14th May 1838
Reference Numbert18380514-1139
VerdictGuilty > unknown

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1139. JOHN BELL was indicted for feloniously receiving, on the 19th of February, 2 pairs of trowsers, value 12s. the goods of James Delor; 1 shawl, value 10s.; 1 handkerchief, value 6d.; 1 petticoat, value 2s.; 1 gown, value 4s.; 1 yard of printed cotton, value 64., the goods of Elizabeth Harrison: 1 handkerchief, value 7s., the goods of Benjamin Williams: 2 pairs, of shoes, value 10s.; 1 shirt, value 10s., the goods of Samuel Andrews: 1 night-cap, value 64.; 2 decanters, value 2s.; 6 sheets, value 4l. 4s.; 4 towels, value 3s.; 4 pillow-cases, value 7s.; 1 table-cloth, value 7s.; 2 handkerchiefs, value 2s.; 4 dishes, value 4s.; 11 plates, value 3s.; 26 knives, value 5s.; 16 forks, value 3s.; 1 flannel shirt, value 3s.; 1 waistcoat, value 3s.; 1 pillow-case, value 3s.; 2 table-cloths, value 7s.; and 1 sheet, value 10s.; the goods of John Starkey, well knowing them to have been stolen; against the Statute, &c.

JOHN STARXEY . I keep the Four Swans, in Bishopsgate-street Elizabeth Starkie lived in my service about five weeks—I suspected her during that time, and on Saturday, the 17th of March, I detected her in stealing some money—she left that evening, and I watched her down to London-bridge, to Tower-street, Leadenhall-market, and various other places—I believe she saw me—I at last traced her to a house in Blacksmith's Arms-place, Whitechapel—I did not see her go into the house—I obtained information there, which led me to No. 8, Lower Chapman-street—I watched that house for several days, day and night, with assistance—on the Thursday I received information, and went and watched there, and in a short time the prisoner came home, he went into the house, came out again, and walked up and down the street twice—he then went into the house again, and brought out two wheels of a truck—he afterwards brought out the rest, and made up the truck—he then sent, his boy on with the truck into Anthony-street, which is just by—he followed the boy there, told him to take the truck up a lane, and while he did so, the prisoner went into No. 5, Anthony-street—he remained in there about five minutes; then came out, walked up and down the street two or three

times; then beckoned the boy, and the truck was taken to No. 5, Anthony-street—the prisoner brought out two boxes, placed them on the truck—he then took away the truck himself, and went towards St. Katharine's Docks—I spoke to Nicholas, a policeman, and we followed him to St. Katharine's wharf—I saw him take the boxes into the wharf, and he gave directions that they should be taken to Hull by the steam-boat—we asked him where he brought them from—he said, "Somewhere out of Anthony-street"—we asked him what number—he said he was not certain, but he thought it was No. 5 or 6—we asked who they belonged to—he said, "To a woman named Ann Cook"—I asked why there was no direction on the boxes—he said the woman was following him down, and was going to direct them—they had no direction to them—I then gave him in charge, and the policeman took possession of the boxes—the prisoner said he did not know the woman; that he was merely engaged to bring down the trunks, and she would pay him when she came down—we went to No. 5, Anthony-street, and saw a woman named Chason there—I inquired there about Starkie, but did not find her by Chason's account—I saw her found in the privy of the adjoining house—I left her in charge of a policeman, and went to No. 2, Lower Chapman-street, from where I had seen the truck brought—I saw some property there belonging to a Mr. Browning—I there found a woman named Bell, who has been convicted—she passed as the prisoner's wife—I gave her into custody—the prisoner said that the house No. 2, Lower Chapman-street, was his—I missed a great variety of articles belonging to myself and my guests while Starkie was in my employ.

JOHN NICHOLAS . I am a policeman. On Thursday afternoon, the 22nd of March, my attention was directed by the prosecutor to the truck which was drawn by the prisoner—I followed it to St. Katharine steam wharf—he was about taking the boxes out, and I asked Mm when he brought them from—he said from Anthony-street, either No. 5 or 6, he did not know which—I asked him why they were not directed—he said a young woman was following him down to direct them, and they were going to Hull—he was then about telling the man on the wharf that a young woman was coming down, who was going by the Hull steamer—they were asking him about their not being directed—I asked if he knew her name—he said he believed her name was Ann Cook, he did not know any thing about her, he was only employed as porter—I then took him into custody, and took possession of the boxes—they were not locked, but corded together, and nailed down—I afterwards went to the house, No. 5, Anthony-street, and made inquiry of Mrs. Chason—she said she knew nothing about Starkie, but I found her in the privy of the adjoining yard; she could get to that from No. 5, as the palings between the two yards were broken down—I knocked at the privy door several times, but could get no answer—I forced it open, and took her—Sarah Bell was brought to the house, and we took her, Starkie, Chason, and the prisoner, to the station-house, together—I asked Starkie for the keys of the boxes—she said she had no keys to them—I asked if they were locked—she said they were not—she treated them as hers.

