6th May 1872
Reference Numbert18720506-436
VerdictGuilty > unknown

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436. WILLIAM COLE (34) , Unlawfully obtaining 1l. 12s., 1l. 10s. 8d., and 1l. 10s., of James McGuinness, by false pretences.

MR. POLAND conducted the Prosecution.

JAMES MCGUINNESS . I am staff-sergeant of pensioners of the Greenwich district—on 11th August, 1870, I enrolled the prisoner—I produce the attestation paper relating to that enrolment, which I filled in from his discharge from the Military Train which he produced; this is it—I wrote across it "Enrolled in the Army Reserve at Deptford, August, 1870"—at the time they are enrolled the discharge is endorsed in red, and given back to them—he signed this attestation paper in my presence—he received his pay up to 31st March, 1872; that was 1l. 12s. when he was enrolled, 1l. 10s. 8d. in October, and 1l. 10s. in January, 1871—he is the man—I was not aware when I enrolled him, that he was already a member of the Army Reserve; he swears to a declaration that he does not belong to the militia or any other force, and has not been already enrolled—I should not have paid him unless I had believed that—the discharge that he handed to me proved that he did not belong to any other department.

Prisoner. I acknowledge belonging to the Greenwich district.

JAMES LOFTS . I am a pensioner, living at 23, St. Alban's Street, Kennington Road—on 28th April, 1870, I was employed at the South London district of the Army Reserve force—this (produced) is the attestation paper of William Cole, who was enrolled on the 28th April, 1870, in my district: I am the attesting witness—the man who came there signed this "William Cole"—I took him to the Kennington Lane Police Station—I afterwards saw the prisoner in April last at the police-station, with several others, and recognised him as the William Cole I had enrolled—the attestation paper would be filled up by a clerk in the office before the prisoner signed it—I

don't know how long he continued to receive pay at the south London district.

Prisoner. Q. At the last examination did you not say that you would not recognize me if you saw me by myself? A. I said that I would rather you were put with some more for me to pick you out, it being two years ago, but as soon as the cell door was opened I knew you directly.

SAMUEL WILLIAMS . I am a staff sergeant in the South London district of the Army Reserve force—I remember William Cole being enrolled there on 28th April, 1870; he afterwards received pay up to 31st March, 1871—I did not see him again after January, 1871, when he received his pay up to March—I did not see him again till I saw him at the Greenwich Police Court—I am not positive of the prisoner being the person: to the best of my opinion he is the man.

Prisoner. Q. Had you not a better opportunity of knowing me than any other person? A. I only saw you about four times, and I see so many—I did not mark your discharge; your height is on the discharge; if there is a difference of half an inch in the two papers I can't account for that.

Re-examined. This attestation paper was filled in by me; I must have got the particulars from the back of his discharge—we did not mark the discharges at that time, it would be given back to him—this is the discharge—the height entered here is 5 ft. 7 1/2 in., and so it is in mine, the other particulars tally.

DANIEL WOODS (Policeman R 346). I took the prisoner into custody on 4th April, at the Pension Office, Greenwich; he was there for the purpose of receiving his pay—I told him he was given into my charge for obtaining various sums of money from McGuinness at the Pension Office—he said he was not the man that received the money.

Prisoner's Defence. When I was discharged there were upwards of 600 men discharged from the same regiment, plenty of those men had been with me for yean and knew my service and everything regarding, me, and they have got my discharge and represented me.

GUILTY Eighteen Months' Imprisonment.

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