10th June 1867
Reference Numbert18670610-561
VerdictGuilty > unknown
SentenceImprisonment > penal servitude

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561. HENRY DILLON (23) , Stealing, whilst employed in the Post Office, a post-letter containing a watch, the property of her Majesty's Postmaster-General.

MESSRS. METCALFE and PATTISON conducted the Prosecution.

DAVID OSMOND . I am a hardware merchant, residing in Scotland—on 25th January I made up a parcel, containing a gold watch in this case, in a sheet of paper, which I stamped, sealed, and addressed, H. Solomon and Co., 131 to 134, Houndsditch, London, and sent it to the post by my assistant—I also wrote this separate letter of advice, which I posted myself, telling them what I wanted done with the watch—I had bought it of them last October; this is it, and this is the case (produced)—I know the case particularly, by these two marks.

JOHN NICHOL . I am assistant to the last witness—on 25th January I took a parcel to the post—I took it inside, and handed it to Mr. Jolly in the same state as I received it; it was not registered.

JOHN JOLLY . I am post-master at Arbroath—on 25th January Nichol brought me a parcel addressed to Mr. Solomon—I sent it off by the mail at five o'clock—it was brought in to me, being too large to go into the slit—my attention was called to it a few days afterwards as being missing; it

was not registered—from my office it would go into the London mail bag, and so up to the General Post Office.

JAMES FINCH . I am a stamper in the General Post Office—I remember the midday mail arriving from Arbroath on 26th January—it was tied and sealed—I took out the packets and letters—they would be despatched from the General Post Office about ten minutes to twelve—it was rather late that morning.

CHARLES HAINES . I am inspector of letter-carriers at the Eastern District Post Office—on 26th January, when the bag arrived at midday at the General Post Office, the prisoner was on duty—he was charge-taking that day; here is the book, with his signature—that is taking charge of unpaid letters—that would give him access to the other letters; he had the full range of the office—unpaid letters would be brought to him to distribute to the respective parts—he entered the charges—he had free access to everything, having permission to go about the office to any part—if he was seen at the letter-tables nobody would take any notice—he might have had access to this packet.

HENRY EVANS . I am in Mr. Solomon's employ—this gold watch was supplied by him in October to Mr. Osmond—I received a letter of advice, and expected to receive it back in January, but it did not arrive—it is worth about 15l.

WILLIAM SMEE . On 3rd May I searched the prisoner's house, 22, Hannibal Road, Stepney Green—the prisoner, who was at the office, had given me that address, and told me he lived on the first floor with his uncle—I found this watch standing on the mantelshelf in the bedroom—I told the prisoner where I found it and described it to him—he said, "Yes, that gold watch was my father's, which he left me when he died in July last, and also the gold chain which you found in the cash-box" (there was another watch in the house)—Mr. Gardiner showed it to him next day, and he gave the same account to him as he did to me—I took him in custody.

MARGARET REDDING . I am the wife of William Redding, a lettercarrier—the prisoner lodged with me—he came on the first Saturday in Lent—I saw Smee find the watch—I knew his father and mother well—I cannot say that I ever saw this watch in his father's possession, but they had several watches—I asked the prisoner to come and lodge with me, and he brought the watch before he came there for good.

The Prisoner's Statement before the Magistrate:—"I can explain where I got the watch, but I will reserve my explanation."

Prisoner's Defence. At the time I gave the first account I had no idea the watches were stolen, and I was afraid of losing my situation. One evening, while standing at the bar of a public-house in the Commercial Road, a man came in. We got into conversation, and he offered me the watch for sale. I purchased it for 3l. 10s. There were people in the bar at the time.

GUILTY .— Seven Years' Penal Servitude.

There was another indictment against the prisoner.

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