Offence: Damage to Property > other
Verdict: Guilty > pleaded guilty; Guilty > no_subcategory
Punishment: Imprisonment > penal servitude; Imprisonment > penal servitude
434. GUISEPPE FARNARA (44), and FRANCIS POLTI (18), were indicted for having in their possession and control certain explosive substances, with intent to endanger life and property; other Counts varying the mode of charge.
MESSRS. CHARLES MATHEWS and HORACE AVORY Prosecuted, and MR. FARELLEY Defended.
FARNARA being an Italian, and not understanding English, an inter preter was sworn, and when called on to plead to the indictment, HE PLEADED GUILTY , and exclaimed, "I wanted to kill the capitalists."Upon being asked if he quite understood the charge, he replied, "Yes; I plead guilty; I had the intention to blow up the capitalists, and all the middle classes."
POLTI pleaded NOT GUILTY.
ANGUS SCOTT LEWIS . I am a barrister, and am employed in the department of the Solicitors to the Treasury—I produce the consent, in writing, of the Attorney-General of the day, Sir Charles Russell, to the taking of these proceedings—it was signed by him in my presence.
JOHN ERNEST COHEN . I am the son of Mr. Cohen, who carries on the business of an engineer at 240, Blackfriars Road—on Friday, 30th of March last, I saw the prisoner Polti at our shop—he had with him a companion, who I identified at Bow Street as Farnara—Polti spoke—he asked whether he could have a piece of iron piping off the stack in our yard—I went with them to the heap of iron that was in the yard—one of them, I am not sure which, picked up a piece of iron piping—this (produced) is the piece, and this other piece they picked out afterwards; they put the first piece back again—this bent one was the first piece, and afterwards the smaller piece, the straight piece—while they were picking out the pieces they were talking together in a foreign language I did not understand—when they had picked out the straight piece Polti said he would pay half-a-crown deposit on the two pieces of piping, and on Monday he would fetch them away and pay the rest—they wanted me cut a piece off the larger piece, the bent piece—they pointed with their fingers to about eight or ten inches off the straight part of it—I said we cud not do that kind of work—Farnara handed half-a-crown to Polti, and Polti gave it to me, and I gave a receipt for it—Polti was the only one
that spoke to me; he did nod say what he wanted the pieces for—I did not see him the next time he called—the pieces remained in our possession—I saw Polti on a subsequent day at our premises.
Cross-examined. Farnara did not speak at all to me—I cannot tell which of them it was that indicated with the finger the eight or ten inches of the pipe.
THOMAS SMITH . I am manager to Mr. Cohen, of 240, Blackfriars Road—on Thursday, 5th April, I saw Polti at our shop—he said he called about a socket and a piece of pipe that he had bought and paid a deposit on—the socket is the bend—he did not wish to take them away, but to pay a further deposit of eighteen pence—he asked if we could cut the pipe and socket for him—I said, "No; we do no work of that kind"—I gave him the address of an engineer who worked for us, Mr. Norm, of Barron's Place, Waterloo Road—he then paid me eighteen pence and left; I entered that on the receipt—he called again on the following Monday, the 9th—he then said he could not get the pipe cut, it was too expensive, and he again asked me if I could not cut it for him—I told him "No," and said, "What do you want?"—he said, "A piece of pipe with the ends closed"—I said, "I suppose you want it to open?"—I then told him I could suggest something that would answer his purpose well, and I then made a rough sketch of what I suggested—I asked him what it was wanted for—he said it was not for himself, but for the other man, who was very poor—I then sent him down to the cellar to look for some steel sockets, and one of our men returned with him to the office, bringing a socket as a specimen—a socket is a thing with a screw or thread inside; it is a short piece of pipe screwed on the inside, joining two pieces of pipe together—this (produced) is an ordinary socket—I explained to him that by closing up the end of the socket it would form a cap, and two of those caps with a socket and a thread outside would answer his purpose—I imagined what his purpose was; I had an idea what it was for; I had a suspicion; I expected that he wanted it for a purpose of this kind, for a bomb—I suggested two caps—this is one cap; it becomes a cap when you close the end of it—this is the other cap; this is what I call the nipple—I showed him a sketch of the things,' not these articles; it was torn up; it was merely a casual sketch, as I should show to any customer., to see what it was—this is one cap with the end stopped—this nipple screws inside, and this other cap will go over that—the nipple connects them—nothing else was wanted but the two caps and the nipple—he asked me if I would get them for him—I said I would, and they would cost two shillings or three shillings more than the four shillings I already had—when I showed him the sketch and the things he said that it would do very nicely; just the thing he wanted—he said he would call again, and he came on the following Wednesday evening, that would be the 11th, about a quarter to eight—that was after the place wan closed—we closed at seven—I opened the door to him; I live on the premises—he asked if I had got these fittings for him—I said, "No, are you quite sure that is what you want?"—he said, "Yes, just the thing"—he then said he would like it five inches across, meaning the diameter—I said, "That is very large; would not four or four and a half do?"—he said he wanted it five—I said that would cost him more money, and I should think four and a half would be quite
