12th January 1826
Reference Numbert18260112-4
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation

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Before Mr. Justice Park.

185. WILLIAM GROVES, alias CAFFTREE BROOKER was indicted for stealing, on the 29th of November , at St. Mary, Stratford, Bow , 1 gelding, price 4l. , the property of Augustus Elliott Fuller .

MR. LAW conducted the prosecution.

GEORGE SHEPHERD . I am coachman to the Honourable Mrs. Fuller, of Ashdown House, East Grinstead - Augustus Elliott Fuller is her son. On the 28th of November I missed his grey pony from the field, and found it in the possession of Butcher, at the King's Arms, public-house, at Bow, on the Wednesday week following.

Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS. Q. What age is Mr. Fuller? A. About thirty years.

WILLIAM BOWRAH . I am under keeper to Mr. Augustus Elliott Fuller - he had a grey poney at Ashdown House; he was in Wales at the time; I saw it in the field on the 28th of November, and found it at Butcher's afterwards - it is worth 4l.

ISAAC MATTHEWS . I am a labourer. I went to Romford-market on Wednesday, the 30th of November, to buy a pony, but did not buy one. I live in Dighy-street, Globe-row. I was returning home, and overtook the prisoner; I did not know him before: I told him I had been to Romford, to buy a pony; he said he had one, which he would sell me; we walked on to the King's Arms, at Bow - he there shewed me a grey pony; I agreed to meet him next day, at ten o'clock, which I did, and agreed to give him four guineas for it; I paid him 2l., and was to pay him the rest in a few days. Next day I thought it was too cheap; I consulted a friend, and then took it to the King's Arms, till I could find Groves again; I saw him in the street on the day I took it back, and told him I did not like the pony - he asked for what reason - I told him I suspected it might be stolen, for I had had it valued; he assured me it was all right, but wished me to wait till Monday or Tuesday, when he would either give me back the 2l., or satisfy me that it was all right, as he had other business to attend to then; but I gave him in charge of an officer. He asked 6l. for it at first.

Cross-examined. Q. Are you a judge of the age of horses? A. No; my friend considered it worth 9l. or 10l. The King's Arms is a public yard.

MR. LAW. Q. Was it a pony of good appearance? - A. Yes.

CHARLES BEARD . I live at Brixton-hill, and know the prisoner. On the 29th of November, or the 1st of December, I saw the prisoner on the Norwood-road, about two o'clock in the afternoon; he was four or five miles from town, with two horses - one was a sorrel, and the other a grey pony; I know it was on one of those days, because on both days I was on that road.

SAMUEL BUTCHER . I am ostler at the King's Arms, Bow. On Tuesday, the 29th of November, about three o'clock in the afternoon, I think, the prisoner brought a grey pony and a chesnut mare to the King's Arms - he asked if he could stop there that night; I said he could: he said hay would do for the horses; he did not want corn; they were wet and dirty, as it had rained. About seven o'clock next morning I saw him - he said he should take the mare out and shew her to a man, which he did - he took her away; she was very lame in her fore feet - he left the gelding pony with me, and said he should return in a few hours. I saw him again between seven and eight o'clock that evening (the 30th) - Matthews was with him; they looked at the pony; the prisoner said they would meet next morning about it; I went out next day, and when I came home the pony was gone. On the Saturday morning Matthews brought it in, and left it; I could not tell him where Groves lived. In a few hours I saw Matthews and the prisoner at the King's Arms; I asked the prisoner where he bought it; he said, in Kent: I asked if he had no receipt for his money - he said No, but that he had known the person of whom he bought them three or four years - he gave me a name, which I do not recollect. I understood him he was something of a gardener - we took him to the office.

JAMES LEE . I am an officer of Lambeth-street. On Tuesday, the 29th of November, in the afternoon, I saw the prisoner passing Whitechapel-church, on the road to Bow, leading a chesnut horse and grey pony - they seemed much fatigned. On the Saturday evening Butcher and Matthews brought the prisoner to me - Matthews said he thought he had bought the pony too cheap, and wanted his money back; I detained the prisoner. I have seen the pony - it appeared to me to be the same as I saw him with. On the Saturday evening, when I was at the King's Arms, I asked the prisoner where he got them - he said he bought them of one John Bailey, a gardener, of Westerham, in Kent - that he was servant to General Dorin, at Hill Park; I asked what he gave for them - he said he gave 6l. for the chesnut, and 3l. for the pony - that

he had known the man a good while, and had bought them in the market on the Saturday previous, which would be the 26th of November. I asked what took him to that part of the country - he said he had been to see his brother - that he had another brother living at East Grinstead; he said he had seen his brother at East Grinstead, and went to take him some money, and made this purchase on his way back on the Saturday; I asked what detained him from not coming to town before Tuesday - he said he slept with John Bailey two nights, and the other night at Hayes, on the road. I told him I had seen him leading two horses, and he said it was so. I afterwards went to his house, and saw his son - I returned, and told him I had asked his son if he had any horses to sell last week, and the son had said he had none to sell - that I then asked him where he (the prisoner) had slept for four nights, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, and he had said he slept at home every night - the prisoner said, "It is very odd he should say so - he must have made a mistake - I don't know who could have told him so." I then said I should take him to the watch-house, and next morning took him his breakfast, and told him I was going down to Westerham to see this John Bailey , and that I had heard of two horses being lost at East Grinstead - he said if they were the two horses it would be of no use for me to go, for John Bailey would hear of it, and be out of the way - he then said it was a bad job for him - it was a done job, and he must suffer for it. I went to Westerham, but could find no John Bailey, and was informed that General Dorin had been dead six months, and could get no information of any John Bailey having lived with General Dorin - none of the inhabitants knew of such a person.

Cross-examined. Q. There has been a General Dorin? A. Yes. I believe the prisoner is a married man - I only saw one child.

Prisoner. I am not guilty of stealing it out of the lady's ground.

Three witnesses gave the prisoner a good character.

GUILTY - DEATH . Aged 51.

Recommended to Mercy by the Jury and Prosecutor, on account of his character.

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