27th October 1856
Reference Numbert18561027-979
VerdictGuilty > unknown; Guilty > unknown

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979. JOHN RILEY and JOHN HAWKES , stealing 1 mare, chaise, and harness, value 43l.; the property of Charles Benn.

MESSRS. COOPER. and W. J. PAYNE. conducted the Prosecution.

JAMES COBB . (policeman, T 257). On Thursday, 16th Oct., at a quarter past 9 o'clock in the evening, I was at the King's Arms, Hounslow, and saw the prisoners in the tap, drinking and talking together—at about a quarter to 11 o'clock I saw them about three quarters of a mile from Mr. Benn's house, on the road to it from the public house, and Hawkes made a kind of a snort at me.

WILLIAM PARSLOW . I am the prosecutor's servant On 16th Oct I had three horses in the stable, one was a bay mare—there was a set of harness there, and in the coach house there was a chaise—I locked the stable door and placed the key in it's usual place on a ledge—on the following morning at a little before 6 o'clock, I went, and missed the mare, chaise, and harness—I have seen them since—they are the same—about a foot of the mare's tail was then cut off—the staple of the stable had been drawn, and all three gates were open.

CHARLES BENN . I live at a farm on Hounslow-heath. My man told me of the mare being missed—I gave instructions to the police, and afterwards saw her at Reading, with about a foot cut off her tail; she appeared to have been hard driven, her shoulder was wrung, and the hair was off her legs—she is worth 30l., the gig 10l., and the harness 3l.—they are all mine.

JOHN SCARCE . I am a blacksmith, and live at the Greyhound, near Reading. On Friday morning, 17th Oct., about 10 minutes to 8 o'clock, the prisoners came to my yard gate with a horse and gig—Riley asked me if I had room for them to put the horse in—I said that I had no stable room, but there was a large shed, which they could put it in if they chose—they did so, and said that they were not going to stop long—Hawkes drove it into the yard—they afterwards said that they wanted to sell the mare and gig for 17l.—I told them I did not want it, but if I could get a customer I would—they offered me a sovereign for my trouble—I looked at the horse, and thought it was not half the value, but it was sweating all over, and was all over mud, and the chaise also—I gave information to the police, and gave them the horse and chaise and the prisoners.

JOHN TOWNSEND . I am inspector of the Beading police. On 17th Oct I received information, went to the Oxford Arms, Silver-street, Reading, which is about forty miles from Hounslow-heath, and found the prisoners the back yard—I asked them if the horse and chaise at the public house above belonged to them—Hawkes said, "Yes"—I said that I should take them into custody on suspicion of stealing them—Hawkes said, "It does not belong to me, it belongs to the other," pointing to Riley—I asked Hawkes where he brought them from—he said, "From Oxford"—I went to the Hare and Hounds, which is kept by the last witness, and took possession of the horse and gig; the horse appeared to have been driven very hard—the prosecutor came and saw them the next day—the mare's tail had been cut off—this is it (produced), I found it at a public house about three miles from Beading, on the Hounslow-road—I have matched it, and it exactly corresponds.

Riley's Defence. On Thursday morning I came to London, without a halfpenny in my pocket; I met this man, who asked me if I would have half a pint of beer, which he gave me, and asked me to go on the road to Hounslow with him, and he would pay my lodging; we had a good deal of gin and water and beer on the road, and got intoxicated; I left him with some horse dealers, bargaining about a horse, and travelled on; in about a quarter of an hour I met him with a horse and chaise; he told me that he was going to Reading; his master had sent him, and he would give me a job; I jumped in, and he drove towards Reading—I know nothing about the horse or gig.

Hawkes's Defence. I met this man on the road; he said that he had got a horse and gig on the road, and would give me a ride; we had something to drink; he asked me if I would drive; I did so, and we went to Reading;

I was going to Mr. Chinnock's, the horse dealer's when the policeman took me.

(Hawkes received a good characteer.)

RILEY— GUILTY . Aged 23.


Confined Twelve Months

(The COURT. directed a reward of 2l. to be given to the witness Scarce.)

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