big enough—he said he would call again the next day—the next day, Thursday, I gave information to the police at Stones End Police-station—on my way to the Police-station I purchased the nipple, and one of the caps now produced—that same day Inspector Quinn and another officer, Detective Riley, came to our premises, and remained there—I did not see the prisoner that day; I learnt that he called while I was out—I next saw him on the following Friday, the 13th, about half-past five or six—Inspector Quinn was then on the premises—I showed the prisoner the cap and the nipple which I had purchased—he said he was sorry I had not got the other cap, but that was just the thing he wanted—he paid another shilling—he asked if he could have the thing complete on Sunday—I said, "No"; I did not do business on Sunday, but he could have it any time on Saturday—he said it would be very inconvenient to call on Saturday, and after a little pressing I told him he could have it on Sunday, between seven and eight—as he was leaving I asked him his name, as I had not got it—he then gave me this card—on it is "Francis Polti, Representative of the Anglo-Italian Agency, 23, Warner Street, Farringdon Road, E. C."—I gave it to the police—at that interview, as we were talking, he said, "Miller is making me one"—Miller is an engineer of Lancaster Street, Borough Road—I was surprised, and said, "How is that?" he said "He was so long"—I said, "What is it like?" he said, "Yours is better and stronger"—he called next day, Saturday the 14th, between five and six—the shop was then closed, and the police were watching outside—my daughter opened the door to him—I had given her instructions—after she Had spoken to him he went away—I left the premises for a short time to see that the police were there, and when I came back I found the prisoner in the shop—t said I was surprised to see him, as he was coming on Sunday—he said as he was in the neighbourhood he thought it would do to see if we had got it ready—I took him to the back of the shop, and showed him the thing together, complete, the two caps fitted on the nipple—he examined it, and was very pleased with it—he said it was just the thing—he unscrewed it, and in doing so he said it went rather hard, he wanted it to go easy—I cleaned it, and oiled it, to make it go easy—he then paid me another half-crown, and I gave him this receipt for the whole of the money, 7s. 6d. "April 14th, Polti, bought of J. Cohen, machinery dealer, 240, Blackfriars Road, three three-and-a-half steam fittings, 7s. 6d. settled by cash, Cohen and Co., by T. Smith"—I wrapped them up in paper, and he took them away—as we were passing by the cellar door he asked me if I would let him have one of these old fittings—I took him out this one, and I permitted him to have it without any extra payment—I call it a socket—as he was going I asked him what kind of business he was connected with—he said he travelled on commission all over London, and called only on Frenchmen and Italians—I, said if any of his friends he called on wanted any steam power I would allow him a commission for any orders he could procure for me—I said, "What about your friend? What is he doing?"—he said that he travelled on the Continent, and that he might be in France or Italy any day that week—he asked fox a shilling commission on this one—I said if he wanted any more I would sell him at a shilling less—he said he might want five or six more, and might, see me again about the following Thursday—that was all the conversation
—from my experience in the trade there is no lawful purpose that I know of for which such a thing as this could be used—I don't know it as being used in trade for any purpose—I suspected from the first, and I was acting throughout on that suspicion, and under the direction of the police.
By the COURT. The name "bomb" was not mentioned by Polti at all in any shape or way—all my suspicion arose from what I have stated—he did not give me any information as to how he proposed to use it—when I asked him that he said, "It is not for myself; it is for the other man."
Cross-examined. I did not ask Polti who the other man was—only one man came with him on the first occasion—it was on the Monday evening I first had suspicion—I don't think that "suspicion" is rather a weak word to use under the circumstances—when I asked whether he would require any more objects of this kind, I then believed it was for a bomb—as soon as I formed a suspicion I communicated with the police—he had no opportunity of obtaining the things from any of my assistants without the police being aware of it; it was impossible because I had not got them for him—I did not say anything to the persons in the shop about the possibility of his calling for these thing—I spoke to my wife about it on the Wednesday evening—I said nothing to the prisoner about approving of the manufacture of articles of this kind—I did not at any time intend to convey to the prisoner that I knew what these things were for—I did not give him any ground for my suspicion; I kept him in the dark.
ALBERT BROCK . I am foreman to Mr. Cohen—on 30th March I was in the office and saw the prisoner there—I saw him pay a half-crown to Mr. Cohen; he got it from the other prisoner—I afterwards saw the prisoner in conversation with Mr. Smith, the manager, and I heard him arrange to call for something on a Sunday.
