17th February 1825
Reference Numbert18250217-17
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation
SentenceImprisonment; Corporal > whipping

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399. WILLIAM SHEARMAN was indicted for stealing, on the 4th of February , a cap, value 2 s. 6 d., the goods of Eleanor Mason , widow , from the person of William Henry Mason .

ELEANOR MASON. I am a widow, and keep an oil-shop in Brick-lane - my son, William Henry, is eleven years of age. On the 4th of February he went to Wood-street, Cheapside, to a Mr. Brander's - he had a cap on when he went out; he returned home a little before eight o'clock, without it.

WILLIAM HENRY MASON. I am eleven years of age. I know the nature of an oath. I left Mr. Brander's on the 4th of February, a little after seven o'clock. As I was crossing Rose-lane, Spitalfields , the prisoner came up to me, and took my cap from my head; there seemed to be some others with him, and I heard a whistle - I am certain he is the person who took it: I caught hold of the tail of his coat, and kept him till a woman came up and secured him; a gentleman came and took him into custody. I have not seen the cap since.

HENRY SMITH . I live in Shorter-street. I was in Rose-lane on the 4th of February, and saw the prisoner take the cap off the prosecutor's head; I thought he had been at play till I saw the witness take hold of his coat: the prisoner said he had thrown it into the road; it has not been found. He was in company with two others - I saw him secured.

THOMAS HART . I am a constable. The prisoner was given into my charge at the watch-house, for stealing the lad's cap; he said he knew nothing about it.

Prisoner's Defence. I was going down Rose-lane - the witness took hold of my coat, and asked me for his cap; I told him I had not seen it, which I had not.

GUILTY. Aged 15. Rcommended to Mercy .

Confined Three Months and Whipped .

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