28th June 1820
Reference Numbert18200628-22
VerdictNot Guilty

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742. ELIZA BROWN , LUCY SAUNDERS , and EDWARD CRISPIN were indicted for feloniously assaulting William Burgess , on the King's highway, on the 22d of June , putting him in fear, and taking from his person and against his will, one pocket-book, value 6 d., and two 1 l. notes, his property .

WILLIAM BURGESS . I keep a horse and cart , and live in Fuller-street, Bethnal-green. Last Thursday morning, about five o'clock, I went into a coffee-shop in Wentworth-street , I saw the prisoners and another woman there - I think they followed me in - they came and sat down close by me; they asked me for some coffee, and came hunching up to me and feeling my pockets - I gave them some to keep them off. I came out about a quarter before six o'clock, the women followed me out, and hustled me in the passage; when I got about five steps from the door my pocket-book was taken - Brown took it out of my pocket. I caught hold of her, a number of men came round and kicked me - I almost got my brains knocked out. Crispin was in the passage; when I came out he caught hold of me and said,

"Let the woman go, or I will knock your eye out!" - I was obliged to let her go. Crispin kept holding me to stop me from pursuing her.

Cross-examined by MR. BARRY. Q. You rose early that morning - A. I was up all night. I had been to an auction by the Tower; we dined together afterwards, and stopped at the public-house till twelve o'clock, I then walked part of the way to Highgate, as we had some business to settle. I left him between two and three o'clock, and as I returned I went into this shop, which I thought was a public-house - I had been with no women. Some women spoke to me in Webb-square, I do not know whether they were the prisoners or not.

Q. Did you not say you had lost a 20 l. note - A. No. The coffee-shop man stood at the door when I was robbed, and would not assist me.

Cross-examined by MR. BROADRICK. Q. Were you in company with two girls in Wentworth-street - A. No, on my oath I was not. I was perfectly sober. I went to no house in George-yard. I called for a watchman, but could get none.

BROWN'S Defence. I was in his company in Webb-square before he went to the coffee-shop.

CRISPIN'S Defence. I know nothing of it.

JOSEPH BRANT . I am a watchman of Whitechapel. About a quarter past four o'clock in the morning of the robbery I saw the prosecutor go into a house of ill fame in George-yard, he had two girls with him, Brown was one of them; he told me to take charge of them. I said,

"What should I take charge of them for? they have charge of you, and if you don't mind they will have all you have in your pocket." He appeared a good deal the worse for liquor.

COURT. Q. It was your duty to take them up. How came you to let him go into a bad house with them - A. I could not prevent him.

BENJAMIN HART . I keep the coffee-shop in Wentworth-street. Burgess came in about ten minutes past five o'clock - he was drunk, and brought in three women; he kept singing to the women, and said he was a queer fellow. Saunders had come to my house about four o'clock the day before - she was asleep by the fire when Burgess was there. About five o'clock in the morning, after he went out, I heard an alarm - she was then asleep there. I did not see Crispin. Burgess never asked me to assist him.

SAMUEL STARKEY . I am a watchman of Spitalfields. I saw Burgess in Rose-lane with two women, about a quarter past four o'clock; he was very drunk, the women could hardly keep him from falling.

COURT. Q. Why not take him to the watch-house till he was sober - A. I did not know but one of the women was his wife.

WILLIAM BURGESS . I have a witness to prove I was sober.

FRANCIS ROSE . I am a constable. Burgess called me up before six o'clock that morning - I never saw a man more sober. I went with him, and took Crispin at the Three Compasses, at a little after seven, and about two hours afterwards I took the women at the coffee-shop. Burgess said they were the persons.

HENRY MARSHALL . I am a constable. I was called up with Rose, and took Crispin. Burgess was perfectly sober. I took the women at the coffee-shop about ten o'clock.


Second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice Holroyd.

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