisoner used to call on a Tuesday or a Wednesday. There is no entry in my book for August 24, but that is because I cleared up Mrs. Browne's book and left my own.
Re-examined. In my own book I find an entry of 5d. paid on August 10, on August 17 10d., and on August 24 I paid nothing. As on August 17 I paid a week in advance, on August 24 I had not to pay anything.
WILLIAM ROSE , district superintendent, Refuge Assurance Company. Prisoner was employed as collector and canvasser. The entries in the book produced are in prisoner's handwriting and initialled by him. There is entered 4d. on August 10, 4d. on
August 17, and on August 24 1s. Prisoner had a weekly collecting book, in which his weekly collections should be entered. That book is arranged into months and weeks, the months being set out in vertical columns. It was prisoner's duty to take this book with him on his rounds, and, having entered the amount received in the customer's bank book, to enter the same amount in the collecting book. Turning to folio 99 of the collecting book, which relates to Mrs. Catherine Browne, under dates August 10 and 17, I find a X, indicating that no payment has been received, and on August 24 I find 4d. entered, whereas in the customer's book the entry it 1s. These entries are returned to me on a weekly sheet. On the sheet for the week ending August 10, the only amount entered relating to folio 99 is 3d., for the following week 2d. only.
(Friday, November 13.)
WILLIAM ROSE , recalled, Cross-examined. The collector should always take with him the collecting book or what is called a "round" book, which is really a memorandum book. The company supply a "round" book if asked, but sometimes the agent supplies himself wish one. The agent reports to the head office at six o'clock on the Tuesday evening. It is possible that the items collected on the Wednesday would be entered in the round book and not entered in the collecting book until the following week; but it should not be so; I am not officially cognisant of the practice. In Mrs. Cockling's case, where there are two separate books, there should be two separate entries in the collecting book. If an agent entered too little on one account and put too much to another to balance, although it would be a blunder, it would not be putting anything into his own pocket.
Re-examined. In Mrs. Cockling's case prisoner has credited the company with 2s. 1d. instead of 2s. 6d.—5d. too little. (As to this item there is no charge.)
LIZZIE DOGMINI , 13, Bean Street, Charing Cross Road. I was insured in two policies in the Refuge Assurance Company, one for myself and one for my son Tadeo, aged three. On my own policy I paid 6d. a week. Looking at my book I find that on August 31 I paid the sum of 1s., which is receipted by prisoner. On the same date I paid 2d. in respect of the other policy.
Cross-examined. I have never been in arrears with my payments. If I have not paid once a week, I have paid once a fortnight. There may have been an exception.
WM. ROSE , recalled, said that in the collecting book, folio 79, instead of an entry of 1s. 2d. paid there was a X indicating that nothing had been paid. The correction in the collecting book under date of September 28 was in witness's handwriting.
Cross-examined. There are similar entries upon other folios indicating that the book was corrected at that date.
ELIZABETH REGAN , Siddon's Buildings, Drury Lane. I have eight policies in the Refuge Assurance Company, and the amount I have to pay weekly is 11d. I paid the premiums to prisoner, and on September 7 there is an entry of 2s. 5d. in my book.
Cross-examined. I have sometimes received notice of arrears. In such a case "N" would be put in the collecting book. On August 17 and 24 I paid no premium. Prisoner said he would pay this money himself and I promised I would repay him on the Saturday. Prisoner did not really receive the money from me on September 7, but two days later, on the 9th.
WILLIAM ROSE , recalled. I find in the collecting book, folio 60, Elizabeth Regan's account, under date September 7, an entry of 11d., whereas from the customer's book it appears that 2s. 5d. was paid. There is a correction in the collection book on September 28, by the addition of "1s. 6d." above the line. I have never had that 1s. 6d. In the weekly sheet there is a return of 11d.
Cross-examined. This book was opened on March 9. This was a new "case," not one transferred. I do not accept the suggestion that at the beginning of new business it is customary for the collector to put half a crown or some such sum into the book in order to keep himself on the right side at his own risk. That would he against the rules of the office. It would not be money the collector had received. When the book should come to be checked, it would be detected. As to the suggestion that 1s. 6d. was owing to the collector for commission in Regan, I have not seen any book of Regan's; the "case" has lapsed. Prisoner may have subtracted 1s. 6d. commission from the 2s. 5d., which would leave 11d., but I should not allow such a thing if it came to my notice, as there would be nothing to indicate that he had received 1s. 6d. commission.
ADA AMELIA SYKES , Charlotte Street, Fitzroy Square, insured in the "Refuge," with a policy on which she pays 1s. a week, stated that she paid prisoner 2s. 6d. on September 14, two weekly payments of 1s. and 6d. arrears.
In cross-examination, witness stated that it was against the rules for collectors, when policies are on the point of lapsing to keep them going out of their own pockets. He had heard of such a thing being done, but would not himself countenance the practice.
Mr. Rose stated that there was no corresponding entry in collecting book or weekly sheet.
Mr. Rose, recalled, stated that the money had not been accounted for. Mr. Rose also stated that on taking prisoner's round he found numerous other discrepancies in the accounts. There was a deficiency
against prisoner of £1 19s., which he declined to make good until shown how it was made up. Witness suspended prisoner on October 1, and an arrangement was made for him to come into the office at six o'clock that evening to go through the accounts. Prisoner, however, failed to do so, and a prosecution was ordered.
Detective FREDERICK BUTHERS , Y Division. At 11 o'clock on the night of October 29 I saw prisoner at the Kentish Town Police Station, where he was detained. I told him he would be charged with embezzling various sums of money belonging to the Refuge Assurance Co. He said, "It is a mistake. Where is it from? I only know one, Havelock Street, Caledonian Road. I do not know how they can call it embezzlement, because I belong to a Guarantee Society, and they know that their money is all right." He also said with reference to that particular item that it was paid in the next week.
Mr. Harben submitted that there was no evidence to go to the Jury.
The Common Serjeant refused to withdraw the case.
ABRAHAM ROMAIN (prisoner, on oath). I was employed by the company as agent and collector at a salary of 11s. per week, reducing by 6d. a week for the first 10 weeks. On Wednesdays I went to the office with my collecting book at half-past nine in the morning and with the weekly sheet made up and ready to pay in and to see if the superintendent had any money which had been sent by clients direct to the office. The book was always made up to Tuesday evening. Any money I received on the Wednesday would be held over to the following week. As regards the system of checking, every six or seven weeks the assistants or superintendents would go round with the collectors and check the collecting book with the premium book. If there was anything against me it would be charged against me at the end of the week. Small discrepancies were very frequent—sometimes against me, and sometimes in my favour. I regard these instances as clerical errors absolutely. I have at times paid money out of my own pocket to keep people going and prevent them losing their policies, and I considered that my doing so was in the best interests of the company. Where the customer has two premium books, I have sometimes received money on one account and credited it to another. That was done with the knowledge of the superintendent. As he checked the accounts that could not possibly be done without his knowledge. On new business the collector has a bonus amounting to ten weekly premiums. If, say, a woman pays a weekly premium of 4d. one week and then misses four weeks, it does not look like good business and to encourage people, the collector sometimes credits them with some part of his bonus. If he did not he might lose the premium and some other company might come along and get it. To come to particular cases, Mrs. Cockling, I have no doubt, must have paid me or I could not have entered it in the book, but I have no remembrance of it. She paid me on a Wednesday after my accounts were closed, and it may
have slipped my memory the following week. All I can say as to that case is that it is simply a clerical error. The case of Regan I can explain. She did not pay 2s. 5d. on September 7 as entered, but on September 9. If I had not entered the payment on the 7th her policy would have lapsed. I only entered 11d. in the collecting book as I deducted 1s. 6d. for commission, leaving her still 1s. in my debt. With regard to the case of Dogmini, I remember that she paid me on a Wednesday, and I must have forgotten to put it in the collecting book. That, again, is absolutely a clerical error. There were similar errors discovered when the superintendent went round with me in May. They were corrected and charged against me. I should have paid up this time, but have not had a chance of doing so. I asked the superintendent to show me the arrears, but he said he knew how to audit the book, and it was his business. As to Currie, he is mistaken in saying he paid me. His wife paid me outside a pawnshop in Hampstead Road one early-closing day. I entered the payment as on the Monday, because the book was heavily in arrear and Currie had had notice. I kept the premiums as close together as possible, so that should there be any question she would have no difficulty in getting her money. I entered it on the 14th, so as to keep the book in benefits. The amount is entered in the premium book, but omitted from the collecting book, but I should have accounted for it the following week.
(Saturday, November 14.)
ABRAHAM ROMAIN (prisoner, on oath), further examined. With regard to the case of Mrs. Sykes, she did not pay me on September 14, but on the 24th. I back-dated that case for her benefit, as she had just had notice, telling her she would have either to pay or lapse. In Grunor's case I was holding the money back until the end of the month until the expiry of the period of grace. Meeting with an accident, I was confined to my room, and I had run short of money. When the superintendent called to see me I explained that to him, and he said, "You can leave it till next week." There are hundreds of agents who keep back premiums a week or two, and superintendents as well. Afterwards it slipped my memory. When I was suspended I refused to pay in any money until Mr. Rose could prove what was owing. I should have paid on the 28th, but was not allowed to. There are several cases in which I have made entries of imaginary payments of 2s. or 3s. in the case of new policies, thus crediting the policy-holder with my commission. On Wednesday, September 24, I was told by the superintendent that my arrears were very high, and he asked me if I would like to have his help for a week. I told him I should be very much obliged if he would come out with me that week, it being quarter week, when we expect to get in all the money we possibly can, so an arrangement was made that he should go with me on September 26 to get in these arrears. Nothing was said or done apart from getting a little business. The money collected was pretty fair and the superintendent went home and left me to do several back calls. On the following Monday I went to the office at half-past
nine. I mentioned that I had received money too late for entry and Rose booked up the items in my presence. After the 26th the collecting book was never in my possession. Rose also went round with me on the 28th, 29th, and 30th. On October 1 I came into the office as usual at half-past nine. Mr. Rose was in the back office, I believe. I hung about for half an hour or so. Then Rose came out and said, "Are you ready? We are going out now." I said, "I do not think I will go out to-day, Mr. Rose. You practically called me a liar yesterday." He said, "To whom?" I said, "To Still," one of my clients. He said, "I do not see how I called you a liar." I said, "You did not in words, but you did in action. What do you think that man thought of me when you asked for his old books?" Only three weeks previously the assistant superintendent had been round with me and found moneys in my favour. He said, "I will do just as I please. I know how to audit a book." I said that in consequence of what had taken place I would not go out with him that day and intended turning the job in. He rushed into the back office and pulled a slip of paper from a collecting book and said, "You will have to settle this before you go"; £1 19s. was marked on the slip. I said, "What is that?" He said, "That is moneys against you." I said, "Oh! I should very much like to see how it is made up." He replied, "I refuse to show you anything," and he said again, "I know how to audit a book." I said if there were any mistakes they would practically be clerical errors. I then refused to pay over any more money until he showed me how the £1 19s. was made up. Then he said, "Very well; we will prosecute you." I said, "You know very well the money is all right, and if not, you know I belong to a guarantee society." Mr. Rose then told me not to collect any more money for the company or act as agent for the company until I heard further. At that time I had £6 5s. in my possession, including my commission. We take our commission as we go along. I was willing to pay that money and came to the office with that idea. I did not pay it because the superintendent would not satisfy me as to my account. If I had been satisfied as to the amount owing I was prepared to pay it and am still willing to do so. Roughly speaking, I collected premiums from 200 persons and was employed four or five hours a day in collecting and canvassing. I had never been warned about my book by any superintendent.
Cross-examined. The only way of testing the accuracy of the collector's returns, so far as I know, was by the superintendent going round. I never had instructions that the collecting book must correspond with the premium book. The collecting book is not always carried round. We have a "round" book. I suppose it was my duty to make the entries in the collecting book correspond with those in the premium books. I was arrested on October 29 and admitted to bail. I have not in the meantime asked to see any of the books either of the policy-holders or of the company; £l 19s. at 3d. or 4d. a week would represent a large number of cases, but one case is that of Mr. Grunor—14s. 6d. I have that 14s. 6d. in my pocket ready to pay the company; less commission the amount due is 11s. 7d.
I am holding it as servant of the company; I have had no dismissal. On, wet days it is not always possible to make entries, as the rain and the ink run together and make a smudge. If the entries are not made at the time they are liable to be forgotten, or you may not bear in mind exactly what you have received. That is one of the hardships of an agent's life. These are only clerical errors, not with intention.
(Monday, November 16.)
Verdict, Not guilty.
BEFORE JUDGE LUMLEY SMITH.
(Thursday, November 12.)
Mr. James Scarlett and Mr. Fox Sinclair appeared for the prosecution and Mr. F. Watt for the defence.
WALTER FRANCIS WAKEFORD , steward to Mr. Lawson Johnston, of 29, Portman Square. I was formerly in the employment of the Duke of Northumberland, and had a good character from him to Mr. Lawson Johnston. I am the sole surviving trustee under the will of my father. Mr. Page is not and never has been a trustee and has had nothing at all to do with the administration of the estate. He is not oven a beneficiary. But his wife took £90 under the will. The defendant is my brother. I received one of the libellous circulars complained of. One was also sent to Mr. Lawson Johnston, who showed it to me. The handwriting in red ink on that circular is that of the defendant. I have not seen the defendant recently; until about a fortnight last Monday I had not seen him for 20 years. The circular in question contains these words: "What a story! How a jealous footman can commit acts of roguery and speak of the Prince of Wales his confidential friend. A mother's secret death. A Royal footman's roguery. The trustees swindlers; thousands of pounds in debt. The Prince of Wales's name made use of," and the words, "under-livery servant," "been out of work 10 months and selling his livery for private clothes," undoubtedly refer to myself, but there is absolutely no truth in the assertions.
Cross-examined. I believe Miss Lemon, a stationer, did borrow £240 from my father's estate, but it was an old mortgage, and she paid it back, or her people paid it back, long ago. Mr. Page did borrow some money of the estate. (Mr. Watt here objected and said that if the defendant bonafide believed what he stated in these communications
they were privileged communications on family matters.) Mr. Page borrowed about £190 from the estate eight years ago at 5 per cent. interest, which I handed to my mother as he paid me. That loan has been repaid about five months ago, when Mr. Sherwood, the solicitor, wound up my father's estate. Now my brother, Sydney Benjamin Wakeford, is dead, I am the sole trustee. The defendant received £50 from Mr. Sherwood, but he has had more than his share from the estate by previous drawings. This £50 was not given to him as his share. I was present at my mother's death, going home for the occasion. It was the unanimous wish of the family that the defendant should not be present at her death, and they said they would all leave the house if he entered it; so everything was done to keep the knowledge of his mother's death from the defendant. In the case of his brother's death, the defendant was present and saw him in his coffin. I know nothing whatever about flowers having been put on his mother's grave by the defendant and having been taken away by any members of the family.
Re-examined. The defendant was not asked to his mother's funeral because his brothers and sisters would not meet him. With the exception of the defendant, we are a very united family.
WILLIAM HENRY PAGE , florist, Hampton and Hanworth (prosecutor) I am a brother-in-law of the defendant, having been married about 20 years ago to his sister. There were five brothers and two sisters. The other sister is married to a man called Corfe, a reporter in the Law Courts. The defendant has from time to time addressed to me libellous communications during the last 12 or 15 years. I had no personal interest in defendant's father's will, although my wife had a slight interest, she being entitled to one-sixth of the estate. The net amount of the estate was £542 13s. 11d. I at one time borrowed a sum of £190 from the estate, but I was requested by the family to take this money on loan, as the trustees for the time being could not get it invested, the amount being so small. I paid interest at the rate of 6 per cent. per annum and paid it regularly—indeed, nearly always before it was due. In due course of post I received Exhibit B, which is a postcard and contained the following: "Messrs. Page and Co., Limited, florists, of Hanworth, Middlesex. I understand that you have secured another £150 out of our family, with remarkable interest. If you do not at once give me particulars of your business I shall apply for a warrant for your arrest.—William Wakeford.—P.S. I have written the police." That postcard is dated September 7, 1901, and is in the handwriting of William Wakeford, the defendant. My wife's father died in 1879. Exhibit D, which I have here, was a postcard sent to my brother-in-law, H. B. Wakeford, which he handed to me. It was addressed to "Wakeford Brothers and Page, Limited, syndicate of frauds, hosiers, Market Place, Kingston-on-Thames," and contained the following words: Your business is carried on by the stolen property obtained by Walter Wakeford, cotrustee to my father's will. On consideration that the trustee had £50 for himself, you had the rest, and this is proved up to the hilt. You have your remedy. You swore to Mr. Bell that you had not a farthing." I have nothing whatever to do with my brother-in-law,
H. B. Wakeford's business at Kingston-on-Thames. On September 8, 1907, my mother died and thereupon the estate became divisible. On October 9, 1907, I received a postcard dated "September 8, 1907," containing these words, "Missing at Hampton Churchyard. I have followed you by accident all today. You looked a remarkably consequentious gentleman in your white Trilbury hat. How many more? William Wakeford. P.S. You have a fine bicycle. W.H. Page, Esq., Tangley Nursery, Hanworth, Middlesex." I took no part whatever in the winding up of the estate of the defendant's mother. It is within my knowledge that defendant received a sum of £50, and signed an apology and promised not to repeat the libels. That was on September 8, 1907, and the document was witnessed by the solicitor who did the winding up and by his clerk. On September 9, 1907, I received a telegram addressed, "Henry Page, Esq., Mayor, Hanworth. Require to see you with Corfe regarding secret death of my mother. Require your explanation. Wakeford, 24, Margueretta Terrace, Chelsea." I was not the mayor of Hanworth, and to the best of my belief there never has been a mayor of Hanworth. I also received the letter dated November 30, 1907: "I take the oportunity of asking you how it was that you became the trustee to my father's will when you had already had the use of the funds. You will understand that I require to know why my eldest brother died and was buried, and also my dear mother, and you took the chair and sanctioned the secrecy, although you were in money difficulties. This is damning evidence against you as a swindler. William Wakeford. P. S. I invite you to show this to the new family solicitors and Mr. Corfe, the supposed barrister, as I have put you through and made every enquiry, which states that you are in a state of insolvency—possibly not, I admit, since my mother's death. Note. Perhaps now bovril will be very cheap for the winter months, like the pheasants from Sandringham, to bribe the police-officer at supper time in the neighbourhood, near Thames Street, Kingston." I also received a letter dated January 22, 1908, in which defendant said I was an "impudent rascal," concerning what I had said about his dear mother's death. He stated he had advertised my responsibilities as a trustee, but I do not understand this, as I was never a trustee under the will. I understand advertisements had been inserted in different papers by the defendant asking people to send statements of his debts to me, and that I was responsible for them. Prior to September, 1908, I had borrowed from Mr. Towerzey £1, 500 on mortgage on my land and glass houses. In consequence of a communication I saw Mr. Towerzey about this mortgage, after September, 1908; I had had notice from him to repay it. When I saw Mr. Towerzey he showed me some correspondence and said he had heard from my brother-in-law. There were four letters dated respectively September 18, 19, 25, and 28, in which the defendant libelled me to Mr. Towerzey. Those are in the handwriting of the defendant. I received a letter dated October 12, 1908, as follows: "Questions for the criminal court. Two secret deaths which you were chairman. Thousands in debt. 'Coach and Horses' debts. Blackmailing the Prince of Wales. Footman's liveries sold for
private clothes. William Wakeford. To Mr. H. Page, Hanworth, Middlesex." That also is in the handwriting of the defendant. I also received the exhibit marked "S" which is a long typewritten document containing many libels. The words therein, "The other trustee, a florist of Hanworth, Middlesex, was in a desperate state of insolvency and could not even meet his daily necessities of life," undoubtedly refer to me. One of these documents was sent to Messrs. Phelps and Son at Teddington, who handed the same to me; they are well-known house-furnishers. A similar document was also handed to me by my brother-in-law, who had received the same through the post. These libels have caused me great annoyance, so much so that when I first received them I felt that I could shoot the defendant. It is wrong, perhaps, to say that in a court of justice, but the libels were very cruel and caused me much harm.
Cross-examined. It may probably have been that when he spoke of the secret death of his mother he meant that she was buried secretly from him, but it was open to the construction that I had had something to do with her death. I may have advised his brothers concerning the winding up of the estate, but I do not know that they accepted my advice. I certainly borrowed the £190 from the estate and paid interest at the rate of 6 per cent. I have now paid the principal back. I do not put it in the way that it was an act of charity, but they asked me to borrow the money. In consequence of the advertisements of the defendant I was not actually sued for any debts in connection with the "Coach and Horses" but I was threatened to be so sued. I cannot say positively I know anything about the flowers he put on his mother's grave, but I can say I had nothing whatever to do with their subsequent removal. I swear that I have never sent to the defendant any newspaper with a scurrilous letter attached, and the letter produced to me now is not in my handwriting. When I went to Mr. Towerzey about the mortgage he said he had received letters from the defendant, but he did not admit that they were the reason why he asked repayment of his money; I, however, believe this to be the case. I was not present when a written apology was made by the defendant, and he was handed £50. I have had many conversations about the defendant with his mother. He has given much trouble to the family for the past 30 years. He has meted out scurrilous treatment to his mother and the family. It is not true that he was very much attached to his mother. Miss Lemon repaid the money which she had had on mortgage from the defendant's father's estate, and I believe it was out of that money that I had the £190.
Re-examined. Miss Lemon, I believe, borrowed this money 40 years ago. I have heard that flowers were put on the grave by the defendant, but he also put with them some very disagreeable postcards reflecting upon the members of his family generally, and no doubt that objectionable matter would be removed. I cannot give you quite the terms in which those postcards ran, but they were most disagreeable to the other members of the family.
of his property. The interest on that mortgage was regularly paid down to the present year. In September of this year I received certain letters by post making great reflections upon Mr. Page. I also received the typewritten circular previously referred to. About September 28 the defendant called on me. He told me Mr. Page was a rogue and a defrauding trustee and that he, the defendant, intended to take out a warrant the following Tuesday for his arrest. He advised me to call in my mortgage, saying I should never get a penny of it, as he, Page, had bought the property with the money he had taken from the trust. I became alarmed and went to see my solicitor. My solicitor's name was Cousins, and in his presence and in that of his clerk the defendant repeated these accusations against Mr. Page.
Cross-examined. I have never told Mr. Page that I was not influenced in the matter of the mortgage by the letters I received. I say this on my oath. Defendant was in the back room when Mr. Page called upon me, but I never told Mr. Page he was not there. It was most certainly on account of the letters I received that I called in the mortgage. Whether I persist in calling in the mortgage will be a matter of arrangement between myself and Mr. Page. The mortgage has not yet been repaid, because the time is not up. I believed at the time what defendant said of Mr. Page, as he was so emphatic and impressive.
ALBERT EDWARD WAKEFORD . I am a brother of the defendant and am senior page in the service of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. From time to time the defendant had money through me on account of my father's estate during my mother's lifetime. He had the money from me out of my own pocket. Exhibit A is in my brother's handwriting. It reads as follows: "York House, St. James's Palace, S.W, March 8, 1901.—I, William Wakeford, hereby state that I have had advanced to me the sum of £10 from my brother Albert Edward Wakeford, having had occasion previously to appeal to him for money. I now have drawn the whole of the money I am entitled to receive under my father's will at my mother's death, and I instruct the trustees (Sydney Benjamin Wakeford and Francis Walter Wakeford) of my late father's will to pay the said Albert Edward Wakeford the whole of the amount (my portion to receive), having got into difficulties and being pressed for money.—William Wakeford." Mr. Page was not a trustee and had nothing to do with the estate. Exhibit S is in the defendant's handwriting, has reference to under-livery servants, and is undoubtedly in my opinion referring to me. The words, "The other trustee, a florist of Hanworth, is in a desperate state of insolvency and could not even meet his daily necessities of life" refers, I believe, to my brother-in-law, the prosecutor. I received one of these typewritten circulars, in which it was stated that, "Mr. Sherwood informed me in unmistakeable terms that the trustees were in substantial circumstances and well-to-do. It turned out one was an under-livery servant in a gentleman's house for some years. He had been out of work for
ten months, for, as I understand, selling his livery for private clothes and refused a reference from his last employer." Mr. Dann, the superintendent of Bushey Park, handed me a letter in defendant's handwriting in which he spoke of the "vermin which you must have in the park." I believe that referred to me, as I lived in the park. The whole of our family have lived in amity with the exception of the defendant.
Cross-examined. I lent my brother, the defendant, many sums of money—considerably over £90. These loans have ranged over the last 20 years. He has never paid me a penny of it back. He wrote the document referred to in my examination-in-chief himself. The news of his mother's death was kept from the defendant by the desire of the family. The only thing put on his mother's grave by the defendant which was removed was a very objectionable card.
BENJAMIN HERBERT WAKEFORD , hosier and hatter, 36, Thames Street, Kingston-on-Thames. I am a brother of the defendant. Exhibit D addressed to "Wakeford and Page, syndicate of frauds" is in the handwriting of the defendant. That was an open postcard, and states, "Your business is carried on by the stolen property obtained by Walter Wakeford, co-trustee to my father's will. On consideration that the trustee had £50 for himself you had the rest, and this is proved up to the hilt. You have your remedy. You swore to Mr. Bell you had not a farthing." There is not a word of truth in that; the "Page" mentioned therein is my brother-in-law, the prosecutor. The libellous circular already referred to was also addressed to Mr. Porter, undertaker, High Street, Teddington, which is near to Kingston-on-Thames. Mr. Porter handed this circular to me.
Cross-examined. When I got from my brother, the defendant, the circular containing reflections upon Mr. Page, I handed it to Mr. Page. I do not know in whose handwriting the letter is which it was said was sent to the defendant.
CHARLES GILBERT SHERWOOD , solicitor, 34, Essex Street, Strand, and Kingston-on-Thames. I am a member of the firm of Sherwood, Baker, and Hart, and act for Mr. Page, the prosecutor. I have had the administration of the estate of Mr. Wakeford, deceased. The net value of the estate was £542 13s. 11d. In reply to a letter I wrote to the defendant, he called upon me on September 18, 1907, and I paid him £50. I told him that was a present from his brothers, and he then signed the release which has been put in, which also contained an apology. He was very grateful for the £50, and I told him he must not repeat his conduct, as it had been disgraceful. I received a letter dated June 2, which I believe to be in the defendant's handwriting, making reflections upon his brothers and myself. It was a most scurrilous letter. I afterwards received another very scandalous letter, written to my firm, dated September 29, 1908.
Cross-examined. I did not, of course, think, when the defendant called on me, that he was in very flourishing circumstances. I certainly did not tell him I would not give him the £50 if he did not
sign the document. I am most positive I did not tell him that Page was a trustee of the will; I could not have told him so, knowing the contrary to be the fact.
WILLIAM WAKEFORD (prisoner, on oath). I believed everything I said in the letters I have written was true. I lived on most loving and affectionate terms with my mother always. I felt very much the fact of my mother's death being kept secret from me. I put some flowers on my mother's grave, and, visiting it afterwards, found they had gone. I always believed that Mr. Page was a trustee of the will, otherwise I should not have put it in the paper. I believed everything I wrote to Mr. Towerzey to be true. I was inundated with people from all over London, who came to me and said that my brother, W. F. Wakeford, had defrauded people. I wrote to Mr. Towerzey concerning Page, because he (Page) was the person who I believed was the means of keeping me ignorant of my mother's death; and I heard it all over Teddington that he was very much in debt and that he owed Towerzey £1, 500 and owed everybody else money. Page told Mr. Towerzey I was a convicted thief. When I got the £50 from Mr. Sherwood I believed I was entitled to something more out of my mother's estate, as she had always said I was to go in with the others. Mr. Sherwood told me he had nothing to do with the moral part of the affair as he was a lawyer, but he said I was to sign the paper, and he would then give me the £50. If he had not given me the £50 I should not have signed the paper. It is absolutely false that my brother gave me money I was entitled to under the will. He did give me some money, but I gave him some jewellery as an equivalent. I received some scurrilous letters, and the handwriting, I believe, is that of one of the members of my family. These letters were received through the post, and I have witnesses who took them in.
Cross-examined. I was very fond of my mother, although some years ago I did write to her: "Drink detains you on this earth. You will only be more tortured at your end. Look at your poor aunt Emma, who died in rags through your neglect in not sending the poor woman what you had and you kept it, poor soul! I do not suppose I shall see you on your death-bed, but if I do I will tell you what you told Dot..... I will undertake to say you will die drunk." That letter is dated March 29, 1903. Notwithstanding that letter, I was very, very fond of my mother and was an affectionate and dutiful son. I wrote that letter when there was a row in the family and Page was taking every crumb there was out of the house. I adhere to the statement I wrote that my brother's wife, before he married her, was walking the streets. I did not know that she was only 19 years old when she married my brother. I most certainly was under the impression that Page was a trustee under the will. When I wrote to him saying I was going to obtain a warrant for his arrest, I did not mean that he had committed any criminal offence;
all I wanted was that I should have the money to which I was entitled. I did put cards on my mother's grave, but all I should put on them would be, "From a loving son." I might have added on the cards something about other members of the family and have referred to a secret death. It was a wicked thing, in my opinion, and the death was kept secret from me for the purposes of fraud. I sent one of these circulars to my brother Walter's present employer, Mr. Lawson Johnston, because I had been deceived about my mother's death.
To the Court. I did that to injure my brother, but he had been injuring me. Also I wrote those libels to injure Page, as I could hardly contain myself.
Re-examined. I have a letter in my mother's handwriting, dated June 15, 1907, couched in very affectionate terms. She also said in that letter that I should share equally with the rest, as far as money went, although that would not be much. Then she went on to give me some advice. That letter was received very shortly before her death.
Detective-sergeant BROWN said there were two convictions against the defendant—one on October 8, 1891, at North London Sessions, six months' hard labour for false pretences; another on July 13, 1899, at South London Sessions, 12 months' hard labour for the same offence. Since then he had been committed from Westminster Police Court on August 15, 1908, for three months for bastardy arrears. He had been a lot of trouble and had given much anxiety to his friends and relatives. He had caused a lot of trouble to police officers, and had made serious complaints against the police; he had endeavoured to give evidence before the Royal Commission on the Metropolitan Police, but unsuccessfully.
To the Court. I do not think he is quite right in his mind. He is a man addicted to drink, crafty, cunning, and an inveterate liar.
Sentence, 12 months' imprisonment.
BEFORE THE RECORDER
(Friday, November 13.)
Verdict, Not guilty.
Mr. W.H. Leycester prosecuted.
FREDERICK MARK BURTON , horse dealer, no home. About three o'clock on Saturday afternoon, October 10, I was standing in the Broadway at Deptford. I saw prisoner there. I did not speak to him. He came up and tried to strangle me; he took me by the throat
and then hit me afterwards. He was drunk. I walked away from him and went across the road; he then came back after me. Then a policeman came up. I called the constable. Prisoner put his leg round the policeman's and chucked him down. I did not see prisoner kick the constable. After the constable fell I stood there about a quarter of an hour. The Inspector had then got hold of prisoner. The constable was on the ground half an hour. I did not hear what the constable said to prisoner. The Inspector said nothing to him, but got hold of him. The prisoner was then walking on. Another constable came up and prisoner was taken to the station.
To Prisoner. You never spoke to me; you starting shoving me; you shoved me between a van and a barrow. There was no row between us. I was talking to somebody else when you started shoving me. I took no notice of your saying, "Do you want to prevent me having a wash?" I did not speak to you till you shoved me between the van and the barrow and got hold of me by the throat. I saw you put your leg round the policeman and throw him on the ground. You did not both go on the ground together; you stood there; as soon as you done it you walked on. You did not go quietly to the station; you punched a policeman in the chest and tried to hit the Inspector.
Police-constable WILLIAM THOMPSON , R Division. At three o'clock on October 10 I was on duty in Deptford Highway. A man named Burton came to me to complain that he had been assaulted by the prisoner, and he pointed to the other side of the street. I saw prisoner over there. Burton went in front across the street. Prisoner turned round and struck Burton in the face. I followed prisoner and asked him what he meant by striking the old man. He turned round, used disgusting language, and then said, "What are you to do with it?" I put my hand on his shoulder; he then seized me by the throat tripped me up, and as I was endeavouring to get up off the ground he kicked me twice on the head. I do not remember anything more. (To the Judge.) When I came to my senses I was in the station. I was afterwards taken to the hospital. I am now under the doctor of the division. I remained in the Seamen's Hospital until October 21 and am now an out-patient. My nerves are all gone and I have pains in the head.
To Prisoner. You came on top of me and as I endeavoured to get up you kicked me. I was not unconscious until I got the second kick.
WILLIAM FRYER , electric tramcar driver. At half-past three on October 10 I was in Deptford Broadway walking from the High Street. I saw the last witness, Police-constable Thompson, there. He walked sharply across the road, making towards the prisoner; he took hold of the prisoner. Prisoner struggled violently with the constable, got his leg round the constable somehow, and threw him very heavily to the ground. They both fell. I went and pulled prisoner off Thompson. Prisoner got up and made a blow at me; he missed me. When I pulled prisoner off he kicked the officer on the back of the head. The policeman became unconscious. Other officers came up and prisoner was arrested.
To Prisoner. There were several people round you and the constable, who was on the ground; I should say about 100.
Inspector WILLIAM SMITH , R Division. At five past three on October 10 I was in Deptford Broadway with Police-constable Taylor, when I saw a crowd of people rushing towards Brookmill Road. I went towards there and saw prisoner running away. Several people shouted, "Stop him, he has kicked the policeman." I went after him in company with Police-constable Taylor and overtook him, when Brown turned round and struck Taylor in the chest. I immediately closed with him and, with the assistance of Taylor, we took him to the station. He was violent all the way to the station, threatening the various people who were coming along. When I arrested prisoner Police-constable Thompson was in a fainting condition; he was picked up and taken to the station by my direction. Prisoner was charged with assaulting the man Burton, with causing grievous bodily harm to Police-constable Thompson, also with assaulting Police-constable Taylor. After the charge of assault upon Burton was read over, prisoner said to me, "Can I show you the marks he made on my back?" I said, "Yes, show them to me." He then took off his clothing and bared his back, and I said, "I see no marks." There was nothing, in fact on his body except some old strapping, which apparently had been there for some weeks, and I told him so. In answer to the charge, he said, "All I have to say I will say to the Magistrate." He had been drinking, but was not drunk. At the station, in the hearing of the prisoner, Police-constable Thompson said, "He kicked me twice on the head." The prisoner laughed.
To Prisoner. I did not see you do anything to Police-constable Thompson. I saw you strike Police-constable Taylor.
Police-constable WILLIAM TAYLOR , 696 R. On October 10, at five past three, I was in Deptford Broadway patrolling with Inspector Smith when I saw a crowd running a little way off. I ran in consequence of hearing someone say, "He has knocked a constable down." I saw prisoner running and ran after him. I overtook him, and he deliberately turned round, stood in a fighting attitude, and struck me on the chest, and then aimed with his right fist at my stomach, which I guarded. With the assistance of Inspector Smith he was taken to the station. He was violent on the road to the station.
WILLIAM THOMPSON , registered medical practitioner. At 3.30 p.m. on October 10 I was called to Blackheath Road Police Station and examined Police-constable Thompson. I found him suffering from a severe wound in the head about 3 in. long; the bone was exposed. There was a good deal of blood flowing from his left ear. I found the drum of the ear broken, torn across; there was also a wound in the outer ear, far in, an internal injury. That injury will permanently affect his hearing to some extent. I have examined him on two or three recent occasions. He was in a very dazed and stupid condition, and as there was a possibility of fracture of the base of the skull I sent him immediately to the hospital. I examined him again on October 26; he had left the hospital that day as an inpatient. He had still the drum of the ear broken. He had in addition partial
paralysis on the left side of the face caused by the nerve to the face being involved with the wound to the ear. He was still in a dazed condition and complained of very violent headaches. His condition pointed to laceration of the surface of the brain. I made other examinations and confirmed this opinion afterwards. I examined him a day or two ago. In my opinion, he will never be fit for active service as a policeman again. The wound in the scalp, in my opinion, was caused by a fall—it may have been caused by a fall, more likely a fall than a blow. The injury to the ear, in my opinion, could not have been caused by a fall; it could have been caused by a kick or a blow from a blunt instrument. I should say great violence was used.
Cross-examined by prisoner. I did not say you kicked him. I said he had had a blow in the ear; I am not able to tell you who did it. It may have been a blow from a stone or a heavy instrument like a hammer.
MAURICE BROWN (prisoner, not on oath). It seems very hard on my part. Mark Burton was the first man I interfered with. I said to him, "Won't it be more better for you to wash your face than to be lounging about?" He asked me what it was to do with me, and with that he put his fist in my jaw. I never took no notice of him. As I turned my back he hit me across the back with a stick; I turned round again and took the stick away from him; I broke his stick in halves and hit him. I left him on the left-hand side, and I goes across the road and he follows me. He speaks to the constable; constable comes over; don't say anything to me, but grabs me. I turns round—I was a bit drunk at the time. He said, "All right; you are a bit too strong for me; I will soon get assistance." In the struggle the both of us goes over; he falls down and I falls on top of him and the weight of my body goes on his head; he falls unconscious. I makes my way out of it to get away, when Police-constable Taylor and Inspector Smith make a rush at me. Taylor swears I hit him; I didn't touch him; takes me off to the station; I goes quietly enough. Another thing, I have been out a clear six months now; I have been trying to earn an honest living and the police won't let me do it. I reckon I am persecuted by the lot of them.
Twenty-five previous convictions were proved.
Sentence, Seven years' penal servitude.
ORFORD, William (32, painter) ; stealing one postal letter, containing a banker's cheque for the payment of £8 13s., the goods and moneys of Russell and Co.; feloniously altering and uttering a bill of exchange of £8 13s., with intent to defraud; stealing one postal letter containing a banker's cheque for the payment of £35, the goods and moneys of Justin Browne; forging the endorsement on a banker's cheque for the payment of £35, with intent to defraud; feloniously obliterating a certain crossing on a banker's cheque for the payment of £35, with intent to defraud.
Mr. Graham-Campbell and Mr. A.S. Carr prosecuted; Mr. Warburton defended.
ROBERT BELCHER , corn and coal merchant, Winfield, near Windsor. I deal with the firm of Russell and Co., coal merchants, Phoenix Street, St. Pancras. On September 2 I owed them a sum of £8 13s., and signed a cheque in blank. The cheque produced is signed by me. I gave it to my son with certain instructions.
WILLIAM JAMES BELCHER . I am a son of the last witness. On September 2 my father handed me the cheque produced. I filled it up, "Pay Russell and Co., or bearer"; the amount was £8 13s. I posted it on the morning of the 3rd. It was not altered by me into £80 13s. I never authorised that alteration.
GEORGE HILL , manager to Russell and Co. I open all letters received on behalf of the company. Mr. Belcher was a customer of ours; he owed £8 13s. on September 3. I did not receive any letter containing a cheque for that amount from him. The endorsement on the back of the cheque handed to me is not made by anyone authorised on behalf of the company.
JOHN GEORGE TOWNSEND GREEN , cashier, London and County Bank, Windsor branch. Belcher is a customer of our branch. I remember the cheque handed to me being presented to me at the bank on September 4 at 2.30 in the afternoon. At that time the amount was £80 13s.; the endorsement was on the back; I spoke to one of the other ledger clerks. He referred to Belcher's account. I asked prisoner how he would take the money; he said he would have £50 in notes and the rest in gold. I produce a certified extract from our cashier's book showing the number of the notes which were given. On October 22 I went to Somers Town Police Station and picked out prisoner from nine or 10 others as the man who presented this cheque to me on September 4.
Cross-examined. Windsor has a moving population—tourists. Many of them come into our bank. We do not strictly scrutinise everyone who does. Prisoner was there five or six minutes at least; that is a considerable time considering the amount of the cheque. Some cheques there are no doubt about and are paid on the spur of the moment. I am prepared to swear I have made no mistake as to the identity of the prisoner.
Re-examined. I spoke to Mr. Donoughue because the cheque seemed rather large.
JOHN BARRY DONOUGHUE , ledger clerk, London and County Bank; Windsor branch. On September 4 the last witness showed me a cheque. I noticed it was for a larger amount than the customer usually draws, and I looked up to see who presented it; I looked towards the counter. I saw prisoner there. I went to Somers Town Police Station on October 22 and saw a number of persons there; I picked out the prisoner.