Cross-examined. I had no idea what the thing was that he was to call for—I formed no idea of its purpose—I saw it, but did not form any idea of its purpose, until it was all completed.
Re-examined. I suspected then, of course, what it was for; that it was for a bomb.
ROBERT MILLER . I am an engineer, carrying on business at 44, Lancaster Street, Borough Road-about 6.30 p.m. on Monday, 9th April, I saw the prisoner at my place of business—he said he wanted a piece of pipe with the ends stopped up with two plates, and a bolt passing through it—the pipe was to be about six to, eight inches—I asked who sent him to me—he said, "Mr. Cohen, Blackfriars Road, sent me to you. I have bought a piece of pipe, but he cannot do the fitting"—I said, "Oh, yes; come in"—he came into the office first, and explained that he had bought a piece of pipe of Cohen, and he wanted a piece cut out of it, and these plates put on, but it must; not be expensive—I took him round to the shop—I picked up a piece of old pipe about three inches diameter from the scrap box, and also an old socket—the-pipe had a screw at one end, and I screwed, the socket on to the screw part of the pipe—I said, "If I stop these ends up, is that what you want?"—he said "That is just what I want, How much will it be?"—I said, "Five shillings"—he said "Very well" then went together back to the office—I said, "You had a better let me have 2s. or 3s.
deposit"—he gave me 3s., and I gave him this receipt, "Received of Mr. Carnot 3s., on account of work. Robert Miller, April 9th, 1894"—when I was writing it I said, "Mr.—," waiting for the name, and he gave me the name of Carnot—immediately after I wrote the name I asked him his address, and he said, "2, Garnault Place, Clerken-well"—I wrote down the name and address—he left then, making no arrangement as to when he would call again—I executed the order he had given me, and made this machine by stopping up the two ends as I had suggested—I simply welded up the end of the socket and the end of the pipe—the prisoner never called for it—I kept it till I handed it over to Maguire on the following Monday—from my knowledge of the trade I know of no lawful purpose for which such a machine could be required.
Cross-examined. I had formed no opinion as to the purpose for which it was required—I did not suppose it to be a bomb until after the police called.
HERBERT ALFRED PRETLOCK . I am an assistant at Mr. Taylor's Drug Company, 66 and 67, High Holborn—on Tuesday, 10th April, the prisoner came there, and asked the price of sulphuric acid—I quoted it at sixpence a pound—he gave an order for two pounds, and I gave him that quantity in a bottle—he paid me a shilling, and twopence for the bottle, which would hold about a pint—it was full—the prisoner took it away—on 17th April Quinn showed me a bottle which I was able to identify as that which I had sold to the prisoner.
FRANCESCO RIVA . I live at 4, Phoenix Place, Clerkenwell—up to 16th April I was in business at 33, Warner Street, Clerkenwell, as a dealer in Italian provisions—the prisoner was in my employment as traveller and assistant from the middle of February—he slept on the premises, in the second floor front room—about two weeks after he came into the employment he brought this trunk there on a barrow—the trunk was put in the parlour on the ground floor, and afterwards in my room on the first floor—he asked me to let him put it there, because, he said, there were several other lodgers, and it was too heavy to take up on the second floor—he showed me when he brought it everything that was in it—he kept the key of it—he could go to it while he was in my house—on the Saturday, 14th April, the day of his arrest, he went out about five p.m.—before he went out he asked me for some money, saying he wanted to pay his contribution to the Italian Operative Society—I gave him 5s.—on the same day I was present when the police came to my premises and examined the trunk, and I saw them find in it the bottle of acid and the two packets of powder—those things were not in the trunk when he showed me the contents on bringing it in—I also saw them find in the trunk this manuscript book—I had previously seen that book in the prisoner's possession—I know his writing—to the best of my belief the whole of the writing in the book is his—this document (the recipe for making the powder) appears to me to be in the same writing.
Cross-examined. I have seen him writing very often—I knew the prisoner about ten months before he entered my employment—Farnara used to come into the shop nearly every morning to buy the Republican newspaper Secolo, which is published in Milan—I never saw the prisoner writing in this manuscript book—I saw him copying newspapers and
books—he used to copy what he fancied; he was very fond of copying—it did not matter much what he copied—I saw him copying a novel, "La Data Fatale," which belonged to another lodger who Lived in the same room as the prisoner—the prisoner copied pretty much anything that took his fancy—before he started the Anarchy, the last few weeks, he had a box of water-colours, and he always was painting English and Italian flags across, and he used to write on the top where the English flag was "God Save the Queen," and on the bottom "God bless the King of Italy"—I have not seen, any letters that he wrote—he is very illiterate; he was never at any school—he learnt something in London—from my knowledge of his amount of literary skill I do not think lie could have written this manuscript book—he could copy, but not compose it—a portion of it is copied from "La Data Fatale"—there is a date to that book "16," which he changed to "19"; it is very much like it—I heard him speak of the Anarchists once or twice, once the last week before he was arrested—that was after he had the Anarchist newspaper, Il Grado dela Oppressi (The cry of the oppressed), the last week, or a week or two before his arrest—I did not see any newspaper at the Police-court—this (produced) is the one I saw him with; he had two, and this is the one he had afterwards—I remember the engraving—the other was of a red colour, but the same title I saw in the shop—there was no picture on the red one.
