4th February 1856
Reference Numbert18560204-243
VerdictGuilty > unknown
SentenceImprisonment > penal servitude

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243. JOHN CIVIL , feloniously and knowingly uttering a forged 5l. note, with intent to defraud.

MESSRS. CLARKSON and BAYLEY conducted the Prosecution.

JOHN POWLES . I keep the King's Arms public house, in Shadwellmarket—I have known the prisoner between three and four years—I do not know what he is, but he gets his living by getting ships for sailors, and shipping them, that is the only employment I have known him in—on the

afternoon of 4th Jan. he came into my house with another man named Moran, just after 5 o'clock—I was sitting in the bar parlour at my tea—they came into the side box, directly opposite the bar parlour door—I saw the prisoner hand what I supposed to be a 5l. note to the barmaid; he asked her if she would get it changed for him—she brought it to me, and I took it and went out to him, and gave him 4l. in gold, and 1l. in silver, and came back again, leaving him and Moran standing there for two or three minutes, and then they went away—I put the note into my waistcoat pocket, I wrote the name of Civil on it, and my own name underneath his—this is the note (produced)—I afterwards paid it away to Messrs. Hanbury's collector—it was returned to me on the Saturday, and I then caused the prisoner to be apprehended.

Prisoner. Q. How many notes did you change that Friday? A. I do not know, it might be one, two, or three, I never kept any particular account—I am sure this was on the Friday, the 4th—it was not on Saturday—it must have been before I changed your note that I changed the others—I may have changed one afterwards, I cannot say—I understood that you lived in Three Cup-court.

CHARLES WILLIAM POTTER (policeman, K 212). I consequence of information, I apprehended the prisoner on Saturday, 12th Jan., in High-street, Shadwell—he was in company with some other men—I told him he was charged with uttering a 5l. Bank of England note to Mr. Powles, of the King's Arms, Shadwell, on the 4th—I showed him the note—he said all he had out of it was 30s., he sold a man 10 lbs. of tobacco—I asked him if he knew the man—he said, "I know him very well"—I asked him if he knew where he lived—he said, "No"—I asked him if he knew his name—he said, "No"—I then took him to the station—on the way there I said to him, "Moran was in the King's Arms at the time?"—he said, "Yes"—he said he was just going down to Gravesend.

WILLIAM HENRY CAMPBELL (police sergeant). On Monday, 14th Jan., about half past 10 o'clock in the morning, I took the prisoner to the police court in Arbour-square—I had known him for eight or nine years—I always knew him to get his living by looking after seamen for boarding masters, and shipping seamen on board ships—after we left the station I said to him; "Civil, what is the matter with you now?"—he said, "They say I have changed a forged note at Powles's, in Shadwell-market"—I said, "I wonder you would go there to do it, knowing you"—he said, "I did not know it was bad, or else I would not go"—I said, "Where did you get it?"—he said, "Two seamen gave it to me to change; I went into Powles's to change it, and returned them the change; I afterwards took their bags to the railway station, for which they gave me 2s."—I said, "Do you know them?"—he said, "No, I don't know them; they were going to Liverpool"—I said, "I wonder you did not get more than 2s. from them"—he said, "That was all I could get."

Prisoner. Q. The 2s. I told you about had no allusion to the note, I had that for porterage; they were two distinct parties. Witness. You told me they were the same.

JOSEPH BUMSTEAD . I am one of the inspectors of notes at the Bank of England. This note is not from a bank plate; it is a forgery in all respects.

Prisoner's Defence. I have lived in the neighbourhood for twelve years, and I have used Mr. Powles's house between two and three years, and had I been aware of it's being a forgery, or anything of the sort, I should never have attempted to pass anything of the sort at Mr. Powles's house, knowing

that he oould have me taken in two or three minutes without any trouble; I have a witness who can prove that I was at Blackwall on the Friday, so Mr. Powles must be mistaken in the day.

WILLIAM MORAN . It was on the Saturday night of the new year that I saw the prisoner at Mr. Powles's get change of a note.

Cross-examined by MR. CLARKSON. Q. At what time? A. Between 7 and 8 o'clock—I did not go with the prisoner to get the note changed—Mr. Powles is my landlord—I owe him five or six months' rent—I am in his house perhaps forty times in the course of a week—I have known the prisoner a good many years—I swear that I did not go in with the prisoner—I keep a boarding house—he works at carrying chests and things for seamen, and for any one that can give him a job—I have been a coal whipper—I am a registered basket man.

JOHN POWLES re-examined. I am sure that Moran and the prisoner came in together—had not Moran come in with him I should have made some scruple about changing the note.

GUILTY . Aged 53.†— Four Years Penal Servitude.

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