Sergeant GEORGE BREWER , Y Division. I was in Euston Road on October 22, in the early morning, about 12.30 a.m., and saw prisoner there. I said to him, "I am a police officer; you answer the description of a man wanted for obtaining £80 at Windsor by means of a
forged cheque." He said, "I understand; if I have a fair identification I have a chance; I know nothing about it; I was not there." I then conveyed him to Somers Town Police Station. He said, "It is all the fortune of war; I have an idea who shot me; two of the boys went down on Saturday for putting down a cheque at York for £90." He made no reply when he was charged.
WILLIAM ORFORD (prisoner, on oath). I live at 9, Berwick Street, Oxford Street. I remember September 2; it was a Wednesday; I was going away by the 12.30 train from London Bridge to Wateringbury, Kent. I was in London on the morning of that day. I reached Wateringbury about three to half-past three; I remained there till September 19; then I came home; the hopping had finished then. I did not leave Kent between the two dates I mentioned. Cross-examined. I did not go into the fields the first few days. I go down every year. It is a farm I go to for hopping. I am a pole puller. Mr. Court is the owner of the farm; he is not here to my knowledge. I have not asked him to come here and say when it was I went down to Kent. I went hop-picking on Monday, September 7. I was working with a man named Cook; he is not here; he saw me; I do not suppose he took notice; they do not take notice of each other. I have been there for six years now. I had a postcard from Mr. Court to tell me to go there; the cards tell you when hopping is to begin; I have them every year. The weather being bad between September 2 and September 7, I stopped in the hop-house and the cook-house.
JOHN MAHONEY , 9, Berwick Street, Oxford Street. Prisoner is my wife's nephew. He stays with me off and on. I remember August 29 last. Prisoner did not leave my house while I was there. On August 29 I left him at home and went hopping; I was away from the 29th till September 19. I did not see prisoner till September 2; then I saw him at Redhill Farm, Wateringbury; he stayed till the finish. I cannot tell you where prisoner was in the daytime between the 2nd and the 7th, but at night he was in the hop-house with us.
Verdict, Not guilty of forgery; guilty on remaining counts.
Several previous convictions were proved.
Sentence, Three years' penal servitude.
PAYNTER, Frederick (40, agent) ; obtaining by false pretences from each of William Henry Brown, Edward John Bobin, John James Jones, Edward John Walkerley, Leonard Bean, and Bertha Lawrence, a postal order for the payment, and of the value, of 2s., in each case with intent to defraud. In incurring a certain debt and liability of 2s. to William Henry Brown, 2s. to Edward John Bobin, 2s. to John James Jones, 2s. to Edward John Walkerley, 2s. to Leonard Bean, and 2s. to Bertha Lawrence, did obtain credit by means of fraud other than false pretences.
Mr. W.H. Leycester and Mr. Eustace Fulton prosecuted; Mr. S.F. Low defended.
(Saturday, November 14.)
Police-constable WILLIAM HENRY BROWN , London and India Docks Police. In January last I saw an advertisement in the "People" newspaper of January 12. (Exhibit identified by witness and marked.) I had spare time and wanted to add to my income; I answered the advertisement. In reply I received a copy of a circular (Exhibit 2). I read the circular. I understood F. Paynter and Co. were agents for a large firm who gave out writing, addressing envelopes, and that. I thought they were doing a genuine business. I wrote the letter (Exhibit 13), and in answer to that I got Exhibit No. 3. I also received a stylographic pen like Exhibit 10. On receipt of same I went to 78, Mysore Road. I was not satisfied. I saw someone at the window; I could not see who it was; it was a man. I knocked at the door; a woman opened it, and I had a conversation with her; She slammed the door in my face. That was January 15. I went away. I called again on four separate occasions, but found nobody in. Finally I went to Lavender Hill Police Station; then a constable went with me; he went round a back turning, so as to be handy in case there should be any trouble. This was January 19. I saw defendant that day; he opened the door. I told him what my name was, that I had come about the business, and handed him the circulars he had sent me and also the stylographic pen. I said I considered it was a fraud. He said, "It is a funny thing; the business has been going on 14 or 15 years, and I have never had a complaint before." He then said it was the usual rule to return people who were dissatisfied their 2s. He handed me a 2s. postal order marked "Richmond." I told him that I thought his advertisement referred to addressing envelopes and circulars. He said, "No, it was only an agency for different things." I said I thought he did not intend to carry out the conditions of the advertisement and the communication I had received and that it was a fraud from beginning to end. I told him it was a pity he was committing a fraud on people who could not afford to lose 2s., because it was not everybody like me who would come and demand their 2s. back. He made no answer and I came away.
Cross-examined. I was led to believe the prisoner was a contractor to do writing work from the way the advertisement was worded. It plainly states: "Paying agency, addressing circulars, etc." The first time I saw the police was on January 19. Before I gave evidence at the police court I saw a witness named Bobin; I might have spoken to him about some trivial matters. I cannot remember if he said he thought defendant was a contractor to do writing work for large firms. The circulars I had simply stated I was to sell the pen I received for 4s. I did not try to carry out the conditions of the circulars: I considered it an impossibility. If I had thought the business genuine I should have been willing to take up this form of employment. I did not think it was genuine because the pen I received was not worth half the money I deposited. When I called on the defendant I told him my name, handed him the things that had been sent to me, and that I wanted my money back. He said it was a usual
condition to return money to those who were dissatisfied. He gave me a 2s. postal order and I was satisfied. I swear he said, "It is a funny thing I have carried on my business so long and had no complaints before." I immediately saw that was a contradiction of what he said before—that it was the usual rule to return people the 2s. who were dissatisfied. I did not point out that he was contradicting himself. I knew he was carrying on a fraud because the advertisement in several papers proved he was carrying on a large business at the time.
EDWARD JOHN BOBIN , 70, Brookbank Road, Lewisham. I am an insurance agent. On August 2 last I was requiring employment in spare time. On that day I saw an advertisement in "Lloyd's" newspaper (Exhibit 1). I answered it and in reply received Exhibit 2, in consequence of which I sent 2s. I thought the employment advertised was of a writing character in the way of addressing envelopes and circulars. The letter I received confirmed that opinion. I thought the 2s. I sent was to cover the necessary materials for me to write circulars, envelopes, and such matters. I received the stylographic pen. On receiving other circulars, I wrote to the firm making a complaint.
(Monday, November 16.)
EDWARD JOHN BOBIN , recalled. Cross-examined. The circular said that I should obtain writing employment at a salary. I consider my letter asking for my money back was perfectly justified; if I did not get my money back I intended taking the steps I did take—going to the police station for advice. I did not care about recovering the money—I wished to stop the fraud that was being carried on at. Mysore Road. I considered the first letter I received, was simply a letter of conditions, terms, and statements, and a sort of contract between us which prisoner was bound to fulfil on my sending the deposit.
JOHN JAMES JONES , 31, Ribblesdale Road, Streatham, telegraphist. In reply to advertisement (produced) in the "Weekly Telegraph," dated August 15, offering 10s. daily to be earned by addressing circulars, I wrote to 78, Mysore Road and received circular like that produced asking for a deposit of 2s. and a penny stamp, which I sent. I believed the depoeit was for the necessary stationery and a directory and that the work was addressing circulars. I then received two circulars, price list, end a stylographic pen. I kept the circulars a week, tore them up, and took no further steps in the matter.
Cross-examined. I saw from the circulars there was to be a commission on goods sold. I did not attempt to sell the goods amongst my friends, as I considered I would be selling a pen worth 1s. for 4s. I formed my own conclusion of the whole thing; I had not got what I sent my money for. I have not charged the prisoner with fraud—I am called here as a witness for the prosecution.
EDWARD JOHN WALKERLEY , 100, Hall Road, S.E., tobacconist. On August 23, being out of work, I replied to an advertisement in "Lloyd's News," received circular, forwarded P.O. for 2s., and on September 1 received circulars and a stylographic pen (produced). I communicated with Scotland Yard.
Cross-examined. From the second circulars I considered the employment was canvassing to sell the pen and jewellery mentioned in the price list; that the deposit would be returned on the first day's work, and that I should then get the pen for myself. It was not the employment I was looking for. I did not write for my money back, because I did not care to waste more money on it. I was dissatisfied. I would have been satisfied if there had been writing to do. Without attempting to communicate with the defendant in any way, I went straight to Scotland Yard.
LEONARD BEAN , 161, Asylum Road, Peckham, signal boy. I saw advertisement in "Lloyd's" and wrote for particulars and received circular. I thought the employment offered was addressing circulars and that the deposit required was for stationery. I sent P.O. for 2s. and received circulars, price list, and a stylographic pen. I put them away with disgust.
Cross-examined. I could not say when Detective Savage came to me. I understood I should get a commission for selling the jewellery, but it was impossible to sell the articles at the prices asked. I did not see any good in wasting pennies in trying to get my money back.
BERTHA LAWRENCE , 121., Holloway Road, wife of George Lawrence, railway gatekeeper. In September last, my husband being out of work, I was trying to get work. I saw prisoner's advertisement in the "People" offering 10s. a day for a splendid paying agency, wrote to 78, Mysore Road, and got circular asking for 2s. deposit, which I understood to be half the value of the materials, paper, envelopes, and things necessary for addressing envelopes, which was stated to be the work. I sent P.O. for 2s. and a penny stamp and received circulars like those produced and a pen. I took no further notice of it.
Cross-examined. I did not think prisoner was carrying on a genuine business. If it had been I should not have been willing to attempt to well the goods. I did not ask for my money back because I was rather annoyed and it was not a very large amount.
JOSEPH BRIGGS , manager, St. John's Library, printers, 87, St. John's Hill, Clapham Junction. I have printed for prisoner for many years and have supplied him with circulars (Exhibits 2, 3, 4, 5. and 6) for a number of years. They were formerly in the name of F. Morgan and Co., as well as Paynter and Co. I produce copy of prisoner's account for the last 12 months; it amounts to about £2 a week. He paid by cheque, cash, and sometimes in postal orders of 1s., 2s., and 5s.—small amounts. Testimonials in similar terms from Seawright, Pennington, and Goldsmith occur in circulars
dated 1901 and 1904; the addresses are simply the name of the town—"Leicester," "County Dublin," "Ashburton." I never saw the criginals.
Cross-examined. I understood prisoner had started a fresh business in the name of Morgan at Lavender Hill. Some of the circulars were printed more frequently than others.
JOHN SAMUEL SMITH , trading as Gibb, Smith, and Co., 10, High Holborn, advertising agents. I inserted advertisements for prisoner in "Lloyd's News," the "People," and other papers. He instructed and paid me, sometimes personally, but chiefly by letter. He paid by cash or cheque, but chiefly in postal orders. I produce list of papers in which I inserted advertisements in January, 1908, for prisoner: "The People," "Daily Express," "Birmingham Despatch," "Brighton Argus," "Bolton News," "Bradford Telegraph," "Cambridge News," "Devon Evening Express," "Glasgow Herald," "Leicester Mercury," "Manchester Despatch," "Northern Echo," "Scotsman," "Staffordshire Sentinel," "Yorkshire Evening News"; there are also a number of Irish papers. The papers were occasionally varied on weekly instructions. I gather that if it was found not to be a good line of country the advertisement was dropped and some other part of the country taken up.
WILLIAM BARTLETT WAREEN , of Burge, Warren, and Ridgley, Limited, 91 And 92, Great Saffron Hill, stylographic pen makers. Since May, 1905, prisoner has bought stylographic pens like that produced from my firm at a cost of 7 1/2 d. each, less 5 per cent.; that is the cheapest pencil-pointed pen that we make. They are placed in boxes marked "4s." on instructions of prisoner. It is a custom of the trade to mark pens at a high price and take a discount off—sometimes of as much as 50 per cent. We have never supplied any pens similar to those shown in the circular produced. I produce list of payments made by prisoner from October, 1907, to September, 1908, amounting to £221 13s. 1d.; that was entirely from the 7 1/2 d. pen produced and would represent about one gross per week. For a year or two prisoner paid cash against the goods; recently we have given him a credit of a week or two; he has generally paid in small postal orders of 1s., 2s., 2s. 6d., 4s., and 5s.
JESSIE NIXON . In August, 1908, I was employed as general servant at 78, Mysore Road by prisoner for about nine weeks. I was the only servant. There was no shop or warehouse on the premises. Prisoner rented the house, occupied two rooms with his wife, and let the rest of the rooms to lodgers. Prisoner used to address circulars in the sitting room. About 40 or 50 letters came daily, which I usually took in and gave to Mr. or Mrs. Paynter. A large number of letters were sent out; I took them to the post if prisoner forgot to do so. I generally took about 30 or 40 letters in a handbag Parcels of stylographic pens would come by post. I have seen one or two watches. I have seen price lists similar to that produced and a large number of circulars. I have not seen any of the goods repre-sented
in the circulars. There was a waste paper basket, which was emptied once a day, filled with torn letters and newspapers.
Cross-examined. There were four lodgers, who occupied furnished rooms, which I used to clean out. To my recollection, Mrs. Paynter had most to do with the business; she need generally to open the letters; she did not write the answers. I have seen prisoner and his wife handing watches and chains about, which I took to have something to do with the business.
Detective-sergeant PERCY SAVAGE , New Scotland Yard. On September 30, 1908, I received warrant for the arrest of prisoner, and in the afternoon of that day saw him in St. John's Hill, Clapham Junction. I said, "Frederick Paynter, I believe?" He said, "Yes." I said, "l am a police officer and hold a warrant for your arrest. Shall I read it here or at Lavender Hill Police Station?" He said. "Read it at the police station. What is it for?" I said, "For obtaining 2s. by false pretences from Edward Walkerley, of 100, Hall Road, S.E., in connection with the business of F. Paynter and Co., 78, Mysore Road." He said, "F. Paynter and Co. is my business, but I do not remember the name of Walkerley. If I could see my books I could tell if I received his money or not. "I took him to the station, read the warrant, and he made no reply. I took him to East Dulwich Police Station in a cab. On the way he said, "My business is not a large one—I can do all the work in two hours each day." The charge was read to him; he made no reply. On the same day I searched three rooms at 78, Mysore Road, the parlour, kitchen, and bedroom upstairs. In a cabinet in the parlour were four ledgers, consisting entirely of names of people with numbers against them; amongst those are the names of the prosecutors; there is a stamped number at the end of each name, which in those cases corresponds with the number on the circular sent to them; the detes also correspond with that on the top of the page. From October 1, 1907, to September 30, 1906, there are 8, 283 names. In the bedroom I found about 9, 000 letters tied up in bundles with the date on each and a written number corresponding with the number on the left of the name in the ledger. All the letters are from persons enclosing postal orders for 2s., showing that prisoner received 8, 283 postal orders for 2s. each, amounting to £828 6s. I found six pens loose and 12 in a box marked "Strand Stylos, 4s." I found 20 small articles such as are described in the price list—three puzzle cigarette cases, one corkscrew, a pistol cigar cutter, photo frames, two drinking cups, three brooches, and others. The brooch is very like the 1s. 6d. brooch shown in the list, but not quite the same pattern. There were no books with regard to the purchase and sale of goods. There were a number of invoices dating from October, 1906, to September, 1908, for small articles from a few pence to 2s. or 3s. There is no book recording the sale of articles or the payment of salary or commission. I found eight circulars and 16 letters showing goods sold during the past year amounting to £6 19s. 1d. There were some other letters in
1906; 257 letters from people acknowledging the return of their deposit; 169 of those were dated between October, 1907, and September, 1908. A number of torn letters were in the waste-paper basket and a postcard from R. Cooper saying: "Dear sir,—I have received your letter and find its contents anything but what I expected. On the receipt of 2s. I will return me same intact." There were 11 letters complaining dated September 28. I found the accounts for advertising and printing. I make prisoner's trading account to be as follows. Receipts from 8, 283 postal orders at 2s. each £828 6s. Then expenses—printing, £28 6s. 5d.; advertising, £164 6s. 3d.; return of deposits as shown by four small pocket books which I found for the past year, £127 12s. in 2s. postal orders and £5 12s. 6d. in 1s. 6d. postal orders; articles which appear to have been paid for, £221 13s. 1d.; total, £547 10s. 3d., leaving a net profit in the 12 months of £280 15s. 9d. This is without including any profit made by sale of articles named in the price list. There are no books showing the disposal of goods and nothing to show that anything has been sold except 24 letters.
Cross-examined. I am in charge of this case on behalf of the police. Before making the arrest I made inquiries of persons who had sent money. Prisoner has been carrying on the business since 1896 at St. Mary Church, Devonshire; Minto Avenue, Torquay; Grant Road, Clapham Junction; and at his present address, 78, Mysore Road; at 233, Lavender Hill, as Morgan and Co.; and for a short time at 78, St. John's Hill, Clapham Junction, also as Morgan and Co.
(To the Recorder.) The business at first was very similar, but instead of a stylo pen, a rubber stamp with the name of the applicant was sent to the person applying, with a 1s. deposit. The principle of the business was the same. Prisoner began to send the stylo pen and charge 2s. when he went to Mysore Road in 1901, where he has been ever since.
(To Mr. Lowe.) He was at 37, Grant Road, Battersea, in 1890, and has been carrying on the business since then with slight alteration. I had all those particulars before the arrest. The police knew from 1896 that he was carrying on this business. On February 25, 1902, a letter was written by the Criminal Investigation Department asking if Paynter and Co. were a genuine firm. At times inquiries have been made and persons approached with a view to prosecution; we have experienced difficulty in getting persons to come forward and apply for process. Applications at the police courts have been made in isolated cases and process refused. Complaints have been received during the past 12 years. No prosecution has been launched till 1908, although the police have known that prisoner has been carrying on the business since 1896. The Director of Prosecutions has now applied for the warrant. I have had inquiries made of people whose testimonials are printed in the circular. Nurse Ford told me she wrote for particulars, received circular, sent her deposit
thinking it was writing work, received a parcel, and, without opening it, being busy nursing, wrote thanking prisoner for its receipt, and, on opening the parcel, was disgusted at finding that it was not writing work, tore up the circulars and gave the pen away, it being of no use to her. She is not here. I received a statement from Hextall from the head constable at Leicester: "Resides at 8, Hartington Road, Leicester. In February, 1906, I saw an advertisement in the Leicester 'Daily Mercury' for employment for spare time addressing circulars and wrote to prisoner, received form requesting 2s., when, it was stated, I should be supplied with further particulars; sent postal order for 2s. and in return received a list of articles of jewellery, etc., and three circulars, into which I was to fill in my own name and address and distribute them among my friends, one of which I filled up, gave to a friend of mine, and sent it to prisoner with a postal order for 8s. in payment of a brooch, match box, and money box, which prisoner sent, returning my deposit and 1s. 6d. as wages. I acknowledged receipt in the terms of letter printed in circular (Exhibit B). I only wrote one letter and have no knowledge of the other one. I only used one of the three circulars sent and troubled no more about the matter until two months afterwards, when I received two letters asking particulars of the business, which I answered. I have since received about 20 other letters and acknowledged them. I became tired of receiving these letters and consequently wrote prisoner requesting him to remove my name from his circulars as I had given no authority for him to use it. I had no reply and have heard nothing more of him." In a subsequent letter Hextall says that the letter he wrote was: "Dear Sir,—I received goods quite safe. We are very pleased with them; also received wages and deposit money; thanks for same. Please send two each of A and AA circulars"; that he received four circulars, none were used and they were destroyed—"When I first sent my money I expected to have papers and addresses to do at home for prisoner—not canvassing for the sale of goods." Hudson's father was seen; I understand he is going to be called for the defence.
Re-examined. The testimonial in circular: "Dear Sir,—Your letter and postal orders received quite safely. Many thanks for prompt reply.—Yours sincerely, Nurse Ford," does not correspond with what Nurse Ford told me.
Mr. Low submitted that no case had been made out on any of the counts. Counts 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 were for obtaining credit under the Debtors Act, subsection 13: then never was a debt or liability and therefore no credit was obtained. The false pretence alleged in the remaining counts was that prisoner was not carrying on a genuine business; there was evidence of a genuine though small merchant's business. Cited Archbold. 601; R. v. Crabbe, 11 Cox, 85; R. v. Williamson, 11 Cox, 328: R. v. Watson, 27 L. J, (M. C.) 18.
Held that there wm evidence that the circulars held out to large numbers of persons that prisoner was carrying on the business of employing people to address circulars, &c: it would be left to the jury whether prisoner was carrying on any genuine business and whether the sale of a few trinkets was not merely colourable; there was abundance of evidence on the false pretence counts. It was very doubtful whether the Court of Appeal would hold that there was an incurring of a debt or liability; case would be left to the jury on the false pretence counts only.
FREDERICK PAYNTER (prisoner, on oath). I live at 78, Mysore Road, Battersea, am 40 years of age, and was married 12 years ago. I come from Cornwall, where I was a gardener. I started this business in 1890 at 51, Grant Road, Clapham Junction, carried it on for 15 months, then went to Torquay, and remained there eight or nine years, living at first with my mother; when she died I married and went on my own account. Things went badly. I became bankrupt, my liabilities being about £70. In 1903 I obtained my discharge from the Exeter County Court. I came back to 37, Grant Road, stayed there 12 months and then removed to 78, Mysore Road. I carried on a similar business at 233, Lavender Hill under the name of Morgan and Co. (To the Recorder.) The business I carried on between October 1, 1907, and September 30, 1908, was addressing circulars, agency business; that is what I advertised. (To Mr. Low.) In reply to inquiries I sent circular (Exhibit 2) requiring 2s. deposit, on receipt of which I forwarded circulars for people to write their name and address on, distribute them to anyone, and if that person should get an order to the value of 5s. or 8s. he would get 4s. salary, or at least 2s. salary, and his deposit returned on the circular AA, and, on the circular A, he would get 1s. and his deposit returned, if those circulars should be sent back with an order for goods. Whenever an order was sent I paid that salary and returned the deposit. I am a careless business man and did not keep all the letters I received. I produce bundle of letters containing orders I received. (To the Recorder.) These were on the premises when the police searched, on a shelf in the back kitchen. (To Mr. Low.) These orders extend over a good many years. I always used to get the goods as they were required from Braun and Co., 34 and 36, Gray's Inn Road, for jewellery and small articles, and the rubber stamps from Lindner, Farringdon Avenue. One is an order of October 17 for a cigarette case and two printing outfits, amounting to 7s., 3s. 6d. commission is deducted and there was enclosed an order for 3s. 6d.; another is for 11s. worth of goods—postal order for 5s. 6d. is sent, deducting 5s. 6d. commission; another is from Miss Cross with two postal orders amounting to 31s. altogether. They are genuine orders, and I sent the goods. (A number of similar orders were explained.) I have always executed the order, sent the goods, and allowed the commission and salary. When starting the business I sent, a pen and pencil combined with a rubber stamp, returning the deposit and paying commission on any order sent in the same way. My gross receipts were about £500 a year and the profit about £50. I have taken in lodgers to supplement my income. 1903 was the most prosperous time—the profit was then about £100 a year. I obtained the stylo. pens from Warren. I have spent at Braun's for the small articles shown in the list as much as £5 a week, paying cash with orders. I used to pay Lindner for rubber stamps £5 to £6 a week. Among the letters produced there are a good many thanking
me for the goods and expressing perfect satisfaction with the business.
Cross-examined. I make my profit by the sale of the goods. My advertisement states, "You can earn 2s. to 10s. daily in spare time or evening." The second circular says, "We beg to say that we desire to secure the services of ladies and gentlemen who reside in town or country and who will write in spare time"—that it, to addrees these circulars. I do not speak of the sale of goods in the circular. I say in the advertisement it is "an agency to address circulars, etc."; the expression "a vacancy" is for anyone to take up the agency—a vacancy for addressing these circulars. I had no limit to the number of agents I employed. During the past 12 months I had 8, 000 answers from people, who each sent 2s.; some did not take the agency up and they had it back. I paid 7 1/2 £d., less 5 per cent., for the pens; they were sent out for the value of 4s.; at some places they are retailed at that price. I received 8, 000 sums of 2s. during the last year. I have a list of those returned amounting to 100, but I did not put down those returned at the door; they would be about 50 more. I have no books showing goods bought or the transactions with the 8, 000 agents—only the letters. I have no banking account. Braun and Co. and Lindner are the only persons I bought goods from—I have no accounts showing the amounts paid; the receipts have been destroyed or are in the hands of the police. I sent the goods by post. I used to go to Braun's about four times a week. I have only had complaints from the six prosecutors. (To the Recorder.) I have no document which shows the number of persons who received commission from me; I kept no books; perhaps there would be 100. The other 7, 900 kept the pen which I got at 7 1/2 £d., less 5 per cent. That is the way I lived. (To Mr. Eustace Fulton.) I made my profit because 70 or 80 per cent. of the people never troubled to apply for their 2s. back or got it back; I kept the 2s. and they had the pen—of course, there was the expense of the advertisements, postage, etc. The profit was on the 2s. I say in the circular that no one had called in question the genuineness of my offer. I have not had a number of complaints. There have been complaints—I knew it. I have not been warned by the police. I have had three or four letters from Nurse Ford; she always wrote about the same letter as the two in the circular, which are dated 1901 and 1904. I altered the date when she acknowledged the receipt of a later parcel. Letter produced, dated May 11, 1906, does, not acknowledge a postal order; the one in the circular is dated May 17; I had a letter from her with an order when she received the postal order. The letter in the circular from R. Hextall is dated February 10, 1906, "Received with thanks, salary for addressing circulars this morning. Please forward another supply." Another letter of the same date, on a different circular, "Received with thanks, salary this morning, R. Hextall," is another letter from the same person. Letter produced is from Seawright of January 24, 1901. She wrote me another letter on January 24, 1904 Both acknowledge the receipt of 12s. salary. She kept sending me
repeat orders. I cannot tell you why the initial is changed from "S." Seawright to "E." It is a coincidence that she writes on the same day in 1901 and 1904 identical letters. E. T. Pennington's testimonials are dated from "Cheshire," January 22, 1901 and January 22, 1904; those are different letters. One is, "Parcel to hand this morning with 10s. 6d., which I earned in four hours." In both letters, "I can honestly say your work is genuine, such that anyone can recommend it." I say those are different letters. They sent repeat orders. Miss Goldsmith wrote me a letter in February, 1901, acknowledging remuneration 12s. 3d., and in February, 1904, she wrote, "Salary and 24s. duly to hand, for which I am obliged," etc. She had sent me repeat orders in the interval. She is not here. The full addresses are not given because I have had letters asking that the address should be suppressed. (To the Recorder.) The object of a testimonial is that people should be satisfied that it is a genuine business—they could not apply to such an address as "Cheshire" or "County Dublin." The list of prices does not contain my name; it is for the agent; it is printed at my expense. (To Mr. Fulton.) I have no other invoices from Braun but those found by the police. I have destroyed the others, as we were about to leave the house. I could not say if 10s. to 15s. a week would be about the money I spent at Braun's; it used to be a lot more than that in my more prosperous time. Warren has not called my attention to the nature of my business that I am aware of. Smith, the advertising agent, told me some years ago the business was not a proper one. (To the Recorder.) I had advice from a solicitor; I took all these documents to him, and he informed me that it was perfectly bonafide. (To Mr. Fulton.) I employed a boy and a girl to look after the business of Morgan and Co. It was the same kind of business.
Re-examined. I always return the deposit if it is asked for. The most prosperous time of my business was in 1903. (To the Recorder.) In the last year I got 7, 900 sums of 2s. for 7 1/2 d. each.
THOMAS HUDSON . I live at Hapscot, about a mile and a half from Morfoot, and am a commercial clerk. In 1903 I replied to an advertisement in the name of "F." or "L." Paynter and Co. I received a circular letter from prisoner saying that he had received my application, and, judging from its contents, he thought I was a suitable person to offer his agency to; he asked me to send 1s. and he would send me a sample of the work. I did so, and got a rubber stamp combined with a pen and pencil. Shortly afterwards I got orders from captains that I came in contact with in business. I sent the orders to prisoner at 78, Mysore Road and by return of post received the goods. I was never once disappointed in any way. I have had about 100 transactions with him. I sold about 100 stamps; the last was in July, 1907. I sent prisoner half the catalogue price (5s. 6d. each), keeping the other half as commission. Prisoner always acted in a perfectly fair, straightforward, business-like way as far as I was concerned.
Cross-examined. I knew the captains from being in the shipping business. The stamp was a novelty at that time—five years ago. Prisoner had to make his profit out of the 2s. 9d. The captains were
always perfectly satisfied; they apparently thought they had good value; I had several repeat orders. (To the Recorder.) They are not here.
HERBERT LANGLOID , 9, Saltfern Place, Bradford, insurance agent. I formerly lived at 13, Jenner Street Jersey, and while there I replied to an advertisement of the prisoner's as Paynter and Co., early in 1907, about addressing circulars. I received a reply to the effect that there was a vacancy for selling novelties and rubber stamps, which I accepted. I sent no deposit, only the payment for the goods I ordered. I bought a pearl necklet, which I sold at 6s., making 3s. for myself. I then ordered a revolver match box and a bicycle pipe. Prisoner wrote saying he was out of those goods and asking if I wished for anything else. I replied that I did not want any of the other goods and he returned me the money. I only sold the pearl necklace and a stylographic pen at 4s., out of which I made 2s. I thought it was very good of prisoner to return me the money as I was a long way off and I would not have summoned him; he treated me fairly.
Cross-examined. I sold the necklace to a person whose name I forget; it was not a relative. The match box and pipe I wanted for myself. I bought a pen also for myself. I was surprised when prisoner returned my money. From the advertisement I thought it was addressing circulars; then prisoner sent me a letter about writing in spare time. I do not remember if he asked for a deposit; I did not send one.
ALFRED VEGER littledown, Shaftesbury, labourer. In February, 1903, I replied to an advertisement as to a spare time agency and received a circular like that produced. I ordered two pens and other articles to the value of 8s. and sent half the list price; I received the parcel; everything was satisfactory; I was treated fairly; that was the only transaction.
Cross-examined. I gave the articles to my friends; I did not make much out of the transaction.
REUBEN HEXTALL , 8, Hartington Road, Leicester, hosiery ware-houseman, 22 years old. In January, 1906, I answered prisoner's advertisement, received circular, sent deposit, and received list and circulars like those produced, which I forwarded to friends, one of whom sent me an order for 6s. or 8s. worth of articles, which I sent to prisoner. Two days afterwards I received the goods with the deposit and wages, 1s. 6d. or 2s., that I had earned in getting the order, that was the only transaction. I was quite satisfied. (To the Recorder.) I only wrote one letter.
Cross-examined. I could not say the date of my letter. The letter in the circular is not in the words I used. In my letter I asked prisoner for one or two more circulars, which he sent. I sold my goods to my sister for 8s.; she was satisfied with what she received. I got my deposit back and 2s. or 1s. 6d.—I forget which. (To the Recorder.) I did not send the letter which is printed in the
circular. I gave prisoner no authority to use my name. (To Mr. Fulton.)I did not sell further goods—I have several sisters, but I did not suppose they wanted to buy the things.
JOSEPH TURTON , Oldmarket, near Alfreton, Derbyshire, miner. In December, 1907, I replied to prisoner's advertisement, and had an answer back again to send 2s. for instructions, which I did. I then received a pen, catalogue, and two leaflets—circulars like those produced. I sent an order for 14s. worth—cigar case, 1s. 6d.; match box, 1s.; stone brooch, 1s. 6d.; pearl necklet with three rows of pearla, 1s. 3d.; printing outfit, 1s.; puzzle match box, 1s.; revolver match case, 2s.; money box, 2s.; stag's head purse, 2s.; total, 14s. I sent a postal order for 7s. and received the goods two days afterwards. I had orders from my friends for the things before I sent the order. I could not say whether I got my deposit of 2s. back or not; I was satisfied with the profit of 7s. I did no more business with prisoner. I think prisoner treated me in a very straightforward way indeed; I do not think it could have been done in a more manly way; I was quite satisfied.
Cross-examined. I thought the employment was addressing circulars. I addressed none. I sold all the goods to my relations. I really could not say whether I had the 2s. back, I know there was an option of having it back; I cannot say whether I asked for it; it is probable I did; I am not sure if I got it.
HENRY GARNER , 53, Cumberland Street, Warwick Square, architectural student. In July, 1904, I saw prisoner's advertisement in the "Daily Telegraph" offering an agency for spare time; the work was interesting, clean, and profitable. I replied, and received particulars of an agency for selling novelties such as stylographic pens, rubber stamps, jewellery, etc. I had a pen of my own, but being in want of a rubber stamp I sent 1s. for it. received it in two days, was well satisfied with it, and immediately sent an order for an air-cushion Stamp, 2s. 6d. When it arrived I was well satisfied, and sent a letter accordingly—an unsolicited testimonial. That was all the business I did with prisoner.
Cross-examined. I did not send a deposit; only the 1s. in payment of the stamp, which I kept for my own use. I did not take up the agency; I did not make anything out of it. I had no wish for any commission. I was quite satisfied with the article. I was not exactly one of the 8, 000 agents. Of course, one never knows what these advertisements are until one writes after them.
Re-examined. Letter produced is what I wrote in 1904.
JOHN ALFRED GARRARD , clerk to M. Lindner, 17, Farringdon Avenue, manufacturer and importer. Prisoner has dealt with my firm for the last four years for goods like those shown in price list produced, to the extent of about £2 a week on an average. He usually paid in postal orders.
Cross-examined. I do not say £2 a week during the last year. I have not gone into this year. During the last 12 months prisoner has spent about 14s. a week. Mr. Lindner was interviewed by the
police. I have not been asked to make extracts from our books. "Gentleman's vest pocket nurse," listed at 1s. 6d., would cost prisoner 6s. a dozen nett. "Compass case for monograms," listed at 3s., would cost about 11d. "Imperial pencil case, with autograph, 3s. 6d.," would cost about 2s.
FREDERICK WILLIAM CLEMENTS , Exeter, grocer's assistant. In October, 1907, I answered an advertisement for spare time employment, addressing circulars, etc., received catalogue and circulars as produced, sent two or three orders for a number of small articles—cigarette case, brooches, bangle-bracelets, etc.—sent about 5s. or 6s. to prisoner, and received the goods ordered. I do not recollect exactly what the articles were.
Cross-examined. I sold the articles to members of my own family; they were pleased with them. I charged double what the prisoner charged me. I did not send a deposit—only the money for the goods. I did not go on selling them, as I had no time to go round to people.
Verdict, Guilty of obtaining money by false pretences; Not guilty on the other counts. Sentence, 12 months' hard labour.
BEFORE THE COMMON SERJEANT.
(Friday, November 13.)
ST. LAWRENCE, Charles Frederick pleaded guilty ; of forging a certain acquittance and receipt for money for the sum of £1 0s. 6d. with intent to defraud Kate Wellman; forging a certain acquittance and receipt for money, to wit, for the sum of 15s., with intent to defraud Annie Louisa McDonald. Forging a certain endorsement on a certain order for the payment of money, to wit, a banker's cheque for the payment of the sum of 12s. 6d., with intent to defraud; obtaining by false pretences from Kate Wellman the sum of £1 0s. 6d., her moneys; from Annie Louisa McDona a certain valuable security, to wit, a banker's cheque and order for payment and of the value of 15s. 6d., her moneys; and from Ellen Comsber, the younger, the sum of 7s. in money, the moneys of Ellen Comsber, the elder, in each case with intent to defraud; forging a certain acquittance and receipt for money, to wit, for the sum of 7s. with intent to defraud Ellen Comsber. Prisoner confessed to a previous conviction.
Prisoner's method was to represent himself as a traveller in the employ of well-known confectionery and biscuit firms. He has been previously convicted of similar frauds, and the charges which might be brought against him were said to be almost innumerable. By way of mitigation, prisoner said his wife and children had been starving.
Sentence, Three years' penal servitude.
BEFORE JUDGE LUMLEY SMITH.
(Friday, November 13.)
Mr. Christie prosecuted.
ANNIE EMILY ROE , 19, Bernard Road, Balham. On the morning of September 17 last prisoner called and applied for my furnished bed-room, which I agreed to let him have. He asked to be allowed to wash his hands, and went into the scullery to do so. He then asked for a needle and cotton, and went upstairs into the room that he had engaged to sew some buttons on. He came down later on and left the house, saying he was going to Scotland Yard to see a brother who Was in the police force, and would come back later on. He was wearing medals at the time, and told me he was an old soldier. Later in the day I went to the room where prisoner had been and found that a box containing several articles of jewellery had been forced open and the contents stolen.
To Prisoner. I am quite sure you are the man who engaged the room.
By the Court. Prisoner was in the house for twenty minutes, and I talked to him and had plenty of opportunity of seeing him.
FRANK ROE , husband of the last witness. I remember prisoner calling on September 17 last. He told me he was a postman and had been transferred from Cambridge to London. He was wearing two medals at the time, on his left breast. I did not see the prisoner again until I identified him at West Hill Police Station amongst a lot of other men. I had no difficulty at all in identifying him. I am quite sure of the man.
To Prisoner. I had not seen you before September 17.
Police-constable CHARLES BELL , E Divison. I arrested prisoner on September 22. My attention was drawn to him by two medals he was wearing. I walked towards him and noticed that he had two watches in his hands. I asked him where he got them; he did not explain satisfactorily, so I arrested him and took him to Wandsworth Police Station, where he was identified without any difficulty by Mr. and Mrs. Roe.
Prisoner (not on oath) stated that this was a case of mistaken identity.
Verdict, Guilty. Several previous convictions were proved.
Sentence, Three years' penal servitude.
BEFORE THE RECORDER.
(Saturday, November 14.)
Mr. Muir prosecuted; Mr. Travers Humphreys defended.
Prisoner was in business in the City of London as an oil broker for many years until quite recently, and he had been a customer of the bank at the Cornhill branch since 1883. He from time to time borrowed moneys from the bank in the ordinary way, giving security for them. On December 31, 1904, he borrowed a sum of £150 from the bank, depositing as security two bonds of the Stockport and Middlesbrough Corporation for £100 each. A letter was sent at the same time forwarding the bonds, and in January that loan was renewed upon a similar letter, and a further loan of £150 upon two more bonds. of the same corporation was granted to the bank, so that the loan then became £300. From time to time that loan was renewed down to March 31, 1906, when that loan was renewed upon a further letter in precisely the same terms. The loans were renewed from time to time down to July this year, when the bonds became due for redemption, and upon the bank attempting to get the bonds paid off it was discovered that they were, in fact, trustee securities, and that they were held jointly by the defendant with another person as trustee securities under a deed dated December 27, 1889. The bank took proceedings for the overdraft, and obtained judgment by default on December 4, and they then proceeded to take proceedings in bankruptcy, and endeavoured to get the defendant examined on oath. The defendant made no answer; the bank then applied for a warrant, and the defendant was arrested upon the present charge. It was stated that, so far as the bank was concerned, no one had lost a shilling by the defendant's action. The money had been refunded to the bank, and if the defendant had only explained his position to his friends they would at any time have come to his aid.
The Recorder. The circumstances of this case are wholly exceptional. The sentence of the Court is that you be imprisoned for oneday, which means that you are now discharged.
BEFORE THE COMMON SERJEANT.
(Monday, November 16.)
FROST, George William (39, clerk), and PRICE, Henry Edward (29, clerk); both conspiring and agreeing together to cheat and defraud divers of His Majesty's subjects of their moneys and valuable securities; Frost, obtaining by false pretences from Amelia Gurney a certain valuable security, to wit, a banker's cheque for £51 10s., with intent to defraud; both obtaining by false pretences from divers persons divers valuable securities, to wit, on or about November 16, 1907, from Thomas Joseph Green a banker's cheque for £60 8s. 9d., on or about January 23, 1908, from Albert Eleazar Butler a banker's cheque for £10 6s. 6d., on or about February 10, 1908, from Robert Tebbitt Ashby a banker's cheque for £65 10s., on or about April 15, 1908, from Florence Black a banker's cheque for £21 10s., on or about April 15, 1908, from Edward Digby Murray a banker's cheque for £25 17s. 6d., and on or about August 17, 1908, from Robert Peel Willock a banker's cheque for £65 8s. 9d., in each case with intent to defraud.
Frost pleaded guilty to all counts with the exception of the conspiracy count.
Mr. Muir and Mr. Leycester prosecuted; Mr. George Elliott represented Frost, Mr. Basil Watson defended Price.
WILLIAM BIRCH . I live at 82, Wells Street, Oxford Street, and am a wood carver. I produce an agreement dated March 12, 1906, under which I let two rooms to Arthur William Everest at £2 16s. per month, payable in advance. I identified Everest at the police court as the person to whom I let the rooms. A business was carried on in the name of A. Everest and Co. I do not know what the business was. I used to see the man Everest there, and also the two prisoners, but I could not say how often they were there, as I was attending to my own business.
