1st March 1869
Reference Numbert18690301-349
VerdictGuilty > unknown
SentenceImprisonment > penal servitude

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349. JAMES BAILEY (42), WILLIAM DANES (32), and HENRY. COUCHMAN (39) , Stealing a sack of oats, of James Hudson and another, the masters of Bailey.

MR. BESLEY. conducted the Prosecution; MR. HARRIS. appeared for Bailey and Couchman, and MR. BROXLEY. defended Danes.

JAMES HUDSON . I am a eheesemonger, of 52, Ludgate Hill—I have stables at New Inn Yard, Old, Bailey—Danes' stables are next to mine, and

Penson & Co., Limited, have stables on the other side of Danes'—Bailey has been my horse-keeper ten or eleven months—it was his duty to superintend the feed of the horses, and receive the food from the corn-chandler—I found secretly that he was feeding the horses principally on clover, hardly any corn, upon which I put myself in communication with the police, and on Thursday, February 18th, I went with them to Mr. Whitchurch, the cornchandler, in the Goswell Road, and ordered five quarters of oath in ten sacks—we turned each sack out on the floor, and had a quantity of dyed oats, which we mixed with them and put them into Mr. Whitchurch's sacks, which were afterwards emptied into our sacks, and Bailey fetched them from Whitchurch's—oats should be kept in the loft—I did not know of any communication between my loft and Danes' stable—on the 20th, about 8 a.m., I was sent for by one of my men—I went to the Police Court, and found the three prisoners in custody—I saw a sack of oats there, in which I found a number of the dyed oats—it was not one of my sacks—I afterwards examined the loft on our own side, and found nine sacks of oats instead of ten, and an opening, five feet long and about twelve or thirteen inches wide, into Danes' stable—one board was lying in our loft—the hole was not large enough to pass a sack of oats through in the bulk—I had not given Bailey any authority to lend, or sell, or part with oats to Danes—I had six horses and Danes five—this plan (produced) represents the three stables.

Cross-examined by MR. HARRIS. Q. Is Bailey a good servant? A. Yes, but he bears a very indifferent character; he is a drunkard—I have often had suspicion of him, but never charged him—I had no character with him—a man might get through the hole, but he would have to be lifted—the quarterings in the partition are five feet apart—the boards are straight across—I have heard of the men sleeping in the loft, and if they have no hay, they collect all the sacks they can to lie on—it is very common for the sacks of different millers, bakers, and corn-chandlers, to get into the houses of other persons—I have had sacks in my house, of persons who I have not dealt with—I do not limit my horses to any quantity, and they are now in good condition—it is not usual to put clover into the rack—these oats were originally white, but they are dyed, if you rub one in your fingers you will see—there are five or six keys to my stable, one to each man, and one for myself.

Cross-examined by MR. BROMLEY. Q. There is a board on your side which can be moved, is that so? A. Yes—I believe it cannot be opened from Danes' side—it could be forced open from Danes' side, but it could not be replaced, as the nails are on our side—I consider that it was used by our men to put things from our side into Danes' loft—Danes has been a neighbour of ours eighteen months—ho was there when we went there, and for all I know he had been there many years—my brother sold him a horse, not our firm—he had some difficulty in getting the money, and took out a writ—Dawes brought me 10l., and asked inc to receive it as part payment—a bill of exchange was given for the amount of the horse.

MR. BESLEY. Q. You are not cornchandlers, and your sacks ought not to be away from your premises? A. No; two of the sacks taken from Danes' loft are ours.

JOHN WILMONSON . I am in the employ of Mr. Whitchurch, a cornchandler, of Goswell Road—I saw ten sacks of oats put into Mr. Hudson's van—I held out the sacks for our men to shoot them in—I do not know whether they were the marked oats—they were delivered to Bailey, who was

the carman, on the 18th February—he took them away about a quarter or twenty minutes past 4 p.m.

Cross-examined by MR. BROMLEY. Q.. Do you not know that Mr. Danes has been in the habit of dealing with your master? A. We bought oats of him a long while ago, but have not done so lately—I ought to know all the customers, I have been there eighteen years.