Re-examined. I saw the prisoner with this paper in his hand; that was after he had the red paper, after Easter—I did not read it when he showed it to me, I only looked at the engraving; I did not see the contents—I think he had not the education to compose, but, only sufficient education to copy from other documents—I see in this manuscript book "The opinion of a young man of eighteen years of age"—I think the prisoner is nearly nineteen now—I see the same expression further on—I also find here in Italian, "Dear companions, I am young, but from what I know we must take example from the young, and not from the old such examples as Pallas, Salvador, Vaillant, Emile Henri, etc., so that it may go a little better. Don't let the vale bourgeoisie live any longer. This young man was born on the shores of the Lake of Como, on 2nd December, 1875, son of one of the most respected families residing in the Commune of Vernana, in the District of Gravedonna, in the Province of Como"—the prisoner comes from the neighbourhood of Como—"on the 16th May he came to London because his parents were so ignorant, and attached to religion, so he had to leave his native country. He had always been a young man of good conduct, capable of serving generally in alt trades, professions; callings. On 16th March, 1893, he was engaged to one of the most beautiful young ladies in London, whose name was Maria Anna Elizabeth Margaret Leach"—he married Miss Leach last year—"and on 30th October in the same year she gave birth to two boys, who died, and she is still ill"—that was the fact—"She is still ill this day, March 31s. 1894 Thus, dear friends, I tell you, and all of you to act according to your ideas, and all of us, women and men, must join in action in order to revenge all, and obtain liberty"—that is fairly correctly translated—I see further on, "Down with the bourgeoisie, down with time proletarians. Vaillant is dead, but F. A. P. is learning to revenge him. Already one has commenced to revenge him; he died for liberty; so much for Paris.
No, we will go to London and begin there"—I don't know what "F. A. P." means; the prisoner's initials are "F. J. P.," Francesco Johanni Polti—the initials on the prisoner's box are "F. A. P"—I see a little further on in the book: "My dear companions, my heart throbs at hearing that our companion was arrested the other day by that vile infamous thief Melville. What we have to do is to threaten him with action, that villain who has made so many arrests. The fault is not entirely hid own; it is also that of the great villains of the Republic. Dear companions, recently I sent a letter to the villain Melville, informing him that I would attempt his life during the month of April for having arrested one of our companions, Meunier; and I also sent a letter to the Queen at Florence to let her know how poor working men were treated in this country; that they were treated like slaves, and not like working men. Melville has also become rich through the many spies, and now he acts as a proletarian and a go-between for the bourgeoisie. The time for action and revenge has now arrived, also for liberty"—that letter, commencing "Dear companions," is signed "Yours, F. A. P."—before that signature is: "I want to do something to revenge myself, and then I will gladly die. I cannot live any longer to see this infamous bourgeoisie. I have seen enough of them in these eighteen years, and now I am tired to live under the proletarians. I will die to avenge myself, and leave my dear companions to avenge me with the most terrible bombs and daggers against these villains and traitors against the poor working men"—after that there is this: "My dear parents, it must grieve you as well to hear of my end. I am at last tired of living to see so many barbarities committed by the bourgeoisie. I am tired to race all these iniquities, and now I finally will avenge myself I must die in the flower of my youth, it is true, but I will avenge myself the cause of my death. All my companions will avenge me by deeds, and all of you, my dear parents and relations, who witness how much I have suffered for the cause, I hope you will lend a helping hand to assist my dear companions: that is to say, that you will give your bodies to Anarchy, and threaten the bourgeoisie, which was the cause of my death. When you receive this book I shall be dead, but I shall leave my companions behind to avenge me, and their vengeance will be terrible. For this reason I must leave all of you who are so dear to me, and whom I and my wife desired so much to see before dying, and yet I must die without even seeing my dear mother, without seeing my dear brothers, whom I loved so much, and not even my dear sisters, nephews, and brothers and sisters-in-law. I die, but I leave you to avenge me. I must really conclude with last kisses to all my dear relations, and the last cry, 'Down with the bourgeoisie, long live Anarchy.' I am always your faithful son, F. A. P., London, 16th May, 1894. The date 'the sixteenth' has always been fatal to me. I left my native country on the 16th May, 1889. I became engaged to my wife on the 16th March, 1893. I married on the 16th July, 1893, and I took my wife to the infirmary on the 16th. December, 1893. I was taken ill on the 16th April, 1890, and I have calculated to die on the 16th May, the same day on which I left my native country."
