24th October 1864
Reference Numbert18641024-994
VerdictGuilty > unknown
SentenceImprisonment > penal servitude

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994. WILLIAM COLE (27) , Breaking and entering the warehouse of James Franks and another, and stealing 900 lbs. of tea, their goods.

MR. WOOD conducted the Prosecution, and MR. LILLEY the Defence.

GEORGE TAYLOR . I am clerk to James Franks, and another, wholesale tea-dealers, 40, Queen-street, Cheapside—on Saturday, 10th September, I left the premises at quarter-past 9—I locked up the side-door—the assistants had previously fastened the door at the corner, between Queen-street and Maiden-lane—I saw that it was properly secured—Maiden-lane runs on both sides of the warehouse—I fastened up the shop-door, and then went out at the private door in Queen-street, shut it, and turned the key in the padlock, which keeps the bar up—it was double-locked and padlocked—the tea was on the third floor—it was there on the Saturday when I left, stowed away in chests, one upon another, and in caddies—the door of the third-floor room was locked—on the Monday, when I arrived, I found it broken open—I found five bags of tea on the office-floor—900 lbs. bad been removed from the top room; about 600 lbs. were taken away—we hang the keys of the inside doors on the ground floor—I have seen the outside padlock since.

JOHN SCRAGGS (City-policeman, 406). On Monday morning, 12th September, I was on my beat in Queen-street, Cheapside—about fifteen minutes to 7 I passed Mr. Franks's warehouse; the doors were then closed—when I got to the bottom of the street, I saw a man standing at the corner of Thames-street and Queen-street—he appeared to be watching my movements—that man was not the prisoner—I went part of the way round my beat, and returned—the man was then gone—I went up College-hill, and looked down Maiden-lane, which runs from the top down to Garlic-hill, past Mr. Franks's warehouse—I then saw the warehouse-door open, and a horse and cart going down the lane, from the warehouse towards Garlic-hill—there was a man leading the horse, and three others walking by the side of it—I turned round again, and went down down College-hill, and along Thames-street to meet them—when I got to Garlic-hill I found the horse and cart standing by the door of the church there—I took the cart round to Messrs. Franks's warehouse-door, and sent for the sergeant—there were six bags of tea in the cart—I could see it was loaded with bags at the time I saw it leaving Franks's warehouse—there was not an interval of more than a minute before I saw them again—I saw the witness Pearson at the time I was going round towards Garlic-hill, coming down Maiden-lane—I could see him coming along towards me—he met me close to Mr. Franks's ware-house-door, when I brought the cart back, and I asked him to stop, as there were thieves, and he did so—I found five other bags, filled with tea, on the ground floor—I took the tea to the station, and sent the cart to the greenyard—there was no name on the cart—it was not a peculiar cart—the horse was a chestnut; it had its knees broken, and was lame of the fore-leg.

Cross-examined. Q. The men whom you saw were all dressed in black, were they not? A. In dark clothes—I do not identify the prisoner as one of those four men—I was about a hundred yards from them—I don't know

that several persons came to identify the prisoner when he was at Bow-lane-station—I went and saw him myself—I know Baker, the detective—I don't know that he has charge of this case, and the discovery of the offenders—I have had no information about it myself from Banker, or any one else; that I state positively—I have been in stables looking after horses—chestnut is not a very uncommon colour—I don't know when the prisoner was taken into custody—I believe it was about a fortnight after the robbery.

JAMES FRANKS (City-police-sergeant, 21). I was called by the last witness, on Monday morning, September 12th, to Mr. Franks's warehouse about 7 o'clock—the first I saw was a horse and cart standing outside the door, with six bags of tea in it—I then went into the warehouse, and found five bags of tea standing inside the door, ready for removal—I also found five jemmies, a hammer, and a coat, lying on the bags—I examined the whole of the house, and found some five or six doors broken open; violence had been used—the wood-work was broken away—the door I entered by, the ware-house-door, was opened from the inside—there were no locks on that—there were no marks of violence on it—the padlock at the side-door had been tampered with.

