21st February 1810
Reference Numbert18100221-97

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244. JAMES PORTER was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 16th of January , 100 lb. weight of lead, value 2 l. the property of William Scothrup , affixed to a house of his .

WILLIAM SCOTHRUP . Q. Had you any house in the parish of St. Pancrass. - A. Yes; No. 10, in Upper-Grafton-street, East, by Fitzroy Square ; I am the owner of it, the house is not quite finished, the gutters were covered with lead. On the 17th of January, I had information that the lead had been taken off, I had seen the lead all safe on the gutters about three or four days before.

WILLIAM CHERSLEY . I am a carpenter; I know the house belongs to Mr. Scorthrup; on the 16th of January,

I was at work two doors off; about twenty minutes before seven in the evening a man came to me; he said, he thought he saw a person on the top of the building, I went out and looked, and saw a man look over the parapet wall, he was in the gutter of Scothrup's house; I holloaed to him, he put his head down, in about three minutes he put his head over the wall again; I holloaed out to him again, he made no answer, I heard a ratling on the slates, he came on the back roof, he spoke to me, and I to him, there was no window in the house, nor no floors, I asked him if he had any business there; he said, he had; I told him to come down and tell me, or else I would come up after him; he said, he would not, Mr. Williams sprang a rattle two or three times to frighten him down; it was a moon-light night, I could see him, I am confident of his person and of his voice; he had worked in the same row. I went up through the joists into the garret floor, he was there concealed between the joists and the roof; I asked him civilly then to come down, he said, no, he would not, he said, d - n you, if you come nigh me I will blow your brains out, he said, he had got a pistol, and put his hand to his breast as if he had a pistol there, two more persons came up, we tied a ladder from floor to floor, and forced him down; we then took him to a public-house; I said, I think you have been cutting the lead, or else taking some of the lead away, he replied, if the lead is cut or gone away, you have found none upon me; I know you cannot hurt me. I don't think there were any other person on the roof but the prisoner, there was no other man standing behind.

Q. Did you find any knife upon him. - A. No; he was put in the watch-house. We could not go upon the roof that night, we went up the next morning, we found three parts of the lead gone, and a bit left; we found a carpenter's chisel on the parapet wall, and a sack and rope was down below, and by the edge of the chisel it appeared to have been cutting lead. When we apprehended him, I said, here is your sack and cord; he replied, I will take my oath it is not my cord.

HENRY WILLIAMS . I live at No. 12, in the same street, I came upon the alarm, and said, I am glad you have taken some person, because I have been very much disturbed, I had heard something two or three nights previous, I sprang a rattle and got assistance. The moment I entered the house where the prisoner was, I perceived him at the back garret window, he threatened to destruction, any man if he come up; I told him, I would fire if he resisted, and when they got him down, I seized him, and I knew him. I sent to Mr. Scothrup, and to the prisoner's employer, the prisoner had been working next door to me, he was a plaisterer's labourer, he had been discharged about a fortnight, when his master came he asked him, how he came in the situation that he was apprehended, he pretended that he had lost tools, he went up there to watch to detect them.

JOHN BAKER . I am a constable of St. Pancras. This is the chisel, the sack and the rope that was found.

Prisoner's Defence. I was at work next door to Mr. Scothrup's house, I lost my shovel, and a great coat from the next house, I have frequently seen people go in and out of the house, I thought they were after no good. It is all spite, that man and I happened not to be good friends, he used me very ill when he got me out in the street.

GUILTY , aged 18.

Transported for Seven Years .

First Middlesex jury, before Mr. Common Serjeant.

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