WILLIAM HERBERT ROWE , manager, City and West End Properties, Limited, Bush Lane, Cannon Street, proved an agreement, dated May 28, 1907, for the letting of two rooms, Nos. 9 and 9A on the fourth floor in Broad Street House to A. Everest and Co., 82, Wells Street, Oxford Street, for a term of three years at an annual rental of £55. He' recognised Everest at the police court as the person to whom the offices were let. Having occasion to call two or three time for rent he there saw both prisoners. Price, being asked for the rent, told witness he must see Mr. Everest about that. Frost represented himself to be Everest. The name of A. Everest and Co. was on the door.
JOSEPH BERRILL , lift man at Broad Street House, identified prisoners as attending at the offices of Everest and Co., and said he had always known prisoner Frost as Everest. Prisoner Price he had known as Price for about 18 months. The name of Everest and Co. was on the door and the name of R. Manners and Co. was subsequently added. Towards the end of June Price, coming down the main lift, asked if there were any letters for R. Manners and Co. Witness replied that there were, but as the firm was not known there they had been returned to the postman. Price then said, "If any more letters come for R. Manners and Co., they are for me. I am Manners and Co." Two days after that the name of R. Manners and Co. was put on the door beneath A. Everest and Co. Letters addressed "R. Manners and Co." were then delivered at the offices.
Cross-examined. by Mr. Watson. Frost appeared to be the principal of the business of R. Manners and Co. In his absence Price took charge of the office.
THOMAS HENRY IBBOTSON , clerk to Mr. King, solicitor, Norfolk Street, Strand, produced an agreement, dated January 11, 1908, for the letting of three rooms on the first floor of No. 17, Coleman Street at £120 a year, payable quarterly, to Harry Edward Price, describing himself as of Westbury-on-Trym, near Bristol. Prisoner Price signed that agreement and on the second occasion when witness went for rent he saw him on the premises.
Cross-examined. I am not aware that Westbury-on-Trym is the address of Price's father.
AMELIA GURNEY , 69, Ennismore Gardens, Knightebridge, single woman. Early in November, 1906, I received a circular headed, "A. Everest and Co., 82, Wells Street, Oxford Street," offering me 20 shares of £10, fully paid, in the Westminster Palace Hotel Company for £169 10s., or any smaller number at £8 10s. each free of all commission and brokerage. I already held 50 shares in the company. I read the circular and believed that the sender of it had the shares in hand and would be able to transfer them to me. I replied asking if I could add to my holding six shares at £8 10s. (£51 10s.)and saying that if so I should be glad to take them. I received the following reply dated November 8: "Dear Madam,—we beg to acknowledge receipt of your favour of yesterday and can let you have the six shares in the Westminster Palace Hotel Company, Limited. Enclosed please find contract to that effect. We presume you wish the transfer prepared in your own name: Miss Amelia Gurney, of 69, Ennismore Gardens, S.W. Kindly let us have cheque £51 10s. crossed for safety, 'London and So. Western Bank.' We certainly think these shares are very cheap indeed at the price you are purchasing, as they are very seldom offered. We shall be glad at any time to attend to any business for you regarding shares. Yours faithfully, A. Everest and Co." I think I sent the contract note to my bankers, and it was not returned. I enclosed a cheque for £51 10s. upon Messrs. Cocks and Biddulph, to A. Everest and Co., on November 15. The cheque (produced) was cashed on November 16 and returned to me by the bank. I received the following acknowledgment from A. Everest and Co.: "Dear Madam,—We beg to acknowledge receipt of your favour of yesterday enclosing cheque, the £51 10s. for the purchase of six shares in the Westminster Palace Hotel, Limited. We note you wish the transfer prepaid in your own name, and will send it to you for signature as soon as it is ready. We also note that you wish the dividends to be paid to the care of Messrs. Cocks and Biddulph, and we will issue instructions accordingly. We shall be pleased if there is any other business we can attend to for you.—Yours faithfully, A. Everest and Co." After several months I received the transfer, but I never had any shares. I was told by letter that the shares were being transferred and that the certificate would be sent to me. I wrote on April 18, 1907, stating, "I have your receipt for £51 10s., but I have never since that time
received any transfer papers, neither have I had any increase of dividend on the shares I already hold in the company. Will you kindly let me know whether my name has been inscribed in the company's books and whether I shall receive the dividend in due course? Your receipt is dated November 8, 1906. Hoping to hear from you.—Yours faithfully, Amelia Gurney." I received the following reply: "Dear Madam,—In reply to your favour of yesterday, we regret that the matter of the shares you purchased from us appears to have been overlooked by some mistake. We are having the matter investigated, and will send you the transfer properly in order in the course of the next few days for your signature." I waited ten days and then wrote again, and received the following reply: "We find that your matter has been delayed by some mistake of the firm from which we purchased the shares. We now beg to enclose you the transfer, and shall be glad if you will sign same where pencilled in the presence of a witness and return to us for stamping and registration. There had been a dividend paid, which we shall send you the amount of upon completion of the matter." I wrote again on July 21, and on July 26 received a letter enclosing a cheque for £1 8s. 6d., the current dividend on the six shares, and informing me that henceforth the dividend would be paid to my bankers by the company. I paid the cheque into my bank and it was honoured. (Witness detailed the particulars of other correspondence extending to August, 1908.)
GEORGE JENKINS BRINKWORTH , secretary and manager of the Westminster Palace Hotel Company, Limited, gave evidence to the effect that A. Everest and Co. were not in November, 1906, owners of shares, and had never been under that name. In November, 1906, no shares were held by Henry Chambers, 82, Wells Street. (Shares were bought and dealt with in that name on behalf of Frost.) On April 29, 1907, when Miss Gurney's transfer was executed no shares were held in the name of A. Everest and Co. or Chambers.
THOMAS JOSEPH GREEN , 457, Old Ford Road, dairyman. In November, 1897, I received a letter from "A. Everest and Co.," Broad Street House. I have searched for it. but have been unable to find it. It offered 50 shares in Wallpaper Manufacturers, Limited, at £60 8s. 9d. I communicated with the firm of Everest and Co. by telephone, and in reply received a contract for 50 shares. I was already a shareholder in Wallpaper Manufacturers, Limited. I believed that Everest and Co. had the shares to dispose of or I should not have bought. I forwarded a cheque for £60 8s. 9d., signed by my brother and myself. On November 18 I received an acknowledgment, and the letter said: "We note your full name and address for transfer, which shall be prepared accordingly and forwarded to you for signature." On December 10 I received die following letter: "Enclosed we beg to hand you transfer of 50 shares in Wallpaper Manufacturers, Limited. Kindly sign same where pencilled in the presence of a witness and return to us for stamping and registration. We shall be glad to hear if there is any other business we can attend to for you regarding investments of any kind." I executed the transfer and returned it. On December 31 I received the following
letter in reply to an inquiry by telephone: "In reference to your purchase of shares from us in Wallpaper, Limited, the reason of the delay is, we have only 40 of them in hand from one letter, while the remaining 10 are coming from someone else, and we have not yet obtained his signature to the transfer. We are expecting this in each day, and the moment we receive it we shall register it in your name at the company's office and claim the certificate for you.—Yours faithfully, A. Everest and Co." On February 21, 1908, in answer to inquiry by telephone, I received the following: "In reference to your telephonic message to-day, the transfer of the remaining 10 shares has only just come in. We are sending in to the company's office, and the whole matter will be completed after the next board meeting." On March 23 I again telephoned and received the reply: "We have the Wallpaper share in our office and will have them at once forwarded on to the secretary of the company. We regret that it was not done before, but we had sold the shares twice over and had to deliver the first lot and purchase a further quantity. The matter is now in order, and you will receive the certificate after the next board meeting." The letter enclosed a cheque for £1 18s., "being half-year's dividend less tax." On May 22 I telephoned again and received this reply: "We shall not be able to settle the matter of the Wallpaper shares until next week." I afterwards went to the office of A. Everest and Co. at Broad Street House, where I saw a number of female clerks. I afterwards went to 82, Wells Street, where I saw an elderly man and some more girls. The man telephoned through to Coleman Street and questioned somebody about the matter. Some time afterwards I went to the office at 17, Coleman Street, occupied by the Talbot Commercial Company. On June 13, in reply to a telephonic message addressed to Everest and Co., the following reply from the Talbot Commercial Company, addressed to "Mrs. Green," was received: "Dear Madam,—With reference to your telephonic message to-day, we will write you next week with regard to the Wallpaper shares.—Yours faithfully, H. Price, Manager." I have seen Price at various times at Coleman Street and Broad Street House. On one occasion Price; promised me a cheque for the shares. I had telephoned to them asking them to return the money. It was Price who answered me on the telephone. I knew his voice. He said, "I suppose I must return your money." When I went to Coleman Street to ask for the money Price asked me to have a drink, but I was not in the humour. Nothing more was said about the shares. I did not get the cheque he promised. On June 30, 1908, I received the following letter from the Talbot Commercial Company: "We are settling up the claims due by Messrs. A. Everest and Co. and have made arrangements to deliver your shares during the next Stock Exchange Settlement.—Your faithfully, Manager, H.E. Price." On July 9 I received the following: "With reference to your telephonic communication, we shall not be able to complete your matter until the end of the present Stock Exchange Settlement, which commences next week." This was also signed by Price. On July 21 I addressed the following letter to the office at Broad Street House: "Mr. Everest.—
Sir,—I shall be at your office, Broad Street House, Wednesday morning for my money, £60 8s. 9d., for which I have repeatedly asked, trusting you will have it ready for me, failing that, I shall at once acquaint the police.—Yours, J. Green." I called the same day and saw the same man I had seen in Coleman Street. I afterwards received a letter from "R. Manners and Co." I saw prisoner Frost once in Coleman Street. He questioned me about the shares, and asked how it was I had not had them. I never succeeded in seeing anyone who answered to the name of Everest. I received a cheque for £10 dated July 24, signed "H. Chambers" (Frost), and on July 27 the following letter signed "A. Everest and Co.": "Dear Sir,—In reply to your telephonic message, we presume you have retained the £10 handed to you. We shall not be able to settle further to-morrow, but we can let you have a further cheque on account during the week if, as we presume, you would rather have cash returned than wait for delivery of shares." A letter of July 30 enclosed a cheque for £1 18s., signed "H. Chambers," for dividend. Neither of the cheques was paid into my account.
Cross-examined. I had no difficulty in identifying Price at the police court. I knew him by his moustache.
(Tuesday, November 17.)
JOHN THOMAS CHASNEY , assistant secretary, Wallpapers Manufacturers, Limited, High Holborn. On September 23, 1907, "H.Chambers" was registered as the owner of 40 shares. On October 15 20 were transferred. On January 21, 1908, he was registered as the holder of 50 more shares, making 70, and on February 17 50 more, making 120. On November 18, 1907, 20 were transferred; on April 10, 1908, 50; on May 26. 20; and on June 17, 50, leaving him without any. I have not been able to trace any shares to the possession of A. Everest and Co.,
ALFRED GEORGE BUTLER , licensed victualler, "Duchess of Kent," New Kent Road. I am a shareholder in Horace Cory and Co., chemical colour manufacturers. On January 20 I received a circular from A. Everest and Co. offering 75 fullypaid ordinary shares in Horace Cory and Co., and stating, "The last two dividends were at the rate of 8 per cent. and they have £17, 000 reserve invested in Consols. We can accept for the 75 shares £75 17s. 6d., or can divide them into lots of ten at £10 2s. 6d. each, free of brokerage and commission, and if you purchase at once you will receive the dividend, which is due this month." I replied, and under date January 22, 1908, received a contract in respect of the purchase of ten shares. On January 23 I called at Broad Street House and saw Price. I told him I had called to pay for the shares I had purchased, and gave him my cheque payable to "A. Everest and Co.," drawn on the London and County Bank. He signed the receipt produced in my presence, "p.p. A. Everest and Co., H.E. Price." I did not get the shares. I wrote several times to "A. Everest and Co." On January 27 I received the following: "In reply to your favour received today, the shares will not be ready for some days yet, so the best plan is for you to wait for us to write and inform you when they are ready for delivery." On
January 28 I received a letter inviting me to buy some more. I did not do so. On January 30 I received a letter saying they hoped to send me the shares in the course of a few days. "The dividend is to be paid to us by the present holder of the shares, and will be forwarded on to you." On February 14 they wrote in reply to an inquiry, "In reply to your favour the transfer will be sent to you next week." The transfer was enclosed in a letter of February 20, and was signed by me. On April 6 they wrote that the shares I purchased in Horace Cory and Co. were part of a larger parcel, "which we expect to take up tomorrow or next day, and as soon as we receive them we shall transfer the number purchased by you into your name without further delay." On April 24 they wrote: "We shall not be able to complete the matter of the Horace Cory shares until next week. We trust you will not find it necessary to institute legal proceedings, which will only lead to extra cost for no reason." On June 24 they wrote: "In reply to your letter of yesterday, we have part of the William Cory shares in our office, the others are coming in during the present Stock Exchange Settlement, when we shall immediately be able to complete the matter." The next letter I had was on July 31, saying that the matter would be completed directly after Bank Holiday. On August 1 I called at 17, Coleman Street, having previously made inquiries at the office of Horace Cory and Co. There I saw prisoner Price, and I asked him when I was going to have my shares. He said he had not got them, and I said, "If you have not got the shares I must have the money back." He then said I had been very patient, and he would see that I had my money returned next morning by first post. I have never got either my money or shares. At the time I paid my cheque, I believed that I was dealing with a respectable firm.
FREDERICK ERNEST WELLS , assistant secretary to Horace Cory and Co. On April 10, 1908, I received a transfer of 85 shares in the company from Henry Donaldson in favour of Henry Chambers, 82, Wells Street, and a further transfer of 15 shares from Alfred Thomas West to Henry Chambers, making together 100. Up to that time neither Chambers nor A. Everest and Co. had been registered as owners of shares. On April 26, 1908, 10 shares were transferred from Chambers to a person named Bremner. On May 15, 75 shares were transferred to Donaldson. They were then at a little premium, and the consideration was £75 17s. 6d. On May 18, 10 shares were transferred to a person named Lawler for £10 2s. 6d. The other five shares are still standing in the name of Chambers. There was a transfer to Butler, but it has never been registered. In consequence of what Butler said to me, I went to 82, Wells Street, where I saw prisoner Price. I took with me the transfer from Donaldson, and pointed out that there were no numbers in it, and I said I must have the numbers before I could deal with them. Thereupon Price put the numbers in at my request. At the time I called Chambers had only five shares left.
I received from a friend a circular purporting to come from A. Everest and Co., of Broad Street House, offering to sell 20 Cumulative Preference shares in the Maypole Dairy Company. On January 31 I wrote that I had bought some shares not long previously at £3 3s. 3d., and that I thought £3 7s. 6d. was too much, but would give £3 5s. On Febrary 6 I received the following reply: "In reply to your letter to us, after considerable negotiation, we have succeeded in obtaining the Maypole Dairy shares at the price you mention. Enclosed please find contract accordingly. We shall be glad if you will let us have your full name so that we can have the transfer prepared for your signature. Kindly let us have your cheque—£65 10s.—crossed Middlesex Banking Company, Limited." I forwarded a cheque for £65 10s., which passed through my account and was returned to me by the bank. The endorsement is "Henry Chambers, manager." I did not get the shares, and on February 26 I wrote to Everest and Co., asking them to send me the transfer as the company required the old certificates sent in. The transfer was forwarded to me on March 9 and I executed it. It purported to be a transfer from Henry Chambers.
FLORENCE BLACK , wife of James Fergus Black, Ilford. In April of this year a friend, Mrs. Glinwright, handed me a circular from the Talbot Commercial Company, 17, Coleman Street, offering for sale 40 fully-paid Ordinary shares in John Barker and Co. I wrote to the Talbot Company, offering to purchase 10 at £21 5s., and asking whether I should receive the dividend declared on them. I was not then a holder of the shares, but this friend of mine was. On April 14 I received a letter informing me that I could have the 10 shares in John Barker and Co. and enclosing contract, and asking for particulars as to marriage or occupation with a view to a preparation of the transfer. On April 15 I wrote, giving my full name and address and enclosing a cheque for £21 10s. I also asked whether the company would notify John Barker and Co. that I had become a shareholder, or whether it was my duty to do so. The cheque was returned endorsed, "The Talbot Commercial Co., H.E. Price, manager." I received a reply stating that official notice would be given that I was a holder of shares. I never received any transfer, and there was a good deal of subsequent correspondence with the Talbot Company. Ultimately the matter was placed in the hands of Messrs. Grimwood and White, our solicitors.
HENRY WILLIAM OVER , secretary to Messrs. John Barker and Co., High Street, Kensington, gave evidence that on January 1 Henry Chambers, of 82, Wells Street, was the owner of ten Ordinary shares in the company, which on February 12 were transferred to a person named Schimberg. Witness had searched the register and was unable to find that either the Talbot Commercial Company, Henry Edward Price, A. Everest and Co., Arthur Hunter, R. Manners and Co., or G. W. Frost had ever held shares.
EDWARD DIGBY MURRAY , Effra Road, Brixton. My wife is a shareholder in Maple and Co. In April I received a letter from the Talbot Commercial Company offering for sale 40 fully paid shares in Maple and Co. for £101 18s. 9d., or in lots of five at £12 15s., each lot free of brokerage and commission. I replied that I would take ten shares, and a contract note was forwarded. I forwarded my cheque for £25 17s. 6d. for the ten shares upon the Bank of Scotland. I never had the shares. I called at 17, Coleman Street, and asked to see the manager. I think I saw prisoner Price, but I cannot be certain. The man I saw was a youngish man. I was taken into the inner office, and saw a gentleman sitting by a table. He was very polite to me. I called altogether perhaps half a dozen times, and was told by some young ladies in the clerks' office that the manager was out. I am afraid that some of my postcards were not very polite, but I got out patience on account of the way I was treated. I wrote on July 9 to the Talbot Commercial Company: "In accordance with your letter received a few days ago, I shall expect the business put through the present Stock Exchange Settlement; if you can't do this, please send me back my money and cancel the transaction. I sent you my cheque nearly three months ago fully trusting I was dealing with honest people. I don't wish any more anxiety about it."
EDWARD BARNES , secretary of Maple and Co., Limited, Tottenham Court Road. On January 7, 1907, Henry Chambers, 82, Wells Street, Oxford Street, acquired 20 shares in the company. On January 29, 1907, they were transferred to Lady Lucy Bagot. On April 23, 1907, he was registered as the owner of ten more shares, which were transferred on the same day. On January 13, 1908, he was registered as the owner of 20 shares, which were sold on February 14. On April 28 40 shares were registered in the name of Alfred Prout (a clerk in whose name shares were sometimes bought). They were transferred on the same day to a person named Duckworth. I have searched he register. No shares have ever been held by the Talbot Commercial Company, Harry Edward Price, A. Everest and Co., R. Manners and Co., Arthur Hunter, or G. W. Frost.
ROBERT PEEL WILLOCK , rector of Warmington, near Banbury. I am a shareholder in Bengers' Food, Limited. On August 8 I received a circular from R. Manners and Co. offering 50 Ordinary shares for sale. I wrote offering to take the whole block at £64 18s. 9d. I received a contract note selling the 50 shares at that price, plus 7s. 6d. for the Government stamp and 2s. 6d. registration fee. I forwarded my cheque, which was endorsed R. Manners and Co. On September 8 I wrote: "My cheque to you in respect of 50 Bengers' Food Ordinary was sent on 16th of last month. I have heard nothing about the transfers." I called at the office and saw a clerk. R. Manners and Co. wrote on September 9: "In reference to your call today the Stock Exchange Settlement is at the end of this week, when we expect the shares in."
1907. Search of the register failed to disclose shares held in the name of the Talbot Commercial Company, R. Manners and Co., A. Everest and Co., or H. E. Price.
THOMAS HENRY WEBB , manager of the London and South-Western Bank, Clerkenwell branch. A. Everest and Co., of Wells Street, Oxford Street, had an account at the branch in Rosebery Avenue. It was opened by Arthur Everest and Henry Chambers. Arthur Everest is the man I have seen here as a witness. Henry Chambers is the prisoner Frost. The account was opened in March, 1906, and remained open till November, 1907.
FREDERICK BRADBROOK SEYMOUR , clerk in the Middlesex Banking Company, Leadenhall Street, produced a certified copy of the account of A. Everest and Co., commencing December 7, 1907, and closing June 20, 1908. The account showed the payments in of Butler's cheque for £10 6s. 6d. and Ashby's cheque for £65 10s.
ERNEST NOEL OXLEY , cashier, Mercantile Bank of London, King Street, Cheapside. H. E. Price, of 17, Coleman Street, had an account at our bank, of which I produce a certified copy. It was opened on February 20, 1908, and closed on July 6. The account contains entries of payments in on April 16, £21 10s. (Mrs. Black), and on April 15 £25 17s. 6d. (Murray).
Cross-examined. Both cheques are endorsed, "Talbot Commercial Company.—H. E. Price, manager."
ALFRED NORMAN SQUIRRELL , secretary, Alliance Credit Bank of London, 24, Old Broad Street. Henry Chambers, of 82, Wells Street, Oxford Street, had an account with the bank. I recognise Chambers as prisoner Frost. I produce a certified copy of the account and also an extract from the waste book showing the payment in of Green's cheque for £60 8s. 9d. on November 18, 1907. I also produce a copy of the account of Arthur Hunter, showing the payment in of Willocks's cheque for £65 8s. 9d., payable to R. Manners and Co.
GEORGE INGLIS BOYLE , messenger, London Bankruptcy Court, produced the file in the bankruptcy of George William Frost, trading as H. and G. Watson, 16 and 17, King William Street, stockbroker, showing that Frost was adjudicated bankrupt on May 18, 1898. He had never applied for discharge. Witness also produced the file in the bankruptcy of George Thomas, otherwise Frost, otherwise Townsend, who was adjudicated bankrupt on July 21, 1903. From that bankruptcy also he had never been discharged. There was a third adjudication on a creditor's petition against A. Everest and Co., of Broad Street House and 82, Wells Street, on July 6 of this year. Four subsequent creditors' petitions were dismissed on account of a receiving order having been made in respect of the first one. The adjudication took place on November 6.
ARTHUR WILLIAM EVEREST , account book maker. I have known Frost about three years and Price about five. I was engaged by Frost as clerk about April, 1906, at a salary of £1 a week. I signed the agreement for the taking of the offices at 82, Wells Street. The agreement is dated March 12, 1906, and I commenced duties in
April. I used to sign cheque in blank and hand them over to Miss Kibbell. I signed perhaps half a book at a time in the name of Arthur Everest. I was introduced to Frost by a Mr. Winckworth. I was not then in permanent occupation, and Winckworth said that Frost yes going to start in business, and he would speak to him on my behalf to give me a permanent situation as clerk. When the offices were taken Frost said that, for private reasons, he did not wish the business to be carried on in his name and would I object to my name being put up. He promised that I should not be made liable for any of the expenses, so I agreed. I have seen Frost and Price together at a public-house in Pentonville Road. I suppose I have known Winckworth about five years He is the landlord of the public-house in which I saw Frost and Price together. When I made Price's acquaintance he was a traveller in soft goods. I only saw Price at Wells Street on two occasions so far as I can remember. He seemed to come to pass the time away more than anything else; it was in the evening after office hours. He was there with Frost and myself. I have been to Broad Street House and have seen Price there. I was not at Broad Street House when the name of R. Manners and Co. was put up. I think I left on July 14, 1907, but after that I went occasionally to Broad Street House. Circulars like that produced (Butler's) were sent out while I was at Wells Street. A circular would not be sent out to each person on the shareholders' list, but perhaps to 200. About six girls were employed sending out circulars. A clerk named Hunter was also empolyed. Prisoner Frost attended to the correspondence, opened letters, dictated answers, and dictated the circulars.
Cross-examined. I took the offices in Wells Street at the request of Frost, and was with him from 15 to 18 months. I believed that genuine business was being carried on. When we opened the account at the Clerkenwell branch of the London and South-Western Bank I signed as "Arthur Everett," and Frost signed as "Henry Chambers." I also took the Broad Street premises at the request of Frost. A great number of shares were bought by Frost and I myself bought shares, not as a speculation, but for the firm. Price first appeared about July, 1907. Having been in the soft goods line he had no experience in dealing with stocks and shares. Frost gave all the directions in connection with the Broad Street business and the Wells Street business. I am not aware that Price had anything to do except purely clerical work. I kept same of the share books. So far as I know Price never had a share book under his control. My wages started at 20s. a week and rose to £2. As far as I know that was exactly the same procedure as Frost adopted with Price, who, however, started at 25s. Frost asked me to sign a statutory declaration to the effect that the whole of the furniture at Wells Street was his property. I was not aware that Price signed a similar declaration. The circulars were signed by anybody in the office in the name of Price and initialled underneath. The initials F. K. would, indicate that the signature was affixed by Florence Kibbell. My salary was paid every week. I do not know that Price
had to wait outside Frost's private room for his weekly screw of 25s. Having known Price for five years I have no reason to suspect that he would take any part in a swindling business. I know of shares being delivered to customers, and I thought that a genuine business was being carried on. On reference to the share book I find that 8, 558 shares were actually purchased at a cost of £12, 958. I find that the shares I bought myself, which were delivered to customers, amounted to somewhere about £3, 000. That is in the period between March, 1906, and November, 1907. I know that some people came to complain that they did not get their shares and asking when they could expect delivery. I told Mr. Frost when complaints were made, and he said he would see that the shares were sent on, and would write to the client. I left after Price came, but I saw him at intervals after I left.
Re-examined. I checked the entries in the share book at the Guildhall. The book was started in my handwriting, but there were other entries. I may have signed letters sent to customers who complained that they had not got their shares, but the letters were dictated by Frost. I saw one or two letters complaining.
(Thursday, November 19.)
FLORENCE KIBBELL . I was engaged by prisoner Frost to do typewriting at 82, Wells Street, in April of 1906. There were three people employed, including Everest. I took orders from Mr. Frost, who paid my wages. My work was to type circulars and send them to shareholders of different companies. We took the names from lists supplied by Messrs. Downling and Welsh. Sometimes we would send out 500 circulars a day. One of the young ladies kept a book which showed what shares were sent out. Occasionally persons called complaining that they had not got their shares. Miss Hunt kept a book showing the number of circulars sent out. Price used to come occasionally to Wells Street to see Mr. Frost. I had notice three days before the arrest to go down to the Talbot Commercial Company in Coleman Street. The Official Receiver had then taken possession of 82, Wells Street. At Coleman Street I was engaged in sending out circulars. The agreement for the taking of 17, Coleman Street is signed by Price, and the endorsement on the cheque paid by Green is in his handwriting. The signature to the letter acknowledging the receipt of Mrs. Black's cheque is also signed by Price, and the endorsement on Murray's cheque, "Talbot Commercial Company, H.E. Price, manager," is Price's writing (witness identified other documents as being in the handwriting of Price, including some agreements for the hire of furniture).
Cross-examined. Frost dictated the circulars and gave me and the ather✗ employees our orders, and paid our wages on Saturday. As far as I know he directed all these three businesses. I may sometimes have signed Price's name when I stopped late. In that case I should put my initials underneath. Other lady clerks would do the same. I was satisfied that shares were being genuinely bought.
With regard to Price's account at the Mercantile Bank, upon the instruction of Mr. Frost, I kept a copy of that account from the time the account was opened. Frost filled in amounts drawn on that bank on cheques signed with the name of Price. On the instructions of Frost I ascertained from Miss Yelverton, who was at the Talbot Commercial Company, the state of Price's account. As far as my knowledge goes every transaction in shares was entered in the books of the company. I always looked upon Price as simply a clerk, like Mr. Hunter, Mr. Walpole, and Mr. Griffin. I never took instructions from Price as my employer.
Re-examined. I was at Broad Street House for a day or two, but know nothing of an execution being put in there.
ALICE HUNT . I was employed as a typewriter at Wells Street in October, 1906, by Mr. Frost. My work was typing and sending out circulars and general office work. I kept the work book produced on the instructions of Mr. Frost for the purpose of showing the number of circulars sent out. It has reference only to 82, Wells Street. I did not make any entries in it at Coleman Street at all. When I was first engaged there were three young ladies besides myself. At the time of the arrest there were about ten of us all engaged in the same class of work. The letter "d" which occurs in the share ledger means that shares were delivered to people.
Cross-examined. I agree with the last witness that Price was only a clerk. I was sometimes sent by Frost to Coleman Street to fetch the letters, which were opened by Frost and answered in any way he thought best.
MILLICENT YELVERTON . I was employed by Frost as clerk first at 82, Wells Street, and then at 17, Coleman Street. I identify the cash book, the order book for shares, a second cash book, and the copy of the account with the Mercantile Bank. The account with the Alliance Bank was kept by a clerk called Hunter. There was also a book kept of shares bought.
Cross-examined. I kept a copy of Price's account at the Mercantile Bank upon the instructions of Frost. The cheque book was locked up in she safe, and Frost kept the key. It would have been impossible for Price to draw a cheque on his own account. I cannot remember whether cheques paid into that account were endorsed by Frost or Price or by myself or other people. Mr. Frost gave me the cheques to pay in.
Detective-constable ERNEST NICHOLS . I was present at Moor Lane Police Station on September 18 when prisoner Frost was searched. I produce a writ which was found upon him, the writ being at the instance of Marion Davies against R. Manners and Co., claiming damages for breach of contract, dated August 15, 1908, for the delivery of 25 fully-paid shares in Bengers Food, Limited. Price was searched at the same time, and there was found upon him a judgment of the Westminster County Court in favour of the Mutual Loan Fund Association against Harry E. Price and Charles P. Lawrence, the amount being £12 10s. There were also found two receipts for £5 each for printing done for Everest. There was also a committal order
issued by the Mayor's Court against Price. I searched the offices of Everest and Co. and R. Manners and Co. at Broad Street House and the offices of the Talbot Commercial Company, at 17, Coleman Street. I found no transfers signed by persons who had parted with their money in this case. A number of documents which have been put in in evidence were found at the various offices. I arrested prisoners in Coleman Street. I told them I was a police officer and had a warrant for their arrest on a charge of conspiracy. Price said, "I am only a paid servant. I did not get my wages in full last week." Frost made no reply at that time, but in the police office at the Old Jewry he said, "I deny the charge of conspiracy. I deny my own liability in respect of any of these matters. All outstanding affairs are being settled. This morning we delivered shares to Mr. Murray on behalf of his wife. I am astonished at the proceedings taken, as all outstanding matters are in process of settlement."
Cross-examined. So far as I know it is true that Price had not received his wages for the week preceding the arrest.
WILLIAM CASH (Messrs. Cash, Stone, and Co., chartered accountants). I have had placed before me a number of books which have been produced in this case for the purpose of ascertaining what shares were bought and delivered by these various firms. The amount of money the clients have paid to the various firms for shares sold is £10, 819 12s. 3d. That extends over the period from October, 1907, to April, 1908. The total value of the undelivered shares is £7, 007 5s. 11d., so that shares to the value of £3, 812 have been delivered. A number of entries are marked cancelled and these amount to £954; the money returned is £301, and shares delivered £2, 441. There is a difference of £115 between the money the clients paid and the money which it cost defendants to acquire the shares delivered. The money paid into Everest and Co.'s account at the London and South-Western Bank, from March, 1906, to September, 1908, was £13, 889. To the account of Everest and Co. with the Middlesex Banking Company there was paid in £4, 948, making the total received in the name of Everest £18, 837. There was paid into the Alliance Credit Bank in the name of H. Chambers £4, 485, and into the Mercantile Bank in the name of Harry E. Price, from October, 1907, to September, 1908, £1, 058 8s. 8d. To the Alliance Credit Bank in the name of Hunter between June, 1907, and June, 1908, there were payments amounting to £886, the grand total of all the accounts being £25, 267 10s. I think it is possible there may have been cross payments, but I cannot find evidence of them to any large amount. I find entries of payments from Hunter's account into Everest's account.
This being the case for the prosecution,
The Common Serjeant said he could not say that there was no evidence against Price, because there were some suspicious circumstances, but so far as could be learned he was merely a paid clerk at a small wage, and all the business was done by Frost, to whom all the money went and by whom all the orders were given.
The Foreman of the Jury said the Jury were of opinion that they should hear the defence.
HENRY EDWARD PRICE (prisoner, on oath). At the present time I am living at Peckham, but previously I have been staying with my father at Westbury-on-Trym. I was first employed by Frost at the latter end of June or the beginning of July, 1907, at Broad Street House as clerk at a salary of 25s. I had been out of employment for a considerable time, and had no previous experience of stock Exchange work. I had been a drapery traveller for Rylands and Co., with whom I was nearly three years, for Dent Allcroft, nearly five years, and Copestakes. At Broad Street House I was engaged in addressing envelopes and superintending the work of the young ladies. I deny having said to Berrill, the lift man, that I was R. Manners and Co. I was gent by mr. Frost to inquire whether letters had been delivered for R. Manners and Co., and I told Berrill that if any should be left they were to be delivered to Everest and Co. I was in charge of the office some days, but not permanently. Sometimes I was at Wells Street and sometimes at Broad Street House. Mr. Hunter and I used to change over. At Wells Street I superintended the circulars going out and addressed envelopes. My salary was paid weekly by Mr. Frost. I had no control over any books of any of these companies, and took no part in the business except as clerk. I never dictated a single letter or circular. I think it was about the middle of January of this year that I went to Coleman Street. There were two other clerks, Walpole and Shepherd. I was lessee of the premises. Frost gave me to understand that he was doing such a large business that he would like to extend it, and he asked me to look out and find some offices. Frost found the money to pay for the furniture, and was present when it was paid. The account at the Mercantile Bank was opened with £20, which Frost gave me, and he waited outside while I opened it. With regard to the statutory declaration that the furniture and business belonged to Frost, Frost telephoned to Messrs. Arthur Newton and Co., and a gentleman attended from that office to draw up the declaration. I have signed letters as manager. My salary was eventually raised to £2 per week, and that is the most I ever obtained from Frost; for the week previous to the arrest it was not paid in full. When people complained that their shares had not been delivered I used to make a note of it end tell Frost. I had no idea that the business of Everest and Co. was a swindle. No charge of any description has been brought against me before this.
Cross-examined. The premises in Coleman Street were taken in my name at Frost's request. I did not ask him why he wanted me to take the premises in my own name. I trusted him and thought he was doing legitimate business. I cannot say why a person who was doing an honest business should want to open an account in his clerk's name. I did not know he was using two different names.
I knew him first as Chambers, and I did not learn that his name was Frost until a considerable time after I was introduced to him. He kept his banking account in the name of Everest and Co. I did not know Everest was only a clerk there until about the time he left. I did not ask for any explanation of the constant changes of name. I did not know anything about R. Manners and Co. until I was instructed to go and inquire for letters. I continued with Frost just the same and interviewed clients and signed letters on his instruction. It never struck me that this was dishonest business. I have heard of executions being levied at Wells Street and Broad Street House. I paid out the execution at Wells Street on April 3. I understood Mr. Frost was getting a friend to take over the furniture, and that I was only acting pro tem. until he could see his way. I was the dummy; I have been the dummy all through. I did the same thing with regard to the execution levied at Coleman Street. I knew in April, 1908, that Frost was being sued by a client for moneys or shares which were undelivered. He has been sued many times. He has had shares in the office many times when clients have called. In many cases the money was returned. I could not tell Frost's reason for not delivering the shares. I entered into an agreement with Frost to sell him the furniture at Wells Street. I did not own that furniture. The agreement is the same date as the execution. I do not remember any agreement whereby Frost, under the name of Chambers, let me furniture on the hire-purchase system. The furniture always was Frost's. Frost said it was better that I should have it because there was a judgment out against him. I am not aware whether there was any banking account in the name of Shepherd, or that premises were taken in Shepherd's name. In one instance a share certificate was made out in my name. I bought the shares with Frost's money. With regard to the account in my name, there was a letter asking that it should be closed. The reason for that was that the bank wished a balance of £100 to be keep there. I do not know whether there had ever been £100 balance. I signed the cheques in blank. I never asked Frost why he did not carry on business in his own name.
ARTHUR HUNTER . I opened an account at the Alliance Credit Bank in my own name for the purpose of carrying on the business for Frost at his request. Mr. Frost was spoken of as manager. Though he owned the business he described himself as manager of the firm of Everest and Co. I and the other clerks received instructions from him. I signed cheques in blank by his directions.
LINO NOVISSIMO , managing clerk to Mr. Arthur Newton, gave evidence as to preparing the statutory declarations concerning the ownership of the business and furniture, and WILLIAM EDWARD ALLEN gave evidence as to Price's character.
Verdict. Price, Not guilty.
sentenced to three years' penal servitude for obtaining a valuable security by false pretences in the name of George Thomas . A previous conviction of three years' penal servitude on July 25, 1898, for fraud was then proved in the name of George William Frost . Prisoner was released on January 24, 1906, and in March of the same year he took the premises in Wells Street. The two former cases were exactly similar to the present.'
Sentence. Frost, Four years' penal servitude.
BEFORE JUDGE LUMLEY SMITH.
(Thursday, November 19.)
Mr. Bodkin and Mr. Symmons prosecuted; Mr. H. Warburton and Mr. A.C. Vincent Prior defended.
Sentence, Two years' hard labour on each indictment; to run concurrently.
BEFORE JUDGE LUMLEY SMITH.
(Friday, November 13.)
MACCALLUM, Peter, and MACCALLUM, Andrew; both within four months next before the presentation of a bankruptcy petition by them did, being traders, unlawfully pledge otherwise than in the ordinary way of their trade certain property which they had obtained on credit and had not paid for—to wit, on January 10, 1907, with one Frederick Claydon, certain timber so obtained from Thomas Howard Burton and others, from Burt Boulton and Haywood, Limited, and from Thomas William Vigers; on February 2, 1907, with the said Frederick Claydon certain timber so obtained from William Hedley Jay, from Louis Bamberger and from Percy Cooper; on February 5, 1907, with the said Frederick Claydon certain timber so obtained from the said Percy Cooper and from Richard Jewson. Both within four months next before the presentation of a bankruptcy petition by them did, being traders, unlawfully dispose of otherwise than in the ordinary way of their trade certain property which they had obtained on credit and had not paid for—to wit, on March 27, 1907, to the said Percy Cooper certain timber so obtained from the said Thomas Howard Burton and others, and the said Thomas William Vigers, and the said William Hedley Jay, and the said Richard Jewson, and the said Percy Cooper; on March 23, 1907, to one John Rae MacCallum certain timber so obtained from the said Thomas Howard Burton,and the said Burt Boulton and Haywood, Limited, in the said month of February, 1907, to Henry Ralph Selley and another certain bricks so obtained from Wakeley Brothers and Co., Limited, and Henry S. Hay and D. and C. Rutter and Co., Limited, and Arthur Lambert Mercer and others; on or about March 23, 1907, to the said John Rae MacCallum certain timber so obtained from Richard Harry Keeping. Both within four months next before the presentation of a bankruptcy petition by them did, being traders, unlawfully obtain under the false pretence of carrying on business and dealing in the ordinary way of their trade certain property on credit and have not paid for the same—to wit, on January 17 and 21, 1907, certain timber from the said William Hedley Jay; on January 19, 1907, certain timber from the said Louis Bamberger; on January 29, 30, and 31, 1907, certain timber from the said Percy Cooper; on January 30, 1907, certain timber from the said Richard Jewson. Both in incurring certain debts and liabilities did unlawfully obtain credit, in each case by means of fraud—to wit, on February 27, 1907, a debt and liability to the said Burt Boulton and Haywood, Limited, to the amount of £264 17s. 9d.; in the month of February, 1907, a debt and liability to the said Wakeley Brothers and Co., Limited, to the amount of £38 14s.; in the month of February, 1907, a debt and liability to the said Henry S. Hay to the amount of £48 8s.; in the month of February, 1907, a debt and liability to D. and C. Rutter and Co., Limited, to the amount of £35 9s. 6d.; in the month of February, 1907, debts and liabilities to the said Arthur Lambert Mercer and others to the several amounts of £44 and £39 12s.
Mr. Bodkin and Mr. Travers Humphreys prosecuted; Mr. F.E. Smith, K.C., M.P., and Mr. George Elliott defended Peter MacCallum; Mr. Martin O'Connor defended Andrew MacCallum.
FREDERICK CHARLES MCCRELL , office-keeper at Wandsworth County Court. I produce the file in the bankruptcy of Peter and Andrew MacCallum, trading as MacCallum Brothers. On April 6, 1908, an order was issed by the Bankruptcy Court that the debtors should be prosecuted for offences under Section 11 of the Debtors Act, 1869. I saw Peter MacCallum sign exhibit No. 124 and Andrew MacCallum sign exhibit No. 125.
