17th August 1835
Reference Numbert18350817-1902
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown; Guilty > unknown

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1902. MARY ROSS and ANN LEECH were indicted for stealing, on the 23rd July, 7 sovereings, the monies to Edward Benny, from his person.

EDWARD BENNY . I am a seafaring man; I was paid off at Portsmouth, from the Melville, in July. I came to Woolwhich to see my mother—I found she was gone to Sheerness—I then came to thje Ship Taverm, in one of Burke's vans—when I got to the Ship, I saw the prisoner's standing outside—they asked me for something to drink—we wemt into the Ship-tap, and had half a pint of gin—I had a basket tied up in a beg—we left the public-house together—I wanted to get lodgings for the night—we could not get in at the Hamopshire Hog—we went into the Whiter Lion, and had two half-pints of rum and shrub; and Mr. Banister said to a marine, "You had better let this young man stop here to-night, and have a bed"—he said, "No; he is one of my shipmstes; he must go with me"—he went out with my bag, which the women had given him before—I followed him, and the prisoners followed me—my money was in my pocket—Leech took the money out of my pocket—she said the wanted some money for some supper—I did not know what she took—they ran up the back-streets, and I ran after them—they took seven sovereings, some silver, a bag of clothes, and a basket of shells—they said they would carry them a little way—they gave it to the marine, and then Leech took the bag again—we found the basket next day, at Ross's lodging, cut open, and the shells taken out—I found a shawl in my jacket—I do not know whose it was.

Cross-examined by MR. DUNBAR. Q. How had you been passing the way? A. I had just come up by the coach from Portsmouth—it was rather late at night—the Hampshire Hog is in High-street, Woolwhich—I got there at half-past ten o'clock—I was sober—I stayed there about a quarter of an hour—on our way to the Hampehire Hog, I had two half-pints

of rum and shrub—I did not drink on my way to Woolwich—all the way from Portsmouth I drank nothing—the women gave the marine my bag—I told him he might carry it, if he pleased—it was heavy—they afterwards took it from the marine—I was quite sober—I was close to them when they took the bag from the marine—I did not say any thing to them—they did not leave me asleep—I had my money while I was at Banister's—the marine stood still when he gave the bag up—they run away then—I do not recollect having any beer or sale.

Leech. You know I gave you my direction, and you carried your bag to my lodging yourself. Witness. No. I did not.

Leech. We were not in the Ship Tavern at all; we were in the White Lion, and had two half-pints of rum and shrub, and two pints of porter.

PATRICK HURLEY . I am a watchman of Woolwich. On the morning of the 24th of July I went in search of the prisoners—I went to a lodging where I found Leech—I knocked at the door—she looked out of the window, and asked what I wanted—I asked her if she had been in company with another young woman and a sailor the night before—she said she had been out late, but not in company with a sailor—Benny was with me—he said she was the person who stole his things—she came down, opened the door, and called Benny in—I went to the door, to go in—she said to me, "You cannot come in;" but I pushed the door, and went in—I found Benny busy in picking up his things, which laid all about the room, and observed the cord had been cut with some sharp instrument—Benny said he had lost a basket of small shells—Leech said she did not have the shells, but she knew the one that had got them, which was Mary Ross—he accused her of stealing the money—she said she did not—I went to Mary Ross's—I found this basket, with some shells in it—I brought it to Benny—he said it was his, but there were some shells—I asked Ross where the other shells were, and she denied having, any; but she brought some down in apaper, which I took to Benny.

Leech. You asked me had I a brother come from sea last night. Witness. Yes, I did—you did not say that Benny was the young man who left his bundle at your house—you denied all knowlwdge of him—I did not say there was a young man who wanted to find to find his sister, and she lived up there.

Cross-examined. Q. There was an inquiry about some shells? A. Yes; I found Ross at a house, and she said there were some some shells which the man gave her—they were in this basket, in a corner, on a chair—she said the sailor left them there over-night—when I took them to Benny, he said there were part of them gone; and she produced some more in a paper, which she brought from up-stairs.

EDWARD BENNY re-examined. Q. Have you any recollection of going to the house of Ross? A. No, Sir; I never did go, I can swear—this basket of shells was in the bag of clothes—no one could have got it without opening the bag; and the string was cut wwhen I saw it in the morning—I did not go to Leech's the night before—I did not go to either of their lodgings—I did not convey to either of their lodgings, the basket or the clothes; they ran away with them—I never allowed them to carry my things to their house.

Leech's Defence. I met with Ross and Robert Prestwich, who asked me to take some porter in the Carpenter's Arms—they then asked me to go home; and in going along, we saw this sailor—he ran up against us,

and asked us to have something to drink—we said no, there was no house open—he still urged us, and we went to the Hampshire Hog—it was not open, and we went to the White Lion—we had half apint of rum and shrub—he then broke a glass—we took three pints of porter home, and went with Ross to supper—we bade him good-night, but he would go with as—he wanted to stop and sleep at Ross's, but she said he could not—he then took a knife, cut his bag open, took out the shells, and gave her some and me some—I said I would leave mine there till the morning—I then went to go home—I met him again on my way; and in going through the church-yard, he asked me to let him leave his bag at my house—I said he might, and I gave him my direction—he brought it, and wanted to stop there, but I would not let him—when he came in the morning he missed the shells—I asked him if he knew where he had left them—he said no—I took him to Ross's, and he accused me of taking his money, which I know nothing about, nor yet of the clothes, only that he brought them to my house.

Ross's defence. What she has stated is the truth—I never saw any sovereigns, nor any thing more than the shells—he gave me half-a-dozen of them, and told me, he would give a crape-shawl and a coral-necklace to stop with me—I said he could not—he went out, and Mrs. Leech went after him—the watchman came to my house, and saw the shells—he took them to the sailor; and then he came and said, "Where are the others?"—I said, "What is freer than a gift?"—I went up-stairs, and fetched the other shells down, which he had given me.

PATRICK HURLEY re-examined. Q. Did Ross say that the shells which were missing had been given her the night before by the sailor? A. No: the prosecutor described Leech's person to me, and I knew where she lived—Ross lives about three-hundred yards from Leech—Benny did not point out Ross's house to me, but Leech did.

Cross-examined. Q. How long from the time of your finding the shells on the chair, was it before the other shells were found up-stairs? A. Not a minute—she first denied it, and then she went up-stairs and brought them in a piece of cloth.

COURT. Q. You said "paper" before? A. It was a white woollen cloth.

PETER INCH . I am a watchman. I saw the prosecutor on the morning of the 24th of July, at a quarter after five o'clock—he gave me this shawl—he said he had lost seven sovereigns, a bag of clothes, and a basket of shells—I had seen Leech the night before, in Powis-street—she had a bundle with her, which looked like clothes—I did not say any thing to her, as I knew her—the bundle was something like this, and seemed very heavy—there was another young woman with her, but no man—she was going up the street, not towards her own house.

Cross-examined. Q. Was Ross the other young woman who was with her? A. It was about her height—I cannot say it was her—I do not know the marine—he was in bed with Ross, when I went to the house.

Ross. He was the man who carried the bag, as the prosecutor was so drunk he could not carry it—he was rolling about the street, with his coat and waistcoat all open, and he broke a glass, he was so drunk.

EDWARD BENNY . It was about eleven o'clock when I lost my bundle—it might be a little later—the shops were shut—it was not in the church-yard I lost my bundle. but in the street.

PATRICK HURLEY re-examined. I should know the marine if I were to see him again. I have not seen him since—he was in bed when I went to Ross—the prosecutor did not mention him, or I would have taken him.



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