Crossexamined. The prisoner has a mother only—that last letter can not have been intended to be addressed to his parents, seeing that he
has only one—what is said in the book about the 16th is very like the novel, "La Data Fatale."
CESARI PIAZZI . I am an Italian from the district of Lake Como—I am a waiter at 335, Strand—I have known the prisoner over three years in London—he comes from the same district, Lake Como—in Easter week this year I went to 33, Warner Street, and saw the prisoner in his room—he showed me a red newspaper; I do not know what it was called—I read a little of it; the prisoner did not call my attention to it; it was printed in Italian, and published in New York, and it said about Valliant's execution in Paris—I did not read any more—the prisoner was talking about Anarchy—he showed me two big sheets of paper, and read them to me—he said he wrote it; it was just the same as I had read in the newspaper—he seemed to have copied it out of the newspaper; it was about the death of Vaillant—he told me nothing about himself; I took no notice of what he said—he said the Anarchists were very near done on the Continent, and they would come and start in London very soon—he did not say with what they would start in London, I am sure; I did not ask him—he did not describe himself to me in any way at that time—I have given you the best of my memory on that point; I have said so far as I know all that was said—I was examined at Bow Street on 27th April, last week—this is my signature to the deposition—it was read out in the Court before I signed it, and I heard it—the prisoner did not say with what they would start in London—I never mud to the contrary; if I did, that was my thought. (An interpreter was sworn to translate the questions put to, and the answers of, the witness)—I did say at Bow Street that the prisoner told me they were going to Start in London soon with bombs, but it was really not the prisoner who told me so; I simply thought so, by the way they were acting—I also said at Bow Street that the prisoner had told me he was an Anarchist; he did not tell me that—I have not been threatened by anybody in this case since I gave evidence—I only complained to Inspector Quinn in a kind of joke, as I read so many of these cases—I told him I had been threatened, only in a joke—that was after I gave evidence at the Police-court—I don't remember that I said the Italians had threatened me.
Cross-examined. I am nineteen—I do not remember the name of the red newspaper—there was an article in it about Vaillant—what I read in it about Vaillant was the same as this which appears in the prisoner's book—I don't remember anything about South Carolina. (This passage from the book was read: "Now we will go to London and begin there, Within the last few days I received letters from South Carolina, which' state that the Government was obliged to run away on account of its liquor trade policy, and that twenty-one policemen were killed")—I don't know whether the prisoner told me he was an Anarchist as a joke or seriously—I formed no judgment of whether he was an Anarchist. (MR. JUSTICE HAWKINS read the following passage from the book: "At one time Great Britain could be called the most free country, but now it has commenced persecutions and seizures—and why I On account of France! Bull tell you, that all their persecutions and seizures will lead to their discomfiture Down with the bourgeois! down with the proletarians! Vaillant is dead but F. A. P. is learning to revenge him. He left a society to revenge
im. Already one has commenced to revenge him. He died for liberty. So much for Paris. Now we will go to London, and begin there.")
RICHARD LEACH . I am a bricklayer—the prisoner married my daughter on 16th July last; this is the marriage certificate—her full name was Maria Anna Elizabeth Margaret Leach—about six months ago she was taken ill, and went to the Highgate Infirmary in December last—after that the prisoner came to stay at my lodgings for several nights—he brought two boxes with him; this (the box identified by Riva) was one of them—he took that away from my house some weeks ago.
Cross-examined. The prisoner slept with me for several nights at my address, 55, Gray Street, Blackfriars Road; occasionally that was his address—his letters were only addressed there occasionally, but if they were addressed there they would reach him—I was given to understand that my daughter bought the trunk; I don't know where it was got—I could not tell you if any letters were on it before it was purchased—I never heard the prisoner speak of Anarchy, or say he was an Anarchist, or speak in a disordered way—no suspicion of the kind ever entered my mind.