HAROLD EDWIN FOSTER , chief clerk to she Official Receiver at Southampton. In April, 1907, I was examiner to the Official Receiver for the South London district. On April 15, 1907, there was a creditor's petition presented against the debtors in Wandsworth Court by Mr. Nutman. I took the preliminary examination of the two bankrupts, and identify the documents produced containing the replies of the debtors to my questions.
Cross-examined by Mr. O'Connor. Both debtors were present when I was conducting the examination. If they had described themselves as builders' merchants I should have put it down in the preliminary examination. I believe they did say they were joinery manufacturers. I cannot admit that I said as there was not a sufficient quantity of timber stowed at the Links Estate they could not
be described as builders' merchants. Whatever I put down in the preliminary examination the two debtors agreed to.
Re-examined. The questions in the preliminary examination are taken in order and the answer to Question 2 was that they were builders and joinery manufacturers. The end page of the examinations bears the signature of the two debtors, which I witnessed.
By the Court. There is a regular series of questions to be put to all bankrupts, and the replies are written down at the time.
THOMAS FREDERICK COX , chief clerk to Wakeley Brothers, builders" merchants, at Bankside. I received from a Mr. Mills, who is one of our travellers, Exhibit 110, of February 6, 1907, which is an order from MacCallum Brothers for three freights of grizzles and other goods which we dispatched on February 25 by the barge "Richmond." We have also supplied other goods, but have never been paid our account. We received acceptances which were not met. The price of 21s. 6d. for grizzles was the ordinary market price.
Cross-examined by Mr. O'Connor. There is a strict market price for bricks at a particular date. I do not think I told the magistrate that the price varied as much as 5 to 7 1/2 per cent. above or below that paid. The grizzles we supplied to MacCallum Brothers were not sold at a low price, they were sold at the market price. I do not admit that quotations in a paper are to be taken as the correct market price.
Cross-examined by Mr. F.E. Smith. The price of 21s. was not a low price, but a fair price. About a month previous to the sale the price would have been the same, but a month later the market price had gone down. The prices have been coming down steadily for the last three or four years. The price for which MacCallum Brothers afterwards sold the goods, namely, 23s., was above the market price.
JETHRO MILLS , 34, Mexfield Road, Putney, traveller for Wakeley Brothers. The order I received from Messrs. MacCallum was addressed to me personally; I received it from a clerk. The arrangement for payment had previously been come to with the two debtors, which was a monthly account and three months acceptances.
Cross-examined by Mr. F.E. Smith. I agree that the price of bricks has continuously one down since the date of this sale. The price of 23s. would be a good price to obtain in the middle of March.
GEORGE KING , 2, Station Road, Teynham, Kent, master of the barge "Richmond" (one of Wakeley's barges). On February 25 last I took the barge "Richmond," containing grizzles, to the Parish Wharf, Wandsworth, and got my discharge for the goods. I do not know who unloaded the barge.
EUSTACE NEVILLE CRANE , managing director of D. and C. Rutter, Limited, brick manufacturers, Crayford, Kent. I recognise Exhibit No. 89 as an order which was taken by our traveller, Blaker, from MacCallum Brothers. We dispatched the goods, which were asked for in that order by the barge "Maplin," of which Ernest Springett is the master. We have never received payment for the goods we have sent.
ERNEST SPRINGETT , master of the barge "Maplin." On February 26, 1907, I took the barge loaded with bricks from the wharf at Great Wavency to the Parish Wharf, Wandsworth. I took my delivery note to the office, but was referred to Messrs. Swain and Selley, who carted away the bricks on March 5.
ERNEST CHARLES MACKLIN , manager to Henry Hay and Sons, Limited, brick and plaster merchants, Railway Wharf, Seagrave Road, Fulham. On receipt of a letter, dated February 14, we gave instructions to our Mr. Fish to call on MacCallum Brothers, and we afterwards sent by the barge "Caxfield" three freights of grizzles. We have also sent other goods, for which we received acceptances which were not met. We have not received any payment of our account.
ARTHUR BRAND , master of the barge "Caxfield." I delivered my barge full of bricks at the Parish Wharf, Wandsworth, in February of last year. I do not remember whether I delivered the delivery note or not.
ARTHUR LAMBERT MERCER , of R. Mercer and Sons, brick makers, of Teynham, Kent. On February 1, 1907, I received an order from MacCallum Brothers, and on February 27 forwarded goods by the barge "Frognall" to Parish Wharf, Wandsworth. We received a three months' acceptance from Messrs. MacCallum for our account. On April 27, 1907, we received a printed document informing us that a petition in bankruptcy had been presented. We also supplied to Messrs. Hay and Sons the goods which they sent to Messrs. MacCallum.
Cross-examined by Mr. O'Connor. The usual rate of profit on the re-sale of bricks is from 5 to 10 per cent.
JOHN STROUTS , traveller to Mercer and Co. On February 4, 1907, I called on MacCallum Brothers at 49, Small wood Road, Tooting, and saw both the defendants. I asked Peter MacCallum if he could give me any reference, as I was instructed by my firm to call and make inquiries. He gave me the London and County Bank, Balham, and he also showed me round the premises and told me he was doing a lot of business and would require a lot of bricks. On February 27 I received a further order from Peter MacCallum.
Cross-examined by Mr. F.E. Smith. The bank reference was taken up by my firm. I really called on MacCallum to see what sort of a place they had. I think I saw three or four men at work.
Cross-examined by Mr. O'Connor. I had no conversation with Andrew MacCallum.
FREDERICK BLACK , master of the barge "Frognall." I delivered a load of 40, 000 grizzles to the Parish Wharf at Wandsworth, according to instructions from Messrs. Mercer. I took my delivery note to the office of MacCallum Brothers, and was told by the two defendants to take it to Messrs. Swain and Selley. I, however, left it with them to send on, but Messrs. Swain and Selley carted the bricks away.
HARRY RALPH SELLEY , of Swain and Selley, builders and cartage contractors, Streatham. I have known the two defendants for ten years, and have bought timber from them for some time past for the purposes of my business, which has generally been delivered direct to us. It was manufactured joinery chiefly. I have not bought raw timber from them. I have done a lot of carting business for the two defendants, and my account against them in the middle of February, 1907, would be about £150 to £160. I did not call myself at Smallwood Road in February, 1907. I had an interview on March 4, 1907, with them, the date being fixed by my pocket diary. That was an appointment made over the telephone. I had not met the defendants very often previously that year. On keeping tne appointment MacCallum Brothers asked me if I could buy some bricks which they had got on demurrage. They told me that their finance had been stopped on the Links Estate, and that they would not be using these bricks, which were in barges at the wharf or were coming up the river. Nothing was said as to whose bricks they were, nor was anything said as to the financial position of MacCallum Brothers. To the best of my recollection all that was discussed was the price to be paid for the bricks, the quantity, and whether I would take them. I said I would take them, and agreed that as they were in the river I would cart them directly they got into berth to save demurrage on the barges. I was to cart them to my own works. It was no question of mine whose bricks they were or where they got them. No merchant's name was mentioned, and I did not ask the question. The price asked for the bricks was 23s. per thousand. I said it was a bit stiff, but they told me that was the price, and I agreed to pay it. It was a fair price according to what I had been paying. In the course of conversation I was told that the solicitor who was advancing money to them would not do so any more until they had repaid some of their temporary advances by a permanent mortgage or something of the sort. They told me they wanted to sell the bricks in order to rearrange their finances, and, being a builder myself, I thoroughly understood. Nothing was said at the interview about my cartage account. I arranged to cart the bricks away the next morning after seeing my partner, but I could not say which barge came first. I recognise Exhibit 88 as an account of goods bought of MacCallum Brothers, but cannot say where the invoice is of the first item for slates £173 13s. 6d. My partner Mr. Swain bought the slates about a month before the bricks were bought. I can only fix the dates by the cartage book, which would also give the name of the barge. In document No. 88 the order of the arrival of the barges is given as, first, the "Maplin"; second, the "Caxfield"; third, the "Frognall"; and the fourth the "Richmond." The usual custom as to payment of demurrage on barges is five days after being in the river and two days after berthing. We got the usual bargeman's ticket for the bricks from the "Caxfield" and the "Richmond," which has to be signed directly we take delivery. We made various payments to MacCallum Brothers for the goods we received from them in February and March by cheques, which have been paid by our bank, and received from them a cheque on March 6 for £215
in payment of our cartage account, which I should say cleared up that account. On that same date we paid them a cheque for £325 for bricks. I made the arrangements with regard to the various payments on March 6. I was naturally a little anxious to save my debt after finding out that their finances were stopped. I made it a condition when paying them for bricks that they should pay my cartage account at the same time. I could not tell whether my cheque went to them first or theirs to me. Cross-examination postponed.
RICHARD HARRY KEEPING , timber importer, Fenchurch Buildings. In January, 1907, I had my first communication from MacCallum Brothers, and after that some correspondence with them. On January 28, 1907, I received an order for timber, which I executed and sent four delivery orders to MacCallum Brothers, which would enable them to take the goods away from the docks whenever they pleased. After I had sent the dock orders I asked for them to be returned, but did not receive them. I then sent a letter with my account, and enclosed a bill for acceptance, which was not returned, and no answer whatever was made to my letter. I telephoned to the works and to the house of Peter MacCallum, but could get no answer. I then received a circular letter informing me of a change of address, and later on another circular letter giving me notice that they had decided to file their petition in bankruptcy. I visited the Smallwood Road Works to see what had become of my timber, and found that the name of the South London Joinery Company had been put up there, but did not see either Peter or Andrew MacCallum. I identified about two-thirds of the timber which I had sold, at the works. I have not been paid any part of my account.
(Saturday, November 14.)
THOMAS BURTON , of John Burton and Co., 13, Sherborne Lane, timber merchant. I have supplied MacCallum Brothers with timber since August, 1905, being paid by six months' bills. In December, 1906, I received a telephone message, in reply to which I sent a specification (produced) of a quantity of Russian and other timber, value about £450, which prisoners purchased; delivering orders on the Surrey Commercial Docks, invoice for £455 9s. 10d., and bills at five, six, and seven months', dated February 1, 1906, accepted payable at the London and City Bank, Balham (produced), were de livered. Before the bills were due the bankruptcy of prisoners occurred and I proved as an unsecured creditor for £704 0s. 10d., prisoners' total indebtedness to my firm.
HARRY RALPH SELLEY , recalled. I have not the invoice for slates sold by prisoners to my firm; the barge ticket with the quantities only came into our possession; I take it the vendors to prisoners of the slates sent the barge ticket, which was checked by delivery, the actual invoice not being sent to us. From the day book I find delivery of slates, value £172 13s. 6d., commenced on February 14, ex barge "Four Brothers," 16, 710—18 by 10; 13, 940—16 by 10; 11, 130,
—20 by 10; total, 41, 780, equals 30 10-12 mils; that is 1, 200 to the thousand. We sold them for £182 on February 14 (the day of delivery), making a profit of £10. They were bought by my partner on February 5 or 6. We had a communication on the telephone on March 2, and saw prisoners for the first time about bricks on March 4. Receipt produced, dated February 26, is for wharfage dues on 45, 000 grizzles bricks, ex barge "K.C."; they were carted by us for prisoners on March 2, and we charged them £16 5s. for cartage—I cannot say where the bricks were taken to. I made a statement to the Treasury before being called as a witness in this prosecution.
Mr. Smith objected that the witness, not being hostile, ought not to be cross-examined. Evidence that witness made and signed the statement was admitted.
Cross-examined by Mr. F.E. Smith. My firm are builders in a large way; we have a branch which is a cartage business; in building we have turned over £80, 000 to £90, 000 in a year; the office of the building business is at Grays Wood; that for the cartage business is at the Farm. The latter is a business that has come to us as a legacy against our wish—that is, it forms a portion of an estate of about 35 acres that my partner and I bought from Messrs. Hoare, of Greenwich, who gave us a premium of £250 to continue the term of their lease, which expires in March, 1909; we have been engaged in the cartage business three years. I have been a builder all my life. I call myself a surburban speculative builder. We could buy an estate of 10, 20, or 30 acres, put in roads, build the houses, or finance builders to do so. We carry a lot of borrowed money, getting all we want from our bankers. We purchase bricks, slates, and timber, giving bills at three or four months for bricks, and one and six months for timber. One month's credit and a six months' bill is very usual in buying timber. We have dealt with prisoners for six or seven years; they used to make our joinery—sashes, frames, doors, etc. We have had previous transactions with prisoners for small parcels of timber in the rough; we have had no previous transactions with prisoners in bricks. We have done cartage for prisoners for about three years, doing practically the whole of their cartage. We had originally 60 horses and a similar number of carts, but it has been a losing business, and we have now 20 horses. Prisoners had a building scheme at Vineyard Hill in connection with which we have carted large quantities of building materials for them. Prisoners have also a building scheme on the Links Estate; another at Walpole Road, Raynes Park, consisting of 10 semidetached villas; we have carted materials to both. Our charges against prisoners have amounted to over £1, 000—they have always paid us and acted honestly to us. On the Links Estate prisoners built two streets of houses; I saw nearly 100 houses in hand, the net cost of which would be about £250 each. On March 4 I saw Peter MacCallum; the prisoners were both present. Peter said that Fladgates had stopped their advances until they were able to repay some of their temporary building advances and that would prevent their starting any fresh houses. We usually rendered monthly accounts to prisoners
on the 2nd or 3rd of the month. On March 4 they had an account against us for slates bought in February, on which £75 had been paid by us. The price we paid prisoners for bricks was about the usual price.
Cross-examined by Mr. O'Connor. In March, 1907, bricks were quoted in the "Builder" at 26s.—that quotation is a little above a bargain price. The price we paid (23s.) was very reasonable. Bricks are now 4s. lower. A large number of houses would be built with the greatest economy by building a number at one time, and the material should be accumulated on the spot beforehand. I have heard that the defendants were under a contract with the freeholder in the early part of 1907 to erect 200 houses a year. I knew that Messrs. Fladgate, well-known financing solicitors, were financing them, and that they had refused to make further advances. If I had accumulated a large amount of material under such circumstances, I should dispose of it as quickly as possible, particularly if the bricks were standing at the wharf on demurrage. Prisoners had a large yard and works; they certainly would be doing a little merchants' business. I swear positively that the Richmond, Clackfield and Frognal bricks were unloaded after March 4; my cartage book shows that bricks from the barge "Clackfield" were unloaded on my estate on March 5; from the "Richmond" and the "Frognal" were unloaded on March 6; there is a charge in my day book for cartage at 9s. a thousand on March 5 of £34 13s., and on March 6 of £34 4s. The 9s. includes unloading, carting, and stacking on my estate; it is a charge against my firm by the cartage department. (Day book handed to the jury.) That is the book I handed to Inspector Buckle.
Re-examined. If I had sold the materials as suggested, I should have used the cash in the ordinary course of my business, hoping to meet the bills at maturity. I still say that March 4 was the first purchase of bricks from prisoners. I have a clear recollection upon that.
Witness being asked if he had ever stated differently, Mr. F.E. Smith objected to cross-examination, the witness having 'shown no hostility. Question admitted.
The purchase of slates was as nearly as I can find on February 6. I had no conversation with prisoners within a day or two of that about the purchase of bricks. I gave evidence at the private examination in this bankruptcy in October, 1907. I spoke then to the best of my memory, and tried to give a straight statement, the same as I am doing now. When I gave my evidence in the bankruptcy I was called on without any chance of looking up notes or dates.
Mr. Smith objected to the examination as the witness was not a hostile witness, and referred to Clarke v. Saffrey(Ry. and M., 126).
Judge Lumley Smith. I allow the question. The nature of the case rather influences me.
—I was rather upset in being called to the Court, in the first place because I was under threats of a claim for a large amount of money against me, something like £500, by Mr. Dormer, the Trustee in Bankruptcy, and also another claim for timber to the extent of
£1, 000, knowing the amount of money that I had received under my contract account. I did not go to the Court prepared with books or dates of any sort. When Mr. Ranklin asked those questions of me I gave, to the best of my belief, the correct answers, but on referring to the books and papers of our estate they proved my memory to have been inaccurate at that time, but I had no intention of misleading the Court. My partner Mr. Swain bought the slates; I had nothing to do with them till a fortnight afterwards. I said at the police court that, although I could not definitely fix the time of purchase, the bricks were then in the river; the urgency of clearing these bricks was pointed out by prisoner—that they were on demurrage. I could not have bought them in February. It is absolutely untrue that I agreed to buy the bricks "which were coming along." I did not state "I bought the bricks and the slates practically on the same date; the bricks, of course, were coming along; they were not all delivered on one day." If that is on the files of the Court I cannot dispute that I said it. To the best of my belief at that time I was stating the facts as they had arisen. (To the Judge.) I take it "the bricks were coming along" would mean they had left the field and were on the water, on their way. (To Mr. Bodkin.) If I said at the police court, "I went eventually to Smallwood Road about the middle or the latter part of February, and saw both defendant. I think," I corrected that date, on my re-examination, to March 4. The dates were put to me; I did not fix the dates voluntarily. "I asked for a cheque"—I suppose I said that—"they said they were a bit short and had some bricks coming up. They told me they were paying off some of their building advances before they could get further advances; I think they said Fladgate was financing them; they said they were to re-mortgage some of their houses; they asked me to buy some bricks. I bought the bricks to assist the defendants with a little ready money, also to take the bricks off their hands. Defendants reduced my cartage account; they gave me cheques for £215 in all, I think"—that is correct. "I have compromised with the Receiver"—that meant the Trustee; that was by returning the whole of the £215. In cross-examination I said "I would not fix the date of the conversation as before February 19; I would not commit myself to a date; I believe it was late in February." I was afterwards recalled, and said "I had brought my diary for the early part of 1907. Looking at that I am able to say that the date on which I had the conversation with the defendants and agreed to buy some bricks was March 4, 1907. That was the first interview I had with them in 1907." Prisoners bought 519, 000 bricks from four different merchants at 21s. 6d.; that was very cheap. They sold them to me at 1s. 6d. over that price; in that transaction I got my cartage account paid.
To Mr. F.E. Smith. On the first day of my examination at the police court I had not my diary with me; I stated that to the magistrate; on the second occasion I had my diary and corrected the date to March 4. I still say that was the first interview I had with prisoners in 1907. I said at the police court, "I purchased the slates
before the bricks"—that is true. I said at the police court it was impossible to fix the date without my diary.
THOMAS BURTON , recalled. Cross-examined by Mr. F.E. Smith. Prisoners have dealt with my firm since the autumn of 1905. Up to December, 1906, they bought about £523 worth of goods from us; altogether they have bought about £1, 200 worth; these goods have been paid for by six months' bills, except on one occasion when bills at five, six, and seven months were taken. All such bills were paid at maturity until the bankruptcy.
Re-examined. Between January and March, 1907, there was only one transaction—that on January 3—which was considerably larger than any previous single purchase.
ALFRED JOHN CRACKNELL , cashier to Burt, Boulton, and Haywood, Limited, 64, Cannon Street, timber importers. My firm has supplied timber to MacCallum Brothers from January, 1904, which has been paid for by six months' bills. On January 5, 1907, wereceived an order through Booker, our traveller, from prisoners for timber to the value of £121 19s. Delivery orders on Surrey Docks (produced) were sent, which are endorsed over to "F. Claydon and Co." Prisoners accepted bill at six months, dated February 1, for £137 7s. 4d., which included the £121 19s., and another smaller account. Prisoners became bankrupt before that bill matured. On February 20 we received a further order through Booker, for which we handed delivery notes produced on our wharf at Rotherhithe and Regent's Wharf, Silvertown, amounting, to £264 17s. 9d. Invoice is dated February 20. A bill was sent to prisoners for that amount, but was not returned accepted. When delivering warrants for the further timber, we did not know that some of the timber previously supplied had been pawned. We proved in the bankruptcy for the amount of our debt—about £556 16s. 7d.
Cross-examined by Mr. F.E. Smith. My firm have dealt with MacCallum Brothers since January, 1904; the dealing up to the end of 1906 was about £1, 100 to £1, 200, and was paid by bills at six months, which were all met at maturity.
EDWIN GARDINER BOOKER , traveller to Burt, Bounon, and Haywood. Since 1904 I have taken orders for timber from prisones. Peter generally did the business with me through the 'phone; I have not seen them many times. On January 5, 1907, I saw Peter and obtained order mentioned by last witness, which was executed. About February 20, 1907, I got a letter from Peter asking me to call. I saw him at Smallwood wood Road. He asked me for estimates for about £350 worth. I said that he was ordering rather freely. He said, "You seem to doubt me." I said, "It is rather a bigger amount than ever we have done before." He said, "You had better come and look round our works." He showed me his ledger and told me that other merchants were trusting him to a very much bigger figure than I. I said my firm would not allow more than £500—which I took on myself to say. After arranging prices I went round the works. There was a good deal of timber there and benches, but
not the plant of a large contracting firm; there was no actual saw mill. As we came through the joiners' shop he said he had a tremendous lot of work on; there were there the ordinary sashes, door frames, etc. I took the order to the office, and finding it exceeded the amount I should have gone to, cut it down. The order was executed by my firm.
Cross-examined by Mr. F.E. Smith. We had arranged prices before I went round the yard. He said he had a lot of work on. I had a faint idea that he had a building scheme in hand.
Cross-examined by Mr. O'Connor. The business looked prosperous; they were putting down new machines as if they were going to go ahead. I do not think I said at the police court that he told me other firms were trusting them or that I saw the ledger. One does not remember everything at the time, I have a copy of the statement which I made to the detective if you would like to see it.
THOMAS WILLIAM VIGERS , High Street, Peckham, timber merchant, carrying on business as Vigers, Sons, and Co. I have had transactions with prisoners for some years before 1907. On January 9, 1907, I supplied them with £132 17s. 3d. worth of timber, paid for by bills at four and six months. I proved as an unsecured creditor for £210 4s. 1d. due for those and other goods.
Cross-examined by Mr. F.E. Smith. I used to be a partner in the firm of Vigers Brothers, and we did business with the old firm of Barlow and MacCallum, the predecessor of the prisoners' firm; that is about five, six, or seven years ago. They went into liquidation, but I think they paid everything they owed us. We have since done considerable business with prisoners, which they have settled in the same way, by bills, which have been met at maturity until the bankruptcy.
RICHARD W. P. GOODFELLOW , formerly manager to Edwin Jay, timber merchant, of Fulham and Putney. In October, 1906, I saw Peter MacCallum in the "Old Oak" bar room, Union Court. I did not recognise him and he came over and said his name was MacCallum and I said, "Oh, yes, I remember you now; you are Peter." He said, "You have not been over to see us lately?" I said, "No;' that I did not consider the business good enough. He said, "Why do not you come over and have a look for yourself? we are putting down new machinery, we are building somewhat extensively, and, as a matter of fact, we are doing a big business." I asked him who he was dealing with and he said, "Nearly everybody in London"—that meant timber merchants. I said I would come over, and two or three days afterwards did so. Peter took me round the mills. There was a gas engine or gas producing plant being put down, which Andrew was supervising. I also went to the Links Estate, where they were putting up houses; there were a decent number in carcase and some being finished. I then took an order on behalf of Jay to the amount of £102 2s. 11d.
Cross-examined by Mr. O'Connor. I was satisfied they were doing a genuine business. I heard they were building houses at
Wimbledon. I formed my opinion from my own judgment from what I saw going on. I do not think he mentioned the names of the timber merchants who were supplying him.
WILLIAM REUBEN GREEN , cashier to Edwin Jay, timber merchant I received through the last witness order (produced) from prisoners, which was executed by two delivery orders (produced) which are endorsed over to Clayton and Co. We proved in prisoners' bank ruptcy for £634 17s. 7d. for the last and previous orders.
ROBERT BRAND , cashier to Louis Bamberger, 2, Broad Street Buildings, timber merchant. We have supplied timber to prisonsers since September, 1905. On January 18, 1907, Little, our traveller, brought me order (produced) from prisoners for timber to the amount of £218 0s. 9d., which was executed by delivery orders (produced), which are all endorsed over to "F. Clayton and Co." Bills were accepted by prisoners maturing June 25, July 25, and August 25, which have not been met. Mr. Bamberger proved in prisoners' bankruptcy for £218 0s. 9d. Before opening an account with prisoners we should make the usual inquiries, and no doubt did so in 1905.
HORACE LITTLE , traveller to Louis Bamberger. I took the order mentioned by the last witness from Peter; he said he looked after the outside and gave the orders and Andrew looked after the financial part. Peter took me round the premises, showed me the stock of timber, and said they were extending their trade and having a new engine and suction plant put in; the business looked in a very flourishing and increasing condition. I then accepted the order.
Cross-examined by Mr. O'Connor. I am certain he told me about the business and showed me the premises before I accepted the order. He said the business was increasing, and the improved plant was necessary. Our first order in 1905 from prisoners' firm was for £7 15s. 4d.; we did business continuously with them till July, 1906; there was an interval till January, 1907. I called on prisoners in the ordinary way of business; if without showing me round they had offered me an order for £100 worth of timber, I should have taken it and submitted it to my firm.
ALFRED ERNEST COWELL , senior manager to Tewson and Son, Norwich, timber merchants. On January 16, 1907, I received letter (produced) from prisoners asking for prices for a quantity of different timber, replied by copy letter (produced), and received order on January 30, 1907, for timber amounting to £337 13s. 8d., in respect of which three delivery orders (produced) on Millwall Docks were forwarded. On February 7 we sent invoice with a four months' bill for half the amount, requesting cheque for the other half. Prisoners returned the bill accepted, saying they hoped to forward a cheque on account in a month. We sent a further bill for acceptance, which was not returned. We afterwards received a circular stating they had filed their petition. We have received no money and have proved in the bankruptcy for £337 17s. 8d. We had a further order, which was cancelled.
Cross-examined by Mr. O'Connor. Prisoners asked us not to deliver any more at present—that was about March 1. I could not swear that the second bill was not accepted; my impression is that it was not.
(Monday, November 16.)
FREDERICK CLAYDON , wharfinger. I have known defendants for several years, and they have often pledged timber with me. On January 10, 1907, Peter came to my office and asked me to lend him money as previously, but on realisable security; I said I would think it over. Later we came to the arrangement that he should hand me delivery notes on timber, I to advance up to 60 per cent. of the value. On this arrangement I advanced various sums totalling to £955 6s. 3d., the delivery orders from time to time being deposited and released.
To Mr. O'Connor. It is not an unusual thing for timber merchants to obtain temporary advances on the security of delivery orders.
GEORGE BASIL WOOD , clerk to previous witness, and who carried on most of the detailed negotiation with the defendants, spoke to the course of business that was followed. Witness dealt in nearly every case with Peter MacCallum.
Cross-examined. It is quite usual for wharfingers to lend money to people they know.
CHARLES VICTOR BOOTH , cashier, London and County Bank, Lombard Street branch, at which Messrs. Claydon and Co. had an account, identified as having passed through that account various cheques from Claydon's in favour of the defendants.
FRANK FLETCHER , manager of the Balham branch of the London City and Midland Bank, said that Mr. John Rae MacCallum, of Bromley Grove, Shortlands, had an account at the branch; it was practically dormant after March, 1907, and was closed on April 21, 1908. Witness identified by the numbers two £200 bank notes, spoken to by previous witness as having been paid to defendants out of a cheque upon Claydon's account; these were paid into John Rae MacCallum's account.
WILLIAM HARVEY CHAMBERLAIN , of the London and Provincial Bank at Beckenham. John Rae MacCallum had an account at my branch. I know him well. He is the father of the two defendants. (Witness identified certain notes, the products of Claydon cheques to defendants, as having been paid into this account.)
CHARLES EDWARD DAVIS , cashier at the London and County Bank Balham branch, where MacCallum Brothers had an account from 1903 until their bankruptcy, identified another of the Claydon cheques as passing through that account.
Cross-examined. The account was guaranteed by John Rae MacCallum and the deficiency at the date of the bankruptcy was met by him.
PERCY COOPER , timber merchant, 123, Cannon Street. For four or five years my firm has supplied timber to defendants on the usual terms, bills at four, five, or six months. Up to shortly before the bankruptcy the bills were always met. In March, 1907, we held some bills of theirs; one for £75 was due on March 22. Peter MacCallum asked me to renew it; I declined to do so without security. He said they had some joinery goods which they had no particular use for and which they could sell to us; the goods he said were then pledged with Claydon. He showed me entries in their stock books purporting to show the cost price of the stuff, and eventually I agreed to take certain lines, paying him a profit of 5 per cent.; Claydon's had advanced 60 per cent. on the goods and we were to pay this off and give MacCallum's the remaining 40 per cent. plus 5 per cent. profit. I paid them in cash down £50 and retired the bills of theirs that were outstanding. The matter was completed on March 27 by my paying Claydon £453 16s. I saw nothing of Andrew MacCallum in connection with this transaction.
Cross-examined by Mr. O'Connor. Peter MacCallum at first offered me security upon some house property; this I declined. I threatened to sue him. He said he had bought some timber at a cheap price and was not able then to use it all in his business and if I would give him a fair price for it he would allow it off what was due from him. For five or six years previously we had been doing business with MacCallum Brothers and their bills had always been duly met. I do not remember Peter telling me that their difficulties were due to persons who had been financing them in building operations having ceased to finance them; the name of Fladgates was mentioned, but I do not remember in what circumstances.
MORRIS EZRA PHILP , clerk to Vigers Brothers, timber merchants, King William Street. On July 19, 1907, I went to 149, Smallwood Road, the premises of MacCallum Brothers, and made an approximate valuation of the timber stored there.
Mr. O'Connor, to shorten matters, admitted that a certain quantity of timber which was bought on credit was on defendant's premises when this witness made his valuation.
ARTHUR C. BOURNER , of Bourner, Bullock, Andrew, and Co., chartered accountant, Bush Lane House. I was appointed trustee in defendants' bankruptcy on May 13, 1907. The statement of affairs showed unsecured creditors, £14, 935; estimated assets, £16, 748; the latter included £1, 560 cash at bank, which it turned out was held by the bank against bills discounted; an amended account was subsequently filed showing a deficiency of £11, 573. The firms mentioned in the charges now under investigation were entered as unsecured creditors. When as trustee I heard of the
assignments by the debtors to J.R. MacCallum I took proceedings, as the result of which they were set aside. I estimate the total realisable value of the assets of the firm to be between £2, 000 and £2, 500. By the books of the bankrupts I am able to trace several loan transactions by them, in 1906 and 1907, with Mr. R. Leslie and Mr. S.B. Thomas, a registered moneylender, also various exchange cheque transactions with J. R. MacCallum; the latter amounted to 71, 000 in the six months preceding the bankruptcy; they do not represent ordinary trading transactions, but appear to have been for the purpose of the debtors obtaining temporary credit.
Cross-examined. It is the fact that, commencing from 1905, there has been a terrible depression in the building trade and there have been many failures of builders and merchants. The exchange cheque transactions between the bankrupts and J. R. MacCallum do not show any profit whatever made by the latter. At the date of the bankruptcy the MacCallums owned a number of house properties, subject to mortgages and building agreements; property of that kind has no doubt depreciated owing to the depression in trade.
Re-examined. The depression I refer to had been going on for two or three years before and was well known to the building trade.
Inspector JAMES BUCKLE, Criminal Investigation Department, Scotland Yard, identified certain cheques and delivery orders as bearing the signature of the defendants.
This concluding the case for the prosecution,
Mr. O'Connor submitted that there was no evidence upon certain of the counts.
His Lordship ruled that there was sufficient to justify the whole case going to the Jury.
(Monday, November 23.)
ANDREW MACCALLUM (prisoner, on oath.) I comenced business in partnership with Mr. Barwell in 1896 as a builder. We started manufacturing joinery in 1899 or 1900, which was carried on at 49, Smallwood Road, in the latter years of our partnership the business did badly; Barwell left in 1902; the creditors were called together; my father took over my debts and paid the creditors a composition of 7s. 6d. in the £, amounting to £3, 200. That was at the latter end of 1901, or just at the beginning of 1902. It was a condition of my father taking over the debts that my brother Peter joined the business and we became MacCallum Brothers. At that time the partnership assets consisted of about one more of freehold land at 49, Smallwood Road, Tooting, the mill, joiner's shop, etc. About the end of 1905 the premises were enlarged; we purchased another acre of ground, erected a joiner's shop, timber stores, and a five-stall stable; substantially the whole of the two acres was covered with buildings. We had practially doubled the plant from 1903 onwards. In 1905 the power was not sufficient; we put in a gas
engine and suction plant; I was doing more work than the engine would carry. In 1902, as Barwell and MacCallum, we had a loan from the bank which they required paid off. I tried to get a permanent mortgage on the premises and fixed machinery; that had to be guaranteed, which was done by my father. The solicitor pointed out that he was undertaking a big liability and he had better take steps to protect himself. He then issued a writ for the amount he had advanced, although the arrangement was that that should be treated as capital for my brother, to be paid back when we had realised the assets we took over. A writ was issued against Barwell, Peter, and myself; judgment was obtained for the £3, 200 in 1902; that judgment was not executed till 1906, when my father was pressing for money or security. We communicated with the solicitor again and gave him a second charge on the goodwill, land, and buildings for the judgment and costs. Mr. Carter, of Chancery Lane, has the mortgage deed. It could be called in at three months' notice. It was only really given because we had never paid him any interest and he wanted to have some method of getting interest on the money he had advanced. It was an understood thing that he would not press for payment. My father was then the owner of extensive property in January, 1907, there was some talk of the first mortgage being called in. My father pressed for foreclosure of his second charge. A writ was issued on January 18, served on the 24th or 25th; I entered appearance on February 1, and he obtained judgment from the Master. I appealed, and on February 28, 1907, the final order was made, execution to be stayed for a month from February 22. I resisted my father's claim as long as possible and offered him from £400 to £500 to abandon the proceedings. The stock, of the value of about £650, goodwill, etc., passed to my father, but we having possession to March 23, we used a large quantity of the stock, reducing its value to about £150, when my father took possession and carried on the business; he lost about £500 in four months. My father has been retired from business since 1900; he is practically an invalid, and, as the whole business was a personal one depending on me, it could not be run under a manager. I used to attend from six a.m. to eight or 10 p.m. daily. We had about 30 men at the mill in 1905, and later on, after the enlargement, between 50 and 60. In the last six months I paid in wages at the mill £2, 080, besides £450 for travellers and office expenses. We sent large numbers of circulars out inviting orders for manufacturing joinery. As to the building operations, during 1906 I was building 10 houses at Worpole Road, 10 houses in Vineyard Hill, Wimbledon, and three were started in Holmepark Road, Wimbledon—all letable at £50 a year and costing £550 each to build. The three in Holmepark Road were of the rental value of £100, £75, and £60. The £50 houses were mortgaged on a building advance of £400 each; they have all been since sold for £550 each. We also built seven shops at Raynes Park. In 1906 we purchased land at Tooting from the Selected Estates Company, Limited. They introduced us to Fladgates to finance the building, and we contracted on December 7, 1906, to build 83 houses at the rate of 50 in three
months, the whole to be finished in five months, and to continue to build the remainder of 200 houses. Our stock of timber and materiel was rather low. In December, 1906, the footings were got out, and by the end of February we had 49 houses in carcase, with the walls and roofs completed of nearly all. Fladgates had made advances. Peter used to order all the material for the building on my quantities, and to travel for the joinery department and manage it. Everything went smoothly with the buildings until March 1, 1907, when Mr. Mitchell, the surveyor for Fladgates, informed me that they had decided not to advance on any more houses until some had been mortgaged. We tried to induce him to alter his decision, but he refused. As Fladgates had the contract, it was impossible to get advances elsewhere. I had laid my plans to complete the 50 houses in three months, and the remaining 33 in five months, and hoped to get further advances to build the 200. On March 1 we had a large quantity of building material in hand, purchased and on its way. Barges of bricks were just arriving at the wharf, and as we could not proceed with the building we had no use for them. We must have left the barges on demurrage or carted them to the estate at the cost of 9s. or 10s. per thousand for cartage. As the bricks only cost 21s. 6d. per thousand, I should have had to pay half their value to cart them to the estate. I decided to sell them to Swain and Selly. That was absolutely the best thing to do. It would have been madness to have allowed them to lie on demurrage or to cart them to the Links Estate. Then if I had started building elsewhere the cartage from the Links Estate would have been very heavy. I have been dealing in bricks since 1905, and had sold to Cole and Co., Chapman, Bishop, Baker and Davidson. Invoice (produced) is for 50, 000 grizzles, sold to Cole and Co. on September 10, 1906, at 24s., cartage 7s., amounting to £77 10s. Mr. Richards, Cole and Co.'s manager, is here. We also supplied builders with slates, timber, tiles, and pipes. We had been selling timber since 1903, to about £200 to £300 a month. The timber would not appear in the day book, as it did not go through the works. We sold timber to Cole and Co., Bishop, the Catford Building Supply Association, and Gray—in fact, to any of my customers who wanted it. We always kept timber stored at Smallwood Road for sale. Invoices (produced) show sales from 1905. I kept everything that builders wanted at the works except bricks. We did an extensive business in the manufacture of joinery. In my examination by Mr. Bourner I delivered a cash and goods account and an analysis showing the quantity of goods sold. The annual turnover at the mill was £10, 000 odd for joinery only. We received £9, 500 advances on buildings. Altogether in the last six months I paid out £21, 000, including £7, 500 paid on bills maturing. That includes wages. Our turnover in 1906 was, I should think, £30, 000 to £35, 000, in 1905 about £20, 000. I did not pledge the goods with Claydon, but lodged them as collateral security for the loan. The intention in depositing the timber was to draw it in the course of a month or two, as I wanted it, repaying the 60 per cent. which Clayden
had advanced. Our stock had depleted since December, 1906. Burton approached me in December; he looked through the whole of his catalogue and picked out all the short ends, knowing I should want them. I bought them for use. I had been buying heavily in December. It was customary for me to buy in advance and necessary for my business, particularly in the winter when the timber ports are closed. On February 28 I redeemed some of the timber from Claydon; the value was over £200, and I paid him £166. I should have used it in the buildings, but we were stopped. I had no other building operations going on when I sold timber to Cooper and to my father. I sold a lot of "ends" 5 ft. to 11 ft. long, which had been specially picked for the mill when I assigned the premises, and my father paid me for them. My father paid Claydon and gave me some £600. That transaction appears in the goods account filed It was in March, 1907, the money was paid, part in cash and part in bills, which have been honoured. I used every penny of it in my estate. I discounted the bills through my bank. My father paid 5 or 10 per cent. over what I had paid for the timber, which my estate got the benefit of. I made absolutely no representation to Little or Goodfellow when they called at my works as to the state of my business. Had I had further time I could have realised my properties to advantage—all the houses have been sold for more than the mortgage advances.
