29th October 1817
Reference Numbert18171029-3

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1435. MICHAEL HOLLINGSWORTH was indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of James Homan , about two o'clock in the night of the 14th of September , in the parish of St. Margaret, Westminster, with intent to steal .

JAMES HOMAN . I keep the Half Moon, public-house, Stretton-ground, in the parish of St. Margaret, Westminster . On the 15th of September, about two o'clock in the morning, I was in bed, the watchman alarmed me by knocking at the door; I got up, went down, and found the cellar window, which goes under the street, open. I had been in the cellar at dusk, about six or seven o'clock. I had a candle with me when I went there - I went to shift the pipe; I locked the door when I came out. The flap had not been open for a week before. I missed nothing when I went into the cellar. I went into the street first, and then went down into the cellar from the house; I opened the cellar door, and then let the prisoner out through the house. Just as I was going to open the door, he said, "don't be alarmed, master, I will make no resistance." I knew him; he had lived about twenty months with me before. The wood-work of the wine-cellar door was cut away round the ock, and we found a large knife lying by the door - I took him to the watch-house-two small picklock keys were found upon him. When I returned from the watch-house, I found a tinder-box, a flint, a steel, and a candle, on one of the butts in the cellar; the candle was not burning; they are not mine, nor were they there the night before. Next morning I found two more skeleton keys in the cellar.

Court. Q. In what way was the cellar window fastened - A. By a cross-bolt, and another bolt at the bottom. I saw it fastened the night before when I shut up, at half-past ten o'clock - I tried them. I had not seen the prisoner in my house for some days before. He has frequently been at my house, but not latterly; he lodged eight or ten months with me; when he lodged with me I kept my wine in that cellar.

WALTER CROSS . I am a watchman. I was going down the street, about two o'clock in the morning, and found Mr. Homan's cellar window open; I had been round at half-past one o'clock, and am positive it was not open then - I gave the alarm. While Mr. Homan was coming down stairs I looked into the cellar, and saw one of the butts running, and the prisoner behind one of the casks; I am certain that he is the man. When Homan came down I had sprung my rattle; the other watchman guarded the window. I went into the house, and saw the prisoner come up the cellar stairs, and took him to the watch-house. When we took him there, the constable of the night took two small keys out of his pocket. We returned to the cellar, and found the other things; the winecellar lock was cut away.

ROBERT UPTON. I am the constable of the night. The prisoner was brought to the watch-house; he said nothing. I searched, and found two picklock keys upon him. The other witnesses have spoken correctly.

JAMES GILMORE . I am an officer. I was directed by the magistrate to examine the premises; there was a great deal of dirt on the prisoner's back. It appeared that he had entered at the cellar door. The wine-cellar door was cut.

WILLIAM VEAL ANDREWS . I was employed to put new hinges on the cellar-flap-one of them was broken

JAMES HOMAN. The hinges were not broken before.

Prisoner's Defence. I was locked out of my lodging, and coming by the house where I had once lodged, I found the cellar flap open, and I went down; in about a quarter of an hour the watchman came by, and seeing the flap open he knocked at the door - I went up the cellar stairs, the landlord came; I asked him to let me out, and told him not to be frightened, as it was me; the keys that were found on me were the keys of a stable which I rented of Mr. Shaw; one of them was broken, the other I bought to replace it. The landlord said he could not swear that the place was fastened as he had not been in it for a fortnight.

JAMES HOMAN . I never said I did not know whether the flap was fast or not; nor that I had not been in the cellar for a fortnight - I was there the evening before - I must go there every day. He said he had nothing to say for himself.

ROBERT UPTON re-examined. I asked him if he had anything to say in his behalf? he said, no; he said nothing about the keys of the stable.

WALTER CROSS . I looked into the cellar with my lanthorn, and saw the prisoner getting behind the butts - He was squeezing behind them, on the right-hand side of the cellar.

Prisoner. The prosecutor knows that I rented the stable of Mr. Shaw; I borrowed the money of his wife.

JAMES HOMAN . I did not know that he rented the stable, I do not know Shaw. I never heard of my wife lending him any money.

GUILTY . - DEATH . Aged 20.

First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice Park.

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