JOHN SWEENEY (Police Sergeant, Scotland Yard). About 5.30 p.m. on 14th April I was outside and near Mr. Cohen's shop, 240, Blackfriars Road, in consequence of instructions I received—about 5.30 I saw the prisoner, who rang the bell there—the door was opened by a woman—he left, and returned in about ten minutes and rang the bell a second time and the door was opened, and he entered, and remained about ten minutes inside, and then came out, carrying a brown paper parcel partially hidden under his coat—in company with Maguire and other officers, I followed him, and saw him get on to an omnibus in the Blackfriars Road; he rode to Farringdon Road, I and three other officers getting on to the omnibus at the same time as he did—we went on to the Farringdon Road, and I saw him alight from the omnibus there, and we all alighted—he walked in the direction of Ray Street; I was following with the other officers—in Ray Street he looked back two or three times; we were close by him, within a few yards—looking very suspiciously, he stopped suddenly, looked into a window and took the brown paper parcel from under his coat—then he turned his back to the window, holding the parcel between his hands as if to throw it away—I and Maguire caught hold of him, and I said, "We are police officers; I want to know what you have in that parcel"—he said, "It is iron; it is a boiler; I will show you where I bought it. I am honest, I am not a thief"—I said, "I am not satisfied with your explanation; you will have to come with me to the station"—I called a cab, and got in with the other officers, and took the prisoner to New Scotland Yard—on our way in the cab the prisoner said, "This is not for myself, although I paid the money for it. It is for a friend abroad. I met a man in the street who went with me when I ordered it at Mr. Cohen's shop in Blackfriars Road. He was an Italian, and could speak French, but no English. I don't know his name, nor where be lives"—at Scotland Yard the brown paper parcel which the prisoner had been carrying was examined, and found to contain the larger of these two bombs. (This was the one identified by MR. SMITH)—I searched the prisoner, and on him found four keys, which I gave to Inspector Quinn, and a number of
documents, amongst them this recipe in Italian, and this memorandum book—in that book I found this entry: "9th April, 1894, Carnot, 3s., Miller" and underneath, "Cohen, 7s. 6d, paid 5s."—upon the other side is an entry in Italian—I also found these two receipts on him from Cohen and Miller for 7s. 6d. and 3s.—when I found the 3s. receipt the prisoner said, "That refers to another one that I ordered at Mr. Norm's, near Waterloo Road; it is not yet finished. I gave the name of Carnot when I ordered it; Carnot is the man who went with me to order this one at Mr. Cohen's shop. I first met him in Charlotte Street, Fitzroy Square, about three months ago. I was going to send this to my brother in the North of Italy as a present; he sends me presents. I reside at 55, Gray Street, Waterloo Road, and if you go there you won't find anything but that I am respectable"—he indicated it wm this boiler he was going to send to his brother as a present—when I opened the parcel at the station I found this little piece of socket in it—the prisoner said, "Mr. Cohen's foreman threw that in as if to make weight"—the prisoner was taken to King's Cross Road Police-station, and afterwards to Bow Street—I went to Warner Street, and searched this box, pointed out by Mr. Riva, and found in it a two pound bottle of sulphuric acid, a packet of white powder, and a packet of yellow powder, this black manuscript book, and this printed report on Alfred Nobel's dynamite—it then contained this pencil sketch, which the bomb somewhat resembles, and the pencil memoranda at the side of the sketch—those things were brought to Bow Street—the prisoner was charged there with having certain explosives in his possession, and under his control—when the charge was read to him he said, "I wish to say this does not belong to me"—(Referring to the larger of the two machines)—"I was sent for it by Emile Carnot. The chlorate and all the other things were mixed by him, and he sent me for the sulphuric acid. I paid one shilling for it. All that I wish to say is that I knew him three weeks, and that he came from Paris a year ago."
Cross-examined. I never lost sight of the prisoner from the time he left 240, Blackfriars Road until I arrested him—he could not very well have made away with this object during that time—he had it partially hidden under his coat—I could not see exactly how he held it when he was on the omnibus; I was two or three seats behind him—he gave the address 55, Gray Street, Waterloo Road, the address of his father-in-law.
JOHN MAGUIRE (Police Sergeant New Scotland Yard). I was with Sweeney when the prisoner was arrested on 14th April—I got on to the omnibus on which the prisoner got, and sat on the seat immediately behind him—crossing over Blackfriars Bridge he put the brown paper parcel he was carrying on his knees and opened the brown paper; inside was a piece of newspaper, which he took out and threw over into the roadway—he opened the machine partly, and worked it round and round in that way; then he closed up the parcel again—I afterwards seized him in Ray Street almost at the same moment as Sweeney—after the prisoner was at New Scotland Yard, he said, "I was going to send it by parcels post to my brother; he lives a long way from the town, where it is difficult to have these things made"—I was with Riley, Walsh and Sweeney outside 240, Blackfriars Road that afternoon when the prisoner went in—about that time I saw Farnara exactly opposite 240, on the side I was on; he
went past, going from the Elephant towards Blackfriars Bridge—he passed within a yard of me.
Cross-examined. I was on the garden seat on the omnibus immediately behind the prisoner; he was alone on the seat he was on—he attempted to conceal the parcel when he was carrying it—he did not try to conceal it on the omnibus, when he had it on his knees.
