16th July 1829
Reference Numbert18290716-61
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation

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1435. THOMAS DAVIS was indicted for feloniously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Richard Marks , on the 21st of June , at St. Leonard, Shoreditch , and stealing therein 1 pint of wine, value 2s.; 1 bottle, value 3d.; 200 needles, value 1s.; 1 twopenny piece, 72 penny pieces, and 48 halfpence, his property .

RICHARD MARKS . I keep a public-house in Old-street-road , in the parish of St. Leonard, Shoreditch. On the morning of Sunday, the 21st of June, about ten minutes past four o'clock, I was alarmed by the watchman; I went to the window, and the watchman told me to come down immediately - as soon as I came down I found the parlour window shutters down; they are outside shutters - the upper sash of the window was pulled down, the lower sash remained as it was left; I had secured the windows myself the night before, and had fastened the shutters and doors myself - I went to bed about three-quarters past twelve; I examined the shutters - some instrument had been forced between the shutters which slide up and down - by pressing some instrument against the shutters the inner shutter fell down; all the wood work was torn away by some iron instrument; I opened the door immediately, and the watchman asked what I had lost - I went to the till, and missed eight or ten shillings in half-pence; the parlour door leads to the bar without any passage between - there was a quantity of farthings among the copper, and one twopenny piece, which is not a common thing; I have taken three since I have been in the house, and threw them into the back of the till - there was a pint pot on the counter with some cider in it; it was about two-thirds full - that pint pot was not there the night before - the iron handle of the outside door was wrenched off; that was safe the night before; about one o'clock at noon I missed about two-thirds of a bottle of sherry from the sideboard in the bar - it was a common black wine bottle: I had about two hundred sail needles, which I had had about sixteen years - I had brought them from Malta; I should know them again - they were in a drawer next to the till; I had seen them a day or two before - they were wrapped in a paper; I have known the prisoner about eighteen months - he used to come to my house after a servant of mine; I have frequently seen him there - I discharged that servant about five weeks before this.

Prisoner. Q. Had you any reason to suspect my honesty? A.None, though I knew he had been in the Refuge for the Destitute.

EDWARD OXLEY . I am a watchman - the prosecutor's house is two beats off mine. On the Sunday morning in question I saw the prisoner, when I was at the top of Saunder's-gardens, at a quarter before four o'clock - I was near my box; I had not seen him before - he was sitting on the step of the Weavers' Arms, Saunder's-gardens, almost two hundred yards from Marks'; he was counting some copper - there were 5s. or 6s. worth, I suppose; he put them into his side-pocket as he counted them, and he had a black wine bottle by the side of him, with some liquor in it - he was in liquor; I asked him where he got the halfpence - he said he took them for his wages; I asked him to go to the watch-house - he said he would; he said he worked over in the Borough - that he got the liquor to go fishing with; the officer of the night took down where he said he worked - he said he earned 35s. a-week; he was dismissed from the watch-house that night, and I apprehended him again at a quarter before six o'clock - I took him to the watch-house, and delivered him to Smith, the constable of the night; he was then rather more in liquor - I have no doubt of his being the same man.

THOMAS RYCROFT . I am a watchman of Old-street-road - my beat is near Marks'; my box is within five or six yards of his house - it stands in his yard. On Sunday morning, about twenty minutes to four o'clock, this happened - I was then gone down to the watch-house; I had seen the prisoner, about ten minutes before two o'clock, at the top of a court on my beat, about fifty yards from the house - I have seen him about the street before; he spoke to me, and said he had lost a handkerchief down the court; he asked me to go with him - I went into a house in the court, where he said he had lost it; they produced

