Offence: Theft > animal theft
Verdict: Guilty > no_subcategory
Punishment: Imprisonment > penal servitude
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MR. BESLEY conducted the Prosecution.
WILLIAM BOOTH . I am a grocer, living at Sydenham—in the early part of last year I was the owner of a gray mare—I have not got it now-a few weeks ago I gave it back to Mr. Roff, for a trifling matter—he said he could not afford to lose it—I made an arrangement with him—about the middle of January last year I sent the mare to Mr. Seal's, at Burnt Ash Farm—I did not see her again till May, when I saw her at Mr. Roft's stables, at Croydon—I had her from him after that, and subsequently returned her to him—I had her in my possession from May till four or five weeks ago—it was the same mare—I gave 14l. for her.
ZEPHANIAH MARTIN SEAL . I am a farmer at Burnt Ash Farm, Lee, in Kent—refreshing my memory from this book (produced) I can say that I had a gray mare from Mr. Booth on 14th January—I missed her on 20th February—I can speak quite positively to that date—I saw her myself on the 19th in the meadow with other horses, and the following day I received information that she was gone—I went into the meadow, and she was not there.
WILLIAM WINN . I am bailiff to Mr. Seal—I had a gray mare under my charge—I heard the name of the man she came from—I never knew the man—I did not see the mare go—I traced the field round, and found she went out at the gate—the gate was fastened with a wooden plug—I found the gate the same as I left it, with the plug in—I don't think she was an animal that could leap the gate—from the marks I believe that she went out through the gate—I went to Bromley police-station.
Cross-examined by MR. MONTAGUE WILLIAMS. Q. Was there a possibility that she could have leaped the gate? A. I think not—the field is surrounded by a hedge and ditch—it was such a place that a horse could cross—I don't know in what month I missed the mare—I cannot say whether it was is December.
COURT. Q. Were there any marks of the mare having got through the hedge anywhere? A. No; that is what I particularly looked for.
CHARLES WOOD . I live at 10, Howard-street, Wands worth-road, and deal in pigs—early last year, I saw the prisoner in Copenhagen Cattle-market, with a gray mare—he asked me if I would buy it—I said I could not, as I had got one, but I should not mind exchanging with him, as mine was not big enough to do the work—I came to terms with him—I gave him my horse and 25s. for the gray mare—I kept her from three to four weeks, and then sold her to Mr. Roff—I cannot speak to the dates.
Cross-examined. Q. You don't know what month it was in? A. No—I can't say whether it was in January or February—I don't think it was in December—I have seen the prisoner at markets, and fairs, and differed places.
COURT. Q. Was it either in January or February? A. I should not like to say positively—it was not so late as March—I am no scholar—I am pure it was not so late as March, because Mr. Roff bought it of me in March.
MR. BESLEY. Q. After this dealing at Copenhagen Cattle-market, when
did you see the prisoner again? A. Perhaps three or four weeks after, at the same market—at that time I knew the mare was claimed by Mr. Booth—the prisoner was in a public-house, with some more men, and as soon as I went in he saw me—I said, "Here, I want to speak to you"—I went to grapple hold of him, and he got hold of me by the throat—two or three men crossed their hands, and he got to the door and ran away.
MR. MONTAGUE WILLIAMS . Q. Has not the prisoner seen you constantly in Deptford since that, and other places? A. He saw me something like a fortnight or three weeks after I sold the mare to Roff, not since—I have not been drinking with him since that.
MR. BESLEY. Q. How often do you think you saw him? A. I cannot say; perhaps once in a couple of mouths—I never saw him after I knew the mare was stolen, but that once, in the public-house.
THOMAS ROFF . I live at Southend, Croydon, and am a pork-butcher—I bought a gray mare of the last witness, on 14th March, in the Blackfriars-road, for 5l. 15s.—I had the mare in my possession till 8th May, when I gave it up to Mr. Booth—since that, I have bought her back from him.
JOHN THOMAS FOX (Policeman, R 120). In consequence of information I received at Lewisham station, on 8th May, I looked after the prisoner, and did not see him till 12th December—he was then in the Old King's Head, Blackfriars-road—his father and another man were with him—I followed them in the direction of the Old Kent-road—I met a constable in uniform outside the Bricklayer's Arms, and we came in front of them—I said to the prisoner, "Hawke, I want you for horse-stealing," and laid hold of him by the collar—he immediately struck me in the mouth—after a very desperate struggle, I got him, with the assistance of two gentlemen, into a baker's shop—he bit my linger, and called out, "Rouse, rouse, boys!" that means calling on them to rescue him—at the station, he said, "Whose horse is it I am charged with stealing?"—I said, "Mr. Booth's, from Sydenham"—at the railway-station at Lewisham, he said, "As for that Mr. Fox, I can bring twenty witnesses to say that I bought her"—he afterwards asked me who put me on to where he was—he had been missing for some time from our neighbourhood.
Cross-examined. Q. When you took him, did you not have some beer together? A. Yes, we did—we were waiting in the lobby at the station—we had had a severe encounter, and I asked the constable who was with me to have something to drink, as I felt very dry myself, and, I believe, he did too—he went and got some beer, and while we were drinking it the prisoner asked me to treat him with some beer, and I did so from good feeling; nothing more.
The prisoner was further charged with having been before convicted, on 7th May, 1861, at Greenwich Police-court, where he was sentenced to two months' imprisonment; to which he
PLEADED GUILTY. †—Four Years' Penal Servitude.