JOHN CANN (Inspector E). I was in charge of Bow Street Policestation on the night of 15th April—in consequence of a communication from the goaler, I went to the cell where the prisoner was confined—I said, "Do you want to see me?"—he said, "Yes, I want to make a statement; I am innocent of this charge"—I said, "I am not the inspector in charge of the case"—he said, "That does not matter, I will make my statement in writing"—he then made a statement in English, which is in writing, and which he signed in my presence—after he had written it, he said, "Do not tell Piedmonte what I have done, or he will kill me"—I said, "All right." (The statement was read as follows: "I now give this information concerning this machine. About three weeks ago I went down to Mr. Cohen's, in Blackfriars Road, as interpreter to M. Carnot, Emile, better known as Piedmonte, now doing some work at No. 2, Berry Street, Blackfriars, lodging at Back Hill, Clerkenwell, to order a machine for him, and when we came back he sent to get a bottle of sulphuric acid, and he gave me a packet of powder to take care of for him till he wanted it back, and then sent me down to Mr. Miller, to order another one for him, and he gave me 3s. to deposit for him; and on Saturday, 14th April, he sent me down to get the machine, and on my way back to him I met the police officers in plain clothes, and they arrested me on suspicion of being an Anarchist. What I wish to say is I am not an Anarchist. I hate them, because they are too dangerous for me. The time to find him at his lodgings is about ten or 10.30 at night, and at his work between ten a.m. and eight p.m.; and if you wish to go there you will have to ask for Piedmonte, because he is not known by his name he goes by. The lodging at Back Hill is about five doors from Clerkenwell Road, next door to a barber's shop, and the one in Blackfriars is on the second turning going down by Blackfriars Bridge.—I am, F. POLTI.")
PATRICK QUINN (Inspector Scotland Yard). I saw the prisoner at Cohen's premises on Friday, 13th April, in conversation with Mr. Smith—I was on the premises—I followed him from there to 33, Warner Street, with the other officers; that was how we ascertained his address—next day I was at Scotland Yard when he was brought in in custody—I had a conversation with him; Sweeney made a note of it and has given it in evidence; I asked him to explain his possession of this iron shell—I found upon him this document, which purports to be a recipe for making porridge, polenta—I said, "Can you explain what is written on this paper?"—he said, "It is for making polenta, or pudding"—I afterwards went to 33, Warner Street, and opened the box, and found in it the two packets of powder, and the bottle of acid, which I subsequently handed to Dr. Dupre—I showed the bottle of acid to Pretlock—on that night, at King's Cross Road Police-station, I said to the prisoner, "Polti, Mr. Riva was pointed out a trunk at his house, which he says belongs to you, and in that trunk I have found this
bottle of acid, and these two packets of powder"—he said, "Yes, Mr. Riva does not know anything of the bottle or chlorates"—on the night of 15th April, in consequence of a communication, I went to Bow Street, and saw the written statement which the prisoner had made to Cann—I said to the prisoner, "I understand, Polti, you want to see me about this statement you have made?"—he said, "Yes; I want you to find Carnot; he lives at the first house pant the barber's shop in Back Hill, from Clerken-well Row"—he afterwards corrected that, and said "the second house past the barber's shop"—I made inquiries to try and find the other man at that place; I could not succeed; but on 22nd April, I traced Farnara, and arrested him at 1.30 a.m.—I found on him this card. (This was Polti's card, similar to the one handed to Mr. Smith)—I also found on him this newspaper.
(MR. JUSTICE HAWKINS ruled that the card and newpaper were not evidence against the prisoner, and could not be put in.)
Cross-examined. I found no trace of Farnara at the address near the barber's shop—the result of my inquiries was that he had never been there.
JOSEPH STEINER . I am an interpreter, familiar with the Italian and English languages—I and M. Albert made this translation from Italian into English of the contents of the black manuscript book—it is correct to the best of my skill and knowledge—I have also had before me the newspaper, n Grado dela Oppressi—I have translated this recipe, found on Polti on his arrest—the last words are, "For the polenta"—as well as I can make out it runs, "To make the B take" (giving the names and quantities of the ingredients)" and then the box for putting them all in, together with the bullets of lead. Then take a bottle empty, of our make, and in order to draw it out see it is well turned. Fill and close it up, then carry it in the pocket. When one wants to throw it away, take up the empty and make it full, and now close it, and then throw it away and escape"—that is apparently written in the dialect of Como, the district between Como and Milan—I have compared the writing beside the pencil sketch with that in the manuscript and that of the recipe—so far as I can make out they are the same—there are the same initial letters.
