Offence: Theft > burglary
Verdict: Guilty > no_subcategory
Punishment: Imprisonment > penal servitude
MR. MUIR Prosecuted.
ROSE GILDER . I am parlourmaid at Mr. Tustin's, 156, Denmark Hill, S.E.—on June 26th, at 10.30 p.m., I shut up the house and billiard-room windows—the windows had been painted white outside about a fortnight before—I came down about 7 a.m. and found the billiard-room had been broken into—a number of billiard balls were missing, and a portion of the cover of the billiard table had been cut away—this (Produced) is the piece that was cut away, and it completes the cover—I also observed a thumb mark on the sash of one of the windows that had been painted—it was not there the night before, and I called the attention of the police to it when they came.
BEATRICE SHERGOLD . I am cook at the Hawthorns, Halfmoon Lane, occupied by Mr. Richardson—on June 30th, at 11 p.m., I closed the house—at 7 a.m. I found the pantry had been broken into—the dining-room sideboard had been broken open, the silver was gone, and a case containing a quantity of gold and silver medals—I saw the medals again at the police court, some were produced by a Mr. Bordelott and some by a Mr. Champion—I identified them as part of the stolen property, and some silver spoons and serviette rings—I also found on the kitchen table this piece of billiard table cover (Produced) which did not belong to us—I gave evidence in a another case against a man and a woman who were convicted of the burglary.
EDWARD CHARLES BORDELOTT . I am a watchmaker of 349, Kennington Road—on July 1st the prisoner came to my shop and brought some silver teaspoons, serviette rings, and a gold medal—he came again on the 2nd and brought eleven silver coffee spoons and five small gold medals—I produced them at the police court, where they were identified by Mr. Richardson.
CHARLES HENRY CHAMPION . I am a watchmaker of 274, Walworth Road—on July 1st the prisoner came to my shop and sold me four gold medals—I produced them at the police court in a charge of burglary against a man and woman, and they were identified as Mr. Richardson's property.
GEORGE JOHN HEATH . I am a barman at the Perseverance public-house, Vassal Road,' Brixton, on August 17th, at 11.15 p.m. I saw someone on the roof of the billiard room at the back of our house—I fetched Drewitt, and he jumped off the roof—he had a bag in his hand like this (Produced.)
GEORGE DREWITT (541 W.) I caught the prisoner when he jumped from the roof of the Perseverance—he said "All right governor I'll go quiet"—this bag (Produced) was brought to the police station—it contained a jemmy, a knife, and a screw driver—the prisoner said the knife did not belong to him, but the other tools did—I searched him, and found on him eleven keys, a piece of candle, a box of matches, a magnifying glass, and a pocket knife.
CHARLES COLLINS (Detective Sergeant.) I am employed specially in connection with finger print identifications—I have been so employed for about six years, and during that time have examined and classified
many thousands of finger prints—each pattern has its name, definition, and numerical value, and we classify them accordingly—all finger prints which are the same must ultimately find their way into the same pigeonhole, and throughout my experience I have never found two persons having identical finger prints—I have never found any variation—the pattern remains the same on each finger from birth till death—on June 28th in consequence of information. I went to 156, Denmark Hill, and took a photograph of a print on the sash of a window in the billiard room—I produce the negative, the enlargement, and some prints from the enlargement—on August 7th. I went to Brixton Prison and obtained a print of the prisoner's hand—I compared it with the impression on the window sash, and with a print of the prisoner's hand, which we had at Scotland Yard, taken on July 24th, 1901, and have no hesitation in saying that they are identical—the print on the window sash is that of the prisoner's left thumb—the points of resemblance are as follows—in the centre of the thumb there is a line going down and another, an independent line, coming up, terminating on the left side—those lines are identical in the photograph of the thumb mark on the window sash, and the photograph of the prisoner's thumb taken at Brixton Prison—the line terminating on the left in the photograph of the print on the window sash is not quite perfect, probably owing to the prisoner's thumb being dirty at that particular point—there are also identical in each photograph lines shaped like a tuning fork, with a line at the side, and another line terminating at the point of bifurcation—I have also counted the ridges from the core or delta, and they number eleven in each print—another remarkable thing in each print is a line forking oft' into two, and in my opinion it is impossible for any two persons to have any one of the peculiarities I have selected and described.
By the COURT. There is a difference between ridges and creases—we ignore the creases because they change, but the ridges or pattern never change.
Cross-examined by the prisoner. The reason I placed the steel plate under the paper was to keep it smooth, whilst taking the impression—paper with a rough surface would make no difference in getting a good impression, the lines would be the same—even if you rubbed your fingers on dirt and put them on the paper they would still leave the impression of the ridges.
By the COURT. I took seven or eight impressions until I got one to suit, because the prisoner managed to blur some of them.
By the Prisoner. The lines were not so plain in some cases, because of your pressing on the paper—that is the reason I took so many impressions—no doubt the man who got in at the window was pressing on his fingers, but he forgot to smudge the impression like you did at Brixton Prison—I certainly say that if you put your hand down flat on the dock it would leave an impression which I could take—there is a scar on your thumb hardly visible to the naked eye and there is a, faint resemblance of it on the woodwork of the window.
CHARLES STEADMAN (Detective Inspector C) I have the supervision of the Finger Print Identification Office at Scotland Yard, and have had seven years' experience in the examination and classification of finger
prints—I have heard Collin's evidence, and agree with it entirely—I have no doubt whatever that the impression on the window sash and those taken by Collins of the prisoner's hand at Brixton Prison, are identical.
The prisoner in his defence said that he met a man in Newington Butts who told him he had two bags of good stuff, and asked him to sell it, which he did and that is why it was thought that he committed the burglary at Denmark Hill.
GUILTY . He then