Cross-examined. Q. Do you know Baker, the detective? A. I do—I have not received any information from him, or any one else, with regard to the parties who committed this robbery—I have heard they came from Shore-ditch—I have not seen a photograph of the persons suspected—Scraggs, the constable, and the witness Pearson, came to look at the prisoner at Bow-lane; no one else, to my knowledge—I am on duty from 2 on one day until 2 the following.

MR. WOOD. Q. Did Pearson identify him at once? A. He did.

RICHARD PEARSON . I am a gas-fitter, at 4, Sugarloaf-court, Garlic-hill—that runs parallel with Maiden-lane—I am now working at the Miller of Mansfield—on Monday morning, 12th September, about twenty minutes or a quarter to 7, I came out of Sugar-loaf-court, into Garlic-hill; I was going down Maiden-lane, and I met the prisoner coming up with a horse and cart, with five bags of tea on it—he was coming from Mr. Franks front-door—I then saw three men come out at that door, and run down a little court at the back close by—I only just saw the policeman pass round the corner then—directly the prisoner turned the corner, I suppose he went away from the cart—I did not see him then—the court where I saw the men run down if about twenty yards from the back of the warehouse; more towards Garlic-hill—I know it was Cole leading the horse and cart, because I have recognised him since—I was sufficiently near to see him; so near that I am able to swear to him—I have no doubt whatever that he is the man I saw—I afterwards saw the cart; there was no name on it.

Cross-examined, Q. Are you a gasfitter on your own account? A. Yes, and have been so about ten years—I was before the Magistrate on the first examination—I was never in Manchester—I was not in the country after the examination—I saw the prisoner again about a fortnight afterwards—I believe the man who was leading the cart had a little whiskers on—I go to work at 7 in the morning—the Miller of Mansfield is at the back of Guy's Hospital—I walk there; it is about 400 or 500 yards down King-street, on the left-hand side—it was a very narrow turning where I met the man with the cart—I was just the width of the cart from him—only one cart can get up there at once—I was a few yards off when I first saw the cart—I fancy the prisoner had another coat on.

MR. WOOD. Q. Did you see him distinctly? A. Yes.

J. AMES MURRILL (City-policeman, 304). On Sunday night, 11th September, about a quarter-past 10, I was on duty in Tudor-street, which leads from the Temple to Blackfriars-bridge—I noticed a horse and cart there—afterwards on Tuesday morning 13th, I saw that same horse and cart in the green yard—a man named Hayes, who was apprehended with the prisoner, was in charge of the cart on the Sunday—I examined the horse and curt then—I did not see any name on the cart—the horse was a chestnut.

Cross-examined. Q. Was Hayes alone that evening? A. Yes; at that time—Tudor-street is about half a mile from Queen-street—I examined the horse with my lamp—I noticed that one of its legs dropped over—I have seen a cab-horse like that before—I examined its head, and found it had one eye—that is not an unusual thing to see in London, MR. WOOD. Q. Do you swear it was the same horse and cart? A. Yea MR. LILLEY. Q. What sort of a cart was it? A. An old dirty green cart—I never noticed one like it before—there were wings to it projecting out on each side—I will not say positively there was no name on it—I looked, but could not see one—I never heard of a reward being offered until after the prisoner had been before the Magistrate.

WILLIAM STEWART . I am a cab-driver at 8, Brandon-street, Lock's-fields—I have known a man named Hayes eight or nine months, and the prisoner about the same time, by sight—I used to work for John Mallet, Swan-street, Dover-road—I have seen Cole with Hayes on several occasions—on one occasion I saw them in a cart in Gracechurch-street—I can't say I have seen the cart since—it was a chestnut mare—it was about the latter end of August or the beginning of September.