several handkerchiefs, which he did not own; he called out for Kirby in the house - she is the girl who had lived with the prosecutor; I know her - he asked her if she had seen the handkerchief; she said No, she had seen none but what he had got; she asked if he had lost any thing else - if he had lost any money; he said, "No, I have got none" - I am sure he said he had got none; he was turned out of that house by the man who kept it - I brought him out of the court, and turned him off my beat; he went away past Shoreditch church, and in about ten minutes I saw him come back to the same court again - I went back again, and sent him away; I asked where he lived - he said No. 24, Hoxton; I gave him a shove, and told him to go off my beat - I saw him again about three o'clock; he came past me by the church again, and went round by the church; he was going away from Marks' then - I saw him a fourth time about a quarter before four o'clock, going up towards the watch-house with Oxley, who had got a glass bottle in his hand; I did not know of the robbery at that time - he had no glass bottle the three first times that I saw him; he was not intoxicated the first time I saw him, but the fourth time I thought he was - he had been drinking; about ten minutes before four o'clock I saw Marks' window shutters broken open, and the handle of the door wrenched off - I alarmed him; I had passed his house about three quarters of an hour before - the shutters and door were secure then.

Prisoner. Q.What did I tell you I had lost? A. A handkerchief, nothing else; I heard you playing a flute in the house - you did not say you lost a flute.

COURT. Q. You have been examined before the Magistrate - did he not say he had lost a flute? A. He did not say so at first, he did afterwards.

Prisoner. Q. Did I not ask you to go down with me to find it, and you beat me away? A. I went to the house - there were several Irish people, who all took off their hats; it was full three-quarters of an hour from the time I saw him till the time the house was broken open - I saw him come down Shoreditch; the fourth time was when I saw him with the bottle - I was about twenty yards from him when I saw him with Oxley, and could see that he was more intoxicated.

GEORGE SMITH . I am a constable. On Sunday morning the prisoner was brought to the watch-house. about three o'clock the first time - Oxley brought him again a second time; the first time he brought him was about a quarter before three - he had a bottle then.

Q.What time was it that he was finally taken into custody? A. I found him at the watch-house between five and six o'clock; he had no bottle then, but he had it the first time, which was a little before three, to the best of my recollection - that was the time that Oxley brought him, he said in his presence he had seen him on the steps counting some farthings and halfpence, and a bottle by his side, and did not think it was all right; the prisoner said he lived with Richard Austin, No. 101, Kent-street, Borough, and he received it as his wages - which were 1l. 16s. per week; I asked what was in the bottle - he said it was liquor; that he generally got it as he was going a fishing - I said, "You could not get liquor at this time in the morning"; he said Yes, he had got it from Mr. Percel's - a man of that name keeps a house, I find; I tasted the liquor - it consisted of different sorts of spirits; there appeared to be wine and rum; I examined him the second time he was brought, and found 2s. 2d. in halfpence, eleven penny pieces, one twopenny piece, thirty-three farthings, one half-crown, two sixpences in silver, one knife, one key and one bundle of needles; I said, "What do you call these?" he said, "Oh, they are one or two bodkins;" the needles were in this paper - I went afterwards to Mr. Marks'.

Prisoner. Q.Did you not ask me the first time to treat you in the watch-house with something to drink? A. After I said you might go, the houseman, said, "You have no objection for us to taste your liquor" - you said, "No, you may taste it all round."

RICHARD MARKS . This packet of needles is my property - I know it well; they were rusty, and a few weeks before I observed the papers they were in, were loose, and I tied them up in this piece of newspaper, which they are in now; this twopenny piece I know by being bright - I believe it to be mine; I had a great many farthings, more than thirty-three, in the till - I do not think there was any silver in the till - there might be one sixpence; I am certain I lost no half-crown.

Prisoner's Defence. Oxley saw me the first time at a quarter to two o'clock; I had been down where he was three times - he beat me away; I must have broken open the house, gone there three times, took the property, and got to the watch-house in less than an hour, which is a thing impossible for any body to do - I had the property put on me at the place I lost my handkerchief in; I could say so if I stood before a higher tribunal than this - if I had been guilty, should I have staid two hours near the place to be taken? Smith has been to the house, and found the flute which I lost.

GUILTY - DEATH . Aged 24.

Recommended to mercy by the Jury and by the Prosecutor, as he had stated the girl to be the cause of the robbery.

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