28th June 1820
Reference Numbert18200628-178
VerdictGuilty > lesser offence

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805. WILLIAM CONSTANTINE was indicted for feloniously assaulting Edmund Dove on the King's highway, on the 30th of June , putting him fear, and taking from his person, and against his will, one watch, value 2 l.; one seal, value 30 s.; one key, value 5 s., and one ring, value 5 s. his property .

EDMUND DOVE . I am servant to Mr. Grove, of Weymouth-street, Portman-place. On Saturday morning, about half-past one o'clock, I had been out with a friend, and was rather in liquor. We were at the corner of Well-street, Oxford-street . I was attacked by four men, who were in company - they separated my friend from me. One man took my watch, and at the same time I received a violent blow on my ear. I cannot say whether it was before or after the watch was taken - they separated and ran away - it was a dark night. The prisoner resembles the man, from his size and appearance - I have every reason to believe he is one of them. I pursued the man who I thought had the watch - he crossed the way and turned towards Poland-street - I pursued and stopped him. I do not think I lost sight of him, if I did, it was only for a moment. The prisoner was the man - nobody was near me but the four men. I stopped him about thirty or forty yards down Poland-street, called

"Watch," and he came up in three or four minutes and took him. He was running when I stopped him; and I am almost positive that I saw the watch in his possession - I have not seen seen it since.

HUGH BYRNE . I am a watchman of Poland-street. I heard a cry of

"Stop thief!" came up, and found the prisoner in custody of Dove. He said the prisoner had the watch - the prisoner said he was mistaken and he had no watch. The prosecutor spoke sensibly. I searched the prisoner but did not find the watch.

JOHN PHILLIPS . I am a watchman of Oxford-street, opposite Well-street. I heard the cry of

"Stop thief!" from the top Poland-street. I observed the parties before that and had my eye on them. I saw the prosecutor with a young man on the Well-street side of the road; and just as they got to the corner of Well-street, I saw four men meet them; he was hustled by them, and immediately afterwards they all ran down Poland-street, and he after them crying

"Stop thief!" I sprung my rattle and pursued as fast as I could, and did not see him lay hold of the prisoner. I saw the watch on the ground, about thirty yards down Poland-street; and as I stooped to pick it up, one of the party hit me a blow - he picked it up and put it in his right-hand pocket. I pursued, he got from me by a coach passing. There was no others near, but the four who surrounded the prosecutor. His friend did not push me. About half an hour after, two of his companions came to look for the watch, I said I would take them, and they ran off.

Prisoner's Defence. I was playing the violoncello at a gentleman's house and was out very late. I was coming down Oxford-road, a little in liquor, saw a disturbance on the opposite side and crossed over. The prosecutor was running after a man - he came and took me.

HUGH BYRNE . When I took him, I found no musical instrument on him - he did not appear intoxicated.

CHARLES LOWE (a blind man). I am the prisoner's brother-in-law. On this night I left him, near ten o'clock, in Oxford-street, near Swallow-street. He plays the violoncello - he was in liquor, and said he should go and get more. I took his instrument from him, for fear he should break it.

GUILTY . Aged 20.

Of stealing from the Person only.

Transported for Life .

First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Common Sergeant.

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