Cross-examined. Q. Have you gone by any other name than Stewart? A. Yes; I have answered to the name of "Bob Cox"—I lived in another neighbourhood then—no one fetched me up to give evidence—I know a policeman named Dennis Clark one of the M's—he has had no hand in bringing me forward on this occasion—I never heard of any reward—no one has offered me 5l. or any such sum if I would give evidence—I have never said that I had been led into it—I said I should not have come and given evidence had I not been served with a summons—I did not say that they had got over me—I was in Mr. Hallett's employ a month—he is a cab proprietor, and lets out vehicles on hire—I saw Hayes and the prisoner in a cart belonging to him at different times—it was a chestnut horse and a bay mare, which I knew well from driving them in a cab—I had left Mr. Hallett's then, but I knew the horses—Bob Cox was a name I went by; I never went by the name of Kingston—it was an ordinary spring cart that I saw the prisoner and Hayes in, in Gracechurch-street—there are hundreds more like it in London—it had a wing on it—I was driving a cab at the time I saw it and I pulled up for them to pass by—there were three persons in the cart at that time.

ROBERT PETHER (Policeman, M 98). I have known the prisoner for the last two or three years, and have known Hayes, who was in custody with him, six or seven years—I have seen them together frequently—on Friday, 30th September, I went to the City greenyard, and saw a horse and cart there—I am not certain whether it was a horse or a mare; it was a chestnut—I had seen that horse and cart in the possession of Cole and two other men, not in custody, about a week before the robbery was committed—one of the men was Hayes, and the other a person named Dickson—the last time I saw the horse and cart was in Kent-street, Borough, about the middle

of the day—I can clearly identify it as the same horse and cart as I saw at the greenyard.

Cross-examined. Q. Is it not a common cart? A. Yes; a common cart such as many persons keep for hire and let—I have seen Cole in a cart drawn by a horse six or eight times at the least—they were driving by me when I saw it on this last occasion—I have seen them with two different horses and three different carts—I have heard there is a reward offered, a small one—we expect a little perhaps.

MR. WOOD. Q. When did you take the prisoner in custody? A. The following evening, Saturday, 1st October, about 7—I told him what he was charged with—he said, "I hope you are not going to put a job up for me"—I said, "No, I hope not"

MR. LILLEY. Q. Had you not had some little altercation with him and his wife some few days before? A. Some two or three days before the wife was taken to the station.

MR. WOOD. Q. You knew him none the worse for that? A. No; I know nothing against the man.

WILLIAM HENCHLIFFE (Policeman, M 85). I know the prisoner well—on 12th October, I believe, I saw a horse and cart in the green yard—I had previously seen Cole and Hayes with that horde and cart many times—I saw them with it a few days before 12th September—I saw it about seven or eight weeks previous to my seeing it at the green yard with Cole and Hayes in it—Cole was driving at the time.

Cross-examined. Q. Do you know Dennis Clark of your division? A. Yes—I did not know there was a reward offered—I have not heard so—I swear that I have never heard so from any person whatever—I have not seen a paper up at my station to that effect—I am there every day—I have not been inside the Bow-lane station—I spoke to the men when I saw them seven or eight weeks ago; I swear that—they were coming out of Clarendon-street into Kent-street very fast, and I said, "You ought to be more careful how you come out," that was all—I had seen the horse twenty times before—they have had a fresh horse, a darker one, and it has not been in the same cart—I have seen it standing a little below the public-house by itself; I did not notice anyone taking care of it—I would not say how many times I have seen the cart; I only speak particularly to one morning—I don't know Baker the detective.

MR. WOOD. Q. On the several occasion of which you have spoken who was driving? A. Cole—I should say I have seen him seven or eight times driving the horse with Hayes.

Witnesses for the Defence.

JOHN KENRICK . I live at 33, Lansdowne-place, St. George's New Town, and am a brush dealer—I have known the prisoner for years—on Sunday evening, 11th September, I was with him in the Golden Fleece—about half-past 11, I saw him rolling about drunk in the road—there were several others in company with us—I know a man named Holland; he was there—I picked Cole up, knowing him well, and asked Henry Holland if he would I head him up to my place—we took him there, and my wife made him a temporary bed in the corner of the room, and he did not get up till a quarter to 9 on the 12th—Overshott is the name of the landlord of the Golden Fleece; he is here—I went there at about a quarter to 9 on the Monday morning—it is about a hundred yards from where I live.

Cross-examined by MR. WOOD. Q. Will you swear that wherever the prisoner was on that morning of 12th September, you were with him? A.

