20th February 1799
Reference Numbert17990220-54

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186. THOMAS BURNETT was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 23d of January , a copper crane, value 8s. the property of John Read .

WILLIAM SWANSCOAT sworn. - I am servant to John Read , distiller , Fann-street, Aldersgate-street: I missed a copper crane off my cart, when we got to Leather-lane, Holborn , on Wednesday, the 23d of January; it was tied on to the copse of the cart, and the cord had been cut in three places; we had come from Welbeck-street; I saw the crane there about half past six o'clock; it struck seven as we came past St. Giles's church; I saw the crane again, at Bow-street, on Friday afternoon; the prisoner was at Bow-street at the time. The crane is here.

Cross-examined by Mr. Knowlys. Q. I believe, when you went off, you told your master you had lost the crane? - A. Yes.

Q. And if you cannot fix somebody with stealing it, you must make it good? - A. Yes.

Q. You missed it when you came to Leather-lane? - A. Yes.

Q. Then you had come some little distance into the city of London? - A. Yes.

Q. Did you go down Leather-lane? - A. No; we stopped opposite Leather-lane.

JOSEPH HEMMINGS sworn. - I was with the last witness; I saw the crane safe when we left Welbeck-street; when we got to Leather-lane, Holborn, the cord had been cut in three places.

Cross-examined by Mr. Knowlys. Q. You did not find it to be gone till you reached Leather-lane? - A. No.

Q.Has Mr. Read any partner? - A. No.

EDWARD CROCKER sworn. - I am one of the patrol belonging to Bow-street: On Wednesday evening, the 23d of January, I and some of my brother officers went to a house in Bowl-yard, St. Giles's, between six and seven o'clock in the evening; we went, in consequence of an information coming to the office, of a trunk, which belonged to Dr. Perfect; my brother officers went into the back parlour, I stopped in the passage, and the prisoner, and another man who made his escape, came in; the other man came in first, and the prisoner behind him, with this crane upon his left shoulder; the man who made his escape, accosted me, and asked me what I did in the passage; I told him not to stop there, but to come along up stairs with me; the prisoner was behind him; I immediately ran up to my brother officers, and desired them to come down, for there was some property come in; the prisoner at the bar and the other man followed me as far as the foot of the stairs; my brother officers came down stairs, and the crane was then standing against the bannisters of the stairs, and they were going out of the passage, when I secured the prisoner; I turned him into the passage to the other officers, and the other made his escape; I saw the crane upon his shoulder, it is a copper crane. (The crane was deposed to by Swanscoat and Hemmings).

Prisoner's defence. It is an envious piece of business of Crocker's; he has known me a great many years; a few years ago, he licked my brother; and he told me, he would lick e'er a one of the family; I licked him at the corner of Goodge-street, and he told me then, that if ever I should get into his hands, I should never get out any more. Another time, he met me with a bundle, and made me put it down and untie it, and said, he supposed I had got sugar or coffee.

Crocker. I have not known him till within this year and a half; I have known his brother.

Q. Did you ever have any quarrel with him at all? - A. No.

Q. Did you ever threaten him, as he has described? - A. No, I never did, upon my oath.

Prisoner. I never was before a Magistrate in my life, till he took me up, and that he did once before this. He has been a terror to my life ever since I have been from the East-Indies.

Q.(To Crocker). Did you ever take him up before? - A. Yes, I have.

The prisoner called three witnesses, who gave him a good character. GUILTY (Aged 26.)

Transported for seven years .

Tried by the second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. RECORDER.

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