JOHN GOODWIN.
1st June 1808
Reference Numbert18080601-14
VerdictNot Guilty

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378. JOHN GOODWIN was indicted for feloniously making an assault upon Robert Stovell , on the 29th of May , putting him in fear, and taking from his person and against his will, a silver watch, value 4 l. his property .

The case was stated by Mr. Adolphus.

ROBERT STOVELL. - Mr. Adolphus. You are a sawyer living at Richmond. - A. Yes.

Q. Last Saturday you had been to Isleworth - A. Yes.

Q. You went to the King's Arms public house in that parish - A. Yes, I was in company with the man that I worked with; after I had been there some time I saw the prisoner; I went away at the same time with him. Nothing happened till we came to the Rails End, then he went his way and I went my way; in less than a quarter of an hour I heard a voice crying halloo! I answered; when I came a little further, he said come here; when I came up to him he was sitting down and his hat was over his eyes; I asked him what he wanted I lifted the hat over his eyes to see who he was; it fell down by his side.

Q. Did you put it down by his side or did it fall down. - A. I put it down by the side of him; he got up with vengeance to strike me; I was afraid, and started, and just below the boat house he knocked me down; that is fifty yards from the place; there he used me very ill and knocked me down; and robbed me of my watch; I got up and followed him to get my watch; he knocked me down again; I got up again, ran after him thinking to get my watch; down he knocked me again; he started and came to the Campsot, then he knocked me down again.

Q. How many times did he knock you down. - A. I cannot say. it was a great many times.

Q. When was this. - A. Last Saturday night.

Q. Are those marks on your face from the blows that he gave you. - A. Yes; he knocked me down. I laid hold of the pallisades or else he would have thrown me into the Thames.

Q. Was this after he had taken your watch. - A. Yes. I followed him and when he came to the meadows he knocked me down; I begged for mercy, I said do not kill me. I halloaed out murder for assistance; he fixed me down, he clapped his hands on the back of my neck and pushed me down, and he put his knee into my loins: it was enough to squeeze me all to pieces. Just after that a gentlemen coming from Richmond to Iseworth came to my assistance; the prisoner made off; we attempted to pursue him but he got away from us.

Cross-examined by Mr. Walford. What time was it you went to the public house. - A. Just before eight o'clock; I stopped till after eleven.

Q. How much did you drink in the course of that time. - A. I cannot tell you exactly. There were three of us in company.

Q. Had you not half a dozen pots of beer. - A. No; it might be four.

Q. Who paid for all the beer. - A. We paid between us.

Q. Was not you obliged to pay for a pot against your inclination. - A. No, I was not against my inclination.

Q. Did not the landlord compel you to pay for a pot of beer when the reckoning was settled.

Court. Why do not you answer the question. - A. A pot of beer was brought and I paid for it.

Mr. Walford. It comes to that at last that you was obliged

to pay for it. - A. I did pay for it.

Q. You followed the prisoner to Rails End. - A. That was my way home.

Q. When you came to Rails End, did you not say he had used you very ill in making you pay for a pot of beer. - A. No.

Q.Did not you take his hat and tear it about and strike him - A. No.

Q. You swear that. - A. Yes.

Q.Have you never heard of any such a thing as a reward for a person convicted of a highway robbery - A. I have heard it.

Q. How much do you expect to get, answer the question - How much do you expect to get if you convict the prisoner. - A. Forty pound.

Q. When he kneeled upon you why did not you resist, you are as strong a man as him. - A. He is a great deal stronger than I.

SEDDON BAMFORD. - Mr. Adolphus. At twelve o'clock at night were you coming from Richmond to Isleworth. - A. As near as I can recollect I was in a meadow going from the bridge towards the Rails End Ferry; about the middle of the meadow, as near as I can recollect, I heard some desperate blows and cry of murder.

Court. What time of night was it. - A.It might be twelve o'clock. I ran towards the place, in my way there stood a tree; I retired behind that tree for a few seconds to see whether there was a number of them or not; I could see nobody standing up, I saw something down in the meadow, it appeared dark and looked about this high (witness describing); then I saw a man get up and stand straight up, whether it was my voice that occasioned his getting up I cannot say; then he stooped and ran stooping away; I ran and halloed murder; as I ran I saw the prosecutor getting up and he ran the same way that the man run: I lost sight of the person that was running away; I could not possibly swear to the person of the prisoner. I ran towards a farm yard in search of the person of the prisoner; I could not find him; I returned back to see if I could find him any where in the meadow; the prosecutor came up to me.

Mr. Adolphus. What state did he appear to be in. - A. He was in a very bad state, he could hardly walk; I ordered him to take hold of my arm and support himself; I advised him to go back with me to Isleworth. When we came to a light in the town I saw a great deal of blood about him and his eye knocked up.

Court. The man that you had seen run away you do not know whether it was the prisoner or not. - A. I do not.

