16th August 1847
Reference Numbert18470816-1933
VerdictGuilty > unknown
SentenceImprisonment; Miscellaneous > sureties

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1933. THOMAS DUGDALE was indicted for unlawfully selling and publishing obscene prints.

MR. E. LAW conducted the Prosecution.

GEORGE WILLIAM SHARP. I am clerk to Messrs. Pritchard and Collett, solicitors to the Society for the Suppression of Vice, No. 57, Lincoln's Innfields. On the 27th of July last, about half-past nine o'clock in the evening, in consequence of instruction I received, I went to the station-house at Bow-street, and after being there searched by a policeman, I went to No. 51, Holywell-street, Strand, followed by the policeman—I went into the shop and asked for a book, which the prisoner showed me, and which I produce—I paid a guinea for it—I then left the shop, and went, closely followed by the policeman who had searched me, to the Society's chambers, where he took from my pocket the book I had bought of the defendant.

COURT. Q. Was it a public and open shop, that anybody might go into? A. Yes, there were prints of Venus, and all those sorts of things, in the window, to denote the nature of the traffic carried on inside.

Prisoner I deny that; I plead guilty to selling the book, and throw myself on the mercy of the Court.

WILLIAM CHADWICK (police-sergeant F 2.) On the 27th of July, about half-past nine o'clock in the evening, I searched Mr. Sharp very strictly, and am certain he had then no book in his possession—I followed him to No. 51, Holywell-street—I never lost sight of him all the way—I was not five yards behind him—he went into the shop—I waited in view of the shop till he came out again, and then followed him to the Society's chambers, where I again searched him, and found this book in him—on the 20th of Aug. I received a warrant to arrest the prisoner—I went to his shop, and found him sitting there smoking his pipe—I was in my unigram—I took him into custody—Mr. Davis, who was with me, searched the house, and seized some articles.

COLBY ATKINSON DAVIS. I am an officer of the Customs. On the 20th of Aug. I received instruction from the Commissioners of Customs, went to No. 51, Holywell-street, and searched the premises—I there found in a box, in the front bed-room, 377 pictures of the most obscene description—I produce a part of them, the whole are in the Court, besides snuff-boxes and other things—it is the prisoner's residence—I have visited his shop several times before, and have seized books and other things before—I seize these things, on the part of the Customs, as French articles, not having paid the duty—I have no doubt of these being French goods—the snuff-boxes have false bottoms with screws—they were found in a box, of which the prisoner produced me the key from a drawer in the shop—the stock consisted of nothing but these kind of books to excite the passions, except one row of novels of about fifty volumes—these obscene works were lying alongside of Bibles and Prayer-books—the place was very poorly furnished up stairs—these pictures are brought over by the stewards of steam-boats—I once seized upwards of 30, 000 prints from the prisoner's brother, and from William Dugdale 12, 000 or 14, 000.

Prisoner's Defence. I am very poor, and am getting almost blind, and do not know what to turn to to get a living; I have got out of my own trade, which I am not able to follow; I was then engaged at my brother's till he discharged me; I have no desire to demoralize society; I whish to get my living comfortably and honourably.

GUILTY. Aged 26.— Confined One Year, and to enter into his own recognizance in 80l. for five years.

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