SOLOMON BOCKERAH, ROBERT HOBBS.
10th December 1788
Reference Numbert17881210-82
VerdictGuilty; Not Guilty
SentenceDeath

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82. SOLOMON BOCKERAH and ROBERT HOBBS were indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling house of James Pinkinton , about the hour of seven in the night, on the 1st of November last, and burglariously stealing one piece of velveteen, containing thirty-nine yards, value 8 l. 4 s. his property

JAMES PINKINTON sworn.

On the 1st of November, about seven o'clock in the evening, I and my man were in the shop, the door was then shut, and upon the latch; the prisoner, Bockerah, came, and he then put his hand in at the door, after having unlatched it, he and two or more persons rushed in and took away a piece of velveteen; there were, I believe, two more of them; I only saw their hats; I am sure Bockerah was one; he held the door quite open with his hand, and seemed to stand between me and the velveteen, so as to keep me from seeing him; he asked for a halfpenny worth of thread; he put his hand in his pocket and rattled some halfpence, and said he did not know whether he had enough to pay for what he wanted; then they took the velveteen and ran away; I did not see which way; Bockerah shut the door, and I could not get round the counter fast enough, before they went out; we took Bockerah into custody; Bockerah stood between the other men and me.

Mr. Peat, prisoner's counsel. How far was you from the door at the time? - About four yards.

Are you sure the door was latched? - Yes, I am sure, because it goes with a spring.

Did you look particularly at the door yourself? - No.

Court. When Bockerah came in, did you perceive him open the door? - Yes.

Mr. Peat. What did he say he wanted when he came in? - He said a halfpenny worth of brown thread.

Did he say any thing to the other two? - No.

Then for ought you know he might have been a stranger to them? - Yes, he might.

Then after the other two went out, he staid to get his thread? - I believe he staid to keep me in.

You told me this moment he shut himself in; how long did he take to shut the door? - Not long, he could not get out himself, I followed him so close.

THOMAS WHITHERS sworn.

On the 1st of November, I was sent for to Mr. Pinkinton's; and when I went into the room, I saw Bockerah; I went out to get assistance; and I sent for a coach and put him in, and going along the coach door was opened on the other side, and they pelted us with large stones; and going up Houndsditch, they cut the traces, and the coachman could not drive us any further; we took Bockerah out and another; the constable assisted, he was cut across the face; then I got the assistance of another, and we took him into custody; I found this velveteen at Mr. Clarke's, a pawnbroker, and have had it ever since.

ABRAHAM ABRAHAMS sworn.

I was concerned in this; me, Hobbs, Bockerah, and Bell, went out at night, the 21st of November, with intent to get some money as well as we could; we were out between seven and eight, but we met with no success; then we went towards home; coming along Leadenhall-street, I met with an acquaintance of mine, near the Five Lamps; and coming home afterwards, they shewed us a roll of velveteen; I went to my own room, and then I went to Hobbs's, and found them there; Bockerah was in custody; I knew nothing of him but what they told me.

WILLIAM COWARD sworn.

I was servant to Mr. Pinkinton: between seven and eight, the first of November, the prisoner came in with the view of the purchase of a small commodity; the door was upon the latch; he opened the latch.

Are you sure of that? - Positive of that.

Did you see any body else so as to know them again? - No, I could not; I stopped Bockerah immediately.

Do you know any thing of the other prisoner, to your own knowledge? - No, I do not.

Mr. Peatt. Did you observe whether the person that went out last, shut the door? - Yes, I am positive it was shut; I was behind the counter, and took particular notice of it.

Was your eye upon the door the moment the latch was lifted, if opened at all? - Certainly; the door was upon the latch when he opened it.

Was your eye upon the latch when the latch rose, if it rose at all? - It was upon the door.

Was it upon the latch? - Certainly it was, at the closure of the door.

Did you hear the latch lift? - I heard the door open; it was opened as soon as possible.

Did you hear the latch lift? - I did not positively hear it, because he opened it softly.

Are you sure that the door was latched at the time he came? - I am positive of it, upon my oath.

BENJAMIN SYMONS sworn.

I am a glass-cutter; I had been at the Turk's Head, at Aldgate, taking a pint of beer, and seeing Mr. Johnson there; a man came and wanted a coach, and called me to take up in Hanover-court, Houndsditch.

Court. This is the story of the rescue; that has nothing to do with the indictment.

Did you see Hobbs there? - Yes, I am sure he was there; I saw Hobbs and Isaac Bell there, when the constables was in the coach with the prisoner; they were striking the coach with sticks; I cannot tell what it was upon.

Court. Is there any body here from the pawn broker's? - No.

Mr. Peatt to Abrahams. How often have

you been admitted evidence? - Never before.

How often have you been tried? - Never.

Mr. Peatt. My Lord, I submit, there is no evidence against Hobbs.

Court. I am of the same opinion.

PRISONER BOCKERAH's DEFENCE.

I was coming by, and my coat was torn; I went in for a half-penny worth of thread; there were three men in the shop; his master asked him, says he, John, did not you see a little roll of velvet that stood there: he asked me, no, says I, I have it not; he kept me in custody.

The prisoner, Bockerah, called two witnesses to his character.

SOLOMON BOCKERAH , GUILTY , Death .

ROBERT HOBBS , NOT GUILTY .

Tried by the London Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

Court. Let Hobbs be detained till the call over, and let the accomplice be detained to give evidence.

Mr. Newman. He is detained for rescuing this man.


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