MICHAEL KEYS . - Mr. Adolphus. You are the constable of Iseworth. - A. Yes; I was sent for on Sunday morning to go to the Rails End; when I came there I saw Stovell, he told me he had been robbed of his watch last night and had been very much abused; he had the appearance of that; I asked him who did it; he pointed to the house where the prisoner lived; I went to the prisoner's house; his wife denied my searching the house; after being there about two hours, I found him in the middle room where two poor people lodged; he was hid; the bed clothes were put close up at one end of the room; I asked the woman what was there; she said, only the bed and the clothes. Another constable present, he put the clothes down and saw the prisoner's feet; I called a soldier, who assisted us; we secured the prisoner; I told the other men to hold him while I looked to see if I could find any bloody clothes or the watch; I found nothing in that room; I searched the garret, between the bed and the sacking, I found this shirt. I perceived there was blood upon it.

Q. You never found the watch. - A. No.

Q. Did you tell the prisoner what was the cause of your apprehending him. - A. I told him that the man had been robbed last night, I wanted to find the watch; he at first said he had neither beat the man nor got the watch. I found half a dead sheep; as fine mutton as ever was in a putrid state.

JOHN SLOCOMB . - Mr. Adolphus. What are you. - A. I am a constable. I came in the room and had the prisoner in custody while Keys made the search. The prisoner owned to me that he had beaten the prosecutor; he denied knowing any thing of the watch. No watch was found.

Prisoner's Defence. Please you, my lord, there were me and my two comrades that were working together; we went into the King's Arms at Isleworth, to pay for beer that we had in the week; after we had been drinking there about an hour, in came the prosecutor and forced himself into our company; we had three pots of beer during the time he was in our company; as we were all going out of doors, my partner said here is four of us to drink three pots of beer, I think this man has a right to be a pot as he has been drinking part of ours; he said he would not, he had no money the landlord came up and said to him you owe me some money for tea and beer you had in the morning; the prosecutor said he would not pay him; I said he has been drinking our beer, we want him to be a pot and he will not; the landlord locked the door and kept us all in till such time the man had paid for what he had in the morning; then my prosecutor said is the pot of beer to come in; I said, yes; he said send it in, I will pay for it; the pot of beer was brought in and all four of us drank it up; then the door was opened and all of us went out; I wished one of my neighbour's good night, he went away home; my wife, and myself, and the other mate that was at work with me, we went down the street together. In the middle of the street I wished him good night. The prosecutor still kept following us, saying that we were a parcel of good for nothing rascals to impose upon him to make him pay for a pot of beer; I said my friend the pot of beer is settled for, drop it; there is no further to say about it; I said my friend the best place for you is on board a man of war; he came up and gave me a thump on my head and knocked me down in the road, I got up, pulled off my jacket and he and I fell a boxing; we were all in liquor. With the blood that came from my nose and from his head, that is the reason of my shirt being in the condition it is in; the prosecutor said he had enough; I picked up my jacket, my wife and I came home; coming along the road he followed us very sharp, and at the corner of a public house I bid him good night; I said good night my friend, he made no answer; I said to my wife go in doors, I must do my occasions; I set down by the corner of the wall, to do my business; in the mean time I heard somebody on the other side of the bridge halloo out halloa; I answered him; the prosecutor came back and says halloo; he came up to me and lifted up my hat; he put it down;

he took the hat afterwards and ran away with it; I says to him as he was going over the bridge, my friend you have got my hat; he said he had not; as soon as I had buttoned up my small clothes, I pursued him; he dropped the hat, I picked it up and returned home.

Q. to prosecutor. Had you been drinking any liquor with the prisoner - A. Yes; I drank some of his and he drank some of mine.

Q. Where had you been that day. - A. I had been up to Mr. Munn's.

Q. Did you receive your wages - A. Yes, I received eleven shillings and tenpence; I put it in my pocket.

Q. Had you your money in your pocket when he took your watch away - A. Yes.

Q. Did he take any of your money away - A. No.

Q. Did you ever find your watch - A. No.

Q. Did you ever advertize it - A. No.

ROBERT ARNETT . - Mr. Walford. Were you in a street at Isleworth near twelve o'clock last Saturday night - A. Yes, between eleven and twelve o'clock at night; I met the prosecutor with a hat upon his head and a hat in his hand, I never spoke to him; I met the prisoner upon the bridge without his hat, he was buttoning his breeches up; I spoke to him, I said my friend where are you going this dead hour of the night without a hat; he said that man had taken his hat off his head, as he was sitting in the corner easing himself; the prosecutor dropped the hat, and the prisoner went and picked it up; I persuaded the prisoner to go home and go to bed, as it was a drunken affair among themselves.

Court. You know them both - A. Yes, by sight; the prosecutor is a sawyer, and the prisoner is a gardener ; one lives at Richmond and the other at Isleworth.

NOT GUILTY .

Second Middlesex jury, before Mr. Justice Grose.


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