28th November 1833
Reference Numbert18331128-23

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23. HENRY BERTHOLD was indicted for stealing, on the 21st of October , 1 boa, value 26s. the goods of Edwin Leaf , and others .

ARCHIBALD McINTYRE . I am shopman to Edwin Leaf and two partner s, of Wood-street . On the 19th of October, I saw the prisoner in the warehouse; he applied to purchase articles, and went into the upper warehouse, into the fur room - he came about five o'clock in the evening, and said he was a large shipper, and wanted goods to the amount of 2000l., which he would pay cash for, and would select them next morning - there is an opening below, and one of the boys saw him do something; and on the 21st of October, he came in and I then saw him twist a boa round his fist, take his hat off, and put it into his hat; he stopped a short time - a young man was showing him goods, and wanted to know why he did not buy them; he said he had seen goods at another warehouse cheaper - he came down; I sent some young man for an officer - he walked out of the warehouse, and was brought back, and on being brought into the counting-house, he threw the boa out of his hat, but I did not see that; all I saw him do was, put it into his hat, and walk out - he had been in the warehouse about half an hour, and looked at different descriptions of goods.

Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS. Q. How long after you saw him put it into his hat was he taken up? A. About ten minutes; I went down the warehouse, and sent a young man out for an officer; it was not my business to seize him; I should take care he did not go away - I was down stairs between him and the door; he was up stairs - he could not go out without passing me; he did not make any attempt to pass me; I was in the lower warehouse.

ALFRED BUCKWELL . I am in the employ of Leaf and Co. On Saturday, the 19th of October, the prisoner came to the warehouse, and on the following Monday he came, between twelve and two o'clock, and asked to see the goods he had seen on Saturday; I showed them to him, and after looking at them a few minutes, he asked to see goods which are kept at another part of the warehouse - I went to get them; some boas were on the counter, and some hanging by him; he bought nothing; he was going away - I said, I had some things in the lower warehouse, which I wished to show him - he followed me down; I followed him out into the street and took him back into the warehouse, and as he went into the counting-house, he took off his hat, and threw a boa from his hat; I saw it picked it, and taken into the counting-house - I delivered the same boa to the policeman; this is it; I know it by my own mark on it.

Cross-examined. Q. Had you been told that he had a boa in his hat? A. No; I did not go down to a place that was dark with him; it is a place below stairs; I should say it is under ground - it is a lower warehouse; a cellar; there were other persons about who had the opportunity of seeing him throw the boa from his hat - they are not here.

COURT. Q. Were there any other boas near the part where he threw this? A. No.

MR. PHILLIPS. Q. Did you say anything to him? A. No; I did not think it proper - I took hold of him, and brought him into the counting-house without saying what I wanted - a person told him he wished to speak with him in the counting-house; that person is not here.

JOHN WOOLMORE. I am in the employ of Leaf and Co. On the 21st of October, I was in the lower warehouse while the prisoner was being served; I heard him ask for different boas, and while the young man was gone for goods, I saw him twist the boa round his hand, and put it into his hat - I saw him go out of the warehouse, and did not lose sight of him.

Cross-examined. Q. How many people were in the warehouse at the time? A. Part of the young men were at dinner - I should not think there was thirty young men in the warehouse at the time; they were not so near him as me - when I saw it I stopped till the young man came back who was serving him - I went up-stairs, and gave information to Mr. Smith - I remained watching the prisoner.

WILLIAM HAINES . I am a city policeman, No. 85. I have the boa.

Prisoner's Defence. My Lord and gentlemen of the jury, I stand before you in a very unpleasant and degraded situation, and therefore beg your most serious attention to the few words I may offer; and should there appear any difficulties or errors, you will make all reasonable allowances for a foreigner - I have been in England since 1824; I lost a great deal of property in unfortunate speculations; I then occupied my time in pursuit of literature - The philanthropic tendency of my writings are well known - I have in my possession a few letters, selected from among numbers, from influential persons, such as his present Majesty, the Duke of Kent, Duke of Gloucester, Lord Stanhope, Duke of Wellington, and also the publications to which they refer - I will call your attention to my mercantile transactions, which will prove that I called at the warehouse on business; having been commissioned by persons, and purchased goods to various amounts, which I have several gentlemen to prove; and on the Saturday I called at the prosecutor's warehouse, but it being rather late in the afternoon, I said I would call on the Monday following; which I could not have done if guilty of improper conduct - on the day stated, I called and looked at a particular description of boas, and offered a certain price, which Buckwell declined; convinced he would ultimately accept my offer, I retired, and at the door, (not in the street,) was requested to go into the counting-house; and to my surprise, after some minutes a third person came forward with a boa which was said to be secreted in my hat, and thrown away - had McIntyre seen me secrete it, would he have allowed me to continue on the place half an hour purchasing goods, and to leave his department - Buckwell states he saw me throw the boa away; would he not then have picked it up? He stated before the magistrate he did not pick it up - I ask you whether it is likely I should have laid myself open to prosecution for so paltry a consideration? when I could have got credit to a considerable amount at many warehouses where I am in the habit of dealing; and there was much more valuable property within my reach at the prosecutor's? - This is the first time in my life I was ever charged with felony, or even in custody - I hope you will take into consideration that I have been six weeks in custody before this has come before an enlightened British Jury; and for the great loss I have sustained all the treasures on earth cannot compensate me; and remembering that Godlike maxim, that it is safer for ninety-nine guilty to escape, rather than one innocent should be punished, I request you will look well at the circumstances, and enable me to return a useful member to society.

The prisoner here placed the boa in his hat, for the purpose of convincing the jury that it was too large, and could not be there when his hat was on.

ARCHIBALD McINTYRE . It took him about two minutes to twist the boa up - there was only one young man in the room he was in - the warehouse consists of different rooms, and he was in the fur room.

JOHN WOOLMORE. I saw him twist the boa round his arm; he did it in the upper warehouse; there were about thirty persons in the warehouse as near as I can say - there was no one in the same room as he was only Buckwell, and he was at the farthest end of the department; he could not see him - McIntyre was in the lower warehouse with me; Buckwell had turned to fetch some goods when he twisted the boa; it would not go into his hat unless he had twisted it into a small compass, and when he put his hat on, he knocked his hat down on his head.

COURT. Q. Had the prisoner the same hat as he has now produced? A. I don't know: the one he put on to-day did not go on his head so far as the one he wore at the warehouse.

GUILTY . Aged 33. - Transported for Seven Years .

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