26th February 1838
Reference Numbert18380226-776
VerdictsGuilty > unknown; Not Guilty > unknown
SentencesNo Punishment > sentence respited

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776. JANE ROBERTS was indicted for stealing, on the 8th of February, at St. Mary, Islington, 11 spoons, value 3l.; 1 ladle, value 10s.; 1 butter-knife, value 7s.; 2 forks, value 15s.; 1 skewer, value 10s.; 2 waiters, value 1l.; 1 coffee-pot, value 1l.; 1 sugar basin, value 5s.; 1 milk-pot, value 5s.; 2 blankets, value 5s.; 1 petticoat, value 2s.; 1 yard of carpet, value 1s.; and 1 knife, value 1s.; the goods of Susan Webb, her mistress, in her dwelling-house: and LUCY ROBERTS , for feloniously receiving the same goods, well knowing them to have been stolen.

SUSAN WEBB . I live at No. 3, Charles-street, Gibson-square, in the parish of St. Mary, Islington. The prisoner, Jane Roberts, came into my service on the 29th of October—she was my only servant—on the 7th of February she came into the drawing-room to me, between eight and nine o'clock, and said my daughter wanted the keys—my daughter was ill in bed—one of the keys opens a cupboard at the bottom of the kitchen stairs, which is a store closet, and a variety of things were kept there—there was plate in it, some tea-spoons, dessert-spoons, two forks, a skewer, and a marrow-spoon, all silver—it was where I kept the plate not in use—I think I had seen it all about a fortnight before—I saw that cupboard that afternoon, and I know it was locked—I had passed it many times in the course of the day—I went to bed that night after eleven o'clock—I looked at the street door, and saw that it was locked and fastened—I called to the prisoner to know if the back doors were fastened—she said, "Yes," and my daughter, who was sleeping in the back parlour, said she had heard her fasten them—the prisoner slept in the front kitchen—about half-past twelve o'clock she came into my bedroom, opened the door very quietly, and said, "Ma'am, don't be frightened; there are thieves in the house"—I did not hear any thing—she said, "Don't you hear them, ma'am? they are going"—I listened, but did not hear the footsteps of any one—I was sleeping in the back parlour on the ground floor—it is an eight-roomed house—I got up immediately, and ran to the top of the house, where I had two gentlemen, lodgers, and called them—she said the thieves had been in the house for some time before, that they had tried her door, and she had heard them a long time—that she went to sleep after their trying her door, and was awoke by their knocking at her door—she thought something had fallen against her door—when I got a gentleman to come down stairs, she went down with him, and at the bottom of the stairs was some linen in a wardrobe, tied up with some soap and candles, and the cupboard door was wide open, with the keys in it, and three boxes pulled out—I said, "Why, they are curious thieves, they have taken nothing"—she said, "Yes, ma'am, they have taken the plate"—I examined the front door, and it was quite fast, and the back doors were both open—the back door leads into the garden—I saw the plate-box standing there empty—it had contained plate not in use, and I did not know she ever knew plate was in that box—she then told me that the plated articles were gone out of the wardrobe, and I found they were gone—I told her I wondered she came out of the kitchen, knowing there were thieves in the back kitchen—I asked her if they were in the back kitchen, and if they had a light—she said she could not tell, that she ran up stairs, expecting to find

us all murdered—the policeman observed some footsteps in the yard, and I observed wet footmarks on the kitchen stairs—the prisoner was without her shoes and stockings, and the policeman observed that whoever had been walking there, was without shoes or stockings—there appeared footmarks in the garden, going out of the house, down towards the wall, but none coming towards the house—they appeared footmarks of only one person—I said I wondered the dog at the next house did not bark—she said, "Probably it was asleep"—there is a gravel-walk in the garden—the policeman said there appeared the footsteps down, but not up, but I did not examine that myself—I kept a little dog a short time before, which was let out of the house about a week before, and, to the best of my knowledge, I saw that same dog in White Conduit-fields afterwards, with its throat cut—there were marks of wet footsteps and naked feet on the stairs.

