JOHN MULDOON.
1st December 1819
Reference Numbert18191201-62
VerdictGuilty
SentenceDeath

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52. JOHN MULDOON was indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Joseph Read about ten o'clock at night of the 27th of November , at St. Leonard, Shoreditch , with intent to steal .

JOSEPH READ . I live in Shepherd and Shepherdess-walk, City-road , and am a steel-worker - I keep the house, only myself and family live there. On Saturday night, the 27th of November, I went to bed with my wife about half-past nine o'clock, I made the house perfectly secure, and about a quarter after ten I heard the latch of the middle-room door move, as if some one attempted to open it. The house is all on one floor; my shop is behind the two rooms, before which is the parlour and sleeping-room. I laid still, and heard a noise, as if some one was feeling their way in the passage - I whispered to my wife, but she was asleep. A chair stood in the middle of the room adjoining the bed-room; this obstructed his passage, and knocked against the door, which awoke my wife. She said,

"What is that! get up." Any one must have heard us. I got off the bedstead, and at that time the person knocked down a three-legged stool, on which laid some iron and steel, that awoke one of the children. I opened the door, got the poker, and as soon as I got into the workshop he was gone. I found the window and door open, and the lathe broken down. He must have trod on the lathe to get out of the window. I went to the front door, but saw no one. I went in again, struck a light in the bed-room, and heard some persons talking in front. I went to the door and saw Birch - the prisoner was in custody of a watchman. I dressed myself, and went to the watch-house with them. The prisoner said,

"You have lost nothing, have you?" I said No. He said,

"You did not see me in your house" - I said No, and asked him how he could have entered the house? he said

"I was in the garden, I acknowledge, but I was not in your house." I said if he had been in the garden he had been in the house. I went into a field by the side of the gardens; Birch pointed to a place in the fence - we traced footmarks from there to where he escaped. It was a frosty night - one footmark was black and the other white. I knew what made the black one, because in getting out over the lathe he had put his foot on some charcoal dust. I am positive the person in the gardens must have been in the house, as the footmarks were directly from the fence to the window, and back again.

Q. Could you observe whether they were the footmarks of more than one person - A. Only one person, from and to the window - it appeared he had got in at the window. It is a casement window, and I am certain it was shut, and quite safe when I went to bed. I tried to open it myself without any thing, and could not.

JOHN BIRCH . I am Sergeant at Mace of the City, and live within three doors of Read - my house is down a passage behind his. About ten o'clock at night I was going home, and saw three men, whom I suspected, close to Read's premises. I went home then, returned to fetch some porter, and saw them again standing by his premises. They saw me, and turned to the railings, as if for a necessary purpose. As I returned with my porter, two of them came towards me, and went swiftly by me. I said,

"You are after no good; if the watchman was here I would give you in charge." I turned my head, and saw the prisoner jump out of the prosecutor's garden into a field, then into a gentleman's garden, and into the passage where I took him.

Q. How near was he to Read's window when you first saw him - A. About six yards. I saw him get over the palings, which are seven feet high. I lost sight of him, and found him secreted under a corner. My dog barked, my wife opened the door, called me, and I took him. He said he had mistaken his way, and he thought it was a thoroughfare. I told him he must have known it was not, for my gate was locked when I went out, and I found it locked when I returned. At the watch-house he said to Read,

"When you go home examine if you have lost any thing." He said the other two had been playing with him, and had thrown his hat over. I saw the footsteps, and traced a person plainly to and from the house. It was a moonlight night.

Prisoner's Defence. I and two lads had been to see the Canal - I stopped for a necessary purpose - one of them threw my hat over the pales; they called out

"Stop him!" as I got over the pales - the man knocked me down for it, and said he would knock his pistol down my throat if he had it; I said I came with no bad intent.

JOHN BIRCH re-examined. I did not knock him down. He wanted to stop, and I drove him along.

GUILTY . - DEATH . Aged 18.

First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Baron Garrow .


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