27th October 1856
Reference Numbert18561027-981
VerdictGuilty > pleaded guilty; Guilty > unknown; Guilty > unknown; Not Guilty > unknown
SentenceImprisonment; No Punishment > sentence respited; No Punishment > sentence respited; Imprisonment

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981. GEORGE FLETCHER, JOHN LATHWOOD, SAMUEL LATHWOOD , and MINERVA LATHWOOD , stealing 90 yards of alpaca, value 15l.; the goods of James Gladstones.

MR. COOPER. conducted the Prosecution.

JAMES GLADSTONES . I am a stuff warehouseman, at No. 3, Little Love-lane on the ground floor—Fletcher resides in the upper part of the building, with his father and mother—I have not seen him in my warehouse, but he had to pass the door of it when he went in and out—on 4th Oct. I missed three pieces of alpaca, value about 15l.—this (produced) is some of it, it is my property—here is a piece which matches it (produced), it joins on and fits—I had sold it, but had not sent it out—I had sold none like it—three pieces were taken and one left—I had seen them safe two or three days before.

ROBERT PACKMAN . (City policeman, 133). I am a detective. On Monday, 6th Oct., from information I received, I went to Mr. Gladstones', and found that the cloth had been stolen—on the 11th I went again with Bull, sat Fletcher in the passage, and took him into custody—I told him that it was on suspicion of stealing three pieces of alpaca from Mr. Gladstones' ware-house—he made no answer—on the way to the station he asked me if I had got any other person in custody—I told him I had not, but I soon should have a person named Lapford—he said, "Have you heard anything else?"—I said, "I have heard that you had two pieces of alpaca stolen from you out of three, one piece in Liverpool-street, and one piece in Finsbury-circus, and the other piece you gave to Lapford to sell"—he said, "That is true; we had two pieces of the alpaca stolen, and the other I gave to Lathwood, not Lapford, as you say, and have not received a farthing of it as my share—I took him to the station.

JAMES BROOM . (City policeman, 156). I took John Lathwood, in a public house in Little Bell-alley—I told him the charge—he said that he knew nothing of it—going to the station, he said, "I could tell he something more about it, if I liked, and I could tell you something about a gold watch," and during my examination before the Magistrate he said that he wished to state that there were three of them engaged in it.

John Lathwood. The three that did it were Fletcher, myself, and John Goddard.

ROBERT PACKMAN . re-examined. On the same day, the 11th, I went to the lodging of the elder prisoners, and found them at home—I told them that I was a police officer, and that their son John was in custody for being concerned with others in stealing some alpaca, that I had come to search his lodging, and if there was any alpaca, to produce it—Samuel Lathwood said, "I have none"—I looked round the room, and saw this piece of alpaca lying in this piece of paper (produced), on the board where he was at work as a tailor—I said, "How do you account for this?"—he said, "I purchased that of a person named Lee, a piece broker in Fore-street, last Monday, and gave him half a crown a yard for it"—I said, "Was it wrapped in the same piece of paper as it is now?"—the female prisoner said, "No, I went with a female friend to Whitechapel last Monday, and purchased a dress, and that is the paper that the dress came out of—I said, "This looks very similar to the property lost, I will take possession of it, and return it in half an hour"—I took it to Mr. Gladstones'—I afterwards went to Mr. Lee's, in Fore-street, and found Mrs. Lathwood there speaking to Mr. Lee—I called Mr. Lee on one side, and then, with the female prisoner and Bull, went to their lodging, and saw Samuel again—he said, "I made a mistake respecting that piece of alpaca, I did not buy it of Mr. Lee, I bought it of Mr. Howitt, of Snow-hill,

with several other goods, some time ago, and here is the bill of it," giving me this bill (produced) off a file—I said, "I am not at all satisfied," and took them both into custody—while Samuel was dressing himself, I saw that he was very anxious to put something into this bag, in a very bustling way—I asked him what it was—he said, "Nothing"—I turned the bag out, and found this scarf made of alpaca (produced), and another small piece besides—I took them to the station.

Samuel Lathwood. I stated that I did buy goods from Mr. Lee, but not that alpaca. Witness. I am positive he said so in the first instance—Broom was present.

DAVID LEE . I am a piece broker, of No. 87, Fore-street. I know the elder prisoners and their son—I have not sold any of the prisoners alpaca within a month; they were customers of mine—on 11th Oct., about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, the prisoner Minerva came to my shop, and said, "They are coming to ask about some alpaca, say you sold it"—just at that moment Packman came in; I made a communication to him, and he showed me a piece of alpaca—I did not sell the prisoners such a piece as that.

Minerva Lathwood. You speak very falsely; what I said was, that I wished to speak to Mr. Lee, and I said to you, "Never mind, never mind now," and asked you to let me have a yard of braid. Witness. You said what I have repeated—I do not keep alpaca half so good as this.

Samuel Lathwood. I have bought alpaca equally as good in your shop myself.

WILLIAM BARKER . I am assistant to Mr. Grant, a pawnbroker, of No. 70, London-wall. I produce about twenty-five yards of alpaca, pawned on 4th Get, for 12s., by the female prisoner, in the name of Gliding.

JAMES GLADSTONES . re-examined. This is my property, and is one of the three pieces which were stolen; there are thirty yards in a piece—this paper exactly corresponds with the other remaining pieces.

GEORGE JAMES WHITWELL . I am assistant to Henry Howitt, of No. 87, Snow-hill, woollen draper. I have seen Samuel Lathwood there, making purchases—the invoice produced is one of our's, it was in pencil, but has been covered over since with ink; which ink is not the writing of any person in our house—I may have sold the prisoners at alpaca, but not at this date—we never sold them such as this produced, we keep nothing so good.

Samuel Lathwood. Q. Did you serve me with the goods that are in that bill? A. No, nor did I check it, but I can see that this alpaca has been inserted since; had you bought any at that time, it would have been inserted in the bill in pencil.

MR. COOPER. Q. Do you see "Verona" in that bill? A. Yes, that is alpaca with a pattern on it; this "Alpaca" stands above it, in a different writing.

(MR. SLEIGH. here stated that Fletcher would withdraw his plea.)

FLETCHER PLEADED GUILTY , and received a good character. Aged 15.— Confined Six Months.

John Lathwood's Defence. There was John Borritt in the case; he took the articles out of the warehouse, walked out with them under his arm, and went down Petticoat-lane to try and sell them; he was brought to Guild-hall, and the Magistrate discharged him.

Samuel Lathwood's Defence. I have been nearly twenty years in London, and never had a charge brought against me; I never saw this alpaca in my place.

Minerva Lathwood's Defence. I have been in London just upon forty years, and it is the first time I have had a word against me.

JOHN LATHWOOD— GUILTY. Aged 19,— Judgment respited.

SAMUEL LATHWOOD— GUILTY. of receiving. Aged 51.— Confined Twelve Months.


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