Cross-examined. When I started with Barwell I put in £250, which was an absolute gift from my father. It is correct to say that Peter put nothing into the business, which, however, was solvent in 1902. After four years we find ourselves bankrupt with £14, 900 of unsecured creditors. I do not attribute that state of things to Fladgates having stopped their advances. I have had exchange cheque transactions since 1905. I think it really originated with Chandler and Co., to whom we owed money for timber. I was temporarily pushed, and asked them to renew one of their bills. They gave me a cheque for £100, and I gave them my cheque for £100, Chandler and Co. were creditors of Barwell and MacCallum, and it was agreed between Chandler and myself that when I wanted this cheque accommodation I should pay them 10s. per cent., which should go towards the unpaid part of their debt. Of course, Chandler had accepted the composition from my father and then he trusted me and did business with me. This began in 1905. I do not think I talked it over with my brother. I managed the whole of the financing matters of this business. There were eight persons I carried on exchange cheque transactions with, including my father; three of them were my employees. We had so far as our creditors were concerned one bank only, the London and County, Balham, where we accepted the whole of our trade bills and paid out of the whole of our trade cheques; they would only discount to the extent of £2, 500, while we had nearly £6, 000 of bills out, the balance of which we had to discount with other banks, and for that purpose we established other accounts somewhat in the nature of a clearing-house. I used those people's cheques and paid them into
the London and County, where I had bills coming due; the money was lying at Barclay's Bank or the London Trading Bank. It has been asserted that £71, 000 of cheques passed between me and my father in the last six months—they were signed by my brother "John Rae MacCallum"; he had authority to draw them in my father's name; they were for perfectly imaginary amounts, representing no transactions. I paid those into my bank, and when they were presented, sent the cash to meet them. It was to get the cash at the London and County Bank, as they would pay on a cheque of my father's. My father knew nothing about these cheques; my brother had authority to open and use the account. All these transactions are recorded in the cash booked marked "Private Ledger" by the Trustee. (Witness explained the book.) Merridew, Williams, and Brooker were three employees. I opened similar accounts in their names and used them on the same lines as in the case of my father; they knew nothing about the figures. They assented to it; I gave them no reason; they asked for none. The other three firms were Chandler, Hatch and Hatch, and Dilling and Cockrell, with whom there were similar transactions. Chandler was the only one who got anything out of it—he got the 10s. per cent. With regard to those three firms, it was merely this; I had to maintain a lien (that is a balance) of 25 per cent. of the bills—at the London and County of £500; at Barclay's of £1, 000, and at the London Trading Bank of £150. I had to pay some of my bills which were coming due and was depending on certain payments coming from customers or from buildings that I had not got in to time—I knew that I should get them in perhaps a week and I would borrow the cheque and carry them over in that way. The transactions were not heavy in 1905, but they went on from 1905 till 1907. In 1906 and the early part of 1907 I borrowed money from moneylenders on note of hand without security, paying about 40 to 50 per cent. interest. I looked at it in a business way; I had to buy the ground or let it go; to my mind it was worth moneylenders' interest. Besides the advances I had second charges on houses built. I may say money got in the ordinary way through building solicitors coat 20 per cent., including conveyancing solicitors' charges. In 1907 I borrowed £250 from Thomas, £332 from Leslie, and £300 from Weston—moneylenders. I borrowed from Weston because I had approached my father and asked him to take a certain sum in settlement; he did not accept it—said he wanted the lot—and I used it in my business. I am certain I have written letters to brick merchants describing myself as a builders' merchant; it must have been common knowledg to two of our largest creditors in the brick trade that we were selling bricks to other people. I do not think I wrote in 1907 to any timber merchant that I wanted the timber for building operations. I paid the £600 I received from Claydon in notes direct into my father's account—that was because I had drawn a cheque on his account to meet a bill and sent the money down in that way to meet it. I repeat there was absolutely nothing fraudulent done in the way of my business. I had exchange cheque transactions for nearly
three years for specific purposes; I borrowed from moneylenders at 40 to 50 per cent. With regard to the obtaining of timber, in the first place, the biggest part of it was bought or arranged for in December, before my brother went to Claydon on January 3; he asked him to accept book debts as security, as before; Claydon refused; we offered a second charge on buildings; he refused, but said he would do it on dock warrants. I told my brother the bank would do it on dock warrants, but as I wanted to keep the bank clear, about January 7 I made up my mind to take the money from Claydon, only depositing the dock warrants as collateral security for the loan. I was not insolvent if I had had time to realise my estate. I maintain my property has realised nearly the whole of the £14, 000 I am to the bad. My father issued the writ in pursuance of the mortgage which I had granted. It was a surprise to me. I told him I was in a flourishing condition, and I believed it. I did not discuss the litigation with my father or the exchange cheques. I assigned to him the goodwill of the business, the equity of the works, the equitable interest in the Links Estate, and the stock-in-trade. My father's solicitors wanted to put the bailiff in. I told them if they did I should file my petition. I told them the value of the stock, about £650; that was on March 23. I do not agree for one moment that I preferred my father. If I had wanted to do that the first thing would have been to withdraw his guarantee at the bank; that was never withdrawn. Cooper was a pressing creditor in that he refused to renew a bill coming due March 22 for £75—the rest of the bills (£300 to £400) were not due till July, when I should have been able to pay. Of course, I could have paid the £75. It was a fortnight after judgment had been signed. I wished to save all the money I could get. I have known Cooper for years. We asked him to renew the bill; he was upset; I do not exactly remember what passed, but there was a good deal of unpleasantness, and my brother said we had this timber which we should not be wanting at the buildings because we had not arranged the financing; Cooper offered to buy the timber from us as against his debt, which was £331; we had a contract account of £70. I represent the transaction between Cooper and myself as a perfectly legitimate one in the ordinary way of business. Cooper bought certain goods of us, which, after deducting the amount paid to Claydon, amounted to £331; there was a balance in our favour of £70, of which he paid us £50. He got goods which we would have sold in the ordinary course of our business either to Cooper or to anybody else. He obtained goods which had not been paid for, but any other person who bought goods from us obtained goods which had not been paid for; it was an ordinary honest business transaction. I made no representations that I was carrying on a very prosperous business. On February 20 I gave a large order to Burt, Boulton and Haywood, £150 worth of their timber, received on January 10, having gone to Claydon without entering our premises; that £150 worth was not suitable for the same purpose. I pledged it because I did not want it at the moment; it would have been wanted within one or two
months; it was not timber that I could have bought at any moment in that specific size of yellow deals. The second lot of timber consisted of two lines, 3/4 by 7—boards to be used in the mill for stairs; and 2 by 8, battens. The others were a different class of goods. The order to Jewson was the first transaction with them. They approached us; and I asked for a quotation. We anticipated keeping the whole of our staff going, but the advances were stopped. I then wrote to tell them not to deliver the further order. We pawned it with Claydon, as we did not immediately want it. We did want it when we ordered it. If I had been buying timber to pawn I could have gone up to £3, 000. If Fladgates had continued the advances I should have ordered all the stuff necessary and gone right on. I know I got goods to the value of over £8, 000 in the first three months of 1907. I was then solvent. My father bought the timber in Claydon's hands because we had agreed to assign the mill to him. This was pinery stuff, which he wanted for carrying on the mill. We had to give him the assignment—he was the judgment creditor in possession of the mill and stock-in-trade value £664. Account of goods (produced) is what was sold to my father. (The witness was cross-examined on ledger and day book entries.)
Re-examined. It was my custom to ask for quotations from various merchants; I wrote to various other firms besides Jewsons. We wrote to Jewsons on March 23, not to deliver the rest of the goods, when the buildings were stopped, and in consequence of the assignment to my father. After the stoppage of the advances I bought nothing that was not necessary to complete the work in hand. I was anxious to avoid bankruptcy. Knowing what my property has since realised, I believe that, had we been able to go on, we should have come through. I met my father and the Trustee on May 17. I had such faith in the Links Estate that I made an offer to the committee to take over that estate. I first of all approached Fladgates, and they had guaranteed a nominee of ours an option to take over the estate on certain terms. We submitted this option to the Trustee and the committee, and offered to devote the whole of our time without remuneration, and to hand over the whole of the proceeds to the creditors. We pointed out that within, at any rate, a month we could get over £1, 000 out of the ground rents. The committee refused the offer. That estate would have cleared off most of our debts. I never represented that I was a builder only. The first mortgage to my father was £2, 650. When he threatened to levy I told him that I must throw myself into bankruptcy. There was no other writ issued against me at that time, and no judgment till six weeks afterwards. During the last six months I sold £4, 000 worth of unwrought timber, and I used actually in the buildings during that time over £5, 000 worth of materials; also £3, 000 worth of goods were consumed at the mill.
An agent has been mutually agreed upon to collect the rents. J. R. MacCallum became liable for nearly £2, 000.
Cross-examined. That amount has not been, paid yet. We have a judgment for it, and have a second charge on his property at Wimbledon. It is being repaid at the rate of £150 a year.
(Tuesday, November 24.)
EDWARD WILLIAM THEODORE BRUMBY , surveyor to Fladgatesm, mortgagees in possession. We went in on the bankruptcy, under Conveyancing Act. We have sold only two or three houses at present—one in Estcourt Road for £360; there was no separate mortgage for that; two or three others have been sold for £350 to £360 each; others we have let on mortgage. There is a considerable amount due to our clients.
—MITCHELL, building surveyor. I acted as surveyor on the Links Estate, and advances were made on my certificate. No houses were completed until April or May, 1907. In February, 1907, defendants were pressing for advances on a further lot of houses. I last surveyed in March, 1907, and advances were made to complete the property in hand. There were 29 houses in Boscombe Road and 20 in Estcourt Road. The advances were not stopped on the houses being erected, but we were not willing to advance on the further lot of houses until the first lot were finished. The advances were temporarily stopped.
Cross-examined. The houses on which advances were stopped in March, 1907, were the 29 in Boscombe Road and the 20 in Estcourt Road. They were stopped on both at about the same time, about the first Friday in March; it was because the houses were not being done satisfactorily—were not progressing. MacCallums were pressing us to advance on another 20 houses in Estcourt Road. We had not completed the advances arranged for the 49. We did not actually cease making advances—we ceased to advance money on work that was not done; we certified only for work actually done. None of the additional 20 had been commenced. We advanced £170 on each house in Boscombe Road, and about £155 on each in Estcourt Road.
Re-examined. The houses in Boscombe Road I valued at £360 freehold. In February we surveyed, and came to the conclusion we could not go on financing, and on the first Friday in March MacCallums were informed of it.
WILLIAM HENRY RICKARD , manager for Cole and Co., builders, Wimbledon. I have bought material from prisoners for about 2 1/2 years—bricks, timber, joinery, pipes, and tiles—to the amount of about £1, 000. The first transaction was in 1905. I know the defendants as joinery manufacturers and builders' merchants. I knew the works, they employed 50 or 60 hands there
Cross-examined. Cole and Co. are engaged in developing properties under building agreements, mortgaging as we go along. In starting to build a number of houses I should procure practically all the materials required and get the goods delivered on the job,
ordering about as much as I should want. I have never disposed of any—I am not a builders' merchant as the defendants are. I should not make any inquiries as to where the goods came from in buying goods from the defendants, knowing them as builders' merchants. There is no difficulty in getting yellow deals.
Mr. Geo. Elliott submitted that as he did not propose to call Peter MacCallum or any witnesses on his behalf he would be entitled to address the jury at the conclusion of the speech for the prosecution.
Mr. Bodkin said that as the evidence of Andrew MacCallum and other witnesses applied to the whole case he was entitled, according to the practice of the Court, to a general right or reply (Arch., 212; R. v. Trevelli; 15 Cox, 289). Held that Mr. Bodkin was entitled to address the jury on the whole case.
ALBERT EDWARD EVERITT , wood-machinist to the London Joinery Works. I was formerly employed by the defendants and was taken over under the new management. When the transfer took place in April, 1907, there was very little stock on the premises. Defendants employed towards the end of their time from 50 to 60 hands, working from six a.m. to eight p.m. Both defendants were there—Andrew was there always.
Cross-examined. I cannot say who the London Joinery Works are. I take my orders from J. R. MacCallum. I cannot say who took over the business. I have not seen defendants there from March to July, 1907; J. R. MacCallum I have seen once. There is writing of mine in the day book. I do not know who cut out three or four leaves from that book.
Cross-examined. My firm was formerly Hatch and Hatch—the business belonging to Robert Feary—I was manager. We have sold a small lot of materials to defendants amounting to about £40. I heard there were some cheque transactions; I do not know the amount; they did not come before me. We have not had transactions with MacCallums in 1906 to the amount of £2, 800.
FRANK BOYTON , partner in Boyton, Son, and Trevor, house and estate agents. In 1906 I surveyed 10 houses in Worpole Road, Wimbledon, and in 1907 a number in Holmepark Road and Vine-yard Hill Road. We advanced £400 each on the houses in Worpole Road; I estimate their building cost at £580 and their selling value at £630 to £640. Those in vineyard Hill Road were of a similar value. In Holmepark Road there was a large detached house of 70 ft. frontage, which I value at about £1, 350, and two semi-detached houses worth £900 each. We advanced £2, 000 on the three. Those houses are now all occupied, either sold or let. The market for selling has been very bad during the past 12 months. During the past two years there has been an upward tendency for letting. We have advanced about £10, 500 to the defendants altogether. We reckon to advance about two-thirds of the actual cost. The value of the equity of the 10 houses in Worpole Road would be about £200 per house.
Cross-examined. The equity would be subject to the possibility of selling at that price. We advanced money to the defendants for about 18 months. Our clients were in no way connected with Fladgates.
WILLIAM HENRY SMALL , builders' manager. I was three years in defendants' employ, up to March, 1907. I knew of the contract to build 200 houses—I managed it for the prisoners. I and Andrew got out the quantities of bricks and material required. In December, 1906. I advised that the materials should be got on the job in order to build the houses by the contracted time—50 houses in three months. It is necessary to get the material beforehand—particularly the bricks, for which you have frequently to wait for their coming up the river.
Cross-examined. I was paid wages £3 10s. a week and other payments amounting to altogether about £5, as the servant of the defendants. The ledger account in my name is for the wages money drawn by me, and materials supplied. (The witness explained the entries.)
Re-examined. When a foreman is in charge of a job it is usual to enter goods to an account in his name.
ALFRED PERRY , carman and contractor. I have been carman to defendants for eight or nine years, and have delivered to their customers timber, slates, pipes, and tiles. I have not delivered bricks as I have not sufficient horses. I have taken timber from the defendants' yard and from the docks. They employed 50 to 60 hands at the mill. I always saw Andre at the mill.
Cross-examined. I was always paid by cheque for cartage. I have delivered timber for the prisoners sometimes from their premises and sometimes straight to the customer from the docks.
THOMAS BUSSELL , builder. I know Chapman, of the Estate Office, Merton Park, and that he has bought bricks, timber, slates, and pipes from defendants. I have known defendants as builders, merchants, and joinery manufacturers. Chapman has dealt with them from the early part of 1906.
Cross-examined. I do not know where Chapman is now, and have not seen him for some months. He became bankrupt, and I have not seen him since.
Cross-examined. I do not know so much as Mr. Selly.
MR. BOURNER, recalled. Since I have been trustee what I have realised has been mainly money paid by Swain and Selly, Cooper and Co., and Jenkins and Co., on claims made for undue preference. Nothing has been received by the sale of houses—the whole of their
property is in the hands of the mortgagees. There is a second mortgage over the whole of the property for £1, 500, held by G. F. Darby, of Fossborough Road, Clapham Junction.
(The witness explained the account of J. R. MacCallum in the ledger.)
Verdict, Not guilty.
BEFORE JUDGE LUMLEY SMITH.
(Wednesday, November 11.)
Sentence, 14 months' hard labour.
Sentence, Eight months' hard labour.
SEALE, John (54, broker) , in incurring a certain debt and liability to Elisabeth Mooney did obtain credit—to wit, food and lodging, to the amount of £1 2s., by false pretences. In incurring a cer tain debt and liability to Minnie Gunn, did obtain credit—to wit, board and lodging, to the amount of £2 15s. 6d., by false pretences. In incurring a certain debt and liability to Minnie Stafford, did obtain credit—to wit, food and lodging, to the amount of £1 18s., by false pretences.
Mr. Bickmore prosecuted; Mr. Sidney Williams defended.
MINNIE GUNN , 4, Wellesley Villas, Clapham Road. On September 4 prisoner came to my house and required board-residence. I let apartments. He said he had been recommended by one of the tradespeople. I made inquiries, but could not find the tradesman. He required a bed-sitting room for himself and his son. The terms were to be 25s. a week for board and lodging. The son is 14 years old. I asked him what his business was, and he said he was connected with a Spanish railway and money was no object. He gave me the name of Dr. Cusack as a reference, also Mrs. Chisholm. I wrote to Dr. Cusack, whose address he gave me. He showed me a list of moneys supposed to have been received by him from some property. He said he had recently sold his property, as he had a divorce case with his wife and did not wish her to benefit by the money, and all cheques would come through Dr. Cusack. He said his luggage was coming on. His reason for coming in on the day he called was that the lady where he had been could not accommodate him any longer, but she had found a room for him which was too small and he did not like it. I got a reply from Dr. Cusack a fortnight afterwards. The prisoner was still at
my house. I got a letter from Mrs. Chisholm; it was shown to the prisoner and kept by the people at the Stratford Police Court. Prisoner paid me nothing in advance. I pressed him on several occasions for payment. On September 18, when he went out in the morning, I said, "Mr. Seale, unless you can bring money to me this evening, I cannot possibly keep you any longer." When he came back in the evening he said, "I am certain to have it by tomorrow at 12 o'clock." I said, "Very good; I will allow you to stay until tomorrow." Twelve o'clock came; he had no money. I said, "You cannot stay any longer, but I request you to give me an I O U for the money which is due to me"; I think you will find that in Court.
Cross-examined. I told him that unless he paid me I should prosecute him. I did not tell prisoner he could stay on if he gave me something on account. He was supposed to be ill when he came to me, but I think he can feign. He was able to attend to his business. He did not tell me his address was Adelphi House; he told me he had an office in the City, but did not tell me where. The letter I got from Dr. Cusack said prisoner owed him far more than he was likely to owe me. I gathered from that letter that Dr. Cusack knew prisoner. Prisoner was always saying that he was going to pay me. He did not stay indoors all day. I could not tell you whether he was trying to get work to satisfy my debt. I have not been put up to this prosecution; I was found by another woman from Denmark Hill; she came to me to see if I had got my money, as she could not get hers. Her name is Mrs. Stafford.
MINNIE STAFFORD , 86, Grove Lane, Camberwell. On September 18 I saw prisoner between two and three in the afternoon. He came to see if I had a bed-sitting-room for himself and his son. The prices were to be 10s. for the room, 2s. a day for food for both of them, fire and light extra. He told me he had got some business affairs on and asked if he could come in next day, as he was going to Mr. Dix's school as a private tutor. I had no references, no guarantee what he was; he mentioned Dr. Cusack, his personal friend. I wanted a reference from the last house he lived in, and he gave me an address at Putney. He said his gladstone bag and trunk would follow on; I thought they were coming from Putney. If I do not know the lodgers they pay a week in advance. Prisoner did not pay anything; he said he had not any change and there had been a vacation on, or something like that. When he saw I was anxious about having a reference he said, "Don't worry; my business is in Adelphi Street, Strand—Adelphi House." He left on September 26 and owed me 28s. He promised to pay me at nine o'clock on the Saturday morning. I wanted to be paid before he left the house. He never came. His boy was left behind, stayed in the room all day long, and I supplied him with four meals a day. I supplied the board and lodging believing what prisoner told me.
Cross-examined. The Spanish Railway was never mentioned to me; he said his son was going to school, and he was in business at Adelphi House and he was connected with the law. I believed all he said. I went to Dix's school and found he had been there for
a prospectus; the boy did not go to school. He gave the name of Howard, of High Street, Putney, as a person who had known him 12 years. I wrote to that address, but got no reply. He also gave me the name of Rowlands. I went and made inquiries of him and was told he was not employed there; Mr. Barnard told me this; he said he came in and out. I went to the police and asked what I could do before they came to me.
Mrs.MOONEY, 53, Water Lane, Stratford. The prisoner came to my house on September 27; he required a bedroom for himself and lad; I took him in. Before he came in he said was it usual for me to be paid in advance and I said "Yes"; he said he could not pay me then, but he had a cheque and would pay me when he came home from the City. He said I could have references if I wanted them. He did not say he had been at Dr. Cusack's recently; he said different hotels. I never saw a cheque. He paid nothing in advance; I got anxious and asked him for it. He said he would get the cheque changed as soon as he could and pay me. I tried to assist him in cashing a cheque on the Saturday following and to my surprise he had no cheque to change. He asked a gentleman for a pen and paper and he would draft out a cheque. He did not do it. He left me on October 5; he went up to the City in the morning and the boy was left behind; he has not sent for the boy. I delivered a bill to him for £1 2s.
Cross-examined. I do not know what to do with the boy. We discussed terms when prisoner came. He said he would pay in advance, but he did not do it. He did not send his boy to Richmond for some money. He said he had got a lot of printing being done and he brought home some pieces of paper which he had to alter; he took them upstairs to his room. He told me his address was Adelphi House, Adam Street, Strand. I did not go there; I went to the police station instead. I thought Dr. Cusack's name was quite a good reference. Prisoner's son is still with me. I suppose prisoner will pay me.
Re-examined. When an address is given to me I do not imagine it to be a temporary one.
WILLIAM BARNARD , auctioneer, Adelphi House, Adam Street, Strand. I have a man in my employ named Rowland, and he introduced me to prisoner. Prisoner said he was forming a company of which Messrs. Engall and Crane were solicitors and Dr. Cusack one of the directors, and would I be able to find him an office. When he came into my inner office he saw on the table a prospectus which I received from the printers relating to a Spanish Development Company, a railway. He asked me what I was doing in the matter; we talked about it; he had nothing to do with the railway or its promotion; he said he had two or three friends, very well known men, and he would like to get them as directors of this company. He wrote a letter with a prospectus, which was posted by one of my clerks; it was sent from my office. He would have had a commission if he had succeeded. He never had an office in Adelphi House. He
was nothing more than an occasional caller at my office; he had no right to sit upon a stool there.
Cross-examined. I have not the letter which was drafted by prisoner and sent to Dr. Cusack. I endorsed a letter. He told me he was applying for a divorce from his wife, and had entrusted all his affairs with Dr. Cusack, and had arranged with Dr. Cusack that all shares he was entitled to would be assigned to him. He asked me to write the letter to Dr. Cusack, which I refused to do; I said it was no business of mine, but if he liked to write a letter assigning those shares to Dr. Cusack I would write on the back that I was willing to comply with his request. Prisoner would have received remuneration in the form of commission for introducing directors, so that there was substantial business between us.
Re-examined. He had no office in Adelphi House; he had no right to use my address as an address to other people; he is indebted to me.
Dr. JAMES CUSACK , tutor, 5, Broad Street. I have a private residence at Richmond. I have known prisoner since about the beginning of this year. He was to place his boy with me for special tuition. He did so place his son. I had no other business relations with him previous to that. His son was with me about three months. Prisoner was promoting a company for the sale of a special edition of Shakespeare. I allowed him to nominate me as a director provided it held meetings on Saturdays. He was to pay me some money he owed and to place in my hands any money he might make for the education of his boy. He wished to do that if I would assent. No money has been paid to me.
Cross-examined. It is true that he said that in the event of the business in which he and I were engaged going through he would put a sum of money into my hands for the education of his son; I believed that then, and I believe it now. I had a letter from prisoner stating that any shares he got out of this Spanish railway would be assigned to me for the education of his son. It was endorsed by Barnard.
(Thursday, November 12.)
Detective-constable JOHN HANCOCK . On October 23 I saw prisoner in Adam Street, Strand. I told him I held a warrant for his arrest. I read the warrant and he said, "That is right." I told him there were further charges against him and he asked me the names. I told him Mrs. Gunn and Mrs. Stafford and he said, "Do you think they will look it over if I pay them?"
Cross-examined. It is probable that when prisoner said, "All right," he meant that he had got credit, but did not admit he had got it by false pretences.
sent his son to me to get money in order, as he said, to pay his landlady. There were two or three occasions when I lent him some money and on one occasion I did not.
WILLIAM BARNARD , recalled by the defence. Prisoner helped me to draft the prospectus in respect of the Spanish Railway shaves. He was not very much identified with the concern, but merely helped to draft the prospectus.
To the Court. Prisoner said he knew three or four gentlemen who would join the board. I agreed to pay him commission upon what business he got. I have let prisoner have small sums at odd times. He told me he was expecting a cheque from Liverpool for £25 and he wanted a little money to pay his landladies.
JOHN SEALE (prisoner, on oath). I admit owing the money for the lodgings, but do not admit any false pretences. I told Mrs. Gunn where I had stayed before and gave her references, including Mr. Cusack, who wrote to her. Mrs. Gunn gave me board and lodging in consequence of what I told her of Mr. Cusack and we have a letter from him saying my representations are true. I also gave Mrs. Gunn an I O U, which she accepted on the advice of a solicitor living in the house. My work is buying and selling stocks and shares, financial work, snd company work. I drafted the whole of the prospectus in connection with the Spanish Railway scheme; I did not do it in conjunction with Barnard, but all of it myself. Barnard said if I got any shares placed he would give me a commission on them. All during the time I was in the lodgings I was trying to get money to pay my debts with. If I could have got bail I could have done some literary work and so earned the money to pay with. My landladies always used to ask me when I returned home whether I had had any luck and I always told them I had not got the money I expected, but when it came I would pay them. I have been very ill and have been losing money the last eighteen months or two years; I have had to sell six or seven thousand shares at a loss. My son is still with Mrs. Mooney. She is boarding and lodging him and giving me credit for it. My son has been well educated and I hope to continue his education upon the lines which I commenced it. Barnard was to pay me 5 per cent. commission for obtaining people to take shares in the Spanish Railway scheme; and I was waiting until I got that commission to pay my debts with. I had formerly stayed at Charing Cross Hotel, but had not enough money to continue this. I had a bag and some other luggage there, but subsequently took the bag away and sold it. (To the Court.) I stayed at Charing Cross Hotel last November, when I came back from Paris. I asked the committing magistrate for bail so that I could get money to liquidate my debts.
Cross-examined. I could have got money from a Mr. Lampert, of Finsbury Pavement House, had I been able to be at liberty. I did
not leave my lodgings without giving notice. In Mrs. Stafford's case I went back at about nine o'clock at night, but they would not let me in. I did not go back to Mrs. Mooney after I had left my boy with her. The evidence given against me has been spiteful. I will not use a too strong term; but it has not been the exact truth. I never mentioned to any of the landladies that my luggage was coming along. If I was asked about my luggage, I said I had none. It is untrue that I promised to pay any of the landladies in advance. I did have some baggage about four or five weeks ago, but I had to sell it to get money. I left Mrs. Stafford on September 26 and went to Mrs. Mooney's on the 27th. On the night of the 26th I slept at a small cheap hotel. I had a few shillings at that time. I will swear that I did not tell Mrs. Mooney that my luggage was coming from a hotel. I have been in England about 17 years. I have been doing financial work principally, but I have done other work, the nature of which I cannot disclose. I never was a clerk to Mr. Knight, a solicitor. I have got a banking account now, but there it no money in it. I made out a cheque in Mrs. Mooney's presence, but believed that Mr. Lampert would meet it. I had Mr. Barnard's permission to use his office and I was astonished to hear him say that I had not.
Re-examined. Mr. Barnard has given me altogether under £2, and that was for expenses in connection with the promotion of the Spanish railway scheme. It was only within the last two or three months that I have not had an appreciable income, but before that I often had £2 and £3 a week. I earned that. A Mr. Urquhart was the last man who gave me money in hard cash. He lives in Surrey somewhere. He paid me about £10 altogether. That was three or four months ago. That was in connection with the financing of a golf club.
Verdict, Not guilty.
BEFORE THE RECORDER.
(Thursday, November 12.)
Mr. W.S.M. Knight prosecuted.
GEORGE AUGUSTUS PAUL , 119, Woodgrange Road, Forest Gate, pawnbroker and jeweller. I was on or about my premises at three o'clock on the afternoon of October 11 last; the windows were secured by shutters and the doors by padlocks. I do not reside on the premises. The next time I went to the premises was about nine in the evening. I had received information that any premises had been broken into. I went with Inspector Fox. The window was open, the door forced, and the jewellery stolen. The premises had
been broken into through the roof; prisoner had taken off the slates. The value of the property stolen was £200. I first saw prisoner at 8.15, when he was unloading his pockets of the jewellery that is now before the Court. After I had been to my premises and had gone to the station I was shown more jewellery, which I identified. Next day at the station I identified some more. Five months ago my premises were broken into.
SAMUEL ARTHUR HOMER , 105, Woodgrange Road. On the day in question, at a quarter to eight, I was in my back garden. I heard a noise and looked up and saw prisoner and another on the roof adjoining Mr. Paul's. I waited till they got on the roof and I called out, "What are you doing there?" They made no answer. I ran through the shop and saw prisoner and another coming out of a passage two doors away. Next time I saw prisoner was when the policeman brought him to me. I recognised him at once. When they came out of the passage I shouted "Stop thief!" I lost sight of prisoner in Chestnut Avenue; two other young fellows took the chase up.
JOHN WILLIAM BOWERS , 86, Wellington Road, Forest Gate, clerk. I was in Woodgrange Road about eight o'clock on Sunday evening, October 11, with a Mr. Hay. I heard someone shout, "Stop thief!" and saw prisoner and another fellow run. I ran after them. In Chestnut Avenue the fellow with prisoner ran over a fence; I kept on after prisoner, and caught hold of him. He said, "If you do not want me to die, get me some water"; he appeared to be exhausted. I handed prisoner over to a constable.
WALTER EDWIN BAKER , 119, Woodgrange Road, assistant to Mr. Paul. I live on the premises. I locked them up soon after 11 a.m. on the 11th; they were safely left. The window was left so that the police could see through. The gas was alight in the shop. I returned at 10 past nine in the evening with a policeman. I found the chisel handed to me and a revolver, which had been taken from the bedroom. When I went upstairs saw a large hole in the roof. There was no indication of anybody having left by the front door.
ARCHIBALD FOSTER , 119, Woodgrange Road, assistant to Mr. Paul. On October 12 I found on a shelf in a room on the first floor an electric flashlight. I live on the premises. I was out on the Sunday. The bottom part of the flashlight is missing. The part shown to me now is the missing piece.
ALFRED HENRY HAY , 118, Odessa Road, Forest Gate, messenger. On October 11, about eight in the evening, I was walking along Woodgrange Road with Bowers. I heard Mr. Homer shout, "Stop thief!" I saw prisoner and another running. They ran in the direction of Chestnut Avenue. Bowers and I gave chase. We caught prisoner and handed him over to the police. The other man jumped over a fence.
custody. I took them to 105, Woodgrange Road. We saw Mr. Homer, who said in prisoner's presence, "That is the man I saw on the roof." Prisoner did not say anything in reply—only asked for a drank of water. He began to empty his pockets. I have a list of what he produced. Among the other articles he produced was this piece of metal from the bottom of an electric flashlight. When charged he made no reply.
Detective-sergeant GUY MERCER, stationed at Forest Gate. On the morning of October 12 I searched the house 119. Woodgrange Road. I found this file buried under the slates that had been removed from the roof; the jemmy was on the adjoining roof, No. 117.
GEORGE CRANSTON , 29, Chestnut Avenue, Forest Gate, joiner. I remember at a quarter to 10 on October 11 passing the front garden of No. 37, Chestnut Avenue. I saw inside that garden a gold watch, gold brooch, gold sleeve links, a silver watch, and two silver alberts. I handed them over to the police.
ELSIE COTTELL , 31, Chestnut Avenue. On October 11, at 20 past nine in the evening, I was coming home and inside the gate I knocked against a silver watch. I took the watch in and came out again and picked up some other jewellery. They seemed to have been thrown over the railing.
CECIL AUSTIN (prisoner, on oath). Me and the man that is not in custody, Arthur Williams, went to Mr. Paul's premises on Sunday evening about seven o'clock along the roofs. The men from the fire brigade station could see us. The man that was with me took the slates off. When the hole was made in the roof he said, "Give me the lamp." I gave him the lamp, but he could not light it, so I said "Give it to me," and I took the lamp away and slid the bottom off the lamp. I then held the light for him; he came back with a lot of jewellery in a small wooden box; he says, "Get hold of these; put them in your pocket." I put them in my pocket, and he went back again into the shop, came out and says, "Come along; let us get away now." We got over Mr. Paul's roof, and as we were coming along he dropped one of those jemmies that is produced here on to the roof. It made a noise, and Mr. Homer, who was in his garden, looked up and says, "What are you doing there?" We both dropped down from the roof and ran away. I got caught. The officer said
there was no previous conviction against prisoner, but he refused to give any account of himself, or any address.
Sentence, 18 months' hard labour.
BEFORE THE RECORDER.
(Wednesday, November 11.)
GUYON, Gardiner Frederick (62, retired Major-General) pleaded guilty , of, on September 26, 1908, indecently assaulting Rosie Violet Minns; on October 1, 1908, indecently assaulting Violet Goldfinch; on October 2, 1908, indecently assaulting Violet Goldfinch; on October 2, 1908, indecently assaulting Edith Goldfinch.
Several witnesses to character were called.
Sentence Nine months in the second division.
BEFORE THE COMMON SERJEANT.
(Wednesday, November 11.)
Mr. G. Culley Christie prosecuted.
JOHN FOX , Goden Hill, Fulham Road, baker. On the night of October 29 I was on the towpath about 150 yards above Hammer-smith Bridge, on the Barnes side; as I was walking along I saw prisoner come from behind a tree, take off her hat and coat, and jump into the water; I jumped in, after her. When I got down there she started struggling with me, and gradually pulled me in the water, she was struggling; trying to get her head under the water, trying to get in, not out. I called to my friend and asked him to lend me a hand; he came down the bank and gave me a hand, and we held her there till a constable came. Prisoner called me a beast, to think that she should be spoiled from doing it now, and said, "Let me go"; she said nothing else till the constable came, she only kept on struggling. We had difficulty in holding her and preventing her getting into the water; she was pulling us in, too; we tried to get her to the bank, and she started kicking out more.
THOMAS RIGLAND , porter, 213, Warwick Road, Kensington. On the evening of October 29 I was on the towpath with my young lady walking about 100 yards in front of Fox, when I heard him call. I looked round and could not see him, but going to the bank I saw this young lady on the top and him down in the water struggling with her. I went to his assistance; she continued struggling in the water, kicking her legs out in the water till further assistance came,
and saying "Let me go, you beast, let me go"; she was trying to get in the water; it was about two to three feet deep; the tide was running out at the time.
Police-constable LEWIS HODGSON (271 V). On the evening of October 29 I was stationed at Hammersmith Bridge. I was called by a young lady to the River Thames about 150 yards above Hammersmith Bridge, where I saw the last two witnesses struggling with prisoner in the water. I assisted them to the steps. I asked prisoner what she had done it for; she said, "Let me alone; let me drown myself; it is all through my husband." I got her up to the top of the bank; she still struggled; I think she said "Let me go," not "Let me drown." I got assistance from the T division, got the ambulance, and conveyed her to the police station. She appeared to be sober. At the station she made no reply to the charge of attempted suicide.
Prisoner's statement before the magistrate. "My sister can say how I have been left destitute by my husband; I am indeed very worried about him and unhappy."
✗erdict, Guilty, the Jury adding that they would like to leave the prisoner to the merciful consideration of his Lordship.
Police-constable HODGSON stated that nothing was known about her by the police, but her sister had stated that she had been getting a respectable living.
On Friday, November 13, prisoner was released on her own recognisances in £10 to come up for judgment if called upon, and was handed to the care of Sister Mary Elizabeth Jones, of the Churh Army, who undertook to report on the case at the January Sessions.
Mr. Sydney Davey prosecuted.
Police-constable JESSE MOORE (737 V). On October 30 I was on duty in Lonsdale Road, Barnes. I saw prisoner about 10 minutes past nine; I had looked at my watch at nine o'clock. He was half way from the houses in Ferry Lane. The road there goes on the fields at the back of the houses in Lonsdale Road. When I first saw him he was about 10 yards from the road, and' only a few yards from me; only a hedge parted us. I kept him under observation for about a quarter of an hour; he was crouching along towards the houses in the Lonsdale Road, sometimes standing upright, and then he would be in a crouching gait. He was about 20 yards from the houses when I came up to him, not quite at the back of but askew with them, working towards them. I asked him what he was doing there; he made no reply. I asked him where he came from, He said he had been lying down by the towing path, and was going across to Barnes Common. If he had followed the road straight across it would have taken him to Barnes Common. I said I should take him into custody as being a suspected person found loitering. I took him to Barnes Police Station, where I searched and found on him this iron chisel, a bunch of 13 keys, loose in his pocket, a match box, matches
and piece of candle, a metal chain, a metal spoon. wo clasp knives, a razor, two boxes of tacks, and two pocket books. Those things were loose in different pockets.
To Prisoner. There is a road across the field into Barnes; I did not tell the magistrate there was not. It is an open field. When you got inside the field, instead of taking the road towards the Common, you branched 300 or 400 yards off towards the backs of the houses. There is an old roadway across the field. You were 200 yards from the main road when I arrested you; it might have been, 300 yards, I did not measure it. I did not tell the magistrate there was no hedge there. You were not above 20 yards from the house when I arrested you. There is a public footpath where you entered the field, but not where you walked. You said you had been lying down by the side of the waterworks. Next day you said you had burnt the coat off your back and your cardigan jacket. I saw something of it. I do not know that you had been working at the water works. You were taken straight into the charge room, and the inspector came in immediately and took the charge.
Re-examined. The road to Barnes leads on to the Lonsdale Road; I should say it was 200 yards from the ends of the houses. I did not notice to be certain the time by the clock when I got to the police station.
Mr. Davey was here proceeding to state that he would read the prisoner's statement before the magistrate when the witness remarked, "I have a witness to prove previous convictions against the prisoner."
The Common Serjeant said to the jury that he should discharge them from giving a verdict because a fact prejudicial to the prisoner had been stated before them by the witness, which prevented him having a fair trial. The case would be re-tried next day before another jury. Jury discharged.
(Thursday, November 12.)
Prisoner was retried before another jury.
Police-constable MOORE repeated his evidence given yesterday.
Sergeant GEORGE KETTLE , 20 V. On October 30, in the evening, I was in charge of the Barnes Police Station. Prisoner was brought to the police station by Constable Jesse Moore. The things found upon prisoner were entered on the charge sheet at the time the charge was taken. He was brought in at 9.20 p.m., having been arrested about 9.10 p.m.
To Prisoner The place where you were arrested is about half a mile distant from the station. The charge was taken almost immediately you were brought in.
waistcoat, and shirt, and was ashamed to be seen walking about in such a coat. That is the reason I was taking that way to Barnes. I was going to Thames Ditton, where there is a new waterworks being made, hoping to get work. When the constable came up and seized me he asked me what I had got in my pocket, and I told him I was going to Barnes. He then pulled the chisel out of my pocket. As regards being near the houses, I was not nigh the houses, which are about 300 yards from the main road. The constable seized me about 20 yards or 30 yards from the main road on a public footpath. I was not going across the fields for any unlawful purpose, and I should like to know how the things found upon me come in as housebreaking implements—the boxes of tacks to mend a man's shoes, and the razor.
Cross-examined. The cold chisel I use in my work as a builder's labourer in making holes in brick walls for the passage of any pipe. The door-keys I found at different times in old doors when I have been working on jobs. I had no use for them and no special object in keeping them.
Prisoner confessed to a previous conviction, and three other convictions were proved.
Sentence, Three years' penal servitude.
1908 CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT
TRUSCOTT, MAYOR. FIRST SESSION (Continued).
BEFORE THE RECORDER.
(Thursday, November 26.)
LONDON AND MIDDLESEX CASES.
PEACOCK, John Kilpack (43, tailor), SMITH, Albert, POOLE, Charles Samuel, SMITH, Joseph Robert, BELLSHAM, Job (49, dealer), FINDEN, Alfred Edwin (62, clerk), and CORDERY, Elizabeth Jane, were indicted for unlawfully conspiring together by means of false pretences, to defraud a certain body corporate, the Board, of Managers of the Poplar and Stepney Sick Asylum District, of divers valuable securities and moneys; conspiring together to contravene the Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act, 1889; other counts charged each defendant and some of them together, with committing offences under that Act, by corruptly receiving and agreeing to receive from one James Calcutt divers moneys for certain purposes, contrary to the provisions of that Act; other counts charged Peacock and Albert Smith with corruptly conspiring to solicit from William Greaves money as inducement for Greaves doing certain things in contravention of the Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act; other counts charged them with soliciting and inciting him to commit those offences; there were similar charges in respect of one William Palmer; against all the defendants except Elizabeth Jane Cordery there were similar charges in respect of James Morris Heber Gladwell; against all the defendants there were similar charges in respect of George Charles Wallis ; Albert Smith was further charged with unlawfully obtaining by means of false pretences from the Board of Managers of the Poplar and Stepney Sick Asylum District, and from Walter R. Foskett, a certain valuable security, to wit, a cheque for the payment of £41 2s. 3d. with intent to defraud.
Bellsham pleaded guilty to receiving money from Calcutt and from Wallis. This plea was accepted by the prosecution, and Bellsham was not tried in respect of the other counts of the indictment.
The Solicitor-General (Sir S. T. Evans, K.C., M.P.), Mr. Bodkin, Mr. S.A.T. Rowlatt, and Mr. Travers Humphreys prosecuted; Mr. George Elliott and Mr. Sydney Lamb defended Albert Smith; Mr. Curtis Bennett and Mr. Eustace Fulton defended Poole; Mr. E.A. Abinger and Mr. Joyce Thomas defended J.R. Smith; Mr. J.D.A. Johnson and Mr. E. Metzler defended Finden; Mr. Forrest Fulton and Mr. Melville defended Cordery.
