Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 6.0, 24 July 2014), January 1764, trial of John Lesteden (t17640113-44).

John Lesteden, Theft > grand larceny, 13th January 1764.

115. (L.) John Lesteden was indicted for stealing 10 lb. weight of tobacco, value 5 s. the property of persons unknown, December 23 . ||

John Williams . I am a watchman on Brewer's key . On the 22d or 23d of last month, there were about 200 hogsheads of tobacco: I saw the prisoner and two more, between 10 and 11 o'clock in the forenoon, behind the crane: I got upon a hogshead, and saw a lad that was with the prisoner take out a knife, and cut open the bar of a hogshead; the prisoner and he pulled tobacco out, and put it on the ground, till they thought they had enough; then they went to putting it into their pockets: I went and took hold of the prisoner, and took some of the tobacco from his pocket, and some from off the ground, (produced in court); this is it.

John Jebb . I took the prisoner in custody, and took some of this tobacco out of his pocket; I asked him how he came to do such a thing? he said he saw other people do it, so he did it; here is 10 lb. weight of it in all.

Prisoner's Defence.

I saw two men take some; they told me to take some, and these men came and took it away from me. I am a Frenchman , I never was in London before.

Guilty . T .