23rd October 1822
Reference Numbert18221023-20
VerdictNot Guilty

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1507. GEORGE WINSTON was indicted for feloniously assaulting Mary Ann White on the King's highway, on the 17th of October , putting her in fear, and taking from her person, and against her will, one shawl, value 20 s. the goods of Thomas White .

MARY ANN WHITE . I am the wife of Thomas White . On the 17th of October, between nine and ten o'clock at night, I was going down to the public-house in Nightingale-lane, East Smithfield , to look for my husband; and as I went along, two young men stood together - the prisoner was one of them. I went into the public-house and found my husband was not there. As I came out, they still stood there, and just as I turned back, one of them ran after me - I looked back, and saw he had a blue coat on - he knocked me down - that was not the prisoner. When I was down, the prisoner ran up and took my shawl. I caught hold of him by the tail of his coat, and he handed the shawl to another man. I still held his coat, and tore it in the back - I called out Stop thief! and the patrol came up, and I gave him in charge directly. He was never out of my sight.

PRISONER. Q. Did you not receive 1 l. from Mrs. Agnue to compound the felony - A. No. Two other men were taken whom I could not swear to.

JOHN HAGUE . I am patrol of Aldgate. On the 17th of October, I heard the cry of Stop thief! I went towards the corner, and saw the prosecutrix all over mud, and the prisoner standing by her, who she said had taken her shawl; she had not hold of him, but stood up close by him; he did not attempt to run away, and said he did not take it himself, but that he saw another take it. His coat was torn. There were a great many people round.

MARY ANN WHITE re-examined. I put my fingers into a hole in his coat, and tore it down. He could not run away, as several people were round.

THOMAS HARRISON . I am the watch-house keeper; the prisoner was brought in; White was all over mud, and said in his presence that another man knocked her down, and

the prisoner snatched her shawl off. He denied it, and said he was standing opposite Mr. Thom's shop, waiting for a friend. The street is very light, there are three gas lamps in it, and there are three public-houses.

Prisoner's Defence. I went with a young man to have a pint of beer - he went into the chandler's shop - I was waiting for him. This woman came out with two men, turned up an alley, and when she got about half-way up, the young man in a fustian jacket took her shawl off. She passed me three or four times in the street for half an hour, and then took me. My coat was torn three days before.

CHARLES STAPLES . I am a constable, and live in Bell-alley. I had information that two young men were concerned in this robbery; I apprehended them, and took them to the Mansion House. White said she could not positively swear to them - their names were Agnue and Switcher. She got hold of Agnue's mother, who said,

"For God's sake, do not swear to my son." She said,

"Well, I don't care, so as I get the value of my shawl - that is all I want, and shall not appear." I took these prisoners to the Thames Police, and when she got there, she said she could not swear to either of them. The Magistrate committed them as vagrants, and as she came out, the mother of one of them said,

"You d - d ***, see what a sovereign will do." White then came to me and said,

"I fear I have done wrong - I have taken a sovereign of Mrs. Agnue." I said she had done very wrong.

SARAH TRUEMAN . I heard Mrs. White say at the Thames Police that she did not wish to hurt any one, if her shawl was made good; Mr. Agnue, the father of one of the prisoners, said he would pay her; she valued it at 1 l., and I had it from her own lips afterwards, that she had received 1 l. from Mr. Agnue. She was very drunk that night, and on coming home said, if Mrs. Winston would pay her for her shawl, she would not swear to her son. I said she had already sworn to him - she said she was not obliged to appear.

MARY ANN WHITE . It is quite wrong; no such thing happened. I never told Mr. Agnue I would not appear if I got the value of my shawl. I left Mrs. Agnue in the office. I never received a sovereign from Mr. or Mrs. Agnue, nor ever spoke to either of the witnesses. I saw Trueman at the office, and said, I did not wish to hurt any one, if my shawl was made good; Agnue's father said he would pay what I valued it at - he said to me,

"Mrs. White, here is 1 l. for yourself," and threw it on the taproom table - I did not take it up. I never told Trueman I had received 1 l. from Agnue.


First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice Park.

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