FREDERICK J. MORRISON , assistant clerk, Poplar and Stepney Sick Asylum District Board of Managers. I entered the service of the Board in 1901; Mr. Robert Foskett was then clerk; on his death in 1903 he was succeeded by Mr. Walter Foskett, the present clerk; the latter in the early autumn of this year became very ill, and he has been away from his duties ever since. The Board consists of 12 members, eight representing Poplar, four representing Stepney, the members being selected by the two Boards of Guardians from among their own number. Under the Board are the Bromley Asylum and the Blackwall Branch Asylum. There were three Committees—the Visiting Committee, the Finance Committee, and the Blackwall Branch Committee. By a Poplar Poor Law Order of May, 1886, it is provided that all work or repairs reasonably expected to exceed £50 shall be put up to tender. I produce minute books of the Committees and of the Board. The total expenditure of the Board was, for the year 1902, £54, 000; for 1903, £53, 000; for 1904, £58, 000; for 1905, £62, 000; for 1906, £59, 000; for 1907, £54, 000; for 1908, £52, 000. At the Blackwall Branch Asylum there was spent in 1902, £384; in 1903, £233; in 1904, £1, 294; in 1905, £1, 312; in 1906, £413; in 1907, £104; in 1908, £80.
Witness was taken at length through the minute books and other records; the material facts deposed to by him, with tlhe points brought out in cross-examination, sufficiently appear in the cross-examination of Calcutt.
(Friday, November 27.)
JAMES CALCUTT . I live at 34, Grove Road, Southend, and am a builder by trade. Before I became a builder I was a plumber. I worked for a Mr. Crowe. He retired from business about 1898 or 1899, I think. At the time he retired he was doing work for the Mile End Board of Guardians. By arrangement with the board I took over the work then in hand, and from 1899 or thereabouts I continued to do a good deal of work for the Mile End Board of Guardians until about June, 1906. That work was on my own account—ordinary jobbing building. I was charged in April this year with obtaining cheqnes by false pretences from the Mile End Board of Guardians. After some hearings before the magistrate I pleaded guilty. I was sentenced to six months' imprisonment and released on August 31 this year. I am a married man with children. My business house and residence was No. 2, Grafton Street. Mile End. I had a yard there and another in Bancroft Road, Mile End. In May, last year, I began to live at Southend. I kept the premises in Grafton Street up to Christmas. I am living in Grove Road, Southend, now. I have a brother-in-law named Percy Smith. He lived first of all at 49, Teviot Street, Poplar; then he moved to No. 57 Teviot Street. For some time I had been very well acquainted with a man named George
Charles Wallis. He is no relative or connection by marriage of mine. He was a dealer in ironware and cycles. At Grafton Street I employed a clerk named Heward. At first he used to do my work at night time. When I first began to trade on my own account a friend of mine of the name of Clancy used to come to do some of the bills that were sent out. My wife helped a little. I am a very bad scholar indeed, but I can write to suit myself. I cannot keep books. At Grafton Street books were kept. I had private customers as well as these public bodies. I had separate books for my private customers and separate books for the Guardians. In regard to the Mile End Guardians, an inquiry was held by Mr. Willis, an inspector of the Local Government Board, which began in the spring of 1907. I knew some time before hand that that inquiry was coming along. I burnt the books and the separate books—all the books belonging to the parish work, the public body work. Heward took part in the destruction of them. Since I have been in prison the police have taken a large number of papers, amongst which were some I thought I had destroyed. I had a banking account a little while after I began at the Bow branch of the South Western Bank. When I first began on my own account the work was done by me and a labourer, and as I got on I employed more labour. I was in the habit of drawing cheques and cashing them. On a Saturday the money I had drawn out was paid for wages, and the rest of the week some was drawn, out for the Guardians. I used to draw a cheque every Saturday and take the money home; my wife kept the money in the safe. Sometimes I would take the money to certain places before I got home. I have had as much as £200 in gold in the safe. Sometimes I got accounts also paid in cash. If they paid in cash I seldom booked it. I knew Mr. Peacock, the father of the defendant Peacock, very well indeed. He was on the Mile End Guardians and the Stepney Borough Council. He was a tailor in Commercial Road and had a branch which John Peacock, his son, used to manage at that time in the Bait India Dock Road. He died some time back. I got to know the son just before old Mr. Peacock died. I employed old Mr. Peacock as my tailor. I had a conversation with the defendant Peacock about his father's death. He said: "Now my father is dead, Jimmy, I must take you in hand." I said, "Very well," and then he asked me to tender for the work of the Sick Asylum. I said, "It will be no use my tendering for that work, Jack, as I do not know nobody on the Sick Asylum." He said, "I will take you and show you George Warn"—that is a fish contractor. He said, "Do you know George Warn?" I said, "Well, I have met him once or twice driving, but I do not know him personally." So he said, "Very well, we will drive down and I will introduce you to George Warn myself." At that time Peacock was one of the managers of the Sick Asylum. At that time the only manager of the Sick Asylum I knew was Mr. Peacock. We met another day and I was introduced to Warn; he is a fish contractor to the Asylum today as far as I know. When Peacock introduced me to Warn he said, "This is a friend of my father's. You know some of the managers, George. I want you to do the best for my friend." I had some conversation with Warn, he arranged to go
round in my trap with me to introduce me to some of the managers. At that time I had not made any application to the Board of Managers. I saw Warn on other occasions after the first introduction. Once I went with him to Jim O'Connor's house and that is as far as we got. We called at too many other places, so we could not get any further than that. Jim O'Connor was not in. He lived in Rowsel Road. I saw Warn again before I sent in any application to the Board of Managers. Me and Peacock went down again and saw George Warn's brother-in-law, who suggested writing to Mr. Walter Foskett, as I was no scholar; then me and George Warn adjourned into the breakfast-parlour or shop-parlour and George Warn told his brother in-law to write the letter to Mr. Foskett. The letter handed to me was the letter that was written. It is all in George Warn's writing, as well as the signature. It was written at my request, at Mr. Peacock's request. and George Warn's too, on my behalf. The day previous I was introduced to Albert Smith. The heading No. 49, Teviot Street, Poplar, is my brother-in-law's address. That was put on at Peacock's suggestion. He said the usual thing was for the managers of the Poplar Sick Asylum to employ a local labourer, and he asked me if I could not get a shed or something in Poplar so as I could use the address, and he could tell his friends I was a local man. I said, "Where am I going to get a shed?" He said, "Well, have not you got anybody that is living in Poplar?" I said, "Yes, I have got a brother-in-law"—that was Mr. Smith—"but I must ask his permission before I could use his address." I got his permission. He occupied 49, Teviot Street then. He filled up a kind of rent book some time after I had got the place and there was a lot of discussion with him and Father Higley about the work prices and one or two other things. Peacock afterwards suggested that I should have a plate put up. I said, "I don't know; Jack, my brother-in-law, won't stand a plate on the door: it will want a lot of cleaning: I don't know whether my sister-in-law will keep cleaning that brass plate." He said, "Well, have a marble slab, Jim." I said, "I don't know"—we never did have any name put up. I do not know how long the rent book lasted. I never paid any rent. It was arranged by Peacock that I was to take some plant down to 49, Teviot Street. I took a few ladders, a few planks, and a few pails. That was in case Father Higley knocked at the door. I had been: doing a lot of work then when Father Higley had been discussing the prices. My real place of business was 2, Grafton Street and 1a, Bancroft Road. After I first applied for work communications from the Board of Managers used to go to 49, Teviot Street, then after a time they went to 2, Grafton Street. The address 49, Teviot Street dropped after a while. That was only called the works then. I have some recollection of the defendants and me all going together one night to 49, Teviot Street. We went in a cab; I forget where we had been. They already knew that address. I have talked with Albert Smith about the address and Charlie Poole. The others knew about it. Finden I spoke to about it. I don't think I spoke to J. R. Smith, but I am sure he knew about it. I may have spoke to the others. I was appointed
jobbing tradesman on March 17, 1903 for six months. I knew Albert Smith before I sent in an application; I think I met him at the Dock House with Peacock, where Peacock introduced me to Albert. He told him I was going to put in for the work and Albert said he would work for me and help me. Peacock said, "He is a friend of my father's and I want you to do him all the good you can." Smith said he would, but he never asked for any money. I have been in Albert Smith's house lots of times, I could not tell you how many. I got to know him very well by being with Peacock. The next one I got to know is Charlie Poole; he had a newspaper shops. I think he had just come out of that. I was introduced to him in the "Dock House." They were all together, Jack Peacock, and Albert sad Charlie. I was introduced as the man who was doing the work. I was doing the work before I was introduced to Charlie. When I was introduced to Poole Peacock told him I was a friend of his and he said he would do the best he could for me. After a time Poole took the license or became the manager of a public-house; he had a bacon shop at East Ham. I have been there with Peacock in my trap and bought a lot of things, about a sovereign's worth, it may have been more. It was to give Charlie a turn. The first public-house Charlie had, I think, is called the "Millwall Dock Tavern"; he was managing the house for the owner, Mr. Wetton. I have been there with Jack and Albert and Mr. Finden. A lot of other contractors have been down there. J. R. Smith has never been down there with me. We used to have refreshments there. I have been there once a week, two or three times, or it might be four times. I got to know Poole well before he went into the "Dock House." I have been in other parts of his house than the bar. I have seen none of the defendants in the private part of the house. I went up to the private bar and Charlie would just give me a nod and I would go upstairs to the billiard-room. When I used to meet some of the defendants there I spent a tidy bit, all according to what time I stopped. I daresay I have spent some half a sovereign upwards to about £3; perhaps £210s. or £3; it was all according to who was there. Sometimes Charlie would have a lot of his customers there, and Charlie would say, "Make a fuss with the boys, Jim"—of course I would. I used to meet a lot of contractors there as well. I have treated them as well. I think the next one I got to know after Poole was. Finden; he was secretary, I think, of the Isle of Dogs Liberal, Radical, and Progressive Club. He had an office at the club and had a small house round the corner. I was introduced to him by Peacock similar to the same way as he introduced me to all of them. Peacock was not a member of the club, nor was I, but Finden being secretary could take us in and treat us, but we could not pay—not then. I gave Finden the money in the office so that he could pay. That was not when I first knew him, not till I got to know him well. Peacock suggested that I should be made a member of the club. I said, "I cannot be a member of a Liberal club, I am a Conservative; I belong to a club in Mile End." He said, "It does not matter, you have got to be a Liberal down there." I became a member and I had a book or a
card or something—the rules. I used to go down there very frequently with the exception of Sundays. I spent a lot of money there on the club members at Mr. Finden's suggestion—they drank very heavy indeed. The next one I got to know was Mrs. Cordery. Mr. Peacock took me round to see her at her house at Bromley. Her husband was then alive. I think he was a gas stoker. He was a very poor man indeed. I heard that he died about November last year. I had heard he had been ailing, but I was not frequently in the house. I was not doing the work then. I was introduced in the usual way, Peacock would say, "This is a friend of my father's." She said, "Well, Jack, I think I have been doing something already for him." So, of course, I thanked her very much and told her I would come round and see her again. I called on several occasions after that, weekdays and Sundays. I used to go there on my rounds; I have more often drove there than I have walked. I have driven there with the missis; I have been with Peacock. Mr. Wallis has been there, Mr. Wallis, and, I think, my clerk has been there too. Afterwards I got to know Jim O'Connor. I went round to his shop and saw him. I am not sure whether I went round first by myself or with Peacock. I had some talk with him and he had some talk with me. I spoke to him about the work at Blackwall Asylum. I do not think I went there the second time before he asked me for money, direct. I said, "Very well, I must give you some." The money was to be for his votes and support at the Sick Asylum. There was further conversation as to his vote; he was afraid of Father Higley. Jim O'Connor said he was an Irishman. As far as I know Father Higley was an Irishman. Jim O'Connor used to be rather frightened of Father Higley, and said he did not want to show his hand more than he could help if there was enough support there, because they both went to the same church. He was not the only one that told me that. I remember J. R. Smith telling me that; there may have been somebody else. I gave money to O'Connor from time to time, £5, and £10 at a time; he has never had any more than £10. I may have given him some in silver at times, generally gold. I have given him money at the shop where he lives, and also in the "King Harry" public-house. I have also given him money up in my office at Grafton Street, and Bancroft Road as well. I should think more often than anybody he used to demand it, and he used to say he would kill me if I did not give it to him, too. He is rather a big man—I should not like him to catch me. I think he was going to try to kill my missis one night if she did not give him money. I gave him money a lot of times. He would come when he got boozy, and you could not get rid of him without you paying him the money. He has been at my house a lot of times. I have not seen him lately and I don't want to. I think the next one I got to know was J. R. Smith. The second account that I got was paid at Michaelmas, 1903, that was over £700. I think I got to know J. R. Smith after that account was paid. He was then living at Edmonton and me and Peacock drove over in the trap. Peacock introduced me to him at his house—I could not say the exact words, but it was the usual thing—J.R. Smith promised to vote for
me, of course. I have been to Edmonton several times. I always used to drive. I have taken my missis there with me to J. R. Smith, and I have taken Mr. and Mrs. Wallis and Mr. Gladwell. I think it was Bellsham I got to know last. I was having a chat with Peacock and Peacock said, "You will have to know Bellsham." I said, "Well, how am I going to get to know him, Jack?" He said, "Merely go down and see him; he is a coal merchant; you buy your coals off him and tell him I sent you." I went and stopped with him some time. He asked me in and we had a chat about different things. I told him I was a friend of Peacock's and he had sent me down, and I said I did not know he was a coal merchant until Peacock had told me. He said it was very kind of Peacock, and then we chatted about Mile End. I gave him orders for coals. After I got to know Bellsham he gave me advice. He said, "You have got to get very careful with Jack and Albert, they do talk so in public-houses; you must not let them know anything." I began to do work from Lady Day, 1903; the first bill up to Midsummer was quite a small one, £36 odd. Then there was some heavy work in the quarter ending Michaelmas, when the bill was £759 13s. 2d. I sent the bill in to the clerk of the Board. I got that bill back from him. I remember a particular item in the bill, £20 for supervising. That is a charge made by me for supervising the work. In regard to that item I saw Albert and Peacock; they went through the account before Foskett ever saw it. Albert said he thought that would do. The next day it was sent to the clerk. I am not sure whether I took it or sent it by post. Foskett sent for me, and after a conversation with him I took the bill away again. Walter said that he could not pay the £20 in the way it was put down. We had to make a fresh set of bills out and that £20 was put on to the item of materials somewhere—distributed about the bill. We made the total the same as the original bill, leaving out the supervision item. That was Mr. Walter Foskett's idea. I think I told Albert and Peacock what I had done about the item. In connection with the cheque £759 13s. 2d. I remember some conversation with some of the defendants about something else in the supervision item. I told Albert and Jack about the cheque, and also Mr. Foskett, that it was paid. Before the bill was paid Alber and Peacock went through the account with me. I had a conversation with them about the money that came to me by the cheque. Before the bill was paid Albert Smith got £20. He said, "You have a tidy old bill this quarter, old boy—better than last." I said, "Yes," and of course he told me to give him some money, and it was arranged when he was going through the account he was to have £20 out of the bill. I paid him in gold, be would not take a cheque; he never would. I paid him in his own parlour the first £20 he ever had. He thanked me for it and said he would also do the best he could for me. I think when he was going through the account he mentioned the item about stack pipes as rather heavy. I saw Charlie Poole in regard to the money for that bill. He told me I had got a good bill in, and he said he wanted some money or could do with some money. The first night he asked me for it I did not have it with me. Afterwards I met him in the "Dock House," and me and him went into
the lavatory and there I gave him £20 in gold. This was a few days after the first conversation. I met him by appointment there and I met Albert. I asked him if he was satisfied with the £20 and he said, "Yes, that will do me very nicely, I wish I had known you years ago. I also gave money to Mr. Finden out of this account; it may have been some time after—a week or two later. I saw him about that at his house. I had already been introduced to Finden by Peacock, and he knew I was willing to pay money. Finden asked me for money. I have given him £5, £10, or £15 at a time. He had £5 the first time; he has had £10, he has had £30. He has had a lot more than £30 in all. I have given money to Mrs. Cordery at her house—she has had as much as £5 at one time. The first gift was £3. I told her it was for her kindness in voting for me. She thanked me for it. I had not known J. R. Smith I should think more than a couple of weeks before I gave him money. I gave him £5 and £10 at a time. Peacock has had a lot of money from me. Peacock and I used to drive about in our trap to the different places wherever he suggested we should go, and I used to spend money with him in different public-houses and solicit orders for clothing. Peacock would ask for the order for clothes and I think I paid for the liquor always. All the pubs. we used to go to they were generally his different customers. I sometimes called for him, but if he saw the trap he would call to me and get in, and he would not leave—I could not get him out of it once he got into it. I have spent as much as £10 in one week with Jack and others—sometimes it might be £5. I should think I got off very light if it was not more than £5. The first sum Albert Smith had was £20. Subsequently he has had £5, £10, and £15, but the highest amount he ever had at one time was £20. If I happened to meet him in a pub, and asked me for a fiver and I had it he would have it, or £10, and, as a rule, I would go home or send home for it. The first sum Poole had was £20, after that he had the same as Albert. The payments were made mostly after the quarter-day. We would all be drinking together, and that like, and that is how it was done. It went on all the time I was doing work there. I got the money on some occasions to give to the defendants from the bank, sometimes my private customers would pay an account, and sometimes I would ask my wife if I had not got any money in my pocket. Supposing I was going down to Finden's with his £30 I should go to the bank and draw a cheque for £30 and take it direct to Finden. If it was a matter of £10 or £15 and I had not the money in my pocket, I used to ask my wife because it used to be kept in the safe. I have got the safe now, but there is not much gold in it. I used to use the "King Harry" public-house. Jack, Albert, Charlie Poole, and Finden have been there. J. R. Smith, Mrs. Cordery, and A. Smith have never been there. I remember going to get money from my wife when I was at the "King Harry." If Albert and Jack were there Albert might call me on one side and say, "Have you got a fiver or a tenner, Jim?" and I would slip across and go and get it. I have met some of the defendants in other public-houses than the "King Harry" and the "Dock
Tavern." Bellsham, I think, never frequented a public-house, nor Mrs. Cordery. J.R. Smith has been to other public-houses; he has been at the "Bow Bells" with me by appointment made by a letter or by telephone. I had lodgings at Southend before I went permanently to live there. Poole, Finden, Peacock and his wife have visited me down there. Poole would some and have dinner with me and I would take him out for a drive. He was only down there one day. I think Finden was there either a week or a fortnight. He lived right apposite me and used to come in. Peacock and his wife stayed with me at the other place. On one occasion I remember having some talk with Poole at a public-house about a motor ride. I was only having a bit of fun—I was not going to do it. I told Poole and his friends that I had a motor-car—I never had—I was only having a joke. I said I was going to take Charlie Poole and his friends that used to use his saloon bar for a drive; they were not guardians, only customers of his. On the Saturday night Charlie rang me up on the telephone, and in consequence of what he said I tried to get a motor-car. I got up early on Sunday morning, and I think I went to ten or fifteen garages and offered as much as £10 for a motor-car, but could not get it. I then went to Poole's house and found all the friends I was supposed to take out were dressed up in motor jackets they had bought for the job. I had told Charlie that I was going to take him out, and that I could not get a car. Then he said to me, "You said you had one," and I told him that was only a joke. He wanted to know what I was going to do with them; they were all sitting there in the parlour, and he suggested I should take them to Brighton, by the half-day trip, and he said I should have to pay. I paid £5. I gave it to Charlie. I did not go, I went to Southend in the afternoon and thought I got off very lightly with a fiver. After I joined the Liberal Progressive Club Finden spoke to me about doing it up, painting or papering or something. Mr. Finden gave me an order for it. I charged £10 and another 25s. for the billiard room. I sent in the bill receipted, and made it a present to the members of the club through Finden because Finden said it would do him a bit of good he being the secretary of the club, and the club members would think a lot of it. Then the members of the club arranged to get up a collection to present me with a silver cigar case. My wife went with me on the night of the presentation. There was a good deal of conviviality. I called for drinks. I think the first order was 40 pots of bitter. Then I think there were three bottles of whisky and two boxes of 50 cigars; I think they were twopenny ones. I remember Finden borrowing sums of money from me. He came up to my place in Grafton Street and said he had got dismissed from this club. I do not know why he got dismissed. He said he knew where there was a good barber's shop going, and he asked me for a loan of £30, so I said, "Well, that is rather a big amount, you know, Finden." He said, "There's plenty more work to be done at the Blackwall branch, and if you will pay me that £30 as you do our work instead of giving me £5 or £10 as you have usually done, give me that £30 down, in, a lump sum, and as you do the work there will be £5 or £10 to come
off." I did not get the work and lost the £30 as well. He never went into the barber's shop, and I heard afterwards he was in a stewed eel shop. I went to see him at the eel shop, but I never asked him for the £30 because I knew he could not pay it. He said he was going to give me an I.O.U.; then we started talking and he forgot all about it and I had not the cheek to ask him for it. I remember taking the £30 from the bank and paying it to him in gold in his parlour. There was some conversation with O'Connor on one occasion about a big contract. Mr. Warren, one of the guardians of Mile End, was putting in for the tea contract. I told O'Connor that my friend Warren was going to put in for the contract, and he said, "If your friend wants the tea contract you will have to give me £10 to square the tea taster." I gave him the £10. Bellsham has asked about my accounts, but he has never seen them before they have gone in. He knew the price but he has never seen the original estimate. I remember having a conversation with Bellsham about an estimate for some work on the first floor and the ground floor of the Blackwall Asylum. He sent me a postcard to come and see him. I went. He said, "Well, have you worked out that price for the plumber work and repairs?"—it was about some lavatory business, some taps and antisyphon pipes, I think. I said, "Yes, I have." He said, "What do you make it?" and I told him the price. He then said, "It is left entirely in my hands, you can give him a low estimate," I do not know whether he said I was to put £5 or £10 on the estimate; anyhow, whatever amount it was, the matter was entirely in his hands, and that money he was to have. I went back and my clerk altered the estimate to what I told him. Then I took it in my hand to Walter Foskett. I remember Bellsham coming to me with Peacock and Smith. He told me to be very careful of them because they do shout about business so in public-houses. I used to go down to this asylum from time to time by arrangement. The arrangement was that I was to drive to the public-house which adjoins it. Peacock then goes into the saloon bar. I drive my pony and trap into the front entrance of the Blackwall Branch Asylum and I go in. Soon after I am in Peacock would come and say, "Hullo, Jim, how are you going on?" as if he had never seen me, so that the matron should not know we had come together, and so that we should not be booked in both at one time. People are booked in and out. On one occasion when I was there with Peacock something was said about a chimney. I was not doing much work at the time, and the arrangement was for me and Jack to go down and see what we could find for me to do. We walked out to the back. There is a large passage-way at the side of the branch asylum, and the chimney is built alongside. I should think the chimney shaft would be about 28 or 30 ft. from the existing building. Peacock suggested that I should go inside and tell the matron it was dangerous, and if it was not pulled down it would fall down and kill all her patients. There was nothing the matter with it. I said to Jack, "Good God, Jack, they will never stand it; they will never stand it being pulled down." He said, "Go on and tell them what I tell you; it will be all right." I went and drew the matron's attention
to it. Afterwards I got an order to attend to the chimney. I sent in an estimate, I think, for £45 10s. I had more difficulty in getting the chimney down than I had putting it up; in fact, when I sent my men down they thought I was joking. If it had been dangerous notice should have been given under the London Building Act to the District Surveyor. No notice was given. If it had been given it would never have been pulled down. I spoke to Finden about the chimney. He said that would be all right, as far as I know. Albert and Peacock are the principal people I had the conversation with. I may have said something to some of the others. The great bulk of my charges are for work done upon estimate. I have had conversations with some of the defendants about the way those estimates were to be made out and sent in—with Albert and Peacock and also with Finden, because he wanted all the staircases done at one time. I said to him, "If you want them all done at once I cannot keep them under the £50." He said, "No, that would be too much, we will do a bit at a time so as to keep it under £50." Albert and Jack told me every estimate would have to be under £50, otherwise they would have to give them out to open tender. Substantially each of my estimates for work to this building were under £50, otherwise they would have had the trouble to advertise it, and that would have encouraged other builders to tender, and then I should not have been able to give the amount away. My tender of January, 1904, for drainage work at the asylum was about £325. The defendants knew I was going to tender for it. I would say I was going to put in for the job, and asked them to vote for me. They all promised to vote because we were all pals together, but they would not tell me anything. Mr. Clarkson supervised that work. He was very strict indeed. I had some conversation tion with Albert and Jack about Mr. Clarkson's strictness, and I think I told Charlie about it. I told him I would not do any more work under Clarkson. I said if his pal Mr. Thorne had got the job it would have been all right; I could not afford to work under Clarkson. I think I lost over that contract. I had to pay the Borough Council between £20 and £30 out of the job for their portion of it. Albert and Peacock said, "We will get him the sack Jim and have a good surveyor." I said, "I daresay I could find you a good surveyor," which I did. His name was Mr. Gladwell. They asked me if he was all right for some money and I said he was. I think I saw Poole about it, but not about getting Clarkson the sack. I think the matter of getting rid of Clarkson dropped for a time. It cropped up again later on after I had done this job. After the drainage contract I went for another for building some storage premises at the Sick Asylum. I think my tender was £2, 156, and the tender of Messrs. Thorne, which was accepted, was £1, 597. I told them I did not want to tender for it. as I did hot care about doing any more work under Mr. Clarkson. They said I had better tender for it, so I said, "All right," and put a a high price so as not to get the job. I tendered for timber in March, 1905, a six months' appointment, together with jobbing work. I was not a timber merchant and did not want to go in for it, nor the
drain pipes, and I told Albert and Jack so. They asked me to get the tender form for the timber and a separate form for the supply of building material, etc. I said, "I am not a timber contractor—what will the other builders say in Mile End if I am going in for timber contracts? I said, It won't do." Albert said, "Never mind about won't do; you go and get the forms and the job is yours; we are going to have all the work while we are there." I went straight away to Mr. Foskett to get the forms and asked him for a timber form. He looked and laughed at me. I said it could not be helped. I think my clerk filled up the forms. I think I saw Jim O'Connor about the time they were sent in. We talked about it. He said he did not think I was going to do any good by sending in a timber contract. I said, "I have got to do it." I suppose I spoke to all of them about it. Wallis was putting in for the job as well; he was also applying for the supply of tinware. I saw all the Managers I had been paying money to about Wallis before he sent in the application; I told them I wanted them to vote for him, to give him the tinware and ironwork, and I arranged with them that money I paid this time would be for his contract as well, but after the first payment they would have to look to George Wallis themselves. Wallis knew what I was doing; I introduced him to the defendants. He got the contract on March 14, 1905. We met that evening in a certain public-house at a certain time which they were to come into and let us know, I forget the name of it. George Wallis and Whitlock, the milk contractor, had been together there all the evening, afterwards Peacock, Albert, and Charlie Poole came. Peacock told me I had got the contract for the jobbing and the timber contract. He said, "You are the timber contractor after tonight, Jim," and he said, "You would have got the supply of building material, but it was getting a bit too hot, we were afraid of Father Higley. Your little friend Wallis has got the tinware." He said to Whitlock, "You have got the milk contract," and he said, "Your friend Mr. Palmer has got the electric light business." In carrying out the timber contract I found difficulty in satisfying the engineer; he ordered timber in small portions. I told Albert and Jack about it. They said they would see about getting him the sack if he found fault with any more. I also had conversation with Bellsham about the timber. I daresay my contract for timber was the highest of the lot. The prices charged for the building work were all above what they ought to be, because it was to suit the moneys going to the Guardians. I know there was nobody to check the amount of my charges, except there was a tender and specification. Albert used to check that on the Board, and he knew all about what was going on. I have never been asked to reduce an estimate. The removal of Mr. Clarkson cropped up again later, I think the excuse was as regards some plans, I cannot say exactly what the conversation was. First of all Albert and Jack came to see me at Grafton Street. I was in bed with a bad throat. They told me the time had come to get rid of Clarkson and would I arrange with Gladwell to meet them there. I wrote or telephoned to Gladwell. Then I wrote to Bellsham. When Gladwell came there was Albert and Jack and then came Bellsham, who was
awfully upset with me. He said I had sprung it upon him. I said, "Oh, that's all right." He said, "I would not have been in it with, them other two together not for the world." I says, "They won't say anything, they're all right." He says, "You don't know them like I know them; you ought to have come and let me see them separately by myself." Nothing was said in their presence an to what would happen to me if Gladwell were appointed. Gladwell and I went on a Saturday afternoon first to the East India Dock Road and called on Jack Peacock. We went and had a drink at the "Dock House" first; then Jack said, "I'll come with you, Jimmy," and he came with me. We first went to Finden's, and his wife said he was round at the club. We went to the club and then to a public-house a little way from the club round the corner. There were four of us. We had drinks and Gladwell had a chat with Finden. I says, "This is my friend Mr. Finden, he's all right." Then Finden said he was safe for the money. Then Finden, Gladwell, Peacock, and I drove away together. In Peacock's hearing I said to Gladwell, "How are you?" I says, "He's all right, he's as right as rain," or something like that. We then went to Charlie Poole's house, Peacock, Gladwell, and myself. I introduced Gladwell to him as the architect. I says, "He's all right, Charlie," and Charlie took him from the front bar to the corner of the saloon bar and had a chat with him. Eventually after we had had a chat and one or two more drinks, they got into the trap, Peacock, Gladwell, and myself; we left Charlie there in the pub. Afterwards, in the hearing of Peacock, I said, "How have you got on there, Gladwell?" He says, "Oh, he's all right, he's right enough." Then we went to Harry Jungblut. I said to Jack, "It's no good going there, Jack, he won't take nothing." He says, "That does not matter, Jim, we will make him vote." He said when he did not vote they used to push his hand up; Harry Jungblut is a very quiet old man; he does not take any bribe. I had already told Gladwell not to offer him a bribe. I cannot say if that was in the hearing of Peacock; it must have been in his hearing, because he was there. I think the next day me and Gladwell went to Edmonton and I introduced Gladwell to J. R. Smith. We adjourned to the public-house near the railway station and had champagne and cigars. We had a talk with J. R. Smith, who promised Gladwell in my presence to do the best he could for him. We did not call upon any others with Gladwell. I think I spoke to Mrs. Cordery about it, but I am not quite sure. I never called on her with Gladwell. Gladwell never got the job. Mr. Clarkson is there now so far as I know. I think I spoke to one or two of the defendants about the matter when Clarkson was not got rid of, and Gladwell did not get the poet. I know I spoke to Albert and Jack about it. I do not remember what they said. I told Albert and Peacock Gladwell was going to give £100 among them; all I told the others was that he was all right. Of course, Mr. Gladwell was going to distribute it, because I told him who to distribute it to. I do not think it was to be in equal shares. I remember a conversation with Mrs. Cordery about Father Higley; she said that Father Higley was an old scoundrel, and I thought he was then, but not now. Whatever I put in for he always
voted against—of course, he could see through it. I never discussed with Mrs. Cordery why he was an old scoundrel. I did not authorise Charlie Poole to say that Father Higley would get £5 for his school from me. I did not know of it till Charlie told me. Of course, Charlie was very wild that he had said it, because Father Higley made such a lot of it; it was on the placards, "Priest and contractors" all round the neighbourhood. I remember the Mile End inquiry well enough. About that time Poole was going to have a public-house, "The Nelson," at Prittlewell, near Southend. He wrote and asked me, or his wife wrote first, as if it come from him—I don't know what has become of the letter—Charlie was short of £100, and he wanted a loan of £100 to make up his money to go into the new public-house. Poole afterwards came to my house at Southend; he said I should not send telegrams, it was dangerous while the inquiry was going on. Heward had sent him a wire to say I could not send him the money. I did not lend him the £100; he borrowed the money elsewhere, I think. I remember a conversation with Poole on my birthday last December. Me and my missis stopped at Poole's on the last day of the old year. We had a brougham out at Southend and went for a drive to Prittlewell. The missis stopped in the landau while I went in to see Charlie. There were a good many people there. Charlie said, "Well, now, Jimmy; now you have come make a fuss of the boys round the fourale bar." I said, "Well, Charlie, I ain't doing the Poplar Sick Asylum work now, you know." He says, "All right, Jimmy, you make a fuss of them." I went round to the fourale bar and stood a lot of drinks there. I did not want to stay long there myself. Charlie kept saying, "Jimmy, don't go, don't go"; so eventually I gave one of them half a sovereign to spend—and they got locked up for doing it, I think, at the finish. There was other conversation. I says, "Well, Charlie, how do you think things are going on?" He says, "My belief is you will hear nothing more about it; it will be like Poplar, die a natural death." The inquiry was over at that time, but the prosecution had not been commenced; they had not got the report out yet. After I came out of prison we had a conversation at Southend. He said, "I hear you have given all Poplar away, Jimmy." I says, "Do not believe all you hear, Charlie; I have done nothing of the kind." Of course, I had done it, but I did not tell him.
Cross-examined by Mr. Curtis Bennett. I was not a friend of Poole's during the whole time that he was a Manager. I had done work for the Poplar Managers before I knew Poole. After I got to know Poole I was on very friendly terms with him. In what I have been telling you I am relying entirely upon my memory. When I first got to know Poole he had just retired from a paper shop; then he went into a grocer's shop at East Ham. I went down there one night with Peacock in his trap. I bought some goods from Poole's shop and paid for them. As far as I know, I received value for what I paid; of course, I am not a judge of bacon—I do not know now whether I got value or not. I do not know this was another mistake I made at the police court. I do not say there was a mistake. As far
as I know, I got value. After Poole left the grocery shop he went to the "Dock Tavern," Westferry Road. He was manager there. That is quite a separate place from the "Dock House." When I said that on a number of occasions I went down to the "Dock House," that was a public-house and his private house. He had a private house separate. I was referring to the private house where he lived when he came out of the paper shop. At the "Dock Tavern" he had some private rooms as manager upstairs. When I said I was going to Poole's house and meeting people, I meant it was a public-house. A number of private friends as well as Guardians used that house. On the occasions I have been into his private part At that house. On one of the occasions when I went there he was ill; he had a bad leg. There were other friends of his there, I think. I do not suggest anything improper about going to see a manager of a public-house when he is ill, unless I bribe him. When I have given Poole money there was never anybody else present. So far as I Know, you have to rely upon my statement about giving money to Poole. It was always in cash; sometimes from the bank direct, sometimes from the safe, mostly from the safe. I could not tell you any instance when I have paid Poole money which I had got from the bank just before. The first time I gave Poole any money it was £20; that was just after the Large bill. That was in the lavatory of the "Dock House," not his own house. I am quite sure of that. At the police court I may have said the saloon bar, but it was the lavatory adjoining the saloon bar. Peacock and Albert Smith were in the bar, but they would not have heard the conversation. There was some conversation in the saloon bar between Poole and me when Albert Smith and Peacock were present. It is a pretty large bar, 30 ft. by 40 ft. When three or four are in a public-house together you are not listening to one another's conversation. These three people were very much interested in me at that time, I have no doubt. There in no doubt if they really wanted to hear the conversation they could have done it; whether they did or not I do not know. It was done so privately that Peacock and Smith could not have heard it if they had wanted to. You may stand behind a man and listen to his conversation if you make up your mind to listen. We did not shout it out.
(Saturday, November 28.)
JAMES CALCUTT , recalled, further cross-examined by Mr. Curtis Bennett. I told Poole and some of his friends that I had a motor-car. That was not true. They believed it was true. I paid for the trip to Brighton; Poole paid and I paid him two or three days afterwards. Nobody else was present then. I never boasted in public-houses about my money about this time. I never said to Poole that if he ever wanted to borrow money I would lend it him. I very often borrowed money, but my friends wanted security, deeds, left behind. When I refused to lend Poole the £100 he wanted he got it from Mr. Wetterline. About the introduction of Gladwell to Poole, yesterday may be the first time I have said I heard anything
that Poole said to Gladwell. Before the magistrate I said, "Gladwell and Poole had a private conversation in the bar." Gladwell afterwards said something to me in the presence of Peacock. I think it was when I was sitting here yesterday that I first remembered Poole saying, "That is all right, old chap," to Gladwell. There may be a lot of other things I have not said. A lot of things have come to my memory since I have been in prison. Before treating the people at Poole's house at Prittlewell on my last birthday I had a long argument with him about it. As far as I know Poole had nothing to do with the chimney stack unless the others put him up to it. They were all in one boat. I hoped to make a small profit out of the statement that the chimney was out of the perpendicular; whether I did or not I could not tell you.
Cross-examined by Peacock. I knew your father very well indeed for some years. I used to get my clothes there. I went to his funeral. After his death I continued my custom with you. I was satisfied with your goods and prices. You never solicited orders from me. When your father died I told you I had lost a good friend. I have already said you never received one farthing from me while you were a member of the Poplar Board of Guardians. When we went out for a drive I used to pay; you paid very little. I never told you that after the first payment to Wallis you were to look to him for any money. I told him you were all right for a vote. As to the chimney, I may have called at your shop on the way to the Blackwall Asylum. We went to the "Dock House" and had a chat first. You know why we went to the Asylum; I went first and you came in after. A person who had not a practised eye could be under the impression that the chimney was not exactly straight if he looked at it sideways. You said, "Look at the bally chimney, Jim." I said, "Jack, that does not want to come down." You said, "Jim, that has got to come down; we must have some work." I could not say when it was that you and Albert Smith said you would get Mr. Thornton the sack; it was in the "Dock House." It was not long after I got the contract. About Gladwell, when you came to my house the first time I was in bed ill. Gladwell was not present. When Gladwell came I was ill, but I was getting about. I did not go out. I say Bellsham was annoyed when he came to the house and saw Albert Smith and you there. He was annoyed because he thought the conspiracy would be found out, I expect.
Cross-examined by Mr. George Elliott. I think I received altogether, during the three years I was employed, about £3, 000 from the Poplar people. I cannot say how much I spent in gifts during that time. I kept no account. I could not tell you how much I paid to Albert Smith you can reckon it is £100 or more; at £15 a quarter it would be £60 a year; that would be £180 in three years. I think I paid Poole and Albert Smith about level, and the others less; I paid all of them except Peacock. I am not going to say I was paying £10 and £15 a week for drink when I first started the Sick Asylum, because at first I only started on a small scale, but when the bill became massive and allowed me to pay money on these bills to
be able to afford me to expend that money—it was then I spent these amounts. If I was not doing a lot of work, and not earning much money, of course, I was not spending so much. I could not give you a rough idea how much money I spent in that sort of way altogether during the whole period. I simply drew my cheque and spent my money, because it came easy and went easier. I had a small margin of profit, but I cannot say it exactly came from the sick asylum because at that time I was doing the Mile End and the sick asylum and the brewery company and private work. The answers I have given so far go simply to Poplar. I was working both for the Mile End and the Poplar people and paying both parties, and the Mile End Guardians were practically working together with the Poplar Guardians. Sometimes the Mile End Guardians would go down to Poplar and sometimes the Poplar Guardians would come to Mile End—they were all practically in the ring. I could not tell you whether the Poplar Guardians were paid out of moneys received from Poplar sources or out of money which I received from the Mile End Board. I kept separate business books for the Mile End work and the Poplar work. As to wages, I never kept an account. The men used to send their time sheet in; Mr. Heward would reckon it up, the time sheets would be put together, and my missus would say on Saturday "You want so much out of the bank today," then I used to go to the bank and draw perhaps £60 for wages and £20 or £30 on top of that—whatever I thought I wanted it for. More often than not Heward would have made a mistake of 15s. or £1. He was not altogether as he ought to be. He knew what game was being played, and that I could not sack him, and he was practically my guv'nor. I was in his power. My missus put down the final sums which were paid in a penny memorandum book. I submitted the first account for work for the Poplar Guardians to Albert Smith before it was sent in—and Jack took it round. Peacock said, "We had better let Albert go through it, and see what he thinks of it," because Albert being a builder on the Board of the Stepney Sick Asylum, the managers would pass the bill over to Albert for him to say what he thinks about it. I do not know whether I went through it with him. He went through one or two items, and he made a remark about some stack pipes which he thought were a little bit high, but he said, "Never mind, Jack, that will be all right." Then I took it to the guardians. It was altered before it was passed. The item "Supervising £20" was on it, just at the bottom. I know Mr. Clarkson, the architect. There was a scheme in which my friends on the Board were trying to get rid of him, because I said I would not do any more work under him, as he was too strict. Of course, I could not tell Clarkson what I had to pay out of it or else perhaps he would not have been so strict. He was an honest gentleman. I never gave him say turkeys and cigars, or money. I have never done any work for him at his private house. I was going to recommend them to a man who would have pulled the place down and rebuilt it—who would have told them it wanted shifting back half an inch, and the next year that the style of architecture was wrong, and very likely that same chimney would have been pulled
down again. Mr. Gladwell is that gentleman. I cannot tell you how it was that Mr. Clarkson was not sacked, or why no steps were taken; but I remember I made a statement at the police court that it was no good going round to see poor old Harry Jungblut, as he would not take a bribe; so Peacock said, "Never mind, we will go round and see him, and if he did not vote for it—if he did not put up his hand—they will push up his arm and make him vote." He went round to see him; me and Harry Jungblut and Jack Peacock and Mr. Gladwell went to a public-house in North Street, and on the way there Harry turned round and said to me, "Look here, Jim, it is all very fine for Peacock to say you must do this and you must do that. I have got myself to study." So I said, "Certainly." "Well," he said, "it is like this, Clarkson is a very good friend of mine and, as you know, I have got a lot of dud stuff." He meant old dilapidated house. And he said, "I cannot move a motion to get him the sack at a month's notice, and get this man the sack without any fault to find with him." Mr. Clarkson was the district surveyor, and if he found out that Harry Jungblut voted to get him the sack and at the finish Gladwell got the job, Harry Jungblut said there was no doudt he would condemn his property. So it is very likely, wanting him for other contracts which were coming off, they let Harry have his own way that time, and perhaps it was all squashed. I only think that may be the explanation. I do not think I can remember at present whether I heard that no attack had been made upon Mr. Clarkson on the Board. I remember that I had to do work at Blackwall branch in sections with regard to certain parts of the building occupied by the old women and little children. I had an arrangement with Mr. Finden. He was down there and said, "We must have it all done at once or the Committee won't stand it."
