JOHN ADAMS.
3rd December 1823
Reference Numbert18231203-59
VerdictGuilty
SentenceTransportation

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59. JOHN ADAMS was indicted for feloniously assaulting James Wright , on the 2d of December , with a felonious intent to rob him and his monies from his person, and against his will, violently and feloniously to steal .

SECOND COUNT, for feloniously and by force demanding the same, with intent to steal.

JAMES WRIGHT . I lodge at No. 12, Broad-street, Golden-square, on the first floor. On Wednesday evening last, a little before nine o'clock, I was walking in Fleet-street, between the Bolt-in-Tun and Fleet-market, at a slow pace, and met the prisoner; he gave me a daring and unusual look as he passed. I turned round, and observed him following me; he tapped me on the shoulder, and said he was in great want of money, would I assist him - I said I did not consider him an object of charity, and would give him nothing - he kept by my side till I got to the end of Fleet-street, talking all the way. I said several times if he did not go about his business, I would give him in charge. I was just turning the corner into Bridge-street , (I was going to see a friend in Blackfriars-road) - he caught hold of me by the collar, and swore with a violent oath, that money he wanted, and money he would have, and he did not care a d - n for his life. I did not see the watchman, but saw the waterman at a short distance, and desired him to call the watch, and the instant I said so, he let go of my collar, and gave me a violent blow with his fist on the head (I feel the effects of it now); at that moment, as he was going to repeat the blow, two watchmen came up, and seized him, and said they had seen what had passed. I never saw him before.

Prisoner. Q. Do not you recollect going up into a room with me - A. Never in my life.

Q. Were you ever in any room with me, in which Mr. Butler was in the chair - A. I never was in any room whatever with him.

JAMES FINNEY . I am a watchman. I was going upon duty, and just as I passed Mr. Waithman 's door, the waterman called me, and said a person was attacking a gentleman - I went up, and saw the prisoner strike the prosecutor a blow on the head; he was going to repeat it, as I collared him - I asked why he struck that gentleman; he said he would hit him again; he did not say why. We took him to the watch-house. I took him to Guildhall next day - he said nothing about it.

WILLIAM PITT . I am a watchman of Bridge-street. I saw the prisoner strike the gentleman a violent blow - I was about a yard from him - he would have repeated it if I had not prevented him - he said he would strike him again.

THOMAS SMITH , I was a constable of the night, and found the prisoner at the watch-house. Mr. Wright gave the account he has now. The prisoner seemed to say he had seen him before - Wright declared he had never seen him before. Nothing but a few halfpence were found on him.

Prisoner's Defence. I was walking on the opposite side of Ludgate-hill; I looked in at a shop, and the gentleman was looking in at the shop; he came and pushed up against me - I came away to the bottom of the street, went into Bridge-street, and the gentleman followed; he came up alongside of me, and asked if I had lately come out of the country - I said I had been up here about ten weeks, but had been in London before. I turned up the first turning on the right, to go towards the Temple - he followed me. I told him I was going to a house to see a young man, who had worked in Deptford Dock-yard; he asked if it was convenient for him to go with me - I said it was not convenient to take a stranger, for I knew very little of the man. He came on a little further, and asked if I had got work or not; I said I had had a bad leg, and was not able to do much work, and was rather short. We came to the house; he followed me up three pair of stairs - the young man was not there, but a man sat there nearly tipsy - I believe his name is Butler; we came down again, and before we came to Fleet-street, I asked him to recommend me to work, or help me to a trifle - he said he had no money whatever about him, but if I would go with him to a friend's house in Fleet-street, he would try and borrow a few shillings; we walked to the bottom of Fleet-street; I said, "If your friend lives here, now is your time, if you will let me have it;" he said if I did not go away, he would charge the watch with me - I said he had not behaved like a gentleman, that I had met with some of his kind before, and did not think him any better than he ought to be - he began calling me a rascal, and said, "There is a great many of your sort about, you want to extort money from me." I said the actions he used were not like a man, and he deserved a lick on the head, and struck him.

JAMES WRIGHT . I had come from Golden-square, and had not been on Ludgate-hill at all. I never saw him before.

GUILTY . Aged 33.

Transported for Seven Years .


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