8th September 1831
Reference Numbert18310908-19
VerdictGuilty; Not Guilty

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First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice Alderson.

1548. WILLIAM HOWE and ELIZABETH HOPKINS were indicted for feloniously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of William Heather , on the 5th of August , at St. John, the Evangelist, Westminter, and stealing therein 1 pair of bracelets, value 3s.; 1 cross, value 4s.; 1 pencil-case, value 4s.; 1 shawl, value 4s.; 1 veil, value 5s.; 2 shifts, value 3s.; 2 collars, value 2s.; 2 shirts, value 4s.; 2 caps, value 5s., and 5 handkerchiefs, value 5s. , his property.

MARY ANN HEATHER . I am the wife of William Heather - we live at No. 19, Belvoir-terrace, Vauxhallbridge-road ; he rents the house. I went to bed about eleven o'clock on Friday, the 5th of August - every part of the house was fastened up, except the wash-house window, and that was shut up close, to the very top - it has no fastening nor shutter; it is a sash-window, and was put down quite close: there was a basket of linen and other property in the wash-house; I was awoke between two and three o'clock in the morning by a rumbling noise, such as pushing up a window would make - I got out of bed, and smelt a strong smell of grease burning; I went on the landing, and listened - I heard no more; the smell died away, and I went to bed again - I got up, and came down stairs between seven and eight o'clock, and discovered the wash-house window wide open - the top sash was down as low as it would come; there was sufficient room to admit a man - I directly missed from the basket of clothes, the shirts, shifts, collars, and other things; I missed out of the parlour, a veil, a shawl, and a little purse, with not less than fourteen silver pennies, of the reign of George the Third.

SARAH MORRIS. I am shopwoman to Mr. Brooks, hardwareman, Tothill-street, Westminster. On the 6th of August, about five o'clock in the morning, the prisoner Howe came to the shop, and produced fourteen silver pennies, which master bought of him - I have them here.

SARAH NEEDHAM . On the 19th of August Hopkins came to my house for a lodging, and offered me a duplicate - I put it away in my drawer, and on the Wednesday or Thursday she came and asked me to give it her, which I did; she gave it me for her lodging - she said it was the ticket of a shawl, but I did not read it; she gave it me again to take care of, and I gave the same ticket to Butler, the Policeman.

HENRY GIBSON . I am shopman to a pawnbroker. I have a shawl, which was pawned at our shop on the 20th of August, by a woman, whom I do not know; this is the duplicate I gave her (looking at one.)

THOMAS BUTLER . I am an officer. I got that duplicate from Mrs. Needham.

SARAH ANN SMITH . I live in Union-court, Westminster - I did live with my mother in the Almonry. The prisoners lodged at my mother's for about a fortnight - they lived together, and while they lodged there I found a veil down in the privy, rather among the soil, as if it had been thrown down; I gave it to my mother.

- SMITH. The prisoners lodged at my house together - some nights at my house, and some at other houses; while they were at my house I saw a veil in my own room, and asked Howe what that veil did there - I said I did not like to see such a thing in my house; I told him to take it out, and he did so - my little girl afterwards brought it to me out of the privy; it was the same - I kept it about a week, and gave it to the prosecutrix; I am sure I gave her the same as my daughter gave me; I first saw it a week or nine days before I gave it to her.

MARY ANN HEATHER . Mrs. Smith gave me a veil on the 25th of August, about twenty days after the robbery; I gave it to Butler - (looking at it) this is it; it was taken out of the parlour with this shawl - they were folded up together; I cannot identify the pennies, but it is about the number I had.

THOMAS BUTLER . I am a Policeman. Mrs. Heather gave me that veil; I have had it ever since - the house is in the parish of St. Margaret, Westminster.

Howe's Defence. I was going down Strutton-ground, and picked up this property; a veil was with it, but it was a different colour to that one altogether - I went and sold the penny-pieces for 14d. or 1s., I am not certain which.

Hopkins' Defence. I bought the ticket of the shawl, which I left with the witness for a night's lodging.



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