5th July 1847
Reference Numbert18470705-1700
VerdictGuilty > pleaded guilty; Guilty > unknown
SentenceTransportation; Imprisonment

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1700. FREDERICK CLARK and JOHN LANGFORD were indicted for stealing 940lbs. weight of iron, value 1l. 5s.; the goods of Joel Spiller; and that Clark had been before convicted of felony; to which

CLARK pleaded GUILTY. Aged 23.— Transported for Seven Years.

MR. ROBINSON conducted the prosecution.

JOEL SPILLER. I live in Lombard-street, Battersea, and am an engineer—I have a factory there—there are steps at one corner of my premises, down to the river, and a garden, which is slightly fenced off—there is then a boilershop, and beyond it is the place where my old iron is pilled up—the proper way to go from the steps to where the iron is piled up, would be through the boiler-house, but if the boiler-house were locked up, the only way would be to get over the fence, and to go through the garden—I bad entrusted my keys to police-sergeant Read, in consequence of my premises being robbed several times. On the night of the 23rd of June, while I was at supper. I heard a noise in front of my house—I left the table, and went through the garden on to the steam-boats which laid at the bottom of the garden—I looked up the river, and saw three men—the two nearest me appeared to be struggling, and I saw one who appeared to be wading through the water—I saw Steadman, the officer, he had the prisoner Clark in custody—I found Read in an awkward position, hanging by the steam-boat—he cried, in a low voice, "Help, help, Mr. Spiller; I am in the water!"—he was hanging by his hands to the gunwale of the steam-boat, with his legs in the water—I rescued him, and he went after the prisoners—I returned to my premises, and after the affray was over, I saw that some iron had been taken from the stock, a portion of it was round about the steps leading down to the water, and there was a basket with some iron in it on the top of the steps—the basket did not belongs to me, but the iron in it did—I believe it to be mine—I know that the stock was diminished in size, and the iron bars appeared to be the same—the officers took possession of it—I did not weight it, but according to the weight given to me, it was worth about 25s.—later in the evening I saw, in the boat

which had drifted from under the officer Read, a portion of iron, about 4cwt.—that was iron bars of the same description—I should have thought about half a ton of iron was taken away—what was found amounted to 8cwt., 1qr., and 19lbs.

WILLIAM READ (police-sergeant V 18.) I received Mr. Spiller's Keys—on the evening of the 23rd of June I entered his premises with Steadman—I saw a boat, with the prisoners and another man in it, row up the river, and immediately return—the men landed at the steps leading to Mr. Spiller's—I went into the boiler-house, and saw two men, six or seven times, carry something heavy on their shoulders, and lay it down at the fence, and the last time there were three men carrying loads on their shoulders—they got over the fence, and began to load the boat with bars of iron—when they had loaded a quantity, I and Steadman rushed out and tried to seize them—I struck Langford as I was on the top of the steps, just over the water—he rolled over the boat into the river—I jumped into the boat, and tried to seize him, but he sprang away out of my reach—the other man who was in the boat first, made a fair spring out of the boat into the river—Langford called out to throw the b----r overboard—I have not the least doubt that Langford is the man, I have seen him frequently in Lambeth; I saw him go by the boiling-house five or six times, and when I came out, he was just in the gateway—I had a fair view of him—I took charge of the boat which I first saw drifting down—I got on another boat and took that—it contained 3cwt. or 4cwt. of iron—the iron I found on the steps and in the boat was 8cwt. 1qr. 19lbs.

Cross-examined by MR. HORRY. Q. You have seen many other persons in Lambeth? A. Yes; a great many hundreds and thousands—the third man swam away—he had come into the garden—he then went into the boat, and the other two men handed the iron from the shore to him—I may have seen that third man at Lambeth—I may have seen him up the river—he is not in custody, and I do not wish it to be known whether I know him—if he knew that, he would keep out of my way—I have looked for him in Lambeth and several places—I have not seen him—very likely I might know him if I saw him—I might be mistaken—this took place at night—it was a clear moonlight night—I saw the man who is not custody, and one of the others, carrying the iron six or seven times—I waited till they began to load the boat—I was in the boiler-house, close to the steps, on the same side of the wall as the men were—there is a small door to the boiler-house—I was looking out of the house at them—they passed close to me, not above half-a-dozen yards from me—you go down a little way to get to the river—when I got there I struck at Langford, and then what I have stated took place.

COURT. Q. Where did you strike Langford? A. On the head.

JAMES STEADMAN (police-constable V 317.) On the night of the 23rd of June I went on Mr. Spiller's premises—I went into the boiler-house—I found Sergeant Read there—I saw the three men in the boat—I heard the footsteps of three men coming by the boiler-house—they laid down something which appeared to be heavy by the side of the fence—after hearing it some time I went to the top of the stairs—I saw Read strike Langford on the head—I saw Langford on the stairs and in the boat—I have no doubt he is the man—I had seen him before and knew his person—I followed Read to the steps—I caught Clark, and Langford escaped—he took a direction towards Wandsworth.

Cross-examined. Q. That is the person that fell in the water? Yes; I

did not ask anybody afterwards whether that was Langford or not—one of my brother-officers did not say to me, "Was not that Langford?"—I will swear that I and my brother-officers have not talked about this case—not a syllable—I went to the station and before the Magistrate, and came here, and have not exchanged a word about it.

JAMES PARRATT (police-constable V 71.) On the 24th of June, at half-past one o'clock in the morning, I was by the side of the water, at Wandsworth—I saw Langford walking towards a steam-boat which was lying there—he called out to a fisherman to give him a cast down—I immediately walked down to see who he was, before he got on board; and while I was so doing, he walked into the water and got on to a dummy that was floating in the water—the water there was about up to his chest—I went to the edge of the water and said. "You are very fond of wading, young man!"—he said, "It won't hurt me; I have been in the water once to-night"—I said, "How did that happen?"—he said, "I was knocked off a barge with a tiller, in going under Putney-bridge"—I asked him what barge it was, and the captain's name—he said it was a Rochester barge, and the captain's name was Dunn—I talked to him for some little time, and told him I wanted to speak to him—he said, "You can speak to me here"—I said "Yes; but I want you here to speak to me"—he said, "If you want me, come and fetch me"—I said I should not do that, I should keep there—by that time the fishing-boat came up—I told the people not to take him, as I wanted him there to speak to me—however the boat came, and he jumped into it—I called to them to bring him to me, but they would not—I kept calling—they rowed on—they then said something in a low voice that I could not hear, and they put him on the dummy—he got from the dummy and came a little nearer to me, and said, "You can see me now"—I said I could not says as much to him as I wanted to do—he then jumped into the water, and swam some distance towards London, away from me—when he got there the water was running very fast, and he called out, "Jem, Jem, I am going down; pick me up"—the fishing-boat rowed back and took him up and put him where he could stand—he came at last on shore, and I took him to the watch-house—Steadman was there—I said to the sergeant, "I have brought this young man here on suspicion"—Stead-man looked round and said, "That is one of the men"—he pulled off Langford's hat put his hand to his head, and said, "You have had a smartish knock," or a "tidy knock," or something of that kind, and he smiled—Langford was pulling his wet clothes off, and said, "You seem to laugh; you would not laugh, if you had been there, and had such a knock as I had."

Cross-examined. Q. Did you make any inquiry whether there is such a boat, of which Mr. Dunn is the master or captain? A. I have made none—I believe it has been made.

(Langford received a good character.)

LANGFORD— GUILTY Aged 20.— Confined Nine Months.

Before Mr. Common Sergeant.

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