5th September 1833
Reference Numbert18330905-15
VerdictNot Guilty

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Before Mr. Baron Gurney.

1216. JAMES HUNT was indicted, that he, on the 10th of August , at Acton , feloniously and burglariously did break and enter the dwelling-house of Peter Grant , about the hour of twelve o'clock in the night, with intent the goods in the same dwelling-house feloniously and burglariously to steal .

LIEUTENANT WILLIAM OLIVER GRANT . I am son of Peter Grant, and live in my father's house in the parish of Acton. On the morning of the 12th of August, about one o'clock, I was awoke by somebody opening my bed room door; I laid perfectly quiet for a short time, to see what he would do, and in a few seconds a person came in contact with my bed curtains; I immediately started up and cried out "Who is there?" upon which the person ran down stairs; I immediately jumped out of bed to follow him, when to my surprise, I heard him pull open the hall door and go out, and hearing that, I then ran to the window overlooking the front court, and saw a person scale the iron gate in front of the house, and disappear on the other side; the police having answered my first call, by this time ran up; I went down stairs and found the prisoner lying perfectly stunned, in the road at the foot of the gate; the gate is about nine feet high, but it is lower on the road side; he must have fallen about fifteen feet; he was taken in custody; I went round the premises with a servant, and found one of the kitchen windows open, and the dresser drawer immediately below the window had been opened, and the contents strewed about, but nothing taken away; a purse containing 3s. 6d. was left untouched, belonging to one of the servants; there was a pocket book on the dresser I believe, but I did not see it.

Cross-examined by MR. BARRY. Q. Do you hold the house jointly with your father? A. No; I am on leave of absence from my regiment, and visiting at my father's.

THOMAS PATIENCE . I am in Mr. Grant's service; I cannot positively say I fastened the house the night before, but to the best of my knowledge, every thing was fastened; the kitchen window which was found open, was shut when I went to bed, to the best of my knowledge; but I really cannot say; there is no catch to the window, so that it might easily be pushed up; I went into the kitchen before I went to bed; I usually go there the last thing, and fasten the back door - that was about half-past ten o'clock; I went into the kitchen to see that all was fast, and to the best of my knowledge, the window was shut; I went round the house after the alarm, and found the window open wide enough for a person to get in; there are iron bars, but it is wide enough for a young person to get through; I found no other way in which he could have got in - the back door, and all was fast.

Cross-examined. Q. How many servants are there? A. Three maid-servants and myself; it is usual to open the window at night to cool the kitchen, and it has frequently been left open all night; I could not swear positively that it was closed that night.

COURT. Q. Do you know anything of a pocket book? A. It is a memorandum book which the cook uses; I saw it laying on the dresser - I don't know where it was the night before; it is very possible I might not have noticed whether the window was open; I went into the back kitchen to see whether all was safe, and I saw that all was safe - I have no doubt at all but the window was shut, but I cannot swear whether it was shut or not - I

might be deceived; I went to see that all was safe, and I have no doubt I did see all safe.

JOHN TEDMAN . I am a policeman. I did not hear the alarm from the house; but Welling, who has resigned, brought the prisoner into the station-house; Welling resigned last Thursday, and is not here; Ball was with him when he brought the prisoner.

THOMAS BALL . I am a policeman. On the 10th of August, I heard the cry of police; I was about thirty yards distant, and as I ran, I heard something fall, but could not see what it was, it was so dark; when I came to the prosecutor's gate, I found the prisoner laying there quite senseless; I took him into custody.

Prisoner's Defence. I am perfectly innocent of getting into the house; I went down to Acton to see a few friends - I had been there with Lady Byron, and I am acquainted with several people in the town; I stopped there with them playing at skittles till after twelve o'clock at night, (Mr. Grant inquired of my character and found I was tipsy,) they asked me if I was capable of going home by myself, as they had no bed for me to sleep in; they left me, and I know nothing more, till I found myself in the station-house; they asked me if I knew what had happened; I said, "No;" they asked how I came in Mr. Grant's house, I said, "I have not been there;" the policeman said somebody had been there, at all events; Mr. Grant has inquired of my character, and knows I was with the people that day; the policeman said he could not tell whether I was drunk or not - that I might be laying there drunk for what he knew; nobody came up in time to see me fall, if it was me.


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