Q. Did the prisoner ask to go out in the course of that night? A. In the course of the night she proposed, as we were up all night, that we should have some tea, and about four o'clock wanted to go out to get milk—I said I could not be so unreasonable as to send her out at that time, but she wished to go, and I allowed her—she was absent an hour—she went out at the front door—the policeman came almost immediately after the alarm, and looked into the garden, and ont he following morning he informed me he had had her in custody before, and then she said she had been to her mother's when she went out in the night—her mother lived close by, about five minutes' walk from our house—she did not say why she had been to her mother's—it was the policeman spoke to her about it.

Q. Do you know of a petticoat being found at the pawnbroker's? A. Yes—and she acknowledged to me that she had pawned it, the day after the robbery, and it was found that day or the next—she told me she had taken it to pledge, for her mother was ill—it was my daughter's petticoat—my daughter had missed it in the course of the day, and named it—it is her property, not mine—she is twenty-two years old—I did not miss the carpet till it was brought to my house—my daughter went with the policeman to the prisoner's mother's the day after, and it was brought to me—it was my carpet—I asked the prisoner how she came to cut the carpet—she said she thought it was too large for the room, and her mother wanted a piece to put her feet on—it might be a little too large for the room—I did not miss the. blanket till it was found at her mother's, the next day—she said she took it to her mother's—she gave no reason for taking it.

THOMAS HOBBS KING . I am a policeman. On the morning of the 8th of February, between eight and nine o'clock, I was sent for to Mrs. Webb's—(the policemen who were there in the night are not here)—the prisoner Jane opened the door, and let me in—I asked if Mrs. Webb was at home—she said, "Yes"—she asked me into the parlour, and begged me not to say any thing of what had happened before—that was all she said at that time—she did not mention what she meant—Mrs. Webb came into the parlour, and told me about the robbery—I went out and examined the doors—there had been no force used to them, nor was there any marks of violence whatever about any of the doors—I examined the garden, and saw several foot-marks there, but the policemen having been there overnight, I cannot say any thing about them—I afterwards went to the prisoner's mother's house, in John-street, and found a blanket, piece of carpet, and nineteen duplicates—I found several things in the room which I was not certain of, and went and got somebody from the prosecutrix's house to come and look at them—when I came back again I could not see

them—I asked where they were—the mother denied their being there, but afterwards said she had burnt them—I had seen a handkerchief and several trifling things there—I did not find any traces of articles being burnt, but the fire was much fiercer than when I went away—I took the mother into custody, and afterwards the daughter—the mother said she had purchased the blanket for 3s. and the carpet for 1s. 6d., at a marine-store shop—she afterwards owned that her daughter had given them to her—the daughter denied all knowledge of the plate—she said she had given the blanket to her mother, because she had nothing to cover her, and the carpet she had cut off and given to her mother—the mother at first said she had bought them, and afterwards that her daughter Jane had given them to her—she at first denied her daughter having been there that morning, and said she had not seen her for two or three days before, but she afterwards said she had been out for some milk, and called round there to tell her the house had been robbed, and stopped there an hour, or it might be an hour and a half—I produce the blanket and carpet.

Lucy Roberts. He asked when I saw my daughter last—I said, about half-past four o'clock that morning she came and told me the house had been robbed, and she had come out to buy milk for her mistress's breakfast—that was all I said—he was at my place three times that day, and there was no alteration whatever in the place—I did not know there was any carpet to come against me.

SUSAN HARRIET WEBB . I am the prosecutrix's daughter. I was in the room when the prisoner came to tell my mother the house was robbed—I heard nothing of the thieves in the house.

MRS. WEBB re-examined. I know the blanket by some darning in it in one or two places—it is my own work—I am certain it is mine—the carpet I have some like—it matches with my carpet.

Jane Roberts's Defence. I am perfectly innocent of the plate—the blanket and carpet I owned to—I had a very bad scald, and when I went home I told my mother, and took her the blanket—she said, "Where did you buy it?"—I said, "Never mind"—she asked where I got the carpet, and I said, "Never mind"—she is innocent.

JANE ROBERTS— GUILTY of larceny only. Aged 23. Judgment Respited.


Fourth Jury, before Mr. Recorder.

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