ELIZABETH CHASON . I am a laundress—I live at No. 5, Anthony-street. I know the prisoner slightly, and also his wile, and Starkie—Starkie passed as the prisoner's sister—I gave her leave to be at my house for a day or two, as she said she wished to be screened from the anger of her husband—when the officers came and applied about her, I denied her being there—I was with her in my parlour when the prosecutor went by

the door, and she said that was the gentleman she was so much afraid of—the prisoner had also asked me to let her stay there a day or two, till she got a situation, as her husband had found her out, and would very much ill use her, (meaning that her husband had gone to her situation, and obliged her to leave it)—the prisoner had brought the boxes to my house on Sunday, the 18th of March, and they remained there till Thursday, when he came and took them away—I did not hear what passed between him and Starkie, except some allusion to her getting a situation and going away, and they sometimes talked about going to Hull, and different places, to go out of the country to get away from her husband—she went by the name of Elizabeth Starkie at my house, not by the name of Cook—I did not know any female there going by the name of Cook—when the prisoner came to take the boxes away, I heard him going to make use of a desperate oath to her, as he was rather in a passion, and I told him not to swear in my place—he said she had cost him many pounds, and was likely to cost him many more—I believe she called him Bell—I never heard him call her any thing particular—he called her his sister—I had known them about six months—they kept a mangle, and I gave my mangling to them—when Starkie wished me to deny her, she went out into the back yard.

WILLIAM SAWYER . I am a police-sergeant Staikie and the two Bells were delivered into my custody—I heard Starkie say to the prisoner, "These things that are marked 'J. B.' are your property, and these things that are marked 'J. S.' are the property of my late husband"—the articles had been looked at by the prosecutor then—the prisoner replied, "Oh, you d—soft one—if J am asked the question I will tell the truth, in what way the things came to my house, and who they belong to—you have no right to bring any more into It than are really guilty—he also said to her, "All that you say will be given as evidence against you"—Starkie was about saying more, but she took the caution he gave her—they spoke to each other as if they were quite on familiar terms.

JOSIAH CHAPLIN . I am a policeman. I took Sarah Bell into custody, at No. 2, Lower Chapman-street—I found there fourteen blue-and-white dishes, and four plates, and other things, but nothing belonging to this charge.

JAMES LEA . I am an officer of Lambeth-street I went to No. 2, Lower Chapman-street, the day after the prisoners were apprehended—I found two keys hanging over the chimney-piece, which opened both the boxes—I produced them on the former trial, and they were lost—they were common lock keys, and appeared the proper keys of the boxes—I found them in the room where Bell slept—there was but one room with a bed hi it, so that he must have slept there—I received some duplicates from a person named Gill—I produce a basket and bag, which I got from the prosecutor—also a key which was found In Starkie's box, at the prosecutor's, in her bed-room—I searched the box at the prosecutor's before she left—one key opened a chest of drawers belonging to Mr. Delves, which he used at the inn when he was there—here is also a skeleton-key—Chapman-street is about a mile and a half from the prosecutor's.

MARY ANN BOUCHER . I was living at the prosecutor's. I saw Sarah Bell, the prisoner's wife, bring that basket to the house—I did not open it—the other servant took it to the bar, and I saw it there—I did not see Starkie at the time—it was opened by the bar-maid—I never saw the prisoner at the house.

JAMES LEA re-examined. There are some leads on the prosecutor's

premises, and this bag which has a long string to it, would reach from the leads into the yard—I got this sheet from a pawnbroker by this duplicate.

JAMES GILL . I was in possession of the prisoner's premises, No. 2, Lower Chapman-street—I found fourteen duplicates in the oven, which I gave to Lea, the officer.

HENRY FOWLBR . I am shopman to Mr. Watts, a pawnbroker, in Commercial-road. I have a pair of shoes pawned with me by Ann Bell, on the 19th of February.

RICHARD CRIPPS . I have a shirt and two pairs of stockings, which I received in pawn, in the name of Mary Bell.

MR. STARKEY re-examined. These plates, knives, and forks, are mine—the plates were made to my order, at Davenport's—my linen is marked "J. S"

MARY ANN BOUCHER re-examined. I know this linen to be my master's—several of the articles have my own mark on them.

DELVES. I am warehouseman, and live in jewin-crescent, Jewin-street In October last I was staying at the prosecutor's—this flannel waistcoat, two pairs of trowsers, and another waistcoat, are mine—they, were in a chest of drawers in my bed-room—they were found in Starkie's box.

ELIZABETH HARRISON . I keep the tap at Mr. Starkey's—this gown, petticoat, pocket handkerchief, and old duster, are mine.

Prisoner's Defence. I have been twenty weeks in the London Hospital from an accident in the London Docks—I know nothing about this—I was. to have had 18d. for going down with the truck.

GUILTY . Aged 42.— Transported for Seven Years.

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