5th July 1847
Reference Numbert18470705-1703
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

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1703. JAMES CAMP was indicted for stealing 20 feet of veneer, value 10s.; and 6 feet of mahogany, 4s. 6d.; the goods of Litchfield Binkes, his master.

MR. BALLANTINE conducted the Prosecution.

LITHFIELD BINKES. I am a pianoforte-maker, and live in the Old Kent-road—the prisoner has been in my service upwards of two years. On the 13th of May he had work to do—he left me, and gave no notice—in consequence of his leaving, I made inquiry—I was shown a pianoforte by John Dudbridge's wife—it was partly made of veneer, which I am able to say was my property—I had not sold it.

Cross-examined by MR. PAYNE. Q. Is it here? A. No, I should have been very glad to have got it—no portion of my veneer is here, nor any of the pianoforte—the veneer had not been sold by me—on other person had any right to sell it—it was worth 10s.—when the prisoner left, he had jobs in hand.

MR. BALLANTINE. Q. What is the reason the veneer is not here? A. It is on the pianoforte—I could not get it or I could have brought wood from my own premises to match it—I have been in business about twenty years.

JOHN DUBRIDGE. I am a pianoforte maker, and live in the Kent-road. I know the prisoner—in the early part of May I purchased a pianoforte case of him for 8l.—it is what is termed a mahogany case—it is partly veneer and partly mahogany—Mr. Binkes came to me to ask me to give up the pianoforte, but the Magistrate told me not—I know the prisoner as a journeyman to Mr. Binkes—Little has seen the pianoforte—I was in Mr. Binkes's employ some years back.

Cross-examined. Q. Is it not the practice of persons who are in employ to have time of their own, and to employ themselves? A. Yes—Mr. Binkes wanted to take pianoforte away from me—I never refused to have a part of it brought here—a part might have been brought here if demanded—I have known the prisoner from five to seven years—he has a wife and five children—they have been in the Union since this—I never knew anything against the prisoner—I am a grocer and cheesemonger—he has dealt with me for the last two years, and paid me honourably—he was in arrears for rent about the time he went away from Mr. Binkes.

MR. BALLANTINE. Q. Did you ask him where he got this from? A. No, I gave him money as he wanted it, to purchase it—I gave him 3l. in cash and nearly another 1l. in goods, to get the materials to work on—I did not know Mr. Binkes had veneer of this kind—I worked for him for six years—most pianoforte makers have veneer—it did not occur to me that this could be Mr. Binkes—I did not think at all about it—I do not know where the prisoner purchased it.

Prisoner. Q. He saw the bill, and saw the name on the bill? A. I saw the bill, I do not remember seeing the name.

ARCHIBALD LITTLE. I have been journeyman to Mr. Binkes nearly four years—I have been in the business about twenty years—I have seen the pianoforte that Mr. Dudbidge has got—I have seen the veneers on it—I know them to be my master's property—I have not the smallest doubt of it—all the veneer is his except the veneer in front, that I cannot be positive about—Mr. Binkes does not allow his men to work for themselves, all the men know that perfectly well—Mr. Dudbridge keeps a grocer's shop in the Kent-road, twenty or thirty yards from Mr. Binkes' premises.

JURY. Q. Are the men not allowed to work over hours. A. Yes, but not at home—any employer that ever I heard of would discharge a man for working at home.

Cross-examined. Q. Did it never occur to Mr. Binkes that he had not employment for a man all the week, and to employ him only three days out of six? A. Not since I have been there, which is four years—Mr. Binkes does not say to a man, "Whatever time you leave, you shall not do a bit of work at home," but it is not allowed—I have made tools for myself, but never a pianoforte.

LITCHFIELD BINKES re-examined. The men are never allowed by any pianoforte maker to work after hours—they have always plenty of work on my premises—there was a peculiar grain in this veneer, and knots that I could swear to it by.

DONALD MURRAY (police-constable M 119.) I saw a pianoforte case in the possession of Mr. Dudbrige—I examined the veneer on that case and the veneer at Mr. Binkes—I was a cabinet maker before I was a police-constable—I believe they are the same wood.

JURY. Q. Were they both polished? A. No, neither of them—that which was in the case, had been laid down and planned, the other was from the saw.

MR. BALLANTINE. Q. When the prisoner was at the police-court did he tell you where he bought the veneer? A. He told me he bought the veneer that is on the case at Mr. Dudbrige's, in Sun-street, Bishopsgate—I saw it once, and put my initials on it—I desired to see it again, and was refused by Mrs. Dudbrige.

JOHN DUDBRIGE re-examined. It is not a whole pianoforte, but a case—I have got it with a view of finishing it some day—my shop is from twenty to forty yards from Mr. Binkes.


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