13th January 1779
Reference Numbert17790113-12
SentenceImprisonment > hard labour

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97. PETER AIREY was indicted for stealing a gold ring, with a picture set therein, value 20 s. and two guineas in monies, numbered , the property of William Wilkinson , January 4th .


I live at the Secretary's-office, King's Bench-walk, in the Temple. On the 4th of this month, between five and six in the evening, as I was going into Covent-garden Play-house , just as the doors were opening, there was a mob at the door; the prisoner was behind me. Being afraid of having my pockets picked, I was going to put my watch chain in, and felt the prisoner's hand in my pocket. I immediately laid hold of his arm, and felt in my pocket, and missed my purse. I then quitted the prisoner's arm and took him by the collar. He desired me to bring him out of the mob, and he would return it to me; when I got him out he struck me and attempted to get away. As I was taking him to Sir John Fielding 's, I told him if he would return me the things I would forgive him. He said he had not got them. He was examined before Sir John

Fielding , but nothing found upon him. He told the constable that he knew who took it.

( Mary Wilkinson the wife of the prosecutor who was with him confirmed his evidence.)


I went to the play with an acquaintance; I left her below because of the crowd; when I returned to her, the prosecutor came to me and said I had picked his pocket. I was not near him; I know nothing of it. My witnesses have attended all day, but being told my trial would not come on to-night, they are gone.


Tried by the First Middlesex Jury before Mr. COMMON SERJEANT.

[Imprisonment. See summary.]

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