Cross-examined by Mr. Abinger. In my opinion, Foskett is as guilty as any of these defendants, and I was very much surprised that he was not charged with them. Notwithstanding my statement to the Treasury, they decided not to inculpate Foskett. I know that Jungblut is quite innocent; I was told he would not take a bribe and I never offered him anything. Question. Is there anyone else you suggest was guilty of taking bribes from contractors?
The Solicitor-General objected.
The Recorder. The witness need not answer any questions as to persons who are not before us. Great damage might be done to persons by their names being introduced and statements made concerning them which they have no opportunity of rebutting. I will myself put this general question: Do you say there are other persons who are included in this matter whom hitherto, in this court at any rate, you have not mentioned?
Witness. There are other persons, but I cannot say that those persons are guilty until they are found out.
Mr. Abinger repudiated the idea that he was suggesting for a moment that Foskett was guilty of any offence.
Cross-examination resumed. I have furnished the Treasury with the names of two or three others besides those in the dock. I served about three months out of the six months' term to which I was sentenced. I have not been prosecuted at all in connection with transactions with the Poplar Guardians.
The Recorder. There is obvious reason for the clemency of the Crown being exercised towards this man to some extent. In the Mile End case he was examined and cross-examined for many days; in the result the jury convicted the defendants, showing that they believed his evidence and that it was corroborated. That would be a very proper reason for the clemency of the Crown being extended to him.
Cross-examination resumed. As far as regards my transactions with these men I have not been punished. I should think we were all as bad as one another. Jack Peacock introduced me to J. R. Smith. I paid Gould, the Mile End Guardian, I think, four sums of money by cheque, but they were not bribes. I could not pledge my memory when I first met J. R. Smith. I have no recollection as to the year. As near as I could say, after I had known him a fortnight I paid him some money. The first payment was in the "Bow Bells"; we were alone then. I do not know that any human being has even seen me give him a halfpenny. The first time I saw Smith was at Edmonton. (Suggested that the first time witness ever set eyes on J. R. Smith was June 6, 1904, 15 months after the first account of £759 was paid by the Guardians.) I am prepared to say what I have said before—that I have bribed J. R. Smith with £5 and £10 at a time, and Jack Peacock was the first man who introduced me to him, but at what date I could not tell you. I made the acquaintance of some of the Guardians before I sent in the first account—Albert Smith, Peacock, and Poole. The next was Finden; then Mrs. Cordery. I got to know Jim O'Connor before I got to know J. R. Smith. It was not long after I knew him that he had the first £5. I tendered five times as far as I know. J. R. Smith voted against me twice; he did not do it intentionally. He always voted for me if I wanted it. Certain tenders I sent in were bogey tenders. I did not want them accepted. I did not want the tender for timber. I got it. If J. R. Smith voted in the minority that I should not get it I wish he had carried some more with him. Perhaps I did not ask him to vote for me. I do not remember asking him to vote against me; I can explain why, and I might explain so as to make it worse for your client, something that has not come out yet. I introduced Gladwell to J. R. Smith. I took him over in my trap. I did not hear J. R. Smith say that he would not support Gladwell and that Clarkson and I were doing his work properly. I heard him say he would do his best for me. I gave Gladwell a typewriter about the time the negotiations were proceeding between us. I cannot say what year. It cost me £20. When I gave evidence before, in the case of the Mile End Guardians, I did not tell the truth, unfortunately. If I had done the inquiry would have lasted two days instead of 28, and we should all have been in prison together. I swore falsely for 28 days, till they all left me in the cart,
then I pleaded guilty. It is not true that, while spending these enormous sums on drink, I drank so much that my memory became obscured and that I cannot remember what took place. I did not drink a lot. I do not think I said that the reason why I took some plant to the premises in Poplar was that somebody suggested Father Higley had got a nasty way of poking his head inside my door. I might have said he might knock at the door; he was making a fuss about it. (Suggested that Father Higley was not a member of the Board till '04, and that witness's reason would not do and that witness was telling the jury what was taking place in 1903.) I may have said that did take place. The address was being used before I got the £759 from the Guardians, not the plant.
Cross-examined by Mr. Johnson. I got myself introduced to the Guardians merely for the purpose of corrupting them. With regard to Finden it was not with the object of mixing in high political circles that I went to the club. Before I knew any of the Managers Peacock told me they always voted for local labour. I should not think before I came on the scene that Finden and the other Guardians carried out their business honestly. I was not asked straight away by Peacock and Finden to join the club. Peacock said, "You will have to be a member of the club down here," and Finden said it would not be a bad idea. I did not say yesterday that Finden asked me to join the club; I said Peacock asked me join it. He told me it would be an advantage to me if I was made a member. I had no regular days for going to the club. I went whenever I thought I would like to go and see Finden. I do not think I let him know beforehand that I was going. He knew I was going; I used to meet him at a public-house. At times I went when he knew I was coming and at other times I went when he did not know I was coming. At the police court I said, "I went to the club from time to time at nights. I only went when Finden knew I was going." Now I am saying that I have been there when Finden did not know I was coming. The first evidence was right and this evidence is right, too. Finden was at my house at Grafton Street more than three times, several times, and some dozens of times at Southend. I began to give him money very soon after I joined the club. I gave him many sums of £5 or £10, not hundreds of pounds altogether. They were always gifts. He asked for them. He would not get anything he asked for. I never suggested the club was a political place at all. Finden first suggested the repairs to the club. I deny that it was Middleton. It may have been six weeks after I joined the club, I could not say for certain. I won't deny that it was fully a year and a half after I joined the club that the repairs were done. It was when I went to Southend for my summer holiday. Finden was not living at my house there; he had some rooms opposite. My family was there with me and his with him. I think Finden adopted a little boy; he had one child. I do not know whether Finden ever went to my place at Teviot Street, but he knew all about it, because I told him. I will not swear I told him about the chimney. I introduced Finden
to Gladwell to get Wallis on the Board. I first went to Finden's house; he was out. I was told he was at the club by a lady. I believe it was his wife. We went to the club; he was there. We then adjourned to a public-house. Finden knew Wallis years previous to that.
Cross-examined by Mr. Forrest Fulton. I daresay it might be 1903 that I first attempted to get jobbing work at this Asylum. At the time I made the application from 49, Teviot Street, I had never seen or spoken to Mrs. Cordery at all. It was some months, or certainly weeks later that I first visited at her house in company with Peacock. I do not remember talking to her about being a local man. I believe I told her about taking the address at Teviot Street. There was no suggestion of corruption at that time, nor the payment of any money. She did not ask for the payment of any money. She said she had already been voting for me. I knew she had been receiving money from other contractors, because Peacock told me so. It was in order to pose as a local man that I took the bogus address in Teviot Street. As far as I know Mrs. Cordery did not know that was a bogus address. I knew her husband; he opened the door to me once. I think he was a gas stoker. I do not know what he may have known about the building trade. Mrs. Cordery voted as the others did. She played a small part and her party led her as they liked on the money that I paid. I entertained very considerably during all this period both at my own house and at public restaurants, and more especially at public-houses. I very; frequently gave social evenings to my friends. Mrs. Cordery never took any part in them and has never been out with me. She has never been to my house. Beyond spying, "Good morning" to her I have never had any conversation with her at the Asylum. I said at the police court, "I called on Mrs. Cordery a few times—perhaps half a dozen or less"; that is approximately accurate. On other occasions subsequently to my first visit to her with Peacock there have been suggestions of corruption or payment of money. I visited her on Sunday mornings, and at other times, too. My wife always went there with me on Sundays. Once I went with Heward. Any conversation or interview I had with Mrs. Cordery was in the absence of my wife. My wife knew I was making false tenders and taking part in a system of defrauding this Asylum Board; she was always telling me to stop it. I said at the police court that Mrs. Cordery knew of this conspiracy. Heward was my confidential clerk; he was too confidential at the finish. He knew of the estimates I was forwarding to the Board. He was well aware of the reason for dividing up the amounts of the estimates, and so forth. He burnt my books before the Mile End Inquiry. His wife told my wife if she did not give the Poplar Guardians away he was going to do it himself. I had nothing to hide from him because he knew all about it.
To Mr. George Elliott. George Thornton was one of the men I employed to pull down the chimney stacks. I will find out his address.
Re-examined. The £20 I was asked to distinguish in my account was on the large account, the £759 15s. 2d.
(Monday, November 30.)
Mrs. ELIZA CALCUTT , wife of James Calcutt, 34, Grove Road, Southend. I knew that my husband was doing work first for the Mile End Guardians and afterwards for the Poplar Managers. I knew defendant Peacock's father, but did not know the son before the father died. My husband introduced me to defendant Peacock, the first of the defendants whose acquaintance I made, and through whom I got to know Albert Smith, Poole, J. R. Smith, Bellsham, Finden, Mrs. Cordery, and O'Connor. Peacock, Poole, and Finden called at my lodgings or my house in Southend. Finden often called on us. Once, on a Sunday, Poole called, before my husband got into trouble. I have seen all the defendants at my house in Grafton Street, except J. R. Smith and Cordery. None of these people visited my house before my husband got work from the Poplar Board. About six or seven times I have driven in a trap with my husband to Mrs. Cordery's, in Devas Street, and about a dozen times to J. R. Smith's, at Edmonton. In the front bedroom in my house or at Grafton Street I used to keep a safe, of which I had the key. In the safe I generally kept gold, which would be drawn out of the bank for Mr. Calcutt to give to the Guardians, or if we had any money paid in gold I put the gold in there. There has been as much as £200 in the safe, but not very often. The largest deposit would be after a quarter-day; after my husband was paid his cheque from the Sick Asylum. The Mile End cheques were paid a little later after quarterday than the managers' cheques. My husband used to go with some of the defendants to the "King Harry." On some of these occasions he has come across to me, and I have given him some gold—£5 or £10; different amounts. He would then return to the "King Harry." In response to postcards purporting to be signed by Bellsham, I have given my husband gold for the purpose of going to Bellsham's; about the same amount each time—£5 or £10. Several such postcards came. I do not know how many. Sometimes, when about to drive out with my husband, he has spoken to me; and in consequence I have given him some gold from the safe. When he called at Mrs. Cordery's I have given him £3, sometimes £5; when he called at J. R. Smith's, £5 or £10. I have been to the Radical Progressive Club in the Isle of Dogs. I was there the night when my husband was presented with a cigar case. Finden was there. I have given my husband gold in consequence of his speaking to me in reference to O'Connor's visits. Once, when my husband was in bed suffering from an affection of the throat, defendants Albert Smith and Peacock called together and saw him. Some little time afterwards, when my husband, having risen, was in the front parlour, Bellsham, Peacock, Albert Smith, and Gladwell paid him a visit. Whilst they were there I went in and out of the room. They were talking about Mr. Clarkson, the architect, leaving, and Mr. Gladwell having the job. Gladewell
was to give them something. Gladwell called again, alone. My husband gave his Yost typewriter to a young man who works for Gladwell. It was my husband's typewriter. Letters in the name of J.R. Smith have come for my husband. On their coming, my husband has gone to the "Bow Bells," and I have given him money, but have never gone with him. The "Bow Bells" is a public-house near the Bow Railway Station and about ten minutes walk from my house. I went out for a drive with my husband on his birthday, December 31. On our way back we called on Poole, who keeps the "Nelson" public-house at Prittlewell. Just before August 29, on which date my husband came out of prison, defendant Peacock called on me at my brother-in-law's house. Peacock was canvassing for coal. I told him they were going to open Poplar; and I told him to open out, speak the truth, and save himself. He said, "You know, Mrs. Calcutt, I have not had any of the money." I said, "No, I know you haven't." He said, "I know the bounders that have." He said he could set the place alight, Charlie Poole for one. He mentioned other names, but I cannot remember them. I told him again to save himself. He said he would. Early in September, after my husband came out of prison, Poole called at our house in Southend, and said he had read in the papers that they were going to open Mile End again and going to open out Poplar; and did Mr. Calcutt know whether it was true. Calcutt said he did not know, and told him to lay low and keep quiet. Poole seemed rather worried, we thought.
Cross-examined by Peacock. My husband and I have known your father for years, and my husband used to do work at your shop before I knew you. You came to see us at Mrs. Dalby's in Southend. You and your wife would stay the night there. My husband and I would visit you and your wife who were friends of ours.
Cross-examined by Mr. George Elliott. Mr. Albert Smith never came to Southend. I met him once at the "Eagle," Snaresbrook, but do not know whether Mr. Hirst was there then. I was with Mrs. Smith all the time. So far as I know, no business was discussed. There was one safe in my house, and one in the office. Only the former was used for keeping the large sums in gold. During the visit of which I spoke, when Mr. Bellsham, Mr. Gladwell, Albert Smith, and Peacock were with my husband in the middle parlour of my house, I was going in and out, and heard only scraps of the conversation. I am sure that Gladwell and A. Smith were present together. Since my husband has been released Albert Smith has not been to see him.
Cross-examined by Mr. Curtis Bennett. At the time Poole came to Mrs. Allen's house in Southend, he did not stop long. I believe that was the only time I have seen him at the house before Mr. Calcutt went to prison. When Poole came after my husband's release, I knew that Poole was the licensee of the "Nelson" at Prittlewell, not very far from Southend. On the occasion when Poole called, my husband, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and I were all sitting round the table having a meal. I think it was breakfast, but it may have been
dinner, at three p.m. Poole did not call by arrangement, and he stayed for a few minutes only.
Cross-examined by Mr. Joyce Thomas. I knew that my husband was charging high prices. He was giving the Guardians money. That was not honest. I think my husband and I went to Grafton Street about eight years ago, and left on May 15, 1907. I did not see J. R. Smith at Grafton Street; only at Edmonton. I cannot say when I first went there, but I know that Mr. and Mrs. Wallis went with me. I never saw my husband give any money to J.R. Smith. I do not know the date on which the typewriter was given to Gladwell.
Cross-examined by Mr. Johnson. Finden was not a frequent visitor at Grafton Street, nor did he go there with any of the other defendants. He and his wife were at Southend for only six days.
Cross-examined by Mr. Forrest Fulton. I have never spoken to Mrs. Cordery. I just nodded once. I have never entered her house, nor has she entered mine. I knew that my husband was not acting honestly in dealing with the Board.
Re-examined. I knew that he was giving money in connection with work he was doing for the Poplar Sick Asylum. I have said to him at different times, "I should stop this; I should not do that."
FREDERICK JOHN MORRISO , recalled. (To the Solicitor General.) This account is for the large sum, £759. To the best of my knowledge, Calcutt has never seen the account since it was sent in. A marginal note in Mr. Foskett's handwriting on the account states: "I believe upon this occasion J.C. charged £20 or £21 for superintendence and profit. I returned account to him telling him that only expenses and profit would have to be included in cost of each job. This he did, I believe." Witness produced an address book, a draft minute book, and other documents.
PERCY FREDERICK SMITH , brass finisher, 39, Hall Road, East Ham My wife is the sister of Mrs. Calcutt. When Calcutt commenced to work for the Poplar Sick Asylum I was living at 49, Teviot Street, Poplar, a house with a back yard. With my permission, and at his request, Calcutt used that house as an address. Letters came there addressed to him. A rent book was kept between us, which recorded rent that was never paid. He was supposed to pay me 4s. a week, just as a bit of a blind. The book was recently destroyed. Some time after Calcutt began to work for the managers I moved from 49 to 57, Teviot Street. Calcutt had sent to me at No. 49 some builder's plant. I knew that he had a regular business address, No. 2, Grafton Street. I had been at different times with all the other defendants except Mrs. Cordery, whom I saw for the first time outside the Thames Police Court. I knew Bellsham by sight. I got to know Peacock and Albert Smith through Calcutt. As a rule, I met Peacock at public-houses. I say the same of Poole. J. R. Smith I have known by sight. I first met him with Calcutt. I have known Finden for 15 years as a great supporter of the Isle of Dogs Progressive Club. Apart from Finden, I have not seen much of the defendants to whom I was
introduced by Calcutt. I was nearly always with him when I met them. I used to meet them in different "publics." Peacock and Poole have been to my house, 57, Teviot Street, only once to my recollection. They came, I think, with Calcutt, about 11 o'clock at night and dragged me out. I have never seen O'Connor. At the public-houses Calcutt used to pay the lion's share, but some of the defendants used to pay something. I have seen J. R. Smith at Edmonton or Tottenham. One Sunday morning I was driving out with Calcutt and I saw Smith on the pavement. I drew Calcutt's attention to Smith. Smith, Calcutt, and I went into a public-house. After a drink, Calcutt and Smith went into the lavatory. Then Calcutt and I drove away, and in the trap Calcutt made a communication to me. I recollect an occasion when an attempt was made to get a motor-car. On the last Sunday in March or the first Sunday in April, 1905, Mr. and Mrs. Calcutt, my wife and I and all the children, were going to Southend to stay for six months. Calcutt's wife had a touch of consumption and the doctor had ordered her there. When I was at Southend I saw defendants Finden and Poole. I know the "King's Arms" public-house in the Bow Road. On one occasion, a contract night, I was in the "King's Arms" with Calcutt, Mr. Wallis, and Frank Whitlock, milk contractor to the Sick Asylum. Peacock came in and gave the results of some of the tenders. He said to Wallis, "You have got the ironmongery," and to Calcutt, "You have got the timber." After Calcutt was released from prison I went to Southend with him and his wife, his wife having stayed at my house all the time I was in prison. He came to us at Eastham on his release, about August 31; and on the Thursday following we all went to Southend, as I have said. When at Southend I saw Poole, who come to the house where I was staying with the Calcutts. This would be on Saturday, September 6. Poole said he had read in the paper that, "they were going into the Poplar contracts, and also into the other contracts at Mile End." Calcutt said he knew nothing about it.
Cross-examined by Peacock. On the night you and Poole came to my house Goodwin may have been there. On the night at the "King's Arms" I am sure there were not any contractors there other than those I mentioned.
Cross-examined by Mr. Curtis Bennett. Before Poole became licensee of "The Nelson" at Prittlewell, Calcutt was a customer there; and when he came out of prison his visit to "The Nelson" occupied only five or ten minutes.
Cross-examined by Mr. Joyce Thomas. I have not the slightest idea when the material was put in my yard by Calcutt. It was soon after he got the contract. I saw J. R. Smith with Wallis on only one occasion at Edmonton, on a Sunday morning. Calcutt and I were driving in a trap, and I said to him, "Here is J.R. Smith." I do not remember who sang out, "Hi, hi," to Smith. I am not sure about his having a friend with him. We went into the saloon bar of a public-house. I am not quite positive as to whether the friend was present. Calcutt and Smith went into the lavatory. I could not see right inside the lavatory, but to the best of my recollection
I could see the door. I know it was a lavatory, because after they had been there a long time I followed them in to look for them, and found them talking.
Cross-examined by Mr. Johnson. I saw Poole and Finden at Southend, but they were not together. I do not recollect having seen Finden with any of the other defendants.
ALFRED HEWARD , clerk, 84, St. Paul's Road, Bow. In the beginning of 1904 I entered Calcutt's employment as his clerk, having for some six months' previously done some clerical work for him in the evening, at his premises, 2, Grafton Street. He is a man of little education. He can hardly write. I was in his employment for nearly four years, during which time he used 49, Teviot Street, as an address for business purposes connected with the Poplar and Stepney Sick Asylum. So far as I know, nothing was done at that address He told me what prices to charge in the accounts. I did not measure the work or do anything of that kind. I knew, and told Calcutt, that the prices were excessive. Prior to my going with him I did not enter in any book particulars of the work, but began to keep books when I went with him in February, 1904. While I was there the work he did for the Poplar and Stepney Sick Asylum would be entered in his books by me. By Calcutt's instructions I destroyed those books in 1907 and some papers were destroyed by Calcutt himself. At this time the Mile End inquiry was about to be held. The books were burnt before the inquiry. Rumours of the inquiry were floating about in the autumn✗ of 1906. I burnt the books two or three weeks after Christmas, 1906. The Poplar, the Mile End, and the general accounts were each kept in separate books. All books relating to Poplar and Mile End were burned. Books relating to work done for private people were kept back. This account for £759 odd was made out by me, before I was regularly employed. I believe that another account was previously made out for the same work and was afterwards altered. The first account contained an amount of about £25 for Calcutt's supervision. This was a separate item, at the end of the bill. Calcutt brought back the account to me and instructed me to distribute among the other items the item of £25 or whatever it was, leaving the total unaltered. This was done, except as to the first page of the account, which, being unaltered, became the first page of the amended account. The other accounts were all made out by me. I remember a tender in October, 1904, for the Asylum. Each of the items in Exhibits 37 and 41 is under £50. In No. 15 account the items, "Cleaning top floor £40 15s.," and "Cleaning the staircase to top floor £20 18s.," were, by Calcutt's instructions, made separate items in one estimate, to keep the amount of each under £50. because of the Local Government Board. Calcutt's instructions were to keep the estimate below £50. Exhibit 61 is an estimate sent in by me for Calcutt, accompanied by a letter dated August 20, 1904. The estimate was originally sent in on the 19th and was brought back to me next day, to have an amount added. I believe I had to distribute £10 amongst the three amounts, thus increasing the total by £10. The amount of Calcutt's tender sent in on October 18,
1904, for building storage premises at the Asylum, Bromley, was, I think, £2, 150. My estimate was only £1, 800. It was not a serious tender, but a complimentary tender. I remember Calcutt's tender for what has been called the timber contract in March, 1905. I had to get my prices from timber merchants; and to these prices I added a profit, and thus arrived at the amount of Calcutt's tender to the Board. Assuming that the timber menchants' prices included their profits, I added a second profit to them. On the same date a tender was sent in for the supply of certain building materials in which Calcutt was not a dealer. I arrived at my prices in a manner exactly similar to that adopted for the last tender. I did not become personally acquainted with any of the defendants. I know Peacock, whom I have seen several times at Calcutt's office in Grafton Street. I have known Peacock to drive up with Albert Smith, and one or other to come in and say they were waiting to see Mr. Calcutt. I did not know Poole till I saw him once at Prittlewell in the early part of this year. J. R. Smith is not known to me personally. I believe he has rung me up on the telephone from Edmonton or somewhere in the neighbourhood. On that occasion I told Calcutt, who came to the telephone. I know Finden, and have seen him at the office. I know O'Connor. I know that Calcutt did at Finden's club work for which I sent him an account for £11 5s. So far as I know there was no payment in respect of that work. I remember sending a telegram gram to Poole for Calcutt. I believe I made out the cheque for £30, which was given to Finden. It had something to do with a barber's shop. In Calcutt's office I have seen and spoken to a man named Gladwell. I purchased for Calcutt a second-hand Yost typewriter. By instruction from Calcutt I handed it to Mr. Gladwell's clerk.
Cross-examined by Peacock. I think I had an intimation from the Treasury about the prosecution of the Poplar Asylum Managers. That would be the first intimation I had. My wife never told me that she had told Mrs. Calcutt that if I did not give the Guardians away she (my wife) would. I do not believe she said that to Mrs. Calcutt. After Calcutt got the timber contract some months elapsed before we got our first order; quite a month at any rate. I priced the quantities for the £2, 150 tender at the Sick Asylum. My tender was £1, 800, which in my idea was a fair tender.
Cross-examined by Mr. Lamb. In 1903 I was asked to get out Calcutt's account with the Poplar and Stepney Sick Asylum managers. I was not then aware what Calcutt was doing with regard to such accounts, but became acquainted with it later when I entered his employment, in 1904. Prior to that I was not entirely in Calcutt's confidence. In 1903 I was not at all in his confidence. He entrusted me with certain work. When by Calcutt's instructions, in 1904, I made the amounts of items less than £50, to defeat the Local Government Board Order, the transaction was not honest. I carried out my instructions. I was not cognisant of the fact that Calcutt was defrauding the Poplar and Stepney Guardians. I made out the account Exhibit 10. It was not an honest account; the charges were excessive.
I was paid a cheque which included payment for this particular account. In January, 1907, about five months before the commencement of the inquiry. I burnt the books connected with the Poplar account, in order that representatives of the Local Government Board might not have the advantage of looking at them. It was not a right thing to do.
Cross-examined by Mr. Joyce Thomas. I did not know Mr. J.R. Smith before I had telephonic communication with him, and had never seen him until the police-court proceedings. The communications were not frequent—only one or two, in 1905 or 1906.
Cross-examined by Mr. Johnson. My recollection is not clear as to everything that occurred. A cheque was not drawn in the name of Finden. I cannot say that the cheque was ever given to him. There was a transaction with the sum of £30. I cannot swear that Finden called more than twice at the office; and I believe that on one of those occasions he called on business.
To Mr. Bodkin. I have gone in a trap with Calcutt to Mrs. Cordery's, in Devas Street. While Calcutt was in the house I walked the pony up and down.
Cross-examined by Mr. Forrest Fulton. I never saw Mrs. Cordery till I attended at the Thames Police Court.
To the Recorder. I do not accept Calcutt's statement that I had an intimate acquaintance with everything that was going on, and that I was practically the master and he the man. He did not entrust me with his outside work at all.
DR. EVELYN KYNASTON , Medical Officer of Poplar and Stepney Sick Asylum. I know Miss Hutchinson, the matron, who is suffering from acute bronchitis and cannot, I think, without serious risk to her health, attend here to give evidence.
WILFRID ROOKE LEY , solicitor in the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, proved Miss Hutchinson's deposition, and produced the Attorney General's fiat for this prosecution. (Deposition read.)
MRS. AMELIA ALLEN , Southend. Mr. and Mrs. Calcutt stayed with me from April to October, 1905, and were visited by defendants Finden and Poole. Defendant Peacock came when the Calcutts were staying with my mother. Finden came almost every day for about a week while he was living opposite my house. Mr. and Mrs. Poole came just once. I have seen Peacock at my mother's house, once while Mr. and Mrs. Calcutt were staying there before I was married.
Cross-examined by Peacock. You never visited my house since I have been married. You visited my mother's twice. You and your wife were in the habit of staying there.
EDWARD CHARLES MIDDLETON , 233, Manchester Road, Isle of Dogs. I am president of the Radical Progressive Club. I know Calcutt; also Finden, who was paid £1 5s. a week as secretary. Calcutt became a member. I remember having a talk with Calcutt about the decoration or redecoration of the club. The idea originated with me. I
did not give Calcutt an order, but next morning some men appeared at the club and began to paint and whitewash. Some work was done in the billiard room. Then I received Exhibit 2, a receipted bill for £11 5s., which was reported to the committee; and some time afterwards, on a concert night, a silver cigar case was presented to Calcutt.
Cross-examined by Mr. Johnson. Finden did not derive any advantage from having the work done for the club. It was done after Calcutt had been a member about fifteen months. Other members, myself included, have done gratuitous work for the club.
To the Recorder. The secretary is elected annually by the members.
THOMAS WILLIAM GREAVES , electrical engineer, Burnham-on-Crouch. A few years ago I used to live and work at my trade in Poplar, and from 1903 to March, 1905, did jobbing work for the Poplar and Stepney Sick Asylum management. Just before getting this work I became acquainted with defendant Peacock, to whose shop I went to order a suit. He asked me whether I did any work for the Guardians. I said "No." He said there was a little, and he would do what he could to get it for me. I received a letter stating that I was appointed for six months. I had not applied for the appointment. I did apply afterwards, when the six months was up, and I was appointed from time to time. When first appointed I knew Albert Smith slightly and had done work for him. Afterwards I got to know all the other defendants. I knew Bellsham better than the others. I knew James O'Connor slightly. I usually met them of an evening in some public-house. The "Dock" public-house was one. Sometimes we went from one public-house to another. I would spend several evenings a week in this way, but not that amount of time with all of them; with Peacock and A. Smith most of the time. In the latter part of 1905 I heard that I was to lose the Sick Asylum work, and spoke to defendant Peacock, who said that Palmer, a friend of Calcutt's had offered £20 for the work I was doing; that he (Peacock) was afraid I should lose the work unless I did as well or better, and that I had better see Albert Smith about it. So far, I had not heard any complaint against my work or my charges. A day or two afterwards I met Peacock and A. Smith together, and Peacock told Smith that I wished to know if I was to get the work again that quarter. Smith said, "Yes, of course he will, if he does what is right." I asked Smith if I had not done what was right. He left me, saying, "Well, good day. If you want it again you must do as others do." I had not told him about the £20. Smith left Peacock and me standing about 200 or 300 yards from Smith's door. I finally told Peacock that I should tell his brother managers about the £20 that he had asked me for. I do not remember his making a definite answer. He joked and laughed it off. At the first opportunity, some two or three weeks later, I told Bellsham and Pool, and I believe I told Finden. They seemed very much shocked. I do not remember what Finden said. Poole said that they were a pair of b——s, and I had better be careful what I was doing with them. I applied when the time came, but was not reappointed. Palmer was appointed. Peacock and Smith did not vote at all. No official reason was given
for not reappointing me. I met Peacock that night in the Constitutional Club at Poplar and openly accused him of not voting because I refused to give him the £20. He said practically nothing in reply. I saw almost all the other defendants at times afterwards I think that this matter cropped up every time I saw them. I had been very friendly with Peacock, and they told me I must thank my own friends for losing the work.
Cross-examined by Peacock. I thought that you and I were friends. I do not know whether, if I had not lost the work, I should have said anything about the £20. I dare say I should. I did not tell people that I would make it hot for you. I was a witness at the Poplar inquiry by the Local Government Board. I did not seriously ask the Inspector for a protection order. You came to the inquiry and denied my statement about the £20, but you refused to go into the box.
Cross-examined by Mr. Lamb. In March, 1905, I lost my contract with the board and Mr. Palmer got the work. I applied again in the following September, but did not get the contract. Albert Smith was not present when I told Peacock that I would tell his brother managers about the £200.
Cross-examined by Mr. Thomas. I do not suggest there was anything improper about J.R. Smith, as far as I am concerned.
Cross-examined by Mr. Johnson. I am not sure whether Finden and I and any of the other defendants have been in a public-house together. I think we have, but it was not usual. Mr. Finden has never suggested any remuneration from me to him.
Cross-examined by Mr. Fulton. Mrs. Cordery I met only a few times, and had merely casual conversations with her.
WILLIAM PALMER , electrical engineer, 138, Burdett Road. I know defendant Peacock and have a slight knowledge of Albert Smith. I have known Calcutt for a few years. I began work for the Stepney Sick Asylum managers in March, 1905. I believe I applied in writing for the job, after seeing Mr. Peacock, when Calcutt introduced me to him in the "King Harry" public-house, Mile End Road. Calcutt asked Peacock whether he could do me any good in tendering, and Peacock said he would do the best he could. Mr. Greaves had the job at that time. I am slightly deaf. Peacock wanted £10. I told him I could not give him £10. but I would give him £8 if I got the tender. This was, I believe, the first time I had spoken to Peacock. Later on I gave him £8. When I was introduced to him he said also that there were several others to share in the £10. He did not mention names. A fortnight or a month later I put in for the work. After that Peacock asked me per telephone to see him at the "Hayfield Tavern," Mile End Road. I went there and saw him. I have a sort of recollection of Albert Smith's being there also. Peacock said I had got the job for the Sick Asylum. He asked for £10 and I said I could only give him £8. I gave him £8 in gold. I did not speak to smith, except, perhaps, to say "Good morning." I then began to do the work as soon as they sent for me. I did it during
three quarters. These are my three accounts with their receipts and cheques.
Cross-examined by Peacock. I was not bribing the Mile End Guardians. I never offered them anything. I know Mr. Calcutt well, but am not a great friend of his. Sometimes I used to visit the "King Harry" with him two or three times a week. I cannot say whether defendant Smith saw me give you the £8. He, or whoever else was there, ought to have seen me give it to you.
Cross-examined by Mr. Sidney Lamb. I had no conversation with defendant Smith about the £8. So far as I can say he knew nothing of what was going on. I swear it was in the "King Harry" that Peacock mentioned to me the matter of the £10. I never thought of mentioning this at the Police Court.
Re-examined. The conversation must have been in the "King Harry."
Detective-sergeant WILLIAM ELSAM , Barking. For some 10 or 12 years I have known the defendant Peacock, a tailor. I remember his formerly having charge of premises belonging, I believe, to his father. On or about September 21, at Barking Police Station, on duty. I happened to see Peacock, and went at his invitation to a public-house, where he said, "What do you think of Calcutta release?" I said, "I am surprised." He said, "Yes, and so was I. Do you know how he managed it?" He said he had seen Calcutt. Peacock then said to me, referring to "the Poplar people," "I admit that I used to make them suits and do business in that way, but I have never had any money. If I get into trouble I shall speak and Calcutt's story will not be in it if I state all I know. Some of the big ones—some of them that have had it—will begin to tremble." He said he had suggested that Greaves should put in for work at Bromley, which Greaves had for four quarters; but his (Peacock's) friends having complained that Greaves was not worth supporting, the next time he put in Peacock spoke to one or two and Greaves did not get it. Peacock said also that at the inquiry he was too artful to give the required answers to questions, but had kept saying, "It may be so"; "I do not remember."
Cross-examined by Peacock. Every word of my account of our conversation is true. You told me at the Thames Police Court that you were not a witness at the inquiry. I did not know before.
CATHERINE WALLIS , wife of George Wallis, 97, Westbury Road, Millwall. I remember my husband, a sheet-metal worker, etc., getting the contract for the Sick Asylum Managers, in March, 1905. On the preceding Sunday my husband and I drove to Edmonton and stopped at J.R. Smith's. Calcutt and Wallis entered the house. They came out, and we all visited Poole's public-house, where we saw Peacock and Albert Smith. J.R. Smith did not accompany us to the public-house. A. Smith called Mr. Wallis outside. They returned in two or three minutes. Next evening Peacock, Albert Smith, and A. McKay called at my home. I told Peacock that Mr. Wallis was not in, though he was in. Two or three times Finden has been at my
shop, out of which he got a child's bicycle, and I gave him a receipted bill in respect of it, though he did not pay for it. At Christmas my husband sent cigars and poultry to Finden, Mrs. Cordery, and Bellsham. This was done at two or three Christmases.
Cross-examined by Mr. Sidney Lamb. I have not had any conversation with my husband about this case. I do not remember saying at the Police Court that he had told me how to get on.
Cross-examined by Mr. Joyce Thomas. While I was waiting outside J.R. Smith's house at Edmonton, nobody went into the house. I do not think that the bicycle was very old.
Cross-examined by Mr. Johnson. I do not think it is usual if you cannot get the bicycle you want to get the use of another meanwhile.
Re-examined. It is not true I arranged with my husband, or with Calcutt, what I have said here. It was after one o'clock on Sunday that we entered the public-house at Edmonton.
GEORGE CHARLES WALLIS , tinsmith and sheet metal worker, 97, Westbury Road, Poplar. I have known Calcutt about ten years and have been in my shop about as long. In March, 1905, I sent in applications to the Board of Managers, one for a six months' job as jobbing tradesman, and the other for twelve months' contract. I sent in a tender as well. Exhibit 53 is my tender for the contract. My appointment expiring I applied and have been reappointed, the contract running out next Lady Day. Exhibit 54 is apparently a summary of the quarterly accounts paid to me since my appointment, showing a total of £836. Calcutt suggested I should put in for this work and introduced me to several of the managers; to J.R. Smith, who was favourable to my getting the tinware order; to Peacock and Albert Smith, when it was mentioned about my putting in for the job; and to Bellsham and Mrs. Cordery. Finden and Peacock I knew. Calcutt told Mrs. Cordery, at her house, that I was putting in for the tin work and she was favourable to me. The night before the contracts came off Bellsham looked at my prices and suggested alterations. I afterwards sent in the prices inked in. I got coal from him and on one occasion paid him £2 10s., not for coal, but as a bribe. My proposal to contract with the board was mentioned several times in Peacock's company; and he was favourable towards my getting it. I applied for the jobbing work and tendered for the contract, and got both. On the evening of the day of my appointment, I went to a public-house in Bow Road. Calcutt, Percy Smith, Whitlock, and Mr. Peacock came in. Peacock told me I had got both the jobs and that Calcutt had got his job—the timber contract. As to Finden, I have presented him with a copper kettle like that produced, with a portable boiler or copper, and with a bicycle; and I have done several little jobs for him. He has never paid me anything for these, nor has he asked for an account. When I gave him the bicycle I told him it was for what he had done for me at the asylum. He said I had better let him have a bill for it, and my wife made out a receipted bill; but no money was paid. I made little Christmas presents to Finden; poultry generally. At Christmas time I have generally sent poultry to Mrs. Cordery. So far as I know
she never bought anything at my shop; but I gave her the warningpan produced. Once when her husband was ill I gave her half a sovereign. At Christmas I sent Bellsham a box of cigars. Nothing to any of the others. On one occasion, I remember my wife coming to the "Dock" public-house while I was there. Peacock and A. Smith were there also. Albert Smith called me outside; and when I came out he said I had had the contract some little time and what was I going to do. I said I could not afford much; I had only just started. He said, "Well, what do you say to £8?" He added that he was going to share it with others. I said I had not £8. I fancy this was just after I had drawn the second quarterly money. Albert Smith was not then on the board. I added, "I shall not forget you if I can do it for you." He said that though he was off the board he would still have a lot of influence there and could see the books when he liked, meaning that he could see how much money I was taking.
Cross-examined by Peacock. You have never asked for or received any money from me.
Cross-examined by Mr. George Elliott. Albert Smith never had anything from me.
Cross-examined by Mr. Joyce Thomas. The same answer as to J.R. Smith, whom, as far as I remember, I have seen only once since these proceedings started.
To the Recorder. Once I ordered clothes from Peacock.
Cross-examined by Mr. Johnson. I was not introduced to Finden, but brought more closely to him, by Calcutt. Before I put in for the contract Finden did not ask for anything in connection with it. I gave him the bicycle very shortly after the contract. When he told me in my shop that he wanted a cycle for his nephew, I said, "I will make you a present of it for your kindness in helping me to get the job at the Sick Asylum," Finden did not say that the bicycle did not quite suit, but could be used till he got a proper one. That sometimes happens in the trade. I believe that Father Higley said in effect that I was the middleman and did not make the goods. I do not think that Finden came to my shop to satisfy himself that I was not the middleman. He came before that, I think, and I showed him a kettle and said I had made it for my wife. I may then have said, "I will give you a similar one." He did not ask for it. The value of the boiler was £1. I said, "I will give you that instead of a Christmas box at Christmas. I cannot afford to give you both things." I understood that the repairs were to be paid for by Finden's landlady.
Cross-examined by Mr. Forrest Fulton. I believe it was the policy of the board to employ local men and I was a local man. I do not suggest that Mrs. Cordery knew I was going to send her chickens or poultry. These were a purely voluntary gift at Christmas time. While I was dealing with the Board her husband was very ill. He died in 1906. The half-sovereign I gave her was partly a charitable gift to enable her to obtain nourishment for him. I gave it on his account. When I gave her the warmingpan, either she or her husband was ill, and that was why I gave it.
Re-examined. I do not suppose I should have given those presents to these defendants had they not been members of the Board of Management.
(Tuesday, December 1.)
