14th January 1801
Reference Numbert18010114-6

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100. JOSEPH PERRY was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 2d of December , a gold watch, value 30l. the property of George Welch , Esq .

(The Case was opened by Mr. Knapp.)

GEORGE WELCH , Esq. sworn. - Examined by Mr. Knapp. I am in the army: On the 2d of December I had been at Drury-lane Theatre; when I got into Brydges-street , and was getting into a coach, the prisoner brushed between me and the coach, and I immediately felt my watch go out of my fob; I instantly seized the prisoner, and accused him of having taken my watch; I kept him locked fast in my arm; he said he was a gentleman, begged that I would not hurt him, and I should find that I was mistaken; I then delivered him over to the constable; I saw nothing of the watch afterwards.

Court. Q. Was it taken from you before he came up to you, or was it during the time of his passing you? - A. While he was passing me.

Cross-examined by Mr. Knowlys. Q. You were coming out of the theatre? - A. Yes.

Q. And, as usual upon these occasions, the street was pretty much crowded? - A. No, it was not; there was no person in a situation to rob me, but the prisoner.

Q. Was the prisoner in company with a lady at that time? - A. No; I had a lady with me.

Mr. Knapp. Q. Was it a gold watch? - A. Yes.

Mr. Knowlys. Q. He was searched, and the watch was not found? - A. No.

Q. And you seized him the instant you missed it? - A. Yes.

JOSEPH GARROL sworn. - Examined by Mr. Knapp. I am a link-boy attending Drury-lane Theatre: On the 2d of December, at night, I saw the prisoner throw the watch out of his hand, at the corner of Brydges-street; there was another link-boy before Mr. Welch, to get a coach for

him, and I saw this man take the watch out of Mr. Welch's fob; Mr. Welch immediately laid hold of him, and I saw him drop it; I picked up the watch-case, which had fell off, and immediately it was snatched out of my hand; I cannot say by whom.

Cross-examined by Mr. Alley. Q. How long have you been a link-boy? - A. A twelvemonth.

Q. Have you any other occupation? - A. No; only doing any thing I can do.

Q. I take it, you went before the Magistrate the next day? - A. No, I did not know till the officers came to my lodgings at eleven o'clock at night; I did not know that it was necessary.

Q. Nor you did not go across to the watch-house? - A. No.

Q. Have you had any conversation with any of the officers about this transaction? - A. No.

Q. Were you ever told that this was an offence which might be a highway robbery, and there would be a reward of forty pounds? - A. No; I know nothing of it.

Q. Did you never hear of such a thing? - A. I heard it was a highway robbery.

Q. Did you not hear that there was a reward of forty pounds, upon conviction? - A. I cannot say that I never heard of it.

Q. Do you mean to swear you never heard of a reward of forty pounds upon conviction? - A. I may have heard of it, but I cannot swear it.

Q. Have you been in custody yourself? - A. Yes.

Q. You were committed, and have been kept in custody ever since? - A. No; I was in custody last Sessions for three days, but not since.

Mr. Knapp. Q. You were in custody three days to give evidence; you were not charged with this offence? - A. No; to give evidence.

Prisoner's defence. I was coming from Covent-garden Theatre; it broke up about half past eleven; in my way home, I came down Russel-street, Covent-garden; there was a very great throng of coaches, and gentlemen and ladies; I crossed over to the corner of Brydges-street and Russel-street; the moment I crossed over there, Captain Welch, as he described himself, came up, and clasped me round, and said, I had got his watch; I said, recollect yourself, Sir, search me, and see if I have got it about me; a gentleman of Bow-street came up, and took me in charge; they took my watch and my purse from me; there was nothing found upon me; Thompson, the Bow-street man, said, I heard a link-boy say that he picked up a watchcase; the next day I was taken to Bow-street, and Mr. Ford said he would not send it to a Jury without this link-boy was found; he was brought on the Thursday, and then he never said one word about seeing me take the watch; but he has been well tutored by the Bow-street people; I am innocent of the charge. GUILTY , aged 36.

Transported for seven years .

First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice Lawrence.

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