No; I was with him the first part of the rooming, and then I had to go to my work—I was with him till something like 11—I was in the same room with him from 6 to 7 that morning—I know Dennis Clark, a constable—I was not looked up about seven years ago for three weeks for attempting to pick pockets, to my recollection—I have got a bad memory—I can't recollect—that is not the question I am come to answer.

COURT. Q. Have you been convicted of picking pockets? A. I might have been; I can't remember it—I will swear that I can't remember it.

SARAH KENRICK . I am the wife of the last witness—I have known Cole a great many years—on 11th September, about half-past 11 at night my husband and Mr. Holland brought him up stairs very much intoxicated—he slept on some of my petticoats and some of the bed clothes—he remained there till between 8 and 9 the next morning—when I awoke he was there—he had recovered from his drunkenness then—he could not have gone out of the room, the door was locked.

Cross-examined, Q. How many beds had you in this room? A. One, me and my husband slept there—Holland went away—my husband was very intimate with the prisoner—they are often in public-houses together.

MR. LILLEY. Q. Did you ever see any whiskers on Cole's face? A. No, never.

COURT. Q. Where does he live? A. Down Bermondsey way—I never went to his house—I know by speaking to his wife that he lives in Bermondsey—I did not see him again after the Monday, till he was in custody, not to my recollection—I saw him again the same day two or three times, in St. George's New-town—I first heard of the robbery about three weeks ago—it was on a Saturday night that I heard he was taken on suspicion of the tea robbery—I had not heard of the robbery before that.

HENRY HOLLAND . I am a tobacco-pipe maker, and live in Kent-street, St. George's New-town—I have known Cole for years, by sight—one night, during September, I took him home drunk—it was on the 11th—I don't know what month; I am no scholar and I forget—it was 11th February or 11th December—I should think it is about a month ago—this month is February, isn't it?—I am no scholar—it was Sunday—I took him up to John Kenrick's place—I met with him outside the Golden Fleece—I saw him next morning, and had a drop of ale with him at the Golden Fleece, about half-past 9—I did not see him after that, till he was in custody.

THOMAS OVERSHOTT . I am the landlord of the Golden Fleece—it is a licensed house—I know the prisoner, he uses my house sometimes—he was there on Sunday evening, 11th September—I shut up at 11 o'clock—he was very tipsy that night, and I refused to serve him at 10 o'clock—the last saw of him was at 11 o'clock, when he went out of the door with the rest—I believe Kenrick was there that evening—about 9 the next morning, Kenrick and Cole came into my house both together—Cole was very drunk the night before.

Cross-examined. Q. How do you know that? A. Because he staggered about.

JAMES DANIEL ROGERS . I am a hairdresser, and live at 61, Bermondsey New-road—I have known the prisoner between four and five years—he lives, I believe, in Alley-street, Bermondsey New-road—it is from a quarter to half a mile from St. George's New-town to the Golden Fleece—I have shaved Cole for turned four years—I never found any whiskers on his cheeks, he could not grow any—he had a few straggling hairs on his face, no whiskers—he has never had any whiskers.

Cross-examined. Q. What part of him did you shave? A. The upper lip and just round the chin—I have not been very intimate with him—I have shaved him twice a week during the last four years I should say—sometimes he has been away for a week or two—I am a hairdresser and barber too—I don't sell false moustaches or whiskers—I have never been locked up—only twice—I have been bailed out—I have not been locked up for the last twelve months—I have been summoned for my missus—she wanted to leave me, and I said she might go if she liked—I have only been locked up twice.

MR. LILLEY. Q. What was it for? A. Only for being drunk; I was discharged when I was sober—I have not been locked up since last February twelvemonth—I have been a married man since then, and have not been looked up.

COURT. Q. When did you lost shave the prisoner? A. Three weeks lost Saturday, between 7 and half-past, in the evening, and I think on the Tuesday before that—I should say I have shaved him for the last two months twice a week, up to last Saturday three weeks—I was examined before the Magistrate.

GUILTY .—He was further charged with leaving been before convicted of felony on 9th May, 1857, at Southwark, to which he

PLEADED GUILTY.— Seven Years' Penal Servitude.

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