6th December 1780
Reference Numbert17801206-16
SentenceImprisonment > hard labour

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17. WILLIAM BELL was indicted for stealing a cane with a gilt head, value 4 s. and another cane with an ivory head, value 6 s. the property of Henry Hankey , November 13th .


I live with my uncle, Mr. Henry Hankey , who keeps a cane-shop in Coventry-street . On the 13th of November, between three and four o'clock, I was reading on the bench, I heard the canes rattle; I went to the door and saw the prisoner standing there; he was dressed very genteel; I did not suspect him. I went into the shop again, and heard the canes rattle again; then I went to the door and missed two canes. I laid hold of the prisoner, who had gone a few steps from the door, and brought him into the shop. Then he pulled the canes from under his great coat, and asked the price of one of them. I took him into custody.


At the justice's he said he went to buy a cane. I searched him, and he had not so much as a farthing about him.

(The canes were produced in court and deposed to by the prosecutor.)


I had been at the other end of the town; I stopped at this stick-shop. I took a view of them, with an intent to buy one of them. As I had two sticks in my hand, the man came to the door and asked me what I meant to do with them? I said I wanted to know the price of one of them. I surrendered myself to go before any justice with him.


Tried by the Second Middlesex Jury before Mr. Baron HOTHAM .

[Imprisonment. See summary.]

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