JAMES M.H. GLADWELL , architect and surveyor, Essex House, High Street, Stratford. I have known Calcutt about five years; on two occasions he has done small jobs for me to the amount of £60 and about £200. I was aware that Calcutt was doing work for the Poplar and Stepney Asylum managers. About four years ago Calcutt called at my house and told me there would be a vacancy for a surveyor to the managers and asked me if I would stand for it. I assented. I did not know any of the managers; I was introduced to them by Calcutt. Bellsham and Peacock I first met at Calcutt's house. I could not remember the exact conversation, but I understood in the result that they would vote for me. It was arranged that Calcutt and I should go to Edmonton to be introduced to J.R. Smith. Later on I went with Calcutt to Edmonton and saw J.R. Smith; he also seemed favourable to my candidature. At these interviews we all had sundry refreshments; I cannot remember whether Calcutt or I paid. I cannot remember the exact conversation. (From this point his Lordship allowed counsel for the prosecution to treat the witness as hostile.) At the police court I said, "I had some conversation with J.R. Smith in a public-house; I do not remember, but something of the sort was said that the job is yours; we need not worry; we have got enough weight to carry you through." Something of that kind was said. I took it that Smith had been speaking to Calcutt about me before I saw him. At the police court I said, "I take it he had been speaking to Calcutt and had heard of an offer I made." I did not make any offer; that is wrong. Calcutt suggested to me that I should pay certain sums of money as presents to the different managers he was going to introduce me to. I suppose it was to vote for me. I agreed to allow Calcutt to arrange the whole matter. I do not remember the amount I agreed to pay; I think six or seven of them were to have about £10 each. From what happened between me and J.R. Smith, I concluded that he knew of this arrangement. Later on I was introduced to Peacock, Poole, and Finden; I do not remember any others. I subsequently heard that I was not appointed; I think Calcutt telephoned to me to say that Clarkson had been continued. My impression was that Calcutt would have profited if I had secured the appointment; I mean by that that if I gave him £100 he would pay £10 each to six or seven of the managers and retain the balance himself; I do not mean that he would profit if I had obtained the position as surveyor by getting contracts under me. I have no idea of the reasons why the managers wanted to get rid of Clarkson. I do not remember meeting Albert Smith with Peacock or Calcutt; I will not swear that I never spoke to Albert Smith. I do not acknowledge that as between Calcutt and the defendants and myself there was any dishonest
transaction; the managers were doing something for me and I was willing to give them a present for it; I did not look at it as dishonest; now I do not think it was the right thing to do, although I do not admit that it was dishonest.
Cross-examined by Peacock. When I saw you with calcutt it was on a Saturday, which is a very busy time with you; I am not sure whether I went with you to any of the Guardians.
Cross-examined by Mr. George Elliott. I do not remember seeing Albert Smith at Calcutt's house; I can only remember seeing Bellsham and Peacock. The whole arrangement as to money payments was entirely between me and Calcutt; I never suggested to any particular guardian the payment of money; I left it entirely in Calcutt's hands. Calcutt never suggested to me that I should make payments to him in connection with any of his contracts, or that I should make business for him by pulling down buildings or ordering work that was not wanted.
Cross-examined by Mr. Curtis Bennett. My conversation with Poole was at his public-house, the "Dock Tavern." I have heard since that Poole, in fact, voted against my having the appointment.
Cross-examined by Mr. Joyce Thomas. I am not a member of the R.I. B.A., but I have certificates pertaining to architecture. When I went to Edmonton with Calcutt to see J.R. Smith we went down by train; I am certain of that; Calcutt's statement that we drove over is inaccurate. I had no words alone with J.R. Smith; I never offered him any money, nor was there any conversation in my presence about offering him money.
Cross-examined by Mr. Johnson. My interview with Finden was at his house; if Calcutt says it was at the club he is wrong; I had no private conversation with Finden at this interview; his family were present; I had never seen him before and have never seen him since.
Re-examined. My memory is a✗ bad one; I do not know that I can pledge it against that of Calcutt as to details. Some time after this business was over, and I had failed to get the appointment, I got a typewriter from Calcutt; I did not understand it was a gift, though I never paid for it.
To Mr. Joyce Thomas. I think I received the typewriter in June, 1906.
Dr. WILLIAM MURRAY , Clacton-on-Sea. Mr. William Foskett is staying at Clacton; I examined him last night; he is suffering from the effects of an old-standing paralytic shock; his general condition is that of absolute nervous breakdown. In my opinion, it is quite impossible for him to undergo any examination in a court of justice; it would be dangerous for him to come up from Clacton to this court for that purpose.
GEORGE F.W. WOODLAND , Westbury Road, Poplar. I am apprentice to George Wallis, contractor for tin ware at the Stepney Sick Asylum. I know Finden. About three years ago I saw in Wallis's shop the kettle produced; I was sent to Finden's house with it, and also with a basket of poultry; on another occasion at Christmas I also took some poultry and a portable copper; these were presents from Wallis. I remember a small bicycle which we had for sale; after it was sold I saw it in Finden's house. I have been to Finden's shop to do some odd plumbing work. I have frequently seen Finden in Wallis's shop. I have at Christmas time taken poultry to Mrs. Cordery, and some cigars to Bellsham.
Rev. Father FREDERICK HIGLEY , Priest of the Church of Our Lady the Immaculate, Limehouse. I was elected a Stepney Guardian in 1900. In May, 1904, I was nominated one of the Managers of the Asylum District Board, representing the Stepney Parish Union. I had previously been a member, but not a manager. My attention was very early drawn to the transactions between Calcutt and the Board. I thought the estimates he sent in were excessive and more than once called the attention of the Board to them. Noticing that some of his estimates exceeded £50, I drew to the Board's attention the Poor Law Order, providing that contracts amounting to £50 and over required to be tendered for. At a Board meeting on October 4, 1904, Calcutt's bill, which amounted to £427 for the quarter, was under discussion. I called attention to certain items, and moved that the amount be referred to a visiting architect. At other times I have moved that estimates should be asked for from other contractors. (Witness was taken through various accounts of Calcutt's, and pointed out various items which he considered were excessively priced). Shortly after one meeting at which I had criticised Calcutt's accounts Poole came to me and said that Calcutt had heard that I was collecting money to build a new church, and would I accept £5 towards the building fund. I declined it. I did not know of any particular reason why Calcutt should show any philanthropy towards me. I had never seen the man. I said if he had any desire to give me £5 there was a slot box at the church, and he could have all the pleasure of doing it in secret. I thought the setting was rather bad, after I had kicked up a row at one meeting, for him to come and offer me £5, and, not being a pale-faced young curate, I was not to be caught with birdlime. The address that had been given by Calcutt was at Teviot Street. I went to the place and found it was a private house belonging to Calcutt's brother-in-law, and that no business whatever was carried on there. I brought this to the attention of the Board, declaring that the address given was practically a blind to deceive the managers with regard to local labour. That was about the end of 1904. Calcutt's estimates nevertheless continued to be accepted for two or three years after that. When I went on the Board it was in succession to Mr. Marks. At the first meeting of the managers at which I was present, I told them that Marks had said to me that things were a bit wrong there and he was not strong enough to tackle the business and had asked me to take his place. I think all the
defendants were present at that meeting. Albert Smith replied to me that they had knackered Marks and now they would knacker me. I said I should take a great deal of knackering. It was not until a number of new men from Poplar came on the Board in 1905 that we succeeded in getting rid of Calcutt. I want to say publicly that it was with the aid of the new Poplar members that that result was obtained.
Cross-examined by Mr. George Elliott. Albert Smith's statement about knackering was made in a very jocular kind of way, not at all in the spirit of malice. I have a good deal of fellow-feeling for Albert Smith. I think there was little, if any, malice on his part.
Cross-examined by Mr. Curtis Bennett. Poole was on the Board when we got rid of Calcutt. I think Poole, when I first knew him, was an exceedingly decent sort of man, but the latter part of the time I was rather afraid of the company he kept. Personally I knew of no shady trick that Poole ever did.
Cross-examined by Mr. Joyce Thomas. J.R. Smith was a supporter of direct labour on the Board; that, of course, meant doing away with Calcutt. J.R. Smith took an active interest in the work and several times supported me in my criticisms.
Inspector JOHN KANE , Scotland Yard. On September 25 I received the warrants in this case. Peacock I detained at East Ham Police Station. I read the warrant to him. He said, "I cannot understand a warrant being out against me. Calcutt will tell you he never gave me any money. When he came out I went to see him. His wife told me when I went to his house that I should find him at the 'Denmark' public-house. I saw him because he was a friend of mine. I am quite willing to tell all I know." Later the same evening I saw the other dependants and read the warrant to each of them. Albert Smith said, "I understand the meaning of the charge, but I know nothing about it." Peacock said, "I denied the charge when I was arrested, and that is the reason I say nothing now." Bellsham said, "I am innocent." Finden said, "I understand the warrant is for conspiracy; I absolutely deny having ever conspired with any of these gents." Mrs. Cordery said, "I have never conspired with these men to defraud the Guardians." J.R. Smith said, "I wish, also, to say I have never conspired with these men to defraud the Guardians in any way." Poole said, "I am quite innocent of the charge." On October 2 the defendants were further charged under the Corrupt Practices Act, 1889; they made no answer. On September 21, I, in company with Sergeant Sanders, saw Gladwell; I questioned Gladwell, and Sanders took down the statement; this was read over from Sanders's book to Gladwell; he declined to sign it. When taking the statement I had with me that part of Calcutt's statement which referred to Gladwell; it was also handed to him and he read it all. He said it was substantially correct with the exception of a few verbal inaccuracies.
Cross-examined by Mr. Lamb. Albert Smith took the earliest opportunity of denying this charge. So far as I know, he has always borne an excellent character.
Cross-examined by Mr. Joyce Thomas. I went to Gladwell with the object of getting truthful evidence from him. I told him, "I want to know what you know about this matter." He knew that Sanders was writing down his answers; I did not dictate the answers to Sanders or tell him what to put down. I am sure that Gladwell read the whole of Calcutt's statement that I handed to him. I should not describe Gladwell as excited at the time. He declined to sign his statement because he said he might compromise himself in doing so.
Sergeant HERBERT SANDERS , D Division. On September 25 I saw Poole at the Nelson Hotel, Prittlewell. I read the warrant to him. He said, "Never in my life have I defrauded anyone." I said, "I am going to look for a telegram that you received from Calcutt in response to a letter from you asking for a loan of £100." He said, "It is quite true; I did have a telegram from Calcutt refusing to lend me money. He told me at any time I wanted a loan of £150 I could have it." On the way up to London Poole said to me, "Why, old Calcutt is working at Blackwall—he never did work at Bromley at all."
Sergeant WILLIAMS, D Division. On September 25 I went to Mrs. Cordery's house; I told her I had a warrant for her arrest. I said, "I am going to look for a warming pan given you by Wallis." She said, "I will give you anything I have got. It was given to me by Wallis as a present when I was ill." I afterwards saw Finden at the club; I told him I had a warrant against him "for conspiracy with others to defraud the managers of the Stepney and Poplar Sick Asylum." He said he knew nothing of the conspiracy. I told him I was going to look for a receipt of Calcutt's for renovating the club and also for a copper kettle and a bicycle and correspondence relating to the £30. He gave me the receipt and the kettle. He said, "The bicycle, a second-hand one, was given to my grandson to learn to ride; it fell to pieces and was sold for a trifle; I had no correspondence relating to the loan; there was no letter about it."
Detective-sergeant JOHN PERRIER, Scotland Yard. On September 25 I arrested Bellsham. Afterwards I saw Albert Smith and told him I had a warrant. He said, "Good God, who swore that information? I never had any money. I never conspired with anybody. Read that warrant over again." I read it again and asked him if he understood it. He said, "I am damned if I do; you have been hunting this up." On the way to the station he said, "You have got all the Poplar lot with the exception of O'Connor. He works in a firm at Stepney and was off the Board in 1906." Afterwards I went to Albert Smith's house. I produce the letters found there, together with a cigar box. Later on I saw J.R. Smith and read the warrant to him. He said, "How long has this been out? I am sorry. I was just getting on all right, too. As to the warrant, I understand what it is for, but it has come as a big surprise to me." On the way to the station he said, "Is O'Connor within the list—I thought he was in Ireland." I told him I was going to look for a letter to him from Calcutt. He said, "You will find none, as I have received no
letter from Calcutt." I am one of the officers engaged in inquiring into this case; I hold a warrant for the arrest of O'Connor; I have made all possible inquiries for him and have been unable to find him.
Cross-examined by Mr. Lamb. There has been no attempt at concealment on the part of Albert Smith; his son has assisted me in going through the papers.
Cross-examined by Mr. Joyce Thomas. J.R. Smith said to me, "I thought O'Connor was in Ireland for his holidays." We have made inquiry in Ireland, but he is not found. I have not inquired into the career or character of J.R. Smith.
The prisoners' statements before the magistrate were identical, except as to Albert Smith. They all pleaded Not Guilty, and reserved their defence and called no witnesses. Albert Smith added, "I do not admit the truth of any of the evidence."
Mr. Curtis Bennett submitted. on behalf of Poole, that there was no corroboration to go to the jury of Calcutt's story.
The Recorder pointed out that, in law, it was quite competent for the jury to act without any corroboration at all It had for a long time been the custom for judges to advise juries not to act without corroboration, but the case could not be withdrawn from the jury.
(Defence of Peacock.)
JOHN KILPACK PEACOCK (prisoner, not on oath). Let me explain how I first became acquainted with Calcutt. For some years he was a great friend of my father, and had been in the habit of doing work for him. I was at that time managing my father's business, so that I had acquaintance with Calcutt long before he had to do with the Sick Asylum work. On the death of my father in June, 1902, Calcutt approached me, sympathising with me on the death of my father, and saying he was very sorry, because, as a matter of fact he had lost the best friend he had. I said, "Well, Mr. Calcutt, it has happened, but what my father has been I will try to be the same," alluding to giving him work that he was already in the habit of doing for him, and from that time he had been doing work for my mother's property and such like. Calcutt says that I introduced him to all the Guardians. He admits that I received no bribe from him—no money of any kind. That is substantiated by Mrs. Calcutt, but I understand according to the charge, if I received a reward or benefit myself in any way, I am subject to this charge of conspiracy. The only charge I understand the prosecution can bring against me as a matter of fact is that I have been in the habit of driving about with Calcutt to different public-houses, and benefiting myself by orders and such like that I may have received for clothes. Calcutt has failed to tell you of one single customer that I have been in the habit of serving, or succeeded in getting through driving about with him to these different public-houses; if there was a possibility of my influencing any customer, how is it that he is not produced? As I say, Calcutt was a friend of mine, and when he started to do work he was in the habit of calling when down my way as a matter of business, or to pass the time, of day, and such like, and I might have driven round with him to different places.
Calcutt has paid, I admit, at different times, and I also have paid. I can only tell you this, that if I had not gone about so much with Calcutt perhaps, and spent money as I have, I should not be in the position I am today; for I came off the Board on March 24, 1905, and failed in business the following February. Calcutt was a customer of the firm of Peacock and Son as a matter of fact before he came to me and gave me orders. I have never asked for nor solicited a single order from him. I ask you, gentlemen, where is there a man amongst you would not take an order under those circumstances, and is he, then, to have a charge as a matter of fact brought against him for bribery? Another argument of the prosecution is as to the splitting of contracts under £50. As a matter of fact, from the time of my first becoming a member of the Board, over and over again I have tried where it has been a question of over £50 to get the Board to put out the contract. Calcutt states that the first thing that was done after introduction to me was that I took him straight away and introduced him to George Warn and asked him if he knew any of the Guardians he could introduce me to; that I went to his shop; and that he there and then got a letter written out by George Warn's brother and sent to the Sick Asylum applying for work. That I deny. Why have not the prosecution brought forward the man who wrote the letter? The introduction was not at Warn's shop at all; it was at Woodford. It happened to be in the summer time, when the Guardians were in the habit of taking the old people down to the Forest, or the children from the Blackwall Sick Asylum, and while we were there I met Calcutt, who had come down there, and on the way home we met Warn. I deny that I introduced Calcutt to Jim O'Connor. Calcutt certainly asked me if I knew Jim O'Connor. Being the contractor to the Board for fish, I naturally knew him. The only Guardian that ever was introduced by me to Calcutt was Albert Smith, who was a customer of mine; he was in the shop ordering some clothes when Calcutt happened to come in. and in the ordinary way of business I introduced them. As to the house in Teviot Street, Calcutt himself, independently of the work he did for the Mile End Board, was a large builder and contractor. He had a place in Grafton Street—back and front—and another in Mile End Road, near the People's Palace, and he was doing a very large trade all round Mile End, Stepney, and Poplar. The question of the other contract work for the Sick Asylum cropped up in this way. We are in the habit there of electing tradesmen for six months, for work without contract, such as jobbing work. I suggested to Calcutt as a friend that if he wrote in for the work I would try and do what I could for him. I pointed out to him that as a rule there must be local men for this local work, and said, "You have no place of business in the district." "Well," he says, "to tell you the truth, I thought about opening a branch somewhere in the district." I said, "If you do that, perhaps that will be all right, but, in the meantime. do you know of anybody, or any friend of yours where you can for the time being have letters and such like addressed?" and he gave his brother-in-law's address, pending the opening of a branch in the
district. As to my suggesting that he should join the Isle of Dogs Radical Club; it was nothing of the kind. I do not know how he came to be a member of that club. Calcutt is a very accommodating member in that way. He does not mind joining a Conservative Club, as you have heard him say. He joined the Radical Club, and, I believe, in order to accommodate some Mile End Guardians he joined the League of Mercy. When Calcutt swears that I introduced Gladwell to the majority of the members of the Board, it is absolutely false. As to the £100 which Calcutt was going to divide amongst the members of the Board, Gladwell himself told you that he never mentioned the matter of the money to any member of the Board whatever, and that the only question of money that was arranged was arranged between him and Calcutt. There was no resolution ever proposed that Clarkson should have the sack, and, as a matter of fact, he (Clarkson) is there today. Calcutt has told you that he could do practically what he liked with the Guardians; he could get a contract when he liked; he could practically do just what he liked—give them £5, give them £10, give them £15, give them £20. Yet he tells you that £100 was offered to the Guardians to get Clarkson the sack and Gladwell put in. I say that that is another lie, deliberately sworn, with no corroboration even in favour of it. As to Calcutt's statement that he brought a bill in to me one day and asked me to go through it and that I went round to him with Albert Smith with the bill—I know nothing about building—I am not a builder—I am a tailor by trade—Calcutt never brought a bill round to me at all. You have my word against his, and I think mine will stand anywhere against his. On the charge of conspiracy, I take it that it must be proved that the members were working, and working consistently, together. During the whole time that Calcutt worked for the Board, from the time he was first appointed in 1903 down to 1905 there is only a record of four occasions in which I supported him, and I have signed one cheque amongst the lot. I ask, where does the conspiracy come in? Calcutt has himself admitted that for 28 days before the inquiry he deliberately swore that which he absolutely knew was untrue and deliberately lies. He comes here for about two days, and he asks you to believe that every word he says is the truth; and the Prosecution relies upon it. As to Jungbrut, Calcutt tells you that if Jungbrut would not vote as we wanted him we would push his hand up, and if he voted the wrong way we would pull it down, like an automatic machine. How is it the Prosecution has not produced Jungbrut? Again, I say, are they afraid of their witness. They know he will not substantiate the statement of Calcutt. With regard to the charge of corruptly soliciting money from Greaves, the facts are these. Greaves was a small tradesman living opposite myself. He came to me, and ordered a suit of clothes as a neighbour and as a friend. I asked him in the course of conversation how trade was, and he said it was very quiet, and he was not doing much. "Well," I said, "Mr. Greaves, if I can put anything in your way I will do it. I do not know actually who is doing the electrical supplies down at
the Sick Asylum, but I believe we have a man doing the jobbing work. You write in, and if I can do anything for you I will." Greaves did write in, and he got the work. He had that work from 1903 right down to 1905. He was a friend of mine; we were out at different times, going out to different places, and to this, that, and the other. Yet he admits I never asked him for one penny during all those two years, and then he only brings this charge forward when he loses the work, and the first intimation, that I had of it at all—I was never more surprised in my life—was when the Poplar Inquiry was on. Directly I heard his allegation I went before the Inquiry and denied it. It is Greaves's word against mine, and I give you my word. I have been a tradesman in Poplar now for years. I have held pretty well every public office it is possible for a man to hold, and I tell you that from 1903, right away down to 1905, Greaves admits that he was never asked for one penny; and yet as soon as ever he loses the work as a disappointed contractor he goes and levels these charges against me. Finally, Peacock pressed upon the Jury the numerous instances in which Calcutt's story had been proved to be inaccurate, and asked them not. on the uncorroborated evidence of such a man, to send to the doom of felons men whose whole previous lives had been unstained by any criminal charge.
(Defence of Albert Smith.)
ALBERT SMITH (prisoner, on oath). Until recently I lived at 73. Aberfeldie Street, Poplar; I now live in Romford Road; I am out of employment. I originally served my time as a marine engineer with Messrs. Money Wigram, shipowners. I then went to sea and eventually became a builder and decorator. I did work as a decorator for the House Property and Investment Company, and eventually became a collector for that company, my duties being to collect rents and look after repairs. The company gave me practically absolute discretion as to what materials were required for repairs and I gave the necessary orders. I principally ordered goods from Messrs. Pyle and Waring, from Mr. Pyle, of Poplar, and from Gibbs and Co., of Poplar. In 1900 I became a member of the Poplar Board of Guardians, and in 1902 I was nominated one of the managers of this asylum. Until that time I had no knowledge whatever of Calcutt. I was acquainted with Peacock; I have known him all his life and his father before him. Early in 1903 I happened to be in Peacock's shop when Calcutt came in; that was the first time I was brought into contact with him. Peacock just formally introduced us. Nothing was said about Calcutt beng about to tender for contracts. I remember Calcutt securing his first six months' contract for jobbing carpenters' work. I took no part in moving or seconding the acceptance of his tender: I had no interest whatever in obtaining any appointment for him. On the occasion of his first large bill for £740 for one quarter's work, he came to my place by himself and asked me whether I would kindly look over the bill, which was then in pencil, and see whether he had overcharged anything,
as he did not want to overdo anything at all if he could help it; he had heard that I knew the prices of almost everything, and therefore brought the bill to me to see whether it was satisfactory or not; at that time I was the only builder on the Board. I looked through the bill and made comments as to the prices of certain items. With regard to the occasion when the estimates were split up into separate estimates—each under £50 the reason for that was this: The institution we had to manage was a very old place; we had about 60 very little children and 70 aged women. It was impossible for managers with any human ideas at all to think of inconveniencing these poor old people and little babes by shoving them all into one or two rooms. We had many discussions about it and finally concluded that it was better to do part of the work at a time, so as not to inconvenience the people. That was the reason the work was contracted for in sections. With regard to Calcutt's place at Teviot Street, I have never been there; I was always under the impression that Calcutt had a workshop there. Father Higley is correct when he says that I once used to him the expression, "We knackered Marks and now we can knacker you." That remark was made quite goodtemperedly and jocularly. I was, and think I am still, on good terms with Father Higley. I never in my life received one farthing from Calcutt; it is a deliberate and direct falsification—utterly untrue—pure fabrication. As to Gladwell's evidence today, I never saw Gladwell in my life until I saw him in the Thames Police Court. I never heard any suggestion that Clarkson was going to be sacked; I was on the very best terms with him; he was respected by all of us. I never heard of any arrangement that Calcutt was to receive £100 from Gladwell, to be distributed amongst the Guardians who favoured the letter's appointment. With regard to Wallis's statement that outside a public-house I asked him for £8, telling him that I had to get it for division amongst the others, I think Wallis is trying to twist it round on me. I have got four little cottages in the Isle of Dogs. I go down there once or twice a week and coming back usually call at Poole's house, the "Dock Tavern." On one occasion Wallis happened to be in the bar. He followed me out and said to me, "Can you do anything for me so that I can get my next six months' appointment?" I said, "Don't be so silly; you know I am off the Board and have been, off six months. I cannot assist you in any way in getting on, so don't offer me any money or attempt to do so." He turned round and said, "I can give you £6 or £8 if you can do it for me." I told him not to talk such nonsense and I jumped into my trap and drove away. That is the only occasion on which any question of money was mentioned between Wallis and me. With regard to Palmer's evidence, he is quite mistaken in saying that I was present when he paid money to Peacock. I do not remember any occasion on which I saw money pass between Greaves and Peacock. With regard to the firm of Gibbs and Co., it consisted of my son and young Gibbs. In connection with the House Investment Corporation business, I bought various materials for repairs from Gibbs and Co. I took no part in inducing the
Board of Managers to accept any of Gibbs and Co.'s tenders. Such of their tenders as were accepted were always the lowest, and on some of the contracts the firm actually lost money.
Cross-examined. I agree that it would not be right for a contractor who was a member of the Board to obtain contracts in the name of a firm constituted by himself; but I deny that Gibbs and Co.'s business was in any sense my own. I lent my name to Gibbs and Co. to get materials from merchants; I was responsible for the money. I did not tell the Board that my son was practically Gibbs and Co., or that I was interested in the firm in the way of financing the business. Sometimes I paid the wages and sometimes my son; my son had no banking account. The cheque produced for £42 10s. dated March 31, 1903, is drawn by the Guardians in favour of Gibbs and Co. I am one of the persons signing it; it is endorsed by Gibbs; it was cashed over the counter and the cash was handed to me; that was in payment of an account. I had paid for the materials for which that cheque was given and they were only repaying me what I had advanced. With reference to the evidence given by Gibbs before the magistrate, there are two Albert Smiths, me and my son. Gibbs's evidence had reference not to me but to my son Albert; I pledge my oath to that. Unfortunately the counsel representing me did not at the time explain this and I was not allowed to speak there. I say that the whole of the evidence of Calcutt and his wife, and Wallis and Mrs. Wallis, and Greaves and Palmer is entirely untrue. I never had a penny of anybody. I have not always been on good terms with Calcutt. I have several times quarrelled with him. I have not always voted for him I could not suggest any reason why Calcutt or these other witnesses should invent stories of this kind against me. Calcutt never called me Albert, and I never called him Jim or Jimmy. I deny the specific instances that he has sworn to of his giving me money; I never received any money from him at all. It is not the fact that I and the other defendants always voted solidly against Father Higley in favour of Calcutt.
(Wednesday, December 2.)
GEORGE THORNTON , Walker Street, Mile End, master bricklayer, said he was employed by Calcutt in pulling down and rebuilding a chimney at the Sick Asylum. The chimney was certainly out of the upright, in a dangerous condition, and liable to fall in a very short time.
Cross-examined. Calcutt paid me £9 for the job. I did not know that he charged the Board £45 10s. The outside fair price would be, say, £15.
(Defence of Poole.)
vote. During the whole time, I believe, I never once voted for Calcutt as a contractor; on at least one occasion I voted against him. I never at any time received any money from Calcutt. As to the motor trip incident, one day Calcutt said to me, "Charlie, I've got a motor; any time you like to come with a few friends, you can have it at any time." I said, "We will have it on Sunday." I invited two friends, neither in any way connected with the Guardians or with contracts. On the Sunday Calcutt came round, not with a motor. I said to my friends, "You shan't be disappointed; we willl go to Brighton at my expense." We went, and I paid. It is false that I afterwards received £5 from Calcutt. I have never been near Calcutt's place in Teviot Street; it is two and a half miles from my place. Calcutt, who had the reputation of being a wealthy man, had told me that any time he would assist me if I needed it. In November, 1907, I required some capital; the licensee of the "Dock Tavern," where I was manager, was leaving, and I wanted to set up on my own account. My wife wrote to Calcutt asking him to lend me £100. He telegraphed back that he could not manage it. As to Father Higley's evidence—when Calcutt was in my house one morning he said, "I hear Father Higley is very hard up, asking for subscriptions to build a new church. You might ask the old Father if he will have £5, and I will get the job to build his church." Higley said, "Certainly not. You tell Calcutt if he wants to give, £5 let him forward it on to me." The only time when I was in Calcutt's house at Southend was about two months ago—since he has been out of prison. I was passing, saw him at the window, and went in and stayed for five minutes. I said to him, "Well, Mr. Calcutt, you are not looking so bad." He said, "No." I said, "I have read in the papers there is going to be more trouble at Poplar, is that so?" He said, "I know nothing about it." I declare that there is not a word of truth in the story that I ever received money.
Cross-examined. I cannot remember who first introduced me to Calcutt; it was probably Wallis. I will not swear that it was not Peacock. I never saw a great deal of Calcutt. I will not say that I became friendly with him. I was never a supporter of his. I don't think I voted for him at all. Percy Smith was lying when he said that I had ever been to the house in Teviot Street. It is a game of Calcutt's to call people by their Christian names. I always called him "Mr. Calcutt," never "Jim." He called me "Charlie." Everyone down there, where I have lived since I was a lad, calls me "Charlie." I never suggested to Calcutt when he came to my house (the "Dock Tavern") to "make a fuss of the boys." He may have spent 5s. or £5. It made no difference to me, the manager at a weekly salary. I was never in Calcutt's house with Peacock or Albert Smith. Mrs. Calcutt's statement is untrue. They are all liars. (Witness specifically denied the payments deposed to by Calcutt). When Calcutt brought Gladwell to me, Gladwell told me he wanted to get the job that Clarkson had. I replied, "Don't you talk to me like that. You had better clear outside. I knew Mr. Clarkson from a boy and I don't want none of your tricks here." That is the last I heard of Gladwell. I did tell
my solicitor that this was what occurred. It was put to Gladwell during his Police Court evidence.
(Defence of J.R. Smith.)
JOSEPH ROBERT SMITH (prisoner, on oath). I am a road foreman to the Edmonton Urban District Council, earning £3 8s. a week. Previously I was a labour superintendent of the Urban District Council of Bromley, Kent, earning £2 10s. Prior to that, I was employed by the Borough of Finsbury, earning £2, with house rent, etc. (Testimonials read, from the Mayor of Finsbury and the Deputy Mayor of Bromley). I was a Poplar Guardian in 1902. I then became, on the nomination of my fellow Guardians, a member of the Board of Managers of the Sick Asylum, on the understanding that I would serve only three years, as I had ceased to live in the district. I continued as a manager till March, 1905. I was residing at Bromley, Kept, which is 12 miles from where these managers used to meet. In February, 1904, I removed from Bromley to Edmonton. The first time I set eyes on Calcutt was in June. 1904. I had gone to the Asylum to see for myself the condition of the chimney shaft as to which there was then some question. In the passage a man came up to me and said, "I presume you are Mr. J.R. Smith?" I said, "That is so." He said, "I am Mr. Calcutt, the contractor." I said, "Oh." He said, "I hear you are very thick on us chaps." I said, "Not if you do your work properly." It is false that Calcutt was introduced to me by Peacock. Calcutt has been to my house on three occasions. In January, 1905, on a Sunday he called, with his wife. He said, "I have been for a drive with the wife down the Hertford Road and we thought on coming back there would be no harm in giving you a call." I said, "It is strange; it's a very cold day. Bring your wife out of the trap and come and have a whisky." Mrs. Calcutt and he and my wife went into the parlour and had some refreshment. I was never alone with Calcutt on that day. He did not pay me any money, in my parlour or elsewhere. On another Sunday, in February, 1905, Calcutt and his wife called again, under exactly similar circumstances, and again I was never alone with him, and received no money. In November he called with Gladwell. I did not see them. On Sunday, March 14, Calcutt and his wife, with Mr. and Mrs. Wallis called; neither Peacock nor Albert Smith was with them. I was digging in the garden; my wife asked the four in, and called me in. I said, "What are you all doing here?" Calcutt said, "We have just been out for a drive and we again give you another visit." I said, "Your visits are frequent." He began talking about the weather and the drive, so I said to my wife, "Well, miss is. come in here." My wife came into the parlour, and I introduced her to Mr. Calcutt and Mrs. Calcutt, and to Mr. Wallis and Mrs. Wallis, whom I had seen before. I said, "Now, will you partake of drink while you are here?" and they all said "Yes," and they had one. My wife stopped with us. While we
were having the drink Calcutt said to me, "I must tell you what I have done, Mr. Smith. I hope you will not be offended; this is my little pal, Wallis." Then he introduced Mr. and Mrs. Wallis. Then he said, "He is going to put in for the tin contract at the Asylum on Tuesday, and I thought I would bring him down here to see whether he could get your support." I said, "I do not do anything of that business here, Mr. Calcutt, excuse me. You have paid a visit to me, and out of hospitality I have treated you fair. On Tuesday I do my business at the Asylum." He said, "I hope you won't be upset." I said, "No, I do not know Mr. Wallis. I have, nothing against Mr. Wallis." They had their drink, and Mrs. Wallis said, "We had better go home and get our dinner." My wife said, "I have to get my children to Sunday School, and I have to get my dinner ready, too." They walked out, and I have seen no more of them till I saw them in Court. A fortnight after Gladwell had called at my house I was walking in Bow Road when I met Calcutt and Gladwell. Calcutt stopped me and said, "I have been to your house about a fortnight ago with my friend here." I said, "I heard you had been there." He said, "Yes, this is Mr. Gladwell, the architect and surveyor; he is going to have a run for that job at the asylum." I said, "Is he? Why Mr. Clarkson is our man. What is the matter with him?" "Oh," he says, "there is something wrong down there. They are going to try to get rid of him." I said, "Who are going to try to get rid of him?" He said, "Some of the boys." I said, "There is more than one voice on that Board." We were talking of the job, and I do not know whether it was Calcutt or Gladwell said, "Well, Mr. Smith, never mind about the job; will you mind taking a glass with us?" "Oh," I said, "I don't know"; I had just come out of the house. "I have no objection to that, but to talk about sacking Clarkson it another thing." I went in and had one glass of bitter ale in the big bar of the "Bow Bells." Mr. Gladwell gave me his pocket card and said, "Do not oppose me if you can help it if I put in." I said, "That is another consideration. I do not tell you what I am going to do. I am going to the Board now," and I went. Palmer I have never seen at all. Greaves I do not remember meeting. With regard to the visit to me at Edmonton by Calcutt and Percy Smith, I did, after persuasion by Calcutt, go with them into the "Cock Tavern" and have some drink. I was in company with a Mr. Winter. I deny that I went into the lavatory at all. I was never alone with Calcutt; he did not pay me £5 or any sum in the lavatory or elsewhere.
Cross-examined. I deny that I said to Gladwell, "The job is yours; you need not worry; we have got enough weight to carry you through." If I supported Wallis after his interview with me it was because his was the lowest tender. I deny that I met Calcutt at the "King Harry" by appointment made by wire or telephone. I do not know why Percy Smith should have concocted the story he has told. I have no feeling against him. I do not know him, but what he says it untrue. It is true that after the Gladwell and Wallis interviews I did not call the attention of my brother managers to
Calcutt's conduct in trying to influence me; it is unfortunate; I should have done it.
ARTHUR STANLEY WINTER , road foreman to the Edmonton Urban District Council, said that he was in the company of J.R. Smith at the "Cock Tavern" on the Sunday when Calcutt and Percy Smith drove up. J.R. Smith and Calcutt had no private conversation at all; the former never went into the lavatory; witness was in his company until the party separated.
Cross-examined. The incident was in August or September, 1904; six or seven weeks ago J.R. Smith spoke to me about it. He said, "Did you see Calcutt give me any money at the 'Cock Inn'?" and I said "No." There was nothing in the incident to fix the details in my memory. I am certain the account I have given is correct.
ELIZABETH BRAITHWICK , mother of Mrs. J.R. Smith, said that on an occasion in November, 1904, she being at the Smith's house, Calcutt called and asked to see Smith. She replied that he was not in, and Calcutt said he would call again. He called later. Smith was in, but acting on his instructions she told Calcutt he was not at home, and Calcutt left.
EDWARD G.H. PARNELL , a scavenger to the Edmonton Urban District Council, stepbrother of J.R. Smith, who was present on the two occasions last spoken to of Calcutt's calls, confirmed the previous witness.
(Defence of Finden.)
ALFRED EDWIN FINDEN (prisoner, on oath). I live in Cubitt Town; for I have been for 13 years secretary of the Isle of Dogs Radical Club. Formerly I was at an engineers' factory. As a member of the Board of Managers I always advocated the employment of local labour. In November, 1903, nine months after his first appointment as contractor, Calcutt came to me at the club with Peacock and one or two others. He became a member of the club. In April, 1905, certain repairs were required, and, not on my suggestion, but on that of Mr. Middleton, the treasurer, Calcutt did the work, charging nothing for it. Except for the loan of £30 that Calcutt has mentioned, I never received any money from him. With regard to Calcutt's work at the Asylum, I have no knowledge whatever of building work. Other members of the Board, Albert Smith, Beaumont, and Phillips had had considerable experience of building, and I was guided by them. It is true that on many occasions I voted for Calcutt. It was stated that he was a local man. He had given satisfaction in his work before I went on the Board. On one or two occasions I heard it said that his prices were high, but some members who had better knowledge of building than I had did not consider that they were excessive. In supporting Calcutt I had no corrupt motive. The reason for splitting
the contracts was simply to get the work done in sections for the convenience of the patients and staff at the asylum, not for the purpose of evading the Local Government Board limit as to £50 contracts. I have never been to Calcultt's place in Teviot Street; until it was mentioned by Father Higley I had no idea it was a bogus address. It is untrue that Wallis was introduced to me by Calcutt. I knew Wallis years before. Wallis gave me the child's bicycle under these circumstances. He had cycles on sale and on hire. I asked him as a matter of business to supply me with a second-hand bicycle for my grandson, nine years old, to learn on. He said he had not one, but he had a second-hand girl's cycle of very little value that would be good enough for my grandson to learn on, and he would make the boy a present of it if I would accept it. I said I would, and would consider the buying of a new machine when the youngster had learned to ride. In the same way, with regard to the present of a kettle and of poultry at Christmas, I had no notion of anything corrupt, or would not have received the presents. As to Gladwell, I saw him once only. Calcutt brought him to my house, and said, "This is Mr. Gladwell. I have brought him to see you. He wants the job of surveyor to the Board." I said, "I have not heard about any vacancy." He said, "You will hear about that later on." I said, "I have no knowledge of it whatever, Mr. Calcutt." That is all that passed.
Cross-examined. Wallis was a very old friend of mine. I have never had gifts or presents from him, but we have had friendly drinks. I did not propose Calcutt as a member of the Isle of Dogs Radical Club; that is really not a political, but a Progressive club. We have many Imperial, Unionist, and Conservative members. (Witness was taken through Calcutt's statement specifically. He adhered, generally, to his denial of Calcutt's story.)
(Thursday, December 3.)
The Solicitor-General intimated that the Prosecution would abandon the count charging a separate offence against Albert Smith, as it related to a matter occurring after Smith ceased to be a member of the Board. The day was occupied with the addresses of counsel for the defendants.
(Friday, December 4.)
Mr. Symmons asked permission to make a statement on behalf of Mr. Foskett, who had been frequently referred to in the evidence. The Recorder decided that the learned counsel had no locus standi The Solicitor-General replied upon the whole case on behalf of the Crown.
The Recorder summed up to the jury.
In the course of his address to the jury Mr. Abinger had referred to the case of R.v. Neal (7 C. & P., 168) as authority (per Allen Parke, J.) for the proposition that the testimony of the wife of an accomplice is not evidence such as a jury ought to rely upon as confirmation of his statement.
The Recorder (in summing up), dealing with this question and the case cited, said: Sitting here as a Judge of First Instance, where a ruling has been given by a judge of great ✗ninence and distinction I think myself bound by it, though it might now be open to dispute before the Court of Appeal. There is the ruling of a very eminent judge, long since deceased, of great eminence and distinction, and with a large knowledge of the criminal law which satisfied all the judges of that time, that a wife cannot corroborate her husband, her husband being an accomplice. Until the Court of Criminal Appeal has otherwise determined, that is the attitude which I think must always be taken up with regard to such a question whenever it arises. Whether a person is an accomplice or not is and must always be a question—perhaps partly of law and partly of fact, but principally of fact for the jury to determine.
Verdict, against each prisoner, Guilty; in the case of Mrs. Cordery, the jury added that they considered that she did not realise the serious nature of the offence, and that she was very much influenced by the male defendants.
Bellsham called three witnesses to character.
Peacock pointed out that he had been in prison on this charge for nine weeks.
Cordery, it was stated, was a widow, 54 years of age, and was suffering from a serious tubercular affection.
Sentences: Peacock, Twelve months' hard labour; Albert Smith, Twelve months' hard labour; Poole, nine months' hard labour; J.R. Smith, nine months' hard labour; Bellsham, six months' hard labour; Finden, nine months' imprisonment; Cordery, three months' imprisonment, second division. Each defendant was adjudged incapable of being elected or appointed to any public office for seven years, and to forfeit any such office at present held.