MISAAC FARLEY . (City Policeman). On Friday night, 19th February, I went to watch this yard, between 7 and 8 o'clock—I saw the three prisoners, at a little before 8 o'clock, in conversation at the top of the mod, in the Old Bailey—they went down the yard—Bailey went into Mr. Hudson's stable and Danes and Couchman into Danes' stable—when I next saw them they all came out of Danes' stable, but I had not been watching all the while—four men came out—they went to the top of the yard to Mr. Long's public-house, conversing together, and in and out of several public-houses till between 10 and 11 o'clock, when I lost sight of them—I next saw them at a few minutes after 4 o'clock in the morning—the outer gates were then opened by another man, Tongue, and Danes and Tongue walked in—Danes remained about half-an-hour in his stable, and went away—I next saw him about 7.30, in his stable with Couchman—I had not been away, I was with another officer—I walked to a lot of oats in the stable, and said, "Where did you get these oats from?"—Danes said, "I bought them"—I took up a handful and said, "Where did you buy them?"—he said, "Of a cornchandler"—I said, "Where does he live?"—he said, "I do not know that that is any difference"—I said, "What is his name?"—he said, "I do not know"—I said, "Not know?"—he said, "In fact, I did not get them at all, my man got them for me"—I said, "Where is your man?"—he said, "That man," pointing to Couchman—I said, "Where did you buy these oats?"—Couchman said, "Of a corn-chandler "—I said, "What cornchandler?"—he said to Danes, "You know, sir, I did not get them at all"—I then turned to two sacks, one full and one half-full—I put my hand into the full one, and said, "What about this stuff here?"—Danes said, "I bought that"—I said, "Where?"—he said, "Well, my man got that also"—I asked Couchman where he got it? he said, "You know, sir, I did not get it at all?"—I said to Danes, "I shall take you for receiving this, knowing it to be stolen," pointing to the tub of oats—he made no reply—I found a sack full of oats, which were identified by Mr. Hudson; they were afterwards put into one of Mr. Hudson's sacks, which was on the tub—I found a nose-bag there, after Danes was in custody; it had not been filled that morning, but there was a portion in it from the day previous—I examined it, with Payne, it was the same kind of oats as were in the tub—there were beans and cut clover with it—I had Danes and Couchman taken to the station—I went into Mr. Hudson's loft; the board was then in its proper place, but it could be taken down—I saw hand-marks at the corner, which caused me to take hold of it—it was worn by the hands, from constant usage—I took it down and examined the floor on Danes' side, and saw about half a bushel of oats just inside the hole—five sacks were lying on the floor, and two were just inside the hole—two were marked with Mr. Hudson's name and one with Whitchurch's name—Danes' sacks were lying on top of them—I did not see Couchman before the large gates were opened—he could not have gone in without my seeing him—he always slept in Danes' loft—no other person was in Danes' stable that morning—Bailey was not at Mr. Hudson's, I met him about, twenty minutes afterwards, in the Old Bailey, and told him I should take him for stealing a sack

of oats belonging to his employers, which we had found in Danes' stable—he said, "I do not know anything about any oats"—several men belonging to the stables were about.

Cross-examined by Mr. HARRIS. Q. Is this a sort of public yard? Yes, there are seven or eight stables in it, and there are a great many horsekeepers and ostlers about—Couchman went away into Mr. Long's tap-room—they were together till between 10 and 11 o'clock—I saw the watchman on the platform—he did not open the gates at 4 o'clock—when Danes said that his man bought the oats, Couchman left a horse by the side of which he was in a stall and confronted him—I then said "Where did you buy these oats?"—and he said "Of a coornchandler"—other stuff was mentioned, beans, cut clover, and oats—I do not know that Couchman's statement that he bought them of a cornchandler is of vital importance in this case—I have been in the police about nine years—my depositions were read over, and I signed them—I gave the conversation, word for word, and I thought it was in my deposition—I paid minute attention when it was read over.

Cross-examined by Mr. BROMLEY. Q. Have you any doubt that that is what Couchman said at first? A. He did say it.

Mr. BESLEY. Q. Have you always made that statement? A. I have made it before to-day—I did not notice what was omitted from the deposition; I know I stated it from the first.

JOHN PEGG . (City Policeman 446). On the 18th and 19th February I was appointed to watch New Inn Yard—I watched on the 19th, from 8 in the evening till 11 or 12 at night, and saw the three prisoners together in conversation at the top of the yard—I was with Farley—they went down the yard; Bailey went into Mr. Hudson's stable, and Couchman and Danes into Danes' stable—some time after that they all came out of Danes' stable—I had had Hudson's stable in view in the interval, and Bailey could not have come out of it without my seeing him—he went in at Hudson's stable and came out at Danee'—Danes then went to the top of the yard and went away, I did not see him again that night—Couchman and Bailey were in different public-houses, conversing, and I saw Couchman up to 11 o'clock—I was there at 4 in the morning.

Cross-examined by Mr. HARRIS. Q. You dyed the oats? A. Yes, the dye is a secret which I would rather keep to myself—this is a sample of them (produced)—I missed ten sacks—I do not think the prisoners saw us when they came up the yard—it was dark—Danes went away first, and did not join Couchman after that evening—I believe there is a watchman there all night, but it is a private yard, and we do not patrol it.

MR. BESLEY. Q. Where did this sample come from? A. From the nose-bag in Danes' stable—I find dyed oats here, and some marked beans—this is the sample I took from Goswell Street—in the sample found in the tub are some dyed oats—they are the same as I dyed in Goswell Street.

JOHN FREEMAN . (City Policeman 473). I took Danes, but said nothing to him—as soon as he got out of New Inn Yard, he said "I do not know what I am going to the station for; I have not done anything; I gave my man the money to buy the corn; I do not know anything about it."

ROBERT WELLS . I am employed by Messrs. Hutton, Berlin wool manufacturers and fancy importers, of Newgate Street—our traveller hires horses of Danes—I have been shown a nose-bag—I used it every day—Mr. Danes supplies the corn used by the traveller, and I return it at night—I had the same nose-bag on the Saturday—there was a double handful in it—I

did not take it out filled with corn, we found our own corn on the Saturday—that is the day the police were there.


Danes and Couchman received good characters, and the Jury recommended Couchman to mercy, thinking he might perhaps have acted under hit master's instructions.

DANES— Five Years' Penal Servitude—See

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