Cross-examined. Practically I made the translation; I am responsible for it; I did not actually write it—the grammar and spelling in the manuscript book were decidedly defective—I should say it is written by a man more or less illiterate—in the translation of the recipe I have queried "our," in "of our make"—the word in the original was nost, which can only be a shortening of nostro, which would mean our; nost would be the dialect.
AUGUSTE DUPRE . I am a professor of chemistry, and chemical advise, to the Explosives department of the Home Office—on 19th April I received from Inspector Quinn a bottle labelled "sulphuric acid"—I examined it, and found it contained a little over two pounds of concentrated sulphuric acid—at the same time I received from Quinn a packet containing about two ounces of a white powder, which I discovered on examination to be chlorate of potassium, and a picket of yellow powder, which I examined, and as to the ingredients of which I formed a conclusion; chlorate of potassium was one of its ingredients—I examined
the recipe for polenta—the contents of the yellow powder corresponded with the ingredients upon the recipe both as to description and quantity as closely as I should have expected an unskilled person to do it—it had evidently been mixed by a person unskilled in mixing—the yellow powder is in very powerful explosive, of considerably greater power than gunpowder—it could be ignited by means of the sulphuric acid from this bottle—it is very sensitive to explosion by percussion and friction—there were 14 1-5th ounces of the yellow powder—when loose it occupied a space of eighteen ounces—the smaller of these machines would have held it with a little compression; the larger one would have held it easily—I don't think that so much compression would be dangerous; it could be done with the hand—the powder, placed in either of those machines, would have formed a very powerful bomb, which would be particularly dangerous to persons about; it would not do much destruction to buildings—it would be injurious to property under certain conditions; it would depend on the kind of property and the kind of building—the powder is so sensitive to friction that it would be dangerous to any person screwing the machine together if it did not work smoothly, and therefore it was necessary for the machine to move easily—there would be danger to the person using it—in my experience I know of no lawful purpose for which these machines and the powder could be used.
Cross-examined. Concentrated sulphuric acid is easily to be got—it is sold in druggists' shops; I don't think that ordinary chemists would sell it—I do not think that the manner in which the powder was mixed by an unskilful person would make it more dangerous to the person attempting to use it; on the contrary, I think it would perhaps make it rather safer—undoubtedly it had been mixed by an unskilful person—this sulphuric acid bottle would not go inside the machine; it was never intended to go inside—the bottle should have a glass stopper, but this cork would he put in by the druggist—the cork would be destroyed in a certain length of time; it has been already partially destroyed—if this machine with the powder in it were exploded in a picture gallery it might do an immense amount of damage; if it were put against a small building it might blow it down—if it were put against a big building it might do no harm.
COLONEL VIVIAN DEARING MAJENDIE . I am Chief Inspector of Explosives to the Government—I have heard the evidence given by Dr. Dupre, and, speaking generally, I agree with the evidence he has given—the yellow powder spoken of is an explosive of a highly dangerous character, and is highly sensitive to percussion and friction, and might be exploded by the application of sulphuric acid—I have examined the machines; either of them would contain the quantity of yellow powder found—there is more than one way in which the bomb with the powder inside it might be exploded—such an explosion would be most disastrous to human beings if a number were in the neighbourhood; as regards property, it would, as Dr. Dupre explained, have been conditional upon the character of the property and the position the bomb occupied with regard to it—the weight of the larger bomb, empty, is rather over 10 lbs.—I have seen the polenta recipe—many infernal machines have been fitted with bullets of lead—it is within my experience that bottles of a special make are
sometimes placed inside these infernal machines, and such bottles are of special construction; in fact, it is almost indispensable for that mode of ignition that they should be of a special construction—it is not an authorised operation in this country—my attention has been called to a pencil sketch in the printed report on dynamite—the sketch, with the description at the side, is a very fair representation of the large bomb, incomplete, but fair so far as it goes; it does not go into details—at the side of the sketch are some details of certain dimensions in English, and they correspond on the whole, as far as I can understand them, very accurately with the dimensions of the larger bomb.
Cross-examined. So far as I know, there was no bottle suitable for placing in the bomb among the articles which have been discovered and submitted to me—I have not seen one—there is no means of producing an explosion, unless a bottle is provided.
SEBERTHAM MALONE , restaurant-keeper, 19, Finsbury Pavement, and THOMAS DICKENS, 102, Crawford Street, Marylebone, deposed to the good character of Polti, for honesty and respectability since he came to this country in July last.
GUILTY .—Sentence on
FARNARA— Twenty Years' Penal Servitude. On
POLTI— Ten Years' Penal Servitude.
The COURT highly commended the conduct of the witness Thomas Smith, and also that of Inspector Melville, Sergeant Quinn, and Constables Sweeney, Maguire, and Cann. The GRAND JURY had also made a similar commendation.