24th October 1804
Reference Numbert18041024-11
SentenceImprisonment > house of correction

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526. CHARLES ROBEY was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 9th of October , eight pecks of split horse-beans, value 3 s. the property of Philip Viner .

SARAH FRANCIS sworn. - I live in Mr. Viner's stable-yard, at Wapping , he is a corn-chandler , my husband is in his employ as foreman, the prisoner was Mr. Viner's horse-keeper : On Friday the 5th of October, I observed a bag concealed in the loft, among some trusses of hay, I went to look; in consequence of suspicion, I took it out and examined it, it was marked near one corner, I put it in the same place again as near as possible. On the Saturday it was in the same situation; I went to look again on Monday morning, and found the bag filled, in another place a little farther; it was a sack that would hold a bushel; it was pretty near full of split beans.

Q. Had the prisoner access to this place? - A. Yes, constantly, the beans were kept there in a little room: On Tuesday, at near eleven o'clock, the prisoner came in with his cart; he went into the stable, and came out again in about two minutes with a tarpauling; I perceived he had something concealed in the tarpauling by the bulk; he put it into his cart, and I gave information to Mr. Viner; the prisoner went away, and I went to look in the stable, and missed the bag; I saw it again at the Office on the Saturday following; I knew it again by a patch near the bottom.

Cross-examined by Mr. Peatt. Q. It was a very common thing for the prisoner to carry out bags with beans? - A. Yes, but not a single bushel.

Q. Mr. Viner has a great many bags? - A. Yes.

Q. You do not know who put the bags there? - A. No.

Q. Other persons had access to this place besides the prisoner? - A. Yes.

PHILIP VINER sworn. - I am a corn-dealer and miller: I have a room at the end of the hay-loft, where we keep a quantity of beans for our horses; we send a weekly allowance there; the prisoner only had to feed the horses; they were delivered into his custody for that purpose. In consequence of Mr. Francis's information, I followed the cart, the prisoner was driving it; he was taking a load out; he had part of the load to deliver in Old Gravel-lane; I followed the cart there, and when he had delivered the goods, he went into the house; I went up to the cart, and observed the tarpauling on the top of the cart bulky, it was doubled up on the top of the load; I asked him what he had got in the tarpauling; he said he had got nothing; I desired him to take it down; he got upon the cart, and pretended to open it; I insisted upon his opening it more than he had done, and I then discovered a bag with beans in it; I made him take the bag out, and leave it in the house, and I went in search of an officer to take them away; I went with the officer, and he took the bag of beans; they were beans that I knew perfectly well, because they were damaged before they were split; they were very remarkable

for age, smell, and blackness; I am sure they were my beans.

Cross-examined by Mr. Peatt. Q. Did you never give directions to the carman to take beans with him to give the horses a taste on the road? - A. No, I never would have suffered such a thing.

Q. This tarpauling was often used for covering your goods? - A. Yes, in wet weather, but this was a remarkably fine day.

JOHN SMITH sworn. - I am an officer: Mr. Viner came to me about eleven o'clock; I went with him to a house in Gravel-lane, where he delivered a bag of beans into my custody; I took the prisoner into custody about five o'clock in the evening, he had been to Plaistow with a load, (produces the property); here is a sample that I took from the loft. (Produces it.)

Mr. Francis. This is the same bag that I saw in the loft.

The prisoner left his defence to his Counsel, and called two witnesses, who gave him a good character.

GUILTY , aged 50.

Confined six months in the House of Correction .

First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Baron Thompson.

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